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15.04.2007 General News

Rural Banks urged to step up redenomination awareness

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Rural Banks had been charged to educate the public about the challenges that the transition to the Ghana Cedi might bring in the implementation stage and to psychologically prepare the people for the operation.

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, President of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) , Ghana by Mr Kwadwo Konadu Asiamah, a director of the ARB at the formal opening of the Sixth National Managers Conference of the ARB APEX Bank Limited at Koforidua on Friday.

The four-day conference was being organized under the theme; “Re-denomination of the cedi, the role of the rural banks and the challenges”.

Mr Osei-Bonsu also charged the rural and community banks to create awareness about the double price labeling obligation and raise people's consciousness on the issue and ensure that the Ghana cedi was perceived as a new stabilization period in the economy as well as a symbol of a dependable future.

He explained that for the rural and community banks to be able to carry out effectively their campaign on the redenomination of the cedi, they need to be conversant with the Bank of Ghana's technical guidelines on the re-denomination of the cedi exercise.

Mr Osei-Bonsu explained that, the efficiency gained from the redenomination exercise, would enable Ghana to join the West African Monitoring Zone(WAMZ) as a strong partner in December 2009.

He urged rural bankers to promote a high sense of pride among Ghanaians in the national currency and encouraged them to developed positive attitude and behaviour in handling of bank-notes in their day to day activities.

The Managing Director of the ARB APEX Bank Ltd, Mr Emmanuel K. Kwapong observed that the performance of the rural banks in Ghana's industry had received world attention and recognition as evidence by a study tour organized by the World Bank to study the rural financial system in Ghana in March this year.

He said in the award of the Ghana Club 100, out of the 100 high performing companies in the country, the rural and community banks won 20 per cent of the awards.

Mr. Kwapong said the major challenge facing the rural banks currently, was the automation of their manual operations so as to offer better service to their customers and to remove the drudgery and risks associated with the manual system.

He expressed his appreciation to the Government and the US Government for allocating funds under the Millennium Challenge Accounts project to complete the computerization of the rural banks.

In his welcoming address, the President of the Eastern Regional Chapter of the ARB, Mr. Solomon Akwetey observed that, about 60 per cent of the population of the country reside in rural areas and the rural and community banks also have a substantial representation in the urban areas and therefore have a major role to play in the redenomination of the cedi.

Source: GNA