Ghana is developing a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to promote access to financial services by the underprivileged in society.
The NFIS, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF), had become necessary due to the low financial penetration and access to financial services by the citizens.
According to a World Bank 2015 Report on Financial Inclusion, only 58 per cent of adults in the country have access to financial services.
Consequently, the Better Than Cash Alliance, an agency under the United Nations on Wednesday sponsored a workshop for stakeholders to discuss the NFIS Strategy Framework.
It was on the theme, “Stakeholder discussion and consultation for national financial inclusion strategy, and exploring the role of digital payments ecosystem in financial inclusion”.
As part of the programme, a technical committee with wide representation from the financial and banking sector,has been instituted to oversee the development of the NFIS.
Opening the workshop, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs. Helen Mona Quartey bemoaned the low access to financial services by the poor in society.
She therefore, called for coordinated and concerted effort among stakeholders to enhance financial penetration in the country.
The Deputy Minister stressed that enhancing financial penetration was critical to reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth, adding that it also to promote efficient allocation of revenue.
That, she said, was the reason why the government initiated the move to develop a NFIS to come out with strategies to promote access to financial services by the poor.
Mrs. Quartey said the NFIS document was intended to come out with measures to meet the financial needs of the citizens.
She encouraged the participants to critically consider the issue of data collection, collation and distribution in developing the NFIS document.
The Director of Financial Sector Division (FSD) of the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Magdalene Apenteng in a presentation on the NFIS framework-Status and way forward said the objective of the NFIS was to promote financial inclusion in the country.
As part of the NFIS, a national strategy for financial literacy document was being developed to help education on financial issues.
In addition, she said a curriculum on financial inclusion was being developed for the schools in the country.
Mrs. Apenteng said the objective of government was to increase the 58 per cent of adults who had access to financial services to 70 per cent by 2021.
In his remarks Reynolds Boamah, a staff at the MOF-FSD, said the country had achieved a significant milestone in the development of an NFIS document.
Topics discussed included “The role of digital payments in financial inclusion,” “Understanding the digital payments landscape in Ghana (Status, challenges and way forward).
By Kingsley Asare