Ghana’s Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector is set to see a major boost as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Bank of Ghana (BOG) and Development Bank Ghana (DBG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE).
The Ecosystem aims to enhance financial capabilities and access for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana and generate greater opportunities for trade and financial services cooperation between Singapore and Ghana.
In a joint statement, the three entities said “over time, it is envisaged that the integrated financial ecosystem model can serve the Asia-Africa SME trade corridor more broadly”.
It noted that the GIFE will offer an open digital infrastructure for MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore in four key areas including the SME Financial Empowerment Programme which will help MSMEs build foundational digital financial literacy skills and gain a good understanding of cross-border financial services.
“MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore can expand their international business connections in Asia and Africa, through a network of business-to-business ecommerce platforms. DBG and partner financial institutions will provide digital trade finance and guarantees for eligible MSMEs through a digital platform,” it said.
The MAS, BOG, DBG and financial institutions will also jointly develop financial trust frameworks to assess credit worthiness for financing by enabling financial institutions to use alternative data sets, such as the track record of successful payments to suppliers and tax payments to relevant authorities.
In addition, the GIFE will be a collaborative effort across public entities, financial institutions, FinTechs and tech solution providers in Ghana and Singapore.
“These include Proxtera, Consolidated Bank of Ghana, ANEXT Bank, Enterprise Singapore, and the Global FinTech Institute”.
Chief FinTech Officer with MAS Sopnendu Mohanty, 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.”
On his part, Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Ernest K.Y. Addison, 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”.
Chief Executive Officer of DBG, Mr. K Duker, 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.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, ANEXT Bank, Ms. Toh Su Meisaid, “ANEXT Bank is honored to join this private-public taskforce in co-creating the FTC trust data framework to promote more trust amongst businesses and financial institutions globally. It allows us to make financial services accessible and effortless for more SMEs as growing businesses can get access to global trades, and be more resilient against macroeconomic market disruptions.”