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3i Africa Summit: DBG Signs $100m Pact With Proxtera to Boost Ghanaian SMEs

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Story By: Ishmael Barfi


In efforts to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, the Development Bank Ghana(DBG) has signed a $ 100 million pact with Proxtera, a Singaporean company.

The Pact is to enable the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) with its digital partners Proxtera, a Singaporean Company supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MASto provide financial support to SMEs through the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco Platform systems.

The Pact signing took place on Tuesday (May 14, 2024) on the sidelines of the ongoing 3i Africa Summit held at the Accra International Conference Center in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

In addition, the signing ceremony between DBG and Proxtera is to accelerate the disbursement of up to 1.83 billion Ghanian Cedis via the wholly digital infrastructure set up by the GIFE programme. 

These follow on the early signs of success exhibited by GIFE after its launch at the 2022 edition of the Singapore Fintech Festival and its operationalization in the first half of 2023 with the pilot financial institution partner – Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

Addressing the media after the signing, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Development Bank Ghana(DBG), Mr. Kwamena Duker explained that this platform allows that process to be much quicker, and effective, and as a result of, the risk premium of the interest rate being applied to SMEs, will over time come down.

“If today, it takes about three to six months to get a loan, with a huge amount of documentation, and we can cut that down to turnaround of literally a real-time of 24-hours… then we can appreciate the benefits of digitalization,” Mr. Duker emphasized.

He further acknowledged that because no one bank could bridge the huge financing gap of SMEs, the bank was catalyzing to de-risk the environment for other banks to also support SMEs with affordable loans for their operations, and to create jobs for the Ghanaian youth.

On his part, Mr Saurav Bhattacharyya, CEO of Proxtera, revealed that a credit engine for SMEs through their technological platform would be built, and would be evaluated quickly for the disbursement of loans.

Ghana, he noted is the fourth country to benefit from their platform, which he was confident would help solve the access of credit challenge of Ghanaian SMEs.

“We continue to proudly support GIFE as a founding partner. As the exclusive operational partner of the SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) program, and the operational, technology, and digital infrastructure provider for the implementation of GIFE, Proxtera continues to work with local ecosystem partners to grow the usage of trusted credentials. We strongly believe the ambitious target set by our partners will propel Ghanaian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial highways”, he said.

The agreement was witnessed by the Governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison who was commended for great regulatory leadership.

GIFE currently is a digital journey for MSMEs, beginning with a financial literacy/creation of trusted credentials that leverage the global Universal Trusted Credentials framework, access to working capital, and cross-border trade with Asia and the ASEAN region. An innovative, regulatory sandbox, continues to support GIFE in its challenge to traditional disbursal frameworks to fast-track growth and development for local businesses. 

This upcoming phase of GIFE will see wider participation by more financial institutions with an emphasis on scale and digital access to global trade markets with local financial and educational support.



Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com


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