The President of the Republic of Ghana, Your Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, the Chairman of the Board of CalBank, all dignitaries here present, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am highly honored to have you at this special formal opening ceremony of the iconic, eco-friendly CalBank Head Office on Independence Avenue. No. 23 Independence Avenue. Digital address GA-055-4585.
CalBank, over its 29 years of operation has strategically built the necessary foundations to ensure a viable and profitable bank. Mr. President, your visit here is testament to the story that a Ghanaian indigenous bank with the right team and strategy can ride and survive the challenges of growth and competition whilst delivering value on a continuing basis to all stakeholders. CalBank has done that and is on the journey of building greatness.
Our guiding principles of being Responsible, Effective and Decisive has strongly influenced the transformation of this Bank which has led to today’s event. CalBank started with 23 staff members in 1990 from Pegasus house just two blocks from where we stand. The vision of our forebears saw the Bank migrate to our current location which had four colonial styled residential buildings. And for this let me pay a warm tribute to the founding MD of CalBank, the indefatigable Afare Donkor who’s vision transported us from 21 Independence Avenue to 23 Independence Avenue.
Today we employ over 800 staff, with 29 branches and over 150 agents across the country. Using our digital platforms such as shortcode *771#, the CalBank mobile app and internet banking, the Bank can be accessed across the globe.
Mr. President, over the period of construction of the head office building, I kept getting the question “why are you building this Head Office?” It’s a question my team and I are glad to answer. As a team we understand our strategic path to growth and have endeavored to realize and fulfil our strategy. The decision to build the new CalBank Head Office was for the following reasons:
- Our growth strategy and long-term expansion program required an iconic office presence to drive the agenda.
- We needed a decent working environment for our team to work.
- We needed a Head Office banking space for the convenience of our customers.
- We are duty bound to contribute to the development and beautification and modernization of the Capital.
- Finally, we have always had the drive to leave CalBank better than it was when we met it. The leadership of the Bank believe they can bequeath no better legacy than a thriving bank operating in a dynamic and friendly working environment.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me spend a few minutes talking about some of the unique features of the CalBank head office building that gives us joy. The Nsaa (an Adinkra symbol connoting EXCELLENCE) inspired building has 12 floors with a total floor space of 15,200sqm and is 52.6m high. This eco-friendly building consists of the main office tower and a 6-storey multi-purpose car park as well as surface parking. The multi-purpose car park and the surface car park can accommodate over 550 cars. The primary source of power for the building is solar with an installed capacity of 500KW complemented by the national grid and a 1.6 MW industrial power generator system. The water system used in the building is from harvested rain water and underground water. The building is fitted with a gym and a running track approximately 180meters long for the use of staff and a well kitted canteen. In addition, the building has an amazing 400-seater amphi-theater and the most modern building management system. I am happy to inform you that during the construction phase we worked hard at preserving more than 80% of the trees that were on the compound. We also planted an additional 50 or so trees. The project was delivered by a totally Ghanaian team led by a team of young architects known as Atelier. Finally, Mr. President this building is a GREEN building.
Mr President, CalBank is a good bank. CalBank is a sound Bank. In 2018, CalBank was the only indigenous bank that met the new minimum capital requirement by the Bank of Ghana without the injection of new capital. Our financial performance attests to the relevance of the solutions we offer our esteemed clients and the effectiveness of the management and staff.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to use this opportunity to thank the architects Messers Atelier, for their inspiring design and supervision, the consulting team led by Messers Aboagye, the main contractor De Simone and all the sub-contractors who worked on this project. I must however, single out two outstanding staff of the Bank who made this project come to life Mr. Yaw Barnafo and Mr. Abraham Aguriba. I also extend the appreciation of management to staff who had to go through various levels of discomfort during the construction period as well as our clients who were inconvenienced.
Finally, let me thank the Board of Directors of the Bank for the support and for approving the needed financial commitments towards the construction.
There is much more to look forward to together. Our journey to greatness is on course. Our staff are excited about the incremental changes happening in the Bank. Our customers should be excited about their relationship with the Bank. Our shareholders are assured of a Bank delivering value. We are committed to ensuring the success of CalBank as we move Forward Together and contribute our quota to the development of the country.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, at this point I will pay tribute to H.E. Afare Donkor, EPL Gyampoh and Nana Awuah Darko Ampem (both of blessed memory) the three initial founding directors of CalBank and the three gentlemen who interviewed me when I applied to join CalBank. I also pay tribute to Mr. Malcolmn Dermott Pryor who is a founding shareholder and director and thank him for the 29 years of dedicated service to the Bank and in all these 29 years has missed only 3 board meetings. We thank them for the dream.
With apologies to Lee Iacocca, let me quote him once more, you must always make it better than it was when you got it.
That Mr. President is all we strive to achieve. The fulfillment of the dream has just begun. Thank you for coming.
God bless CalBank, God bless our homeland Ghana.