LAUNCH OF THE GERMAN DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY
(GIZ) FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR PEOPLE
DISABLED PROJECT IN GHANA
Intervention by Ms. Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor,
Bank of Ghana
21st October 2021
GIZ Country Representative
Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and other agencies
Representatives of the Ghana Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations Representatives of financial institutions and industry associations Members of the media
Guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
- Good afternoon. Let me first of all express our deep gratitude to GIZ for inviting the Bank of Ghana to participate in the launch of the German Government and GIZ project on Financial Inclusion of People with Disabilities (PwD) under the theme “Bridging the Financial Access Gap: Inclusion of People with Disabilities”.
- The project responds to a global imperative to address the lack of access to essential financial services for many people with disabilities, as part of efforts to ensure socio-economic development paradigms. As part of the project, GIZ therefore seeks to increase the accessibility of digital and analogue financial services for people with disabilities; strengthen the capacity of banks and other financial institutions to provide more financial services to people with disabilities; and provide an advocacy and advisory platform to promote access to finance for people with disabilities.
- The objectives of the project are in line with a number of policy initiatives of the Government of Ghana to promote inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic growth. Specifically:
- Ghana’s National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy aims to increase Ghana’s financial inclusion rate from 58% in 2015 to 85% by 2023, by removing barriers that prevent underserved segments of the population from d ” access financial products and services and allow enable them to generate income, build assets, manage financial risks and become economically self-sufficient;
- Ghana’s digital financial services policy (2020-2023) envisages interventions to deepen financial inclusion through appropriate and affordable digital financial services, including credit, savings, insurance, payments and investments; and
The government’s policy on Cash-liteGhana: Building a
The inclusive digital payments ecosystem aims to strengthen the economic empowerment of marginalized segments of society through the provision of appropriate digital financial services and consumer protection.
- The Bank of Ghana is a key executing agency for the above policy initiatives. In addition, the Bank of Ghana launched the
Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles in 2019, in collaboration with the Ghana Banking Association and the Environmental Protection Agency, to promote the management of environmental, social and governance risks in the banking sector. Principles 5 specifically require banks to foster financial inclusion in their banking operations, and we therefore expect banks and ultimately all of our regulated institutions to continuously develop accessible products and services, affordable and adapted to different segments of our society, including people with disabilities, or as I prefer
call them, people with different abilities (PWDA), and not necessarily
disabled. So, I beg your indulgence to call them PWDA instead of PwD for the rest of my remarks.
5. The exponential growth of digital financial services in Ghana is a real catalyst for promoting access to financial services for PWDAs, given its potential to overcome many of the physical barriers that PWDAs face in accessing financial services. traditional. The Bank of Ghana continues to make progress in establishing an enabling policy and regulatory framework that enables banks, other financial institutions and FinTech design and deliver innovative digital financial products and services that meet the unique needs of underserved segments like PWDAs. The Bank of Ghana will continue to provide an enabling environment that supports a stable, resilient and inclusive financial system, where the needs and interests of all consumers are met.
- To further demonstrate our commitment to promoting access to finance for all segments of our society, the Bank of Ghana is developing a guideline to promote access to finance for PWDAs.
- The proposed directive will focus on removing barriers that affect access to finance for PWDAs and will require inter alia:
- Physical access to the premises of financial institutions for PWDAs;
- Access to digital payments and financial services for PWDAs;
- Promotion of the good conduct of employees of regulated financial institutions in providing services to PWDAs;
- Prevention of discrimination against PWDAs by regulated financial institutions;
- Use of innovative and appropriate systems and materials to ensure the dissemination of information on media accessible to all categories of PWDA;
- Reporting of data by regulated financial institutions on the demand and supply of PWDA-specific financial products and services to help reduce or eliminate the access to finance gap for PWDAs.
- On behalf of Governor Ernest Addison, I congratulate GIZ and its local partners for launching this valuable and timely project. The Bank of Ghana is committed to supporting the implementation of this important project, and
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