Today (Wed) Bruce and I were at this credit union which orinally was a closed bond credit union. This credit union was made up of staff that worked in Animal Research – studying ways to increase the production and health of domesticated farm animals for food produciton. they have extended their bond to be community wide, and have added several other government groups and orgainziations. They have a well educated board and will be computerized within a month or so. Their challenge is to grow their lending portfolio (very conservative) to increase their income. The vast majority of their loans are paid by payroll deduction so delinquency is below 2 %.
We had a number of suggestions for them in terms of governance, loan policy and taking more risk (knowing it may increase delinquncy) to increase income. Once they are computerized, they will engage one or 2 of their existing staff complement to proactively go out in the community and increase membership. Computerization will increase the branch capacity and the staff will no longer be needed most days to complete routine transactions. We also suggested more delegation from the board committees to the office manager for more routine loan approvals and standard transactions which will lessen the workload for the committees/board.
We also had a tour of the science building by one of the directors and saw all of the parasites that typically are a problem for livestock (cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, grass cutter, rabbits, pigs). She pulled out a sample of a tapeworm that can infect swine (also present in bears) from a sample bottle and I estimate it was 30 cms long. We humans can get them too!
Today (Thursday), Ghana’s Black Stars are playing Mali in the Africa Nation’s Cup. We have finished for the day early along with most of the nation. Soccer is passoinately followed by Ghanaians and the have more world visibility after making it to the final 8 in the last World Cup (missed a penalty kick in the last minutes of the game – game was tied and Ghana lost in, if I remember correctly, via penalty kicks) The fans are ouring in to the bar we are sitting in as we plan our day tomorrow and the weekend. Really – we are working!!
For photos, look here as my wordpress accoutn has exceeded the file limit.