Access Bank Ghana has pledged its support to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana at the second edition of the Bank’s Distributors’ Forum at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.

Organized in conjunction with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and the Business and Financial Times, the hybrid event brought together over 200 participants with eight industry experts from the fields of finance, the pharmaceutical sector, media and digital technology space to deliberate on issues affecting the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana.

Speaking under the theme ‘Building a sustainable pharmaceutical business in Ghana’, the Executive Director for Wholesale Banking at Access Bank Ghana, James Bruce said, in line with Access Bank’s promise of providing more than banking, the Bank continues to impact various sectors of the economy with skills training, financial advisory and traditional banking services. Ghana’s Pharmaceutical industry is among the best in Africa and has a huge potential for growth.

‘We want to impact the entire value chain with skills, financial advisory, and traditional banking services to enable them to navigate the times.’ James added that the Bank has gained much experience in running sustainable businesses through its exposure to diverse markets in Africa, therefore well equipped to provide the pharmaceutical industry with their financial needs. ‘We provide cross border trade within Africa at cheaper rates because we are present in 12 African countries with our expansion into two new African markets through our acquisition of Standard Chartered Bank’s shareholding in Angola, and its Consumer, Private & Business Banking business in Tanzania.’

Commenting on why the Bank chose the pharmaceutical industry, James said Access Bank’s interest in the pharmaceutical industry also stems from the Bank’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which focuses on good health and well-being.

The Chief Executive Officer of Business and Financial Times, Dr. Godwin Acquaye, spoke on the importance of the pharmaceutical industry. He touched on skills the industry needs to succeed such as excellent customer service and leveraging technology in this digital era and pledged their commitment to offer the industry space in their newspaper to educate people on pertinent subjects through the publication of articles.

The President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Dr Samuel Donkor, said the collaboration forms part of their strategy to help Pharmacists to own businesses especially in an era where employment opportunities from government and private employers have dwindled. ‘When Pharmacists have their own pharmaceutical businesses, hard-to-reach areas can also be covered with healthcare, as pharmacies remain the first point of call for many patients’. He thanked Access Bank for the opportunity it has offered to support the pharmaceutical industry and young pharmacists to own pharmacies.

Chief Executive Officers of AlphaDelta Pharmacy and TopUp Pharmacy shared insights into ‘Owning successful community pharmacies’ and ‘The community pharmacy as a business.’ They touched on the importance of knowing and educating one’s market appropriately, with current trends in health-related issues, providing services beyond traditional pharmacy, maintaining a wide range of stock, record keeping among others. They said, these will keep Community Pharmacists continually profitable and in business. Participants also received insights into the importance of digitalizing pharmaceutical services, from the Chief Executive Officer of Advance Pharmacy Limited, George Kesse and basic financial management skills for improved outputs from Akosua Biama Aboagye, Chief Finance Officer for Access Bank’s African Subsidiaries.

The Access Bank Distributors’ Forum is a capacity building webinar that offers businesses relevant tools needed to improve their business, build significant competence, take important decisions and deal with peculiar market challenges, thereby preparing their business for exponential growth.

As a go-to Bank for SMEs, Access Bank remains committed to its promise of providing more than banking to customers. The Bank presently operates through more than 700 branches across three continents and service outlets in 18 countries, including the UAE, UK, and France, and three representative offices in China, India, and Lebanon.

Source: Ghana/