Credit unions have celebrated the International Credit Union Day to pay tribute to the role that financial cooperatives play in improving the communities they serve and the lives of their members the world over.
In Ghana, this year’s celebration, dubbed: “Building Financial Health for a Brighter Tomorrow”, was characterised by a sensitisation campaign and corporate social responsibility activities because of the direct and indirect restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
The 2021 International Credit Union Day is a celebration of the impact credit unions and other financial cooperatives had made — and continued to make — for their members.
It was also to express gratitude for the lives and communities that had been impacted by the credit union service.
Celebration in Ghana
The celebration in Ghana evoked nostalgia because of the country’s central role to the credit union concept in Africa.
The credit union concept in Africa was started at St Joseph's Cooperative Credit Union at Jirapa in the Upper West Region by Rev. Father John McNulty, an Irish Canadian, in 1955.
Luigi Luzzati, the father of the Italian credit union movement, said: “Unquestionably, the credit unions originated in Germany, but they now belong to all the people.
They are now a part of the birthright of each one of us — just as the warm sunlight”.
Credit unions are member-owned, not for profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to members.
Membership is based on a common bond, a link shared between savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organisation, religious institution, or a place of employment.