Ecobank Ghana last week held a capacity-building webinar for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the country to deliberate on various topics related to national development.
The forum, which was held via Microsoft Teams brought together over one hundred participants, mainly local organisations to discuss also financial inclusion and general improvement in the livelihoods of individuals and communities.
Organised under the theme; “Leveraging Technology to Enhance Efficiency of NGO Business”, the platform positioned Ecobank as a leading financial services provider, partnering and providing support for the growth and developmental needs of CSOs and NGOs.
In a welcome address, Mrs Charlotte Amanquah, Regional Head of Commercial Banking at Ecobank indicated that Ecobank’s relationship with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Ghana has been a long-standing one, beginning right from the inception of the Bank, in the early 1990s.
She maintained that “this relationship with NGOs has deepened over the years and we continuously explore further opportunities for improvement in meaningful ways that inure to our mutual benefit”.
“Today’s forum, therefore, is one of the many initiatives by Ecobank to bring together relevant stakeholders, on a common platform to provide capacity-building for CSOs and NGOs in Ghana”, she added.
Mrs Amanquah concluded that the forum provides the opportunity for Ecobank to discuss its variety of Digital Banking Solutions and the benefits thereof in enhancing business operations and promoting financial inclusion, in support of the Government’s agenda towards building a cash-lite economy.
Speaking on the topic; Relevance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to NGO’s today and how to make an impact as an NGO, the Special Advisor to the President of Ghana on SDGs, Dr Eugene Owusu, said the world has now entered a 10-year count-down to achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, which represent a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and bring prosperity and enduring peace to the world and its peoples by 2030.
He further emphasized that the SDGs are everybody’s business including the Government, Private sector, civil society, traditional leaders, religious leaders and communities.
Dr Owusu, subsequently, encouraged NGOs to continue to contribute meaningfully to the realization of the 3 pillars of sustainable development; economic, social and environmental, as there is a clear point of intersection between these SDGs and the fundamental objectives of NGOs, which is to improve the lives and livelihoods of communities within which they operate and to help transform the world.
He commended Ecobank for the interest shown in NGO work, and the focus on SDGs during these extraordinary times when the world is grappling with the consequential effects of the deadly COVID 19 pandemic.
On his part, the Country Director of SEND Ghana, Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, who spoke on “Networking as a Development Strategy for NGOs” took participants through the importance of networking for NGOs, the principles of effective networking, networking strategies and a step-by-step approach to building workable networking structures for NGOs.
He explained the need for NGOs to establish platforms and coalitions, resulting in stronger partnerships to promote and coordinate their work at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Contributing from the Ecobank Group Head Office, the COO of Ecobank Foundation, Mr Carl Manlan said “the alignment of national priorities to building social impact locally, based on metrics and measurements, is critical to leaving no one behind”.
“Collectively, we can shift the narrative by creating awareness of the work of NGOs at the country level, while strengthening non-financial support, in the areas of; good governance, accountability, capacity building and the adoption of digital financial services, for efficient performance”, he encouraged.