From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the government’s development partners have been urged to collaborate more with Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country to help educate people in the rural areas on financial matters.
The collaboration apart from helping to educate the people on financial matters and other investment products available on the market would also encourage rural folks to develop a banking culture and help mop up the excess liquidity in the system.
The administrator of the Brong Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARBs), Mr Collins Offinam Takyi, said this at a public forum held at the Sunyani Polytechnic auditorium as part of activities to mark the regional financial week celebration on the national theme “Financial Literacy… Knowledge is money.”
Speaking on the topic “The role of RCBs”, Mr Takyi said the RCBs’ were already providing institutional finance to the rural and agriculture sectors and have also acted as a catalyst for rural development.
He said the government could therefore, rely on them to raise the level of financial awareness among the people in these areas for them to adopt lifestyles to improve on their lot.
“Here we are talking about a segment of the society who contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country but yet they cannot manage their finance well as a result of lack of knowledge”, he stressed.
Mr Alexander Adusei, a representative from the MOFEP, said the National financial literacy week celebration was a welcome event for the nation as it aspires to reach middle income status.
In this year’s celebration, he said the Ghana Security Industry Association (GSIA) was seeking to persuade and encourage all sections of the Ghanaian society to start and develop a savings culture, adding that when we begin to save and plan for our future, we would be able to support national development as well as provide security and hope for the future.
Some of the participants at the forum also commended the government for instituting the financial literacy week and expressed the hope that it would be sustained to help the people in the various investments products available.
They also called on the various financial institutions to reduce the cumbersome nature of their operations and the high interest rates on loans since that had discouraged many Ghanaians from patronising banking services.
A fitness walk was also organised over the weekend as part of activities to mark the celebration . It attracted a cross section of residents in the Sunyani municipality who went through some principal streets in the regional capital to raise awareness on the celebration.
Participants in the walk later converged at the Kwame Nkrumah Park (Jubilee Park) where they were given tit bits on financial services and other investments products.