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 Akufo-Addo rehashes Bawumia’s false claim on Ghana’s financial inclusion rankings

Claim: A few days after DUBAWA rated a false claim by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, President Nana Akufo-Addo repeated that Ghana is ranked No.1 in Africa in Financial Inclusion.

Verdict: False. Principal Financial Group and the World Bank data indicate that Kenya, not Ghana, is ranked No.1 in Africa in 2022 and 2023 in the Global Financial Inclusion Index.

Full Text

The President of Ghana, acting on the provisions of law, particularly Article 67 of the Constitution, addressed parliament yesterday, Feb 27, 2024. He presented his last State of the Nation Address.

The address focused on significant sectors: security, education, governance, agriculture, economy, and energy.

The president mentioned that Ghana has been ranked first in Africa regarding financial inclusion. He was referring to the government’s strides in digitalisation and mobile operability. 

He said, “Furthermore, through the implementation of mobile money interoperability, we have also provided access to financial services to adult Ghanaians through mobile money accounts that are interoperable with bank accounts. Ghana is now ranked number one in Africa regarding access to financial inclusion. We have digitalised the provision of public services at the ports, DVLA, NHIS, GRA, Births and Deaths, Registrar of Companies, ECG, and Ghana Water, amongst others.”

Watch the president’s message here. You can also read it here on Afenya Media. (Page 11 has the president’s claim).

His vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, made a similar claim when he presented his vision as a presidential candidate for the 2024 general elections. 

He said: “We basically solved the problem of financial exclusion in Ghana. The State of Inclusive Instant Payment Report has ranked Ghana as number one in Africa regarding access to financial inclusion!” 

As Ghana heads to the polls in December, much attention is placed on utterances from politicians. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is building its campaign on what it calls a 24-hour economy, while the New Patriotic Party’s candidate is seeking to convince Ghanaians with the agenda for Digitization. As such, it is important to probe claims that tend to influence people’s choices during the elections.

Verification

According to the World Bank, financial inclusion means individuals and businesses can access valuable and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – delivered responsibly and sustainably.

The Principal Financial Group is the body that surveys and reports the Global Financial Inclusion Index. Its principles and criteria are accepted, and many other organisations, such as the World Bank and government agencies, publish results. They are the authority in that regard. It ranks 42 markets on three pillars of financial inclusion. These include government support, financial system support, and employer support.

Data presented by Principal shows that in 2023, Kenya led Africa in Financial Inclusion, falling to the 32nd  position in the world ranking. South Africa and Nigeria came second and third, taking 36th and 40th positions in world rankings, respectively. Ghana made the 4th position in Africa and 41st in the world ranking, with a score of 24.8.

For 2022, Kenya still led Africa. It garnered a score of 40.10, ranking 31st globally. The rest follows just like in 2023, with South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana following. Again, Ghana came 4th in Africa and 41st in the world with a score of 22.20.

Below is the table showing all 42 markets (countries) and their ranks and scores in 2022 and 2023, as published by Principal.

One thing noteworthy is an improved performance score from 22.20 in 2022 to 24.8 in 2023.

The data can be read and downloaded from the Principal website and World Bank.

Conclusion

According to data from Principal Financial Group, the company that surveys and ranks nations in the Global Financial Inclusion Index, the president’s claim that Ghana is ranked number one in Africa regarding access to financial inclusion is false. Kenya has been number one for two years (2022 and 2023), whereas Ghana has been ranked number four in the past two years. 

This report was produced under the DUBAWA’s Non-Urban Journalists Mentorship project to promote a culture of truth and verification in non-urban newsrooms in Ghana with support from the US Embassy in Ghana.

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