Sparkassenstiftung International Kooperation has organized a two-day symposium to stir up a discussion on retooling Ghana’s Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFI) to improve their performance.

The initiatives to reshape the NBFI includes the creation of a platform to train staff of the NBFI through dualised vocational training as opposed to the existing traditional academic training systems.

Sparkassenstiftung Regional Coordinator for West Africa, Kwang-Yung Jung, said that the retooling of the sector was necessary because there was a gap between the real practical orientated skill development training and education of top management or board of directors levels which affected their work.

He also recognized the fact that officially accredited vocational training in Ghana for the NBFI sector was non-existent adding that those in the financial sector were forced to study finance instead of a basic banking vocation.

Akosua Darkwah, Head of Market Solutions and Organizational Development said CDC Consult and a facilitator for the symposium, a common facility would permit the training of personnel from all apex institutions in the sector on one platform.

“What we have currently is that almost every apex has their own training system insisting to maintain it that way,” she informed.

She added that all courses will be uploaded online to facilitate effective learning and permit individuals to learn at their own pace from home.

She said the common platform was necessary because “currently we don’t have the standards spelling out what exactly would be looked for in a particular professional.

“We need to have policymakers coming in to say this is the road map, with the regulator telling us what standards they are looking at, industry coming in with the regulator to establish the standards and then accept them, and then we need to get the industry players with the commitment to take students on who would work and go to school at the same time.”

According to her, a there is a need for a common platform because “currently we don’t have the standards spelling out what exactly would be looked for in a particular professional. We need to have policymakers coming in to say this is the road map, with the regulator telling us what standards they are looking at, industry coming in with the regulator to establish the standards and then accept them, and then we need to get the industry players with the commitment to take students on who would work and go to school at the same time.”

Yaw Gyamfi, Executive Director of Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network stated that “for 200 hundred years, no savings company in Germany had failed before, so we were wondering why it was so while ours kept struggling. It was on interrogation that we realized they were using what was called dual education. This system did more of apprenticeship or more of practical work with little theory.”

He added that when the platform is launched, all the required learning material which will be uploaded will be of a high international standard tailored specifically to suit the needs of Ghanaians.

“Our game plan is that the industry is quite big, the non-banks and microfinance groups form the biggest informal sector in Ghana and we control over 8 million clients and that is not a small thing to joke with, and with that base, we have a strong case to make everybody buy in to it,” Mr. Gyamfi informed.

He added “What we are doing is to complement what national banking college and others were doing, and we believe that it would be a very useful complementary platform rather than just coming in to compete with the existing structure. In that sense we would be more relevant to work within the space.”