The Government of Ghana is planning to enhance fiscal transparency and promote the financial inclusion of its citizens by joining the UN-backed Better Than Cash Alliance, an initiative that supports countries’ transitions to electronic payments.
With the assistance of the Alliance, the Government will digitize the salaries of government workers and eventually expand to other government programmes. Electronic payments will contribute directly to increase income and reduce vulnerability for the poor
The country will start with a pilot to transition the payments made by The Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) social welfare programme for the poorest Ghanaian families. LEAP has already reached out to the 71,000 households across the country. In the long run, evidence shows that this move has the potential to enhance transparency, cost savings and financial inclusion.
“For Ghana, the transition to electronic payments will bolster the effectiveness of fiscal operations through efficient receipts and payments, and security of government transactions. It will help to eliminate wastes and leakages and ensure a strong transaction audit trail,” said Seth Terkper, Hon. Minister of Finance.
“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,” added Dr Ruth Goodwin-Groen, managing director of the Better Than Cash Alliance. “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.”
Ghana joins more than 30 members of the Alliance that range from governments, development partners, UN agencies and private companies. Hosted by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Alliance is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Visa Inc.
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