Govt urged to establish Financial Literacy Education Secretariat
The government has been urged to establish a Financial Literacy Education Secretariat to continuously educate the public on financial literacy issues.
This proposal is contained in Ghana Financial Literacy Strategy (2021-2025), which was prepared by Asamoah and Williams Consulting and Trans-media Network as part of the Financial Literacy Education Project (FLEP) under the Ghana Financial Sector Development Project (GFSDP), funded by the World Bank.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asamoah and Williams Consulting, Mr Mawuko Williams, who made the call during a workshop for about 35 media practitioners and journalists from the Southern sector here at the weekend on the FLEP, said the establishment of the Secretariat had become necessary to provide a coherent and sustained education on financial literacy issues.
He said although the various financial sector regulators, such as the National Insurance Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Pensions and Regulatory Authority, had programmes to promote financial education, such programmes in the past were not well coordinated at the national level, and, therefore, aimed at the same goal, which is are not coherent.
Mr Williams said the Secretariat would coordinate financial literacy education in Ghana and help educate the citizens on savings, investments, insurance, pensions, financial planning, and financial knowledge, such as how to calculate simple interest rates.
He said financial education and literacy were critical to the development and growth of the Ghanaian economy and the financial sector, adding that financial literacy was so important and acknowledged all over the world.
“The more people are financial literate, the better financial literacy decisions they make,” Mr Williams stated, and stressed the need for financial literacy education to be incorporated into the country’s educational curricula as was done in Canada, U.S and the United Kingdom.
He said studies conducted under the FLEP indicated that a lot of the citizens were not financially literate and it was in that direction that the World Bank was sponsoring the FLEP under the GFSDP.
The goal of the FLEP is to design and implement targeted financial education campaigns to empower consumers and improve their knowledge of the financial system in order to build their capabilities in making sound financial decisions that promote and secure their financial interests.
“The campaign seeks to empower these consumers with the requisite knowledge (literacy), attitudes, skills and behaviour to manage their resources, and to assist them understand, select, and use financial services that fit their needs,” he said.
Mr Williams said the workshop was to build the capacity of the selected media practitioners and equip them with requisite skills to disseminate the FLEP campaign messages to the target audience.
He said deliberations for the three-day workshop covered a range of topics, including financial sector clean-up and its emerging benefits, why Ghana needs financial literate citizens, regulatory efforts to ensure sanity, thereby preventing collapse of financial institutions in future, steps being taken by regulators to protect depositors.
Officials from regulatory bodies and organisations, such as National Insurance Commission, Securities Exchange Commission, National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, and the Financial Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance, participated in the workshop and also made presentations to educate the media on their mandate in the financial sector.
FROM KINGSLEY ASARE, WINNEBA