Build necessary financial, operational resilience to aid recovery agenda – CUA urged

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Speakers at the 22nd Educational and Biennial Conference of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) have urged the association to build the necessary financial and operational resilience to participate fully in the country’s recovery agenda.

Speakers at the 22nd Educational and Biennial Conference of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) have urged the association to build the necessary financial and operational resilience to participate fully in the country’s recovery agenda.

And for CUA to be able to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economic recovery, the Credit Union Co-operatives need to serve as the foundation and pivot for the revival and sustenance of cooperatives in other sectors, providing a sustainable channel for the achievement of the national developmental agenda.

“This will result in a catalytic revolution in the co-operative movement, bringing it to levels of prominence superior to those of early independence days of Ghana,” said the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, during the conference, themed: ‘Building Sustainable Credit Unions in Post-Disruptions’.

Touching on the theme, the minister said the issue of how Ghana builds back from these disruptions has become topical, adding that many strategies are being adopted by countries and organisations around the world, with varying degrees of success.

“Lessons learnt across the board teach us that no one approach is the best, or necessarily suitable to all other situations. Therefore, as a country, we must be proactive in finding our homegrown solutions to the problem,” he stated, observing that there’s no better time for CUA to strategise and propel the country’s economic development and recovery from COVID-19 than now, for it has long been established as the most appropriate vehicle for local economic development, forming the basis for the economic advance of several developed countries around the world.

Bismark Tetteh Nyarko, the Member of Parliament for the Upper Manya Krobo, who also was one of the speakers at the conference, said the current economic waves blowing in the country called for credit unions to sharpen their managerial and technical skills to be more competitive to be able to keep themselves abreast with time.

“Credit unions must examine the pricing of their savings and loan products, manage its loan portfolio effectively, encourage mergers, and maintain adequate capital and liquidity levels for its future growth and development,” he stated.

For him, the credit union concept has proven that people need the knowledge to change their mindset, set their priorities right and effectively manage their limited financial resources to their own advantage, explaining that the moment the poor cultivate the desire to develop themselves, any financial support that is provided becomes useful in their lives, no matter how small it is.

“Access to financial services is the backbone of economic development. Without a well-functioning financial system, it is not possible to create good conditions for long-term sustainable economic growth. It, therefore, behoves on us, as credit unions, to contribute to sustainable economic growth by providing unfettered access to our products and services,” he said.

“We want to see a strong and sustainable credit union sector that serves local communities, religious organisations, and professional bodies across Ghana. In a time of rapid change in retail financial services, achieving credit union sustainability will require a clear future pathway through business model transition.

“To succeed, it must be underpinned by your resilience and the effective delivery of services to meet members’ needs. Credit unions’ economic, commercial and competitive challenges are well known, and they require commercial answers. Without business model transition by credit unions, many will face real financial viability risk,” he added.

The Acting Registrar of Co-operatives, Yaw Offe, urged CUA to be interested in employment creation within the communities in which they operate in line with the cooperative principle of concern for the community.

He also urged CUA to closely evaluate their technology strategies and redefine experiences to remain relevant and competitive in the country’s financial ecosystem.

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