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Connecting Africa Podcast: S2 Ep. 3 – Building fintech in Ghana

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In the last Connecting Africa Podcast for 2022 the team takes a deep dive into Ghana's fintech ecosystem, asking BezoMoney co-founder and CEO Mubarak Sumaila for his take on the mobile financial services sector in Ghana and how it differs from its counterparts in other countries in Africa.

Sumalia started BezoMoney to help unbanked and underbanked Ghanaians, especially young people, gain access to financial systems. He gives an honest account of how hard it can be to build a fintech startup in Africa.

We talk about the ways that people do or don't access the financial market and why Africa's banking history has left so many people unbanked to this day.

"I didn't understand why the banks were not building something for people that are unbanked like my mom, based on what they were already used to – which was a group saving scheme," he told the podcast.

The team delves into the different kinds of group savings programs that are used in different African countries for communities to save money and how tech innovations can do a better job.

"Ghana has a culture of saving," he said, but for the most part it's done through the informal sector. In fact, about $150 million is saved on a monthly basis in Ghana via group programs called 'Susu' locally, he explained.

We also discuss how pervasively mobile money has impacted Ghana's financial sector and how the strength of some mobile operators in the space is actually making it harder for fintech startups to flourish. That led to a conversation about how to grow more financial services products for mobile users and designing offerings the move beyond just peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.

Another discussion was around how expensive it is to get licenses as a fintech startup and how onerous regulation is putting up barriers for startups trying to innovate and disrupt the market.

More to come

Season two of the podcast continues in 2023, and we will be interviewing more startup founders and interesting personalities in Africa's tech ecosystem. So, watch for more episodes coming soon.

If you want to catch up on all the previous episodes from both season one and two, you can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts or find other podcast platform options on our main page on Anchor.

You can also find the podcast hosts online here:

Paula Gilbert (@paulajgilbert)

Tobi Lafinhan (@TobiLafinhan)

Matshepo Sehloho (@tsokamatshepo)

Related posts:

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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