The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 14th June 2022, released officially the Development Bank Ghana, so one can assist spearhead the imaginative and prescient of a Ghana Beyond Aid, which includes positioning the non-public quarter to take the lead withinside the socio-monetary transformation of our country, and create first-class jobs for our younger people.
Speaking on the occasion which passed off on the Kempinski Hotel, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said that “today’s occasion is the end result of years of painstaking efforts undertaken with the aid of using the Akufo-Addo Government to bolster the infrastructure for the transformation of the Ghanaian economic system for private sector-led growth.”
According to the President, the concept of putting in a Development Bank, was, indeed, introduced withinside the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy whilst he first assumed office.
“It is one of many policy initiatives that my government has come up with to help transform the Ghanaian economy. The over-riding objective is to make long-term funding available to the private sector, and develop the ecosystem for market access, technology and innovation,” he said.
The Development Bank’s focus, the President said, is to assist transform the important sectors of the economy, over a length of time, via way of means of assisting all establishments which might be crucial for SME transformation. These sectors consist of manufacturing, agriculture (particularly off-farm cost chain activities), ICT and allied services, tourism, and the loan and housing market.
President Akufo-Addo defined that in view that Ghana attained independence, efforts had been made to enhance access to finance and markets, with in advance tries ensuing withinside the introduction of the National Investment Bank and the Agricultural Development Bank. However, those establishments have now no longer succeeded in turning in at the promise of systematic help for non-public sector growth.
It is for that reason that Ministry of Finance had substantial technical engagements with KfW in Germany, and different multilateral establishments just like the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the African Development Bank to mobilise worldwide funding, diversify its shareholding and institute pleasant practices to have an impartial Board and a financially sustainable institution.
“Accordingly, Government put up an initial equity investment of two hundred and fifty million dollars ($250 million), the European Investment Bank one hundred and seventy million euros (€170 million), World Bank two hundred and twenty-five million dollars ($225 million), and a forty-million-dollar (US$40 million) grant came from the African Development Bank. The total committed capital to the Bank, both debt and equity, is currently some seven hundred and fifty million dollars (US$750 million),” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Undoubtedly, Development Bank Ghana should be the bedrock for our renewed commitment to private sector development. It is expected to work to transform our SMEs into well-functioning, formal and strong corporates with the potential to increase our GDP, employ more people, and enhance our tax efforts”.
Work with Private Sector
The Bank, the President said, must be partners with the private sector, and must work with them to provide access to long term funds, access to markets both domestic and foreign, and skills developments.
“Development Bank Ghana will support all banks in the economy to have access to long term funds, including the National Investment Bank, the Agricultural Development Bank and the Ghana Exim Bank. It will also support private equity funds, and other capital market firms to have access to our bond market, and facilitate equity financing for SMEs,” the President assured.
Additionally, he stated that the Bank will partner research institutions to undertake sector research, support innovation centres and business accelerators, adding that “it will ensure that the requisite capital is directed towards business ideas with the most potential for growth and job creation, under the financial services ecosystem”.
With the Board of Directors of the Bank chaired by Yaw Ansu, a well-known economist, and a former senior World Bank executive, and with Mr. Kwamina Duker, who has some thirty (30) years of experience of leadership in financial institutions in several parts of the world, serving as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank, the President stated that the selection process for the CEO and senior management of the Bank has been rigorous, focused and transparent.
He explained that PricewaterhouseCoopers identified, screened and interviewed one hundred and twenty-five (125) candidates, who responded to domestic and international advertisements.
“This was guided by the selection matrix approved by the Search Committee. PricewaterhouseCoopers, after the screening and interview process, presented a list of twenty-seven (27) candidates, with three (3) candidates for each matrix for the Search Committee’s consideration. The Search Committee subsequently interviewed, and ranked the three (3) selected candidates for each matrix based on the experience of these potential candidates,” he added.
Government, the President said expects the Development Bank Ghana to use its strong financial position to support the growth of private sector companies to help create high quality jobs, and enable Ghana’s private sector to compete more favorably within the African Continental Free Trade Area framework.
“The Board has been tasked to scale up the Bank’s resource envelope so as to drive the country’s economic transformation agenda and entrench the institution’s international pedigree. I want to assure the Board of the Bank that Government will not interfere in its decision making process, so as to guarantee its independence of operation, and enable it to work professionally and efficiently in the larger interest of its overarching objective of helping drive private sector-led growth of our national economy,” he added.