6th Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference

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6th Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference

Towards an Effective and Efficient Mobile Money Transactional Penetration in Africa; A Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement


A number of barriers persist at local, regional and international levels that affect formal and informal trade, the level of economic growth and regional integration attainable. In Africa, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) account for approximately 80 percent of the continent’s businesses but trading across borders is notably expensive and lengthy due to non- tariff and regulatory barriers. The informal cross-border trade in Africa, which represents 43 percent of the official GDP, lacks effective payment, regulatory and institutional frameworks to support cross border digital trade and fragmented regulatory frameworks continue to limit the potential to unlock the benefits of intra-African trade. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to accelerate intra-African trade, boost economic growth and strengthen economic integration among African countries. To enable the implementation of the AfCFTA, an evaluation of opportunities and bottlenecks for cross border digital payments in the region is fundamental. Cross Border Payments and Settlement serve as an essential step for economic recovery and inclusivity given the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and economies. Cross Border Payments and Settlement has expanded rapidly in recent years, facilitated by improvements in technology and the emergence of new digital products and business models. However, despite the growing importance of Cross Border Payments and Settlement, little is known about its nature and scale, raising questions over the ability of current data collection methods to keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of modern trade. The lack of a common conceptual definition and understanding of Cross Border Payments and Settlement have contributed in part to the lack of data. Lack of understanding about the scale and impacts of Cross Border Payments and Settlement poses major challenges for policy makers who need better evidence to understand the implications of Cross Border Payments and Settlement and develop appropriate policy responses.


The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference 2022 will entail among others an assessment on how Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa can be a catalyst to transform traditional offline payments to cross border digital payments and enable micro, small and medium sized enterprises to engage beyond the informal sector and domestic markets and participate in the formal sector and international markets.

The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference 2022 aims to provide an up-to-date understanding on the effectiveness and efficiency of digital payment vis-a-vis Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa; a Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement Issues. Understanding what Cross Border Payment & Settlement is and its scale is important, given its increasing prominence in the modern economy, and the complexity of the domain. Given that, the nature of Cross Border Payment & Settlement is very different to traditional payment systems; this also has implications for policy-makers and legislators to design regulation that sufficiently addresses the challenges associated with these forms of cross-border transactions. Related to this is the understanding that Cross Border Payment & Settlement presents an opportunity for economic growth in the modern-day economy. This supports governmental objectives of breaking down trade barriers and promoting competitiveness, as well as growing a strong, inclusive and innovative economy and facilitating efficient digital evolution. The gains associated with facilitating Cross Border Payment & Settlement through Mobile Money Penetration would contribute to national economic prosperity. Within this context, improvements in statistics to measure Cross Border Payment & Settlement provide the first step to effective policy making to encourage, and address the challenges of, Cross Border Payment & Settlement. The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference 2022, therefore, seeks to update the evidence base of what is currently available in terms of data on digital trade, and in doing so, identify potential options for estimating the value of Cross Border Payment & Settlement given the current data gaps.


From the financial sectors’ point of view, the development of a safe and efficient national payment system has relevance for monetary policy, financial stability and overall economic development interests. Central banks, therefore, monitor developments in the payment systems to assess their impact on the demand for money, monetary policy and financial system stability. In Africa and elsewhere, the central banks have been playing multifaceted roles like operators, owners, facilitators, regulators, overseers, users and service providers of their national payment systems. Through these roles, central banks have acquired expertise, skills and in-depth knowledge on the role of the payment mechanisms in the financial system and the economy. There is the need to make use of this expertise and share it with others in the region and elsewhere. A regional or continental payment initiative would be a vehicle, which would help to achieve this objective. Central banks can advise on payment related financial policy and act as effective catalysts, together with private sector organizations, in initiating, promoting and contributing to Cross Border Payment & Settlement reforms. The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference 2022 would focus on the role the financial institutions in Africa have the ability to play the leadership or catalyst role by providing policy directions, preparing roadmaps in consultation with stakeholders and guiding national and regional Cross Border Payment & Settlement System reforms and taking the responsibility to develop a common payment policy framework acceptable to all countries in the region.


The primary objectives of the conference are to:

Create a knowledge forum for the African policy makers to discuss challenges faced in regulation of Cross Border Payment & Settlement System;

Share experiences on the financial integration brought about by the existing Mobile Money Penetration;

Explore ways of facilitating financial integration by facilitating Mobile Money Penetration flows, however not at the expense of regional and national financial stability and integrity.


Key outputs will comprise:

The sharing of information on financial integration through cross-border payments and settlement systems and related regulatory issues among African policy makers, regulators, mobile money service providers, commercial banks and other related stakeholders;

Improved knowledge about challenges and opportunities for supporting cross-border payments and settlement systems in Africa;

Increased awareness among participants regarding the importance of the sound regulation for cross-border payments and settlement systems and regional financial integration;

Agreed consensus on a strategic approach of financial institution in supporting regional mobile money payments regulation in African Economic Communities and their member states;

A report of the conference proceedings and recommendations for consideration by appropriate institutions, organs and strategic partners.


The conference will bring together key stakeholders from African countries, regional economic communities, regional central banks, specialized regional institutions, including representatives of central banks, national telecom authorities, selected participants from the private sector (banks, mobile money service providers, telecom operators, platform operators and micro financial institutions), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), as well as bilateral and multilateral organizations representatives.


The conference will discuss national and regional trends in digital payment platforms development with a focus on opportunities for financial integration, and challenges for sound regulation. Discussion will take the form of presentations and panel discussions to facilitate effective participation and learning from each other. Participants will be at liberty to make interventions on issues raised by presenters and discussants. The working language for the workshop will be English, however, with a simultaneous interpretation into French and vice versa.


The conference will last two days, with a focus on a number of topics of significance such as:

Day One: First Panel

Topic: Towards an Effective and Efficient Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa; A Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement, an Anticipated-Barrier within the AfCFTA;- The Role of Financial Regulators and Stakeholders.

Expected Panelists

Central Banks

Top Official from Swift

Top Official from VISA

Top Official from Mastercard

Second Panel

Topic: Citing the case of Mowali and the Pan African and Settlement System;- Is the elimination of Cross Border Payment Barrier a reality or far from ending?

Expected Panelists

Chief Executive Officer; Mowali

Director General of WAMI

Top Official from African Development Bank

Day Two

Topic: Measuring the Acceptability and Adaptation Level of the AfCFTA on the African Continent a Year after Implementation of the 1st Phase;- Where do we stand in terms of Trade in Goods, Trade in Service and Dispute Resolution Protocols

Expected Panelists

Chief Trade Negotiators from four (4) Countries

May 23 2022


Start: May 23 @ 9:00 am
End: May 24 @ 4:00 pm
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east legon, Accra, Greater Accra Region
Accra, GH

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