Celebrating Living Legends
Rural and Community Banking (RCB) is one of the most arduous banking forms in the country as it is largely based in the rural areas of the country and comes with all the hazards and challenges facing the rural folks. The epithet ‘rural’ in the name is often perceived as derogatory to some, who perceive people who work in the sector as of lower quality and with little experience and exposure.
The situation has however changed dramatically over the past decade or so, with very high caliber staff, with very good first degrees, Master's degrees and terminal degrees and many with professional qualifications in Accounting, Law, Finance and so on, now commonplace in many of the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs).
Thanks to strategic interventions by the Bank of Ghana and the ARB Apex Bank, the quality of directors on the boards of the RCBs has also improved.
In the past, some of the banks could not boast of any welleducated and qualified persons who could match employees in the commercial banks.
The reason for the lack of appreciation of the rural banking concept, the disregard and disdain for employees engaged in the sector are manifold. While some attribute it to the lack of governmental support for this novel and sustainable banking concept, other schools of thought attribute it to the lack of commitment and willingness by the larger society to accept rural and community banking as mainstream banking.
Due to the unattractive nature of the sector, it was not common to attract well qualified employees. Staff attrition rates were very high as many entry level employees saw rural and community banking as the springboard to launching a career in the commercial banking sector.
The Rural Banker has, therefore, decided to trace veterans of rural and community banking in the country, particularly those who have dedicated their entire working life to help grow the sector to what it is today.
That is why we have decided to look for these forebears of rural and community banking. We have committed resources to trace them to anywhere they reside in the country.
Beginning from this current Issue, which is on the theme: "Dedicated Service", we shall be bringing our readers riveting insights into some of the amazing accomplishments of these patriotic sons and daughters of Ghana.
This Issue features, Ms Margaret Afari Assan, the brain behind the original logo of the Association of Rural Banks (Ghana), who dedicated 35 years of her life to the sector. She is on the cover of the magazine.
Also featured is Mr John Ofori Jr, founding General Manager of Agona Rural Bank, who also gave a total of 31 years to rural and community banking.
The third veteran in this Issue, Mr Emmanuel Oscar Atta-Peters, an industry colossus who is currently 86 years, was also the founding General Manager of Lower Pra Rural Bank. The Rural Banker team traced all of them to their retirement homes to conduct interviews with them because the philosophy of the magazine is to celebrate our legends while they are alive.
Where are the other legends? Please contact the Editor if you know anyone who has contributed positively to the sector and we shall gladly feature them in The Rural Banker magazine.
That is why our tagline is: telling the RCB story in a positive way!