USD 100M Allocated to Support MSMEs via the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem [GIFE]

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) working with its digital partner
Proxtera and supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS,) are excited to announce
a fund with a target of of US$100 Million to be disbursed to the Ghanian (micro, small and medium
enterprises) MSME ecosystem through the Ghana Integrated Financial Eco-system (GIFE).
Against the backdrop of the 3i Africa summit sessions today, an announcement was made during
a signing ceremony between DBG & Proxtera to accelerate the disbursement of up to GHS 1.83
billion via the wholly digital infrastructure set up by the GIFE programme. This follows on the early
signs of success exhibited by GIFE after its launch at the 2022 edition of the Singapore Fintech
Festival, and its operationalization in the first half of 2023 with the pilot financial institution partner
– Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG).

GIFE, currently is a digital journey for MSMEs, beginning with a financial literacy/creation of
trusted credentials, which leverages the global Universal Trusted Credentials framework, access
to working capital, and cross-border trade with Asia and the ASEAN region. An innovative
regulatory sandbox continues to support GIFE in its challenge to traditional disbursal frameworks
to fast-track growth and development for local businesses. This upcoming phase of GIFE will see
wider participation by more financial institutions with an emphasis on scale and digital access to
global trade markets with local financial and educational support.

Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, said “We continue to proudly support
GIFE as a founding partner. As the exclusive operational partner of SME Financial Empowerment
(SFE) programme, and the operational, technology & digital infrastructure provider for
implementation for GIFE, Proxtera continues to work with local ecosystem partners to grow the
usage of trusted credentials. We strongly believe the ambitious target set by our partners will
propel Ghanian MSMEs into the global digital cross-border trade and financial highways”

K Duker, Chief Executive Officer of DBG, said: “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. 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. SMEs are a key pillar
of Ghana’s economic resilience, prosperity, and international competition, so I’m optimistic that
our journey to unlock their potential will yield excellent results for our people and country.”

Dr Ernest K.Y. Addison, Governor of Bank of Ghana, said “This memorandum further
demonstrates BoG’s commitment as a central bank, to working with key stakeholders to explore
innovative financing models. 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.

Adding on to the comments, Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “MAS has
worked closely with Bank of Ghana since the announcement of the Financial Trust Corridor in
2020. The GIFE is an important step to foster closer collaboration between the two central banks
and important emerging markets. 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 on based on their needs.”

DBG boosts tourism industry with over GHS 200 million support

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), in partnership with Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Development Bank Ghana (DBG), and the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) have successfully organized GTA’s  5th Public-Private Partnership Forum. The Forum which was held in Koforidua brought together representatives from both the public and private sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry to collaborate, discuss and strategize on various aspects related to developing the industry. 

 

The Forum which was held under the theme ‘Financial Empowerment for Tourism and Hospitality Sector’, facilitated discussions on key barriers to financing within the Tourism and Hospitality sector and explored strategies to bridge funding gaps for SMEs in the sector through strategic public-private partnerships  

 

Manager of Digital Platforms at DBG, Nana Konadu Boateng, who was a guest speaker at the Forum, reiterated DBG’s catalytic role of driving social and economic transformation in the country. She added that DBG is driven by its mandate to provide the needed financial and technical support to the four focus sectors of agribusiness, manufacturing, ICT, and high-value services, which includes tourism.  

 

According to her, “as a key player in Ghana’s financial landscape, DBG is committed to driving impactful change and growth in the tourism sector. DBG has made significant strides in supporting the tourism industry, with a total investment of approximately GHS247 million so far. This investment underscores our dedication to fostering sustainable growth and development within the sector”. 

 

Nana Konadu Boateng also expressed the Bank’s firm belief in the power of partnerships as a tool for achieving sustainable economic development. “At DBG, we recognise the importance of collaboration and partnerships in driving positive change. We are committed to working closely with stakeholders, including the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), to create a conducive environment for growth and development in the tourism sector”, she said. 

 

Touching on the issue of partnerships, Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, mentioned that “most institutions do not have a special desk for tourism and hospitality players, although they have special people in charge of sectors such as roads and construction. It is therefore our hope that DBG and other financial institutions present will take a cue from these discussions and create ways to partner industry players to assist them in their operations.” 

 

Overall, the forum provided a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration towards achieving greater financial empowerment for the tourism and hospitality industries in Ghana. The insights and recommendations generated will inform future policy decisions and initiatives aimed at fostering a more robust and resilient tourism economy. 

 

 

DBG Sets Up Fund Of Funds to support venture capital and private equity firms

At the recently held Ghana Venture Capital Association (GVCA) Annual Conference 2024, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Mr. Michael Mensah-Baah, disclosed that DBG has established a fund of funds designed specifically to support Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms. Mr. Mensah-Baah who was delivering the keynote address at the conference intimated that the fund of funds serves as a critical tool in DBG’s strategy, which allows the Bank to channel investments into selected venture capital and private equity firms that demonstrate strong potential to drive sectoral growth. 

 

The GVCA Annual Conference is an innovative conference which provides a platform for a diverse range of stakeholders including Limited Partners, General Partners, Investment Banks, Pension Houses, Insurance Companies, Business Owners and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The 2024 edition sought to bring together industry experts to discuss and share ideas on the venture capital and private equity business landscape.  

 

In Ghana, Venture Capital and Private Equity firms have played a critical role in the transformation of the economy although there have been some ecosystem challenges. These include small ticket sizes, poor corporate governance culture, unwillingness of SME entrepreneurs to partner and share their boardrooms and control of their businesses as well as low exit track records. That notwithstanding, the important interventions of venture capital and private equity firms in injecting capital into budding enterprises, particularly SMEs, in a bid to transform ideas to real viable businesses cannot be underemphasized. 

 

According to Mr. Mensah-Baah, “support from Venture Capital and Private Equity often help businesses to improve their corporate governance, and it further leads to increased efficiency, enhanced competitiveness and enhanced Environmental, Social and Governance principles and practices. By injecting fresh capital and implementing best practices, they help Ghanaian businesses become more resilient, agile, and sustainable in the long run”. 

 

In his key note address, the Deputy CEO of DBG remarked on how the theme “Capital Convergence: Bridging Traditional and New Financing Landscapes” resonated with DBG’s mandate. He said “addressing the lack of long-term financing that drives the kinds of investment that will lead to sustainable growth, is a gap that must be addressed. That is why we in DBG share the importance of today’s deliberations”. 

 

As Ghana’s only development finance institution, DBG is mandated to accelerate an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation by fostering the growth of a competitive sector. The Bank achieves this by ensuring that sufficient long-term capital is allocated toward the productive sectors of the economy such as agribusiness, manufacturing, ICT, and high-value services. 

 

Mr. Mensah-Baah noted that in addition to the long-term capital, DBG has also established a fund of funds to provide Venture Capital and Private Equity firms with the necessary capital which will enable them to make substantial investments across diverse sectors such as technology, healthcare, and green energy, thereby amplifying their impact on Ghana’s economy. 

 

He added that “Through our shared goal of supporting the growth of local businesses, we hope to contribute to an economy where entrepreneurs can invest and build sustainable businesses that can take their products and services across West Africa and globally”.  

 

Mr. Mensah-Baah also used the opportunity to announce the upcoming 3i Africa Summit scheduled for May 13 to 15, 2024 in Accra. The summit, which is an initiative of DBG, Bank of Ghana and the Monetary Authority of Singapore will similarly bring together venture capital and private equity entities, impact investors, insurance companies, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, FinTech companies, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), policymakers and regulators to foster collaboration and innovation in driving sustainable economic growth. 

 

The Ghana Venture Capital and Private Equity Association is dedicated to assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in securing capital to enable them to grow, provide employment, and promote economic expansion. Their presence safeguards investors and investees, provide industry practitioners with a strong voice in lobbying and stakeholder engagement, encourage industry growth, lends legitimacy to its members, and increases the capability of industry players.