A study conducted by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) on the political economy of national development banks in Ghana has concluded that the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and National Investment Bank (NIB) do not fit as national development banks.
The study sought to understand why and how Ghanaian national development banks have evolved in their governance structures and operations, the impacts of this on their financial and developmental performance, and the challenges they face within their enabling environment.
“Considering the contemporary structure of a development bank, it has been established that ADB and NIB do not fit as national development banks,” said Charles Odoom, ACET’s Head of Private Sector Development, at a validation workshop on the study in Accra.
According to him, ADB and NIB changed from their initial mandates as national development banks due to the challenges they faced after the reformation era.
Dr. Edward Brown, Senior Director, Research and Advisory, at ACET, urged government to focus on the governance arrangements of development banks.
“[Our] preliminary recommendation is that they should look at governance arrangements—take examples from elsewhere where it has worked better, learn from success stories and see where you can adapt those success stories to help improve the performance of these institutions,” he said.
A lead consultant for the study, Prof. Joshua Abor, said it is imperative to align the development banks within the framework of government developmental objectives.