Since the construct was born in Bangladesh about three decennaries ago, microfinance has proved its value, in many states, as a arm against poorness and hungriness. It truly can alter people ‘s lives for the better, particularly the lives of those who need it most UN secretary General Kofi A. Annan ( Latifee, 2006 )
In September 2000, constructing upon a decennary of major United Nations conferences and acmes, universe leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow the United Nations Millennium Declaration, perpetrating their states to a new planetary partnership to cut down utmost poorness and puting out a series of time-bound marks, with a deadline of 2015. These finally became known as the Millennium Development Goals ( MDG ) . The committedness of these universe leaders in work outing the poorness job was shown in the first of these ends ( MDG 1 ) , which states that the proportion of people with an income of less than US $ 1.00 a twenty-four hours shall be halved comparative to what it was in 1990. In the planetary sphere there is already the feeling that microfinance is successful in cut downing poorness. Many policy shapers are hence engaged on how to do microfinance sustainable and available to many hapless families in the hereafter ( Bamwesigye, 2008 ) .
Microfinance, mostly regarded in the development sphere as a powerful tool in battling poorness hints its etymological roots from two words. These two words are micro and finance which literally mean little recognition. The construct, nevertheless, goes beyond the proviso of little recognition to the hapless, harmonizing to Kiiru ( 2007 ) . Christen ( 1997 ) defines microfinance as ‘the agencies of supplying a assortment of fiscal services to the hapless based on market-driven and commercial attacks ‘ .
Though microcredit ( i.e. , supplying the hapless with little recognition with the hope of bettering their labour productiveness and thereby take to increment in family incomes ) is what readily comes to mind when one thinks of microfinance, Christen ‘s definition encompasses proviso of other fiscal services such as nest eggs, money transportations, payments, remittals, and insurance, among others.
The optimism over the function and the motion of micro finance as a poorness decrease intercession is progressively going stronger evidenced by the micro recognition acme run in 1997. This acme targeted to halve hapless people in 2005 and unfastened entree for 100 million of the poorest households by 2015 for self-employment and the declaration of the twelvemonth 2005 as the international micro recognition twelvemonth by the United Nations ( Kiiru, 2007 ; Latifee, 2006 ; Bamwesigye, 2008 ) .
In the same mode CGAP ( 2006 ) emphasizes that entree to fiscal services can assist hapless people take control of their lives. It stresses that fiscal services can set power into the custodies of hapless families, leting them to come on from hand-mouth endurance to be aftering for the hereafter, geting physical and fiscal assets, and puting in better nutrition, improved life conditions, and kids wellness and instruction.
This research paper analyses how microfinance can be used as a tool in poorness relief. It tows the popular subject of poorness and microfinance in the planetary sphere, contracting it down to Assin-Akropong in the Central Region. The paper examines whether the hapless have been included in and or excluded from microfinance, the sort and nature of merchandises provided, outreach, how and in what ways microfinance has helped the hapless to go out from the poorness traps, and the challenges met by microfinance programme in making the hapless.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Turning concerns about poorness has been a developmental concern for all authoritiess, particularly, African authoritiess ( Asiama and Osei, 2007 cited in Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) . Between 1990 and 2001 the head count ratio of poorness for all Least Developed Countries ( LDCs ) fell from 27.9 % to 21.1 % , but the ratio for Africa really increased from 44.6 % to 46.4 % , taking analyst to doubt if Africa will accomplish its mark by 2015 ( UNDP, 2007 ) . In the specific instance of Ghana, the Ghana Living Standards Survey ( GLSS ) in 1991 gave the poorness degree as 51.7 % but there was a decrease in 1999 to 39.5 % . This dropped further to 28.5 % in 2005. Of these per centums, a big figure of adult females have been seen to be more prone to poorness ( Fosu and Tsikata, 2007, cited in Bamwesigye, 2008 ) .
Microfinance over the old ages has been considered one of the most effectual and flexible schemes in the battle against planetary poorness. It is said to be sustainable and can be implemented on the monolithic graduated table necessary to react to pressing demands of those populating on less than US $ 1.00 a twenty-four hours ( GHAMFIN, 2005 ) It has been seen to be advancing economic growing since loans given are purportedly used in puting in micro concern. This statement is non wholly true because financess from microfinance harmonizing to Ditcher ( 2007 ) have been largely used for ingestion instead than concern development. This licking the whole intent of microfinance which is supposed to assist relieve poorness through allowing little loans to those considered as uncredit-worthy to break their life criterions. It is really obvious that poorness in Ghana can non be wholly effaced but efficient microfinance techniques can relieve it to an appreciable degree. This survey has been prefixed on the above issues in the instance of clients of occupants of Assin – Akropong. The cardinal inquiry that will be answered in this survey is whether microfinance has so had an impact on the poorness state of affairs in the town, utilizing clients of Akoti Rural Bank Limited ( ARBL ) as the instance survey.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the survey is to measure the impact of microfinance on poorness decrease in Ghana, utilizing clients of Akoti Rural Bank in Assin-Akropong as the instance survey. The specific surveies will be as follows:
Find the microfinance services offered by ARBL that is targeted at poorness relief.
Ascertain from the position of the donees how those merchandises have led to poverty relief or otherwise in Assin-Akropong.
Relate involvement charges to poverty intrenchment among clients of ARBL.
Determine the challenges/constraints faced by ARBL in the bringing of microfinance services to the hapless
The survey will reply the undermentioned inquiries:
What microfinance merchandises are offered by ARBL that is targeted at poorness relief?
Have those services led to the decrease of poorness or otherwise among donees?
What function do involvement charges have in poorness relief among clients of ARBL?
What challenges/constraints are faced by ARBL presenting microfinance services to the hapless?
1.5 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY.
The United Nations through the MDG has reiterated its committedness to cut downing world-wide poorness by 2015. In this line, the Government of Ghana since 2000 has embarked on the Poverty Alleviation Campaign through many anti-poverty decrease programmes of which micro funding is portion ( Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) .
Although micro finance is non the lone redress for poorness and poorness related development challenges, it has and continues to play an of import function in cut downing poorness through the creative activity of occupation chances for the hapless which leads to increase in incomes, leting the hapless to construct assets, cut down their exposure, and better instruction degrees by increasing school registration and take downing drop-out rates among those who participate in microfinance programmes. This survey will foreground these benefits.
The survey will besides dig into one cardinal country that the research worker believes worsens the state of affairs of hapless people who entree microfinance merchandises, Internet Explorer, involvement rates. It will measure how involvement charges cut down the benefits microfinance clients are supposed to bask and do their state of affairs worse away. The findings here will be of involvement to microfinance operators, bookmans and policy shapers in the authorities.
Overall, the survey has been designed to dig into determining the extent of poorness in Assin Akropong, the sort of merchandises designed to relieve poorness and how effectual these have been and eventually, the challenges MFIs face in poorness relief in the town. In the visible radiation of the function of microfinance in poorness relief, the survey is seen as a good resource for policy chases by the authorities towards the expansive vision of poorness relief. Besides, it will function as literature beginning for future research workers who want to analyze on the issue of microfinance and its linkage to poverty relief.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
Poverty decrease and microfinance are two omnipresent issues that can be tackled from multiple angles. The range of this survey ; nevertheless, is to measure how microfinance has led to the decrease of poorness state of affairs on Assin-Akropong. In other words, it is designed to measure whether microfinance has had a positive consequence in poorness in the town.
Besides, this survey could hold used any of the Bankss or the legion microfinance establishments in the town for its instance survey. The research worker nevertheless chose to analyze the issue from the position of clients of ARBL because he is a Staff therefore information would be readily available to him. Second, it is one of the taking Bankss in the town hence findings on the function and challenges on micro finance and poorness relief could be generalized for the other banking establishments in the country. Therefore, every literature reappraisal, questionnaire design and information assemblage will be done in the visible radiation of this range.
The major restriction envisaged in the survey is the fact that the findings might non use to other establishments, particularly the commercial Bankss. Attempts will nevertheless be made to accomplish both cogency and dependability in the survey. Again, clip and resource restraints might restrict the thoroughness with which the research worker wants to set about the survey. Nevertheless, attempts will be made to show a well-researched work despite the clip and fiscal resource restraints. With that said, it must be emphasized that most of the restraints will be brought to the bow at the informations assemblage phase. These will be presented and elucidated on in the concluding presentation.
The research paper will be organized into five chapters. Chapter one will consist the background to the survey, statement of the job, aims of the survey, research inquiries, and significance of survey. The 2nd chapter will supply a reappraisal of literature related to the issue of poorness and microfinance.
The 3rd chapter, entitled Methodology, will give information on the Research Design, Sampling and Sampling Techniques, Data aggregation process, Validity and dependability. Chapter four will supply information on the information analysis, presentation of consequences and treatment on the information collected. Finally, chapter five, will give information on the sum-up, recommendation and decision.
‘The identify to stoping utmost poorness is to enable the poorest of the hapless to acquire their pes on the ladder to development. The ladder of development hovers overhead, and the poorest of the hapless are stuck beneath it. They lack the minimal sum of capital necessary to acquire a bridgehead, and hence necessitate a encouragement up to the first round ‘ Jeffrey Sachs quoted on hypertext transfer protocol: //www.betterworld.net/quotes/microcredit-quotes. This observation of Jeffery Sachs sums the state of affairs of the hapless in most African states, with Ghana non excluded. This subdivision of the survey will measure the major issues of poorness and microfinance from the position of several writers.
2.2 Understanding Poverty
2.2.1 Defining poorness and the hapless
Kuuri ( 2007 ) , citing World Bank estimations reported that about 1.3 million people of the universe live with less than one dollar a twenty-four hours ( World Bank ) while about half of the universe ‘s people ( about three billion people ) live on less than two dollars a twenty-four hours. In fact, the entire wealth of the universe ‘s three richest persons is greater than the combined gross domestic merchandise of the 48 poorest states ; ( about a one-fourth of the full universe provinces ( Ignacio 1998, cited in Kuuri, 2007 ) . The above observations show the extent of inequality in the distribution of wealth in the universe and significantly, the prevalence of poorness across the universe. It is obvious that the universe ‘s wealth is lopsided or skewed in its distribution. As a affair of fact, the United States of America, which is one state, self-praise of more and billionaires than the whole of Africa, set together ( Forbes, 2012 ) .
Though there are several definition and apprehension of poorness, it is by and large expressed as stuff want. By and big, poorness is defined as the province of being hapless or deficient in money or agencies of subsistence ( Barker, 1995 cited in Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) . However, harmonizing to World Bank ( 2002 ) , specifying poorness entirely as being money want is non sufficient ; since it overlook societal factors. Consequently, the organisation quips that societal indexs and indexs of hazard and exposure must besides be considered and understood to obtain a clear image of poorness. Social indexs such as handiness of infrastructural services, including safe H2O, sanitation, solid waste aggregation and disposal, storm drainage, public transit, entree roads and pathwaies, street lighting and public telephones are all factors to see with respects to poverty definition ( Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) .
In the literatures, the undermentioned offered for poorness definitions have been:
The Scottish Poverty Information Unit defines poverty comparative to the criterions of life in a society at a specific clip. Peoples live in poorness when they are denied an income sufficient for their stuff demands and these fortunes exclude them from taking portion in activities which are recognized parts of day-to-day life in that society ( Scots Poverty Information Unit, 2007 ) .
The World Bank Organization ( 2002 ) asserts that “ The most normally used manner to mensurate poorness is based on incomes. A individual is considered hapless if his or her income degree falls below some minimal degree necessary to run into basic demands. This minimal degree is normally called the “ poverty line ” . What is necessary to fulfill basic demands varies across clip and societies. Therefore, poorness lines vary in clip and topographic point, and each state uses lines which are appropriate to its degree of development, social norms and values. ”
Harmonizing to the United Nations, basically, poorness is a denial of picks and chances, a misdemeanor of human self-respect. It means deficiency of basic capacity to take part efficaciously in society. It means that one does non hold plenty to feed and dress a household, non holding a school or clinic to travel to, non holding the land on which to turn one ‘s nutrient or a occupation to gain one ‘s life, non holding entree to micro funding. It means insecurity, impotence and exclusion of persons, families and communities. It means susceptibleness to force, and it frequently implies populating on fringy or delicate environments, without entree to clean H2O or sanitation. ( Human Right Facts ( 94 ) )
Pitted together, these definitions encapsulate the construct of poorness, though the fact remains that poorness means several things to several establishments and persons, despite the common yarn that weaves through these definitions. As a affair of fact, most of these organisations could non specify the construct but instead had to stop up depicting what the construct is, by manner of definition. The across-the-board nature of these definitions further underscores the desperate state of affairs of poorness in Africa in general and Ghana in poorness. For case, the nutrient facet of poorness definition does non merely refer to merely nutrient passe but besides includes clean H2O and sanitation services.
2.2.2 Poverty as a barbarous rhythm
The rhythm of poorness has been defined as a phenomenon where hapless households become trapped in poorness for at least three coevalss. These households have either limited or no resources ( Marger, 2008 ) . There are many disadvantages that jointly work in a round procedure doing it virtually impossible for persons to interrupt the rhythm. This occurs when hapless people do non hold the resources necessary to acquire out of poorness, such as fiscal capital, instruction, or connexions ( Marger, 2008 ) . In other words, destitute persons experience disadvantages as a consequence of their poorness, which in bend additions their poorness. This would intend that the hapless remain hapless throughout their lives. The wand is finally passed over to their kids and the tendency can go on indefinitely.
Oxfam ( n.d. ) , mentioning United Nations figures reported that about 25,000 people die every twenty-four hours of hungriness or hunger-related causes, as a consequence of the rhythm of poorness. The job is that hungry people are trapped in terrible poorness. They lack the money to purchase plenty nutrient to nurture themselves. Bing invariably malnourished, they become weaker and frequently ill. This makes them progressively less able to work, which so makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral of poorness is frequently perpetuated until the individual dies.
Harmonizing to the World Health Organization ( WHO ) , diseases such as Malaria, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis Diarrheal diseases including cholera and dysentery putting to death more than 2 million people, most particularly kids each twelvemonth in hapless states. Though these diseases are treatable, these immense Numberss still die owing to poverty, finally immersing households on the way to the barbarous rhythm of poorness.
The barbarous rhythm of poorness has nevertheless been disputed in a survey McCulloch and Baulch ( 2000 ) did. The research workers found that poorness was non inactive or transitional. Contrary to the stance of anti-poverty reformers, McCulloch and Baulch ( 2000 ) found that hapless families move in and out of poorness.
2.2.3 Levels/Types of Poverty
Poverty has many dimensions or types. It includes chronic or transitory, income or non-income, pecuniary and non-monetary, absolute and comparative, material and psychological. Harmonizing to Montgomery and Weiss ( 2005 ) and subsequently Bamwesigye ( 2008 ) poorness can loosely be classified into
The long-run or ‘chronic hapless ‘
The chronic hapless can farther be broken into
Those necessitating public assistance or the destitute
The destitute can farther be divided into
The nucleus hapless
The non-core hapless
Those needing assets and chances to get the better of poorness
Impermanent hapless or those who fall into poorness as a consequence of inauspicious dazes ( ephemeral hapless ) .
In rule, microfinance relate to the chronic ( non-destitute ) hapless and to the transitory hapless ( Bamwesigye, 2008 ) . In the McCulloch and Baulch ( 2000 ) that was quoted earlier on, it was found that contrary to the position of anti-poverty reformers, hapless families move in and out of poorness. The survey confirmed the determination of the UK Institute of Development Studies that poorness has two parts: a chronic portion and a ephemeral portion. The research workers hence examined the impact of two different types of policy – those designed to smooth out incomes and those designed to advance income growing – on the extent of transitory and chronic poorness in rural Pakistan. The survey suggests that policies which help families to smooth income can dramatically cut down transitory poorness. But in the long-run, merely big and sustained growing in family incomes will cut down chronic poorness. The consequences of using different steps of transitory and chronic poorness to the income informations suggest that 68 % of entire poorness is ephemeral, originating from fluctuations in families ‘ incomes.
Another categorization, albeit similar to the 1 advanced by Montgomery and Weiss and subsequently Bamwesigye has been given by Awaworyi and Danso ( 2010 ) . They classified poorness into Type A, B and C.
Type A Poverty
This type is about deficient resources to run into basic demands, such as nutrition, shelter, wellness and instruction. This inadequacy can ensue in the undermentioned stuff symptoms of poorness
Low income or ingestion degrees
Low mean Calories consumption degrees
High baby mortality rates
Low life anticipation rates
High illiteracy rates
Widespread diseases, particularly curable 1s
Famine or high hazard of dearth
High rates of economic migration.
Type B Poverty
This type is about absolute and comparative poorness. Absolute poorness is defined as the deficiency of sufficient resources. It measures the figure of people populating below a certain income threshold or the figure of families unable to afford certain basic goods and services. Relative poorness defines income or resources in relation to the norm. It is concerned with the absence of the stuff needs to take part to the full in accepted day-to-day life. It measures the extent to which a family ‘s fiscal resources falls below an mean income threshold for the economic system. Poverty type A is frequently linked to poverty type B, i.e. the more unequal a society, the more people suffer from absolute poorness.
Type C Poverty
A 3rd sort of poorness is exposure, the existent hazard of future poorness. This exposure can ensue in the undermentioned psychological symptoms of poorness:
Feelingss of insecurity
Irrational safeguard steps
Lack Family planning determinations
One empirical survey done in this visible radiation was undertaken by Navajas et Al ( 2000 ) . The survey analyzed the deepness of outreach for 5 microfinance organisations in Bolivia, harmonizing to poorness categorized utilizing the 1992 national poorness appraisal. The categorization of the hapless beneath the poorness line were Is ) hapless and the remainder were ii ) non-poor. The hapless were sub-classified as I ) centrist or two ) poorest. The survey made the undermentioned findings
That the five microfinance organisations in Bolivia, most frequently, did non make the poorest of the hapless but instead those merely above and merely below the poorness line
That the group loaners ( group loans ) reached the poorest better than single loaners
The survey farther highlighted the demand for more examination of the inundation of financess budgeted in the name of entree to loans for the poorest with the decision that “ What matters is non whether the microfinance organisations reached the poorest of the hapless, but whether they reached the poorest of those who demanded loans and who were creditworthy. “ ( p.23 )
Furthermore, it was found that
The five loaners reached about 4,500 of the poorest out of a portfolio of more than 52,000 borrowers ( 8.65 % )
Microfinance has been defined by the CGAP Microfinance Gateway ( n.d. ) as the proviso of fiscal services for hapless and low-income clients offered by different types of service suppliers. The construct has besides been seen as the proviso of a wide scope of fiscal services such as – sedimentations, loans, payment services, money transportations and insurance merchandises – to the hapless and low-income families, for their microenterprises and little concerns, to enable them to raise their income degrees and better their life criterions ( Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) .
In pattern, the term is frequently used more narrowly to mention to loans and other services from suppliers that identify themselves as “ microfinance establishments ” ( MFIs ) . These establishments normally tend to utilize new methods developed over the last 30 old ages to present really little loans to uncompensated borrowers, taking small or no collateral. These methods include group loaning and liability, pre-loan nest egg demands, bit by bit increasing loan sizes, and an inexplicit warrant of ready entree to future loans if present loans are repaid to the full and quickly ( CGAP Microfinance Gateway, n.d. ; Awaworyi and Danso, 2010 ) .
Maanen ( 2004 ) states that microfinance, is about banking the un-bankables, conveying recognition, nest eggs and other indispensable fiscal services within the range of 10s or instead 100s of 1000000s of people who are excessively hapless to be served by regular Bankss, in most instances because they are unable to offer sufficient collateral. Microfinance can encompass a scope of fiscal services that seek to run into the demands of hapless people, both protecting them from fluctuating incomes and other dazes and assisting to advance their incomes and supports ( Rogaly et al 1999 ) cited by Fisher and Sriram. ( 2002 ) .
Montgomery and Weiss ( 2005 ) have observed that the hapless, before the coming of microfinance, normally relied on money from money loaners at high involvement rates or friends and household whose supply is frequently limited or inconsistent. MFIs effort to get the better of these barriers through advanced steps such as group loaning and regular nest eggs strategies. In a survey done by Marguerita ( 2001 ) , she found that
“ Among the economically active hapless of the underdeveloped universe, there is strong demand for small-scale commercial fiscal services-for both recognition and nest eggs. Where available, these and other fiscal services aid low income people improve family and endeavor direction, addition productiveness, smooth income flows and ingestion cost, enlarge and diversify their micro concern and increase their incomes. ” ( p. 6 )
2.3.2 Models of Microfinance
Harmonizing to Aryeetey ( 1995 ) and Okanji ( 2009 ) , there are fundamentally two chief theoretical accounts of microfinance, that is, formal and informal theoretical accounts of supplying micro recognition to the mark group.
188.8.131.52 The Informal Model
The informal theoretical account is built around group construct. The theoretical account works in a state of affairs where groups whose committedness to nest eggs and recognition are weak and look up to donor-sponsored recognition. While this works better with a group that voluntarily come together to organize a revolving nest eggs and recognition association, it develops managerial job where the groups are non cohesive and non voluntary ( Besley, coate and Loury 1993 ) . Okanji ( 2009 ) list three patterns that can be classiefied under this theoretical account.
The Grammen Bank attack – They started with the group concept-informal loaning to the hapless. It involved helping landless people in Bangladesh obtain recognition that could non be obtained from the formal fiscal system. As at 1999, the Grammen Bank had provided its services to about 1.5 million hapless, unified about 60,000 little small town Bankss in the linkage procedure and about $ 480 million to its clients for little graduated table trade, building, backup financess or local production recognition every bit good as for exigency financess.
The Non-Government Organization ( NGO ) attack -This attack adapt the Grammen rules and normally are gender specific and sartorially motivated. There are adult females groups, husbandmans brotherhood, bargainer brotherhood etc.
Susu attack – Susu is a revolving loan strategy operated in most West African states, including Ghana. The group formed to run the revolving strategies is voluntarily, where members make fixed parts of money at regular intervals. At each interval, one member collects the full parts from all. Every member takes a bend until the rhythm is completed, and so it starts once more.
184.108.40.206 The Formal Model
The formal micro-finance theoretical account is built around formal fiscal establishments such as the commercial Bankss, rural/community Bankss. Cases in Ghana are HFC ‘s Boafo, GCB ‘s Kudi Nkosoo among others. Harmonizing to Okanji ( 2009 ) , most of the formal establishments that purvey recognition to the hapless had non been successful. The grounds adduced for their failure had been limited cognition of the hapless and no closer relationship between the formal establishments and the informal establishment.
2.3.3 Microfinance Targeting and Outreach
Targeting is a method of placing a certain subdivision of the population or country to profit from the services offered ( Bamwesigye, 2008 ) . The ground behind it was that economic growing benefited the developed countries and comfortable people in many of the developing states. Since this means that the hapless people normally ne’er enjoyed any benefits accruing from economic growing, the witting targeting of the hapless basing on their assets, societal groups and incomes emerged was seen as the most feasible agencies of making the hapless ( Hirway, 2003 ) . However, microfinance targeting has sometimes been debatable because of the ill-defined definition of who is hapless. As a consequence some not-so-poor people have benefited from microfinance services where the nucleus hapless were supposed to hold benefited.
Harmonizing to Vega ( 1998 ) as cited by Qorinilwan ( 2005 ) outreach is the figure of people reached by a given undertaking. To scale up programmes to make a big figure of clients with little sum of resources has proved an elusive mark of many micro recognition strategies because of fiscal and other restraints. For the intent of this survey, outreach refers to the graduated table, geographical outreach, deepness of outreach, quality and comprehensiveness.
2.4 Effect of Microfinance on Poverty decrease
Simanowitz et Al ( 2002 ) cited by Nalunkuuma ( 2006 ) argues that poorness decrease is a procedure of increasing income and economic stableness, which will take to improved fulfilment of basic demands and services and developing a scope of assets that will cut down family exposure to physical, societal and economic daze. Johnson and Rogaly ( 1997 ) stress that poorness can besides be understood as exposure to downward fluctuations in income. “ Interventions which cut down such exposure and protect supports besides cut down poorness ” , Johnson and Rogaly ( 1997 ) emphasized.
Harmonizing to Guerin and Palier ( 2005 ) , the primary aim of microfinance is the proviso of fiscal assistance on a little graduated table to those who are on the peripheries of society, excessively overwhelmed by the formal limitations and processs of the organized sector, excessively vulnerable to assist themselves and left out of the mainstream. Microfinance provided to the vulnerable has to be synonymous with authorization of the beneficiary groups in order to prolong their income flow and do them economically independent ( ibid ) . Micro recognition is by and large considered to be an effectual tool for making the hapless and exciting the transmutation of the barbarous circle of poorness into a virtuous rhythm of economic development ( Lont and Hospes, 2004 ) hence playing a prima function in the procedure of economic development.
Consequently, Bamwesigye ( 2008 ) argues that microfinance establishments are intended to supply dependable and low-cost fiscal services to the hapless by supplying inexpensive recognition with minimal demands for hapless clients. These strategies besides cut on the bureaucratic inclinations which make it easier for the hapless people to entree micro recognition. It is argued these microfinance establishments ( MFIs ) are in place to heighten the ability of the hapless to travel out of poorness every bit good as to forestall those above the poorness line from skiding in to poverty ( QoriniIwan, 2005 ) .
Montgomery and Weiss points out that the instance for microfinance as a mechanism for poorness decrease is simple, the writers outlined that if entree to recognition is improved, the hapless can finance productive activities that will let income growing, provided there are no other binding restraints ( Montgomery and Weiss, 2005 ) .This means that there is an effectual path out of poorness for the non-destitute chronic hapless.
For the ephemeral hapless who are vulnerable to fluctuations in income that conveying them close to or below the poorness line, microfinance provides the possibility of recognition in times of demand or chances of regular nest eggs that can be drawn on to guarantee income stableness. The turning away of crisp diminutions in household outgos by pulling on such recognition or nest eggs allows ‘consumption smoothing ‘ ( Montgomery and Weiss, 2005 ) .
Advocates of microfinance consider that the hapless ‘s entree to recognition encouragements income degrees, increases employment at the family degree and thereby alleviates poorness. Besides, recognition enables hapless people to get the better of their liquidness restraints and set about some investings. Furthermore, recognition helps hapless people to smooth out their ingestion forms during the thin periods of the twelvemonth ( Okurut et al 2004 ) . In amount, recognition maintains the productive capacity of the hapless families. Zeller and Sharma ( 1998 ) cited by Okurut et Al ( 2004 ) argued that microfinance can assist to set up or spread out household endeavors, potentially doing the difference between crunching poorness and economically unafraid life.
Remenyi and Quinones ( 2000 ) undertook a survey to happen if microfinance has an consequence on poorness. The survey found that household income of households with entree to recognition is significantly higher comparative to households without entree to recognition. In Indonesia a 12.9 per cent one-year mean rise in income from borrowers was observed while merely 3 per cent rise was reported from non-borrowers ( command group ) .
The undermentioned tendency are empirical findings that illustrate that families with entree to recognition by and large do better in their economic enterprises that household without entree to recognition. Remenyi notes that, in Bangladesh, a 29.3 % one-year mean rise in income was recorded and 22 % one-year mean rise in income from non-borrowers. Sri-Lanka indicated a 15.6 rise in income from borrowers and 9 per cent rise from non-borrowers. In the instance of India, 46 % one-year mean rise in income was reported among borrowers with 24 % addition reported from non-borrowers. The effects were higher for those merely below the poorness line while income betterment was lowest among the really hapless.
2.5. Arguments against Microfinance as a poorness decrease tool
Most advocates of microfinance do non hold that microfinance entirely can make the occupation of poorness relief. For illustration, Chowdhury ( 2009 ) citing Sam Daley-Harris ( 2007 ) , Director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, wrote,
“ Microfinance is non the solution to planetary poorness, but neither is wellness, or instruction, or economic growing. There is no 1 individual solution to planetary poorness. The solution must include a wide array of authorising intercessions and microfinance, when targeted to the really hapless and efficaciously run, is one powerful tool. ” p 1.
In the words of Yunus ( 2003 ) ,
“ Micro-credit is non a miracle remedy that can extinguish poorness in one fell slide. But it can stop poorness for many and cut down its badness for others. Combined with other advanced programmes that unleash people ‘s possible, micro-credit is an indispensable tool in our hunt for a poverty-free universe ” P 171.
Microfinance has been recognized to be uneffective by itself because most hapless people do non hold the basic instruction or experience to understand and pull off even low degree concern activities. They are largely risk-averse, frequently fearful of losing whatever little they have, and fighting to last ( Aneel, 2007 ) . Annel hence summarizes this point as follows:
“ Most people do non hold the accomplishments, vision, creativeness, and continuity to be entrepreneurial. Even in developed states which have persons with high degrees of instruction and entree to fiscal services, approximately 90 per centum of the labour force is employees, non enterprisers ” p 37.
Harmonizing to Vijay Mahajan ( 2005 ) , a societal enterpriser and president of BASIX,
“ Microcredit is a necessary but non a sufficient status for micro-enterprise publicity. Other inputs are required, such as designation of support chances, choice and motive of the micro-entrepreneurs, concern and proficient preparation, set uping of market linkages for inputs and end products, common substructure and sometimes regulative blessings. In the absence of these, micro-credit by itself, works merely for a limited familiar set of activities – little agriculture, farm animal raising and junior-grade trading, and even those where market linkages are in topographic point ” P 22.
Robert Pollin ( 2007 ) has a similar position, and puts it in the undermentioned words:
“ Micro endeavors run by hapless people can non be loosely successful merely because they have increased chances to borrow money. For big Numberss of micro endeavors to be successful, they besides need entree to decent roads and low-cost agencies of traveling their merchandises to markets. They need marketing support to make clients. ” p 2.
Hulme, and Mosley ( 1996 ) did a survey that put the brakes on the impression that entree to microfinance ever leads to poverty relief. Analyzing 13 establishments, they concluded that The poorest or ‘core hapless ‘ receive few direct benefits from income-generating recognition enterprises and so alternate aid schemes ( in the finance and other sectors ) need to be developed and besides establishments seeking to supply income bring forthing recognition to the hapless while prosecuting their ain fiscal viability will hold a inclination to concentrate on the ‘upper ‘ and ‘middle ‘ hapless.
2.6 Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation in Ghana
Adjei, Arun and Hossain ( 2009 ) have observed that as a consequence of the deepness and graduated table of poorness degrees, Ghana has focused on poorness decrease as the nucleus of its development scheme since the early 1980s. For case, the Economic Recovery Programme ( ERP ) , which began in 1983, was backed by other programmes, including the Programme of Action to Extenuate the Social Cost of Adjustment ( PAMSCAD ) , and subsequently followed by Ghana Vision 2020, aimed at cut downing the graduated table and deepness of poorness in the state. However, harmonizing to Asenso-Okyere et Al. ( 1993 ) , some of the policy reforms adversely affected vulnerable groups ; particularly adult females, kids and rural inhabitants, and some were even made worse off than when the programme was launched. For case, as a consequence of the debut of the cost-sharing policies in regard of user fees in the wellness sector, attending at wellness Centres and clinics dropped, particularly in the rural countries ( Vogel, 1988 ) .
Presently, the authorities is implementing the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy ( GPRS ) , which began in 2002 ( Government of Ghana, 2003b ) . The overall policy model for microfinance is informed by the poorness decrease scheme, which seeks to equilibrate growing and macroeconomic stableness with human development and authorization in such a manner as to positively impact the decrease of the state ‘s poorness degrees in the average term ( Government of Ghana, 2003a ) .
Following the limited success achieved by these top-down policies and programmes, every bit good as the non-sustainability of old government-backed recognition programmes specially designed for hapless people ( Quainoo, 1997 ) , Ghana has embraced microfinance as a major strategic tool to battle the terrible poorness that continues to blight the state. This stems chiefly from the belief that supplying little loans, nest eggs installations, insurance merchandises, money transportation services and accomplishments developing to hapless people, and more particularly adult females, could be a manner of supplying chances to be autonomous and play active functions in their families and communities and the economic system as a whole ( Yunus, 2001 ) . The involvement in microfinance is a contemplation of the successes of small-scale loaning programmes in states like Bangladesh and Bolivia.
This subdivision has focused on the reappraisal of informations from assorted writers and research workers on the issue of microfinance and poorness relief. It started by specifying the construct of poorness and elaborating on the assorted types of poorness. It was observed that the definition of poorness is so widespread and diversified. It is hence hard to specify the construct without depicting it. It was besides observed that there are assorted types of hapless people. Under microfinance, the construct was defined and the types outlined. The statement against microfinance was besides deliberated, in add-on to the assorted interventive programmes instituted by the authorities of Ghana in its command to battle poorness. Largely, it was realized most of the programmes that have been targeted towards poverty relief in Ghana has failed and microfinance nowadayss the most feasible agencies of relieving poorness in the state.
This chapter fundamentally deals with the methods, tools and techniques which this research worker will utilize to obtain the necessary information and analyse the findings on the impact of microfinance on poorness relief in Assin Akropong. It critically examines the research design, population, sample and the sampling technique. It besides analyses the process of the survey, the method of informations analysis every bit good as the ethical considerations.
3.2 Research Design
This survey will be designed as a quantitative study. Cohen ( 1980 ) defines quantitative research as a societal research that employs empirical methods and empirical statements. Creswell ( 1994 ) besides defines the construct as a research that collect numerical informations to explicate phenomena, utilizing mathematically based methods. Survey, on the other manus is defined as “ the systematic assemblage of information from respondents for the intent of understanding and/or foretelling some facets of the behaviour of the population of involvement. The study research is concerned with scientific sampling, questionnaire design, questionnaire disposal and informations analysis ” ( Sukamolson, 2011, p 2 )
In add-on, study requires random trying ( that is. , each member of the population has a opportunity of being selected ) of respondents ( Sukamolson, 2011 ) . Besides, study enables research workers compare informations between groups through defined techniques, such as random figure dialing and sampling processs to guarantee a scientific sample ( Sukamolson, 2011 ) .
The first measure in obtaining a sample is to specify the population. This means placing the features which members of the survey group have in common and which is used to place units of a peculiar group ( Creswell, 1994 ) . Sukamolsen ‘s ( 2011 ) posited a similar apprehension when he said that specifying the features of the population will enable the study usage scientific sampling and questionnaire design to prove the research informations with statistical preciseness.
In choosing a samples that meets conditions of entropy, the research worker, holding identified the research job, defined the features of the population which will supply the sample information for analysis ( Gay and Diehl, 1992 ) . In this survey, the population comprises workers and clients of Akoti Rural Bank from the assorted subdivisions of the bank. The bank presently has Seventy-two ( 72 ) workers in all classs. These adult male the Seven ( 7 ) subdivisions of the bank so far. The client base of the bank presently stands at 20 seven 1000, nine hundred and four ( 27,984 ) countrywide. This information is summarized in Table 3.1 below.
The inability of research workers to detect the full population of survey necessitates trying members of the population or taking a subset of the population and utilizing their responses to do illations about the full population ( Bradburn & A ; Sudman, 1988 ) . Preferably, such a sample selected must hold features that correspond to the population of involvement, in order to do generalisation from the sample to the population possible ( Bradburn & A ; Sudman, 1988 ) .
Harmonizing to Ogboru ( 2010 ) , three factors determine the size of an equal sample. These are nature of population, types of trying design and the grade of preciseness desired. Consequently, she explained that when a research worker uses a sample that is excessively big, he/she waste resources while utilizing a sample that is excessively little agencies acquiring consequences that are likely to be missing in cogency. With this apprehension, this will seek to try 30 % of the employees ‘ populations and 5 % of the client population harmonizing to Table 3.1 below:
Table 3.1: Population and sample for the survey
Class of respondents
Number of Staff
Number of Clients
Beginning: HR and Operations Department, ARBL, 2012
In general, the survey will choose 22 employees and 1,400 clients for the survey.
3.4.2 Sampling technique
Sampling technique represents the procedure research workers use to choose the sample from the population of survey. Researchers observe two chief trying attacks in societal research, that is, the chance and the non-probability sampling methods ( Bradburn & A ; Sudman, 1988 ; Creswll, 1992 and Sukamolsen, 2011 ) .
On the chance trying method, Bradburn and Sudman ( 1988 ) explains that “ all elements ( illustration, individuals, families ) in the population have some chance of being included in the sample, and the mathematical chance that any one of them will be selected can be calculated ” P 4. Example the chance trying method is the simple random, the graded and the systematic or the quota sampling method. This survey will utilize the chance trying method for the choice of the workers of Akoti Rural Bank for their positions on the capable affair of the survey. Specifically, these will be selected with the simple random trying method. In deploring this trying method, the research worker will choose every fifth name on the staff list that is given by the Human Resource Department. This manner will be followed till the research worker selects the full list of respondents he needs for the survey, as itemized in Table 3.1 above.
Using the non-probability sampling method means choosing respondents harmonizing to their handiness or based on the research worker ‘s personal judgement that they are representative. This trying method has a high chance of choice prejudice, in the sense that for case, if respondents do non go on to be at the topographic point of interview at the peculiar twenty-four hours and clip it was done, so they do non stand a opportunity of being portion of the survey. The convenience, purposive and the sweet sand verbena sampling methods are illustrations of the non-probability sampling method. In the present survey, the non-probability sampling method will be used in the choice of the client for the survey. In deploring this trying method, the research worker will take two yearss where he will interview respondents who come to the bank to transact concern. As stated earlier, the choice prejudice will come into drama because clients who do non come to the bank those two yearss will non be selected for the survey.
3.5 Beginning of informations
Both primary and secondary informations were used in this survey. Data collected for a specific intent are known as primary informations. The aggregation of facts and figures as designed in the questionnaire for this survey and interview of the respondents will organize the primary informations for this survey. The kernel of obtaining such informations is to guarantee that the exact information wanted for the survey are obtained to do valid and dependable decisions and generalisations.
Secondary informations refers to information sampled from other writers and research workers to put the background for this survey. Harmonizing to Ogboru ( 2010 ) , on occasion, informations are collected for some other intent largely for administrative and policy grounds, and organize portion of the information or information used in this survey which were referred to as secondary informations. These stuffs are normally obtained for intents other than this survey. The writer besides cautions that secondary informations must be used with cautiousness. The secondary for the survey were sourced from books, diary articles, magazine articles and other published and unpublished beginnings. Internet beginnings such as ebsco, Google, scribbs were extensively used for this intent.
3.6 Research Instrument
The survey will do usage of two chief informations assemblage tools – 1 ) Questionnaire and 2 ) Interview usher. While the latter will be used to garner informations from the workers, the former will be utilized in garnering informations from the clients. Questionnaires are noted to bring forth speedy consequence, convenient and less expensive to utilize. Questionnaires are advantageous whenever the sample size is big plenty to do it wasteful for grounds of clip or financess to detect or interview every topic ( Kalton, 1983 ) . The greatest trouble with questionnaires that are distributed to the topics or possible respondents is the likely prejudice which exists when less than the entire figure in the sample really responds to the questionnaires ( Ogboru, 2010 ) .
The questionnaires will be divided into five parts. These are:
Microfinance services offered by ARBL
Relationship between microfinance services and poorness relief
Interest rate and poorness relief
Challenges in micro funding
The questionnaire will be designed to have chiefly close-ended inquiries. The interview usher will be designed along similar lines. As stated earlier, it will have chiefly open-ended inquiries and will be targeted at the staff. This will be done to give the respondent freedom to make up one’s mind the facet, item and length of his reply. It enables the respondents to give a more equal presentation of his/her apprehension or grasp of the issue under survey and convey flexibleness in their pick. The closed inquiries on the other manus are designed to restrict responses to particular options whiles minimising the hazard of misunderstanding unlike the interview usher. Furthermore, questionnaires permit easier tabular matter and reading by the research worker ( Ogboru, 2010 ) .
3.7 Administration Procedure
Permission will be sought from the Management of ARBL with a missive from the research worker or Ghana Telecom/Coventry University to let the research worker to set about informations garnering from employees and clients of the bank. Addressed to the Supervising Manager, the missive will madden their indulgence to help this research worker in his informations assemblage attempts to carry through academic demands.
After blessing has been given by the establishment, the research worker will acquire the full list of staff from the Human Resource Department and code this list. As explained earlier, the coded list will be written on pieces of paper, cut and indiscriminately selected to be interviewed. The clients will be interviewed alongside the interviewing of the workers. This procedure is estimated to take about three hebdomads.
3.8 Data analysis
Collected informations will be organized and analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Scientist ( SPSS ) package and Microsoft excel. The concluding information will be presented in tabular arraies, graphs, pie chart and saloon graphs. This information will be presented in per centums or frequences. However, some of the responses from the interviews will be inserted in the analysis to explicate issues of involvement in the analysis.
3.9. Overview of Akoti Rural Bank Limited
Akoti Rural Bank Limited was established on March 12, 1984 as a limited liability company under the Companies Code 1963, Act 176 with an initial Capital of GHA?5,000.00 raised by the Citizens of its catchment country and extra non-voting redeemable penchant portions of GHA?125,000.00 for Bank of Ghana, consisting a sum of 1,716 Ordinary Shares and 125 Preference Shares. It was granted a licence to run as a fiscal establishment in 1983 in conformity with the Banking Law of 1989 ( PNDC Law 225 ) .
The Bank has its caput office at Assin-Akropong ; it has opened subdivisions in Akropong, Foso, Bereku, Praso, Akonfudi and Abura Dunkwa all in the Central Region of Ghana. Microfinance services were provided by merely the Abura Dunkwa subdivision at its origin but have now extended it to all the Branches of the Bank.
The vision of the Bank is to go a prima Rural Bank in the state with microfinance focal point.
Guided by this vision, the bank is poised to intensify its microfinance operations. This would enable it recognize stockholders outlooks of wealth creative activity.
The bank has set out the mission to set about the followers:
construct a strong client service base with the assistance of a squad made up of the Board, Management and good motivated Staff,
construct a strong capital and sedimentation base through the strategic selling of bing and new merchandises,
put an accomplishable net incomes mark within the program period
create employment chances for the people in the catchment country
The bank puts much accent in keeping it corporate image by following strong value in the followers:
Provision of community development substructure for wellness and instruction.
Good Staff/customer relationship
Dedicated and committed Staff
Recognizing stockholders outlook of wealth creative activity
Guaranting client satisfaction with merchandises and services
Akoti Rural Bank is expected to play a important function as a rural fiscal mediator in the socio-economic development of its catchment country. The Bank attracts clients such as the Municipal/District Assemblies, decentralized sections located in its catchment country, local and international NGOs and persons. The major markets within the catchment country are located at Foso, Manso and Praso. Agriculture, conveyance services, bungalow industry and junior-grade trading are some of the major economic activities in the catchment country. Microfinance services are operated at the AburaDunkwa Branch merely.
The followers are some the merchandises and services offered by the bank:
Credence of sedimentations from the general populace, corporate establishments and other organisations and persons.
Payment of workers ‘ wages
Fundss ( money ) transportation services
Provision of loans and overdrafts to clients
Akoti Rural bank Limited operates in an environment with small competition in its catchment country. It nevertheless, has competition coming from some establishments besides involved in the microfinance operations. These establishments are:
Christian Rural Aid web based in Cape Coast
World Vision International based in AssinFoso
NyankumasiAhenkro Rural Bank
Assinman Rural Bank
ProCredit Savings and Loans
First National Bank
Ghana Commercial Bank
Agricultural Development Bank
Akoti Rural Banks competitory advantage over all the identified rival establishments stems from the big catchment country it covers giving it the ability to mobilise much more nest eggs and sedimentations.
The Akoti Rural Bank Limited has its caput office at Akropong. It has nevertheless opened subdivisions in Foso, Bereku, Akonfudi, Praso, Abura and the late created Darmang subdivision in an effort to better its resource mobilisation.
Akoti Rural Bank has a sum of 72 Staff made up of 52 males and 20 females. With Seven subdivisions and a entire client base of 27,984 in 2012, the staff client ratio is estimated to be 388. The Bankss executive direction squad comprises of the Supervising Manager, the Operations Manager, the Finance/Accounts Manager, Projects/Credits Officer and Internal Auditor.
For the bank to remain in competition and function its clients to the best of their ability and satisfaction, the Board of Directors of the bank has engaged the below Executive Management in topographic point to command the day-to-day personal businesss of the bank. The executive direction squad has experience in the banking field and has hence transformed the bank within the last five old ages.
Within a short period of the coming into office of the below direction squad, they have been able to travel the bank from its manual operations to a to the full computerized environment.
The microfinance strategy has since its origin in 2003 achieved a 99 % recovery rate. The microfinance merchandises of Akoti Rural are Susu Savings and Credit and Savings with Education ( CSWE ) operated at the Abura Dunkwa subdivision merely.The bank has been able to widen the microfinance to the remainder of its subdivisions and have formed major groups within its catchment country.
Profitableness of the bank has grown quickly since the coming into force of this program. The bank has attempted to follow the scheme of high and monolithic loan expense and recoveries. Therefore, a loan recovery taskforce has been formed to retrieve loans from its clients who do non desire to refund the loans they contracted from the bank.
The top direction of the bank has been summarized in Table 3.2
Table 3.2: Executive Management Composition
Harry Hammond Ngoah
Emmanuel Ofosu Ntow
Beginning: Management of Akoti Rural Bank Ltd, 2012
The caput office at Assin Akropong houses the offices of all the caputs of sections including the Supervising Manager who is the caput of the bank. The bank has the Operations, Finance/Accounts, Credits/Projects and the Internal Audit sections. The subdivisions are headed by Branch Directors with their helpers, Edward tellers, Customer Care Officers, Accounts Officers, Security Officers and Messengers/Cleaners. The research worker would utilize the Credits/Projects, Finance/Accounts and Operations sections for the survey.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents an analysis of the consequences obtained from interviews held with both staff and clients of Akoti Rural Bank Limited. The consequences are taken and discussed along the lines of the aims of the survey.
4.2 Demographic Features of Respondents
4.2.1 Staff Demographic Characteristics
Sample: All twenty two staff questionnaires administered were recovered ensuing in a recovery rate of 100 % . The analysis of staff of Akoti Rural Bank is hence based on the entire 22 respondents interviewed under the survey.
Age: Majority ( 46 % ) of staff interviewed were aged between 30 and 34 old ages. A sum of 26 % are aged between 25 and 29 old ages whereas 9 % were aged between 35 and 44 old ages. A farther 9 % is aged below 24 old ages. The general aged background of respondents is hence in-between aged.
Positions Held: The chief places held by the respondents were Top Level place ( 20 % ) , Middle degree place ( 20 % ) , and Low degree place ( 60 % ) . The fact that low degree employees formed a bulk of staff used is important in that these class of staff are in charge of implementing policies made by top degree executives and are hence in the best place to give replies on existent patterns of the bank.
Length of Work: Whereas 60 % of answering staff indicated that they had worked in the bank for below three ( 3 ) old ages, 40 % mentioned that they had worked in the bank for between five ( 5 ) to ten ( 10 ) old ages. None of the staff interviewed had worked in the bank for more than 10 ( 10 ) old ages. This indicates that bulk of answering staff are comparatively new to the personal businesss of the bank, nevertheless as a considerable proportion of respondents have worked in the bank for more than three ( 3 ) old ages, a just balance in responses between old and comparatively new staff were obtained for the survey.
Department of Work: The chief sections in which the respondent staff were surveyed include: Histories section, Credit section, Finance section, Internal audit, Main banking, and Operations.
Educational Background: Majority ( 64 % ) of answering staff had highest degree of instruction of a West African Secondary School Certificate/Middle School Leaving Certificate. A sum of 27 % hold a unmarried mans degree, whereas the staying 9 % hold a Master ‘s grade. A drumhead demographic background of staff is presented in table 4.1 below.
Table 4.1: Drumhead Demographic Background of Staff
Percentage ( % )
Below 24 old ages
25 – 29 old ages
30 – 34 old ages
35 – 44 old ages
Length of Work
Below 3 old ages
3 – 5 old ages
Bachelor ‘s grade
Master ‘s grade
Beginning: Fieldwork, 2012
4.2.2 Clients ‘ Demographic Features
Sample: A sum of one 1000 and four hundred questionnaire ( 1,400 ) were administered to clients of Akoti Rural Bank. This notwithstanding a sum of three 100s and sixty four ( 364 ) questionnaires was recovered stand foring a recovery rate of 26 % . The analysis is hence based on the 364 recovered questionnaires.
Age: The bulk ( 36 % ) of client respondents interviewed were aged between 45 and 54 old ages. A sum of 29 % was aged between 30 and 34 old ages whereas 21 % was aged between 25 and 29 % . 7 % was aged between 35 and 44 whilst another 7 % was aged below 24 old ages.
Profession: Half ( 50 % ) of clients interviewed are private sector salaried workers. Whereas 36 % indicated that they were junior-grade bargainers, the staying 14 % indicated that they were craftsmans.
Length of Salvaging with Akoti