In line with the moves towards formalising and digitising Ghana’s economy, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced government’s plans for every Ghanaian to own a bank account from next year , as part of measures to ensure financial inclusion.
Dr Bawumia made this disclosure at the official opening of the 2017 Innovation Week organised by the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Accra on the theme: “Exponential technologies and innovations; an enabler in socio-economic development of Ghana”.
According to the Vice President, over 70 per cent of the Ghanaian population does not have bank accounts, however that situation needs to change as government gets ready to launch the interoperability of the financial system which will enable cross platform transactions.
“Financial inclusion is very key to the economy. We have to make sure that everybody practically has a bank account. This is how we are going to change the economy. Everyone has to have a bank account,” Bawumia stressed.
Speaking further, Bawumia announced that technical work for implementation of the interoperability system has been completed. He pointed out that the system which is expected to go live and by January, will enable individuals to communicate and send monies across all platforms notwithstanding the type of banking they engage in, be it mobile of traditional.
Digitising Ghana’s Economy – Way Forward
Vice President Bawumia also pointed out at the occasion that government’s resolve to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to develop the country’s economy has been demonstrated with the introduction of some digital systems in the country.
Recall that the Akufo-Addo government some months ago, began to work on recording all state properties and citizen’s data in a centralized national database with the major aim of facilitating national planning and a formalised economic development.
Three initiatives were proposed to achieve these goals which are the National Identification Card (aka Ghana Card), the National Digital Property Address System and the Interoperability System.
Registration to obtain the Ghana Card which was launched last month, is expected to commence in November, 2017. While the Ghana Card takes care of the unique identification of individuals, the Digital Property Address System covers the unique identification of properties.
The Digital Property Address System is an Information Technology application-based location navigation system designed by Ghanaian information technology firm, Vokacom to tackle the challenge of property addressing in the country. The system comes to end the long existing era wherein Ghanaians rely on landmarks to give directions and property locations across the country.
For the Ghana Card, President Akufo-Addo had said during its launch on September 16, 2017, that the exercise signaled “the dawn of a new day in biometric identity management in Ghana and the virtues of a public-private partnership arrangement in meeting our development needs.”
The last initiative which is the Interoperability System is expected to enable customers to transfer money easily across various networks.The system is expected to be launched next year.