Deputy Minister inaugurates financial inclusion technical committee
Accra, Aug. 24, GNA – The Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs Mona Quartey has inaugurated a technical committee to oversee the development of a financial inclusion strategy for the country. The Committee comprises the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. Others are the Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Telecom Chamber and Ghana Association of Bankers. The Minister, who inaugurated the committee during the opening of a day’s stakeholder workshop on the development of Financial Inclusion strategy, said a high level of commitment to the exercise was required from all stakeholders to ensure success. The Technical Committee would develop work plans, work on a financial inclusion strategy, and keep abreast with global developments relating to financial inclusion. Other areas of focus for the committee would be to seek support from relevant donors to implement financial inclusion activities, determine specific research areas for diagnostic studies and collaborate with other institutions whose activities have a direct or indirect impact on financial inclusion. Mrs Quartey said financial inclusion was a policy priority in the country’s developmental process. “We see financial inclusion as a catalyst for making profound impact in lifting our people from poverty and driving inclusive growth,” she added. The World Bank is providing technical support to the Strategy drafting process and UN-based “Better Than Cash Alliance” was the sponsor of the workshop aimed to gather valuable contributions from participants to enable us complete the development of the strategy document. Mrs Quartey urged stakeholders to put their shoulders to the wheel and pull resources together to accelerate the development and roll out of the Strategy to enable Ghana achieve full financial inclusion ahead of the 2020 target period while achieving the desired goal of inclusive growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development. The 2015 World Bank Findex Report estimated that, globally about 2.5 billion adults are financially excluded. In Ghana the Report indicates that only up to 58 per cent of adults have access to some form of financial services. This implies that about 42 per cent of the Ghanaian adult population is financially excluded without using any form of formal or informal financial services. “Clearly, there is the need to collaborate and work in a concerted manner to achieve higher financial inclusion levels. “We therefore expect to achieve higher financial inclusion levels through partnerships and active participation of all, including Government agencies, the private sector, and civil society among others,” the Deputy Minister said. She said expanding financial services to a large number of people especially in the rural areas where more than 60 per cent of the population is affected by poverty, is one of surest way of promoting inclusive growth and reducing poverty. Mrs Quartey said a co-ordinated national financial inclusion effort would enable the country to align with the broader national and international commitments on poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. She said in the government’s medium term objective and strategic direction is the quest to expand opportunities for all to access formal financial services as a way of driving accelerated economic growth and transformation. Government would continue to partner stakeholders in harnessing resources towards the achievement of the objective through eliminating barriers to the use of financial services by the poor, vulnerable and the disadvantaged. Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, the Director Financial Sector Division, said the strategy would work with all to achieve higher financial inclusion levels through partnerships and active participation of all, including Government agencies, the private sector, and civil society among others.