National financial education campaign launched

Abena Osei-Opoku, has launched the National Financial Education Campaign - aimed at bolstering the financial capability of Ghanaians.

The Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei-Opoku, has launched the National Financial Education Campaign – aimed at bolstering the financial capability of Ghanaians.

The campaign will be conducted in the 16 regions of Ghana, predominantly targetting the informal sector and youth groups. The financial education campaign’s structure is comprehensive, designed to allow for radio and TV discussions, public fora, townhall engagements and social-media campaigns. Different educational materials have been developed and translated into 11 local languages.

Speaking at the campaign’s launch, Ms. Osei-Opoku highlighted the importance of financial capability for consumers; saying it is a major component in building a strong and resilient economy.

“The current developments in the economy and financial sector give more credence to the need for a timely and a comprehensive financial education programme that addresses noticeable issues in the financial sector. That is why government, in collaboration with the financial sector regulators and industry associations, is implementing the National Financial Education Campaign to bolster the financial capability of Ghanaians,” the Deputy Minister said.

The campaign is anchored on the five mutually reinforcing pillars of the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS), with the fifth pillar highlighting the need to increase financial education on consumer awareness and understanding of financial products to enhance consumers’ ability to manage their finances.

Ms. Osei-Opoku expressed gratitude for the immense contributions of the Financial Education Multi-Stakeholder Committee (FEMCOM) in designing this all-important education campaign. The committee comprises representation from the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Insurance Commission, National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ghana Deposit Protection Corporation, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies, Micro Credit Association of Ghana, Cooperative Credit Unions Association and other industry associations.

The Deputy Finance Minister noted that Ghana’s financial inclusion journey started in 2010 when a FinScope Survey was conducted, estimating Ghana’s financial inclusion rate at 41 percent. The rate subsequently increased to 58 percent in 2015, according to the Financial Inclusion Insight Survey. The NFIDS sought to increase financial inclusion from 58 percent to 85 percent by 2023.

However, the financial incapability of Ghanaians has been identified as one of the contributing factors to the recent financial sector crisis that led to the locking-up of many depositors and investors’ funds. Government spent over GH¢25billion of public funds to clean-up the sector and bail-out customers whose funds were locked up with the defunct institutions. Despite the clean-up exercise, many financial consumers continue to use financial products and services without understanding the risks associated with these products or the benefits thereof.

Ms. Osei-Opoku appealed for the media to take deliberate steps to validate financial institutions before advertising their products. She also revealed that a preliminary assessment of Ghana’s financial literacy education landscape in 2021 showed that the average financial literacy score in the country is 12 out of a total score of 21, indicating that many Ghanaians lack basic understanding of key financial issues. The assessment also revealed that about 72 percent of the population do not follow trends in the financial sector, and have no idea of developments in the sector.

The Ghanaian financial sector remains resilient despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and the domestic debt exchange programme. The Monetary Policy Committee in its latest release revealed that the banking industry remains relatively stable despite recording some losses from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP). However, to further strengthen the sector and provide a stability back-stop to the industry, government in collaboration with the financial sector regulators is working on the Ghana Financial Stability Fund.

The National Financial Education Campaign launch has been welcomed by stakeholders in the financial sector.

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