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Finance Ministry launches 3 policy initiatives; targets 85% savings rate by 2025

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The Ministry of Finance has launched three policy initiatives designed to deepen financial inclusion and accelerate the shift to digital payments.

This includes the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, Digital Financial Services Policy and the Cash-Lite Roadmap.

The National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, which is developed in collaboration with the World Bank, aims at increasing financial inclusion from currently 58% to 85% by 2023, helping create economic opportunities and reducing poverty.

The Cash-Lite Roadmap is, however, designed in collaboration with the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance.

It puts forward concrete steps to build an inclusive digital payments ecosystem. This includes better access to financial services, enabling regulation and oversight, and promoting consumer protection.

The Ministry has to this end established a Coordination Unit to drive effective stakeholder engagement on the implementation of key actions.

The launch conforms to the call by the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on financial institutions, telecommunications and fintech sectors to find innovative ways of turning mobile phones and the mobile money platforms into vehicles of economic emancipation for the many players in the large informal sector. He made this statement during the launch of QRPay and Proxypay by the Bank of Ghana in March 2020.

The launch also reinforces the position of the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to the effect that “Digital payments help drive transparency, accountability, efficiency, as well as greater women’s participation in the economy.”

Matthias Feldmann, Deputy Head of Mission/Head of Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in Ghana noted that: “SECO has been committed to supporting the growth of digital financial services in Ghana because we are aware of the substantial positive impact it has on driving financial access for the poor, unleashing innovation and making the economy more resilient. We are very proud to have contributed to the development of the DFS Policy and look forward to working closely with our Ghanaian partners to implement its pillars. Congratulations Ghana!”

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these policies reinforce the government’s unwavering commitment to digitizing the Ghanaian economy and providing the soft infrastructure that will enable the private sector, payment service providers and all other ecosystem players to innovate digital financial solutions in a conducive environment to the benefit of all Ghanaians.

Source: Class FM

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Bawumia to launch one-stop online portal for payment transactions

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Government is expected to launch a transformational, one-stop online portal; Ghana.Gov to support digital transactions.

According to a tweet sent out by the Ministry of Information on June 6, 2020, the Ghana.Gov portal will serve as a National Digital Payment Platform to enhance government’s digitisation agenda.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is scheduled to formally launch the platform at a ceremony in Accra on Monday June 8 2020.

Commenting in a video post ahead of the launch, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the “platform comes as additional layer to what the Akufo-Addo led administration has been doing to digitise the economy.”

“The Ghana.Gov will provide a single point of access to all services of Ministries, departments and agencies of government and it will ensure that anybody who needs to make single payments can that do through the portal without having to interface with several people,” he added.

Explaining the benefits of the platform, the Information Minister said it will improve government’s revenue collection, help save more on its expenditure as well as aid government in the fight against corruption.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added that the Vice President will use the occasion to reiterate government’s other efforts in the digitisation space.

Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, earlier in January this year announced the introduction of the one-stop portal; Ghana.Gov in line with government’s digitisation and economic transformation agenda.

He explained that the Ghana.Gov online portal will synchronize all business transactions with all government agencies and enterprises. It will also enable members of the public to transact business with any government agency through the Ghana.Gov platform, according to the Vice President.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

 

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UNIPASS hitches cannot make President Akufo-Addo unpopular – Freight Forwarders President

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President of the Chamber of Freight forwarders and Trade (CTF), Dennis Amfo-Sefah, has stated that the current technical hitches the implementation of UNIPASS is experiencing cannot be blamed on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He said just like any other new system, UNIPASS indeed experienced some teething challenges that it was surmounting and it was therefore not reasonable to blame it on the President.

Mr Amfo-Sefah, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday said “I can assure you that the claims that we are angry at the President are not true; among us Freight Forwarders, there is no unhappiness towards President Akufo-Addo because we know the truth.”

“The truth is that people who feel they are losing port management contracts are simply fighting back the smooth take-over of port administration by UNI-PASS; that is the simple truth. These people feel pained about losing the contract to manage the ports and so they have decided not to cooperate.” Mr. Amfo-sefah however failed to name those behind it, saying “The people I am referring to know themselves and at the appropriate time everybody will know the real truth.”

Some Media outlets since the implementation of the UNIPASS system reported that President Akufo-Addo was becoming unpopular among importers and freight forwarders because of glitches that were bedeviling the new UNI-PASS system.

They attributed the hitches to some senior members of government, who were allegedly responsible for the happenings at the ports for introducing CUPIA Korea and its UNI-PASS system and therefore allegedly orchestrated the abrogation of the contract of GC Net and West Blue to make way for the latter.

However, Dennis Amfo-Sefah pointed out that, “Nobody among us is angry with the President or any of his appointees because we know that the mess is not the making of any of them. The arrangement had been for the old operators to slowly back out so that UNI-PASS would slowly take over. This would have led to a seamless integration.

“However, the operators of the old system disengaged rather abruptly, leading to the challenges,” Mr. Amfo-Sefah said.

According to him, “the difficult switch from the old system to the new one was the problem not President Akufo-Addo or his Ministers.”

He was however hopeful that the problems would be fixed very soon. “This is the second time that the abrupt disengagement of the old port management system to make way for the new one is causing problems. In early May, a similar disengagement grounded operations at the port for days.”

UNI-PASS is a new port clearing system that processes documents and payments through one window. It is a departure from the previous system in which ‘valuation and classification’ and ‘risk management and payment’ were handled by different entities.

The single window system is aimed at coordinating all activities at the ports on one platform to reduce time and cost in clearing and exporting goods.

The system, spearheaded by Ghana Link Services Ltd, in collaboration with Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) of the Korean Customs Service, the designer of the system, replaces the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAARS) and the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) jointly operated by the Customs Division, the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) Ltd and West Blue Consulting.

Source: GNA

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Ghana doing well with anti-money laundering measures – FIC

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The Head of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Kwaku Duah, has noted that Ghana is scaling up its fight against money laundering in the country.

He said Ghana is performing well per the reports of the Financial Action Task Force, (FATF).

Recently, the European Commission cited Ghana as one of four African countries listed by the European Union for money laundering breaches, a claim the Ministry of Finance dismissed.

The Ministry in a statement described the development as unfortunate because in their view, Ghana has instituted measures to fight money laundering

Mr Kwaku Dua, Head of the FIC said “It is the Financial Action Taskforce that would access Ghana. In fact, that is the world body that sets standards in the fight against money laundering and so the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, has been identified like it’s been explained in the statement that the Finance Ministry came out with.

“The Financial Action Task Force, (FATF), has identified some deficiencies in our Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime,” he said.

He added “…That is our money laundering regime and therefore they have drawn some action plans for us which we are following.

“They have given us up to December 2020 to address them. Then, the EU also comes out with this, meanwhile, per the standards Ghana is doing well.

“They access us periodically. We send reports to them and we do face to face meetings with them. So, per their report, Ghana is doing well, we have not faulted as far as the timelines given us is concerned so they are waiting till December.

“If by December we have not been able to address all the action items that is where they themselves will blacklist us,” he told Citi FM.

Source: laudbusiness.com

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