AFC continues to be a strong and trusted partner in the area of financial and agricultural sector development in Ghana. Not only the GIZ and the KfW Development Bank but also the World Bank entrusted AFC with the implementation of, in total, six projects in the West African country, with a total project volume of more than EUR 17m.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. They make up about 85% of the enterprises nonetheless more than half of them consider the lack of access to finance as the biggest obstacle to their business growth. In view of this hampered development, AFC started implementing three new projects in fall this year that aim to promote financial sector soundness and access to financial services by individuals.
In October 2020, a consortium led by AFC together with GOPA GED and CDC started the implementation of the 2-year GIZ Programme for Sustainable Economic Development focusing on Financial Inclusion. The project aims at developing the capacity of MSMEs to access and benefit from the supply of financial and insurance services. The national and international experts will provide technical assistance to financial service providers (FSPs), including microfinance institutions (MFIs), savings and loans companies, rural and community banks (RCBs), universal banks, insurance companies and FinTechs. AFC’s strategic advice, market research and product design will particularly focus on the potential of harnessing digital channels and technologies. Further, the team will support MSMEs in strengthening their financial and insurance competence, improving their bankability and increasing their information on and exposure to FSPs.
Furthermore, since November 2020, AFC is implementing two projects for Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, which received financing from the World Bank for the Ghana Financial Sector Development Project.
The first project includes a diagnostic study of the international experiences on successful regulation and supervision of Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) or MFIs for strengthening the sector in Ghana. AFC will provide recommendations to enhance the regulatory and supervisory framework for SDIs and Credit Unions, to promote consolidation, reduce regulatory arbitrage and enhance financial stability and soundness in the country. Besides assessing the adequacy of the current regulatory framework, AFC will prepare detailed recommendations to address the identified challenges, propose an action plan and deliver a stakeholder workshop to share its findings.
Secondly, the World Bank’s Financial Sector Development Project also supports the ARB Apex Bank in designing and implementing an effective distribution channel for financial services that will reach under-served rural communities on a shared network of agency banking platforms. The project seeks to expand the existing network of RCBs to provide banking to a larger customer base at low servicing costs and maximum profitably. AFC is coordinating with all parties involved, to deliver the agency banking solution for the RCBs across the 16 regions of Ghana. This includes providing guidelines, policies and procedures for management of a profitable network of agents. In addition, AFC will provide training methods and capacity building activities for agents, which ensure the spreading of knowledge.
In all financial sector projects in the country, AFC cooperates with its longstanding Ghanaian partner CDC Consult Limited. This collaboration ensures a combination of regional and international expertise, complementing our in-depth knowledge of the local environment with international best-practices.