Parliament approves €7million loan
A loan agreement between government and KfW of Germany, for Seven million Euros for the implementation of the e-Zwich rural branchless banking, which will benefit seven million people, including three million rural inhabitants by 2015, has been passed by Parliament.
The facility is for the establishment of a Revolving Credit Fund from which loans will be provided to financial institutions on rotating basis to enable them acquire e-Zwich infrastructure for the implementation of e-Zwich Rural branchless banking project.
Hon. Seth Terkper, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, moved the motion for the approval of the agreement, in Accra and was seconded by Mr. James Avedzi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance.
The project to be financed from the loan consist of, the investment cost of e-zwich Infrastructure including Point of Sale Devices, Merchant Cards, Customer Cards and Automated Teller Machines mainly in rural areas.
The rural sector targeted for the project are cocoa, fruit processing, fish farming, and palm oil extraction, to help enroll more people onto the e-zwich in groups.
Mr. Avedzi presented the report on the loan agreement and said the committee observed that the facility will help rural dwellers, especially traders, to do away with travelling with large sums of cash.
He further explained that the e-zwich technology which came into operation in April 2008, permits offline transactions and finger recognitions making it highly suitable for rural areas and for the less educated people.
Mr. Avedzi said the strategy is to deploy the product in rural areas through the network of agents and merchants, with the aim of making financial services available to all persons in the country.