GUBA, main pillar of British-Ghanaian Diaspora – High Commissioner

Accra, The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards has become the main pillar of British-Ghanaian Diaspora in London, particularly for the younger generation involved in the arts and music, Mr Jon Benjamin, outgoing British High Commissioner, has said.

He said the GUBA awards celebrated entrepreneurs who at some stages thought it was impossible to do it, had no access to capital or probably did not know anyone.

Mr Benjamin made these remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the launch of the 2017 GUBA Awards, an event to showcase and celebrate the excellence and achievement within the British Ghanaian community.

The prestigious, annual awards ceremony inaugurated in October 2010, had been acknowledged and endorsed for its role in recognising Ghanaian achievement in the UK, as well as promoting the national interest of Ghana and the African community, by dignitaries and organisations.

The Out-going British High Commissioner noted that in the British government, economic assistance or aid programmes for Ghana was a very strong element which was promoting young entrepreneurs.

He said giving seed money to people with the best business ideas was a good initiative, as it had chalked some successes, adding that “one of our favorites at the moment is Boomers International Limited based in Kumasi, who produce the bamboo frame bicycles”.

He said it began with one person and a couple of friends and now employing more than 50 people and exporting to several European countries; and would therefore, export to UK and other countries, employing hundreds if not thousands of Ghanaians.

Mr Benjamin said: “As a country we should be interested in such initiatives to create more jobs; as government essentially did not create jobs, but the private sector”.

He told the GNA that even though he would soon leave, Ghana would always have a place in his heart.

It has been an interesting place and eventful years; and will always look out for Ghana and help, and as such continue to be linked to organisations like GUBA, he added.

Mr Benjamin said the 2017 edition of the awards coincides with Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebration; stating that is “where we celebrate history and modern links”.

He explained that there was no better representation of our modern relationship than what GUBA does.

Mr Papa Owusu �Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, who officially launched the 2017 GUBA Awards, also commended GUBA for the laudable initiative.

He said the GUBA initiative, would also strengthen the Ghana-UK relations.

He said it was important that the Ghanaian Diaspora participated fully in the affairs of Ghana, and so far, the award scheme had played a very key role in that direction.

He assured the organisers of his participation in this year’s event, was however hopeful that GUBA Awards would move Ghana and its human resource phase to another level.

The 2017 edition registered categories such as ‘Animator of the year award, Professional of the year award, Charity of the year award, Ghanaian alumni award, Made in Ghana Products award, Business start-up of the year, Efie ne fie award and Black award nominees for 2017’.

The event slated for June 3, in London, would be sponsored by the British High Commission, ECOM Ghana, PayAngel, ABN TV and Radio, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Imperial Homes, Unibank Ghana Limited, Vlisco Ghana, Kente Queen and Acote Collections.

The rest are Faze 2 Services, e-volution International, Plan it Ghana and Jay Renkyi.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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HFC committed to boosting local content businesses

Accra, Mr Robert Le Hunte, the Managing Director of HFC, has said the Bank would continually support indigenous businesses to take advantage of the multilateral contracts, especially those in the local content in the oil and gas industry.

The Bank, he said, had thus sponsored some personnel to Trinidad and Tobago, which had a lot of experiences in the petroleum sector and local content financing, to be able to address Ghana’s needs in those areas.

Some seasoned expertise from the Caribbean country had also been brought to the country, he said.

Speaking to journalists at a soiree, in Accra, Mr Le Hunte said the Bank would, however, continue to focus on providing financing to the housing industry across the 42 branches in the country, while it ventured into other profitable areas.

Mr Le Hunte said the Bank was poised to make good profit this year as its first quarter performance was set to reveal.

The macroeconomic policies being implemented by the Government, he said, also gave hope for a prosperous business.

He explained that last year, the Bank recorded some losses due to a high level of non-performing loans (about 21 per cent to 22 per cent); but it was retooling and restructuring to build a bank that would last.

Mr Le Hunte noted that achieving financial results was very important; however, it was much more important to build a bank that served the needs of its local communities and made its staff and customers happy.

With that vision, the HFC was on course to become a formidable Pan Afro-Caribbean bank, he said.

He said, over the past two years, the Bank made provision of more than GHC150 million as loans to its clients.

In addition, Mr Le Hunte said, the Bank had spent huge sums of money in building the capacity of its staff and improving their work environment to enhance its service delivery.

On its Corporate Social Responsibility, he said, the Bank would continue to sponsor school athletics, while it supported its staff in their volunteerism activities in embarking on ‘Branch-focused projects’ towards building successful communities.

We have committed to investing a percentage of our profits in community activities to make sure our communities are better than how we met them, and also we want our CSR to meet the needs of the people who really needed them, he said.

Indeed, even when we made profit last year we still invested in CSR activities.

He commended the media for the invaluable role it had played in nurturing and sustaining the country’s democracy as well as supporting the activities of the Bank.

On May 13, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission signed off the results of a Mandatory Tender Offer (MTO), which formally made HFC Bank become a part of the Republic Bank family.

According to official information provided by the Bank’s website, Republic Bank is the leading Bank in Caribbean region, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago with a 178-year old history.

HFC Bank (Gh.) is, therefore, a subsidiary of Republic Bank Limited of Trinidad & Tobago.

HFC Bank (Ghana) offers a one-stop financial services that include Corporate, Commercial and Retail Banking; Investment Banking; Mortgage Banking and Micro Finance.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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