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3i Africa Summit 2024: ‘Prioritize Policies & Regulations to unlock Africa’s Digital Potentials’ -Elsie Awadzi 

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Story By: Ishmael Barfi

 

Policymakers and stakeholders in Africa’s financial inclusion ecosystem have been urged to prioritize policies and regulations that will unlock the continent’s digital potential.

According to Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), financial inclusion is of importance and needs to be integrated into the policy, regulations, and business modules of financial service providers, rather than considered a marginal issue.

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi made these remarks on the second day of the 3-day of the 3i Africa Summit 2024 held at the Accra International Conference Center, Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

Over 6,000 attendees from 95 countries are participating in the three-day summit which seeks to explore and promote active collaboration between diverse stakeholder groups in key areas to drive innovation across Africa.

 To her, the African continent should develop an enabling environment that promotes long-term inclusion, consequently extending financial access to the underserved and unserved.

Empowering the underserved she explained should be a critical economic policy agenda emphasizing that the concept of financial inclusion would improve people’s livelihoods, alleviate poverty, and advance economic development on the continent.

In addition, the Second Deputy Governor noted that though micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises are the bedrock of Africa’s economy, they continue to lack access to substantial and cost-effective financing without equity and credit.

“It is important that as we think about how innovation can be a catalyst for inclusion. It must also be noted that innovation and investments only do not scale up inclusion, but policy and regulations promote access and transparent pricing for the underserved and unserved,” she asserted.

Adding that “African countries must have clear and coordinated policies where educational, health, agricultural, industrial, and economic initiatives all speak to financial inclusion and work together to create an enabling environment for growth”.

Mrs. Awadzi further pointed out that infrastructure was another critical component of financial inclusion, and the “key question is who does these investments in inter-IDs, interoperability, payment systems, financial literacy, credit reporting, and credit scoring programmes?

“We need partnerships between the private and public sectors to create these investments to promote access and cost-effective processes. We need to find ways of investing in coordinated databases; databases that speak to each other and allow us to understand what is going on within the ecosystem,” she added.

In Ghana, the Second Deputy Governor disclosed that the Bank of Ghana has issued a set of sustainable banking principles that require banks to operate inclusively and allow everyone in the ecosystem to think similarly about the interests of the unserved and underserved population and argue for metrics to assess impact, focusing on accounts, usage, and resilience in how economic actors handle risks.

The 3i Africa Summit 2024 aims to foster collaboration across diverse stakeholder groups to drive innovation across the continent.

 

 

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com

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