Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi
ELSIE ADDO Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), says the central bank is in the process of developing a directive to promote access to finance for persons living with disabilities (PWDs).
Speaking at the launch of the German Development Corporation (GIZ) Financial Inclusion for PWDs Project Thursday in Accra, Mrs Awadzi said the proposed directive will focus on eliminating barriers that affect access to finance for PWDs.
She said it will among other things require physical access to premises of financial institutions for PWDAs, access to digital payments and financial services for PWDs; promote the good conduct of employees of regulated financial institutions in the provision of services to PWDs, and prevent the discrimination against PWDs by regulated financial institutions.
Furthermore, she said it will use innovative and appropriate systems and materials to ensure information is disseminated in mediums accessible to all categories of PWDs; report data by regulated financial institutions on demand for and the supply of PWD-specific financial products and services to help reduce or eliminate the gap in access to finance for PWDs.
“We therefore expect banks and ultimately all our regulated institutions to constantly develop products and services that are accessible, affordable, and appropriate for different segments of our society including persons with disabilities, or as I prefer to call them – Persons Who are Differently Abled (PWDA) – and not necessarily disabled.
“The exponential growth of digital financial services in Ghana is a real catalyst for promoting access to financial services for PWDAs, given its potential to overcome many of the physical barriers that PWDAs face in accessing traditional financial services. The Bank of Ghana continues to make strides in providing a supportive policy and regulatory framework that allows banks, other financial institutions, and Fintechs to design and provide innovative digital financial services and products that respond to the unique needs of underserved segments like PWDAs. The Bank of Ghana will continue to provide the enabling environment that supports a stable, resilient, and inclusive financial system, where the needs and interest of all consumers are met satisfactorily,” she added.
Mrs Awadzi stated “It is our hope also that implementation of the project will lead to the building of a viable and supportive ecosystem for PWDAs to enable them fully participate in education, the job market, entrepreneurship, health care, financial and other socio-economic activities so that they are able to make significant impact in their communities and contribute more fully to our socio-economic development as a nation.”
BY Samuel Boadi