Brief About GHAMFIN.

Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN) is a network of Non-Bank Financial Institutions’ Association, Microfinance Associations (MFAs) and member financial institutions (FIs) engaged in the provision of financial and non-financial services. Membership compose various Associations of Savings and Loans, Rural & Community Banks, Credit Unions, Microfinance Companies, Micro Credit Institutions, Financial NGOs, and Susu Enterprises. The Members include Association of Rural Banks (ARB) / ARB Apex Bank, Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC),  Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC), Ghana Cooperative Credit Union Association (CUA), Micro Credit Association, Ghana (MCAG), Ghana Association of Financial NGOs (GHASSFIN) and Ghana Cooperative Susu Collectors  Association (GCSCA)

The Network provides common platform to share information, innovation, best practices and undertakes industry advocacy for and on behalf of members in areas of governance, operations, regulations human capital development and sustainability, among others. It addresses constraints faced by its members in the promotion and financing of low income and micro entrepreneurs. The Network also facilitates processes that address constraints faced by its members such as lack of access to on-lending funds, poor Management Information Systems (MIS), codes of conduct, poor MFI staff skills etc.

Historically, GHAMFIN evolved from an initiative of some MFIs operating in Ghana and was promoted by the World Bank sponsored Action Research Programme which started in Ghana in 1995. The programme sought to identify, for wider application, innovative techniques of financial services delivery that had been successful in improving access of micro entrepreneurs to financial services.  The Action Research Project, which started with the profiling of three (3) Ghanaian MFIs, grew into an informal Network of organizations interested in providing effective financial services to the poor.

VISION & MISSION

The Vision of GHAMFIN is to become a “Unique Microfinance Network of excellence” and the Mission is to “promote an inclusive and responsible financial sector in Ghana” by:

  • building the capacity of our Microfinance Association (MFA) members
  • advocating on issues that advance microfinance policies and operations
  • coordinating the activities of our diverse membership

CORE VALUES

CORE VALUES VALUE STATEMENTS
FAIRNESS As a membership organization GHAMFIN is driven by a determination to equitably serve its members in a sincere, transparent and accountable manner, and with integrity
INCLUSIVENESS GHAMFIN will explore its vast potential to make extensive and far-reaching impart in the microfinance industry by bringing together all its members; like the proverbial broom, it acknowledges that together we are stronger, but alone we can be broken.
RESPONSIVENESS GHAMFIN will be the professional and reliable Network for Members a it represents them to advice towards their rightful place in the microfinance industry
SIGNIFICANCE GHAMFIN is focused on being a strong advocacy Network that is relevant to its members
TEAMWORK GHAMFIN is determined to cooperate and collaborate with its Members, regulators, the mass media, Donors/Partners, and all stakeholders to develop a progressive best practice microfinance industry in Ghana

Table 1: The founding members of the Network.

·       Action Aid Ghana

·       Nsoatreman Rural Bank Ltd.

·       Freedom from Hunger Ghana

·       CARE International Ghana

·       Techno serve Ghana

·       The Association of Rural Banks

·       Women’s World Banking International

·       Credit Union Association

Initially as an informal group, GHAMFIN was legally registered in August 1998 as a company limited by guarantee.

The umbrella organization for many players in the microfinance sector is the Ghana Microfinance Network (GHAMFIN).  GHAMFIN is a network of Microfinance Associations whose members are engaged in the provision of microfinance services.  GHAMFIN evolved from an initiative of some MFIs operating in Ghana and was promoted by the World Bank sponsored Action Research Programme which started in Ghana in 1995. The programme sought to identify, for wider application, innovative techniques of financial services delivery that had been successful in improving access of micro entrepreneurs to financial services.  In August 1998, GHAMFIN was legally registered as a company limited by guarantee.

The Association has played a leading role in supporting and facilitating processes that address constraints faced by its members such as lack of access to on-lending funds, poor Management Information Systems (MIS), codes of conduct, poor MFI staff skills and conflict resolution among others.

GHAMFIN’s main objective is to initiate and support faciliatory processes to address constraints faced by its members in the promotion and financing of low income and micro entrepreneurs as well as provide assistance to its members to develop the right products for the clients of its members.  GHAMFIN’s roles include: capacity building of members to effectively provide services in the market; ensuring members’ understanding of and adherence to consumer practice principles; promotion of standards in financial and social reporting among members; provision of monitoring and benchmarking studies; and advocacy for the industry. In the recent past, GHAMFIN has been instrumental in: advocating for the passage of the Credit Union Bill; establishment of Microfinance Conference in collaboration with University of Cape Coast; development of industry Code of Conduct based on Client Protection Principles; and worked closely with the OFISD of the BoG to review selected areas of the operating guidelines for MFIs.

The Core Values of the Network are detailed followings:

Operating Principles

CORE VALUES VALUE STATEMENTS
FAIRNESS

As a membership organization GHAMFIN is driven by a determination to equitably serve its members in a sincere, transparent and accountable manner, and with integrity

INCLUSIVENESS

GHAMFIN will explore its vast potential to make extensive and far-reaching impart in the microfinance industry by bringing together all its members; like the proverbial broom, it acknowledges that together we are stronger, but alone we can be broken.

RESPONSIVENESS

GHAMFIN will be the professional and reliable Network for Members a it represents them to advice towards their rightful place in the microfinance industry

SIGNIFICANCE

GHAMFIN is focused on being a strong advocacy Network that is relevant to its members

TEAMWORK

GHAMFIN is determined to cooperate and collaborate with its Members, regulators, the mass media, Donors/Partners, and all stakeholders to develop a progressive best practice microfinance industry in Ghana

Structure of the Industry

OUR WORK PROCESS

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Tier Type of Institution Association & Total Membership No. of Fully Licensed Minimum Capital (GH¢) Permissible Activities Comments
Tier 1 Savings & Loans Companies GHASALC  25  25  15 million Deposit taking, Credit Provision, investment Licensed by BoG; currently regulated by BoG under the Banks and SDI Act 2016 (Act 930)
Finance House 11 11 15 million Investment / placement, Term deposit
Rural & Community Banks ARB/ ARB Apex Bank 144 144 1,000,000 Deposit taking, Credit Provision,
Tier 2 Credit Unions CUA 537 537 Not Applicable Deposit taking, Credit Provision, Require license from Department of Cooperatives and membership in CUA. To be further regulated under CUA Bill
Microfinance Companies GAMC  137 137 2,000,000 Deposit taking, Credit Provision,

Licensed and currently regulated by BoG under the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Act

Require license from BoG and membership in MCAG. Can open branches with Bank of Ghana (BoG) approval

Tier 3 Financial NGOs ASSFIN   12 12 300,000 Credit Provision,
Micro Credit Companies MCAG     31 31 2,000,000 Credit Provision
Tier 4 Individual Susu Collectors / Enterprises GCSCA 639 570 Not Applicable Deposit taking Require registration with the Association (GCSCA) but do not require minimum capital
Content MCAG    545 545 Not Applicable Credit Provision, No minimum capital requirement; cannot open branches. Require license from association endorsed by BoG