The Government of Ghana today took steps towards enhancing fiscal transparency and promoting the financial inclusion of its citizens by committing to a United Nations-backed initiative that supports countries’ transitions to electronic payments.
With the assistance of the Better Than Cash Alliance, which is hosted by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Government of Ghana will focus on transitioning forms of Government payments to electronic ones, beginning with the digitization of government workers’ salaries.
It subsequently plans to expand the use of electronic payments to the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) social welfare programme in the hope that 71,000 Ghanaian households will reap the benefits of transparency, cost savings and financial inclusion.
“Ghana’s digital innovation is renowned and is reflected in this commitment to transition away from cash in all government payments. Evidence and the experience of our members show that electronic payments has great potential to increase people’s access to financial services when designed appropriately and we look forward to seeing greater inclusion in Ghana,” Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance, said in a press release.
“There is also strong evidence to show that integrating digital payments into the economies of emerging countries such as Ghana will promote broad economic growth and individual financial empowerment.”
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development and Visa Inc, the Better Than Cash Alliance works with governments, the development community and the private sector to promote the use of electronic payments as a safer and more efficient form of financial transaction. Efforts aim to help people who lack access to formal financial services such as bank accounts, and who often subsist almost entirely in an informal, cash-only economy.