Inadequate access to formal credit has been identified as a major obstacle to women’s economic empowerment. It is within this context that the ECA Conference of Ministers in 1990 adopted Resolution 736 (XXVII) on “women and their access to resources in the 1990s” and initiated moves towards the establishment of an African Bank for Women. Pursuant to this resolution, the ECA African Centre for Women (ACW) organized an ad hoc expert group meeting in Kampala, Uganda in 1994 to devise a financial institution which would cater for specific financial needs of African women at all levels, define the most appropriate mode of operation, and recommend measures which would ensure its viability and sustainability as well as mobilization of financial resources. The meeting, which was chaired by Nana Oye Mansa Yeboaa, then, the first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, recommended among others, the establishment of a privately owned regional financial (apex) institution to be known as “Afrika Women Bank (AWB)” with affiliates at national level and with women holding the highest percentage of shares. It was further recommended that a soft loan window of AWB to be known as Ghana Women Fund should also be established at the regional level with national affiliates.
In line with the above, Nana Oye Mansa Yeboaa on her return to Ghana from the expert meeting spearheaded moves to establish the national affiliate of the proposed bank and fund. Through the National Council on Women & Development (NCWD), and with support from the Government of Ghana and Bank of Ghana, detailed feasibility studies and other preparations towards the establishment of the bank were undertaken, including the registration and incorporation of the Afrika Women Bank (Ghana) Limited as a limited liability company in 1997, pending the application for and issuance of a banking licence by the Bank of Ghana. The NCWD, Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE) and the local chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Ghana) were the key promoters and on behalf of all Ghanaian women were also the initial subscribers of the company’s shares. The Government of Ghana in line with its commitment to women empowerment also approved a loan of US$436,809.84 (previously equivalent to ¢1.0 billion at the prevailing exchange rate) in 1997 to support the setting up of the bank. Following a request by AWB (in-formation), the Government of Ghana in 2001 agreed to have the loan converted to equity.
While efforts were still ongoing to acquire a banking licence to operationalise AWB Ghana Ltd. (in-formation), the Ghana Women Fund Limited was also incorporated in June 2001 as the soft loan window of AWB Ghana Ltd (in-formation). The NCWD, GAWE and FIDA, acting on behalf of all Ghanaian women were again the promoters and initial subscribers of the Company’s shares. The key function of the Company as outlined by the promoters was to wholesale credit to women’s organisations and micro-credit institutions for on-lending to women at the grassroots with the ultimate goal of nurturing micro enterprises operated by women into medium and relatively large scale enterprises which can access credit on commercial terms from any bank.
However, following the inability of the AWB Ghana Ltd. (in-formation) to raise the new increased minimum required capital for a banking licence, a resolution was passed at the Company’s Annual General Meeting in August 2002 that the GWF should be used as the vehicle to implement the programs of AWB (in-formation). Consequently the process of operationalizing AWB in Ghana was halted and its assets transferred to GWF.
|Nana Oye Mansa Yeboaa||Chairman||Banker/Initiator & Sponsor of AWB Ghana & GWF|
|Dr. Cecilia Bentsi||Member||Society of Ghana Women Medical & Dental Practitioners (SGWMDP)|
|Mrs. Ernestina Naana Hagan||Member||FIDA Ghana (also representing GAWE and NCWD)|
|Ms. Yvonne Quansah||Member||Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning|
|Mrs Afriyie Haffar||Exec Secretary|
Our Mission Statement
- Customer Focus – Dedicated to excellent customer service and offer the best effort every time.
- Effective Communication - Communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully with each other and with our clients.
- Accountability – Take responsibility for our conduct and work, and act with integrity.
- Teamwork - Create collaborative partnerships to accomplish our mission and vision.
- Excellence – Strive to be the best, continuously improve, innovate, and adapt.
- Integrity - Aspire to the highest ethical standards of honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability.
- Service - Work for the benefit of society in general and Ghanaian women in particular.
The following principles underpin operations and activities undertaken by GWF:
- 1. Gender & Social Equality
GWF seeks to address issues of gender and social inequality in Ghana and enhance access to and control over resources for society in general and women in particular.
- 2. Shareholders’ Value
As a Company, GWF seeks to maximise value for its shareholders and generate positive returns on investment.
- 3. Efficiency and Effectiveness
GWF seeks to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness of operations at all times. To this end, GWF will continuously identify ways in which it can improve on its systems, processes and procedures to ensure the best possible service for customers, and make the best use of time, budget, and other resources.
- 4. Compliance
Ensure compliance with policy, regulations, and law.
- 5. Sustainability
Develop ways in which GWF can safeguard the future of the Company, the economy and people. We believe that adherence to these principles will enable GWF work with its partners to effectively empower women in Ghana.