Financial inclusion key for growth

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Lijeng Ranooe

A FINANCIALLY included and educated society is best placed to make full and correct use of financial products and services leading to economic growth.

This was said by Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) Director of Corporate Affairs Napo Rantsane this week during a workshop held in Maseru as part of Money Month commemorations.

The annual campaign, which ends on 31 October 2017, is meant to raise awareness on financial issues to the general public.

It is held in conjunction with financial sector players to equip the public with skills and techniques to better manage their finances.

This year, the campaign was extended from the week of previous editions to a month to enable more coverage of topics and audiences.

During the campaign, members of the public are taught on how to manage money, becomes wise consumers, manage risks and emotions associated with money. They will also lean about their social economic rights and responsibilities, developing savings habits from an early age in order to cultivate key money managing skills and earning money through development of livelihood skills and entrepreneurial training.

This year’s theme is “I Take Control of My Money. Do You?” which can be translated into, “Ke Nka Taolo ea Chelete Ea ka. Oena?” The campaign will reach a climax in Mokhotlong district will reach public officers, women and youth, trainers of herd boys, business community, farmers, employers’ associations, students, children and the general public.

Mr Rantsane said the theme for the 2017 Global Money Week Campaign, “Learn. Save. Earn” calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that Basotho are financially included and literate.

“It is our shared view that the financially educated, literate and capable society will have more access to finance, with every Mosotho enjoying quality financial products and services which are provided at affordable prices in a fair, convenient and transparent manner to clients who can make informed judgments and effective decisions about the use and management of their finances,” he said.

Mr Rantsane indicated that financial inclusion, education and literacy in Lesotho cannot be achieved by the financial sector alone, calling on other stakeholders – such as the business community — to also participate.

“We call on your support in developing and distributing quality products and services even in the remotest areas of the country as well as actively participating in campaigns such as this one.”

He also mentioned some of the initiatives meant to improve and modernizing the financial sector.

“We have developed the Maseru Securities Market in 2016 which is located in the Central Bank of Lesotho, and provides another investment opportunity for all Basotho. At this stage, intensive efforts are underway for the first companies to list on the market. I cannot wait to see the first Basotho company to be registered under this establishment.

“Significant strides also continue to be made in the mobile money arena, with enhancements in the service offering continuing to be made from time to time by the mobile network operators, ensuring that in Lesotho, we keep pace with other countries in the development of digital financial services.

Mr Rantsane added: “We are all aware that digital financial services will play a significant part in making finance accessible to the public due to the high prevalence and use of mobile phone services.”

 

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