The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) under the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is making strides in enhancing access to finance in the country.
The GrEEn project, financed by the European Union-funded Trust Fund for Africa, works with local government authorities and the private sector to address root causes of irregular migration through green and climate-resilient local economic development in the Ashanti and Western regions.
Under the project, 71,468 people had access to digital financial services in the two regions, out of which 32,500 were youth and 31,600, women.
Ms Arianna Gasparri, Technical Specialist, UNCDF, announced this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Accra on the topic: “Green Access to Finance: Results and Lessons.”
The project, Ms Gasparri said had driven mobile wallet uptake and usage of services with huge opportunities to deliver added services through the use of phones.
The project has also led to clients’ improvement in skills and capacities.
She said UNCDF aimed at increasing access to and usage of financial services adapted to the needs of the target audience through financial education, financial services, remittance-linked services, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.
“We work with districts and expand access points, create dynamism in the financial ecosystem at the local level, and offer a comprehensive range of financial services such as payments, savings, loans, financial literacy, and other innovative options,” she said.
That, she stated, was done through stakeholders’ engagement and designed, tested and scaled-up accessible, affordable financial inclusion platforms for beneficiaries to optimise their importance for socio-economic development.
UNCDF, she stressed, would strengthen partnerships with regional and international actors to drive uptake and usage of new solutions, formalise lessons learnt and increase knowledge-sharing efforts among the ecosystem’s stakeholders.
Ms Marta Brignore, Macro-Economic and Trade Sector, European Union to Ghana, said the focus on Ashanti and Western regions was because they were areas of departure, transit and return of migrants.
“Additionally, the EU is Ghana’s key partner in the support of the private sector and skills development.
“For these reasons, the EU developed a specific approach to facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and to boost the transition to green and climate-resilient economies, “she said.
She said SNV and UNCDF had been identified as main partners for implementation of the Green project due to their specific technical knowledge and their presence in both regions.
Ms Brignore said the project had been successful, saying “GrEEn is a comprehensive programme and we are satisfied and looking forward to continuing implementation until the end of 2023.”