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25.09.2005 Regional News

Akyemmansa Rural Bank supports women

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Akyem Ayirebi (E/R), Sept 25, GNA - The Akyemmansa Rural Bank at Akyem Ayirebi has, through the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, disbursed over 400 million cedis to women engaged in small-scale cottage industries like soap making, oil palm extraction and petty trading under its micro-finance loan scheme.

The bank also disbursed 69 million cedis through the Agriculture Producers Council (APC) to farmers to boost production. Mr Isaac K. Asare, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, said this at the Seventh Annual General Meeting of the bank held at Akyem Ayirebi in the Birim North District on Saturday. He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through its Food and Budgetary Support Programme with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), gave loans totalling 208 million cedis through the bank for agro-processing and livestock production.

Mr Asare said the amount that goes to each district was being released through the ARB Apex Bank and urged those who are interested to apply through the bank to the Birim North District Assembly. He said the bank made a net profit of 129.3 million cedis in 2004 as against 181.8 million cedis in 2003, representing 29 percent increase.

Total assets of the bank increased from 2.6 billion cedis to 2003 to 4 billion cedis in 2004, while total deposits also increased from 1.9 billion cedis from 2003 to 2.6 billion cedis during the year under review.

Mrs Victoria Ama Boadi, the Bank Manager, said the bank purchased 8.7 billion cedis worth of Akuafo cheques in 2004 as against 3.5 billion cedis purchased in 2003.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank limited, Mr Emmanuel K. Kwapong, appealed to the share holders to acquire more shares to the meet the minimum requirement of 500 million cedis deposit for new rural banks to strengthen the capital base of the bank.

He advised the management of the bank to strengthen their internal control mechanism to minimize the incident of fraud and risk. Nana Acquah Frempong, the District Chief Executive, urged the Board of Directors to consider reducing the interest rate to enable more private sector customers to access funds.