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Ken Ashigbey: Integrating Mobile Money systems essential for African business dev’t

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey, has expressed concern over the challenges in financial transactions on the continent.

Dr. Ashigbey emphasised that these issues could be mitigated if systems were integrated, using mobile money as a foundation.

Speaking at a press briefing to announce the upcoming Interoperability Conference Symposium in Accra, he indicated that mobile interoperability would foster business growth across the continent and expand financial inclusion if properly implemented.

“If you go back and look at the FedEx Report, what Mobile Money has done for financial inclusion, the traditional banks will still not be able to do it if you left them because the way we are formatted as a continent is completely different.

“When Mobile Money came in, it did not ask us to change the way we lived but it allowed us to live the way we lived, do businesses the way we have done, and still be able to become included. And for me, I don’t like talking about informal. We are not informal. Our SMEs are not informal. That is the way we do our business.

“India has shown the way that you are able to use this critical mass to develop, and the time has come for us to be able to do that. AfCFTA would not happen if we didn’t integrate our payment systems.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, urged political and industry leaders to support this initiative to boost intra-African trade.

“We are told that the technology is there. We are told that the resources are there, but it needs political will, it needs the the buy-in of the central banks, it needs the buy-in of the regulators, it needs more importantly, the buy-in of the leadership of the continent leadership and the region’s leadership in the various countries and we believe that if we can get interoperability working, particularly in the areas where tens and millions of medium, small, and microscale enterprises on the continent operate, it will make meaningful, the whole idea of intra-African trade.”

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