Four companies have been awarded a grant of $750,000 under the first phase of the Remittance Grant Facility (RGF) challenge.
The beneficiary companies are Zee Pay Ghana Limited, which received US$125,000; PayInc Ghana Limited, which received US$225,000; ExpressPay Ghana Limited got US$200,000, while DreamOval Limited received $200,000.
The companies received the various sums based on their project proposals and their ability to raise the 50 per cent counterpart funding needed for their respective projects.
Remittance Grant Facility
The RGF is a collaborative initiative between the governments of Ghana and Switzerland which provides financial assistance to companies to develop and/or introduce innovative remittance products and services at a relatively low cost.
The RGF, which is a US$2.6-million project, is financed by Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and is managed by the KPMG International Development Advisory Services (IDAS).
The overall aim of the RGF is to facilitate the flow of remittances through formal channels to poor and rural Ghanaians and, in the process, enhance the impact of remittances on economic growth and poverty reduction.
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At a ceremony to symbolically present the grants to the winners in Accra yesterday, the Director of the Financial Sector Division (FSD) of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Sampson Akligoh, said the RGF challenge was a platform to push the digitalisation agenda and create entrepreneurs to address the challenge of growth and job creation.
“One of the key things that we should be doing as a people is to see how to challenge ourselves to create entrepreneurs and I think this RGF is part of things to get there,” he said.
He said the use of technology in the financial services space remained high on the government’s agenda; hence, the need for a holistic approach to create opportunities for local companies to get value from the fintech space.
Mr Akligoh said there was so much value in the fintech space and the government remained committed to ensuring that it created more opportunities for local companies to derive benefits from it.
He urged the winners to prove themselves as a testimony that entrepreneurship could work in the country and create more opportunities for others to also benefit in that space.
Swiss govt’s role
A Representative of the Switzerland Embassy in Ghana, Mr Daniel Lauchenauer, explained that the event was to mark a symbolic handing over of the grants to the local companies who emerged winners after the first round of the competition.
He said the remittance market faced challenges with respect to cost, accessibility and how people used remittances.
The Challenge Fund, he said, was thus introduced to help address the identified challenges and ensure that companies got funding to pursue projects that would help increase remittances.
Mr Lauchenauer said the second round of the project would kick off soon and that the phase one would end in 2020.