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10.10.2005 Business & Finance

Growth in Credit Union activities exceeded expectations

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Ashaiman, Oct 10, GNA - The growth in Credit Union activities in the areas of savings, loans, membership and the number of credit unions, had exceeded the expectations of members. Church Leaders, Small-Scale Entrepreneurs, Artisans and Salary earners were embracing the Credit Union concept, as safe, reliable and effective method to create wealth for themselves and for future generations.

Mr. Emmanuel Darko, General Manager of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) made these observations at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Association hosted by the Tema Chapter at Ashaiman over the weekend. The theme for the occasion was: "Credit Union, making thousands of people grow; join the Credit Union now." Giving statistics to substantiate his assertion, Mr Darko stated that the number of Credit Unions nation-wide increased from 200 in 2000 to 250 last year. He said membership rose from 76,356 to 156,000 during the same period. The General Manager said CUA's deposits stood at 55 billion cedis in the year 2000, increased to 84.6 billion cedis the following year, with this figure tripling to 314 billion cedis last year.

Mr. Darko stated that the Association granted a total of 38 billion cedis to members as loans in 2000, with the figure standing at 262 billion cedis last year. CUA's assets, he said, valued at 63.4 billion cedis in 2000 with the figure rising to 348 billion cedis in 2004. The GM pointed out that using savings as a tool for human development, credit unions believed that one could not reduce poverty or create wealth without cultivating the savings habit. "Once people have not developed the desire to grow socially and economically, the willingness to save to create wealth will be non-existent in their lives." On the way forward, Mr Darko said CUA would ensure that members operated with at least annual business plans and built training centre to cater for members' training needs.

Mr. David Quaye Annang, Tema Municipal Chief Executive, in a speech read for him, pledged the Assembly's preparedness to create opportunities for the growth of Credit Unions throughout the Municipality. Mr. Annang suggested that in order for micro financing programme to be successful in the country, small loans be offered for a start, with larger loans given later, after clients developed the skills, discipline and commitments.

Mr. Robert Kofi Ngissah, Chairman of the Tema Chapter of CUA said the Association had a high potential of making people grow out of poverty, hardship and suffering into a life of hope, development and advancement. The Tema Chapter had earlier presented items including five bags of rice, two packets of key soap, milk, milo, biscuits, toilet rolls, tomato paste and detergents worth four million cedis to the Missionaries of Charity - Sisters of Mother Teresa at Ashaiman. The items, plus a cheque for two million cedis were meant for the upkeep of children at the home.

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