Jun 12, 2012 at 5:26pm
Third National Financial Literacy Week Launched
Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffour
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr.
Kwabena Duffuor, has noted that the nation cannot reap the full benefits of the reforms introduced by government in the financial sector if the majority of Ghanaians remain financially illiterate.
Duffuor said financial education was necessary at all levels and for all segments of the population and that economies functioned more effectively if the population was knowledgeable and financially literate and that studies had repeatedly demonstrated a strong link between education and the use of financial products and services.
He said core to financial education were the basic principles of having the knowledge, understanding, skills, motivation and confidence to make financial decisions appropriate to one’s personal circumstance.
Duffuor, who was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the third National Financial Literacy Week in Accra, yesterday, therefore, urged the education system to assume a lead role in equipping consumers with the knowledge required to make prudent financial decisions.
He disclosed that financial education was being addressed in the revised Social Studies, Management in Living and Business Management syllabi for Senior High Schools (SHSs) and that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and with support from the German International Co-operation through the Responsible Ghana Project, had developed a detailed course content under the ‘Personal Financial Education’ for SHSs in Ghana.
In addition, Dr.
Duffuor said draft content for teaching and learning materials had also been developed to help equip students at the SHS level with adequate knowledge of basic financial issues and to enable them make informed financial decisions as future customers of financial services providers.
In an address, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Adu Anane Antwi reiterated the importance of financial education as key to wealth creation and financial stability.
Mr Antwi said the ability of investors to make the right investment decisions was very much dependent on their knowledge about the capital market and the various tools and mechanisms of the market.
He said the SEC had, therefore, embarked on a number of initiatives, with others still at the planning stage for public education.
Mr Antwi said the Securities sub-sector would seek to create awareness about the capital market in general and its investment opportunities; create awareness about fund management and its benefits as a wealth creation tool; encourage the public to seek professional management of their funds; and educate investors about their rights and responsibilities in fund management.
He said the target audience for this year’s celebrations were, labour unions including teachers, nurses and civil servants, tertiary students and trade associations representing the informal sector.
For his part, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, said in response to the growth of the micro-finance sub-sector, the BoG had initiated a number of measures to strengthen their regulation and supervision so as to streamline their operations and make them more relevant to the process of achieving financial inclusion of the less privileged so as to reduce poverty.
Two surveys conducted in 2007 and 2008 revealed that 43 per cent of those surveyed either did not have full or correct information on what they needed for successful financial planning, or they did not have any of the information they needed to plan their personal finances.
It is for this deficiency in financial knowledge that Ghana’s Financial Sector Strategic Plan instituted the annual National Financial Literacy Week to raise awareness on the range of financial products and services available to consumers to help them better understand and manage their personal finances.
This year’s National Financial Literacy Week is being celebrated on the theme ‘Financial Literacy – Creating Wealth and Financial Stability’.