The Business Year

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George Babefemi

Country Manager, eTranzact Ghana

Esther Cobbah

CEO, Stratcomm Africa

Companies in technology-driven fields are using innovation to increase connectedness in Ghana and across Africa.

Can you give us a brief overview of your operations?

GEORGE BABEFEMI The objective was to pioneer real-time electronic payments in Ghana. eTranzact is a subsidiary of eTranzact Global, based in Nigeria, with a strong background in technology. Currently, our business model is more B2B with key clients being the banks and the billers in the country. The banks invariably provided the services to their customers who are the end users: their customers. Naturally, there was apprehension surrounding electronic payment in Ghana; however, we were able to win the trust of the major players in the banking industry in no time. We then started adding more banks while deploying products, services, and staff according to the needs of the market. Since then, we have been growing, demonstrating transparency and integrity, and winning the trust of banks both local and foreign, such as Ghana Commercial Bank and Barclays, respectively. Currently, we are focused on switching transactions for banks and aggregating payments for billers, something similar to Visa or MasterCard, which process transactions for banks and merchants.

ESTHER COBBAH We are a total communications company established in Ghana over two decades ago. We provide services ranging from corporate communications, public relations, advertising and marketing, community relations, training in communications, communication research, event management, and all associated offerings related to communication. In the area of crisis communications, for example, we proactively work with clients to anticipate crisis situations. We have provided communications support to a wide range of clients, including corporate bodies, governmental agencies, international organizations, and NGOs. While our base is Ghana, we have delivered services in many other African countries and beyond.

How do you project demand to evolve in the future?

GB We are looking at all sectors. Even though we are in partnership with about 15 banks and about eight savings and loan companies, we also provide services for private companies, government institutions, public entities, and even individuals who want to make and receive payments. We started on a B2B level with banks and then with private institutions. For example, we partner with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, a government-based corporation, to increase transparency by providing electronic payment aggregation in the collection of TV licenses. One of our strengths is to partner with other parties, such as banks, as payment-receiving institutions to enable mobile money payment and offer value-added services. Since our traditional product is a pre-paid card, in terms of new projects we are trying to bridge the gap between cards and mobile money. We have come up with a product called Mobile Money Card that can help individuals transfer funds from their wallet regardless of the network to a card and then to cash the money at ATMs across the country.

EC Our reputation has gone ahead of us. Our services are already being sought by agencies and organizations outside Ghana. Having established deep roots in Ghana, we can now branch out into other countries both on the continent and beyond. Our strategy for expansion also involves targeting markets with growth opportunities for our industry. We are able to gauge the potential as we respond to people reaching out to us, especially from other parts of Africa. We also find that international companies seeking to grow in Africa are looking for agencies that have a presence in various countries across the continent. Our pan-African identity gives us an advantage that our clients can also benefit from. We are also growing some of our offerings into strong subsidiaries that can operate on their own but also as part of the Stratcomm Africa Group.



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