Story by REJOICE DOGBER
The Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA), an apex body for all credit unions has commenced its 20th educational and biennial conference at Credit Union Training Centre (CUTraC), Kasoa-Accra.
This year’s educational conference which spans from 24th to 27th also coincides with CUA’s 50th anniversary celebration, hence the theme “Five decades of sustaining credit Unions development; new image new direction”.
Dr. Charles Anane, Board Chairman of CUA said that, embedded in the theme is a strong desire to have strong and vibrant credit unions handled in safe hands.
“The reason for choosing this theme for the anniversary is to sit back, dream-up new ways to make our image look good and more appealing to members” he said.
He added that, “this is an ideal time to critically look at our association and credit unions in all the chapters, to compare records and notes with some of the leading credit unions around the world, to see our shortfalls and use them as stepping stones to move our union forward.”
A credit union is a member-owned financial co-operative, controlled by its members and operated on the principle of ‘people helping people’. CUA, the apex body for credit union operations in Ghana was adopted in January 1968.
A speech delivered by Mr Oscar Braimah, Ag. Registrar of the Department of Cooperatives, on behalf of the minister of employment and labour relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the guest of honour for the occasion, stated that; government’s interest in the contribution of credit unions to GDP is paramount, hence the goal of strengthening the financial system as well as protecting the funds of members, leading to the passage of LI 2225 of 2015.
“The passage of the LI and subsequent decision by government through Bank of Ghana (BoG), to issue credit unions with operating license, is to ensure sanity and standard practices in their operations.
Some of the smaller credit unions don’t have management teams, proper software and even boards in place, but in the regulations, they are supposed to have a board in place and that is what BoG is seeking to address to prevent mayhem in the sector,” he said.
George Ombado, Kenya, Chief Executive Officer of African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Association (ACCOSCA), advised credit union co-operatives in Ghana to continue in unity as the cradle of credit union operation in African and be serious about issues regarding regulations in order to be stronger and better for other African countries to learn from them.
“I wish CUA the best on their 50th anniversary celebration and a successful 20th biennial and educational conference,” he said.
Speaking to the sustainable achievements of the past five decades of CUA, Chief Executive Office, Nana Kwesi Agyapong, said the credit union movement has thrived better than any other co-operative industry in Ghana because of the existence of CUA.
“we have in the past years promoted, motivated, supported and regulated our affiliates with international standards and this has created an enviable image in the microfinance landscape and the co-operative fraternity,” he said.
Establishment of central finance facility to serve as liquidity support for the credit union, setting up risk management programs, creation of CUTraC and Co-operative Credit Union Employees’ Pension Plan (CCUPP), which attracts and retain members, are some of the achievements of CUA for the five decades.