Bridging gaps in Ghana’s financial Inclusion.

Jennifer Ambolley

Traditional fundraising methods often involve cumbersome processes, including designing and posting flyers, manual tracking of funds, and a lack of transparency in the donation journey. This discourages potential donors and hinders the effectiveness of campaigns.

Nokofio Platforms Limited, a local fundraising initiative leveraging on innovation is simplifying the donation process and promoting financial inclusion in Ghana. Locally, it’s a symbol of empowerment, fostering transparency and eliminating barriers to giving.

“The inspiration for Nokofio Platforms Limited arose from witnessing friends struggle with traditional fundraising methods. Designing and posting flyers daily, coupled with the challenges of manual tracking and lack of donor awareness, led to the realization that there had to be a simpler way”, says Micheal Ofori, co-founder of Nokofio Platforms Limited based in Accra,  Ghana.

Nokofio which came second in the just ended eCedi hackaton organised by the Bank of Ghana provides a platform for developers, innovators, and blockchain enthusiasts to showcase their creativity by exploring the many possibilities of CBDC technology and contributes to the future of Ghana’s digital financial ecosystem.

It has over 5000 users across the country which includes churches, institutions and people in the country so far and have a revenue over $5000 since its establishment. In Ghana, financial inclusion is one of the key issues in recent years as the country seeks to promote economic growth and development.

However, fintech solutions are now gaining traction in Ghana. With an estimated global philanthropy market expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2027, there is growing recognition that technology can play a pivotal role in revolutionizing the way individuals and organizations give back to society. 

The increasing role of technology has opened up unprecedented opportunities for fostering more efficient, transparent and impactful philanthropic endeavors across the globe.

Mr. Ofori in an interview with this reporter said their primary focus is to address the barriers to giving and promote financial inclusion in Ghana through innovative solutions.

 “Nokofio simplifies the donation process by providing a user-friendly platform that allows individuals to contribute easily and securely and by leveraging technology we eliminate the complexity associated with traditional fundraising methods, making it more accessible for everyone to participate,” he said.

On how the platform is promoting financial inclusion, he explained that it provides multiple payment options, including mobile money and digital wallets, which are widely used and accessible across different socioeconomic groups in Ghana.

Ofori added that Nokofio actively engages with local communities and organizations to identify specific needs and areas where financial support is required and strongly believes that “by collaborating with stakeholders on the ground, we can tailor fundraising campaigns to address specific challenges and promote sustainable development in Ghana.”

“With our USSD integration, anyone can donate and make an impact, regardless of the type of phone they use. Unlike the traditional system, which involves sharing flyers on social media and going through a cumbersome process of sending money, Nokofio simplifies the process. Users can donate and track the progress of their donations in real-time through a simple link,” Ofori stated.

The platform, the co-founder disclosed has many users comprising of churches, organizations, students and various individuals across Ghana. He cited the example of a woman that used the Nokofio platform to raise funds for a community project aimed at providing clean water access to a rural village in the Northern Region of Ghana. Through a well-organized fundraising campaign on Nokofio, they were able to reach out to supporters both locally and internationally.

“Currently, we are collaborating with the Student Representative Council (SRC) of Koforidua Technical University to raise funds aimed at assisting academically gifted yet financially disadvantaged students. Additionally, we are supporting their Food Bank initiatives, which aim to provide essential sustenance to students in need. Furthermore, our platform is partnering with Miss Agriculture Ghana to gather funds dedicated to supporting young women pursuing careers in agriculture.”

According Ghana’s Bank of Ghana, the information and communication technology space is changing rapidly and impacting every segment of global activities. Each year welcomes a new digital technology solution that tends to revolutionise our way of life.

“A case in point is ChatGPT which has taken 2 AI to new heights with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. Despite the dizzying speed of such innovations, it is a force for good and a key determinant of our development trajectory. Therefore, our ability to appreciate, adopt, and adapt to technology will help position the financial services industry to drive national development efforts,”the bank stated.

These interventions, Ofori explained have fostered financial inclusion in the country, evidenced by the improvement in financial access from 41% in 2014 to 68% in 2021, according to the Global Findex Report of the World Bank. This statistics also demonstrates the potential of technology in facilitating financial development and improving inclusive economic development, societal welfare, as well as poverty reduction.

Madam Rosina, a philanthropist who used the Nokofio to setup a fundraising campaign shared with this reporter that she was motivated to use the company because of its innovative approach to simplifying the donation process unlike the traditional methods which were often cumbersome and time-consuming, requiring a lot of manual effort.

Through using Nokofio Platforms Limited for fundraising, she said she achieved significant outcomes and successes. “For example, I have been able to reach my fundraising goals more efficiently and effectively than with traditional methods. The platform’s user-friendly interface and real-time tracking capabilities have helped increase donor engagement, resulting in higher levels of participation and support for my campaigns.”

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