Deputy Minister inaugurates financial inclusion technical committee

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA – The Deputy Minister of
Finance Mrs Mona Quartey has inaugurated a technical committee to oversee the
development of a financial inclusion strategy for the country.

The Committee comprises the representatives of
the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and
Securities and Exchange Commission.

Others are the Pensions Regulatory Authority,
Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Telecom Chamber and Ghana Association
of Bankers.

The Minister, who inaugurated the committee
during the opening of a day’s stakeholder workshop on the development of
Financial Inclusion strategy, said a high level of commitment to the exercise
was required from all stakeholders to ensure success.

The Technical Committee would develop work
plans, work on a financial inclusion strategy, and keep abreast with global
developments relating to financial inclusion.

Other areas of focus for the committee would
be to seek support from relevant donors to implement financial inclusion
activities, determine specific research areas for diagnostic studies and
collaborate with other institutions whose activities have a direct or indirect
impact on financial inclusion.

Mrs Quartey said financial inclusion was a
policy priority in the country’s developmental process.

“We see financial inclusion as a catalyst for
making profound impact in lifting our people from poverty and driving inclusive
growth,” she added.

The World Bank is providing technical support
to the Strategy drafting process and UN-based “Better Than Cash Alliance” was
the sponsor of the workshop aimed to gather valuable contributions from
participants to enable us complete the development of the strategy document.

Mrs Quartey urged stakeholders to put their
shoulders to the wheel and pull resources together to accelerate the
development and roll out of the Strategy to enable Ghana achieve full financial
inclusion ahead of the 2020 target period while achieving the desired goal of
inclusive growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

The 2015 World Bank Findex Report estimated
that, globally about 2.5 billion adults are financially excluded.

In Ghana the Report indicates that only up to
58 per cent of adults have access to some form of financial services.

This implies that about 42 per cent of the
Ghanaian adult population is financially excluded without using any form of
formal or informal financial services.

“Clearly, there is the need to collaborate and
work in a concerted manner to achieve higher financial inclusion levels.

“We therefore expect to achieve higher
financial inclusion levels through partnerships and active participation of
all, including Government agencies, the private sector, and civil society among
others,” the Deputy Minister said.

She said expanding financial services to a
large number of people especially in the rural areas where more than 60 per
cent of the population is affected by poverty, is one of surest way of
promoting inclusive growth and reducing poverty.

Mrs Quartey said a co-ordinated national
financial inclusion effort would enable the country to align with the broader
national and international commitments on poverty reduction and sustainable
economic development.

She said in the government’s medium term
objective and strategic direction is the quest to expand opportunities for all
to access formal financial services as a way of driving accelerated economic
growth and transformation.

Government would continue to partner
stakeholders in harnessing resources towards the achievement of the objective
through eliminating barriers to the use of financial services by the poor,
vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, the Director Financial
Sector Division, said the strategy would work with all to achieve higher
financial inclusion levels through partnerships and active participation of
all, including Government agencies, the private sector, and civil society among
others.

GNA

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