RDF Ghana LBG, a development finance institution, in collaboration with the National Banking College, has unveiled a training programme for Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to drive sustainable rural growth and development.
Dubbed RDF Executive Management Essentials for Rural Banking (REMERB), the programme developed with support from the Association of Rural Banks and ARB Apex Bank, is to meet the growing training needs of the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country.
Speaking at an event at the National Banking College, the Chief Executive Officer of RDF Ghana, Mr Yaw Oppong, said the training programme was to help build a resilient and robust rural banking sector in the country.
“We expect this programme to facilitate regulatory compliance, enhance risk management and assist the RCBs to better manage their operational costs. Especially with regard to agricultural financing, a sector within which most of the RCBs operate, we expect that practical training under the Agricultural Financing course would enhance the appraisal and loan management approach for agricultural financing in the rural areas,” he said.
The event assembled more than 50 stakeholders in the Rural and Community Banking sector and allowed the principal collaborators to engage participants on the details of REMERB and for contributions to further strengthen the programme.
Mr Oppong said, “RDF Ghana finds it gratifying to be spearheading support to institutions which are central to the execution of our mandate to promote inclusive rural development in Ghana by primarily providing finance to the agricultural and renewable energy value chains and supplementing this intervention with technical assistance.”
According to him, the partnership for such a programme emerged from consistent and intentional engagements with RDF’s partner financial institutions (PFIs).
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 National Banking College, which has been gracious in making their expertise and time available to help develop this programme,” he added.
For her part, the Principal of the National Banking College, Ms Gloria Darline Quartey, said,
“The National Banking College is privileged to be the principal implementer of this innovative programme by RDF Ghana.
We decided to go on this journey with 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.
As a commemorative act, a board member of RDF Ghana, Florence Ohene Kyei, unveiled an art piece to mark the opening of the programme.
The Director of studies at the National Banking College, Dr Stephen Antwi, the lead facilitator of REMERB, took participants through the course modules and invited his colleague faculty members to speak on various aspects of the programme.
The RCBs were represented by the Executive Director of the Association of Rural Banks, Mrs Comfort Owusu and the sector regulator, represented by the CEO of ARB Apex Bank, Mr Alex Awuah, both partners of the event.
The two entities in their separate remarks commended RDF Ghana LBG and 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.
RDF Ghana LBG (RDF) is a development finance institution established to provide access to finance and technical assistance services to Agriculture, Agribusiness and Renewable Energy.
Incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, RDF ploughs back its earnings to continuously support access to finance for the agriculture and renewable energy sectors.
The guarantors of the RDF are the Government of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Denmark represented by the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries.