Task force to ensure financial inclusion

Business News of Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

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The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in partnership with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is to institute a task force to drive financial inclusion in the country by the middle of the year.

The task force would comprise representatives from the BoG, MoF, the National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana Association of Bankers, the Telecoms Chamber and other private sector players.

The Head of Banking Department at the Bank of Ghana, Mrs Elly Ohene-Adu, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on January 22, that the aim of the task force was to come up with a strategy that would rope in those who were financially excluded in the formal financial sector.

“The Bank of Ghana and government recognise the need to advance financial inclusion because we realise there is a lot of money out there even in the rural areas, but they are not interacting with the formal financial sector. The aim of the task force is to provide the strategy that will help advance people into the formal sector,” she said.

Mrs Ohene Adu was speaking in an interview after the launch of a US$50 million challenge fund by the MasterCard Foundation for smallholder farmers in Africa. It is expected to promote innovation in financial services to improve the lives of those who are financially excluded.

In Ghana, it is estimated that about 44 per cent of Ghanaians are excluded from the financial system and as such has no dealings with any formal financial service provider. The task force is therefore expected to come up with measures on how to deepen financial inclusion in the country.

According to her, discussion on the task force was at the formative stage, adding that: “We have just held discussions with the Ministry of Finance, and we will both be championing this course. The secretariat of the task force will reside with the ministry and I believe that by the middle of the year we would have put the task force in place.”

The fund was launched in Ghana on January 22 by the MasterCard Foundation, an independent, global organisation based in Canada committed to promoting financial inclusion in Africa.

The goal of the fund is to expand access to financial services for about one million people in rural or agricultural areas of Africa who are currently excluded from the financial system.

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