Access Bank partners KFW DEG and others to open German Desk

German companies and their local partners can now access an array of tailor-made financial solutions designed to intensify links between German and Ghanaian companies, following the opening of the German Desk at Access Bank.

The initiative, the third in Africa after Kenya and Nigeria, is made possible through the partnership of KFW DEG – a German business support organisation, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) and Access Bank.

The launch of the German Desk will ensure that German companies and their Ghanaian partners can, for instance, access financing solutions like credit lines to acquire German equipment.

“Limited access to attractive and tailor-made financing solutions is a major obstacle to the development of trade between German companies and their local counterparts in emerging and developing countries such as Ghana.

“With the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, KFW DEG has created a service to close the financing gaps,” Christine Laibach, Chair of DEG’s Management Board said in Accra during the opening.

Some of the services available to businesses at the German Desk include setting up accounts, providing short- to medium-term credit lines, and services for financing trade and transaction banking.

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“DEG is pleased to open a German Desk together with the delegation of German Industry and Commerce and Access Bank, which will help to intensify the links between German and and Ghanaian companies,” Ms. Laibach said.

Deputy Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc. Roosevelt Ogbonna, speaking at the opening, said the initiative not only gives the bank a competitive advantage in the industry but also goes to show the bank’s expertise in providing customers with need-based solutions across all its operating countries.

He added: “This partnership with DEG is the first of its kind in Ghana and mirrors our successes in Nigeria. We are leveraging on the global investment footprints of our partners and our strong local industry expertise to close the financing gaps hampering trade activities in Ghana and the sub-region”.

Dr. Martin Wansleben, Chief Executive of the DIHK, noted the importance of having a German Desk – especially in a time when access to suitable funding in young emerging markets is often a challenge.

He is confident that having a German Desk will contribute immensely to the competitiveness of German companies in Ghana.

“What I deem especially important, at the heart of developing more German business with Ghana, is the Ghanaian private sector. The stronger the local private sector, the more

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business engagement from Germany we will see, both in trade and investment.

“Ghanaian companies are customers and potential partners of German business. It must be our joint effort, spearheaded by AHK and the German desk, to identify and support Ghanaian companies to cooperate with German companies,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Ernest Addison recounted support some German companies like KFW have offered to the financial services sector, especially some microfinance companies.

He was optimistic that following widespread reforms in the banking sector, partnerships like the one that led to establishment of the German Desk will become more common.

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