By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Bank of Papua New Guinea Governor, Loi Bakani says basic knowledge on financial options, products and services are lacking in the informal sector in PNG.
Bakani said people in this sector are vulnerable to economic shocks and may be unable to take on new business risks.
“Financial consumer protection and equality in the microfinance industry are on the global financial agenda. People operating in the informal sector and microfinance industry clients in general are often found at the lower tier of society’s economic ladder,” Mr. Bakani said.
His comments follow the high rate of financial illiteracy rates in Papua New Guinea.
Financial literacy has become the most discussed topic in the microfinance industry of many countries in the world.
In Papua New Guinea, the Central Bank has been carrying out financial education training through its Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion in a national strive drive to decrease financial illiteracy.
Since 2013, CEFI has conducted training on basic financial knowledge in the Highlands region, targeting the local businessman and women in the informal sector.
In 2008, microfinance leaders from around the world put together a guide that later became the Client Protection Principle that allows clients to be treated with fairness.
Today, BPNG launched the Smart Campaign Training program, an addition to the financial training for the facilitators who have been teaching basic savings and banking skills to local communities.
The training is desired to equip the trainers and broaden their understanding on the seven principles under the Client Protection Principle.
BPNG has teamed up with the Asian Development Bank and other partners, in trying to educate people from other regions on basic financial knowledge.