Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), a leading indigenous Ghanaian bank,has announced its collaboration with the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (G.A.A.S) Public Forum for 2022.
The 3-day forum, on the topic “The African Continental Free Trade Area-Challenges and Prospects” has been structured by GAAS to offer an expert academic analysis on the challenges and prospects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), with a specific assessment of its impact on economics and the law.
The 2022 edition is headlined by eminent speakers including Dr. Ernest Addison – Governor of the Bank of Ghana; Prof. Appiagyei-Atua – UG; and Mrs. Beatrice Chytor –AfCTA and other leading luminaries from academia.
AfCFTA is a trade agreement signed by 54 of the 55 African Union states, which has created the largest free trade area in the world.
This agreement covers a market of 1.2 billion Africans with a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion and has the potential of increasing intra-African trade by up to 52.3%. Ghana scored a diplomatic coup on July 22, 2019, when it secured the establishment of the AfCTA Headquarters in Accra.
The GAAS, established in 1959, is a strictly learned society, charged with the advancement of knowledge in Ghana. Its public forums are designed to bridge the gap between the Academy and the general public, through joint deliberations on topical issues in society.
Speaking on the collaboration, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO of UMB said, “UMB was initiated as a policy bank by the State of Ghana in 1972. I daresay it is these sort of deliberations that laid the conceptual foundation for the establishment of our Bank. Therefore, we have always been interested in supporting the basic research and thought leadership, especially in banking, finance and economics in Ghana. This sponsorship continues in a long line of thought leadership activity, including the Merchant Bank -ISSER Policy Dialogues in the early 2000’s. “
Adding to the explanations offered by the CEO, Madam Belinda Boamah, Executive Director -Strategy at the Bank, said, “Our sponsorship of the event is part of the events to mark our 50th Anniversary. As we mark this milestone, we are looking forward to the next frontiers of growth for ourselves and the industry. AfCTA presents these opportunities and as an indigenous bank, we are eager to learn from experts on a viable path forward in reaching new markets and potential. A good example here would be on the question of trans-Africa payments.”
The GAAS Public Forum 2022 is scheduled from the 6th of June 2022 through to the 8th of June 2022.
UMB is a leading indigenous bank reputed for bringing a uniquely Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972. Headquartered in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates out of 35 branches across Ghana. Its strategic aspiration is to become a digital 1st, SME focused bank. The bank has pioneered several innovations in this market, including SPEEDAPP, one of the best performing agnostic banking apps in the sub-region.