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Barclays Africa pledges $93m for youth development

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Barclays-Ghana-LogoBarclays Africa has expressed commitment to drive Africa’s economic growth agenda through a shared growth strategy by pledging to spend $93 million to improve education access and skills development of the youth.

The bank also promised to raise $89 million to help small and medium-sized African businesses grow, and to ensure that more people gain access to digital and non-digital financial services throughout the continent.

A statement by the bank and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday said digital and non-digital access to underserved customers through real banking and value-added products and services formed part of its core dream to inspire financial inclusion.

Maria Ramos, Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive, said “shared growth for us means having a positive impact on society and delivering shareholder value – the two are not mutually exclusive.”

“We are applying our substantial resources to provide innovative commercial products, services and partnerships to build a more equitable and prosperous Africa for the next generation.”

“When our customers and clients do well, so do we, when the communities where we live and work thrive, we do too,” she said, “And when society prospers, we all do.”

“But only if we work together – private public partnerships are the key to tackling some of society’s biggest challenges – to deliver on growth opportunities.”

“We believe a business can only be successful if it connects positively and creates value with the society in which it operates in.”

Shared growth is based on creating shared value and emphasises connections between societal and economic progress, showing the two are mutually dependent, and when unleashed could stimulate substantial growth.

Analysts say companies can, and indeed should, develop deep links between their business strategies and citizenship.

“We recognise that there is a virtuous link between society’s progress and our own success and we [are seeking] opportunities to be a good corporate citizen, and contribute to the societies in which we operate in a meaningful way,” said Patience Akylanu, Managing Director, Barclays Bank, Ghana.

She said as part of the shared growth strategy, Barclays Africa last week announced the appointment of a Shared Growth Advisory Council.

“We realise that making a meaningful contribution to economies and society is about shared value and shared opinion,” Akylanu said.

“We are proud to partner with industry leaders, civil society and government who will play a role in ensuring our contributions are meaningful and that our impact is sustainable.”

“The success of our business is more than just the profits we make, it is the sum of the impact of our operations on society and how we are empowering businesses, communities and people to grow and prosper,” she said.

Source: GNA

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