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Digital transformation, collaboration are drivers for businesses in Africa – Kwabena Boateng

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Kwabena Boateng, the Divisional Director, Corporate and Institutional Banking at Fidelity Bank Ghana, has emphasised the critical role of digital transformation and collaboration in shaping the future of banking and African business.

He was speaking at the Ishmael Yamson & Associates Business Roundtable 2024 on the theme: “African Businesses: Collaborating for Global Success.’

Mr Boateng in his speech, underscored the importance of leveraging technological advancements and strategic partnerships to drive growth and competitiveness.

Referencing Ghana , he highlighted the rapid digital transformation sweeping across Africa, fuelled by a growing population, increased mobile phone penetration, and significant internet user growth.

“Over the past decade, internet users in Ghana have grown from 5.3 million to approximately 24 million, indicating the deep integration of internet usage in society. The critical question now is how we utilize this data effectively to drive digital banking,” he stated.

Given the shift towards digital financial transactions, Mr Boateng noted that although about 40% of Ghanaians have bank accounts, many remain dormant.

However, over 60% use mobile money, reflecting the impact of internet connectivity on financial transactions.

“In the past year, 64% of Ghanaians initiated digital payments, signalling a significant shift from traditional banking to digitization. However, debit card usage remains low at around 18%, due to the prevalence of mobile money,” he added.

Kwabena Boateng emphasized the necessity of collaboration among African companies.

“No business can thrive in isolation, especially in a country where only 38% of people have bank accounts. To grow, we must consider the broader African market,” he stated.

He highlighted the success of Ghanaian company ZeePay, which recently acquired a 51% stake in a Zambian company, as an example of the importance of regional expansion and collaboration. ZeePay’s operations across 20 African countries and over $3 billion in facilitated transactions demonstrate the global potential of African companies.

Kwabena applauded the rise of African FinTech companies like M-Pesa, EcoCash, Flutterwave, Paystack, Leatherback, and Onafriq. These companies, along with Agritech solutions like Complete Farmer and Aerobotics, are revolutionizing financial services, cross-border payments, and agricultural productivity across the continent.

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