Local Government and Rural Development Minister Julius Debrah has announced that government is working on a Small and Micro Enterprise Development Project called “Operation Own Your Business”.
This project will mainly look for funding and work together with SME bankers to help create more jobs and consequently improve the livelihood of the ordinary Ghanaian.
He made the announcement on Saturday at a staff durbar held at Labadi Beach Hotel for Fidelity Bank executives to meet with staff of ProCredit Savings and Loans, which the bank recently announced it has acquired.
Speaking on the acquisition of ProCredit by Fidelity, Mr. Debrah said “A marriage of this nature for me signifies a united strategy for growth and a better service to all Ghanaians, especially Small & Medium Scale Enterprises.
The role of SMEs in development of this nation cannot be overemphasized. SMEs have been noted to be one of the major areas of concern to many policy makers in an attempt to accelerate the rate of growth in low-income countries. SMEs are the instruments through which the growth objectives of developing countries such as Ghana can be achieved.
They are potential sources of employment and income in many developing countries, “In Ghana for instance, SMEs represent a vast portion of businesses. They represent about 90% of Ghanaian businesses and contribute about 70% to GDP and over 80% to employment. It will therefore be a disaster if this vital sector of our economy is ignored”, he added.
The Minister expressed his excitement at the merger saying it was coming at a time when the Ministry had been working on “Operation Own Your Business” the Small and Micro Enterprise Development Project, which he expects, will “enhance economic growth, promote equitable distribution of income and eventually help to slow down, if not eliminate the ever increasing rural-urban migration with its accompanying problems.” He extended an invitation to Fidelity Bank to become the official Financial Partner for this project.
Mr. Debrah also pledged his Ministry’s support to ensure the success and growth of SMEs.
He congratulated the various stakeholders and decision makers of both banks, saying, “I believe this merger is a step in the right direction. Besides the increased market share and synergy that enhance performance and superior value proposition, this merger will consolidate Fidelity Bank’s competitive edge in the Ghanaian Financial Market through the resources and talents of two or more banks. Fidelity Bank has become a force to reckon with. Ayeeko!”
Addressing the gathering, MD of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Edward Effah assured ProCredit staff their best interest will be served, saying that Fidelity Bank will use global best practice principles to make the strategic merger work. He expressed his hope that, “In future the merger will be looked at as the standard for mergers in Ghana”.
Also present at the staff durbar were the Managing Director of ProCredit Savings and Loans, Sarah Tsien Zetterli, Deputy Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Jim Baiden and other bank executives.
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