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HomeTech NewsVIDEO: BoG is asked to appoint Head of Innovation and Fintech as...

VIDEO: BoG is asked to appoint Head of Innovation and Fintech as Third Governor

Ethel Cofie, the founder and CEO of Edel Technology Consulting, has urged the Bank of Ghana to elevate Kwame Oppong, the Head of Fintech and Innovation, to the rank of Third Governor in order to elevate fintech regulation to the highest echelon of the central bank.

She made the call at the conclusion of the 3i Africa Summit, during a panel discussion at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) conference.

Kwame Oppong has experience in the commercial side of the fintech industry, which puts him in a better position to advocate for the sector at the board level, according to Ethel Cofie, than the many lifelong regulators who have none or very little experience in it.

According to Ethel Cofie, Kwame’s current status prevents him from having a seat in the central bank’s boardroom, which is not ideal for a nation seeking economic progress based mostly on digital banking.

The main issue, she noted, with African regulators is “what I call life-long regulators,” who lack commercial experience. As a result, conversations with them tend to be a little more startling than with those who have a commercial background but have transitioned into regulation.

She mentioned Richard Okyere-Fosu, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), as an excellent example of a regulator with a strong business background. Okyere-Fosu was the Group Head of IT at Databank before to joining NITA.

In fact, NITA has given assurances to industry participants under Richard’s leadership that it will not be a profit-driven regulator but rather one that fosters the growth of the sector at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer.

Ethel Cofie contended that dealing with lifelong regulators who lack a commercial background is more upsetting than interfacing with individuals like Richard and Kwame, who have worked in the technology and fintech sectors on the commercial side.

“It’s very hard to have conversations with lifelong regulators; in order to move the industry forward, we need people who understand both sides well,” the speaker stated. “I believe that hiring individuals from the commercial side at a high level on the regulatory side requires a concentrated effort on the part of the regulatory side.”

Though Ethel Cofie believes Kwame Oppong is doing an excellent job as the Bank of Ghana’s Head of Fintech and Innovation, she believes that in order to place fintech regulation at the forefront, it is necessary to promote Oppong to the rank of third deputy governor, give him a raise and give him a seat in the boardroom.

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