Scaling up Interoperability using Mobile Money to boost Intra-African Trade –Gabby Otchere-Darko

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli
Business & Finance Gabby Otchere-Darko
Gabby Otchere-Darko

The Africa Prosperity Network (APN), inspired by Ghana's pioneering role in mobile money interoperability, is set to host the International Symposium on Scaling Up Interoperability:

Using Mobile Money to Buy and Sell Across Africa. Scheduled for July 5th, 2024, at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana, this flagship event will feature presentations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities aimed at advancing mobile money interoperability across the continent.

The symposium, organized in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and under the patronage of the President of Ghana, seeks to enhance intra-African trade and financial inclusion through improved mobile money systems.

At a press briefing in Accra, the Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network, Mr. Gabby Otchere-Darko, emphasized the importance of mobile interoperability, including cross-border mobile roaming and mobile money exchange, for creating an interconnected African economy. He highlighted that integrating Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) could connect telecom companies with commercial and central banks, thereby boosting liquidity and currency stability.

"In 2022, mobile money transactions in Africa reached $1.26 trillion, showcasing the significant economic impact of digital currencies," said Mr. Otchere-Darko.

He continued, "However, Africa's digital and financial services remain fragmented, with limited interoperability among mobile operators and financial institutions. Cooperation among key stakeholders—mobile network operators, financial institutions, regulatory bodies, trade associations, and governments—is essential to overcoming these barriers and achieving economic integration."

Mr. Gayheart Mensah, a Communication Consultant at APN, echoed this sentiment, stressing that interoperable digital payment systems could unlock Africa's economic potential and enhance its global standing. He reiterated APN's vision of a digitally and economically integrated Africa, where seamless interaction between financial and telecommunications platforms would foster intra-African trade, market access, and prosperity for the continent's people.

"Prosperity for Africa and its people hinges on economic integration, value chain alignment, and increased intra-African trade," said Mr. Mensah. "SMEs, which drive 90% of trade within Africa, stand to benefit immensely from interoperability, enabling them to move goods and services across borders more efficiently."

Dr. Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, also emphasized the critical role of integrating mobile money systems for African business development. He noted that integrating these systems would mitigate the challenges faced during financial transactions within the continent, using mobile money as a powerful tool.

The symposium represents a significant step toward realizing APN's vision of a prosperous, interconnected Africa.

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024