The digitalisation vision of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has been vindicated after a report on financial inclusion in Africa named Ghana as the only country to have a 100% score.
The ‘State of Inclusive Instant Payment in Africa’ Report put together by AfricaNenda and launched at the ongoing Mobile World Congress Africa 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, found Ghana far ahead of her peers in regard to financial inclusion.
The 2022 ‘State of Inclusive Payment in Africa’ report focused on inclusive instant payment systems in 12 African countries.
Ghana, remarkably, was the only country that scored 100% on access to financial inclusion.
Ghana’s feat is due to the successful implementation of the mobile money interoperability (MMI) platform, a bedrock of Dr Bawumia’s digitalisation agenda and a policy he has been working on since 2007.
The mobile money interoperability MMI platform integrates all payments platforms across banks, fintechs and telcos, giving access to every Ghanaian to make and receive instant payments.
It is hosted on the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlements Systems (GhIPSS), which again, was the brainchild of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during his time at the Bank of Ghana.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress Africa, Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSSS, Archie Hesse, spoke on how the platform was gradually improved upon to get to its current state.
According to him, GhIPSS started by first integrating banks to make them interoperable on the back of the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP); then GhIPSS introduced a biometric payment system called e-zwich, which was also made interoperable, before moving on integrate the mobile money operators into an interoperable platform.
“What we then did was to close the triangle by making all the three platforms interoperable to ensure that no matter who is making payment and from wherever, they will be able to do so seamlessly and instantly,” he said.
Veep’s Vision Bearing Fruit
During his time leading the BOG’s digital efforts, Dr Bawumia spearheaded the introduction of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GHIPSS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana.
GHIPPS was incorporated in May 2007 with a mandate to implement and manage interoperable payment system infrastructure for banks and non-bank financial institutions in Ghana.
The system has been crucial in moving Ghana’s digital banking revolution forward in leaps and bounds and was crucial to the establishment of the mobile money interoperability system, as Dr Bawumia noted during a ‘Bawumia Speaks’ lecture at Asheshi University in 2021.
“Thanks to the Bank of Ghana and Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement System (GhIPSS), the mobile money payments interoperability has made it possible to transfer money seamlessly across different mobile money providers and between bank accounts and mobile wallets,” the Vice President stated.
That vision has come full circle, with Ghana’s financial inclusion being hailed at the ongoing Mobile World Congress Africa 2022.
More recently, Kenya’s finest daily, the Standard, praised Ghana’s digital revolution and called on Kenya and the rest of the continent to follow in Ghana’s footsteps, writing that Ghana’s indefatigable Veep is leading a “digitization footprint that Kenya and Africa can emulate “