Daily Jot: Ghana financial crisis underscores humanitarian needs - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
ZeroHedge.com's Tyler Durden reports: "It's bad enough that drought-like conditions and rapid population growth have stoked a shortage of water and other vital resources in Ghana, a country that boasts one of the fastest growing economies on Earth (if it is still poor). But a banking crisis is just now roiling the country's economy, and has wiped out $1.6 billion." These are the very things that our Ghana ministry provides-water, food, clothing-as we make disciples and preach the gospel. I asked Pastor William Agbeti to provide an update on the economic conditions in Ghana, and he corroborates the ZeroHedge report, but also confirms that contributions to our ministry are secure and needed more than ever.
Agbeti writes: "The financial subsector of Ghana's economy, touted as the world's fastest growing economy, is in dire straits. The licenses of 23 leading microfinance institutions (MFI), constituting more than a third of the sector, have been revoked, owing to insolvency. It is expected that this major house cleaning exercise will extend to cover rural banks as well, which are suspected to also be harbouring the financial rot being exposed in the system. Unfortunately, the ongoing financial malaise is not only attracting bad international press, it is also exacting its toll on individuals, families, companies and the entire Ghanaian society. All of the collapsed MFI were cited for insolvency, bordering on inability to pay customers their invested capital and interest thereof.
"Unconfirmed reports indicate that a few investors have died out of shock. Many are distressed, hundreds embark on almost daily demonstrations and besiege the collapsed banks to demand payment of their investments. The Bank of Ghana has announced a bail-out plan, involving a loan it has secured to cushion off the hardships customers are facing. Government has owned up that even this intervention is not enough to pay off the investment of thousands of affected customers. Prior to the publication of this piece, I spoke with a 73-year-old customer of one of the affected MFI. She was traumatized, as she has been left with no income because she cannot access dividends from her savings.
"It's not all dark and gloomy, though. Some MFI and banks are operating pretty well in the system. These follow best international practices and have done well to safeguard the investments, savings and deposits of their clients, who are able to access their funds at various banks and on various digital platforms. Thankfully, our ministry is fortunate to operate its accounts with one such bank. As a result our operations are not affected and our beneficiaries continue to enjoy our free meals, safe drinking water, various forms of support and above all love. As Psalm 91:7 puts it: "A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you." We are grateful to His faithfulness and we exhort all to pray for the nation and people of Ghana, most especially for those who continue to need help from our mission."