On Tuesday, 28th March 2023, the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) in partnership with the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) held a Development Finance Dialogue Series on the theme ‘Deepening Development Finance Knowledge, Innovations and Impact' roundtable meeting at the R.S. Amegashie Auditorium.
In his welcome address, Professor Justice Nyigmah Bawole, Dean of the Business School, expressed his excitement about the collaboration with DBG. He indicated that collaborations and partnerships with key industry actors form an integral part of the school’s strategy. The Dean took advantage to draw attention to the different initiatives taking place at the Business School. He made mention of the recently commissioned UGBS Innovation and Incubation Hub and also outlined the numerous activities earmarked for the school’s 60th-anniversary celebrations. The Dean further revealed a planned boot camp event aimed at equipping students with employable and soft skills.
In her acceptance remarks as the Chairperson for the event, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana was hopeful the collaboration between the two institutions will yield positive results. She also mentioned that the partnership will provide evidence-based policy options and alternatives to policymakers and key stakeholders through quality research and policy analysis for sound economic management toward balanced growth for overall development in the country.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion Mr. Michael Mensah Baah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank Ghana and who also serves as a Corporate Executive in Residence for the Business School was appreciative of the opportunity to serve. In his remarks about the partnership, he indicated that DBG aims at using research as a foundation for any development interventions hence the partnership with the Business School. "In this regard, DBG seeks to collaborate with UG in research areas that provide evidence-based challenges to policymakers and other key stakeholders," he added.
Making further remarks, Mr. Baah stressed that DBG is keen on accelerating an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation through advancing the growth of the competitive private sector. This he believes will be resolved by providing long-term financing that supports long investment and eventually lead to sustainable growth. He also spoke on intervention for the youth as well as women's empowerment.
Making her presentation, Professor Vera O. Fiador, an Associate Professor of Finance at the Business School urged stakeholders to address the structural gaps in the financial market by leveraging on development finance. She further added that economies have put mechanisms in place to deploy money to fuel their growth, and in most nations, they’ve worked out how they will make finance drive their growth but the case is different in Ghana. "Our markets are not structured to provide us with the needed access to finance that is seen in developed economies. The private sector capital market work quite efficiently at such places, so they always evolve and come out with products," she stated.
In his submission, Mr. Daniel Addo the Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Bank Ghana urged DBG to focus on its role as an enabler and provider of long-term capital in the market. “Development banks are essentially state-owned banks established as instruments of public domestic policy to fund long-term projects particularly to step in when commercial banks are underserving the market,” he indicated. The CBG boss further indicated that though DBG by their mandate is not a profit-maximizing entity, they are supposed to work to be financially sustainable and not rely on capital injection from the government. He encouraged DBG to apply innovation in all their dealings to avoid any form of government intervention. “To avoid this, DBG will have to manage its funding costs, operate at high levels of efficiency, and as much as possible employ funding structures that minimize credit losses”, he opined.
The event had in attendance the Business School corporate advisory group members, representatives from financial institutions, faculty, staff and students of the University of Ghana.
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