The University of Cape Coast College (UCC) of Humanities and Legal Studies School of Economics Department has held a Round Table discussion on the state of Microfinance in Ghana at the Florence Onny Conference Room, Ghana Technology University College (GTUC).
The discussion brought together apex members of Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), executives of ARB Apex Bank, Economists, Professors ,Stakeholders and other members that matter in the Microfinance Industry to witness and discuss the state of Microfinance that is key in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which in the long run will promote national development.
Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh ,Provost ,CHLS ,UCC chaired the discussion with support from the discussants and panelist ;Prof. Samuel Anim, UCC, Mrs. Catherine Avortri ,UPSA , Prof. Daniel Agyapong , Head, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Mgt, Mr. William Kwapong, ARB Apex Bank and Mr. Yaw Gyamfi, GHAMFIN.
Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh expressed her gratitude to be part of the event and said “Recent happenings in the financial sector has brought a lot of hiccups in the Microfinance Sector and this event will help address it.
Provost, CHLS, UCC elaborated on the purpose of the round table discussion which is to harvest ideas on the roadmap to develop the state of Microfinance in Ghana.
The topic for discussion gave the opportunity to critically look at the rate at which public confidence is decreasing, “Public Confidence is decreasing in MFIs which has a significant effect on National Development has to be addressed”, Dr. Blankson, Vice President of GTUC said.
Prof. Samuel K. Annin, enlightened the gathering on the role of UCC in Microfinance sector. He said UCC has produced more than 150 efficient and productive Microfinance practitioners which are doing well in either their own MFIs or working in the financial sector. Prof. Annin also mentioned that there is a potential for a mission drift by the Central Bank (Bank of Ghana); thus focusing Vis a Vis on the traditional banks as against the Microfinance Industry.
According to the Executive Director of GHAMFIN Mr. Yaw Gyamfi,MFIs have low assets quality and liquidity challenges which has affected deposits; growth in deposits have declined from 25.2 % to 12.8%. He also said the major problem that is affecting MFIs is word of mouth thus if a client does not receive money from his Microfinance he/she would spread word that the MFI is collapsing.
He outlined other challenges of MFIs, their future projections, and other steps to initiate to improve the state of Microfinance in Ghana.
Panel Discussion and Open Forum continued after a brief snack break with the lead Panelist Prof. Samuel Annin. Mrs. Avortri gave an eye opener of how Microfinance operate in other countries like India and Nigeria. She threw more light on strategies they used to improve MFIs.
Mr. William Kwapong from ARB Apex Bank said the rural banks were also facing turbulence over the past years until the formation of a Regulator which ensures laws and Regulations are followed. He also said improper application is a main cause of collapse for MFIs in Ghana.
Participants asked questions to seek clarifications and also made suggestions to help improve Microfinance in the country.
The chairperson, shared her views and concluding remarks of the discussion bringing the round table discussion on the state of the Microfinance to a successful end.