Abena Osei-Poku and Nathalie Akon Gabala
ABSA BANK Ghana and the Mastercard Foundation have announced a partnership aimed at stimulating the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to create access to 50,000 dignified and fulfilling jobs for young people in Ghana.
The partnership seeks to build the capacity of 5,000 MSMEs, especially women led firms, smallholder farmers, and players in the agribusiness value chain; strengthen MSME lending capability within the bank to build understanding and help improve quality of service to sector; and leverage digital technology to drive financial inclusion at scale and enable Absa Bank Ghana to provide financial and technical support to scale up promising fintech start-ups while building their capability to help digitize the MSME space in Ghana.
The five-year partnership is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana, an ambitious 10-year program to enable three million young people, 70% women, to access dignified and fulfilling work. It also affirms Absa Bank’s commitment to connecting the dreams of enterprising Ghanaians to financial resources and opportunities to bring their possibilities to life.
Abena Osei-Poku, Managing Director at Absa Bank Ghana, reiterated the bank’s commitment to playing a shaping role in society through enterprise skills development initiatives designed to facilitate job creation and sustainable livelihoods for young people.
“We will continue to a play significant role in the MSME sector to help create jobs as well as grow and transform our economy,” Mrs. Osei-Poku added.
As part of the partnership, Absa Bank Ghana will provide entrepreneurial and business sector-specific training. It will also facilitate lending at favourable interest rates to agribusinesses and women-led enterprises to enable them to scale and create access to dignified jobs for thousands of young people in Ghana.
“MSMEs are the bedrock of Ghana’s economy and they are currently the leading provider of employment for young people. Building capacity and providing affordable financing options and access to markets through digitization will go a long way in creating sustainable jobs. Together we can enable the sector to become a major contributor to Ghana’s economic growth,” commented Nathalie Akon Gabala, Regional Head for Western, Central and Northern Africa at the Mastercard Foundation.