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Digital Innovations For Disability Inclusion In Financial Services

News

April 22, 2022, 12:51 a.m.

GmbH(GIZ) on behalf of the German government, and in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, have developed an initiative for the Inclusion of Disabled Persons in Financial Services.

The project dubbed “Digital Innovations for Disability Inclusion in Financial Services” was launched with a hackathon that allowed digital innovators to co-develop innovative digital solutions for the financial inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The innovators, some of whom are persons with living disabilities, received expert mentorship and coaching, business and technical support, access to potential investors, networking opportunities, plus extended post hackathon support to enable them to come up with innovative and brilliant solutions.

In all, nine innovators pitched their innovative ideas on the 6th of April 2022 at the Accra Digital Centre. These ideas cut across voice-enabled apps with AI technology to visually impaired ATM assistance tools.

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Speaking at the hackathon, the GIZ Financial Systems Development, Insurance Component Manager Angela Armah, said “GIZ, together with distinguished partners, is implementing this hackathon to provide a platform, that is designed to enable creators and innovators to connect with the financial sector, and to ensure inclusive, reliable and accessible homegrown solutions are designed with persons with disabilities and for persons with disabilities.”

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She also stated that she is very confident about the project as it “marks the beginning of the Fintech market designing solutions that are user friendly and bring comfort to persons with disabilities, while they interact with financial services.”

“We are pleased that this Hackathon has come at the right time to augment the government's initiative in providing digital Innovations for Disability Inclusion in the Financial Sector. The Ministry will ensure that policies developed under the Digital Financial Services (DFS) policy to complement the NFIDS are well-implemented”, Mr Benjamin Torsah-Klu, the Head of Financial Market and Innovation Unit, Ministry of Finance, highlighted in his opening address.

The Assistant Director, Fintech and Innovation, Bank of Ghana, Mr Clarence Blay, stated that “This hackathon ties in with Bank of Ghana’s objective in addressing financial inclusion challenges with innovative solutions, we envisage that the framework that we are pushing now in collaboration with stakeholders, and the entities that we regulate is going to provide an enabling environment for persons with disability to be accorded the respect and provided the service that they need”

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“It is worth noting that most financial institutions in the country have assistive technology or other resources to improve individuals' banking experience, staff must be well trained on the need to diversify these resources and incorporate them into the customer’s experience in order for the resources to benefit individuals with disabilities” noted Mr Mati Abotsi, representative of the Ghan Federation of Disability Organizations in his opening address.

“The Commission has prioritized accessibility and innovation in its long-term strategy since 2019. This is in line with the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, which requires regulatory institutions to facilitate market development through the inclusion of excluded segments of the population and low-income population, including PwDs. The Commission sees today’s initiative as a great milestone in line with the commission’s core values of promoting accessible insurance inclusion, as it seeks to bring innovators into the financial and insurance space. “ Mr Rashid Abdul-Rahman, the representative of the National Insurance Commission, explained.

Essentially, this project will initiate a truly inclusive financial ecosystem as it is in line with the government's objective under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, to create income, build assets, and manage the assets and risks which will enable citizens to be economically empowered, thereby alleviating poverty.

About GIZ

As a provider of international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work, GIZ is dedicated to building a future worth living around the world. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. We work with businesses, civil society actors, and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between development policy and other policy fields and areas of activity. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is our main commissioning party.

Currently, GIZ promotes sustainable development in Ghana via about 50 programmes and projects. Our activities currently cover three priority areas: Energy and Climate, with a concentration on renewable energy and energy efficiency; Training and Sustainable Growth for Decent Jobs, and Peaceful and Inclusive Societies, which looks at good governance. For more information, please visit www.giz.de/ghana

About Ghana Tech Lab

Ghana Tech Lab is an open, collaborative tech space for competent digital skills training, seeding innovations, growing startups, business support, and mentorship, established under Ghana's Ministry of Communications e-transform project and funded by the World Bank.

Through a collaborative effort, our work also supports the ambition, creativity, and skills of young people in Ghana under the Pathway to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) Project in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.

tag: financial inclusion, Fintech, Startup, Apps, Financial Services, GIZ, Innovation,

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