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Ecobank Ghana Launches Club For Small And Medium-scale Enterprises

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has commended Ecobank for its interventions in addressing some of the challenges militating against the development of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

Dr Spio-Garbrah, who gave the commendation in a key note address delivered on his behalf at the launch of a club for SMEs in Ghana last Thursday, therefore, pledged the Ministry’s support to SMEs in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by membership of the Club.

Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Mr Samuel Ashitey-Adjei, said there could not be any effective contribution to the economic development of Africa without empowering Africa’s most dominant economic players—SMEs.

Mr Ashitey-Adjei said the idea of Ecobank SME Club was, therefore,  to help build capacity, develop and expand markets, introduce technology, negotiate price discounts from SME service providers and expose club members’ businesses and products across the world and, especially, across the Ecobank footprints in the 36 African countries that the bank operated.

The initiative, he said, was another step being taken by Ecobank to help grow and develop Africa’s SMEs, in line with its dual mandate of making a fair return to its shareholders and contributing to the economic and financial development of Africa.He said Ecobank SME Club would also serve as a loyalty package to reward SME clients for their loyalty to and business done with Ecobank.

Through this Club, Mr Ashitey-Adjei said, Ecobank intended to help develop and grow SMEs of today to become Africa’s as well as the world’s industrial giants of the future.

In a presentation, Mr Abdallah Abdul Raman, Head, SME Banking, Ecobank Ghana, outlined the benefits of Ecobank SME Club as the promotion of networking, capacity building, access to markets and access to finance.

The Group Executive, Domestic Bank, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, in a statement, disclosed that an Annual SME Awards would be introduced to help celebrate industry.

For his part, a representative of USAID, Mr Peter Trenchard, pledged the commitment of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to nurturing the SME sector in Ghana to grow.

Mr Jonas Ayeri of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) also pledged the support of IFC to the development of SMEs and urged Ecobank not to relent in its efforts at promoting the development of SMEs.

In an address, Ms Esther Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Strategic Communications (STRATCOMM) Africa, commended Ecobank for its contribution to national development and expressed the hope that Ecobank SME Club would help stimulate the development of SMEs in Ghana.

Mrs Nora Bannerman-Abbott, CEO of Sleek Garments Export Limited, also lauded Ecobank for the interventions leading to the growth of her company.

Mrs Bannerman-Abbott urged Ecobank to devise short-term measures to help alleviate the energy crisis which, she said, was adversely affecting productivity.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)