Ecobank Ghana has made a commitment to continuously build the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ghana and across Africa to enable them operate efficiently in a digital world.
The company made the commitment at a capacity-building webinar for CSOs across the country, which brought together over one hundred participants, mainly local organizations to deliberate on various topics related to national development, financial inclusion and general improvement in the livelihoods of individuals and communities.
Organized 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, Regional Head of Commercial Banking at Ecobank, Charlotte Amanquah indicated that; Ecobank’s saw CSOs as partners in development, particularly for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Consequently, the forum was put together to find ways of building the capacities of CSOs in the areas of digital banking, promoting financial inclusion, enhancing CSO business operations in a digital world.
Indeed, Ecobank Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, Carl Manlan, who made a contribution from the Group’s head office, stated that Ecobank is committed to leaving no one behind in the journey towards a digital world, hence initiative to boost the capacities of CSOs.
He said “the alignment of national priorities to building social impact locally, based on metrics and measurements, is critical to leaving no one behind,” adding that “Collectively, we can shift the narrative by creating awareness of the work of NGOs at 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.”
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 SDGs, which represent a universal Call to Action to end poverty, protect our planet and bring prosperity and enduring peace to our world and its peoples by 2030.
He emphasized that SDGs are everybody’s business: – government, private sector, civil society, traditional leaders, religious leaders and communities.
Dr Owusu therefore encouraged NGOs to continue to contribute meaningfully to the realization of the 3 pillars of SDGs – 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.