Private sector gets $2.6m remittance grant

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Ken_Ofori_AttaGhana, in collaboration with Switzerland, has launched a $2.6 million Remittance Grant Facility (RGF) to provide financial assistance to Ghanaian companies.

The facility is to support companies to develop affordable and accessible products and services that extend the scope of remittances to the rural areas and benefit Ghanaians in the Diaspora.

It also aims to fund projects that facilitate development of remittance-backed financial products such as deposits and savings accounts, insurance and forms of investment in order to increase financial inclusion.

The Government of Switzerland, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), whose development cooperation programme focuses on promoting Ghana’s inclusive and resilient economic development, is providing the $2.6 million for the pilot phase of the project.

Ghana is providing counterpart support through the Ministry of Finance.

Various market research studies on remittances are to be conducted to inform and shape successful implementation of the grant with the overall goal of enhancing the impact of transfer payments on economic growth and poverty reduction.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the facility, said the scheme is projected to address operational constraints associated with remittance flow channels into the country and encourage innovative product and service development.

He said the intervention would help deepen the scope of remittance flows countrywide and encourage the entry of new actors.

“It is also seen as a move that would increase the use of formal remittance service delivery channels and cut down cost,” the Finance Minister said.

Roland Fischer, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Switzerland, said, “While we at SECO consider it not the role of the Government or a development partner to directly establish remittance channels and provide services, the RGF aims at crowding in the private sector to come up with innovative solutions.”

Eligible organizations such as banks, non-financial institutions, money transfer operators, mobile network operators and other commercial entities that have the capability and are licensed would be given grants to develop products and services on remittances to meet the objectives of the scheme, he said.

By Cephas Larbi

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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