DBG champions long-term financing


At the recently concluded 3i Africa Summit, Nora Bannerman-Abbott, a board member of the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), passionately advocated for increased access to long-term financing and robust public-private partnerships as crucial drivers of economic transformation and job creation.

Ms. Bannerman-Abbott in an interview highlighted the DBG’s strategic focus on investing in selected high-potential sectors through patient capital. “Then it makes a lot of sense that you focus on selected sectors, looking at giving long-term and patient capital,” she stated.

She underscored the challenges faced by industries, including the fintech sector, due to the lack of long-term financing options, especially in manufacturing and other vital business areas.

“One of the challenges our economy has faced is that industry or industry players don’t have access to long-term financing, especially for manufacturing and most areas of business,” she said.

She criticized traditional banks for primarily offering short-term loans of three years or less, arguing that such practices benefit traders importing finished goods rather than fostering job creation. “And this is why, in the end, we have those traders, traders importing finished goods are the ones benefiting from activities of banks that do not create jobs,” Ms. Bannerman-Abbott remarked.

The DBG, she explained, was established to address this financing gap by providing long-term, patient capital of 10 years or more.

“So this is why this bank was established – to give that long-term, patient capital of 10 years or more to allow us to invest in modern equipment, to allow quality with timeliness to the markets to make us more competitive,” she said.

Ms. Bannerman-Abbott also highlighted the Summit’s focus on exploring the impact of fintech and its relationship with the creative industry.

“Definitely, the theme setting for discussions about the impact of fintech in the future and the relationship between that and the creative industry,” she noted.

She stressed the importance of true partnerships between the private and public sectors, criticizing the current dynamic where the private sector often has to chase the public sector for support.

“But there has to be a true partnership. Many times we have the private sector running after the public sector, trying to get them not to develop their own plans and programs without us,” she said.

Calling for a shift in mindset, she urged, “So what we need is for that partnership. The public sector should run after the private sector. When we get to that level of thinking and understanding, our economy will be transformed.”

The Development Bank Ghana, which has injected more than GH¢1 billion into the private sector since its inception in June 2022, aims to play a pivotal role in supporting businesses and job creation.

According to the  Bank, its investment has fortified over 80 businesses, resulting in the creation of over 6,000 jobs, with 38 percent of these jobs empowering women. Additionally, its interventions have generated substantial foreign exchange revenue exceeding US$40 million over the years.

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