Business News of Friday, 5 January 2018
A Trainer-of-Trainers workshop for the roll-out of a nationwide financial inclusion drive to deliver an appreciable spike in the coverage of financial services has been concluded.
The successful end of the workshop paves the way for the employment of 50,000 graduates under the “Youth in Revenue Mobilization” programme who would be trained to provide access to financial services in all the 216 districts across the 10 regions of Ghana.
The workshop, which was organised by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as part of their financial inclusion drive in Ghana, was on Digital Financial Services (DFS) with special focus on Agent Network Management.
The sessions covered areas including Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, financial inclusion, interoperability, the DFS regulatory framework, DFS product development and value added services, liquidity management, branding and emerging issues in DFS.
There were also interactive sessions and case studies including group activities on regulation and procedures.
Participants who numbered 28 were selected from Eban Capital, Aya Technologies AG, YEA, UNCDF and the UNDP. They also included representatives of banks, financial technology companies, non-governmental and private organisations and some stakeholders in the financial inclusion space.
The innovative project would offer Ghanaians home and abroad a more reliable, convenient and secured access to financial services based on the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies to eliminate fraud, drive transaction costs down significantly and empower every citizen to bank.
The nationwide financial inclusion drive which would be strategically propelled by the deployment of DFS is collaboration with Eban Capital Limited and key government institutions with the support of UNCDF.
Commenting, J.S Amegah, Group Chief Executive Officer of Eban Capital Limited, said “the workshop has been extremely useful for network management as we seek to equip and deploy about 4.5 million youth as network managers across Africa to support our value delivery system. This is one of the quickest means for countries like Ghana to achieve a cash-lite-economy and unprecedented socio-economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
Eban Capital is happy to partner with government institutions and the private sector players in Ghana to create 50,000 direct jobs for our graduates, who would be trained to employ 150,000 more merchants over the next two years to drive Ghana’s digital economy and impact over 8 million lives in our rural communities.”
Speaking after the Workshop, the Economic Officer for UNDP, Mr. Kordzo Sedegah, stated that “The collaboration between UNCDF and UNDP is a purposeful one that will lead to improving financial inclusion and ultimately human development in Ghana. Access to finance improves businesses, and when businesses improve, people make money and when people make money, there will be reduction in crime and everyone will have peace of mind.
“Our commitment is playing out in the depth and breadth of support we are investing in this project which would contribute directly to Ghana’s achievement of five out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These are SDG 1 (‘No poverty’), SDG 2 (‘No hunger’), SDG 5 (‘Gender equality’), SDG 8 (‘Good jobs and economic growth’) and SDG 10 (‘reduced inequalities’)”.
Commenting on the training, Hermann Messan, the Program Specialist for UNCDF, stated that “this is part of a whole campaign dubbed ‘Bringing Informal to formal leveraging on technology’. This is a three tier approach at ensuring that those who are financially excluded will be included in accessing financial services.
“This effort has yielded some remarkable results for which informal savings groups have been given representation and recognition in the national financial inclusion strategy. I entreat all participants to join the campaign to ensure that we reach the last mile with financial services together in order that no one is left behind”.
The YRM programme which hosts the nationwide financial inclusion drive seeks to improve government’s efforts at mobilising revenue for national development and ensuring that everyone has access to formal financial services delivered at an affordable cost to everyone irrespective of his/her location or status.
Ghana currently has about 70 per cent of its population excluded from the financial mainstream. This means that this population is denied any of the benefits which the “banked” population enjoys from the financial sector including personal accounts and other products.
In very recent years, Ghana has made significant progress in its financial inclusion efforts. This has been possible on the back of the introduction of digital payments, mobile technology and alternate channels in banking. It is the expectation of the partners of the nationwide financial inclusion drive that the project will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2018. by majority of the people in the region.