Business News of Monday, 21 December 2015
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has launched a campaign to promote financial literacy, especially among small businesses, in a bid to accelerate economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign dubbed ‘Promoting financial literacy for financial inclusion: A tool for empowerment and development’, Minister of Finance Seth Terkper — in the speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Finance Ministry, Mahama Samuel Tara — said a financially literate society will help in reinforcing competitive pressures on financial institutions to offer quality services to customers, which will go a long way to strengthen the economy.
He added that the proliferation of financial institutions in the country has made it more imperative for people and small businesses to be educated financially in order to know which kind of institution to do business with, and what kind of product or service to buy.
“Many Ghanaians, especially in the rural areas, do not have the necessary financial capabilities to make informed decisions in choosing and using these products. Financial markets have become increasingly complex and households need to assume more responsibility for financial decisions.
“Carrying out financial education and awareness will therefore help in addressing the weak demand side of financial intermediation and enable providers apply responsible finance principles in doing business,” he said.
Mr. Terkper further stated that it is the expectation of the Ministry that the financial literacy campaign will deploy various activities to motivate providers to actively develop, adapt products and services, and proactively market them to a wider target group.
Some key activities that will be used to mark the nationwide campaign include multi language and multimedia activities. As part of this, five local languages — namely Twi, Ewe, Ga-Dangme, Dagaari and Dagbani — together with the English language will be featured in the education process.
Regional roadshows focused on savings, borrowing, consumer protection, mobile and electronic money and micro insurance and theatre-shows will take place in five locations in each of the ten regions in order to create awareness among target audiences.
Mr. Tekper used the opportunity to announce that the Commodity Exchange and Warehouse Receipt systems (WRS), which will facilitate commodity trade and finance, will soon be established after passage of the Security Industry bill by Parliament, adding that government will work with stakeholders to accelerate the expansion of agricultural insurance to minimise the perceived risk associated with the sector.
Also commenting at the launch, Mr. Adu Anane Antwi — Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, said that financial education is key to the whole process of wealth-creation and financial stability in the country, adding his outfit will provide the needed support to make the campaign a success.
“For the ordinary Ghanaian worker, the ability to make savings from earnings and securely invest such savings in opportunities that will yield good returns is paramount. The more people understand the different investment alternatives and how to maximise their investments, the better their chances of improving their livelihoods and their future. We will offer our support in this campaign by whatever means we can,” he said.