|Mr. Solomon Awini|
Fifty-Six (56) individuals, businesses and social enterprise organisations in Northern Ghana have been honoured at the maiden edition of the Northern Investor Awards held in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The awardees comprise of individuals and investors in various sectors of the economy including hotel and tourism, health, education, social entrepreneurship, media, agribusiness, fashion, arts and entertainment among others.
However, one of the major highlights of the well attended event was the overall award given to BESSFA Rural Bank Limited in the Bawku Municipality.
General Manager of the Bank, Solomon Awini also received an award in the mentorship category. For his prize, he received a plague and a certificate as well as a trophy for his bank.
Mr. Awini who is a former investment officer at SSNIT, took over the management of BESSFA Rural Bank at a time it could not pay workers salaries and give loans to small and medium enterprises to do business.
Speaking to Savannahnews shortly after being honoured, he said at the time he took over as General Manager of the bank in 1991, there was no money and most customers including individuals and organisations deserted the bank.
He said he had to appeal to organisations such as the Catholic Church, Presby Agric Station and ISODEC who all spoke to their partners abroad to come and invest in the bank to enable it stand on its feet again.
The bank, he said, is now one of the best and formidable rural banks in the country, adding that BESSFA Rural Bank is currently the 29th Rural Bank among 146 rural banks in Ghana and is rated strong, the highest rating given to a rural bank.
Over the years, he said the bank has provided scholarships to medical students to study abroad, paid fees of needy but brilliant students, donated books to educational institutions, donated building materials towards the construction of hostel facilities in schools and among others.
|CEO, The Investor Consult|
Personally, Mr. Solomon Awini has trained a dozen of young men and women who were later employed by other financial institutions that came later to establish businesses in Bawku. “I have sponsored some students on my own to complete school and they are working and taking care of their families”, he added.
BESSFA Rural Bank’s performance has not gone unnoticed. In recent times, it has received awards from USAID-ADVANCE, Apex Bank and the Northern Rural Growth Programme.
Organised by business advisory company, The Investor Consult, the Northern Investor Awards seeks to recognise, appreciate, encourage and motivate hardworking entrepreneurs and investors in Northern Ghana.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of The Investor Consult, Prince Siita Hissan Sofo, the Awards also seeks to close up the gap in the recognition of entrepreneurs and investors in the North since most of these businesses would usually not be given the opportunity to compete favourably with their counterparts in the South.
He explained that, over 200 nominations were made into 17 different categories and eventually, 56 entries were shortlisted for the awards.
Meanwhile other prominent sons and daughters who have served as role models and mentors to many young people in Northern Ghana over the years in their respective career fields were also honoured.
They include the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Minister for Zongo and Inner City Development, Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Saddique, Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, the immediate past Bank of Ghana Governor, Dr. Nashiru Issahaku and Minority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu.
The rest are Professor David Millar, Vice Chancellor of Millar Open University, Manasseh Azuri Awuni of Multimedia Group, Abdul-Hayi Moomen of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Alhassan Andani of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Dr. Abass Adam, a neuro surgeon and Alhaji Abdulai Yahaya, first District Secretary of Tamale under the CPP government.