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Ministry of Finance Hosts Financial Industry Players to the Maiden Ghana Financial Inclusion Conference

 The Ministry of Finance in partnership with industry players in the financial sector is hosting the maiden Financial Inclusion Conference under the theme, “Accelerating Financial Inclusion in a Digital Era.”

Speaking at the opening of the conference, a Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr Alex Ampaabeng thanked industry players and the World Bank for their, “unwavering commitment and visionary leadership which has steered Ghana towards unprecedented achievements in financial inclusion.”

According to the Deputy Minister, the World Bank’s Global Findex Database, revealed a reduction in the number of unbanked adults worldwide from 1.7 billion in 2017 to approximately 1.4 billion in 2021.

“Over the past decade, the global financial landscape had witnessed remarkable transformations driven by technological advancements and evolving consumer preferences”, he said.

This positive trend, he noted, reflects the increased financial inclusion efforts globally, citing Ghana to have made strides in advancing financial inclusion, guided by the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy from 2018 to 2023.

Dr Ampaabeng also attributes the achievement largely to the exponential growth in mobile money adoption, transforming the financial landscape and empowering millions of Ghanaians with access to affordable and quality financial services.

In a Keynote Address delivered on behalf of the Vice President, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Prof George Gyan Baffuor noted that the introduction of mobile money interoperability in Ghana, has been a significant milestone in enhancing financial inclusion.

This system, he said, allows seamless transactions between different mobile money platforms, enabling users to send and receive money across various networks effortlessly.

Prof Gyan Baffuor outlined five objectives the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy was anchored on, namely, promoting financial stability; increasing access, quality, and usage of financial services; enhancing financial infrastructure; and enhancing financial consumer protection; and improving financial capacity.

He also highlighted key components for the upgrade of the national payment infrastructure, supporting regulatory frameworks for innovation, and launching public education campaigns to boost digital literacy and trust in digital payments.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Ms, Eva Esselba Mends in her remarks noted that financial inclusion is not only a government agenda but a global agenda, adding that, “countries worldwide have made significant strides in achieving high levels of financial inclusion through intentional and constant efforts, policy formulation, implementation, and collaboration with industry experts. Ghana, like other countries with a financial inclusion and digitization agenda, has not been left behind.

Solidarity messages were also received from representatives from the Bank of Ghana, the World Bank, and the Academia.

The two-day conference brought together heads of government agencies, banking sector, financial regulatory organisation, representatives from industry, academia, and the World Bank.

It is aimed at strengthening commitment to promote financial inclusion and the use of digital technology to improve the lives of all Ghanaians. It will also provide a platform for industry players to comprehensively delve into significant themes, challenges, and possibilities in the domain of financial inclusion, with special emphasis on leveraging digital innovation for a meaningful change.