ARB Apex Bank, a government-backed institution that inspects and funds rural and community banks (RCBs) under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana, through a contract with Inklas Computers Limited, a Nigerian company that specializes in information technology and financial systems integration, has completed the automation of 136 RCBs with 700 branches throughout Ghana. The purpose of the project was to computerize and centralize operations on a single platform to allow for real-time online transaction processing. It is intended that by eliminating manual processes, ARB Apex Bank will improve its oversight over the RCBs and that the RCBs will have the opportunity to reap higher profits, deliver more efficient service and reduce errors. The technological integration is also meant to serve as groundwork for mobile banking, automated teller machines, point-of-sale (POS) systems and other electronic channels.
The project was sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US-based bilateral aid agency and implemented by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), a development agency that manages MCC programs on behalf of the government of Ghana.
By Jennifer Young, Research Associate
About ARB Apex Bank Limited
ARB Apex Bank Limited, founded in 2000, is a government-backed company that operates twelve branches under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana. ARB Apex Bank inspects and funds rural and community banks (RCBs and aims to provide RCBs with new technology, banking products and staff training. As of 2010, ARB Apex Bank reported total assets of GHS 128.4 million (the equivalent of USD 67.4 million).
About Millennium Challenge Corporation
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a bilateral US foreign aid agency established by Congress in 2004. Its intent is to provide innovative and efficient aid that results in long-term improvements while complementing other US and international development programs. The agency bases its operations on three guiding principles – “competitive selection” in which the MCC Board examines and approves countries that are eligible to receive assistance; “country-led solutions” in which selected countries identify priorities for achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction while MCC assists in developing and refining a program; and “country-led implementation” in which MCC administers the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) while the local MCA manages the implementation of the program and its funds. MCC provides both compacts – large-scale, five-year grants – and threshold programs – smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing MCC criteria. As of 2012, MCC has approved USD 8.4 billion in compact and threshold programs. As of 2012, Daniel W. Yohannes serves as CEO of the corporation, a position he has held since 2009.
Millennium Development Authority (Ghana)
Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) is a Ghanaian development agency enacted by the President and Parliament in 2006. MiDA manages and implements various programs including those funded by the US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In 2006, MiDA was issued a five-year MCC Compact totaling USD 547 million. Professor Samuel Kofi Sefa Dedeh serves as the MiDA Board Chairman.
Sources and Additional Resources
The Guardian Nigeria Story: “Nigeria’s Tech Firm Integrates 700 Rural Community Banks in Ghana”
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Ghana Budgets $10m to Support Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GHIPSS) to Reach Rural Customers Through “E-Zwich” Biometric Identification System,” June 21, 2011.
MicroCapital Universe Profile: ARB Apex Bank Limited
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Bank of Ghana
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Millennium Challenge Corporation
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Millennium Development Authority (Ghana)
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