MR FARID ANTAR CEO – REPUBLIC BANK GHANA

MR FARID ANTAR CEO – REPUBLIC BANK GHANA

As a young man living on the soils of Trinidad raised in a middle-income family and having the dream to become an accredited Accountant, little did he know that his journey would kick off on a road not too distant from his dream to be “a celebrated professional in the world of Finance”.

With a career spanning over four successful decades of hard work and fortitude together with professional and practical exposure in the Banking and Financial Services Industry, Mr. Farid Antar, a man of character, discipline and the Managing Director of the prestigious Republic Bank Ghana Limited, has earned the rights to proudly beat his chest for his successes as being a respected CEO in Ghana in a relatively short period of time. .

Owing his success to the values instilled in him by his sweet mother of blessed memory and his elder brother, who pushed him to go back to work on his first day of work at a Bank; at a time where he gave up, he recounts the many reasons why refusing the opportunity to be a Banker would have cost him a great deal.

Sitting on the chair as CEO of the Republic Bank Ghana, he exhibits a character that encourages respect for one another and empowering people while promoting accountability within the Bank. In his words; “We are all the same. There’s no small job, there’s no unimportant job in any organization and it starts with the cleaner”. Uploading these values, he makes them more evident with his most loved email sign off that reads; “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it.  Autograph your work with excellence”.

Mr. Antar brings a whole new definition to the profession where he sees banking beyond taking deposits and giving loans, but, as a means to assist customers in fulfilling their dreams. Looking into the future, his personal vision is to see tremendous growth in the banking sector in Ghana and be proud of the contributions Republic Bank will bring to the wider sub-Saharan Africa.

INDUSTRY/ ECONOMIC FOCUS

TVM: Within your few months of stay in the country (Ghana) as well as other comments you may have heard or read, how would you describe Ghana’s banking industry or your first impressions about the banking industry in Ghana?

MFA: My early impressions of the banking industry in Ghana are that it is highly competitive and developing. There’s a very large number of banks for the size of the market, more so with the significant size of the unbanked market; even after the recent rationalisation. There are governance and institutional weaknesses negatively affecting the industry both directly and indirectly, creating an uneven market which can hinder its continued growth and evolution. The good news is that the Bank of Ghana and the Government of Ghana have taken the bull by the horns by implementing urgent and aggressive steps to address these weaknesses and the positive results are already being experienced.   

TVM: Unlike Ghana, the financial services sector in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most developed in the Caribbean. Before your arrival into Ghana’s Banking industry, you may have heard or read about the closure, merger and acquisition of some banks thereby reducing the number of banks from 36 to 24. Recently, there’s also been the closure of 300 microfinance and micro credit companies and 23 savings and loans and other finance houses. What do you make of such moves by the Bank of Ghana?

MFA: As indicated above, the move by the Bank of Ghana was necessary and timely due to the risks that the institutionally weak and collapsed institutions posed to the entire financial system.   

There was the need to protect the interest of depositor’s, and so the Bank of Ghana’s decision to sanitize the system was a bold and positive one.

TVM: What, in your opinion, could be the impact on the industry as whole?

MFA: After a bit of uncertainty, it should bring back confidence in the industry leaving stronger Banks in a highly regulated and disciplined environment. The evidence is already reflecting the positive impact.

TVM: From your little enquiry on the banking sector in Ghana, what do you think ails the sector and what do you suggest be done to address these challenges? 

MFA: Apart from the issues mentioned previously, other factors affecting the industry centre around the availability of industry data for analysis and decision-making; the court system which impedes timely recovery of debts, even when adequate collateral is held; and greater discipline among the players themselves. The negative impact of these factors are higher costs of lending; inefficiencies which are passed on to the customer; and preference to safer investments in Government Securities rather than higher-risk loans.  Savings are therefore not always invested in the most productive avenues from a macro-economic perspective.

TVM: Currently, the banking sector is undergoing massive ‘cleansing and sanitization’. In your personal view, are these the best strategies that could have been deployed to get the sector thoroughly sanitized? If not, what would you have recommended?

MFA: As I indicated earlier, the Regulator has done its part.  It is up to us, the industry players, to also play our part by ensuring strict adherence to the new reforms which have been put in place.  They have been put in place for the protection of depositors and the financial institutions themselves. 

It is now critical for the Regulators to follow through and hold those responsible accountable for these collapses to ensure it does not happen again.  It must be made clear that there are implications for such breaches.  Ultimately, the taxpayers bear the cost of this sanitization exercise so there must be some form of redress.  Rules and directives must be applied equally across the sector.

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TVM: As a result of the mass revocation of licenses happening in the banking industry, the majority of Ghanaians have lost confidence in the banking industry and as such resorted to withholding their funds. In your opinion, how can confidence be restored in the system?

MFA: The role of Banks in any country, including Ghana, cannot be underestimated.  Banks contribute significantly to economic development through their services. 

What this means is that as banks, we require unfettered trust and confidence from the public to sustain our operations.  The level of confidence initially dropped to its lowest due to uncertainties resulting from the revocation of licenses from some Banks and Savings & Loans, and Microfinance companies. 

What we have experienced during this year is an improvement in trust and confidence in the banking system.  We have seen significant growth in deposits which points to some level of growing confidence. The saving and depositing public is being more circumspect now and our experience at Republic Bank has been good.  We operate in the banking, micro finance and investing sectors through Republic BOAFO and Republic Investments and all have shown reasonable growth.  It speaks to quality of the brand and strength of the institution, both locally and through our parent, Republic Financial Holding Limited.  

Building or regaining trust takes time.  However, the market should take comfort in the manner in which the banking sector was managed by Bank of Ghana and expect similar results for the Savings & Loans and Micro-finance sectors.  They should emerge stronger.

TVM “The main mechanics of banking is taking deposits and giving loans, but banking to me is about assisting people in fulfilling their dreams,” You averred. Is this opinion applicable to Ghana considering the high cost of borrowing encumbered on borrowers?

MFA: Yes, I agree to the first assertion because that is the main thrust of banking. It is worthy to note that Banks lend at the cost of their funds which contributes to lending rates being high or low. The cost of funds is the average interest rates banks pay on deposits adjusted to include the cost of the reserve requirement at Bank of Ghana, the new deposit insurance premium and risk costs.

TVM: How can this statement be made a reality considering the high cost of borrowing in the country?

MFA: I believe there is always an opportunity in the market. While interest rates are indeed high at present, in considering whether to borrow to acquire and assets, say a car or a home, one will have to consider if you wait until you can save enough will the price be the same.  With inflation, how long will it take to achieve your goal? In the meantime, you will be paying transportation or rental costs. With inflation and other factors, it may be in your best interest to take a loan now, even at the higher rates, so you can benefit from the use of the asset or opportunity.

Even for investment purposes, borrowing at say, 21% to invest at say, 16% would sound illogical.  However, when you work the maths, it actually makes sense as your interest costs reduce as the loan balance reduces, while your interest income remains at a constant level throughout.  The net is a benefit to the investor and you have built your assets over the period.  Of course, for investments, getting proper advice is important.

TVM: “Credit is bread and butter to the income stream of the banking industry,” You stated. Can you kindly expand on this saying?

MFA: The primary role of a bank is that of a financial intermediary.  We mobilise savings and put them to productive use through loans to drive the economy.  This is where banks historically earn most of their income.  In Ghana, the the Loans to Deposit ratio is relatively low, which indicates the economy may not be benefiting as much as it can from the savings mobilized by the sector.  Some of the reasons for this were stated earlier.

TVM: With the advent of the new minimum capital, banks’ portfolios have been increased to take on big-ticket transactions as well. But considering the high NPLs experienced in the industry over the years, will banks want to undertake big ticket transactions that may have detrimental effects on their income?

MFA: Banking and Finance is a risk management business. Banks have, and I am confident, will continue to lend where the risk and reward analysis is favourable. The additional capital available will only enhance this.  However, addressing the other factors mentioned earlier are keys to realising this opportunity.  

Expansion of credit whether in the Oil & Gas, Mining, Construction, Manufacturing, Agriculture or Agri-Processing, Services or Consumer sectors means more jobs can be created, increased output, opening up of the economy and the other benefits of the multiplier effect.

TVM: How can banks curb the high NPLs in their books to make them more liquid?

MFA: Each bank will have its own set of strategies including credit policies and systems to manage its risk exposures, as we do at Republic Bank.  A major portion of the existing Non-Performing Loans is older lendings for which remedies through the Courts are very slow. Bank of Ghana together with the local banking industry is in dialogue to have this addressed.   

BUSINESS FOCUS

TVM: Republic Bank Ghana, formerly HFC Bank Ghana, is primarily a mortgage financier. Currently, there’s a huge housing deficit across the nation but Real Estate developers are of the view that the interests on credit facilities required to construct the housing units is unfavourable and that has led to the high cost of housing. What is your take on this?

MFA: I believe that in order to bridge the housing gap in Ghana, particularly at the lower income and lower middle income levels, it is important for all stakeholders to continue to form strong partnerships between the Real Estate Developers represented by GREDA, Financial Institutions, and the Government.

Another area which needs addressing is land title management.

TVM: Accessing mortgage financing in Ghana is one of the herculean tasks people try to avoid as a result of the barriers hampering it including; high lending rates, numerous documents requested, salary drawbacks etc. How is Republic Bank Ghana Ltd. willing to ease these constraints?

MFA: At Republic Bank, we continue to come out with innovative mortgage products at a rate favorable by market conditions.   Our rate is currently the most affordable on the market.  Just recently, we launched our Public Sector Mortgage product in collaboration with the National Housing and Mortgage Fund (NHMF) for public workers at the most competitive rate on the market.

I take this opportunity to encourage developers to refer customers to us.  We assure you of our excellent service and speed.

TVM: The bank’s half year results recorded an increase in its loan book by 29% to GHS 1.278 billion and its deposit basket by 33% to GHS 2.271 billion. This shows an impressive half-year result. What does the remaining half-year hold for the bank?

MFA: Our strategic initiatives pursued from 2015 to 2018 have contributed to the transformation of the Bank in ways that helped us better weather challenging times.  We have prudently grown our asset base, managed our risks and operating expenses and increased our capital base, thus building significant operating leverage. 

By staying true to our strategic focus for this year and beyond, I am confident we are well positioned to compete with top tier banks as we generate industry-leading returns for shareholders and customers.

TVM: Are there new products and services that the bank is considering to churn out in the near future?

MFA: Yes, the Bank is looking to introduce some new and enhanced digital products soon. As a member of the Republic Financial Holdings Group, there are plans to align with our parent Bank.

MFA: Digital technology is currently transforming the global business landscape including the banking industry. What do you think are some of the key factors that have contributed to this dramatic shift from traditional banking to digital banking?

MFA: Banking has gone from ‘brick and mortar’ to ‘brick and click’.   Customer experience and convenience are driving changes.  Competition from players outside the traditional banking space have emerged and in many cases, are leading the innovation.  Transactional business is now commoditised.   Ease of access and availability of technology, even where banks cannot traditionally reach, are changing the landscape.

In many ways banking remains a personal service and for more value-added transactions our people will continue to make the difference.  We must find ways to seamlessly integrate technology with the need for personalised services through a consistent experience.

TVM: Research shows that digitally matured banks recognize that the impact of digitization is not always directly measurable; they invest in digitizing features that increase in adoption and engagement– such as mobile. What kind of investments is Republic Bank Ghana undertaking to lead the digital banking process?

MFA: When we first took over, we began our transformation process with a significant investment in our IT infrastructure.  Apart from the introduction of new and enhanced electronic and digital products, we will be utilising AI (Articfical Intelligence) for identifying customer needs and Robotics for improving efficiencies in our operations.  All in an effort to serve the customer how and where they wish to be served.

TVM: What are the innovations that have sprung up with regards to your digital banking operations?

MFA: We intend to use digital banking to enter new customer segments in the existing market. 

Our plan is to target not only millennials but also the the unbanked and under-banker. This can also be in partnership with likeminded Fintechs and partners.

TVM: FinTechs are currently disrupting the banking industry with their digital technology innovations. How is the Republic Bank Ghana bracing itself for the tougher competition?

MFA: Banks globally may have been slow to recognise the impact and disruption brought by these Fintechs.  What we are seeing now is more of a collaborative approach by Banks and the Fintechs for the benefit of the customer. We have also seen similar moves in Ghana. Both at the parent company level and here in Ghana, we have started some collaborations and are looking for more opportunities.

TVM: Republic Bank Ltd. became the first bank in the English speaking Caribbean to become a major stakeholder on the African continent through its acquisition of a major stake in HFC Bank (Ghana). Are there intentions of expanding to other African countries in the near future and which countries are you intending to hone in on with regards to this expansion?

MFA: Yes indeed.  Our medium to long-term plans are to enter into the Sub-Sharan market using Ghana as our base. We continue to look for the right opportunities.

TVM: The continent’s biggest bank, Standard Bank, saw its Tier 1 capital grow by 17.41% over the review period. FirstRand, Absa Group and Nedbank, the other South African lenders scoop respectively the second, third and fourth places on the main ranking list that grew Tier 1 capital by 22%, 19% and 19%. These banks will be your competition when you commence your expansion project. What unique strategy will be adopted to make sure Republic bank becomes a force to be reckoned?

MFA: This will be shared at the appropriate time.

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PERSONALITY PROFILE

TVM: Being in charge of one of the leading Universal Banks in Ghana; precisely Republic Bank Ghana, many would like to know who Mr. Farid Antar is?

MFA: I see myself as a very simple and straight-forward individual. I believe in certain values, definitely the core values of the organisation which are also the core values of life. What stands out possibly, are respect for the individual, integrity and so forth. Those are the values I built from my childhood through my parents particularly my mother and others I knew over time. I see myself as one living a life of integrity where I treat everyone equally. I treat everyone with respect and I expect it in return. I do have some high standards. I believe things have to be done properly with a high level of quality and I also believe strongly in customer service, which is also a tenet of the bank. But, there is service and there is satisfaction. So, I can serve you well and quickly but that doesn’t mean you’re happy. I need to make sure you are satisfied because that is what my role is; to ensure that we all understand and live up to that in the organization.

 

TVM: How was growing up for you like?

MFA: I grew up in a middle-income home back in Trinidad. I had a partly sheltered experience growing up; very close to family. It’s similar to the Ghanaian environment where family live close together but not necessarily in the same compound. My father came from Lebanon and by the time I was born, I was one of the late children, the rest of his family returned there. I had simple childhood days.  I played outside a lot; not on the electronic devices and the cell phones but rather personal interaction. We learnt to interact with people, we learnt to give and take and we learnt different elements through that. My mum was someone who believed in honesty and truth and would hold you accountable for that so I grew up with those values. She treated everyone with respect.We never had to sit and learn a lesson from her, but we observed and learned subconsciously. That is the type of individual she was.

TVM: With over 40 years of professional and practical exposure in the banking and financial services industry, how would you describe your journey to this height?

MFA: I will say that it has been nothing short of phenomenal. When I started 40 years ago, these were not the later chapters that I envisaged. Maybe I had no ideas in mind at the time because I actually joined the bank with the intention of staying for a few months, and then going off to study. I wanted to be an accountant and I got accepted into a university in Canada but circumstances didn’t make it possible. One month before I was to leave, we could no longer afford the university education and my manager said to me ‘great! stay with the bank and start your banking exams and we will get you on our promising persons program.’ I never looked back.

I recall the first day I went to work. I went home for lunch because I lived very close, I changed my clothes and said ‘I’m not going back, this is not for me!’

My older brother ran me around the house, made sure I got dressed and got back to work and I’ve never regretted any moment of it after that. Truly there have always been ups and downs but you only grow and build through those circumstances. If everything is great and you’re not challenged, there’s no growth. So, you find a way to overcome all those obstacles in your way and that makes you succeed. It builds your character, your ability to be flexible, and your appreciation of things when you do better.

I was very lucky, however the good Lord planned it. I was able to move to quite a number of areas in the bank at a fairly young age. I joined at the starting position basically and I moved through.

My mother was very easy going and was able to adapt. My father was a very hard worker. He was able to make whatever we needed happen. So I learnt those values and I value hard work and I knew that it would all pay off in the end.

Republic Bank is a very good employer; an excellent employer. They encourage you to perform and they recognize performance. Beyond just being a core banker, I honed other skills and got broad experiences, and here I am in Ghana.

 

TVM: What is your fondest childhood memory?

MFA: I think I had a very good childhood but I can’t pinpoint a single memory. I had excellent neighbours and friends who were like my brothers and sisters and we grew up together. We played cricket in the yard. I’m not a great footballer. We played cards and other games with the neighbours, we were one community. My life has been about the small events and it is the accumulated effects of the small events. I mean there were some great experiences, can’t really pull them out from memory. Some interesting memories and friendships along the way.  They all contributed to the person I’ve become.

TVM: Money laundering has seen an uptick in recent times and that has led to Ghana being listed among 23 nations to be blacklisted by The European Commission in a press release on February 13, 2019. Banks play a vital role in the fight against this act. Being a certified Anti-Money Laundering Certified Associate (AMLCA), how do you think we can combat this threat as a nation?

MFA: Our checks with the FIC of BOG reveal that Ghana is not blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is the global standard setting body with regards to AML/CFT. Based on the fact that Ghana is the only West African country to participate in the second round of the mutual evaluation process, its commitment to strengthen its evolving Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) framework is recognised by all. I am confident that the country is working towards getting a clean bill of health by all the regulating bodies.

As a Bank dedicated to operating within the guidelines of the AML/CFT, my conviction is that the fight against this threat should be unanimous across all fronts and spearheaded by the very apex of the nation’s authorities.

 

TVM: “Strategic leading and leading by example are key to my style of leadership,” You averred. Kindly share an experience that required your strategic leadership?

MFA: There are a couple of instances. I worked in Barbados, in one of our subsidiaries after we acquired it. I was put in charge of the branch network and marketing and a couple of other areas. Later, I was taken off to the lead the team responsible to changing the core banking system. On one occasion, going through a process we had done quite a detailed review on a selection, we made a recommendation and it went through our board at Barbados and also through our board in Trinidad and got approval. As we were going through this setup process and the gap analysis, we realised that we had not made the right decision and there are not many people who would be willing to go back and say “look we think we made a mistake, we would like to review”.  My team and I said “look, we have to do the right thing”.

Strategically, it was not right for the organization. So, the leadership there is that you take ownership and take the steps to correct it. It is better to correct it early than to live with the wrong thing.

TVM: Outside this, what other leadership styles do you employ as a leader?

MFA: I believe in treating everyone equally. We are all the same. There’s no small job, there’s no unimportant job in any organization and it starts with the cleaner. If the cleaner does not clean the office, then customers and staff will not have a clean, friendly environment. If the security guard does not ensure that people are safe and secured on their path, then…

So, it all builds. It is a hierarchical rule. We all have our positions because I can’t do without them whether in the front office or the back office. So it is about motivating people and letting them understand the role they play. I value everyone as an individual and that is probably my most fundamental belief, that “you treat people with respect and you give them the benefit of the doubt.”

 

TVM: As the MD of Republic Bank Ghana, aside the broad long term vision that you are expected to continue, what is your personal vision for the bank considering the highly competitive market you find yourself?

MFA: My long term vision is for the brand in Ghana and Africa to grow. I’m very committed to the vision of the group as a whole and where we see ourselves in the future. The last five years in particular have seen the group transform significantly. My goal is to share in the vision of the group and ensure we align and contribute to our full potential; that’s my major role. And when I depart, we will all see our roles as part of the Republic family and be proud of what the Republic Bank brought to Ghana and the wider sub-Saharan Africa. So that’s what I want to see when I leave Ghana.

TVM: What is your management philosophy? 

MFA: As an MD, I believe in servant leadership; empowering people but holding them accountable for their actions. To do that, you have to understand the organisation, the people, the capabilities you have and what you need to do to grow. So it’s really leading by example. As my staff will say, I try to turn things around quickly because I practice what I ask them to do. So, it’s a lot of management by example.

TVM: Did you or do you have any mentor(s) that have influenced your philosophies in life, business, etc.?

MFA: Yes. Because I’ve spent 40 years in the organisation, many of them come from Republic Bank but there are other mentors in my life. They are not just mentors in banking or business. Outside of the bank, I have my mother who played a key role but unfortunately died when I was about 20 yrs old. She really played a key role. In the bank, some of my senior managers have played significant roles.

Also, there is our soon to-be-retired chairman of the group, Mr. Ronald Harford, who was also a former managing director and the current MD and President of the group, Mr. Nigel Baptiste; he is definitely a mentor. I love interacting with older folks as well because of the life lessons you get; more than business lessons. But you learn from everyone. So yes, I have quite a range. I have one of my brothers as well. Growing up, he was very instrumental in helping me transition to adulthood. He is named after my father; Amir and we call him Junior. He played a very important role as well.

TVM: What do you do outside of work?

MFA: Honestly, these days it is not much because work consumes quite a lot of time. Previously, as I mentioned earlier, I loved cricket. I played cricket some 30 years ago or so. Currently, I do a bit of TV. I like to read a lot of articles whether business or life and I like to watch nature programs, national geographic, travel shows etc. My wife, Rohini, and I have started some travel and intend to do more after I retire

 

TVM: What kinds of books do you read? Is there any particular book(s) that has significantly shaped or influenced your life?

MFA: There are quite a few that are business related. The two that really stand out to me are; Good to Great (By James C. Collins) and Blue Ocean Strategy (By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne). Good to Great for me stands tall. They share stories on strategy and good leadership lessons. Also, there are other excellent books– The Leader Who Had No Title (by Robin Sharma), The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (also from the same author); and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (by Malcolm Goadwell); they are more philosophical. Life is phenomenal and as a mentor, I would recommend it to all.

TVM: Since you came to Ghana, which of the local delicacies have you tasted and which is your favorite?

MFA: Well unfortunately, I haven’t experimented much. A lot of what you have in Ghana is similar to what we have in the Caribbean. So, like you have jollof rice, we have a little different version. it’s called Pelau (peas and rice or rice and peas) as many Trinidadians would say. So, we enjoy that with stew but the main difference is the spice. I love kelewele; I always love the flavour of it, it’s great. I like light soup. I prefer chicken light soup.

TVM: What genre of music do you listen to?

MFA: I appreciate all types of music. A lot of Ghanaian music I have heard is similar to Caribbean music. In the Caribbean, the sound that has French influence is called Zouk and our traditional, calypso. I like some RnB, hip pop, country songs and Western. I appreciate opera and classical as well.

TVM: What does the future hold for you beyond banking?

MFA: Rohini and I, thankfully share similar aspirations. We want to tour of course, but we want to do some charity work too. I want to give back because I’ve been blessed in many ways.

TVM: Your advice to the BOG?

MFA: That’s a difficult one! So much has been happening in the industry. By and large, what has been done was brave and necessary. It took a lot by the Bank of Ghana, led by the Governor and the government in support; the Ministry of Finance and the President, to take the steps they took. I applaud them because the industry really needed it. There was a need for such rationalisation that will put some level of discipline in the industry, resulting in a very strong financial sector.

We’re going through that phase now. People have to be held accountable; examples have to be set. If there is no consequence, then actions can be repeated. Those are the thoughts I have with regards to what was done to clean up and stabilise the industry.

But then, there are other aspects of the banking sector that need to be rectified. For example, the NPLs. The Non-Performing Loans remain high but as one of my colleagues here will say, it’s not so much as if we are adding more bad loans. I know some work has been started. As of now, Ghana Association of Bankers has dialogued on it. Data has been collected and they are looking to improve that process.

The Governor, you would have seen, sent out a directive recently about the unacceptability of accepting fees for attracting deposits. That also made the system inefficient. It added cost to the system and also made the playing field uneven. So, there are a number of things that have been done by the Bank of Ghana that I expect that within the medium term, will continue to benefit us. 

We have already seen the settling of the banks and the growth of the banks that have remained.

Soon the monies that had been held back from the banking system will start coming back in and we’ll have that increasing confidence in the system

TVM: What advice would you give to the banking industry players?

MFA: I think we all need to take some responsibility for what has happened in the industry. What we need to do is to share a lot of information. Bank of Ghana gets a lot of information that is not necessarily public. We can only make good decisions based on good data. So a lot of the data around will help us as industry players.

As an industry, we need to collaborate, set our standards. Bank of Ghana has the standard for behaviour. They are good and we have to live and be committed to it.

As an industry, we have to see ourselves as the engine of growth and as such, we have to build our capacity. We have to co-operate. We are competitors, but there are certain things we have to cooperate on. For example, as advanced as Ghana is in the digital space and mobile money front, banks and the mobile operators have interoperability and are able to transfer seamlessly.  However, it is not as consistent among the banks, for example it is taking quite a while for all banks to be accessible on the gh-link network.

We need to do what is best for this market. I think a lot of collaboration and sharing of information is very necessary.

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TVM: What advice would you give to the youth who look up to you as their mentor?

MFA: They should stay true to themselves; their will is their power. One of the things I have on my email sign off is ‘Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence’. The youth should maintain their high standards. Not everybody will be an MD or a Doctor but whatever you do, be the best at it. Live with high integrity so you can sleep at night and have no one come back to say anything bad about you. When you leave this world you won’t take anything with you. So I’ll say once again, it’s Integrity, Morality, live up to your promises. In a nutshell- have High Standards.

 

In a statement to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, Former President, John Dramani Mahama has urged the Akufo-Administration to stop making excuses when it comes to combating corruption. “We will strengthen and make the anti-corruption agencies work without fear or favor. If we are to win the fight against corruption, Government must stop making excuses as a coverup for the increasing cases of corruption. President Akufo-Addo’s practice of “clearing” corrupt appointees and hamper investigations must stop,”...