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The Role of Rural Banks in Poverty Reduction among Women: Evidence from Sonzele Rural Bank, Ghana

Paul Bata Domanban
Akanganngang Joseph Asitik
Reginald Addy-Morton


Two-thirds of the world’s poorest and vulnerable, mostly women, live in rural areas, engaging in subsistence agriculture. Hence, in Ghana, rural banking was introduced to provide microcredit services to the marginalised neglected by commercial banks. One of such banks is the Sonzele Rural Bank in Jirapa was set up to offer credit services to improve the living condition, yet poverty in Jirapa is still high. This study, therefore, sought to investigate the role of rural banks in poverty reduction drawing evidence from the Sonzele Rural Bank in
Jirapa. Using a cross-sectional design, the study employed structured interviews to collect data. The cluster sampling technique was used to select thirteen women’s groups in Jirapa, and purposive sampling enabled the selection of four project staff. Paired-samples t-test and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance were employed in the analysis. The study revealed that credit with education was given to women in groups which enabled them to set up various enterprises and experienced an increase in income and expenditure on education and health thus, reducing poverty in the area. Beneficiaries noted that the issues of high-interest charges, short repayment schedules and absence of insurance policy need attention to make credit a poverty reduction tool. 

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eISSN: 0855-6768
print ISSN: 0855-6768