A cross-section of participants
ISSER organised the maiden edition of its development dialogue series on 31 August 2021, bringing together a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the topic: National Development Banks and Sustainable Financing in Ghana. The event was attended by a limited number of in-person participants and was also livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook (ISSERUG).
The event was chaired by Prof Ernest Aryeetey, former Director of ISSER and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, with a five-member panel comprising Prof Joshua Yindenaba Abor, former Dean of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS, presenting on the sub-theme National development banks and business models), Dr Vera Abor, Senior Lecturer at the Finance Department of UGBS (Successful approaches and future national development banks), and Mr Sampson Akligoh, Acting Director of the Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance (The national development bank and financing of long-term projects in Ghana).
The rest were: ISSER Director, Prof Peter Quartey (The synergies among the new national development bank (i.e. Development Bank of Ghana (DBG), National Investment Bank (NIB) and Agricultural Development Bank (ADB)), and Dr John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director of ADB, Ghana (Agricultural Development Bank and long-term financing in Ghana). ISSER Senior Research Fellow, Dr Ama Fenny moderated the discussions.
Left to right: Prof Aryeetey (standing), Dr Fenny, Prof Quartey, Dr. Mensah, Mr Akligoh. Back row: Prof Abor, Dr Fiador
As Mr Akligoh rightly noted at the start of his presentation: “Being at ISSEER brings the conversation on development banks to a very important level. The debate is even more important, not because in the past it was not, but the challenges that confront us (today) are quite more daunting.”
The event, thus, provided a timely opportunity for ISSER and its wide-ranging stakeholders to weigh in on the debate on development banks in Ghana, with the objective of boosting understanding of the nature and business models of national development banks, as well as their roles, contributions and challenges. Most importantly, the dialogue sought to identify frameworks that ensure successful national development banks to serve as a framework for boosting the success and sustainability potential of the soon-to-be-established Development Bank of Ghana (DBG).
As noted by Prof Quartey as well as other panel members, the establishment of the development bank to provide long-term finance is timely. However, certain preconditions have to be met in order to be successful: it should be independent, devoid of political interference and run like a ‘business’ with competent directors and managers appointed to oversee its operations and sustainability.
Following well-researched presentations, insightful discussions and informed recommendations, the chair, echoing the general consensus of participants, reiterated in his concluding remarks that development banks are relevant in a country like Ghana to provide the much-needed long-term financing to drive social and economic development.