Exploring the Contributions of Microfinance Institutions to the Ghanaian Economy: A Study at Takoradi

Daniel Odoom, Kennedy Oppong Fosu, Kwadwo Ankomah, Marian Birago Amofa


Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) play an important role in making services available to the financially excluded masses, especially the needy and the informal sector. MFIs do not only have a considerable influence in reducing poverty but also the ability to do that sustainably. These institutions predominantly are regarded to be critical tools for growth in battling poverty and over-reliance on central and local governments, in several developing nations including Ghana. In spite of the above, MFIs face a number of challenges in Ghana, with the news of collapse of some MFIs which has become a cause for concern to various stakeholders. This tends to create some doubts regarding the role MFIs play in the Ghanaian economy. Using Takoradi as a case, this study sought to examine the views of operators and employees of MFIs with regard to the contributions of the institutions to the economy of Ghana through descriptive survey design in a quantitative research approach. The researchers adopted the purposive and simple random sampling techniques in selecting 114 respondents for the study, with questionnaire as the research instrument. Analytical tools used for the study were frequencies, percentages and an independent sample t-test. The study revealed that in terms of their types based on client base, most microfinance institutions operating in the city targeted SME operators. Also, based on their services, MFIs in the city were grouped into individual lending, group lending, compulsory and voluntary savings, among others. Again, the study found that MFIs in Takoradi contribute variously to the local economy including provision of financial capital to the people; income generation; employment creation; engaging the non-formal economy and providing support for SMEs to grow. Other contributions are in the areas of women empowerment; savings culture, credit facilities, asset creation tools and financial literacy. There was no difference in views of male and female respondents in respect of the contributions of MFIs to the local economy. It is recommended that MFIs collaborate with local authorities including the District Assemblies and Business Advisory Centres to come out with measures to ensure penetration into the rural areas in order to improve the conditions of the rural folks.

Key words: Microfinance, Financial System, Development, Contributions, Ghanaian Economy

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/10-1-09


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