The Design Thinking Ghana Conference (DTGC) is Africa’s premier Design Thinking conference. The goal of the conference is to bring attention to Design Thinking as a strategic problem solving and innovation process or tool, provide a platform for presentations on the application of this methodology in industry and point the audience to ways in which they can be more successful if they apply the insights and knowledge from the conference.
This year, DTGC2019 partnered with Financial Inclusion Forum Africa (FIF) to organize a conference with the theme: Financial Inclusion and 5G. The event took place on 8th June.
Purpose of the DTGC2019 on Financial inclusion
According to the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), the future of finance is brightest when it provides valuable services to the broadest swath of society and the economy.
In Ghana, only 30% of the population is banked (World Bank/IMF) but a large percentage of the population participates in financial tools such as mobile money. Mobile money transactions have increased by about 177 percent between 2013 and March 2018, mobile money accounts had increased from 8.20 to 25.3 million, according to the BoG Governor (May 2018). Hence, moving individuals into the financial mainstream is not simply an aspirational goal, it’s an attainable goal.
As a result, this year, DTGC2019 focused on bridging the gap in the financial inclusion space by integrating finance-related transactions /interactions.
Speakers For The Event
The event for the conference had notable speakers including:
- Paul Damalie – CEO & Founder, Inclusive Innovations
- Kwame Oppong – Digital Financial Services (DFS) Consultant with CGAP
- Libby McDonald – Inclusive Economies Specialist
- Elly Ohene-Adu – Digital Financial Services specialist
- David Hutchful – Co-Founder & CTO Bloom Impact
- Dr. Gordon Adomdza – Associate Professor of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship at the Business Administration Department, Ashesi University
- Patrick Quantson – Head of Digital Transformation at Stanbic Bank
- Meghan McCormick – Co-Founder & CEO, OZE
- Justice Sagoe Head of Department, Micro and Small Enterprise Lending of Afb Ghana Limited
- Vivian Ekua Afoom – Business Development Manager at Emergent Payments Africa
- Yaa Prince-Boateng – COO Kudigo
There were 2 days design sprints on the last two Fridays in May i.e. 24th and 31st May 2019. The design sprint participants were taken from stakeholder institutions in the financial inclusion space and put together into teams for the sprints.
The design sprints had teams of 5 or 6 each from organizations in the Financial Inclusion Forum group (telcos, processors, fintechs, MFIs, regulators, etc), to work on common areas of interest along the inclusion to 5G spectrum (e.g. user behavior around topic X: ID verification, payments, credit, claims etc).
These projects had the teams work all day (the sprints) on the last 2 Fridays (24th & 31st) in May 2019 to develop prototypes of new concepts to be presented at the conference on June 8th, 2019.
The sprints were day-long workshops that explored innovative solutions for users needing financial inclusion, on one end of the spectrum, to users with access to the latest technology (symbolized by 5G), on the other end of the spectrum. The day-long sprints aimed at developing financial inclusion concepts along the noted spectrum in various areas of insurance, savings, pensions, payments, remittances, banking, mobile money, etc. Initial concepts from the first Friday was tested with potential users throughout the week and refined in the sprint session on the second Friday.
The results were presented at DTGC2019 on 8th June 2019.
Main Conference- Design Thinking Ghana Conference 2019
At the main Conference (DTGC2019), there were over 60 stakeholders and people from the financial inclusion space and sectors in attendance. Teams from the Design Sprint also presented their findings and solutions to the stakeholders.
DTGC2019 had experienced speakers and panelists from the regulatory bodies and institutions, Financial Institutions and others exploring the financial space share insights on financial inclusion.
Word Cloud of Participant Analysis
Upon their arrival, participants were asked to note where they saw opportunities for disruption in financial inclusion along the spectrum of feature (yam) to 5G-ready phones. A greater number saw an opportunity in Service then System and Product.
The participants were further asked in which areas they saw these opportunities. A key area that popped up in their response was Payment, followed by Banking.
Essentially, people saw opportunities for disruption in the area of Payment than any other area when they thought of how technology can influence financial inclusion.
Essentially, before the DTGC2019 program started, participants were saying they saw an opportunity for innovation to disrupt the provision of Service the area of Payment where Regulation, Connectivity, Banks, Cost, and Trust were the constraints.
Finally, participants were asked them to identify the main constraint in the way of their expected disruption. Regulation, Connectivity, Banks, Cost, and Trust were the most cited constraints.