Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says for Ghana to address its current economic crisis, it is imperative to restore fiscal and debt sustainability, limit import dependency and retain the chunk of her foreign exchange earnings.
He said, for instance fiscal and debt sustainability was one of the key issues the Government put on the table in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
“For us to address the current economic crisis, we have to take bold, difficult and firm decisions and adjust to the global and domestic realities.”
The Vice President said this in a keynote address delivered at the second edition of Standard Chartered Digital Banking Innovation and FinTech Festival in Accra on Wednesday.
The Vice President underscored the need for the nation to be self-reliant with regards to the mode of production of basic consumer items such as rice, tomatoes and toothpicks, adding; “We have to reduce import dependency as a nation”.
“Our foreign exchange regime is quite loose, and we must tighten it. We must change the nature of production and trade services because most of our foreign exchange earnings on trade do not stay in Ghana and so we’ve been having recurrent account deficit,” Dr Bawumia added.
The two-day forum was on the theme: “Towards a Digital Economy; Positioning Africa as a FinTech Innovation Hub,” which attracted entrepreneurs, government officials, policymakers and financial and fintech experts across the globe to brainstorm on how to build robust digital economies in Africa.
The Vice President said it was also prudent to digitise the African economies to enhance financial inclusion and take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution.
Ghana, he said, was leading the way in Africa in terms of digitising her economy, noting that she reached a maturity stage in access to financial inclusion.
“Just this morning I was reading that Ghana has reached a maturity stage in access to financial inclusion at the ongoing MobileWorld Conference in Rwanda,” Dr Bawumia said, adding; “Ghana scored 100 per cent financial inclusion”.
He attributed the successes chalked in her financial inclusion journey to the various digital infrastructure, mobile money interoperability payment system, Universal QR Code, Ghana.gov payment platform and other policy interventions rolled out by the government.
Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, in an address, said the Central Bank in the past few decades had been at the forefront of implementing innovative policies to propel the country’s digital economy forward and promote efficient digital ecosystem anchored on robust interbank infrastructure.
He cited various legal and regulatory frameworks rolled out to promote mobile financial services including the enactment of the Payment System and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987).
Madam Mansa Nettey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Chartered Bank, in her welcome remarks, said digital banking was at the core of ensuring effective and efficient services and, thus, outlined various interventions the bank had rolled out to meet its clients’ banking needs.
She commended the Bank of Ghana and Vice President Bawumia for the strategic role they had played in the country’s digital revolution.