RCBs deserve cheaper funds – gov’t, international financial institutions told

Mrs Comfort Owusu, Executive Director of Association of Rural Banks addressing women participants at the durbar
  • to empower women economically

By Seth KRAMPAH, Mamfe

The Executive Director of Association of Rural Banks Ghana, Comfort Owusu is strongly urging government and international financial institution to offer cheaper funds to rural and community banks that are seriously into microfinance for on-lending to women.

This according to her would empower women economically to enable them stay afloat in these challenging times and further assured the government and donor partners that rural and community banks are capable of managing funds prudently.

By this, Mrs Owusu pledged her outfit’s continued support for rural and community banks that introduce important poverty reduction intervention such as microfinance scheme to empower women who are currently striving to support their families to survive.

The Executive Director of Association of Rural Banks, made the call when she addressed women in small and medium enterprise at the recently held Credit with Education Durbar for Women Empowerment 2024 put together by Akuapem Rural Bank Plc at Akuapem Mamfe in the Eastern Region.

Mrs Owusu has further advised and encouraged women in petty trading to do their best to repay credit facilities advanced to them and on time.

According to her, this responsible commitment would improve their credit history   thus helping these women to access bigger loan facilities in the subsequent cycle.  She added that this would also help the bank to reduce the incident of none performing loans which have negatively affected some banks. She has further urged women in petty trading to desist from the temptation of diverting loan facility granted them but invest loan acquired into their business to generate income to pay their loans and also expand their businesses.

Mrs Owusu has emphasized that microfinance loan is meant for production and not consumption. It is also important for microfinance beneficiaries to continue to make savings as required alongside long repayment in order to build strong buffer.

She has also pointed out the fact that sustainability of microfinance is based on excellent loan recovery on the part of staff. Hence, microfinance and Credit Officers should go the extra mile when it comes to loan monitoring and recovery. “Once this is done, the loans might not go bad. Management must also ensure that the loan cycle continues and not break the cycle when groups are doing well”, she stressed.

Mrs Owusu revealed that empirical evidence has shown that microfinance has significantly improved the economic standing of the productive poor as well as increasing women financial security, self-confidence and status in society.

She mentioned for example that through microfinance scheme the world over particularly in Africa are able to access funds to grow their businesses or start income generating activities and this helps them to pay their children’s fees, pay bills, feed the family and support their husbands in diverse ways.

In so doing they are not liability or burden to their husbands but financial contributor. This in no doubt motivates husbands to respect women. In fact, it has been noted that, when women get money, it trickles down to benefit other family members.

Beside this, microfinance provides women with financial security. “Our women at this durbar are earning income on regular basis through funds provided by Akuapem Rural Bank” she emphasized.

“Moreover, microfinance empowers our women socially. Now that we have funds to do business to generate income, we have self-confidence, we are recognized in our communities and can control our own destiny” she said.

She further emphasized that as women are empowered economically it goes a long way to reduce poverty.

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