Dr. Kwabena Duffuor
Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has urged financial institutions operating in Ghana to make their services and products accessible to people living in rural areas of Ghana.
Dr. Duffuor made the call in a keynote address at the 38th Management Day Celebration of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) held recently in Accra under the theme: ‘Finance and Insurance For Inclusive National Development.’
According to Dr. Duffuor, expanding financial services to a large number of people, especially those in the rural areas, where over 60 percent of the population are affected by poverty is one of the surest ways of promoting inclusive development and reducing poverty.
In his opinion, an inclusive financial system among others, facilitates efficient allocation of productive resources and can potentially reduce the cost of capital, improve the day-to-day management of finances.
“An inclusive financial sector aimed at inclusive national development can generate positive externalities to the government, contributing to job creation and macroeconomic stability.”
He indicated that inclusiveness brings about a broader client base and dependable source of funding.
It also reduces some risks in money laundering activities by bringing the much unregulated/underground economy into the regulated sector, thereby achieving financial stability and integrity.
Financial inclusiveness, he stated, is measured by the level of the people’s access to financial services, adding that improved access to financial services strengthens financial sectors and domestic resource mobilization and can therefore make a significant contribution to social and economic development.
However, in Ghana our financial services are only available to a few people, he added.
“It is regrettable, therefore that a huge chunk of the populace still find themselves outside the financial system. Majority of Ghanaians have no bank accounts; they do not receive credit from the formal financial system, neither do they have any insurance policies,” he said.
Dr. Duffuor stated that access to financial services is so poor that there remains a large group of unbanked people in Ghana.
“The percentage of the population with no insurance policy is even much higher.”
By Melvin Tarlue