Ghana International Bank (GHIB), a wholly-Ghanaian bank incorporated in the United Kingdom, has facilitated a trade finance training programme for over 60 bankers from across six West African countries.
The four-day trade finance training seminar in Ghana focused on various international trade finance products that banks can use in serving their customers.
Speaking to the media at the closing ceremony of the training, Baafuor Ohene Abankwah, the Country Representative, Ghana and Head, Client Coverage Africa, said the training is part of GHIB’s efforts to deliver quality banking services and provide a bridge to Ghana’s banking institutions.
“As a wholly Ghanaian bank incorporated in the UK, we have been the heart of trade finance in Africa for many years, dating back to the 1950s.” We believe that we have a role to play in building trade finance capacity so we are passionate about organising such training programmes. This is the eighth session, and we have over 60 bankers from across six countries in West Africa present to be equipped on how to facilitate trade between the countries they represent and the rest of the world”.
“Also, there are huge opportunities for trade finance on the African continent. Here in Ghana, we have several products that are required in West Africa, and banks and financial institutions can do more to facilitate that. Some of the ways in which banks can do that are to provide the financing that allows factories to expand and businessmen to make and receive payments. “Banks have an important role to play, and intentional efforts such as this training to make sure we work together to promote trade in Africa will really help,”, he added.
On his part, John Awuah, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, said the training is timely for banks in West Africa to further understand trade finance instruments that can help in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The good thing about trade finance is that it makes transaction costs a bit manageable because it is cheaper compared to conventional financing, so trade finance products provide that bridge that enables businesses to access financing in a more cost-effective manner.”
“We have had a very engaging session with the facilitators of this programme focused on understanding trade finance instruments—the instruments that we use to undertake international trade as banks working for our customers. We can only refer the right financial instruments to our customers to undertake the trade and get their goods delivered to their doorstep when banks better understand this topic,” he concluded.
GHIB has contributed immensely to Ghana’s economy since its inception by working very closely with some banks in the Ghanaian space. The bank has facilitated the import of goods and the export of some of the commodities that Ghana produces. GHIB has been at the heart of some of the biggest syndicated transactions that Ghana has been engaged in and has been involved with remittance flows in Ghana and west Africa.