Israel supporting Ghana to use fintech as engine for inclusive growth?

Accra, June 1, GNA – Israel, a global leader in innovation and financial technology (fintech), is supporting Ghana through collaboration with startups to scale up and provide creative solutions to drive financial inclusiveness and development.

 

The two countries are holding a two-day Ghana-Israel fintech summit in Accra on the theme: “Innovations in financial services delivery,” to strengthen relationships in the fintech ecosystem. 

The summit will create a platform for businesses in the two countries to share knowledge and tap into experiences and opportunities in the fintech ecosystem, particularly in Ghana. 

Ms Shlomit Sufa, Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said her country would help Ghana replicate efforts in making the fintech sector of Israel contribute about eleven percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and position it as an engine of inclusive growth. 

She indicated that connecting Ghana to Israel’s fintech innovation ecosystem, be it in agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, or development was very high on the agenda of Israel-Ghana relations. 

“I am, therefore, excited that we have gathered here this morning to have conversation on ‘Innovations in financial services delivery,’ in the fintech industry in Ghana and position the sector as an engine for inclusive growth and development for all,” she said. 

“The fintech sector in Israel continues to thrive, accounting for over 11 percent of GDP – more than that of any other OECD country – and backed by robust governmental investment in research and development,” Ms Sufa emphasised. 

She said this in her opening remarks at the summit, which would discuss issues in the fintech industry, including antifraud, risk and compliance technologies, lending and financing technologies, and trading and investment technologies. 

Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said collaboration between the two countries would help increase access to financial services and spur financial inclusiveness particularly in Ghana. 

Mr Kwame Agyeman Oppong, Head of FinTech and Innovation, Bank of Ghana (BoG), underscored the importance of a regulatory framework in thriving Ghana’s fintech ecosystem, dominated by mobile money. 

He said the Government through the Bank had, therefore, instituted several measures to ensure continued enabling environment for the growth and development of fintech startups in the country. 

The collaboration between Ghana and Israel comes at a time that the fintech sector is evolving rapidly, allowing many to make payments, crowd source, and manage financial assets from their mobile phones. 

This is being made possible through a high mobile connection rate, which stood at 130 percent in 2020 and growing internet penetration of 48 percent. 

For example, data from BoG showed that mobile money transactions far outstripped that of cheque transactions by GHS232 billion in the first four months of 2022. 

The Central Bank estimated the value of mobile money transactions from January to April at GHS301.1, while cheque transactions for the same period was GHS68.3. 

Source: Ghana News Agency

MTN partners BT to offer security services to businesses across Africa

Ho, June 01, GNA – MTN (Mobile Telecommunication Network) Business and BT, a British telecommunications company, announced a strategic alliance that will offer security and communications services to business customers across Africa.

New and existing MTN Business customers across Africa would get access to a raft of solutions, including cloud-based security and consultancy, managed connectivity, and voice services which will be delivered as part of MTN’s Enterprise portfolio, meeting local regulatory and compliance requirements according to its communication copied to the Ghana News Agency.

Customers are expected to benefit from BT’s leading-edge technology combined with MTN’s strong presence on the ground and proximity to customers for a rollout.

The first offering by BT and MTN would be a Security Operations Centre (SOC)-service, which would enable customers to consistently monitor and improve their cybersecurity while preventing, detecting, analysing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents.

The new service is to be based on BT’s cloud-based Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) service, which combines the leading technologies with BT’s unparalleled track record in securing leading global organisations.

With a subscription-based model that requires no capital investment, and BT’s accredited security team providing 24×7 monitoring and in-life support, the service would be scaled up and available immediately to MTN’s existing and new customers.

MTN would also tap into BT’s wide range of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solutions, including the provision of wholesale voice, Microsoft Teams voice, and global SIP solutions.

Alessandro Adriani, Indirect Sales Director at BT, said “The world’s leading banks, healthcare providers, energy companies and governments put their trust in BT to connect and secure their operations. We look forward to working with MTN to bring the same cutting-edge services and solutions to businesses across the African continent.”

“MTN Business continues to deliver innovative solutions to ensure the benefits of the digital economy are expanded to more people and entities across Africa. As this growth happens, however, it is imperative to manage risk,” Wanda Matandela, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at MTN, said.

Matandela added that MTN Business is excited about the potential this alliance has to offer and is committed to providing solutions that ensure businesses thrive in the digital economy of the future.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to digitize Rent Control Department-Minister

Accra, June 01, GNA – The Ministry of Works and Housing is collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and Digitisation to digitize the operations of the Rent Control Department, as part of efforts to enhance service delivery standards of the Department.

Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister of Works and Housing, said as result, a Technical Team, comprising the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) and the Ghana India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, had presented a technical report which had recommended the design and architecture of systems to achieve full digitization of the Rent Control Department.

“This exercise will commence at the national level and later will be linked to the regional and district offices,” Mr Asenso-Boakye, stated on Wednesday on the floor of Parliament in his response to a question from Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta.

The MP wanted to know from the Minister the measures the Ministry was taking to strengthen the Rent Control Department to perform its lawful duties.

Mr Asenso-Boakye mentioned some of the measures the Ministry had initiated to strengthen the Rent Control Department to perform its lawful duties such as the review of the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) and the Rent Control Law, 1986 (PNDC Law 138).

He said the review of the Rent Act was necessary in the light of the shortcomings of the existing Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) and the Rent Control Law (PNDC L 138), which do not significantly address current challenges in the rental housing industry.

He noted that the Ministry submitted a memorandum and received policy approval from Cabinet in February 2022 for the review of the existing Rent Acts.

“The Ministry is working with the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on a draft Rent Bill. It will eventually be brought before this august House for consideration and approval, after an extensive stakeholder engagement,” the Minister said.

“Mr Speaker, the Bill if approved, will provide the framework for comprehensive restructuring of the Rent Control Depart to make it more effective and efficient.”

He said additionally, offices would be created in all regions and districts of the country.

Mr Gakpey again asked the Minister what efforts the Ministry was making to enforce the law on leasing Assets in accordance with the Rent Control Act.

To this, the Minister replied that under the Rent Act, 1963, (ACT 220) and the Rent Control Law, 1986 (PNDC L 138), the Rent Control Department had the mandate to perform assessment of Recoverable Rent on an application by a landlord, tenant or person interested in premises, preparation of Rent Registers and maintaining Register of Vacant Premises.

He said the Ministry was working through the Rent Control Department to enforce laws on leasing assets in accordance with the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) and the Rent Control Law, 1986 (PNDC L 138).

“Mr Speaker, Section 25 of Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) prohibits landlords from taking more than six months’ rent advance, and therefore any landlord who contravenes the law commits an offence and is punishable by the law.”

Mr Yusif Sulemana, MP, Bole Bamboi, also asked the Minister of Works and Housing, who the occupants of the UNDP Flats in Cantonments were and whether they paid rent to the Government.

Mr Asenso-Boakye, in a reply, noted that the current occupants of the UNDP Flats were squatters and therefore, they do not pay any rent whatsoever.

He said that there had been previous actions by the Ministry to give a facelift to the UNDP Flats by undertaking technical and financial appraisals of the flats; stating that measures were being taken to give a facelift to the UNDP Flats to serve the original purpose.

He said the Ministry in consultation with the relevant institutions was considering an eviction to get all the squatters out of the buildings.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We are favourite to win against Madagascar – Ghana coach Otto Addo

Ghana head coach, Otto Addo believes his side are favorites to pick up all three points against Madagascar.

The Black Stars will host the Barea at the Cape Coast Stadium in their Group E opener of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON] qualifiers.

Kick-off is scheduled at 19:00GMT.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Coach Otto Addo disclosed that there is good energy in camp.

According to him, Ghana is the favorite to win the game against Madagascar although everything can happen in football.

“Anything is possible in football, of course, we are the favorite but anything can happen,” the Borussia Dortmund assistant coach said.

“The energy is good at training, everyone wants to play and that’s the same energy we are bringing tomorrow,” the former Ghana international added.

Ghana will be hoping to secure their first win of the qualifiers before travelling to play the Central African Republic [CAR] on June 5.

Source: Modern Ghana