The Central Bank of Ghana (BoG) has once again won praise from other countries for its innovative strategy, as seen by the speed with which it quickly implemented a regulatory sandbox for start-ups.
Miishe Addy, Co-founder and CEO of the e-logistics start-up Jetstream, spoke on a panel during the Africa CEO Forum (ACF) Annual Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She applauded the BoG for taking the initiative to introduce the sandbox and cited it as a crucial tool for fostering innovation.
“One of the tools needed to push innovation and harness emerging technology is a regulatory and innovation sandbox, and the Bank of Ghana has shown immense ambition in this regard.”Miishe Addy
Following a successful pilot, the BoG launched its Regulatory and Innovation Sandbox on August 19, 2022, aiming to create a favourable regulatory environment for innovation and financial inclusion, by providing a controlled environment for testing innovative financial products and business models under regulatory supervision.
The regulatory sandbox was opened to the first cohort of participants from February 13, 2023 to March 14, 2023. Eligible participants included various financial institutions and fintech start-ups.
According to Mrs. Addy, as Ghana and the rest of the continent continue to position themselves as a hub for technology and innovation, fostering a supportive ecosystem for tech talent and expanding access will be vital steps in achieving its ambitious goals.
Ghana Urged To Create A Continual Flow Of Tech Talent To Foster Innovation, Propel Economic Development
The Jetstream chief also emphasized on how crucial it is for Ghana to build a steady stream of tech talent in order to promote innovation and spur economic progress. Miishe Addy compared it to the dynamic partnership between Silicon Valley, home to tech giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, and Linkedin, and Stanford University in the United States.
According to government data, the top five tech companies’ market capitalization at the tech Mecca currently exceeds US$6 trillion, and their GDP in 2019 was US$275 billion.
Ms. Addy, whose business raised US$13 million in equity and debt pre-Series A financing earlier this year, emphasized the importance of infrastructure growth and educational policy in fostering Ghana’s expanding technology sector.
She emphasized that the nation is home to a number of recently founded colleges, including Ashesi and Academic City, both of which are under 20 years old. However, she said that these colleges encountered substantial difficulties in acquiring accreditation.
To meet the requirements, Mrs. Addy disclosed that they had to affiliate with existing universities – resulting in delays when introducing critical courses such as artificial intelligence (AI). This delay meant that many students who graduated during this period missed out on the opportunity to study AI, a crucial field for future entrepreneurship and job opportunities.
“One of our engineers came from one of these universities, and he told me that it took them four years to get an artificial intelligence course approved.”Miishe Addy
The start-up founder addressed the issue by highlighting the significance of educational policies that encourage innovation and give students the tools they need for future success.
“By introducing courses in emerging technologies like AI, blockchain and data science, educational institutions can ensure that graduates are well-prepared for demands of the evolving job market.
“Encouraging and empowering young students to pursue these fields will help create a pool of talented individuals who can drive Ghana’s technological advancement and contribute to the growth of local companies.”Miishe Addy
Despite the fact that today’s world is increasingly digital, a sizeable section of the population still lacks access to affordable and dependable Internet service.