Israel, a global leader in innovation and financial technology (fintech), is supporting Ghana through collaboration with startups to scale up and provide creative solutions to drive financial inclusiveness and development.
The two countries are holding a two-day Ghana-Israel fintech summit in Accra on the theme: “Innovations in financial services delivery,” to strengthen relationships in the fintech ecosystem.
The summit will create a platform for businesses in the two countries to share knowledge and tap into experiences and opportunities in the fintech ecosystem, particularly in Ghana.
Ms Shlomit Sufa, Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said her country would help Ghana replicate efforts in making the fintech sector of Israel contribute about eleven percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and position it as an engine of inclusive growth.
She indicated that connecting Ghana to Israel’s fintech innovation ecosystem, be it in agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, or development was very high on the agenda of Israel-Ghana relations.
“I am, therefore, excited that we have gathered here this morning to have conversation on ‘Innovations in financial services delivery,’ in the fintech industry in Ghana and position the sector as an engine for inclusive growth and development for all,” she said.
“The fintech sector in Israel continues to thrive, accounting for over 11 percent of GDP – more than that of any other OECD country – and backed by robust governmental investment in research and development,” Ms Sufa emphasised.
She said this in her opening remarks at the summit, which would discuss issues in the fintech industry, including antifraud, risk and compliance technologies, lending and financing technologies, and trading and investment technologies.
Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said collaboration between the two countries would help increase access to financial services and spur financial inclusiveness particularly in Ghana.
Mr Kwame Agyeman Oppong, Head of FinTech and Innovation, Bank of Ghana (BoG), underscored the importance of a regulatory framework in thriving Ghana’s fintech ecosystem, dominated by mobile money.
He said the Government through the Bank had, therefore, instituted several measures to ensure continued enabling environment for the growth and development of fintech startups in the country.
The collaboration between Ghana and Israel comes at a time that the fintech sector is evolving rapidly, allowing many to make payments, crowd source, and manage financial assets from their mobile phones.
This is being made possible through a high mobile connection rate, which stood at 130 percent in 2020 and growing internet penetration of 48 percent.
For example, data from BoG showed that mobile money transactions far outstripped that of cheque transactions by GHS232 billion in the first four months of 2022.
The Central Bank estimated the value of mobile money transactions from January to April at GHS301.1, while cheque transactions for the same period was GHS68.3.