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News Article

CEFI partner’s with Aflatoun to deliver financial education for school children in Papua New Guinea

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) has partnered with Aflatoun International to deliver financial education for children and young people in Papua New Guinea.

Both CEFI and Aflatoun signed a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday May 14 which will see both organization working together in partnership to achieve the objectives and goals of the MoU.

Aflatoun an international organization works with a strong network of Non-Government Organization and governments to deliver social and financial education to millions of children and youths in the most effective way possible around the world.

Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe when giving a brief back ground on CEFI told Aflatoun CEO Mr. Roeland Monasch that financial literacy has been a forefront of CEFI’s activities as it was an entry point for financial inclusion in the country.

Mr. Ranasinghe further stated that CEFI has reached over 250,000 people in the country with its Financial Literacy Training  and Training of Trainers programs and the results has seen over a thousand certified trainers specialized in training financial literacy training or adult training.

He said CEFI’s recent partnership with the Department of Education to introduce financial education into school curriculum will further strengthen the partnership with Aflatoun to deliver financial education for children in PNG schools.

Mr. Ranasinghe also announced that CEFI’s Financial Inclusion and Capacity Development Manager, Jill Pijui and three officers from the Department of Education will attend Aflatoun’s annual conference on financial education in Cebu, Philippines later this year.

CEO Mr. Roeland Monasch said Aflatoun was thrilled to work with CEFI to assist and facilitate the delivering of financial education in the country.

“I’m very excited to discuss and sign this partnership with you today (Tuesday May 14). At Aflatoun we strongly believe that children, young people and youths need to learn about finance as soon as possible,” Mr. Monasch said.

“We like the approach to work with you in a way where we can assist, facilitate, but you (CEFI) are in the driver’s seat, that’s very important.”Mr. Monasch stressed.

“We provide content and help local contextualization, but it’s the organizations on the ground who know what’s needed, who know what is appropriate, who need to take the lead and are in the driving seat to  facilitate, that financial education should facilitate towards financial inclusion,” he added.

The overall goal of the MoU is to build a collaboration between CEFI and Aflatoun International which both parties agree to;

  • Rely on the mutual desire to apply the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Child
  • Work together to advocate for the need of social and financial education for children and young people
  • Collaborate to develop social and financial education for children and young people in Papua New Guinea


To ensure the achievement of the goals, the parties agree to join forces in the following areas.

  • Supporting the development of a social and financial education programme for children and young people in Papua New Guinea
  • Exchanging of educational materials on Social and Financial Education as well as contacts
  • Planning for concrete collaboration and activities on the basis of an annual action plan agreed upon by both parties
  • Developing (contextualized) curricular and methodological content for Social and Financial Education based on Aflatoun International curricula
  • Training of trainers and educational pedagogical workers
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of social and financial education of children and young people
  • Cooperate in exchanging and promoting best practices and experiences in the field of social and financial education


Photo caption: CEFI Executive Director signing the MoU document during the brief virtual signing ceremony with Aflatoun CEO Mr. Roeland Monasch.


Impact Stories

Trainers determined to educate their communities to be financially independent

Improving the way people manage their finances has persuaded two financial literacy mentor’s to brush up their Trainer skills and help their respective communities become financially independent and educated.

Leo Kaptigau who runs a local consultancy firm called ‘Strategy 4 Growth’ and Margaret Vakuru, owner of Oort Finance are two different people with different backgrounds but they have the same goal to educate and train Papua New Guinean’s to be financial inclusive and literate.

The pair were among 17 participants including 11 women, who undertook second EOI ToT training from May 06-10 at the CEFI Head Office.

The 17 participant’s also successfully completed the training and received certificates certifying them to be Trainers in Financial Literacy.

CEFI’s Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe in his congratulatory remarks during the certificate presentation, to the trainees urged them to be role models, set a good example and go back to their respective communities and pass on the knowledge acquired during their training.

Deputy Executive Directror Mr. Peter Samuel encouraged the trainers to be the eyes and ears representing CEFI on the ground and continue put into practice the lessons learned through the training.

Margaret Vakuru who is based out of Kiunga, in Western province, where majority of the people’s livelihood depends on royalty payments from the giant Ok Tedi Mine, says the local people need financial rescuing and that will be in the form of financial literacy training which she is determined to deliver.

“Back in the community that I come from, we have people that have been really dependent on Ok Tedi Mine CMCA (Community Mine Continuation Agreement) payouts and have been receiving these payouts for the last 30 years of the mines operation,” she said.

“They got used to just spending these money and they didn’t know how to save, as a result they are still struggling today with how to manage their finance and it’s a really worrying trend,” Margaret revealed.

“I have been running some trainings with the local communities, affected by the mine in Kiunga and now through the training I received from CEFI, I will use the experience, skills and knowledge I have learnt to educate my people about the importance of savings and how they can be able to do their budgeting and plan for their future,” she added.

Leo’s aim however is to introduce an online platform for SME’s to do their business through a program his currently running called SME Amazing Markets program.

“We realized that apart from us introducing technology and innovation to the SMEs, financial inclusivity is one of the very key essential skills that they need to understand and appreciate,” said Leo.

“So while we are introducing an online platform where SMEs can now sell their products, we realized that they’ll be making money, but then will they sustain themselves and grow?,” added Leo.

That question propelled Leo to attend CEFI’s ToT Training and he stated that the learnings gained from the training will be major boost for his SME Amazing Markets program.

“So that’s where we decided to attend this training so that we can not only impact them by introducing new innovations in emerging technology, but also help SME owner’s in terms of understanding basic finances, how to manage the finance, where to invest, where to save, and then eventually grow into bigger corporations to sustain our economy,” concluded Leo.


Photo caption: Mr. Leo Kapitigau and Margaret Vakura showing their respective certificates after successfully completing the five day ToT Training.  


News Article

Two new partners join Market for Village Farmers Project

Two new partners in the Market for Village Farmers (MVF) Project have been encouraged to change the mindset of farming communities driven by farming activities.

CEFI’s Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe said this during MoU signings between CEFI and Gentrade Consultancy Services and Southern Consultancy (Enterprising) Services on May 08.

“You are very important partners in this endeavor and I want to reiterate that you have to maintain very high standards and deliver the quality service,” Mr. Ranasinghe said.

“Change the mindset of the people in your community and the change will come through opening of a bank account or submitting a loan proposal to a bank,” Mr. Ranasinghe told the owners of the two consultancy services providers.

Mr. Ranasinghe emphasized the MVF project as one of CEFI’s key initiatives and partners adding it was a unique agriculture project that aimed to get the banks involved in agriculture lending with the focus on value chain of the fresh produce sector.

The MoU agreement is for Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement Training under MVF project and is funded by International Food Agency Development Authority and executed by Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Implemented by Fresh Produce Development Authority.

The MoU aims to improve the livelihoods of village farming households in target provinces and by facilitating the transition from semi-subsistence agriculture to market oriented production and farming as a business.

The project’s target provinces are Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and East New Britain.

Gentrade Consultatncy Services and Southern Consultancy (Enterprising) Services as part of their engagement will provide the following deliverables;

-Provide qualified male and female trainers (10 each)

-Ensure selected trainers fully participate in the Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement (VFLI) ToT Training and are certified

-Provide VFLI training

-Plan and coordinate movements of trainers and provide reports

MVF Project Manager, Mr. Joe Koima, who was present to witness the signing, thanked CEFI for the continued partnership  and added that training the farmers is key to developing the fresh produce sector.

“This partnership between the lead partners is important because the ratio between trainers to farmers is very low. This partnership with CEFI through the training partners will increase the ratio leading to more outreach in financial inclusion trainers,” Mr. Koima said.

Mr. Koima encouraged CEFI to increase its financial literacy programs in the near future to cover more centers in the country as this provides the leverage for development.

Mr. Wesley Lopele, Gentrade Consultancy Services and and Mr. Tony Walega, Southern Enterprises Services, both thanked CEFI for the opportunity to be engaged as training partners in the MVF project.

“We (Southern Enterprises Services) are looking forward to working with CEFI and MVF and are eager to make our involvement a success,” Mr Walega said.

“We have been waiting for this opportunity and thank CEFI for choosing us on merit as one of the training partners for this project,” added Mr. Lopele of Gentrade Consultancy Services.


Photo caption: CEFI Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe (middle) signing the MoU document with the two new partners in MVF Project.

News Article

Papua New Guineans to be educated in stock markets following MoU signing between CEFI and Securities Commission PNG

Papua New Guineans will be educated on investing in stock markets following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between CEFI and Securities Commission of PNG (SCPNG).

The lack of knowledge in this area has seen many Papua New Guinean’s making unwise decision to invest in ponzi schemes and throwing away their hard earned money to this schemers who make a quick return from unsuspecting financial illiterate customers.

The need to educate Papua New Guineans on making real investments in stock equity markets has urged SCPNG to embark on this journey.

The SCPNG Acting Chairman Mr. Joshua James and CEFI Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe signed the MoU on Wednesday May 08, which will see both organizations working in collaboration and partnership in carrying out the programs initiated by CEFI.

The programs include, Young Minds Savings Campaign, Provincial Government Engagement Program, Training of Trainers to train investor and Development of Capital Marketing Modules.

“We (SCPNG) want to drive this concept to the schools and partner with CEFI and invest in the education program so that schools are able to teach the young children about investing and making the right choices,” said Mr. James Joshua, SCPNG Acting Chairman.

“We also need to drive that out to the public and make them clear on which are the right avenues to invest and get a real return out of it.

“That is our agenda that we want to expand the investment options and investment tools that are currently on our market.

“Thank you CEFI, we need partners like you to drive the agenda forward,” Mr. Joshua added.

Mr. Ranasinghe thanked SCPNG for coming onboard and agreeing to terms of the MoU, which he said highlighted the importance of their partnership which is to implement the programs.

“People need to be educated in investment and we are looking forward to working with you (SCPNG) to develop a training module and deliver to the people of this country,” Mr. Ranasinghe added.

The MoU will run for three years from May 8 2024 to May 08 2027.


Photo caption: CEFI Executive Director Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe (left) and SCPNG Acting Chairman Mr. Joshua James signing the MoU.

Partners Corner

Digicel Financial Services strategic approach in using its ‘Cell Moni’ platform to deliver financial services

In this insight, we look at Digicel Financial Services Ltd [DFSL] highlights of some of the strategic approach being made by DFSL to on the usage of its mobile financial service platform ‘CellMoni’ through implementing activities such as; [a] Introduction and improving of services, [b] New developments planned ahead and [c] Some challenges faced to provide affordable and quality financial services with ‘Cell Moni’.

As per the I-Commit, in the next four [4] years, DFSL looks to increase CellMoni subscribers through:

  • New Customer Onboarding Strategy

‘Community Engagements with customers’ involving the setup of mini booths in specific communities three [3] times a week where  significant results have been observed with improvements in onboarding of customers.


  • Introduction of New Products

These are products introduced and tailored for customers to access new services and products only available on ‘CellMoni’ when it comes to customer base commitment as per the I-Commit.


Examples of ‘new product’ include:


International Money Remittance (IMR)

A [Digicel] CellMoni customer has the option to be remitted money from overseas senders directly into their phone other than traditionally through bank account or Western Union.

Merchant Payments

Apart from payments through USSD *888# code to stores accepting CellMoni payments, an additional payment method has been made possible for customers with a smartphone to simply scan the QR code which is a new concept with a two-way benefit [2-ways] a] Improve store customer experience b] faster payment & convenience experience. This service is currently available by close to sixty CellMoni stores [merchants] and with the footprint being expanded.


  • Agent Expansion

To increase footprint of agents, DFSL looks to partner with pop-up table businesses with a commission structure as an added bonus benefiting their ongoing business. Currently DFSL has the largest agent distribution network in the country with  1200 CellMoni agents available to existing and potential customers to access financial services.

We have an array of production service points, key ones that speak to our selling point are;

  • Utility &/or Bill Payments

CellMoni customers are paying through their phone, electricity and water bill anywhere, anytime minimizing physical visits to a store and standing in queues. Customers can now, through recent innovation, can check their water bill through CellMoni without having to visit a Water PNG branch in order to make payment.


  • Cash Disbursement

DFSL provides to individuals and businesses [small or large] the payment solution of performing cash disbursements to recipients who for example are; casual workers, volunteers, farmers in exchange for crops and so forth.


An example of this is the current World Bank Food Nutrition initiative where DFSL has partnered with Department of Community Development and Religion enabling the department to perform such transactions to recipients.

We also have in the pipeline for the next three [3] to four [4] years planned developments such as:

  • Insurance payments

Premium payments are made through CellMoni by individuals and businesses [small or large].


  • Ticket payments

Ticket payments through CellMoni for a customer to attend event[s], lottery and bets.


  • Visa card placements

Visa card holders with CellMoni can be able to transfer money from their visa bank account to their CellMoni to perform payments for services or products unique to CellMoni and not available on other payment service provider platforms.

Some of the potential barriers identified and, is a challenge faced by Digicel Financial Services include:

  • Moving funds from bank account to CellMoni

CellMoni customers with bank accounts are currently withdrawing cash from their accounts to physically to have to visit a CellMoni agent or Digicel store to make a cash deposit into their CellMoni so to make transactions for services or products unique to CellMoni, not available on other platforms


To move funds from a bank account to a CellMoni wallet does not exist. This is a pain point shared with relevant stakeholders in the interest of customers.


  • Know your customer [KYC]

Customers are keen to use CellMoni however, similar to other financial institutions, customers need to provide an ID but, do not have an ID. This is an issue faced by most Papua New Guineans and financial institutions.


  • Switch

DFSL has since progressed with and are now, part of the national payment council where all national financial institutions who are part of the council collectively, decide and enable switch access and connectivity.


To conclude, DFSL’s financial inclusion agenda comes down to four key pillars;


  • Empowerment:

To empower those without financial access and be able to bridge that gap.


  • Convenience:

DFSL can be part of the solution in the financial services ecosystem to address a number of issues.


For example, the bank situations to reduce queue form at ATMs and Bank lines through funds transfers from bank accounts to CellMoni giving access to the vast majority facing demography challenges relating to access to financial services as CellMoni is accessible with a mobile phone.


  • Security:

A sense of financial security is given to customers minimizing the carrying of physical cash and addressing potential threats, theft and hold-ups made to customers.


  • Affordability:

CellMoni’s fee structure is competitive and currently, only includes fee charge for withdrawing of cash from their CellMoni wallet whilst all other services available and unique to CellMoni platform do not include transaction fees to a customer.

Photo Caption: Mr. Thompson Kumi Sakyi, Managing Director, Mobile Financial Services, in a question and answer session with CEFI briefly outlined and highlighted some of Digicel Financial Services strategic approach to improving its customer’s use of its mobile services ‘Cell Moni’.

Photo caption: (below-top image) DFS Head Office in Port Moresby. (right image) The Customer Services Call Centre.




Media Releases

‘Women’s Micro Bank a key driver of financial inclusion’ – ‘BPNG Governor Ms. Elizabeth Genia.’


Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea Ms. Elizabeth Genia officially opened the Women’s Micro Bank (WMB) Branch in Kerema (Tuesday May 07), making it the fifth WMB branch to be operating in Papua New Guinea.

“Today’s official opening of its fifth branch celebrates another achievement in a long line of achievements we have seen for women’s microbank. I am sure your highly esteemed founder, the late Janet Sape, would have been extremely proud of the organization affectionately known as Mama Bank, now one of the top 50 companies for women in APEC countries and well regarded as a financial services innovator,” Ms. Genia told the people of Kerema town who turned up in hundreds to witness the important occasion.

Ms. Genia stated that WMB has become a key driver of financial inclusion and financial inclusion was originally a BPNG led innovation but is now a national strategic priority.

She applauded women’s micro bank services in addressing several financial inclusion objectives, particularly highlighting depositing taking and lending opportunities to the 85% of the population who are still unbanked.

“Opening of the Kerema branch is another way Women’s Microbank has made a commitment to encouraging people to access financial services.”

“I understand the Kerema branch will enable the people of the district, particularly the women, to take advantage of services such as the MSC credit scheme, financial literacy training, as well as basics, including deposit takings and loans. The branch will provide a practical and desirable alternative to the risks of holding cash, informal money lending and money scams, all of which stop people from building a comfortable standard of living.”

“Today’s official opening gives members of the community the opportunity to take significant steps forward towards building the financial security and financial independence,” the BPNG Governor said.

Coinciding with the opening, was also the launching of the Kerema District SME Policy which was officially launched by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Honourable James Marape.

The Prime Minister committed three million kina towards the WMB Kerema branch as part of the Government’s partnership with KDDA in assisting to create a credit lending facility where Gulf women especially mothers in SME can benefit.

“Get into productive micro to small medium enterprises and do well for yourself. By doing well for yourself, you will be preparing your children well for the future,” the prime minister encouraged women from Gulf province.

Kerema Open MP Honourable Thomas Opa also committed two million kina towards the WMB Kerema branch and also became the first customer to open an account with the branch.

Mr. Opa emphasised that empowering women in Gulf province was a big challenge but was positive that with the setting up of a WNB (mama) branch in his province and assistance from the government with seed capital to fund lending credit facilities, he was confident mothers and young girls will take advantage of the opportunity and use the facilities wisely to venture in various business opportunities and empower themselves financially.

Other important delegates who witnessed the SME Policy Launching and WMB opening included, Kerema Open MP and Vice Minister for Petroleum and Energy Honourable Thomas Opa, Wapenamanda Open MP and Vice Minister for Works and Highways Honourable Mikki Kaeok, Moresby North West Open MP Lohia Boe Samuel, BPNG Assistant Governor George Awap, WMB CEO Gunanidhi Das, CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe and members of the Kerema District Development Authority and the Gulf Provincial Executive Council.



Image Captions:

Image 1 & 2.  Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea Ms. Elizabeth Genia officially opening the Women’s Micro Bank in Kerema.

Image 3 & 4.  Prime Minister Honourable James Marape cutting the ribbon to the launch the Kerema District SME Policy.

Image 5.  Kerema Open MP and Vice Minister for Petroleum and Energy Honourable Thomas Opa became the first customer to open an account with the branch. Witnessing this is BPNG Governor Ms. Elizabeth Genia.

Image 6. Kerema Open MP and Vice Minister for Petroleum and Energy Honourable Thomas Opa shows his passbook after opening an account with the branch. Witnessing this was (from right to left), Wapenamanda Open MP and Vice Minister for Works and Highways Honourable Mikki Kaeok, Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea Ms. Elizabeth Genia, CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe, CEFI Deputy Executive Director Peter Samuel and Women’s Micro Bank CEO Gunanidhi Das.

Image 7. Womens Micro Bank, Kerema Branch

For further information on the work of CEFI please contact CEFI Communications Team: +675 3225300, email: lomaro@thecefi.org  or visit www.thecefi.org


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