Ghana suggests integration of mobile banking into mainstream banking, Africa accepts

Mr. Millison Narh

Studies suggest that if countries make about 10% investment in mobile banking, it will lead to 1% GDP growth.

And at the ongoing experts in finance and economic planning meeting of the AU/ECA in Addis Ababa, one of Ghana’s representatives, a Deputy Bank of Ghana governor, Mr. Millison Narh suggested to the meeting that mobile banking should be integrated into mainstream banking in Africa and it was accepted.

Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, Director of Economic Development and NEPAD Division, Economic Commission for Africa in his remarks said that was a good suggestion and it will be included in the recommendations of the meeting.

Later in an interview, he told that rural populations are excluded from mainstream banking with the proliferation of mobile telephony, they could be integrated into the banking system and that could foster GDP growth and improve standard of living.”.

“You know our strength is in mobile telephony, large numbers of African populations have mobile phones,” he said.

Asked if the Bank of Ghana has initiated programmes to harness mobile telephony in Ghana, Mr. Narh referred to recent workshop the central bank held with telecoms companies in the country.

A 2011 Gallup poll shows that 71 percent of adults in Nigeria, for example, 62 percent in Botswana, and more than half the population in Ghana and Kenya have mobile phones.

Cell phone use has grown faster in Africa than in any other region of the world since 2003, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

And according to UK-based Informa Telecoms & Media, Africa became the world’s second most connected region after Asia in late 2011, with 616 million mobile subscribers.

Meanwhile latest figures from the National Communications Authority of Ghana puts the mobile penetration in the country to over 80 percent of a population of about 23 million.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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