The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said that government in 2018 would ensure that every Ghanaian has a bank account.
The rationale, he said, is part of measures to ensure a digitised economy in the country.
He said over 70 percent of the Ghanaian population do not have bank accounts, hence the government’s decision to have every Ghanaian own one.
Dr Bawumia was speaking at the official opening of the 2017 Innovation Week organised by the Ghana- India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Accra.
The three-day event is on the theme: “Exponential technologies and innovations; an enabler in socio-economic development of Ghana”
Dr Bawumia said “financial inclusion is very key to the economy…we have to make sure that everybody practically has a bank account”, adding that “this is how we are going to change the economy”.
He said the over 70 percent of the Ghanaians who did not have bank accounts could be helped to own one with the use of technology.
“Everyone has to have a bank account”, he said, adding that “and for that to happen, technology must be available for it to happen”.
Dr Bawumia said the government’s intention to introduce the inter-compatibility of the financial service sector would help bring on board to the financial sector the unbanked population.
He said government would introduce the inter-compatibility policy in the financial sector in January 2018 to ensure that all Ghanaians, those with traditional banking sector and those with mobile money networks could send and receive monies conveniently across board.
He said the government’s resolve to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to develop the country’s economy has been demonstrated with the introduction of some digital systems in the country.
Dr Bawumia said the rapid exponential growth in technologies and innovation have great impacts on global economies, adding that the country cannot play the ostrich.
He explained that technologies and innovations are influencing research strategies, decisions and problems around the globe.
According to him, technologies and innovation “are the very foundation” of global economies and our current dispensation.
“Let us embrace exponential technologies as an engine of growth and as a major source of income”, Dr Bawumia said, adding that “opportunities abound in new digital age”.
The 2017 edition will focus on embracing innovation and efficiency in all sectors and fast-tracking growth and success rates for start-up and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The Annan-India Centre of Excellence also known as the Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI) was set up by the governments of Ghana and India to initially bridge the gap between academia and industry by training people to acquire requisite skills to help meet demands of the job market.
The Director-General of the centre, Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan in an address said the centre was positioning itself to take advantage of the opportunities in the exponential technologies.
He said as a centre set up by the governments of Ghana and India to initially bridge the gap between academia and industry by training people to acquire requisite skills to help meet demands of the job market, it would continue to pursue its core mandate.