IFC, CGAP, SECO launch initiative to expand financial inclusion in Ghana

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of Switzerland, SECO, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, CGAP, on June 8 launched the Ghana Digital Financial Services Initiative to advance financial inclusion in Ghana through the use of new technology and innovative business models. 

Broad access to affordable and regulated financial services is a key tool in the fight against poverty, and the World Bank Group is committed to help bring about universal financial inclusion by 2020. About half of the population in Ghana currently has access to formal financial services (58 percent, Finscope 2015), with digital financial services driving most of the recent expansion, according to IFC.

“Thanks to innovative technologies, financial services will become cheaper and more accessible for customers, thus creating new opportunities for them. This allows mobile financial services providers to expand their business, creating a win-win situation,” Ivo Germann, Head of Operations of the Economic Cooperation and Development Division of SECO. 

The $5.6 million Ghana Digital Financial Services Initiative is funded by SECO and will be implemented by IFC and CGAP in collaboration with the Central Bank of Ghana and the financial industry. The program will support regulatory and market capacity, and provide direct advisory services to two industry actors to increase the reach of digital financial services in support of inclusive economic growth. 

Riadh Naouar, IFC Head of Financial Institutions Group Advisory in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Digital financial services are driving an unprecedented expansion in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa today. We already see very exciting market developments in Ghana, and there is more potential to broaden access to financial services for low-income people and micro-entrepreneurs.” 

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