How rural banks are driving youth employment
The youth constitute the majority of the population of Ghana and by extention Africa.
The Ghana National Youth policy defines youth as people in the age bracket of 15 -35 years.
It has been recognised by labour experts that the youth constitute the economic active population and are also critical resources to be harnessed for economic growth and transformation.
In view of that, successive governments have implemented a number of initiatives and interventions to create job opportunities for the youth.
Among the interventions implemented to help youth employment in Ghana are the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, Youth in Agric, National Youth Employment Programme, You Start Ghana Initiative etc.
It is worth mentioning that despite the various initiatives meant to create jobs for the youth, youth unemployment is still a major problem confronting the country.
A recent report releasels by the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) revealed that the percentage of youth population (15-35 years) not in education, employment or training (NEET) as of the second quarter of 2022 was 21.2 per cent.
It is heartwarming to say that youth employment remains at the center of rural and community banks (RCB).
A survey by the Proven Trusted Solutions led by the writer showed that the youth constitute the majority of RCBs staff.
From the survey, RCBs are driving youth employment through susu product.
Currently, there are 147 RCBs spread across the 16 regions of Ghana, however focus’s on selected few.
Amenfiman Rural Bank
Amenfiman Rural Bank (AMERB) which is currently a market leader in the rural banking sector is contributing remarkably to youth employment in Ghana.
According to Mr Evans Aikins, the head of Finance and operations, the bank recognised the fact that the youth had the potential to bring about change and significantly contribute to society.
Therefore, they should be prioritised when it comes to job creation.
The board and management are also of the view that success without succession is failure, and hence, the youth should not be left out when it comes to job creation.
The bank currently has a total staff strength of 480 and out of the number 320 are within the youth bracket (age 35 and below) representing 66.7 per cent.
The higher proportion of youth will no doubt drive the business continuity and strategy of the bank.
From 2016 to 2022, the bank engaged 157 National Service Personnel.
So far 107 of them have been retained.
These young people have gotten the opportunity to grow their career and develop their talent AMERB is currently the largest employer in the rural banking sector.
Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank
Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank which is currently a dominant and resilient player in the rural banking sector is also contributing in a positive way to youth employment.
According to management, the youth are critical human resources because they are full of energy and innovative ideas to drive excellent performance.
The bank is therefore determined to create employment for the teeming youth so that they can be productive members of society.
AKRB currently has a total staff strength of 273 and out of this 133 are in their youthful age.
Juaben Rural Bank in Ashanti Region is among the RCBs in Ghana which are driving youth employment and helping the youth to harness their skills to ensure excellent performance and also reduce unemployment in the bank catchment area.
The bank has a total staff of 260 and out of the number 128 are within the youth bracket representing 49.2 per cent.
According to the CEO of the bank Mr. Augustine Awere Damoah, the board and management will continue to prioritise youth employment going forward.
Ahafo Ano premier Rural Bank in Ashanti Region is also doing exceedingly well in the area of youth employment.
The bank currently has total staff strength of 177 and out this figure 127 are youth.
This implies that 71.7 Persont of the total staff are youth.
According to the CEO, Mr. Ernest Dankwa, the board and management will continue to demonstrate their commitment to youth employment to help reduce the rate of unemployment in the bank catchment areas.
Fiaseman Rural Bank
Fiaseman Rural Bank which is currently one of the top performing RCBs in Ghana is doing fantastic when it comes to spurring youth employment agenda growth.
The current total staff strength of the bank is 426 and out of the figure 248 are youth representing 58.2 per cent.
The total staff strength placed the bank as the largest employer in the rural banking sub-sector
According to the management, the bank is strategically positioned to accelerate growth of the government youth employment agenda by ensuring that ambitious and qualified youth within and outside the bank catchment areas are giving equal employment opportunity.
It is exciting to say that Fiaseman Rurak Bank recorded the highest profit in the rural banking industry in 2021 and 2022 financial year.
The table shows selected RCBs and their contribution to youth employment in Ghana.
From the forgoing, it can be concluded that RCBs in Ghana are poised to contribute significantly to youth employment in Ghana.
The government must therefore give the sector the needed attention and support to grow so that they can play a more significant role in their catchment areasfor the Country’s sustainable transformation.