NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana credit unions will gain new insights into their counterparts in the African nation of Ghana thanks to a new credit union-to-credit union partnership that’s part of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) International Partnerships Program.
Jefferson Financial Credit Union in Metairie, La., and GESRO Co-operative Credit Union in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, signed an agreement of mutual support last week in New Orleans. This is the third WOCCU partnership for Louisiana credit unions and their association, which includes the partnerships between the Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) and the Russian Credit Union League, and between Barksdale Federal Credit Union in Bossier City, La., and Russia’s Altai Credit Union Association.
“I am proud of Louisiana credit unions for becoming engaged outside of our borders and taking a more important part in the international credit union movement,” said Anne Cochran, LCUL’s president and CEO. “These partnerships give us an opportunity to explore new solutions to old problems that we may have not yet thought of, but which others already have put into practice.”
Kusi Boachie, GESRO CEO, traveled to New Orleans last week to visit the new partner credit union for the first time. Boachie spent the week with Jefferson Financial President and CEO Mark Rosa and his staff to learn about the credit union’s operations and discuss areas of cooperation for the partnership. Boachie took special interest in credit and risk management, as well as marketing and information technology. Rosa and his team also had the opportunity to learn about GESRO during Boachie’s presentation.
“This week has been important for Jefferson Financial because the partnership will allow us to not only benefit our members in Jefferson Parish here in Louisiana, but also members of GESRO Co-operative Credit Union in Ghana,” Rosa said
In addition to the meetings with Jefferson Financial, Boachie also visited New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, the LCUL offices and attended a league chapter meeting. The two credit unions held a partnership planning session with WOCCU to map out activities and determine the partnership’s focus. Helping GESRO create a marketing strategy to increase awareness about its products and services and streamline its loan and collections process are high on the list of preferred accomplishments. This assistance will be accomplished through on-site training in Louisiana and in Ghana, as well as peer-to-peer communication among the credit unions’ staff members.
“I have learned so much from Jefferson Financial Credit Union and am convinced that this partnership will result in real growth, efficiency and sustainability for the benefit of our members and the African continent as a whole,” said Boachie. “This is not just a partnership, but a strategic alliance for mutual benefit.”
Boachie finished his week in New Orleans by participating in the Louisiana/Mississippi Supervisory Committee Conference, attending a workshop on financial statements for cooperatives.
While in the United States, Boachie also plans to attend The 1 Credit Union Conference, scheduled for July 11-14 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For information on the conference, visit www.vegas2010.org.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.