The Association of Rural Banks, Ghana has commended the board and management as well as the founding fathers of Akuapem Rural Bank for its pivotal role in promoting growth and development of the rural banking industry in Ghana.
The Association has also given a pat on the back to Akuapem Rural Bank for providing quality banking services to improve the standard of living for the people, particularly in its operational territories; as well as recognising the invaluable contributions by all stakeholders in bringing Akuapem Rural Bank Limited to its respected status.
These and more were contained in a fraternal message delivered on behalf of the National President of the Association of Rural Banks-Ghana, Mr. Daniel Ohene Kwaku Owusu, by the Executive Director, Mrs Comfort Owusu, at the grand durbar of Akuapem Rural Bank’s 40th anniversary celebration recently at Mamfe in the Eastern Region.
The Association wished Akuapem Rural Bank the tenacity to consolidate and sustain profitable operations in the most efficient and effective manner, and that it continues being the centre-piece and reference point for rural banking in the coming years.
The Association further congratulated Akuapem Rural Bank Limited for upholding the ideals of rural banking to attain positive impacts over the past forty (40) years, and wished it a fruitful anniversary celebration.
Pouring more accolades on Akuapem Rural Bank, the National President emphasised that for an institution to survive within a novelty concept of rural banking with numerous teething challenges that bordered on a few sections of the community requires ingenious, tactful and selfless persons to promote the concept.
Other initial challenges included traditional rulers being restrained from participating actively in rural banking, restricted areas of operation dominated by limited economic fortunes; lack of clear-cut understanding of the concept; difficulties in mobilising capital and working funds; inadequate inducements to attract professionals into assuming board and managerial responsibilities; prevailing lack of confidence that is a necessity for stimulating enthusiasm of the people to easily embrace the new banking concept.
However, the establishment of Akuapem Rural Bank was invariably spearheaded by accomplished personalities in banking, economics, governance and business, among other disciplines.
The bank became the 8th in the country and 3rd in the Eastern Region, and its first Board of Directors comprised the late Dr. Mrs. Gloria Nii Quaye; Messrs Kwabena Awuku Loku, Emmanuel Manukure Gyasi; the late Joseph Osew Mensah; and David Ofosu, Ayisi Pabi and Emmanuel Asiedu Mante – who has been described as the Father of Rural Banking in Ghana.
The Board worked tirelessly to assume centre-stage in lighting the flame to enhance the image, growth and development of rural banking in the country.
It is of no doubt that the late Dr. Mrs. Gloria Nii Quaye and Mr. Asiedu-Mante became instrumental in formation of the Association of Rural Banks-Ghana (ARB) to play an advocacy role for rural banks and the establishment of the ARB Apex Bank to exercise a general supervisory function for the Rural and Community Banks.
It was therefore a matter of course that Mr. Asiedu Mante became the first Chairman of ARB Apex Bank Limited. The late Dr. Mrs. Gloria Nii Quaye was also the first National Vice President of the Association of Rural Banks-Ghana, and subsequently Chairpersons of the ARB Apex Bank Limited
The formidable foundation laid by the founding Directors has been the trump-card and of institutional value for successive Boards and Management/Staff to leverage on for sustainable, successful operations of the Akuapem Rural Bank Limited.