Ghana: Barclays Launches Microfinance Partnership with Plan and Care
Accra, Ghana, May, 28 2010 -
Barclays and International development organisations, Plan and CARE International on Friday launched 'Banking on Change', a microfinance initiative, for about 63,000 people in Ghana. The 10 million-pound programme to be run for the next three years is expected to reach about 500,000 disadvantaged people with financial servi ces in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and South America.
The partnership's focus is on improving quality of life for the poor people by extending and developing access to basic financial services via a savings-led community approach. Mr Benjamin Dabrah, Managing Director, Barclays Bank Ghana, said the community investment programme would address the issue of financial exclusion by creating groups in which members pool their savings to make small loans available to others to drive sustainable development in the lives of disadvantaged people. In Ghana, the partnership would target poor people in six regions, especially women in the Upper West and East, Northern, Central, Greater Accra and Volta Regions. Mr Dabrah said close to 90 per cent of the support would be channell ed to the three Northern Regions of the country.
During the three years, the project in Ghana will seek to create ove r 4,000 community savings and loans groups in the 10 districts to increase financial literacy, improve quality of life and enhance household income. Mr Samuel Paulos, Country Director, Plan Ghana, said the extension o f financial services tailored to meet needs of the poor and vulnerable, was making a big impact on lives of the people. From January to date, 427 groups have been formed with 1,500 members and made savings totalling GH¢110,000 with GH¢46,000 loans advanced t o members. Mr Seth Tekper, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, launching the project, said the programme must emphasize entrepreneurial skills development among the beneficiaries.