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Ghana allocates $100m to boost MSMEs at 3i Africa Summit through GIFE

The Development Bank Ghana has inked a $100 million agreement with Proxtera, in a move aimed at bolstering the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

3i Africa Summit

The funds are designated to support MSMEs through the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco-system (GIFE).

The modular structure of this ecosystem enables MSMEs, financial institutions, and business service providers to utilize different GIFE mechanisms as they grow locally or expand their business globally.

The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the 3i Africa Summit's second day at the Accra International Conference Centre, underscores Ghana's commitment to fostering a conducive environment for small businesses to thrive.

A declaration was made during a signing event between DBG and Proxtera to expedite the distribution of approximately 1.83 billion Ghanaian Cedis through the fully digital infrastructure established by the GIFE program. This builds upon the initial promising outcomes demonstrated by GIFE since its introduction at the 2022 Singapore Fintech Festival and its implementation in the first half of 2023 with the pilot financial institution partner, Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

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CEO of Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Kwamina Duker, expressed optimism about the transformative impact of the agreement.

"The emphasis on making things happen is evident throughout this contract. It's not just about talk; it's about tangible action," he remarked.

Duker credited the leadership of the Central Bank of Ghana for laying the groundwork for small businesses to obtain legal identifiers, streamlining their credit evaluation process, and facilitating easier access to loans.

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He emphasized the potential for reduced risk premiums and enhanced efficiency in evaluating and disbursing loans to MSMEs.

Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, Saurav Bhattacharyya, said ambitious goals set by Ghana and their partners will drive Ghanaian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial networks.

”We continue to proudly support GIFE as a founding partner. As the exclusive operational partner of SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme, and the operational, technology and digital infrastructure provider for implementation for GIFE, Proxtera continues to work with local ecosystem partners to grow the usage of trusted credentials. We strongly believe the ambitious target set by our partners will propel Ghanaian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial highways”

Meanwhile, Chief FinTech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Sopnendu Mohanty, lauded Ghana's pioneering efforts in leveraging technology to address the credit needs of small businesses.

"For nine years, I've aimed to solve the credit problem for small businesses. The only solution lies in good data, and Ghana, in partnership with Singapore, is leading the way in building a trusted, fast data ecosystem,"

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He also highlighted Ghana's innovative use of technology, including DNA-based query processes, to expedite loan disbursement to MSMEs.

Proxtera is an open and neutral hub connecting B2B marketplaces, service providers, and trade associations digitally to simplify and amplify trade for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Proxtera's mission is to transform Business to Business trade using technology to make marketplaces efficient and discoverable globally, to enable holistic cross border trade through services for financing and fulfilment, empowerment, and financial trust

building.

The 3i Africa Summit, focusing on "Unleashing Africa's FinTech and Digital Economic Potential," has attracted prominent stakeholders from across the globe. Spearheaded by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), in collaboration with Elevandi, established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the summit aims to foster collaboration and innovation in Africa's FinTech landscape.

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Distinguished speakers at the summit include Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, alongside over 150 Chief Executives and Senior Executives from leading FinTechs and financial institutions worldwide. Participants are engaging in discussions to explore avenues for leveraging technology to drive economic growth and financial inclusion across the continent.

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