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Business News of Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Source: GNA

Bawumia officially unveils Absa Ghana Limited in Accra

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday officially unveiled Absa Ghana Limited, formerly Barclays Ghana Limited at a colourful ceremony in Accra.

Dr Bawumia commended Barclays Ghana for supporting Government's initiatives and development programmes over the past 100 years, particularly in areas of agriculture, education and technology.

He mentioned other programmes the Bank supported such as rural telephony network expansion, Road Fund financing, GETfund syndicated facility, aimed at ensuing an inclusive development.

Vice President Bawumia gave the commendation when he delivered a keynote address at the launch of Absa Bank Ghana in Accra on Monday.

The change of name from Barclays to Absa follows the take-over of Barclays Bank by the Absa Group Limited of South Africa in 2018.

Recalling some highlights of Barclays Bank’s 103 year history in Ghana, Vice President Bawumia commended the Bank for setting a high bar for banking in the country and partnering successive governments to achieve remarkable feats.

“You have made significant contribution to the economic growth and development of Ghana.

"As a bank, you have played significant roles in our annual cocoa syndication arrangement, the various Eurobonds and many other financing deals to generate funds for key government projects to serve the people of our beloved country.

“Indeed, you were at the forefront of the 2017 bold historic 2.25 billion dollars bond, which we raised to help support key development projects for Ghana.

“The deal, the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, was instrumental in Government’s liability management strategy.

“In addition to the above, you are playing an instrumental role in the financing of various important development projects across the country,” Vice President Bawumia said.

"These and the many other support give us the confidence that Absa Bank’s commitment to Ghana is unchanging."

He urged the banking and financial sector to do more for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) that played a very significant role in the economy.

"One area of great concern for us as government is support to the Small and Medium-sized Scale Enterprises. The contribution of the SME sector to our economy is quite significant.

It is for this reason that government continues to encourage private sector support for this segment.

He acknowledged the support the private sector, especially some of the financial institutions are giving to the SME sector, making us truly partners in development."

To take further advantage of the benefits of technology and digitisation, Vice President Bawumia said Ghana was reaching for a major frontier of financial inclusion.

He applauded the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Inter Party Payment System (GhIPPS) for initiating plans to launch a Universal QR Code payments system next month.

This is to make it possible for all retailers to receive payments on their mobile phones without the need for Point-of-Sale device.

"Soon we will be buying 'Kofi brokeman,' paying for tro-tro services, paying rent and for stuff in the market with our QR Code. Singapore launched a QR Code system in 2018. Ghana will be about the only country in Africa with a QR Code system.

"It is our determination that Ghana will not be left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and our human resource development, our financial sector development should focus broadly on building an inclusive system that opens the landscape for innovation and deepening of both the public and private sector environment, Dr Bawumia said.

Vice President Bawumia commended the Board and Management of Barclays for the smooth transition to a new brand name.

“Ghana together with Absa Bank is making history. This year, 2020, is the dawn of a new decade and a new and refreshed beginning for Absa Bank Ghana Limited and we are proud to be part of this beginning," Dr Bawumia said.

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