A CALL has gone to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the Government’s development partners to collaborate with Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to achieve some level of financial literacy among the populace, especially those who lived in the rural areas.
The Administrator of the Brong Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB), Mr Collins Offinam Takyi, made the call at a public forum at Sunyani, as part of activities marking the regional financial week celebration on the theme: “Financial literacy—Knowledge is money”.
Mr Gyasi said majority of the country’s population lived in the rural areas that had no access to financial services, investment products and education.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the Government to partner RCBs operating in the countryside to reach out to them.
According to him, the collaboration, apart from helping to educate the people on financial matters and other investment products, would encourage the rural people to develop a banking culture and help mop up the excess liquidity in the system.
Speaking on the topic: “The role of RCBs”, Mr Takyi said the RCBs were already providing institutional finance to the rural and agriculture sectors, and also acted as a catalyst for rural development.
He said the Government could, therefore, rely on them to raise the level of financial awareness among the people in those areas for them to adopt lifestyles to improve on their lot.
Mr Takyi stated that if the nation was to achieve a 100 per cent financial literacy, then the Government and the central bank must work closely with rural banks operating in the rural areas where the bulk of the people lived.
He observed further that if the country was to attain its vision of becoming a middle income country and reduce poverty, then the financial knowledge of the populace, especially those in rural communities should be heightened to help them make an informed financial choices to improve on their standard of living.
“Here we are talking about a segment of the society who contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country yet they cannot manage their finances well as a result of lack of knowledge”, he stressed.
Mr Takyi stated that the RCBs were already playing their part in the financial literacy of the people in rural communities in the country and also helping the people to grow their businesses, adding “this can be deepened if the Government could collaborate effectively with RCBs to work in that direction”.
He commended the Government for instituting the financial literacy week but called for the spread of the celebration to the grassroots level where majority of the people lived.
A representative from the MOFEP, Mr Alexander Adusei said the national financial literacy week celebration was a welcome event for the nation as it aspired to middle income status.
Some of the participants at the forum also commended the Government for instituting the financial literacy week and expressed the hope that it would be sustained to help educate the people in the various investment products available.
They also called on the various financial institutions to reduce the cumbersome nature of their operations since that was a factor that had discouraged many Ghanaians from patronising banking services.
Other speakers at the forum were Messrs Osman Abudulai, Robert Whadah, Karim Hamidu and Daniel Ohene Owusu, who represented the Ghana Association of Bankers, National Insurance Commission, Securities Commission, the BOG, respectively and Ms Vera Geraldo of XDS Service.