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$100m allocated to support SMEs through Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem

Source The Ghana Report

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) working with its digital partner Proxtera and supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS,) is excited to announce the target of US$100m to be disbursed to the Ghanaian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem through the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco-system (GIFE).

At the 3i event, an announcement was made during a signing ceremony between DBG & Proxtera to accelerate the disbursement of up to 1.83 billion Ghanaian cedis via the wholly digital infrastructure set up by the GIFE programme.

This follows on the early signs of success exhibited by GIFE after its launch at the 2022 edition of the Singapore Fintech Festival and its operationalisation in the first half of 2023 with the pilot financial institution partner – Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

GIFE currently is a digital journey for MSMEs, beginning with a financial literacy/creation of trusted credentials which leverages the global Universal Trusted Credentials framework, access to working capital, and cross-border trade with Asia and the ASEAN region. An innovative, regulatory sandbox, continues to support GIFE in its challenge to traditional disbursal frameworks to fast-track growth and development for local businesses. This upcoming phase of GIFE will see wider participation by more financial institutions with an emphasis on scale and digital access to global trade markets with local financial and educational support.

Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, said “”We continue to proudly support GIFE as a founding partner. As the exclusive operational partner of SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme, and the operational, technology & digital infrastructure provider for implementation for GIFE, Proxtera continues to work with local ecosystem partners to grow the usage of trusted credentials . We strongly believe the ambitious target set by our partners will propel Ghanian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial highways”

K Duker, Chief Executive Officer of DBG, said: “We believe that this partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the GIFE programme mark a pivotal moment in DBG’s mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses and facilitate multi-generational, sustainable economic growth. DBG recognises the crucial role of SMEs in our country’s economy and the GIFE programme will further strengthen DBG’s ability to catalyse SME growth by ensuring that they get the financial solutions they need to achieve their full potential. SMEs are a key pillar of Ghana’s economic resilience, prosperity, and international competition, so I’m optimistic that our journey to unlock their potential will yield excellent results for our people and country.”

Dr Ernest K.Y. Addison, Governor of Bank of Ghana, said “This memorandum further demonstrates BoG’s commitment as a central bank, to working with key stakeholders to explore innovative financing models. It also further demonstrates our commitment to the Business Sans Borders initiative which we partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to enhance MSME contribution to economic growth and in line with Government’s broader economic transformation goals.

Adding on to the comments, Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “MAS has worked closely with Bank of Ghana since the announcement of the Financial Trust Corridor in 2020.  The GIFE is an important step to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks and important emerging markets.  The GIFE is a rethink to potentially leapfrog traditional financial inclusion approaches with combined support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can tap on based on their needs.”

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