GHAHA: Chamber of Electronic Issuers calls for mobile money integration to boost inter-African trade

The head of Ghana's Electronic Money Issuers association has urged greater integration of mobile money systems across Africa, highlighting its potential to unlock business growth and financial inclusion.

Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Electronic Issuers (EMI), spoke at a press briefing today in Accra announcing a conference on mobile money interoperability. He emphasized the transformative power of mobile money, contrasting it with traditional banking systems that haven't achieved the same level of financial inclusion.

"Mobile money didn't require us to change our way of life," Dr. Ashigbey said. "It allowed us to conduct business as usual and still become financially included. We shouldn't be labeled as 'informal' – this is how we do business in Africa."

He pointed to India's success in leveraging mobile money for development, arguing that Africa can follow a similar path. "The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) cannot function without integrated payment systems," he stressed.

The conference, scheduled for July 5th, 2024, in Accra, aims to bring stakeholders together to discuss mobile money interoperability. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network, also spoke at the briefing, urging political and industry leaders to support the initiative.

"We have the technology and resources," Mr. Otchere-Darko stated. "But achieving interoperability requires political will, central bank and regulatory buy-in, and most importantly, the commitment of African leaders at the continental and regional levels. A successful interoperable system, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, will make intra-African trade a reality."

The conference is expected to address critical issues surrounding mobile money integration and pave the way for a more financially connected Africa.