The maiden Ghana-Israel Fintech Summit, held June 1-2, successfully brought together the Ghanaian and Israel Fintech ecosystems with the aim of leveraging their shared expertise to drive innovation in financial service delivery, increase growth, and further financial inclusion.
Under the theme, “Innovations in financial services delivery” the 2-day summit held in Accra brought together Ghanaian Fintech and financial service CEOs, c-level executives, technical leadership, and Israeli fintech ecosystem delegates, to share knowledge, network, and explore collaborative opportunities for further innovation and growth.
The event was led by the Israel Trade and Economic Mission to Ghana in close partnership with Zeepay and IT Consortium, and with the support of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association.
Speaking at the event were dignitaries including H.E. Shlomit Sufa – Israel’s Ambassador to Ghana, Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu – Senior Advisor, Vice President’s Secretariat, Office of the President, R. Yofi Grant – CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and Mr. Kwame Oppong – Head of Fintech and Innovation at Bank of Ghana.
Ms. Shlomit Sufa, Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, said her country would help Ghana’s efforts in further positioning the fintech sector as an engine of inclusive growth.
She indicated that connecting Ghana to Israel’s innovation ecosystem, be it in agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, or development was very high on the agenda of Israel-Ghana relations and has much potential for mutual economic and development benefits.
“I am excited that we have gathered here this morning to have a conversation on ‘Innovations in financial services delivery,’ in the fintech industry in Ghana and position the sector as an engine for inclusive growth and development for all,” she said. The Fintech sector in Israel continues to thrive, accounting for over 11 percent of GDP – more than that of any other OECD country – and backed by robust governmental investment in research and development,” Ms. Sufa emphasized
Mr. Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said collaboration between the two countries would help increase access to financial services and spur financial inclusiveness, particularly in Ghana
He further talked about the government’s push for a digital transformation, and the need to leverage the vast opportunities in technology, development, and innovation between the two countries.
He said the Government through the Bank had, therefore, instituted several measures to ensure a continued enabling environment for the growth and development of fintech startups in the country.
The collaboration between Ghana and Israel comes at a time that the Ghana fintech sector is evolving rapidly, allowing many to make payments, crowdsource, and manage financial assets from their mobile phones.
This is being made possible through a high mobile connection rate, which stood at 130 percent in 2020, and a growing internet penetration of 48 percent.
The Central Bank estimated the value of mobile money transactions from January to April 2022 to be about 4.5 times that of cheque transactions, surpassing cheque transactions by about GHS232 billion. Ghana is considered to be one of the top 3 countries in the world for mobile money usage, and is developing into a regional fintech and payments hub.
At the same time, Israel’s Fintech sector is a global leader of utmost importance. In Findexable’s 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, Israel ranked in the top three countries for fintech, behind only the US and UK. Tel Aviv was no less impressive, ranking fifth in the fintech hub rankings. Amongst the cutting-edge fintech offerings coming out of Israel are solutions for payments, back-office operations, anti-fraud, insurtech, personal finance, lending and financing, trading and investing, international money transfer and currency exchange; personal finance management; lending and financing; anti-fraud, risk and compliance; enterprise solutions; payments; and trading and investing.
Ghana’s fintech sector still battles increasing fraudulent activities and cybercrimes. There is also the issue of high-interest rates, and credit scoring remains a challenge. With Israel being a global leader in innovation and fintech, and Ghana being a leader in mobile wallet usage as well as a regional fintech hub; collaboration between Israeli and Ghanaian fintech holds much potential for further innovation, and scale-up, creative solutions, and broader market reach.
The summit proved to be very successful in providing just the right platform to discuss the issues facing the fintech industry, including anti-fraud, risk and compliance, lending and financing technologies, and trading and investment technologies.
Beyond the speakers, 3 different panels were held addressing topics such as; Managing Cyber risks and fraud, Harnessing technology to enable access to lending and insurance for financial Inclusion, and about blockchain technologies reshaping trading and investing.
An exhibition took place giving the opportunity for Ghanaian and Israeli companies to showcase their solutions. Many scheduled B2B meetings were held, keeping the 3 meeting rooms busy throughout the 2 conference days, as potential collaborations and partnerships were explored and cemented.
Knowledge was shared through 8 different workshops on a variety of topics such as …….. . The workshops provided a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning of best practices, further networking, and discussion of various challenges and potential applications of solutions.
On both days a business lunch was served, providing a further opportunity for deepened relationships and fruitful discussions.
Particpants walked away deeply supportive of the goals of the summit and walked away impressed and highly satisfied with the 2-day event.
“We are significantly appreciative of the successful collaborations we made during the summit”, said one of the exhibiting Ghanaian companies. “The 2 days Ghana-Israel Fintech Summit which took place last week, gave us some great insights into the Fintech space and the opportunities to leverage. Indeed the Fintech ecosystem is a great pillar driving the future of financial inclusion of the unbanked/underbanked in our economies”, said a senior team leader from one of Ghana’s leading payment companies.
Another Executive raved about the benefits already being reaped. “Very happy to have been a part of this summit. It’s amazing how when you bring the right people together, new ideas and partnerships can materialize from just a 10-minute conversation with another organization with a different product. A Big thanks to the Israel Trade and Economic Mission and all the organizers.”
We believe that together, through collaborative efforts, Israeli and Ghanaian Fintechs can magnify their impact, inclusiveness, and market reach.
So let’s keep the conversation ongoing. The lead organizer of the summit, Maame Yaa Amoah, head of Fintech and Cyber at the Israel Trade and Economic Mission, is here to facilitate further meetings and collaborations.
Can’t wait to see you at #GIFS2023!
For more information visit www.gifsummit.com.