Databank expands to Liberia, Nigeria

By Ayuure Kapini Atafori

The Databank Group, one of Africa's financial services providers, is in the process of acquiring a Liberian bank to expand its operations in the West African sub-region. This is expected to be finalised soon for business to start by March this year.

This came to light when Ken Ofori-Atta, Chairman of Databank Group, answered questions from journalists on Friday after the dedication and opening of the Databank headquarters board room.

The board room which named Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Room was opened by Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf herself. She served as board member of Databank from 2001 till 2006 when she assumed the presidency.

The dedication was by Mensah Otabil, leader of the International Central Gospel Church.

Commenting on Databank"s expansion a in West Africa, Mr Ofori-Atta said: "Well, we have already opened our office in Liberia. We are yet to broaden the scope of what we do. We are in the middle of acquiring one of the banks in Liberia; that should be completed by March.

“We are in The Gambia and we are in the process of establishing a Databank in Nigeria which will be the more difficult one. But I think we expect that by March that will also be done. Given the type of services we do, we do not necessarily need to have offices there but we are also establishing an African mutual fund which will then invest in other countries.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said the board room was christened after President Johnson-Sirleaf because she was instrumental in getting the directors of Databank to spread its financial tentacles into the sub-region. She also advised the directors to acquire its current headquarters, he said.

“To us it shows the testament to perseverance and seeking to do excellent work and believing in the creative energies and innovation of the African. I think she personifies it and she left lots of her strength and energy [with Databank].”

“I can't think of a better way to describe this event,” President Johnson-Sirleaf said when asked to make a brief statement, adding that the inscription “To God Be the Glory” on the Databank building was expressive enough for her.

She said the directors of databank have proven that Africa has young professionals who can seize the

opportunity to show that they can compete effectively on the global level.

The Liberian President recalled that Ghana was the first African nation to be independent as a result of the constructive spirit of the Ghanaian.

She expressed gratitude to Ghana and other African countries for restoring peace and normalcy to Liberia to enable it re-start the process of reconstruction.