Stakeholders in the financial sector, as part of measures to improve activities of the ailing microfinance industry, are advocating for implementation of the Ghana Financial Sector Development Strategy.
This strategy, according to the Executive Director of Financial Inclusion Advocacy Centre, Godfrey Crentsil, will help bring together adults to have presence in the financial ecosystem.
At the closing ceremony of a 10-day workshop on Financial Inclusion organised by Financial Inclusion Advocacy Centre in collaboration with the World Bank, Ministry of Finance and Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network GHAMFIN, Mr. Crentsil added that the workshop will deepen financial inclusion and it is a training for operators and key stakeholders to sharpen their skills to help the less-privileged in communities where they operate.
Speaking in an interview with the B&FT on the sidelines of the workshop, Executive Director-GHAMFIN, Yaw Gyamfi, indicated that the industry has had its own challenges due to the COVID pandemic and revocation of some licences from players, which has resulted in loss of trust for the industry.
On his part, acting Managing Director for ARB Apex Bank Ltd., Alex Kwasi Awuah, observed that financial inclusion is a sure way to go in reviving and strengthening the financial sector – further adding that “If you want to ensure financial inclusion, then it means that it’s not the high street banks which will take charge of them but the rural banks, the microfinance institutions, and the savings and loans institutions”.
Mr. Awuah emphasised that the training is for high level management to discuss issues about microfinance regulations, supervision and addressing access to funding and sustainability issues.
He added that the workshop sought to give a proper definition for microfinance so they do not go wrong once again; the apex body to coordinate their activities; and how they can operate sustainably and work within their jurisdiction.
Research Manager for the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Company, Enock Nii Zoli who was a participant of the workshop, said his outfit is an implementing partner of the financial sector development strategy; therefore, his organisation is trying to reach out to people in deprived areas who have been left out in the marketing sector.
He said an important part of financial inclusion is to educate people about the financial sector, adding that it is one of the tools to alleviate poverty.
Mr. Zoli further noted that GHASLC has about 24 Savings Loans Companies under its jurisdiction, and it will train members to improve the quality of service they render to clients.
Participants at the workshop included representatives from the Ministry of Finance, ARB Apex Bank Ltd., Credit Union Association (CUA), GHAMFIN, Micro-credit Association of Ghana (MCAG), GCSA, Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Company (GHASALC), Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC), among others.