Ghana recorded a low financial inclusion (adult population 15 years and above with a transaction account) figure of 21% in 2011, 41% in 2014, and 58% in 2017 per the Global Findex Database (2011, 2014, 2017). Over the years, Ghana has continued to expand financial services to its people between 2011 and 2017. Currently, digital financial services (MOMO specifically) are the driver of new transaction accounts.
The least progress will be comparing financial inclusion within Gender in the country and within Gender globally. Within Gender in the country, financial inclusion for female adults of 15 years and above was 27%, 39 %, 54% in 2011, 2014, and 2017 respectively, whiles those for males was 32%, 42%, and 62% in 2011, 2014 and 2017 respectively. Whiles Males have seen a 30% increase in access to financial services (new transaction account) between 2011 and 2017. On the other hand, females have recorded a 27% increase in the share of new account openings. Therefore, 3% more Males than Females had been brought onto Ghana's formal financial system as financial inclusion expands.
On the whole, however, as of 2017, the gender gap between Males (62% of adult Males have a transaction account) and Females (54% of adult Females have a transaction account), implying that the gender gap to access to financial services in its basic form is 8% in favor of Males.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the average number of females and males adults with access to financial services is 37% and 48%, so one will say Ghana is doing better when compared to the average in the region for both males and females. However, compared to a global average of financial inclusion for Males and Females being 65% and 72 respectively, Ghana is lagging for both Males and Females access. Interestingly as at the last survey in 2017, whether in Ghana (54% vs. 62%- Gender Gap of 8% in favor of Males), Sub-Saharan Africa ( 37% vs. 48%- A gender gap of 11% in favor of Males), or Globally (65% vs. 72% - A gender gap of 7% in favor of Males), it is evident that Female adults have less access to financial services than their Male counterparts generally.
Inclusive financial economies will require policies that address the need to expand financial services to all (Financial inclusion) and do so in a manner that recognizes the inequalities in opportunities affecting Gender and addressing them. I believe strongly and Ghana is up to the task.
Mark Yama Tampuri Jnr| Ph.D. Management Science and Engineering
The Writer is a Digital Financial Services Professional interested in Economic Management Policy and Management, International development, and Local Governance issues. Contact on [email protected]