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Ghana Achieves 96% Financial Inclusion Exceeding its 5-Year Target

Ghana has achieved 96% financial inclusion according to a Ministry of Finance document, exceeding a year target set in 2018

Ghana has surpassed its five-year financial inclusion target, achieving a remarkable 96% inclusion rate, as revealed in a document obtained by The Accra Times. This statistic from a background document to the 2024 Ghana Financial Inclusion Conference, suggests that only 4% of Ghana’s population remains without access to financial services.

Traditionally, financial inclusion was gauged by the number of individuals holding bank accounts. However, with the rise of mobile money, it now encompasses anyone accessing basic financial services via mobile phones, even without a bank account.

The surge in financial inclusion is largely attributed to the widespread adoption of mobile money across the country. According to the Bank of Ghana’s economic and financial data, mobile money transactions accounted for approximately 83% of nearly GH¢1 trillion in electronic transactions conducted in the first four months of this year, excluding cheques.

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In 2018, the government set out to raise financial inclusion from 58% to 85% by 2023. However, according to 2021 Demand Side Survey data, Ghana has surpassed this target by 16 percentage points, the document from the Ministry of Finance indicated.

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The rapid growth in Ghana’s fintech ecosystem is credited to ” a combination of factors such as the growing youthful population, increasing mobile phone penetration, and government’s commitment to foster innovation in the financial sector.”, the document added.

To enhance financial inclusion, the Ministry of Finance collaborated with financial sector stakeholders to develop the five-year National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) for 2018-2023. This strategy aimed to overcome barriers preventing underserved populations from accessing financial products and services by expanding the availability of affordable and high-quality financial services tailored to Ghanaian needs.

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Despite the impressive growth in access to financial services, other dimensions of financial inclusion such as usage and quality, need to be looked at to ascertain the full extent of financial inclusion, the document noted.

This gap is central to the ongoing Financial Inclusion Conference, scheduled from June 26 to June 27. The conference aims to deepen discussions on enhancing financial inclusion, particularly by promoting broader usage of financial services beyond simple transactions like transfers and withdrawals, thereby reducing reliance on cash.

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