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Government to establish FinTech Innovation Fund to support startups 

Government has announced plans to set up a FinTech Innovation Fund to support startups in the FinTech industry to drive Ghana’s digital revolution. 

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announced this in Accra on Monday during the official media launch of the maiden 3i Africa Summit. 

The three-day summit, to be held in Accra, will come off from May 13-15, 2024, on the theme: “Unleashing Africa’s FinTech and Digital Economic Potential”. 

The event, being organised by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), in partnership with Elevandi, a subsidiary of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, would attract governments, businesses, policymakers, academia, investors and thought leaders. 

Participants are expected to discuss and collaborate on unlocking Africa’s full potential on fintech and the digital economy. 

Vice President Bawumia, who had championed the Government’s national digitalisation agenda over the past seven years, said the path to Ghana’s digital revolution was through fintech, hence the need to support them financially to thrive. 

He, therefore, encouraged all stakeholders in the industry to join forces in improving the legislative and regulatory environment to enhance the payments ecosystem and position Ghana on the path of sustained financial inclusion. 

The power of technology, Dr Bawumia noted, would improve productivity and connectivity to empower individuals through fintech startups, as well as small and medium-scale businesses to increase innovation and efficiency in the operations of institutions. 

It was against this background, he said, that the Government, in the past seven years, had focused on pursuing a digital transformation agenda as part of its economic strategy at the individual and institutional levels. 

“The objective is to ensure digital empowerment for a prosperous future in this accelerated digital era, where the use of modern and emerging technologies have become commonplace and a catalyst for growth, progress, and prosperity,” Dr Bawumia stated. 

“It is no news that the Government, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has paid special attention to digitalisation.

"This has been actively supported by various government institutions and regulators as part of the broader Ghana Digitalization Agenda to advance digital transformation.”  

“It is no coincidence that this upcoming Summit has been dubbed 3i Africa Summit – thus Innovation, Investment, and Impact.”  

“This has been the backdrop of our digitalisation journey to harness the full potential of technology.”  

 The Vice President highlighted some of the challenges the country faced in advancing its digitalisation agenda and believed that by leveraging technological innovations, it would leapfrog the development process, overcome legacy problems, and improve both the economic and public sectors. 

“For instance, to address the issue of no unique identification for citizens and residents, the Government issued the national biometric ID cards, popularly known as the ‘GhanaCard’ to provide a unique and centralised identification system for all Ghanaians,” Dr Bawumia noted. 

“The acceptance of the ‘Ghana Card’ as the sole identification document for financial transactions in Ghana would in the long run help reduce Non-Performing Loans and mobile money fraud.”   

Government, he said, also leveraged GPS Technology to implement a digital address system, which resulted in the unique address for all properties in Ghana. 

“Also, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority provided street names and house numbers for every street in Ghana for easy identification and navigation,” he recalled. 

“Furthermore, to promote financial inclusion and reduce the dominance of cash for payments, the mobile money payments interoperability system was instituted, thanks to the Bank of Ghana and GhIPSS for championing this cause.” 

“This has led to the seamless transfer of money across different mobile networks and from mobile money wallets to banks, and vice versa.” 

The BoG, he said, piloted both online and offline use cases of the e-Cedi in 2022, and in December 2023, invited applicants to participate in its first-ever e-Cedi Hackathon, designed to foster innovation, drive technological advancement, and develop solutions that would redefine the Ghanaian financial landscape. 

Government also embarked on an aggressive digitalisation of the processes of service delivery across various public institutions to improve public services. 

The Vice President mentioned the digitalised processes at the passport office to enable online applications and significantly reduce the average turnaround time, the paperless port system that largely reduced bureaucracy at the port, and the digitisation of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority operations. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.