Accra, Ghana

BoG governor discusses peer review opportunities at DED meeting

Bank of Ghana (BoG) Governor Dr. Ernest Addison warmly greeted AFI Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba at the central bank’s headquarters in Accra on 29 November, where the pair discussed opportunities to capitalize on the Alliance’s extensive network through in-depth peer learning.

During the bi-lateral meeting, Governor Addison outlined some of the central bank’s latest advances in financial inclusion, including that steps were being taken to develop a template for sex-disaggregated data. This, he said, would help identify specific interventions and targeted products to close gaps in financial inclusion.

Welcoming these important advances, AFI’s Mumba suggested possible knowledge exchanges with members, such as Central Bank of Egypt and Bank of Zambia, which have made recent strides in developing templates for collecting sex-disaggregated data.

The move is part of wider efforts to support the central bank’s Maya Declaration commitments, including to develop sex-disaggregated measurement tools and indicators as well as a data collection methodology to assess women's financial inclusion, in line with the Denarau Action Plan. Another outlines the institution’s goal to increase women's access to financial services to 65 percent by November 2020.

Governor Addison also shared an interest in learning from Bank Negara Malaysia on financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to develop a greater understanding of market products that help achieve financial inclusion. He added that providing access to credit for MSMEs and youth would create more jobs and translate into economic growth.

Noting the fundamental role that mobile money has played in helping unbanked groups access payments and cash transfers, Governor Addison said that more of these products must be developed to further financial inclusion.

Underscoring the importance of technological innovations, the governor said that the central bank was encouraging digitisation and exploring a central bank digital currency and related sandboxes. He emphasised that this was still in the early stages.

Also present were Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari and Elsie Addo Awadzi, BoG’s First and Second Deputy Governors, respectively. The teams also discussed upcoming AFI events and organising a high-level joint learning program in 2020.

The meeting came days after BoG, in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), launched the Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles & Sector Guidance Notes. The aims of the Guidance Notes are twofold: improved contribution of finance to sustainable and inclusive growth by funding society’s long-term needs; and strengthening financial stability by incorporating environmental, social and governance factors in lending decision-making.

“The principles are to assist banks in responding to emerging global megatrend issues in areas of human security, anti-money laundering, socially responsible stewardship, information communication transparency and disclosure, corporate integrity, environmental and climate change,” Governor Addison said at the launch on 27 November.

BoG is one of two AFI members in Ghana; the other being the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance workstream is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and other partners.