Lady Julia Osei Tutu, wife of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, II on Thursday, inaugurated the 750,000 Ghana cedis new head office complex of Sinapi Aba Trust, christened “Gale House” in Kumasi.
The complex funded through internally generated fund (IGF) of the Trust, a Micro Financing Institution (IMF), comprises, offices, a 100-seater conference hall, an ICT Hub to control operations in its 38 branches nationwide.
Lady Julia said the complex would serve as a testimony to the laudable work it had been undertaking in the communities and its commitment to customers.
She said even more noteworthy was the fact that many micro finance and micro credit programmes including Sinapi Aba focused specifically on women, who were often the poorest members of their communities and control fewest resources.
Lady Julia commended management of the Trust for its efforts and encouraged it to continue to play a more active role in supporting the growth of entrepreneurs hoping that entrepreneurs would be true to the commitments they entered into with management of Sinapi Aba,
She said it was encouraging that recent developments in the micro financing industry made the expansion of services to include education, training and other services to nascent entrepreneurs to improve the survival rate of the borrower's start-up business and to mitigate credit risks for the lender.
Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in an address read on his behalf, observed that no economy in today's fast paced and globally linked world could progress without a viable and vibrant financial sector.
He said the steady growth of the economy more especially the stability of key macro economic indicators such as inflation and the foreign exchange rate had impacted positively on business activities.
Professor Gyan-Baffour stressed the need to promote convergence, integration, and development of the entire financial services industry in order to exploit the full potential for effective financial intermediation and sustained growth.
He said “this has been the trend in developed economics and it has the advantage of giving more room to financial institutions especially micro-financing to be more innovative, diversify their products, integrate markets and manage risks more efficiently”.
Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister urged management of the Trust to make its service loans more flexible to ensure that the culture it was trying to foster did not become frustrating.
He said government always recognized the development of the micro finance services to the public as a high priority area in view of its importance in the economic development of the country.
Mr Osei Assibey hoped recipients of loans would exhibit greatest enterprises and invest in their businesses to be able to reap expected benefits that would enable them to repay the loans.
Reverend Davis Freeman, Chairman of Board of Directors of the Trust explained that the decision of the Board to christen the building Gale House was in appreciation to Rev. and Mrs. Fred Gale, one of the major benefactors of Sinapi Aba for their contribution to operations of SAT over the last 14 years.
He said barely 14 years ago a vision to build a nation under Almighty God to support the weak had gradually come into fruition in Ghana with the establishment of the Trust which started with a branch in 1994, and now had 38 branches throughout the country with over 70,000 clients.
Rev. Freeman said the Trust was currently the best opportunity and international implementing partner in Africa and in 2007 received the small micro and medium enterprises best service sector award in South Africa and currently the best non-deposit taking MFI in the West African Sub-Region.
“We have also invested in a state-of-the-art information technology which has given us competitive advantage and greater control over our operations,” he said.