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With Mobile Money Interoperability, Practically Everyone on 'Momo' has a Bank Account’

capture255The completion of the Financial Inclusion Triangle means that practically, anyone with a mobile phone has access to banking services without necessarily walking into a bank to open an account, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has posited.

This financial inclusion triangle, which allows the movement of money between mobile money wallets, bank accounts and ezwich accounts, is a first in the world, and has made banking services available to the large unbanked population in Ghana.

There are currently 31 million registered Mobile Money accounts, according to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPPS). Ghana's population is estimated to be about 28 million.

Explaining the significance of the uniquely Ghanaian financial innovation on Saturday 15th December, 2018, the Vice President of the Republic indicated that making financial services easily accessible formed part of Government’s resolve to leverage technology to modernise the Ghanaian economy.

“If you could take the mobile phone with a mobile wallet, be able to make it interoperable with a bank account, so that you can move money between your mobile phone and a bank account, from a bank account to your mobile wallet, from your bank account to the ezwich account, from the ezwich account to your mobile wallet… it means that today if you have a mobile account you practically have a bank account because you can move money and pay your taxes, pay your passport fee, pay your for your DVLA charges just from your mobile wallet into the bank account of government.

The Vice President, who was speaking at the 10th Congregation of the Pentecost University College, Accra, continued: “Government can also transfer money to you through your mobile account even if you don't have a bank account. So you have the use of a bank account without necessarily going to a bank to open a bank account, and this is going to bring a lot of our population into the financial system and move us from financial exclusion to financial inclusion.”

The use of electronic payments would also reduce the need for human interface and strengthen the fight against corruption, the Vice President explained, and Government would soon require all payments for public services are made electronically.

“We are going to make sure that sometime next year, hopefully by the second quarter of next year, all payments or payment to MMDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) will only be done electronically. We are going to stop taking cash. You can use your mobile account, your bank account or your ezwich card. Already, today if you go to apply for a passport, you go online, pay for the form online, download it, and send it to the passport office.

“With that type of accountability, there will be less corruption if you have less cash moving about.”

Congratulating the graduands, Vice President Bawumia urged them to use the “tools of the mind, tools of thinking and skills” acquired over the period of learning to “ask old questions in new ways. You have the tools to problem solve. Use the knowledge acquired to better your lot, make a difference to your community, and to contribute to society building. Volunteer where you can. Because it is in giving of yourself to greater and bigger causes of life that you discover or enrich your true human nature.”

All Set For One-Village One-Dam To Take Off – Bawumia

one village one damThe Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed that all is set for the commencement of the one-village one-dam campaign pledge of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He indicated that construction works could go ahead as the rainy season was over.

President Akufo-Addo, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, promised to establish dams in villages in the three Northern regions of the country to boost agriculture via a well-planned irrigation policy.

Addressing traditional rulers in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region on Sunday, August 28, 2016, he said a robust irrigation policy “one-village-one dam” would make Ghana crop all year round and eventually become a net exporter of most foodstuffs.

The Government, in its 2017 budget, earmarked GHs94.5 million for the implementation of the project.

Opening the regional ministers’ conference in Kumasi on Friday, December 15, 2017, Dr. Bawumia stated that the Government intended to fulfil its One Village One Dam programme as it would be critical to the development of agriculture in the country.

Dr. Bawumia observed that the country’s agricultural sector was key to national development, noting that “it is an engine of growth to move our economy beyond aid.”

“It is therefore fundamental to boost agricultural productivity to achieve sustainable industrial and agribusiness development as a means of wealth and job creation.

“Consequently, our Government has placed renewed emphasis on the agriculture sector, pumping in much resources into the sector to facilitate rapid integration to global and regional value chains,” he said.

He further noted that the Akufo-Addo administration had “worked arduously to lay the foundation for rapid development of our dear country” by rolling out programmes such as the Digital Property Address system which is aimed at formalising the economy. He disclosed that in 2018, land title registration would also go digital in addition to the Ghana Card – National ID card – which will also be rolled out soon.

“Since independence there have been tremendous efforts by successive governments towards the development of the nation. Ghana is currently classified as a middle income country based on certain economic indicators, such as the Country’s per capita income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Income (GNI) among others.

“However, all these indicators of economic growth will continue to remain meaningless to our people, for as long as they do not reflect in the livelihood of our people who lack basic social infrastructure. The lack of basic infrastructure at the local communities is of significant concern,” the Vice President said.

He added: “It is against this backdrop that, Government, under the leadership of H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has worked arduously to lay the foundation for the rapid development of our dear country. It is the vision of the Akufo-Addo Government to develop Ghana beyond aid by galvanizing stakeholders, including Regional Ministers, MMDCE’s, Coordinating Councils among others, to build the required infrastructure that are prerequisites for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.”


We Won’t Allow Liberia To Slide Back Into Instability & Conflict – President Akufo-Addo

liberia conflictThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says West Africa is not prepared to contemplate the scenario of Liberia, by sliding back into instability and conflict.

President Akufo-Addo stated that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), over the years, had made a huge investment in promoting peace in Liberia, and “we will do all we can to ensure that democracy is entrenched in Liberia, and we will not accept any other outcome.”

The 7th December, 2017 recent ruling by Liberia’s Supreme Court on their presidential election, the President said, must ensure that Liberia will have its first peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 73 years.

“The work undertaken by that truly historic figure, the first elected female leader of an African nation, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in stabilising the country, after a bitter and protracted civil war, has been very solid and commendable,” he said.

The President continued, “I am anticipating that, at the end of the day, Liberia’s institutions, particularly the Supreme Court and the Electoral Commission, will be up to the task, and shepherd the country through a successful transition.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 13th December, 2017, when he delivered the Commencement Address at the 98th Commencement Exercises of the University of Liberia, in Monrovia.

Transform structure of African economies

With over 2,500 students graduating from the University, the President noted that it was not enough to hold successful elections every four years, or to be able to criticize the Government and to have the choice of 100 radio stations.

Democracy, he explained, must ensure that we are able to provide our people with a good quality of life.

“The structure of economies bequeathed to us by colonialism, was dependent on the production and export of raw materials. Even though Liberia was not colonised, the structure of her economy remains very much the same as the others on the Continent. Such economies cannot create opportunities, prosperity and wealth for our people,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that the time is long overdue for Africa to transform the structure of African economies to serve better, the needs of the African peoples.

“Too many of our peoples are still kept down by extreme poverty. The promise of prosperity that was to accompany freedom has not materialised for the mass of the African peoples, and has rather been replaced with widespread despondency across the Continent. This is not what our forebears promised,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged “the current generation” of African youth to meet the challenges of today, and help banish the disgraceful spectre of young Africans taking harrowing risks in trekking the Sahara desert or drowning in the Mediterranean, seeking greener pastures in Europe.

“Your generation has to ensure the fulfilment of the statement, made almost 70 years ago in 1949 to the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly by Joseph Boakye Danquah, the father of modern Ghanaian nationalism, that ‘the two things go together, economic freedom and political freedom. And we must have the two together in this very age, and in the shortest possible time’”, President Akufo-Addo added.

To this end, President Akufo-Addo stressed that a new paradigm of leadership on the Continent was being called for, i.e. “leaders who are committed to governing their peoples according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice; leaders who are looking past commodities to position their countries in the global marketplace”.

The President also called for “leaders who are determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs; leaders who are bent on mobilizing Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems; leaders who recognise the connectedness of their peoples and economies to those of their neighbours.”

This new generation of African leaders, the President added, “should help bring dignity and prosperity to our Continent and its longsuffering peoples.”


President Akufo-Addo Receives New “Ghana Card”

president cardThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has received his National Identification Card, dubbed the new “Ghana Card”, at a ceremony held at the premises of the National Identification Authority, on Friday, September 15, 2017.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the new identification card signals the dawn of a new day in biometric identity management in Ghana, and the virtues of a public-private partnership arrangement in meeting the country’s development needs.

The President indicated that the launch of the card “constitutes a practical demonstration of the fulfilment of yet another promise of my party, the New Patriotic Party, made during the 2016 campaign.”

The campaign promise, he recounted, was that “we would modernise and formalise the Ghanaian economy through the establishment of a credible national database, and using the National Identification System (NIS) as the primary identifier, as prescribed by law.”

Despite several years of demonstrated inability to do so, the National Identification Authority (NIA), under the tenure of an NPP administration, the President said, is about to commence the registration and instant issuance of national identity cards to all Ghanaian citizens, both at home and abroad, as by law prescribed.

“My presence at today’s event, together with the Vice President of the Republic highlights the seriousness to which my government attaches to the National Identification System project,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “With my fullest endorsement, Vice President Alhaji Bawumia has ably spearheaded the technical and legal processes that have enabled the Government to decide how to proceed with the goal of achieving a National e-ID system for Ghana, which is beyond needless controversy and polemics.”

President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the proliferation of biometric systems by other government agencies that are mandated by law to access information from the National Identity Register.

Assigning the collection and custody of biometric traits to a single institution, he explained, “is safer and in line with current trends.  By statute, the NIA is under obligation to ensure the accuracy, integrity, confidentiality and security of data it collects.”

Advantages of the card

President Akufo-Addo noted that the new Ghana Card is a great improvement over the previous one, and meets all international standards required of such identity documents.

“For example, the national identity card has been enhanced to take advantage of new technologies such as tactile elements for the blind, chip embedding technology and iris capabilities in addition to taking all 10 fingerprints of an applicant,” he said.

Additionally, with a 128 kilobyte capacity, the Ghana Card will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card. Ultimately, the card would replace the sectorial identity cards in circulation, and shall be the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required as provided by law.

“This registration exercise is also unique in the sense that it would involve the registration of ages 0-5. This is a historic opportunity for us to sanitize and rationalize birth certification in Ghana and ensure social inclusion right from birth,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Whilst congratulating Identity Management Systems Ltd (IMS), who are partnering with NIA to ensure the efficient roll-out of the NIS Project, the President reiterated the commitment of his government to supporting and enhancing the capacity of Ghanaian companies and businesses to be the giants in their respective areas of operation.

President Akufo-Addo reminded the stakeholders to ensure the integrity, security and confidentiality of identity data collected.

“It is important that the data collected is made available only to persons or institutions authorized by law to access the data and used only for the purposes for which the data was collected,” he added.


President Akufo Addo launches new national ID card

card launchPresident Nana Akufo- Addo inaugurated Ghana’s new National Identification system, on September 15, 2017, in an effort to provide secure authentication and identification for citizens.

This follows the National Identification Authority’s readiness to embark on a new identification process.

President Akufo-Addo was the first to receive the “GhanaCard”, which will be followed by a mass registration starting with the security agencies, schools, banks and the general population in all the regions.

The President had earlier given the NIA, 15th September as the deadline for the rollout of the process of introducing the new national identification cards.

The GhanaCard would be a valid verification document issued to every Ghanaian and permanently resident foreign national living everywhere for the purpose of identification.

The new card is a smart card that is multifunctional and will be valid for 10 years. It uses three types of biometric technology including fingerprint, facial and eye identification unique to the card holder.

It is a 128 Gigabyte capacity card with the ECOWAS logo and will be functional also as a passport in the sub region when the Passport Office, which is one of the partners of the NIA, enables the function.

It also has functions that can enable other partner institutions, such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), to serve their clients when also later enabled.

“It will be free at the first issuance. However, when it gets lost, it will be replaced for a fee,” acting Executive secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Agyeman Attafuah said.

“The new Ghana Card will be the only document for the proof of one’s identity or citizenship or for foreigners resident in Ghana,” he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Int. Business Community Confident In Ghana’s New Measures To Resolve Industrial Gap

business confidenceThe international business community has expressed confidence in the set of economic measures being currently executed to close the industrialisation gap in Ghana.

Endorsing Ghana’s new measures Mohammed Dewji, President of METL group, a Tanzanian Conglomerate, said he is confident the new leaders on the continent of Africa, including the Ghanaian leadership, “have become far more serious with industrialisation” and expressed confidence that 10 years from now, “we will see a transformed Ghana and Africa.”

“I believe now governments and the new leadership have become far more serious and they’re addressing the core problems and I’m confident that in the next ten years we will not be addressing a lot of these issues again. I think they will be sorted out,” Dewji, who owns 41 businesses, stated.

He was responding to a presentation by Ghana’s Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on the structural and economic reforms being implemented by the Nana Akufo-Addo government to formalise Ghana’s economy and place the West African country on a path of rapid industrialisation, at the Global Business Forum Africa taking place in Dubai, UAE.

Speaking on the topic “Industrialisation- the path to growth”, Dr Bawumia outlined the rationale behind Ghana’s industrialisation push, emphasising that the time for talking was over.

“We’ve got to do the things that have to be done. I am confident about what is happening on the continent. What I see happening on the continent and in my own country are efforts to address the problems. For instance, we said, ‘we’ve talked about the railway problem for the longest time, let’s just do it.’ And we’ve started to do it. We’ve even appointed a Minister in charge of Railways in particular to get it done.

“We’ve got an Industrialisation strategy that is also learning from the mistakes of the past, to avoid those mistakes. We are moving on a new trajectory and we are hoping that in the next ten years we see this whole industrialisation take off. But we have to work hard at it.

“If you look at history, it tells you that industrialisation, in whatever form it takes, is the way to go, and we are working at it.”

The 2017 edition of the Global Business Forum on Africa was organized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the theme “Next Generation Africa.”.

The high-profile event, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, explores new opportunities to enhance economic cooperation and expand trade and investment ties between the Middle East and Africa.

The two-day forum features a total of 24 sessions that will involve the participation of heads of state, ministers and dignitaries, policymakers, CEOs, prominent entrepreneurs, and heads of private banks, as well as UAE government and business leaders.


Ghana Ready For Investments In Health Care – Dr Bawumia

health care investmentsThe Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured the investor community of excellent opportunities in the health care sector of Ghana.

Ghana, Dr Bawumia maintains, is open for business, and this is reflected in the various reforms being undertaken by the Nana Akufo-Addo government including the abolition of 15 ‘nuisance taxes’ in the 2017 budget statement, as well as the introduction of a paperless port system and online registration for would-be businesses, among others.

The Vice President gave the assurance when he led a delegation including H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of the Republic, senior government officials as well as officials of the Consulate of Ghana, Dubai to visit the Ajman Ruler’s Court and the Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman – the leading private medical university of the region.

The Emirate of Ajman is one of the seven Emirates (states) of the United Arab Emirates.

In separate interactions with His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council, UAE and Ruler of Ajman, and other officials of Ajman, both Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo outlined a number of areas for mutual cooperation between Ghana and Ajman, especially in the training of Ghanaian medical personnel and the establishment of medical facilities in Ghana.

The delegation was later shown round the Gulf Medical University (GMU)’s educational and research facilities, including the different ongoing projects of the hospitals and medical centers in the campus.

Speaking after the tour H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stated: “We are very impressed with what we have seen here. We are happy that many Ghanaian students are pursuing their medical education at GMU.  We hope to see this remarkable model of healthcare, medical education and research replicated in Ghana.”

Mr. Thumbay Moideen, Founder, President Board of Trustees of GMU, which is owned and operated by the Thumbay Group, disclosed that Gulf Medical University was in the process of establishing campuses in three new countries, including Ghana.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is in the United Arab Emirates to participate in the ongoing Global Business Forum Africa taking place in Dubai. He returns to Accra on Friday November 3, 2017.


Ghana Set To Become Aviation Hub In West Africa – President Akufo-Addo

aviation hubThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the vision of his Government is to establish Ghana both as an aviation hub within West Africa, and as the preferred destination of choice for travellers.

Government, President Akufo-Addo added, hopes to achieve this by working with the private sector to offer modern, attractive air transport infrastructure, and by building capacity and establishing institutional and policy framework to enhance safety and security of air services.

“It is in pursuit of this that Government has given policy approval for the establishment of a Home-Based Carrier with private sector participation, as part of efforts to fulfill our aviation-hub vision and also to enhance connectivity,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 25th October, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 1st Aerospace and Aviation Industry Show in West Africa, held at the Kotoka International Airport.

Since assuming office in January 2017, and following his Government’s decision to remove the 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air fares to make domestic travel affordable, President Akufo-Addo noted that domestic airfares have some seen reduction, and the passenger throughput has increased significantly from 302,270 as at September, 2016, to 373,429 as at September, 2017, representing a 23.5% increase.

Additionally, the President noted that the number of international airlines operating in the country has increased from 35 to 37 this year, noting that other domestic airlines will, hopefully, follow suit soon.

“I have been reliably informed that the captain of our Senior National Team, the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan, has obtained an Air Carrier License (ACL), and is working feverishly to establish an airline, called Baby Jet Airlines. I want to appeal to other Ghanaians, both home and abroad, to invest in the rapidly growing aviation sector,” he added.

With growth rate in Ghana’s aviation industry averaging 7.9% per annum, the President revealed that his Government’s overall direction for national development, as contained in his Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CP) (2017-2024), is to create the conditions for the private sector to thrive in the aviation industry in order to propel growth and create employment, especially for the youth.

That is why, he added, “my Government has re-created the Aviation Ministry to develop the Ghanaian aviation industry, and make it highly competitive within the West African region. There are on-going and up-coming projects in Ghana’s aviation sector, which will lead to an enhanced air travel experience.”

These ongoing projects include: construction of Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport (K.I.A), designed to accommodate five (5) million passengers in the next 5 years to be completed in April, 2018; construction of Modern Air Navigation Services Centre at K.I.A, to ensure safety and security of aircrafts and passengers in our air space; and construction of Phase II of both Kumasi and Tamale Airports.

“The need for these investments in infrastructure and air navigation systems is to respond to anticipated traffic growth, and also to keep up with the dynamism in technology that the aviation industry demands,” he added.

Lamenting the challenging nature of air travel connectivity in Africa, President Akufo-Addo noted that the 1999 Yamoussoukro, when fully implemented by all States, will improve air transport and guarantee lower fares and increase traffic on the continent.

“Ghana has shown commitment to improving connectivity on the African continent, by being amongst those who signed the Yamoussoukro Decision. I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge all industry stakeholders to play their part in the full implementation of the agreement to improve connectivity on the continent,” he added.

The President continued, “With Ghana determined to fulfill its role as the gate way to West Africa, Government is poised to build the most people-friendly and business-friendly economy in Africa, to boost the confidence of the private sector to invest in the Ghanaian economy.

I, therefore, respectfully, call on all investors to partner domestic counterparts to ensure the realisation of this vision. This is the way to creating jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.”

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