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Opportunity International Savings and Loans Ltd. launches its 20th anniversary in Kumasi

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited (OISL) is one of the reputable Savings and Loans Institutions licensed by the Bank of Ghana in June 2004. OISL operates in ten (10) out of the sixteen (16) regions in Ghana, providing innovative financial products and services to bring clients at the base of the pyramid into the mainstream financial system, thereby advancing financial inclusion.

OISL is a subsidiary of Opportunity International, a global organization with its Head Office in Chicago, USA. The Institution delivers services and programs to clients in thirty (30) countries across the globe, serving over twenty (20) million customers with Micro Banking, Micro Insurance, Agriculture, Education Finance, and Innovative Non-Financial Services.

The Institution launched its 20th Anniversary celebration on the theme “20 years of transforming lives”, at the Golden Bean Hotel in Kumasi on February 16, 2024.

Present at the launch were Mr. Katey Assem, Board Chairman of OISL, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Darko, the first Board Chairman of OISL, Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer of OISL, some Board Members of OISL including Ms. Alberta Quarcoopome, Mr. Ben Kwasi Kusi, Hajia Azara Haroun and Mrs. Joyce Boeh Ocansey.

Also in attendance was Mr. Ismail Adams, Deputy Head of Banking Supervision, Bank of Ghana who represented the Head of Banking Supervision, representatives from various Financial Institutions who are partners to OISL including Ecobank, Cal Bank, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans Ltd., and Amansie Rural Bank. The event also attracted some Queen mothers from some traditional areas within the Ashanti Region. Several Management and Staff of OISL and clients of the Institution were in attendance.

The Special Guest of honor for the program was Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II – Hiahene for Otumfoɔ Nana Osei Tutu II, who represented Lady Julia Osei Tutu.

During his address, Mr. Katey Assem, the Board Chairman of OISL, who was also the Chairman of the program, emphasized the importance of good corporate governance as one of the fundamental pillars on which OISL has been built.

He stressed that the Institution has always upheld the highest standards of ethical conduct, transparency, and accountability, which have been the guiding principles for decision-making thereby positioning OISL as a trusted Financial Services provider.

He expressed his deep appreciation to the Bank of Ghana, Shareholders, Board members, and the dedicated staff of the Institution for their continuous support.

Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of the company, in his speech stressed that the Institution has grown significantly from just three (3) branches, to a total of thirty-eight (38) branches across the country. The Institution has ambitious plans to expand its Branch Network to all sixteen regions of the country over the next five years.

He stated that the company with the adoption of unique blend of both Financial and Non-Financial services has been able to reach over Six hundred and fifty-five thousand (655,000) depositors. OISL’s targeted products focus on Agriculture, Education, and the Services sector with the majority of loans targeted at women who form about 62% of borrowers, he stated.

Mr. Owusu-Boateng expressed his gratitude to both past and present Management and staff for their loyalty, hard work, creativity, and passion. Finally, he thanked all the cherished clients of the Institution for reposing their trust in the company over the past two (2) decades.

He outlined key activities earmarked for the Anniversary celebration such as, Customer Service Week, SME Clinics and Client Forums, sharing of client success stories of impact, Health Walks, and Donations among just a few.

Rev. Dr. Kwabena Darko, who served as the company’s first Board Chairman and played a pivotal role in establishing the company in Ghana, expressed his immense joy in the significant progress the company has made over the years. In his speech, he stated that his association with the organization began with a strong desire to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives and the broader community.

He envisioned a Financial Institution that not only provides Financial Solutions but also serves as a catalyst for positive change in people’s lives. He praised the past and current Board, Management, and Staff of the Institution for their hard work and dedication and wished them all the best in the future.

Mr. Ismail Adams, the Deputy Director for Banking Supervision at the Bank of Ghana, who represented the Head of Banking Supervision commended OISL on its 20th Anniversary and acknowledged its contributions to advancing Financial Inclusion.

He highlighted some major challenges facing the industry, such as the issue of High Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) and poor Corporate Governance practices. He advised players in the Savings and Loans sub-sector to be guided by BOG’s regulatory standards to preserve the stability of the operations of Savings and Loans companies.

During his address, the special guest of honor, Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, congratulated OISL for the milestones they have achieved in the past two decades. He commended their vision of providing opportunities for many households, especially the poor and disadvantaged, to live a dignified life free from poverty with dignity and with purpose.

He again commended the Institution for its flagship “Kayayei” program of providing vocational skills that seek to transform the lives of Street Porters (Kayayei) who live and labor in the markets and streets, making them recognized, respected, transformed, and worthy.

He thanked and congratulated clients of OISL who were present in their numbers and further commended the Institution for reaching out to the physically challenged persons with their loan products to help them have a livelihood. This is exhibiting a Christ-like attitude. In his closing remarks, he stated that “OISL has become the epitome for the realization of the sustainable developmental goals which says no poverty and no hunger”.

The program ended with a rich cultural display by some Queen mothers who were present in their numbers.