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 GIFE aims to boost 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.
A joint statement signed by 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 was explained that the SME Financial Empowerment Programme, which will aid MSMEs in developing fundamental digital financial literacy skills and gaining a solid understanding of cross-border financial services, is one of four key areas in which the GIFE will provide an open digital infrastructure for MSMEs in Ghana and Singapore.
“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.
Financial institutions will be able to employ alternative data sets, like a history of on-time supplier payments and timely tax payments to the appropriate authorities, thanks to the development of financial trust frameworks by the MAS, BOG, DBG, and financial institutions.
Additionally, public organizations, financial institutions, FinTechs, and tech solution providers from Ghana and Singapore will work together on the GIFE.
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.”