Board Chairman of ARB Apex Bank Limited, Dr Toni Aubynn who is also the Board Chairman of Amenfiman Rural Bank, has urged the government to consider a collaboration between the new Development Bank and rural and community banks for its successful implementation of core mandate.
Dr Aubynn is of the view that rural and community banks already has a focus on development banking and are very well-positioned for such a collaboration like to bring development particularly to the less priviledged.
Dr Aubynn stated these and more in an interview with Business & Financial Times on the sidelines of the 40th Anniversary Lecture of Amenfiman Rural Bank at Tarkwa recently.
He is of the view that for the expected impact and the primary objective behind the establishment of the Development Bank to be realised, the rural and community banks must be the pivot around which the operations of the Development Bank must revolve because that is where development emanates; it could also be the fulcrum around which the development bank will disburse its funds and touch base with the expected redevelopment.
“I think it is time we looked at the banks that are closer to the people, because we (rural and community banks) know how to deal with them and because we are closer to them, we know them, we visit them, we know their assets and their families,” he stressed.
“We need to try and harness these opportunities that the rural banks have because of their locations and their specialized knowledge of those localities. So, I think the Development Bank that is coming should do well to collaborate effectively with the rural banks”, he added
The development Bank according to the Finance Minister will help address two important constraints in the country’s financial system which is lack of long-term funding, and the lack of adequate funding to productive sectors of the economy.
The primary focus areas of the Development bank will be agribusiness, with a focus on off-farm value-chain activities, manufacturing, ICT, software; and allied services including Business-Process Outsourcing, tourism, and boosting home ownership through affordable and longer tenure mortgage finance.
Government recently secured a €170million facility from the European Investment Bank for establishment of the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG), which forms part of measures to support businesses and bring the economy back to normality post COVID-19.
EIB’s backing for the new National Development Bank seeks to support Ghana’s vision of empowering the private sector to embrace new business opportunities, create skilled jobs and successfully overcome COVID-19 challenges as mentioned by the President.
EIB’s unique technical, environmental and financing expertise is supporting priority business investment and delivering the green transition in Ghana and across Africa.
Development banks are those which have been set up mainly to provide infrastructure facilities for the industrial growth of any country and provide financial assistance for both public and private sector industries.