DBG, Partners target US$100M for SMEs through digital finance initiative


…CEO sees move as pivotal

The Development Bank Ghana (DBG) is embarking on an ambitious digital finance initiative aimed at unlocking up to $100 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country.

The new programme, dubbed the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco-system (GIFE), will leverage innovative technologies and partnerships to provide crucial financial solutions and drive sustainable economic growth.

Speaking at the signing ceremony during the 3i Africa Summit, DBG Chief Executive Officer Kwamina Duker highlighted the pivotal role of SMEs in Ghana’s economy and expressed optimism about the potential impact of the GIFE programme.

“We are excited about this partnership, especially for what it brings as part of the 3i Africa Summit,” Mr. Duker said. “At DBG, we believe that this partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the GIFE programme mark a pivotal moment in DBG’s mission to provide sustainable finance solutions to Ghanaian businesses and facilitate multi-generational, sustainable economic growth.”

Mr. Duker emphasized DBG’s recognition of the crucial role played by SMEs, stating, “DBG recognises the crucial role of SMEs in our country’s economy, and the GIFE programme will further strengthen DBG’s ability to catalyse SME growth by ensuring that they get the financial solutions they need to achieve their full potential.”

The GIFE programme, a collaboration between the Bank of Ghana, DBG, and digital partner Proxtera, is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

It aims to disburse up to 1.83 billion Ghanaian Cedis (approximately US$100 million) to the Ghanaian MSME ecosystem through a wholly digital infrastructure.

Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, expressed confidence in the programme’s potential to propel Ghanaian MSMEs into global digital cross-border trade and financial highways.

“We continue to proudly support GIFE as a founding partner,” Bhattacharyya said. “As the exclusive operational partner of SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme, and the operational, technology and digital infrastructure provider for implementation for GIFE, Proxtera continues to work with local ecosystem partners to grow the usage of trusted credentials.”

The GIFE programme, which follows successful pilot implementation with Consolidated Bank of Ghana, will provide MSMEs with a digital journey encompassing financial literacy, the creation of trusted credentials leveraging the global Universal Trusted Credentials framework, access to working capital, and cross-border trade opportunities with Asia and the ASEAN region.

Bank of Ghana Governor Dr. Ernest K.Y. Addison highlighted the programme’s alignment with the central bank’s commitment to exploring innovative financing models and enhancing MSME contribution to economic growth.

“This memorandum further demonstrates BoG’s commitment as a central bank, to working with key stakeholders to explore innovative financing models,” Addison said.

“It also further demonstrates our commitment to the Business Sans Borders initiative which we partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to enhance MSME contribution to economic growth and in line with Government’s broader economic transformation goals.”

MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty emphasized the GIFE’s potential to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks and important emerging markets. “The GIFE is an important step to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks and important emerging markets,” Mohanty said.

“The GIFE is a rethink to potentially leapfrog traditional financial inclusion approaches with combined support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can tap in based on their needs.”

With its ambitious target and innovative digital approach, the GIFE programme represents a significant step towards unlocking the potential of Ghana’s SME sector, driving sustainable economic growth, and fostering closer ties with global trade and financial markets.

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