BoG and partners launch $100M initiative for Ghanaian SMEs through Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem

May 15, 2024
BoG and partners launch $100M initiative for Ghanaian SMEs through Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem

The (BoG), in collaboration with the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Proxtera, and supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has announced an ambitious initiative to disburse US$100 million to Ghanaian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE).

At the 3i event, a significant milestone was marked with a signing ceremony between DBG and Proxtera, aimed at accelerating the disbursement of up to 1.83 billion Ghanaian cedis via the fully digital infrastructure established by the GIFE programme. This initiative builds on the initial success of GIFE, which was launched at the 2022 Singapore Fintech Festival and operationalized in the first half of 2023 with its pilot financial institution partner, Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

GIFE offers a comprehensive digital journey for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), beginning with financial literacy and the creation of trusted credentials leveraging the global Universal Trusted Credentials framework. It also provides access to working capital and facilitates cross-border trade with Asia and the ASEAN region. An innovative regulatory sandbox supports GIFE's challenge to traditional disbursal frameworks, aiming to fast-track growth and development for local businesses. The upcoming phase will see broader participation from financial institutions, emphasizing scale and digital access to global trade markets with local financial and educational support.

Saurav Bhattacharyya, CEO of Proxtera, expressed pride in supporting GIFE as a founding partner. “As the exclusive operational partner of the SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme and the provider of operational, technology, and digital infrastructure 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 Ghanaian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial highways.”

K Duker, CEO of DBG, highlighted the importance of this partnership for sustainable economic growth. “This partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the GIFE programme marks a pivotal moment in DBG's mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses. DBG recognises the crucial role of SMEs in our country's economy, and the GIFE programme will further strengthen our ability to catalyse SME growth by ensuring 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.”

Dr. Ernest K.Y. Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, reaffirmed the central bank's commitment to innovative financing models. “This memorandum further demonstrates BoG's commitment to working with key stakeholders to explore innovative financing models. It also 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, aligning with the Government's broader economic transformation goals.”

Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at MAS, added, “MAS has worked closely with the 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 rethinks traditional financial inclusion approaches with combined support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can tap into based on their needs.”

The initiative promises to provide Ghanaian SMEs with the financial support needed to thrive in both local and international markets, reinforcing Ghana's economic resilience and growth potential.

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