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Programme to build rural banking sector competitiveness unveiled

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Rural banking
Dr Isaac Kankam-Boadu (left), Board Member, RDF Ghana LBG, Dr Stephen Antwi (2nd left), Director of Studies, National Banking College, Mr Yaw Oppong (middle), CEO, RDF Ghana LBG, Ms Gloria Darline Quartey (3rd right), Principal, National Banking College, Mrs Comfort Owusu (2nd right), Executive Director, Association of Rural Banks and other participants at the event.

Four institutions have unveiled a training programme for the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to drive sustainable growth and development.

They are: RDF Ghana LBG, a development finance institution which is collaboration with the National Banking College, with support from the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) and ARB Apex Bank,

Dubbed the RDF Executive Management Essentials for Rural Banking (REMERB), the training is to help to meet the growing needs of the Rural and Community Banks in the country.

Speaking at the launch in Accra on April 1, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RDF Ghana, Yaw Oppong, said the RDF Ghana found it gratifying to be spearheading support to institutions which were central to the execution of its mandate to promote inclusive rural development in Ghana.

He said this was by primarily providing finance to the agricultural and renewable energy value chains and supplementing this intervention with technical assistance.

He said the partnership for such a programme emerged from consistent and intentional engagements with RDF’s partner financial institutions (PFIs).

Consolidated

The CEO said appraisals of these PFIs were consolidated and their challenges teased out for the formulation of a remedial programme which has now come to be known as RDF Executive Management Essentials for Rural Banking (REMERB).

“It is important to acknowledge that this programme has become possible because of our partnership with the college, which has been gracious in making their expertise and time available to help develop this programme,” he added.

Principal implementer

For her part, the Principal of the National Banking College, Gloria Darline Quartey, said the college was privileged to be the principal implementer of this innovative programme by the RDF Ghana.

“We decided to go on this journey with the RDF Ghana because the goal of RDF is to see a more robust and resilient rural banking system in Ghana subsumed in our mission as a college to provide professional training to deliver the capacity for sustained quality service of the banking and financial services industry through demand-driven Training, Applied Research, Consultancy and Information Dissemination.

“We are hopeful that the programme will yield the desired result by contributing to building the competencies of the Rural and Community Banks that are at the forefront of delivering banking services to areas that need them the most,” she added.

Facilitators

The Director of Studies at the college, Dr Stephen Antwi, who is also the lead facilitator of REMERB, took participants through the course modules.

He invited his fellow faculty members to speak on various aspects of the programme for which they would be facilitating. The session was followed by a period for questions and input into the programme.

Dr Antwi expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the programme formulation and spoke about the eagerness of his faculty in making the programme work.

The event

The RCBs were represented by the Executive Director of the Association of Rural Banks, Comfort Owusu and the sector regulator, represented by the CEO of the ARB Apex Bank, Alex Awuah, both partners of the event.

The two entities in their separate remarks commended the RDF Ghana LBG and the NBC for providing invaluable industry-wide support.

The event brought together CEOs of RCBs — the direct beneficiaries of REMERB — from various regions across the country who generally expressed that the programme was a timely and useful intervention to help them overcome the obstacles besetting the sector.