‘Ghana needs to take bold, difficult decisions’

Ghana needs to take bold, difficult and firm decisions in order to face the economic headwinds battering the world, Vice President Bawumia has stated.

The world economic order, he said, had undergone massive change in recent years, especially in Africa.

Speaking at the two-day Standard Chartered Bank Digital Banking, Innovation and Fintech Festival in Accra,  Dr Bawumia said the combined effects of COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and major disruptions in global supply chains had brought untold economic damage across the world, and required new thinking and positioning, especially as the world eased into the fourth industrial revolution.

“In Ghana, for example, if you look at between and 2019 and today we’ve seen about a fivefold increase in the rate of inflation. Go to next door Togo, we’ve seen about a 16 fold increase in the rate of inflation, Cote d’Ivoire has seen about a sevenfold increase in the rate of inflation, and the UK has seen an eightfold increase in the rate of inflation, Dr Bawumia, said.

 “So what we are seeing globally, of course, with the disruption of global supply chains, post-COVID, is a major change in what was the status quo before COVID. The global economy as we know it, as it existed, pre-COVID today does not really exist anymore. Emerging market access to the capital markets has been very restricted and may continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future. And more and more we are seeing economies rethinking economic strategies. But there is a clear move towards more self-reliance in economic policy, “he added.

The Vice President commended Standard Chartered Bank for initiating and sustaining the fintech festival, to discuss digital innovation to promote the banking and financial industries as well as promote financial inclusion in the country.

The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, speaking on the topic “How the Bank of Ghana is pioneering and leading new innovations and relevant policies to make Ghana a digitised economy,” said it was encouraging Standard Chartered Bank had kept the momentum of its Digital Banking, Innovation and Fintech Festival.

He said over the last few decades, Bank of Ghana had been at the forefront of innovation, laying the foundation for an effective and efficient retail payments ecosystem that was anchored on a robust infrastructure.

He said to build stronger collaboration and cooperation with industry, Bank of Ghana had embarked on an engagement drive through the FinTech and Innovation Office.

Dr Opoku-Afari said the BoG had already started collaborating with FinTech Accelerators, Technology Hubs, and had facilitated various sessions on licensing requirements, corporate governance and compliance for reporting institutions.

“This demonstrates the bank’s openness and engaging attitude towards industry players. The bank encourages continual dialogue and is ready to engage all stakeholders to achieve our shared goals to promote innovation and a safe payment ecosystem, “he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), Mansa Nettey, said,” last year, at the premier Standard Chartered Digital Banking, Innovation and Fintech Festival, we set out on a journey to begin a process of providing a platform for the government, key stakeholders and Fintechs to showcase Ghana’s digital infrastructure and the great strides the country has made on the national digitalisation journey.

She said over the years, the financial ecosystem had come to realise the benefits of partnerships. FinTechs and Telcos have become complimentary partners to mainstream banking as we seek to provide solutions and services to our customers.

“It is only through our ability to partner and collaborate to compete that we will see the scaling up of meaningful digitalisation and financial inclusion in Ghana and Africa.  A key milestone in Ghana has been the collaborative work between Ghana Association of Banks and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhiPSS) which led to the roll out of the innovative industry wallet called Ghana Pay.  There are several other collaborations that have spawned significant initiatives and innovations,” she said.


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