The Chairman of Afro-Arab Group of Companies, Alhaji Salamu Amadu, has urged microfinance institutions (MFIs) to maintain their status irrespective of how fast the balance sheet size grow to that of commercial bank minimum requirement.
According to the Group Chairman, though the current minimum capital requirement for commercial bank status per Bank of Ghana (BoGs) directive, GH¢400 million, is attainable by hard working MFIs, it is important to keep through to their core mandate as critical role players in the economic dispensation of the country.
He assured that Afro-Arab Microfinance, a subsidiary of the Afro-Arab Group will continue to remain a microfinance institution irrespective of the size of their balance sheet in order to continue to provide essential service to youth and women groups in the lower class.
Alhaji Amadu reiterated that the concept behind the establishment of the Afro-Arab Microfinance was to provide support to youth and women groups to develop their ideas into formidable businesses and be economically empowered to be self-sufficient.
This, he emphasized that, can be better achieved if the company continues on that trajectory without derailing to a commercial bank status.
“My dream for establishing this financial institution about a decade ago was to empower my dear brothers and sisters in the unbanked category especially those in the Zongo communities. This dream and vision have not changed, Afro-Arab will continue to reach out to this women and youth groups,” he said.
The Group Chairman, Alhaji Salamu Amadu, made these remarks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary launch of the Afro-Arab Microfinance, which took place at the Afro-Arab Arena, Kokomlemle-Accra.
Touching on the theme for the 10th anniversary celebration: ‘Women & Youth Development’, he indicated that this is the surest way of creating jobs and reducing the unemployment rate among the youth and women groups, hence the company will continue to empower youth and women groups.
On his part, General Manager, Afro-Arab Microfinance, Ebenezer Adjei Tetteh, reiterated that unlike some microfinances that quickly switched status to commercial bank when they met the target, the Afro-Arab Microfinance would remain true to its core mandate as a microfinance in order to better serve its target market, thus youth and women in entrepreneurship, farming and other sectors of the economy.
“The target of microfinance is basically to work with people who are below the bankable ladder or people that the commercial banks are not willing to work with and this is what we have done well in the past 10 years and will continue to do,” he said.
Taking his turn, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, lauded Alhaji Salamu Amadu for his efforts to ensure the youth and women in the country gets something doing for a living.
However, he called on management of the microfinance institution to as part of its corporate social investment, concentrate on helping to make the Zongo communities clean and environmentally friendly for human living. Adding that it is the responsibility of everyone leaving in the capital that we make sure Accra is clean and working again. “Continue offering hope to the hopeless and Allah (God) will never forsake you. Your positive impact on the youth especially in the Zongo communities will surely pay you off.”
Chairman for the African Business Center for Developing Education (ABCDE), Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah who served as the chairman for the programme commended the Afro-Arab Group for choosing a theme that shows that he indeed believes in the youth.