Collaboration key to diffusing digital technology in real economy – BoG Governor
Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of the Ghana, BoG, has urged Financial Technology companies (Fintech) to collaborate with other digital solution providers to fast-track the diffusion of digital technologies in the real sectors of the economy.
That, he said, would enhance financial inclusion and the formalisation of the economy.
With over 43 registered fintech companies as at the end of January 2023, 700,000 mobile money agents, and 57 million registered mobile money accounts, he said the financial digitisation agenda had contributed significantly to employment creation and served as a critical mass for the digital transformation of the real sector.
“Already the requisite policies and infrastructure for the takeoff of a digital economy are in place,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Director, Madam Clarissa Kudowor at the Mobile Technology for Development Conference 2023.
The theme for the conference was: “Driving Digital Financial Inclusion in the Real Economy”.
Mr Kwamina Asomaning, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank, observed that even though remarkable progress had been made quantitatively in terms of financial inclusion, it was yet to translate in economic inclusivity.
He said stakeholders had responsibility of carefully navigating the exigencies in the digital ecosystem which had several implications as well as opportunities for the country.
“In the same way handing out laptop to children in poverty will not address literacy issues, providing bank accounts or access to mobile money wallet will not resolve financial exclusion issues,” he said.
He, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the pace of financial inclusion driven largely by people working from home, close of banking offices and the refusal of some merchants to accept cash payments.
The prioritisation of financial inclusion, he said, had led to establishment of more stable financial systems and economy that had warranted an increase in government revenue through E-levy and higher taxes on the operations of telecommunication companies and banks.
Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in a speech read on his behalf, said economies were undergoing a new phase of structural changes where the main sources of value were digital assets, data and intellectual knowledge of goods and information.
“These changes are unprecedented and altering the way we have traditionally altered trade, ” he said.
In that regard, he said state parties under AfCFTA were working through negotiators to modernise existing frameworks and develop new progressive regulations to liberalise trade.
Among the components of negotiation, he said, was the regulatory framework in financial services that would complement and facilitate the implementation of market access commitments in all service sectors.
He added: “State parties are also developing the protocol on digital trade. The protocol is envisioned to align our desires and objectives to promote and facilitate digital trade among state parties.”
At the country level, he said stakeholders must collaborate to put up both the hard and soft infrastructure to create a thriving environment for the digital economy.