Sparkassenstiftung für Internationale Kooperation (Savings Bank Foundation for International Cooperation), has organized a two-day Executive Symposium to build the capacity of Cooperative credit unions and microfinance institutions and to expose them to the salient requirements of the regulator.
In collaboration with the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN) and the Credit Union Association (CUA), the event was also targeted at training board members and managers of such institutions through demand-driven, affordable and attractive training courses.
The event was held under the theme: Qualified Experts as the Excellence for the Ghanaian Financial Industry – Dualized Vocational Education and Training as Proven Practice from Germany”.
In an interview with the Senior Consultant for the Training Project in Ghana, Madam Bianca Jänecke, she noted that there is the need for continuous professionalization and capacity building for the financial sector particularly for the microfinance sector.
She revealed that starting from next year, the organization will carry out a teacher training programme which will be rolled out across Ghana.
“There is the need for the in depth understanding of the regulatory frame work and also of good government structures for the sector which it is related to the requirements of the Bank of Ghana. There is the need for professional exchange between the micro-finance and credit unions so our programme provides an opportunity for peer learning, professional exchange and experience sharing”, she noted.
Madam Jänecke added that even though vocational education and training and microfinance are two not-closely-related fields, one of the expected outcomes of the symposium is to identify how this can be aligned with one another to build a dualised vocational education and training from the scratch.
On his part, The Executive Director of Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Mr. Yaw Gyamfi, said that “for 200 hundred years, no savings company in Germany had failed before, so we were wondering why it was so while ours kept struggling. It was on interrogation that we realized they were using what was called dual education. This system did more of apprenticeship or more of practical work with little theory.”
He added that: “Our game plan is that the industry is quiet big, the non-banks and microfinance groups form the biggest informal sector in Ghana and we control over 8 million clients and that is not a small thing to joke with, and with that base, we have a strong case to make everybody buy in to it,” Mr. Gyamfi informed.
The project has, so far, trained 21 Board members (BoDs) and 29 managers in its piloting phase. These trainees are from all over the country and represent the various BoDs and managers in the industry. The project will train another 200 BoDs and 60 managers by October 2021.
The Sparkassenstiftung two-day symposium addressed three main topics; Establishing a sector-based training Centre (Common Facility Centre) for in-service staff training for the Non-bank financial institutions under the GHAMFIN Umbrella; Introducing competence-based dualized vocational education and training (VET) for banking officers and microfinance practitioners in Ghana and Using blended and e-learning technologies in pre-and in-service VET for the financial sector.
Since 2016, the Sparkassenstiftung für Internationale Kooperation (Savings Bank Foundation for International Cooperation), in collaboration with the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN) and the Credit Union Association (CUA) has been implementing a training project titled: “Strengthening Co-operative Credit Unions and other Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in providing financial services in Ghana”.
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) and GIZ.