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Have you opened your Ecobank African Diaspora Account?

If you are in the Diaspora like me, this is a wonderful window of opportunity for you to open your Ecobank Africa Diaspora Account. Just last week in Accra, Ecobank was voted the best performing bank in Ghana. Ecobank is our indigenous West African bank owned by shareholders in the West Africa region, principally by residents in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The assets of the Bank in the past years in billions of dollars are here stated:

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

19.95bn 17.16bn 10.4bn 9.0bn 8.3bn

These figures speak volumes and they attest to the assertion that Africa is making waves, and is the last frontier for booming economic growth and it is an investor’s paradise. About 80% of these assets are made up of deposits. Imagine if the unbanked African population suddenly get banking, and Diasporeans like you and me start banking with Ecobank, then these assets could triple or quadruple. We need to support our own to grow.

Ecobank was established in 1985, under the aegis and auspices of the regional body, ECOWAS. It is headquartered in Lome, Togo. It has operations in 33 sub- Saharan African countries, and has presence in London, Paris, Dubai, China and Luxumbourg. (www.ecobank.com/group/aboutus.aspx). In alliance with Nedbank of South Africa since 2008, it forms the largest banking group in Africa.

Recently in Lusaka, Zambia, on 29th June, Ghanaians in Zambia met under the auspices of their association, known as Association of Ghanaians in Zambia (AGIZ).

It was a social event or a get-together. I happened to be the Secretary of the Association for ten years until I stepped down in 2010. At our said get-together, our High Commissioner to Zambia, Her Excellency, Madam Elizabeth Afua Benneh, was at hand to grace the occasion with four of her able staff in attendance. We had Ghanaian food such as chinchinga or suya (kebab or barbecue), jollof rice, Ga kenkey, wankye ( boiled rice with black-eyed beans), fried plantain and beans, tilapia, omo tuo, banku, shito (chilli sauce with ginger and dried fish or meat mixed in), among others.

We also had Ghanaian high life music played to entertain ourselves. Some of the latest arrivals of Ghanaians are people working for organisations such as Light House Chapel International, Ecobank, Zoomlion, PWC, Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, World Bank, UNDP, Population Council of Zambia, Pentecost Church International, Edmark Products, World Vision, among others. Ecobank (Zambia Ltd) had their stand at the function which was held at the Commonwealth Youth Centre (CYC) at the University of Zambia (UNZA). Ecobank Africa Diaspora Account is targeted at Africans in the Dispora, who can only open a current account.

Opening such an account in your country of residence automatically qualifies you for a non-resident Diaspora Account in Ghana or your home country in West Africa. Your account can be operated from any of 33 locations in 33 African countries, with 750 ATMs, and you can access your money 24/7. The Extras you get include an exclusive Black Debit Card, one cheque book annually, SMS alerts, internet banking, e-statements, e-Alerts. You are required to have a minimum balance of equivalence of 100 dollars and also to have a Residence or Work Permit. There is a monthly account maintenance charge of the equivalence of ten dollars per customer.

Other benefits include opportunity to invest in Ghana while abroad, easy monitoring of account activities through e-channels, easy billing which is simple, clear, comprehensive and comprehensible, and dedicated relationship managers across the 33 countries in Africa. You can visit Ecobank site at www.ecobank.com. Ecobank understands your problems as a Ghanaian or Nigerian or West African. As a group in the Diaspora, you can negotiate with them for concessions if need be.

In some instances, some countries put restrictions on the amount of money Diasporeans like you and me can send home as remittances, or they put a mountain of bureaucratic hurdles to frustrate you. I think if you bank with Ecobank anywhere in Africa, you will not face such problems, as Ecobank is user-friendly, customised and they cater to the needs of their people from West Africa.

I think Ecobank has shown the way to other indigenous African Banks, and we need to patronise them and partner with them for our own good. So, spread the word and pass it around to those who are not aware of this wonderful opportunity. I am sure, by banking with Ecobank, you will be laying the foundation for your own booming business in future, when you go to settle in Ghana or West Africa.

Source: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

Contact: kwesiattasakyi449@gmail.com