The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched a platform that will harmonise individual fraud control mechanisms of mobile money operators in the country.

He said the system would help in blocking subscriber identification module (SIM) cards and mobile devices, as well as blacklist identification numbers that connected to fraud or general crime-related cases.

Dr Bawumia, who did the launch in a webinar to mark the second edition of the Mobile Technology for Development conference in Accra last Tuesday, said the expansion of digital services came with new partnerships and opportunities.

The conference, which was on the theme: “The rise of Africa: Promoting Africa’s sustainable digital ecosystem”, was organised by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the Financial Inclusion Forum for Africa.

It is a platform where industry players dialogue and come up with recommendations to shape the local digital ecosystem as part of measures to position Ghana as a major destination for global technology investors.

Known as the fraud control dashboard, the system, which was introduced by the industry, in partnership with the Bank of Ghana and the Police Service, will strengthen the resolve of the country to tackle and mitigate fraud on all networks.

Challenges

Dr Bawumia said one of the major challenges confronting the financial sector was the proliferation of fraudulent activities, which he said was of concern to the government, service providers and consumers.

He, however, expressed confidence in the ingenuity and determination of the people to find solutions to complex problems in the country to ensure universal access to financial services, health care, food, security and education for all.

On digitisation, the Vice-President said the continent was awake to the possibilities and opportunities available in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and that Africa would not be left behind this time around.

He said the government recognised the significant role digitisation played in the socio-economic development of a country, saying it was for that reason it was collaborating with the private sector to drive the economy through the use of a digital ecosystem.

The Vice-President mentioned the integration of the database of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) as one of the initiatives by the government to ensure transparency and efficiency in their operations.

He further said it would help in checking criminal records of individuals, including the elimination of ghost names from the system.

Financial inclusion

Speaking on the role of financial inclusion in a COVID-19 pandemic period, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, said the pandemic had tested the effectiveness and resilience of the financial sector.

That notwithstanding, he said, the crisis had also exposed some gaps in policies and programmes.

Dr Opoku-Afari said the bank had implemented some measures to accelerate digital financial inclusion to reduce the impact of the pandemic on individuals, businesses and the government.

He said while new business models were being explored to promote financial inclusion, the BoG was also facilitating the modernisation of indigenous financial services, such as ‘susu’, with digital tools.

“It is for this reason that the BoG issued the crowd-funding policy. The policy is expected to encourage clubs, associations, market women and farmers to work with entities approved and licensed by the bank to provide refined ‘susu’ services for our people without much physical contact and with strong controls to guarantee safety of resources of clients,” Dr Opoku-Afari added.