Players in financial industry need to step up their outreach programmes to enhance financial literacy in the country, Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance has advised.
That, he said, would deepen financial intermediation and also encourage the citizens to cultivate the habit of savings.
Mr. Terkper said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Major (rtd) Mahama S.Tara during the launch of the 2015/16 Financial Literacy Awareness Campaign in Accra yesterday.
The six-month campaign to be held across the country is on the theme, “Promoting financial literacy for financial inclusion – A tool for empowerment and development.”
Under the auspices of the International Fund for Agriculture Development and Rural and Agricultural Finance Programme, the objective of the programme is to bring financial services to the doorstep of the citizens and also encourage them to cultivate the habit of savings.
Mr. Terkper explained that financial literacy was crucial to increase access to finance and accelerate the economic transformation of the country.
He said the need for financial literacy campaigns had become even more imperative with the rapid growth for the financial industry especially the microfinance industry.
Mr Terkper said the Financial Literacy Awareness Campaign was introduced in 2006 to educate the citizens on savings and investment.
Following the success of the programme, he said the government since 2008 had sustained the programme.
Among the activities outlined for the six months multi-media programme, which would be held in five local languages – Twi, , Ewe, Ga-Dangme, Dagbani and Dagaari, include road shows, distribution of printed materials, radio and television discussions and theatre shows.
Mr Terkper entreated all the players in the financial sector to actively support the programme to succeed.
The Director of the Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Joseph Chognuru said financial literacy involved the acquisition of financial concepts and skills and applications of those skills to make informed financial decisions.
He said as part of the programme, experts had been hired to discuss pertinent financial issues and educate the public especially farmers in the rural areas on the importance of savings.
Dr Adu Anane-Antwi, the Director -General of the Securities and Exchange Commission said his outfit was excited about the programme and would play an active role in ensuring that the programme came to a successful end.
“Taking financial services to the doorstep of the citizenry is a programme SEC endorses,” he said, adding that such programme helps to ensure financial stability of the country.
Other stakeholder institutions at the programme such as the National Insurance Commission, the GHAMFIN and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority commended the Ministry of Finance for the programme and pledged their support to ensure its success.
By Kingsley Asare