Ghana is the fastest growing mobile money market on the African continent owing to a number of initiatives being implemented by the government, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, has said.
She said this while speaking at the Ghana Investment and Opportunities Summit (GHIOS) 2020 on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 at Mayfair, London.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful told the summit: “We have instituted the National Identification programme and the National Digital Property System to serve as a national digital information hub for the identification and location of people and places in the country.
“Our mobile money interoperability program has also deepened financial inclusion, provided seamless transfer of funds between several service providers, mobile money wallets and bank accounts made Ghana the fastest growing mobile money market on the continent. These three initiatives form the foundation of our emerging digital economy.”
Mr. Owusu-Ekuful further stated that by the end of the first quarter of this year, an electronic platform for the payment of all government goods and services provided by all MDAs will be implemented to promote efficiency and transparency in revenue collection and transition the country to a cash lite society, improving the security of transactions as well.
“Many of these initiatives, in fact, all but one, were developed and implemented by local Ghanaian IT firms. We believe that government must use its purchasing power to encourage the growth of the indigenous digital services sector and encourage tech entrepreneurship as well,” she stated.
Again, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful spoke about how Ghana’s Finance Ministry and her Ministry have combined to set up a Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) to monitor communications traffic, provide tax revenue assurance, manage fraud and monitor mobile money transactions to assist the NCA and GRA with their regulatory functions. This, she said is providing real-time verification of transactions in the telecommunications sector and visibility over actual revenues earned in the sector.
Touching on efforts by the government to narrow the gender digital divide, Mrss Owusu-Ekuful to the Summit that Ghana government institutionalised the Girls-in-ICT Initiative, expanded it into a bi-annual one and included mentorship sessions where accomplished female ICT professionals interact with and encourage the girls to take up courses in Information and Communication Technologies.
“They also get to spend a week in Accra to experience women in technology at their workplace and be excited to take up careers in ICT later in life. With just a few days training in computer literacy and coding, young girls between 9 and 13 years of age, some of whom had never seen a computer before, were building their own websites,” she said.
“The results of all this will be fully visible in a few years but we have already begun seeing early signs of success in confident, self-assured, articulate young people, ready to take on any challenge.”
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