Business News of 2014-01-13

Microfin Rural Bank hosts Sierra Leone community banks

The Microfin Rural Bank located at Gomoa Pomadze in the Central Region of Ghana has hosted a five-member delegation from community banks in Sierra Leone.
The team, which undertook a five-day familiarization visit to understudy the rural banking system in Ghana understudied the bank’s microfinance products, visited the Adansi Rural Bank, the Awutu Amasa Rural Bank, Adonten Community Bank as well as the ARB Apex Bank.
The team was also exposed to the transactional relationship between the ARB Apex Bank and Rural and Community Banks in Ghana by Mr Paul Lawer; the Operations Manager of Microfin Rural Bank.
The visiting team which was led by Nelson Salia; the Coordinator of Community Banks in Sierra Leone expressed his appreciation to the management of Microfin Rural Bank for developing variety of microfinance products tailored to meet the demands of the people in the micro-enterprise sector to improve their lives.
Mr Salia said the visit was timely because Sierra Leone was in the process of starting an Apex Bank to provide support services to the Community Banks to improve their operations and recounted that the rural banking system in Ghana had gone a long way and it is a shining example for the sub-region and Africa.
The General Manager of Microfin Rural Bank; Mr Ishmael Otchere said though the bank is new in the financial market, it will soon roll-out agricultural credit products to break the myth in agricultural lending which is perceived to be of high risk for the rural banking sector.
He said microfinance will offer real improvement in the lives of the people in the rural areas if the people can access credit, which can assist them in their agricultural activities.
He said managing agricultural credit risk requires value-chain focused products, which are multi-faceted and link production, storage, transport, and marketing. He added that financial literacy and relevant educational programmes for the clients were also key for the success of any microfinance product.
He said the bank has opened its doors to partner with any donor institution, which had the passion for reducing poverty in the Central Region through value-chain agricultural credit products modeled on microfinance.
He advocated the patronage of local food, which he said, is one of the effective ways of boosting agricultural production, providing employment for the youth, and improving the lives of the people particularly in the deprived rural areas.
The Microfin Rural Bank has developed various microfinance products which are engaging the attention of practitioners, microfinance institutions and rural banks in Ghana and the sub-region.
It promises commitment to providing innovative and sustainable microfinance products to accelerate financial intermediation in the Central Region of Ghana. The bank is the first Financial Non-Organization (FNGO) in Ghana to have transformed to a rural bank by its clients and people within its operational area.