Bank of Africa, a strong advocate of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as part of its commitment to promoting Gender Equality partnered the Chartered Global Investment Analyst (CGIA) Institute to organize the Women in Finance & Investment Summit in Accra.
CGIA Institute is the world’s largest and globally recognized professional body providing approved designation for the investment and financial services industry.
The summit brought together corporate women and students for networking and mentorship.
In a speech read on behalf of Fatoumata Gakou, DMD of Bank of Africa, she reiterated the bank’s commitment towards women inclusion in all spheres of life especially in business.
She emphasized that as a Bank, “we have tailor-made product such as our SME facility known as the SME Support Facility (SSF) which is a short-term unsecured financing facility available for our Bank’s SME customers who are credit-worthy, but lack the necessary documentations and collateral to access credit facility from Banks.”
She stressed that these customers consisting of wholesalers, traders, and retailers who are mostly women, are often short of the needed working capital during certain times of the year due mainly to cash flow challenges of their businesses, the timing of receipts and payments and seasonal trends in the business etc.
“Another way that Bank of Africa supports women’s inclusion is by empowering them to be in control of their businesses. These we do by offering advisory services on efficient book keeping and general records keeping among others. This we believe helps to preserve the safety of their money and also enhances their worthiness whiles they seek to expand their businesses.”
Mrs. Gakou underscored that the Bank is fully aware of its responsibilities to society and the strong pillars of society which she believes are women.
“It is therefore not surprising that our Bank focuses on support for women and children as one of its key CSR pillars” she noted.
Also speaking at the Summit, Carole Ramella, CEO of GFA Consulting Limited, stressed that women employees should remember that, they are employed to give out their best and must therefore ask questions and challenge the status quo and not necessarily take instructions.
The event also included a panel discussion with Mrs Akofa Dakwa, Executive Head, Treasury, Bank of Africa, Deborah Armah Akotey, Chief Investment Officer, Databank, Ama B. Ghartey, GM, Treasury, NIB and Christabel N. Okantey, Vice President, InvestCorp. They discussed topics such as finance, diversity, and how women can achieve success in their various fields of endeavours.
Participants were urged to take inspiration from the panel assembled for the event, as a clear indication that there is space for women at the top and a manifestation that the gender disparity in corporate leadership in Ghana can be bridged.