The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Milton A. Weeks, told rural community finance institutions (RCFIs) on Monday that the Government of Liberia has signed a USD 10.8 Million financing agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a grant facility and loan for rural community finance institutions in Liberia.
The funding is being channelled through the Central Bank of Liberia and will support the establishment of additional rural finance institutions while strengthening existing ones. The CBL Executive Governor made the statement during the opening ceremony of a four-day national RCFI seminar and capacity building training in Gompa City, Nimba County on 11 December 2017. Representatives from the existing twelve RCFIs from nine counties are taking part in the seminar that has brought together facilitators from Sierra Leone.
The CBL Executive Governor said:
“As part of our efforts to strengthen rural community finance institutions, the Central Bank of Liberia has been working over the past five years with other key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning to seek external funding through the International Fund for Agricultural Development”.
He said the Central Bank’s presence at the opening ceremony of the workshop was a demonstration of its commitment to rural community finance institutions.
The Central Bank Executive Governor expressed his firm belief in the unique role that rural community finance institutions play in economic development and that, based on current data, he was impressed with their growth thus far. He then praised the Afriland First Bank Liberia Ltd for its support to, and partnership with, the RCFIs.
Mr. Weeks told managers and boards of directors of the rural community finance institutions attending the workshop that, although the Central Bank of Liberia will continue to take steps to build the capacity of rural community finance institutions and provide technical support for them, he expected their management and boards to take their responsibilities seriously and work to improve their performance. He added that the Central Bank would not hesitate to take action against rural community finance institutions that were not viable or do not comply with the Central Bank’s requirements.
For his part, Mr. Robert Nkous of the Afriland First Bank Liberia Limited, said the training was one of several training events planned for managers and board members of rural community finance institutions, re-iterating that rural community finance institutions are key in rural community wealth creation and in the fight against poverty.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony of the four-day capacity building workshop, the Mayor of Gompa City, Hon. Benjamin Dokpa, expressed his gratitude to the Central Bank family for choosing Gompa City as the venue for the national seminar, but indicated that, although Gompa City has the largest concentration of banks outside of Monrovia, there was a need for the establishment of banks in other part of Nimba so as to increase access to financial services.