Patricia Obo-Nai, the CEO of Telecel Ghana, has called on African governments, telecommunications companies, and financial service providers to remove obstacles that are impeding progress towards a cash-lite society and improved cross-border transactions.
Speaking at the Africa Prosperity Dialogue 2024 in Aburi's Peduase Presidential Lodge, Ing. Patricia Obo-Nai emphasised that joint ownership is required among regulatory bodies in Africa, telcos, banks and fintechs to make cross border mobile wallet interoperability a reality. Her appeal resonated with the conversations that took place at the two-day summit, which focused on "Developing Prosperity in Africa: Producing, Adding Value, and Trading," and aimed at addressing ongoing trade obstacles in the African market.
“This prompts us to delve deeper into the realm of financial technology solutions, a consideration we have actively explored at Telecel. Our objective is to mitigate fees and costs for our consumers, as we navigate through this economic landscape, fostering greater financial inclusion and accessibility for a broader segment of the population”. She added.
In a powerful narrative, Patricia shared the story of a 'Kayayei' from another African nation working in Ghana, highlighting challenges in cross-border remittance and cumbersome cash transactions. She stressed the need to extend mobile money benefits globally, commending Ghana's progress in mobile finance.
Patricia also addressed data security and privacy concerns, urging regulatory prioritization. Recognizing mobile operators' advancements, she emphasized the necessity of universally accepted frameworks, collaborating to tackle issues like interoperability and cybersecurity for seamless cross-border transactions.
At the closing dinner of the event, which was sponsored by Telcel Group, the current majority shareholders of Ghana Telecommunication Company Limited (GTCL), Mr. Nicolas Bourg, the Group Chairman of Telecel, passionately highlighted Telecel's pivotal role as the emerging leader in Ghana's telecom industry. Emphasizing the company’s unwavering confidence in the country's appeal to foreign investors, Mr. Bourg underscored the significance of Telecel's recent acquisition, securing a commanding 70% equity stake. This strategic move is poised to catalyse transformative benefits for Ghana's telecom landscape, positioning Telecel as a formidable contender in the competitive arena.
Recognizing the substantial investment required to revitalize operations, Mr. Bourg expressed optimism that this infusion of resources would not only rejuvenate the telecom sector but also stimulate economic growth. The commitment to injecting capital into essential infrastructure reflects Telecel's dedication to creating a robust platform for mobile users across Africa.
“Our vision extends beyond traditional boundaries, aiming to foster seamless interaction, facilitate unrestricted trade, and enable frictionless exchange of money and services across the continent through our innovative cash-lite approach. With this multifaceted strategy, Telecel is poised to contribute significantly to the development and prosperity of both the telecom industry and the broader Ghanaian economy and beyond” he said.
The Africa Prosperity Dialogue brought together heads of states, industry leaders, civil society representatives, and academia with a common aim: to convert the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) into practical strategies. It also included conversations on creating a unified African market by removing historical trade impediments hindering the continent’s economic progress.