The Bank of Ghana (BoG), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Development Bank Ghana (DBG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE).
A statement issued by the BoG in Accra and copied to the Ghanaian Times said the GIFE was meant to enhance financial capabilities and access for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana and generate greater opportunities for trade and financial services cooperation between Singapore and Ghana.
The statement said the integrated financial ecosystem model would serve the Asia-Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) trade corridor more broadly.
“The GIFE will offer an open digital infrastructure for MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore in four key areas and help MSMEs build foundational digital financial literacy skills and gain a good understanding of cross-border financial services,” the statement, said.
It said MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore could expand their international business connections in Asia and Africa, through a network of business-to-business ecommerce platforms.
It said DBG and partner financial institutions would provide digital trade finance and guarantees for eligible MSMEs through a digital platform.
The statement said MAS, BoG, DBG and financial institutions would jointly develop financial trust frameworks to assess credit worthiness for financing by enabling financial institutions to use alternative data sets, such as the track record of successful payments to suppliers and tax payments to relevant authorities.
It said the GIFE was a collaborative effort across public entities, financial institutions, FinTechs and technology solution providers in Ghana and Singapore.
The statement said the partners include Proxtera, Consolidated Bank of Ghana, ANEXT Bank, Enterprise Singapore, and the Global FinTech Institute.
Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “MAS has worked closely with Bank of Ghana since the announcement of the Financial Trust Corridor in 2020.”
“The GIFE is an important step to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks and important emerging markets. The GIFE is a rethink to potentially leapfrog traditional financial inclusion approaches with combined support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can tap into based on their needs,” he said.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest K.Y. Addison, said “This memorandum further demonstrates BoG’s commitment as a central bank, to working with key stakeholders to explore innovative financing models.”
He said the MoU demonstrated BoG’s commitment to the Business Sans Borders initiative which the BoG partnered the Monetary Authority of Singapore to enhance MSME contribution to economic growth and in line with government’s broader economic transformation goals.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DBG, Mr K Duker, said “We believe that this partnership with the MAS and the GIFE programme mark a pivotal moment in DBG’s mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses and facilitate multi-generational, sustainable economic growth.
Ms Toh Su Mei, Chief Executive Officer, ANEXT Bank, said, “ANEXT Bank is honored to join this private-public taskforce in co-creating the FTC trust data framework to promote more trust amongst businesses and financial institutions globally.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE