Dr Ernest Addison (2nd from left), Governor, Bank of Ghana, with Kwamena Duker (right), CEO, Development Bank, Ghana, and Ravi Menon (left), Singapore Ambassador for Climate Change Action and Senior Advisor, National Climate Change Secretariat, signalling close of the summit. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Dr Ernest Addison (2nd from left), Governor, Bank of Ghana, with Kwamena Duker (right), CEO, Development Bank, Ghana, and Ravi Menon (left), Singapore Ambassador for Climate Change Action and Senior Advisor, National Climate Change Secretariat, signalling close of the summit. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
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3i Africa summit: Participants pledge enhanced cross-border transactions

Partitipants in the 3i Africa summit in Accra have pledged to enhance cross-border transactions within the continent and also reduce reliance on support from the West.

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Most speakers across the 58 sessions at the summit emphasised the need to put in place a robust digital public infrastructure, streamline regulatory processes and promote digital connectivity.

The Head of Fintech and Innovation Department at the Bank of Ghana, Kwame Oppong, said at the close of the summit yesterday that the youthful population of Africa, the high mobile penetration and the consistent expansion of mobile network assets had provided fertile ground for acceleration of the digitisation agenda on the continent.

He said the BoG had been proactive by creating a regulatory framework that was conducive for technology innovation, exemplified by initiatives such as the Payment Systems and Services Act and the establishment of a Fintech and Innovation office.

“Today we have the digital tools to advance Africa’s technological and digital economy to include millions of Africans who are at the cutting edge of digital technology,” Mr Oppong added.

Summit

The three-day summit was attended by three heads of state, 10 central bank governors within and outside Africa, over 150 Chief Executive Officers of Fintech and financial institutions, investors and heads of digital technology domains in Africa.

Some of the topics discussed centred around the role of technology in de-risking important sectors of Africa’s economy for growth, financing businesses and accelerating trade, universal trusted credentials (UTC), and fintech and the creative as an economy.

There were also workshops and master classes on global money movement, fintech for inclusion, women in tech, agriculture and fintech and smart SMEs and digital skills.

Removal of obstacles

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Ms L Dunn, said the conference had provided her with deeper understanding of challenges confronting the financial technology sector on the continent and the need for policymakers and regulators to work on laws and regulations in the sector to create an enabling environment for innovation.

“So back home, I intend to work on the law and regulations that will help encourage innovation and drive investments that make impact. “As policymakers and regulators, we are not doing enough to remove stifling policies and laws and regulations blocking the innovation needed for Fintech to prosper.

“I am inspired and I want to innovate and when I go back home, I want to tear down each and every law and regulation in my country that create obstacles to unlocking the full potential of digitisation,” she added.

Successful programme

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, a board member of Development Bank Ghana (DBG), one of the organisers of the event, Nora Bannerman-Abbott, said the event had exceeded their expectation and would serve as a springboard for further conversations and action on the continent’s development.

She said the bank planned to enhance support programmes for start-ups and inspire the fintech revolution in Africa. “Our support programmes for small businesses will be more tailored on financial products, increase of advisory services and facilitating connections with potential investors and markets,” Mrs Bannerman-Abbott added. “We also plan to leverage technology to improve access to services and ensure wider reach and greater impacts,” she said. 

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