A management consultant has suggested the need for Bank of Ghana and Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), to dialogue on ways to strengthen Apex Institutions in the microfinance sector to facilitate self-regulation and supervision of members.
Mr Bernard Joe Appiah, Chief Executive Officer of Pentax Management Consultancy Services Limited, said the Central Bank and GHAMFIN must focus on the formulation, implementation and review of regulatory and supervisory policies and procedures to ensure consistency and cost-effective approaches to regulation across different types of microfinance institutions.
“This will ensure well informed decisions regarding the operations and institutional regulation and supervision of the sub-sector,” he said.
Mr Appiah said this in an address at the 5th Annual General Meeting of GHAMFIN on the theme: “The current status of the microfinance landscape in Ghana.”
He said the capacity building initiative by GHAMFIN should focus on technical assistance, upgrading of monitoring and evaluation skills and hands-on coaching to address the competency deficiencies of the human resources within the sector.
Besides, there must be the building of an effective and robust database and monitoring and evaluations systems for information, policy formulation and decision making.
Mr Appiah called for the institution of a microfinance awards scheme to recognise and reward the achievements of key players in the sub-sector and to encourage initiative and drive within the development and practice of microfinance.
The awards will also help to stimulate healthy competition and improve internal operational efficiency within the microfinance institutions.
In addition, there is the need to construct a microfinance house to situate all the organisational stakeholders within reach and also enhance communication among them as well as give microfinance a recognisable corporate face in the financial sector, he said.
Mr Emmanuel Darko, Council Chairman GHAMFIN, said while micro finance is a powerful tool to reduce poverty, generating employment and enhancing access to financial services, practitioners must balance their profit motives with the sustainability of their businesses.
He said the pursuit of individual interest and profit would defeat the essence of microfinance, which is to enhance access to the economically poor and to accelerate growth.
Mr Darko said the lack of national policy and parameters have seen many individuals trying to take advantage of the environment, in certain instances tarnishing the image of other operators.
He noted that the control from the Central Bank was not enough to fix the problem.