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Calls for Bank of Ghana to Elevate Head of Fintech and Innovation to 3rd Governor

Bank Of Ghana
Bank of Ghana

Founder and CEO of Edel Technology Consulting, Ethel Cofie has called on the Bank of Ghana to promote its Head of Fintech and Innovation, Kwame Oppong to the position of a Third Governor, to raise fintech regulation to the highest level in the central bank.

She made the call during a panel discussion at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) forum which formed part of the just-ended 3i Africa Summit.

Ethel Cofie argued that, unlike the many life-long regulators, who have zero or very little experience in the commercial side of the fintech industry, Kwame Oppong has a background in fintech and is therefore in a much better position to make a case for the industry at the board level.

Ethel Cofie noted that as things stand now, Kwame’s position does not give him a seat in the central bank’s boardroom and that is not the best, particular for a country that is pursuing economic development on the back of digital finance.

She observed that the key challenge with regulators in Africa is “what I call life-long regulators” who do not have commercial experience and so discussions with them become a bit more jarring than with people who have commercial background and have crossed over into regulation.

She cited the Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu as a great example of a regulator with rich commercial background, having worked Group Head of IT at Databank before crossing over to NITA.

Indeed, under the leadership of Richard, NITA has assured industry players that it will not be a profit-conscious regulator, but rather one that creates the enabling environment for the industry to grow at very minimal regulatory cost.

Ethel Cofie argued conversions with people like Richard and Kwame, who have been on the commercial side of the technology and Fintech industries are less jarring than dealing with life-long regulators who don’t have commercial background.

”Conversations with life-long regulators is very difficult – we need people who have a good understanding of both sides to drive the industry forward,” she said. “I think there has to be a concerted effort on the regulatory side to hire people from the commercial side at high level on the regulatory side.”

Ethel Cofie thinks Kwame Oppong is doing a great job as Head of Fintech and Innovation at the Bank of Ghana but it is time to elevate him to the level of a third deputy governor, give him a raise and a seat in the boardroom so that fintech regulation will be at the top.

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