The Board Chairman of the Republic Bank Ghana, Mr Charles Zwennes, has lauded government’s efforts to strengthen the relationship with diaspora countries saying, this will go a long way to boost bilateral trade.
Recounting the success of the ‘Year of Return’ initiative by the government last year, he said it provided the opportunity to connect and leverage resources for mutual benefit.
He was speaking at a dinner hosted by the bank in honour of the Prime Minister of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Christopher Rowley, who was in Ghana as part of the country’s 63rd Independence Day celebration on March 7, 2020.
“I believe that diasporians have a lot to offer Ghana and Africa as a whole and vice versa. The success of the Year of Return Initiative by the Government of Ghana provides us yet another opportunity to consider and re-focus our resources to build stronger ties with diaspora countries, especially the Caribbean regions,” he said.
He further reaffirmed Republic Bank’s preparedness to play a significant role in the continued development of Ghana and being a conduit for development between the Caribbean and the Motherland.
“From recent and ongoing discussions and announcements, it is clear that there is a renewed energy and commitment from both sides of the Atlantic to make tangible and timely progress.
We at Republic Bank stand ready to play our part,” he said.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Mr Farid Antar, expressed gratitude to Dr Rowley for accepting the dinner invitation despite his tight schedule in Ghana.
Mr Antar said the purpose of the event was to honour the Prime Minister and also to appreciate the Government of Trinidad and Tobago-a key stakeholder of Republic Financial Holdings Limited for the continued support.
He said the event was also to help nurture the bond between the Caribbean and Africa specifically, between Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana.
Mr Antar assured the Prime Minister of Republic Bank’s commitment to supporting business and cultural opportunities between the two countries and regions.
“For us at Republic Bank, we are in the unique position as the bank with high presence in both the Caribbean and Ghana to facilitate that agenda. We assure you, Honourable Prime Minister, that we will promote this agenda,” he said.
Dr Rowley thanked the management of the bank for the gesture and gave an assurance of his government’s continued support to the bank’s operation and expansion programme in Africa.
He said Republic Bank in Africa symbolised, “the labour of our forefathers who were shipped to the Caribbean in slavery, bearing fruit and returning home to Africa”.
“Therefore, the success of Republic Bank in Africa is an achievement of the Caribbean and all descendants of Africa in the diaspora.”
He also used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to building a stronger relationship with Africa and to institute a direct flight between Ghana and the Caribbean.
The Finance Minister of Ghana, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, expressed government’s willingness to support any initiative that would promote the bond and relationship between the Caribbean Region and Ghana.