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NCSL and CEFI sign MOU for Financial Literacy Training

Financial information is vital to making informed decisions and NASFUND Contributors Savings and Loan Society (ncsl), as a financial institution, endeavours to provide necessary training and awareness to empower people to make good financial decisions.

On Monday August 1, ncsl and Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Financial Literacy Training.

Under the MOU, CEFI will provide a ‘Train the Trainers’ program to ncsl staff to empower them to go out and conduct educational awareness on financial literacy to the Society’s growing membership.

CEFI’s Financial Literacy Program will train ncsl officers on how to facilitate and deliver financial literacy information to its members so they are empowered to make appropriate financial decisions, including accessing the right types of financial products and services that address their business and household needs at reasonable costs.

ncsl Chief Executive Officer, Vari Lahui said ncsl is pleased to partner with a recognised institution in the country that specialises in financial literacy training and is also mandated to drive programs on financial inclusion.

“Through our Lending, we have noticed that our members entering into numerous borrowing arrangements with other financial institutions at exorbitant costs and we believe the partnership with CEFI allows us to gain the knowledge and experience to reach out to our members in such situations and assist them with advice,” he stated.

CEFI Advisor, Saliya Ranasinghe said CEFI is privileged and happy to partner with the most innovative and progressive society in the country.

“We are very pleased to work with the largest savings and loan society by membership size to train staff and clients to make a difference in the community through this program.

“Financial literacy is something everybody in this country needs. PNG has a lot of money but the problem is how to manage it. This partnership between the two organisations now enables progress towards better managing the issue of better financial management,” Ranasinghe said.

The MOU will initially run for a period of 12 months and ncsl aims to reach out to as many members as possible and will provide progressive monthly updates to CEFI as part of the agreement with the aim of enhancing the Program where necessary.


The National Q&A CEFI Director

  1. Tell us a bit about Centre for Excellence and Financial Inclusion.

CEFI was launched in April 2013, registered as an Association incorporated under PNG law and officially launched on 24th April, 2013 by the Hon Peter O’Neill. Members of the association include the Bank of PNG and Department of Planning and Monitoring. The board members consist of the Department of Treasury and the Department of Community Development, representatives from Commercial Banks, Micro Banks, Savings and Loan Societies and the Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM). CEFI was endorsed by PNG’s National Executive Council as the industry apex organisation mandated to coordinate, advocate and monitor all financial inclusion activities in PNG. In this capacity, CEFI has drafted and implemented two national financial inclusion strategies(NFIS 2014-2015 and NFIS 201602020) and is currently drafting the 3rd  National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2022-2016. It envisages creation of a robust financial sector which will reach people across the country and ensure all Papua New Guineans are financially competent and have access to a wide range of financial services that address their needs and are provided in a responsible and sustainable manner. CEFI’s mission is ‘Creating Financial Freedom’ that is to promote excellence in financial services, innovate delivery channels and facilitate financial education.

  1. What is financial inclusion?

Financial inclusion refers to individuals and businesses having access to and effectively use affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – payments, savings, credit and insurance – which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.

CEFI recognises that expanding financial services can encourage the participation of more Papua New Guineans, especially those in rural areas and urban settlements, in income generating activities in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, and become part of the formal monetised economy thereby contributing meaningfully to the growth of the economy.

  1. Why is financial inclusion important?

Financial inclusion is important in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) context as 75% of the adult population do not have access to formal financial services. Difficult geographies, lack of physical and social infrastructure, limited technological skills and know-how has created difficult challenges in the supply and access of financial services. As a result a large portion the low-income population, in particular rural people and mostly women are financially ‘excluded’, meaning they lack access to basic financial services.

Consistent with the PNG Government’s Vision 2050 for Wealth Creation, financial inclusion aims to ensure  all people regardless of status, age and gender have access to a  wide range of quality financial services, provided to them at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, and on a sustainable basis.

  1. What are the successes of CEFI from implementing the first financial inclusion strategies?

Since the launch and implementation of the two National Financial Inclusion Strategies, unprecedented progress in financial inclusion has been achieved. As at March 2022 an aggregate of 3.6 million deposit accounts were held at regulated financial institutions with 1.2 million accounts belonging to women representing 33%. This is an increase of 2.5 million new accounts from 1.1 million accounts by December 2013. Financial access points in the country have grown by 56% in the last three years.

Papua New Guineans can now access the formal financial sector over 13,000 physical access points, as well as often via their mobile phones. In addition, Microinsurance has also been introduced in the country to reach remote communities.

Achievement and milestones achieved in the 1st National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2013-2015):

  • 1,187,024 new bank accounts opened – 462,939 ; 35% were women
  • 124,375 people reached with financial education ; 47% were women
  • 67 new branches, 73 ATMs, 4959 EFTPOS and 233 new agents added onto the financial service network on total 12,599 service outlets
  • 696,792 policy holders have taken out micro-insurance products
  • 315,993 people now linked their deposits account with Mobile Phone banking.
  1. Equal access of financial services for women is one of the organization’s core objectives.  Do you have specific targets you wish to achieve in regard to that objective?

Despite the achievements ,a majority of the population especially the vulnerable that includes women continues to lack access to formal financial services. It is more prevalent in rural communities, among women and microenterprises, especially those within the informal economy and in agriculture. Therefore, financial exclusion remains a fundamental challenge.

Nearly one of every three women in the world — or 1.1 billion — is excluded from the formal financial system. Globally, women are 7 percent less likely than men to have basic transactional accounts, and this disparity rises among the poor.

Women appear to have significantly lower levels of financial inclusion, even where financial services are available in urban communities. The scale of women’s financial exclusion in PNG makes it the need to focus on women. But this is not an easy task. Expanding access to finance for women brings some unique challenges. Socio-cultural factors, limited financial and/or functional literacy, lower levels of formal education and limited familiarity with formal financial institutions may be factors why women are likely to have lower levels of financial inclusion and engagement in household financial decision making. Further research is required to develop an understanding of the causal factors which can then provide a basis for gender specific programs and products.

The 2nd National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020 aimed to expand access to financial services to a further 2 million of PNG’s population of which 50% are women and also work with financial service providers in the country to provide products tailored to the needs of clients as it is clear that in particular, women and rural communities and MSMEs -including agricultural- suffer from the lack of products tailored to their needs, including access to credit.

Earlier this year, a Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Microfinance Institutions was launched the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Governments of Australia PNG and CEFI. The GESI policy was developed to help build and champion gender equity and social inclusion values and principles for MFIs.

CEFI believes that providing low-income women  with effective and affordable financial tools to save and borrow money, make and receive payments, and manage risk is critical to both women’s empowerment and poverty reduction. However, the path to greater women’s financial inclusion is dependent upon the creation of a more gender inclusive financial system that addresses the specific demand- and supply-side barriers faced by women, supported by an inclusive regulatory environment.

6. What are the significant challenges in providing financial literacy services especially to rural areas?

At the outset, financial literacy is a means to financial inclusion, that is, financial literacy could play an important role in enabling the most vulnerable segments of the population to use appropriate financial services. The main challenges or concern in delivering financial literacy in PNG rural areas is the high level illiteracy and demographically issolated communication limited or no government support . I

CEFI is in the process of reviewing its financial literacy courses and curricula so it’s tailored to the different segments of the community to improve their financial skills and knowledge. Such programmes should promote their awareness of available financial products and services and enable them to make appropriate choices of these services.

7. Recently a senior economist from Westpac Bank highlighted that the access to affordable financial credit was impeding the growth of businesses in PNG. Similar sentiments were shared by Commerce, Trade & Industry minister, Wera Mori at the inaugural SME Expo. Mori said lack of financial capital has slowed the growth of SMEs in PNG.  What is CEFI’s position in this regard?

CEFI agrees with those viewpoints. In fact, the 2nd Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) seeks to align with and complement the initiatives implemented under the SME Policy 2016 and has SME finance as a key priority area under the new strategy. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. They often employ a larger proportion of the population than larger enterprises and are therefore vital for inclusive economic growth. In PNG, SMEs already make a major contribution to national output, accounting for 200,000 jobs and an estimated 10% of GDP (though these figures are likely much higher if the informal sector is taken into account). Longer term, the government aims to increase the sector’s share of GDP to 50%. At present, SMEs face obstacles to financing and are often perceived as high-risk by commercial lenders. According to local media reports, 94.4% of SMEs in PNG have never received a loan and just 2.5% had benefitted from direct government assistance.

Due to the importance of SMEs for inclusive growth in PNG, CEFI and stakeholders decided to include this new Priority area: SME Finance: that is, focused on enhancing access to and usage of finance by SMEs. Activities include: Enhance knowledge and data on financial inclusion among SMEs; Review regulatory and supervisory frameworks to ensure they are fully enabling for SME Finance ; Promote innovation and competition in SME Finance; Facilitate dialogue on existing public sector interventions and support schemes and Strengthen capacity of SMEs and financial institutions.

8.We understand that CEFI has since launched two Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS) 2014-2015 and NFIS  2016-2020. What are some lessons from these two strategies?

As is the case in most countries in the world, the financial sector landscape is changing  the fact remains that we have made significant progress to date and also learnt some lessons. Important lessons learnt are:

  1. Networking and collaboration amongst all stakeholders is important.
  2. Improve Financial Literacy / Education and Financial Competency Levels for Papua New Guineans.
  3. Provincial and Local Level Government involvement.
  4. The need to set Financial Inclusion targets for financial service providers.
  5. Budgeting limitations and constraints.  

9.What is CEFI looking to achieve with the second strategy?

The public-sector goal is for financial inclusion to enable individuals and businesses to achieve their economic potential, i.e. to support economic development, increase incomes and improve the standard of living (impact). For the private sector, the goal is to acquire new customers, access new market segments and ultimately increase profits. The 2nd strategy will look at improving the 4 key pillars detailed:

Enabling environment: that is, the policy, legal and regulatory framework.  Important advancement to translate policy goals into a fully enabling environment for innovative financial inclusion. There is a need to finalize long-term regulatory framework for digital financial services; Need for demand-driven roll-out of National Payment Switch; Need to strengthen financial consumer protection as industry matures; Need to introduce a comprehensive regulatory framework for micro-insurance and the need for development partner support to catalyze further innovation and address capacity building needs.

Physical access points: Lack of financial access points, in particular in rural areas, continues to constitute a key barrier to financial inclusion in PNG. There is: 1) Need to increase physical access points in rural areas and 2)Need to exploit the potential of digital financial services to expand the reach of the formal financial sector

Quality: Need to further enhance product tailoring, in particular for excluded individuals and Businesses; Need to reduce reliance on cash; Need to further promote competition in order to reduce prices

Usage: Access and quality are both preconditions for effective and large scale usage of financial services. Financial literacy, competency and consumer awareness must be strengthened to drive usage


Sim Registration optional

The National Information & Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) of Papua New Guinea just recently extended the deadline of Mandatory SIM Card registration with the deactivation commencing on 28 January, 2018. Whilst there has been mad rush from the public to get SIMs registered, most may not realize that the mandatory process was in effect as of July 23, 2016.

As per SIM Card Registration Regulation 2016 (Statutory Instrument No.7 of 2016) as published in National Gazette No. G228 dated April 22, 2016; the objective of the regulation is to provide a regulatory framework for the registration of all SIM card users and for the control, administration and management of the Subscriber Information Database. The regulation applies to all licenses and all persons who use a SIM card in PNG but shall not extend to users of SIM cards issues by foreign licenses.

First of all, NICTA must be commended for taking this step as PNG joins major countries around the world with this mandatory policy. However, like all policies there are always some downsides to it.  Given the significant costs involved in implementing the registration process, maximising the benefits that can be derived from the exercise is very important.

Prepaid SIM card registration is currently mandated in around 90 countries and requires consumers to provide proof of identification in order to activate and use a mobile SIM card. A number of governments adopt this policy as part of efforts to help mitigate security concerns and to address criminal and anti-social behaviour. To date, there has been no empirical evidence that mandatory SIM registration directly leads to a reduction in crime. However, where the exercise is implemented effectively by taking into account local market circumstances, for example the ability of mobile operators to verify customers’ identity documents, SIM registration can enable many consumers to access value added mobile and digital services that would otherwise be unavailable to them as unregistered users. However, if the registration requirements are disproportionate to the specific market, the mandatory policy may unintentionally exclude vulnerable and socially disadvantaged consumers.

PNG is usually depicted as a land with high mountains fast flowing rivers and scattered islands making government services delivery in most part of the country a main challenge. Imagine the daunting task of registering a segment of the more than 8 million Papua New Guineans who live in one of the most diverse countries in the world with 848 different languages and physical terrains that has posed enormous difficulties in building transportation infrastructure.

Following SIM registration requirements in Zimbabwe, the two leading operators lost two million subscribers. In South Africa, MTN lost nearly a million subscriptions and growth for the industry slowed considerably afterward. In Kenya, more than 1.2 million SIM cards were shut off because they were not registered by the deadline. While some of these were unused accounts, many more were people who could not – often through no fault of their own – register their SIM cards.


‘Proof of ID’ requirements

There are various challenges but proof of ID requirements is anticipated as a major one for PNG. Like most countries, ‘Proof of ID’ requirements and this varies significantly across countries. The types of customer identity documents that mobile operators are asked to check as part of mandatory SIM registration processes vary – from government-issued identity cards and passports, to letters from the ‘village chief’ certifying the identity of the person being registered. However, in a number of countries, consumers who lack any official proof of ID risk being disconnected from mobile communications altogether. Globally, current estimates suggest that there are 1.5 billion people around the world who do not have any form of identity and would therefore be unable to register a mobile SIM in their own name, where SIM registration is mandated. Consequently (and ironically), the same policy that aims to reduce crime may be taking away those consumers’ means to report a crime or call emergency services.

More fundamentally, are those that lack formal identity documents, either because they never received them or have lost them over the years.


However, herein lies an opportunity. With the increasing importance of citizens having a secure digital identity and where there are issues with the availability of official identity documents, there may be a role for operators to support the government in the creation of a unique identity that can be authenticated and used for a variety of mobile and non-mobile services. This will, in part, help individuals who lack formal identity documents to access communication services but also potentially e-Government and other value added services that could deliver incremental value – not just to people’s lives but also to economic growth, through the uptake of new services via the mobile platform and the creation of jobs, etc.

Clearly, while mobile operators should not replace the role of the state as the provider of a legal identity, they are uniquely placed to help underserved members of society benefit from services that would otherwise be unavailable to them as unregistered users.

Increasing the opportunity to use mobile registration data for value-added services also increases the incentive to clean and maintain accurate data. This benefits consumers, governments and operators, to the extent that the registration requirements are proportional, reasonable from a cost perspective and any risks of social exclusion or to consumers’ privacy are mitigated.


In an ideal world the only SIMs that would be deactivated and barred from accessing mobile networks would be those that customers deliberately had deactivated, perhaps because they decided to keep a different SIM. In reality, this is rarely the case with large numbers of customers’ SIMs deactivated, only to reactivate the service after they have been excluded. Whilst the security priority may be to exclude unregistered SIMs, there is a need to balance this priority against the financial and social impact of excluding large numbers of people.

Setting reasonable timescales for registration and potentially limiting services for customers that haven’t registered are both approaches that can mitigate the risk of deactivation. To encourage registration a number of markets block some aspect of the service for a period before deactivating it completely. Nigeria, for example, blocked outgoing calls for three months prior to deactivation.

The people most at risk of deactivation are also the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged citizens, especially those in rural areas. These citizens are often the same citizens that lack official ID papers and have the least access to locations that allow them to register. If implementation timescales are set too aggressively it is this community most likely to suffer.

Deactivation may also affect users who have mobile money wallets as deactivation to their accounts will mean deactivation to their mobile wallet accounts.

Whilst financial considerations rarely have a bearing on decisions related to mandatory SIM registration there is potentially significant impact on operator revenues and on tax revenues from deactivating large numbers of people who have failed to register. There is also significant evidence that the economic and social costs of exclusion are high. There is an impact on GDP, an impact on investment and all of the negative effects of digital exclusion for citizens. The registration process should look to encourage active users to register and to use mobile services; they should not exclude citizens, especially those who fail to register unintentionally.

Social and Economic Impact

The potential positive contribution of mobile registration should be considered as well as any role it may play for addressing security concerns. When implemented effectively, and assuming the appropriate consumer safeguards are in place, mobile registration can facilitate financial access or financial inclusion, help National ID registration and enable access to government services. Whilst mobile services deliver social and economic benefits on their own, enabling other services delivers incremental value. In 2015 the indirect benefits of mobile on the wider economy through general economic development and productivity improvement was 2.7% GDP growth, which globally equated to $2.025 trillion. Whilst addressing security and crime is the main reason governments give for the introduction of mandatory SIM registration requirements, the opportunity to add social and economic value should not be ignored. For many customers this can add significant value and it can also help other government departments achieve their public policy objectives and goals. Given the significant costs involved in implementing the registration process, maximising the benefits that can be derived from the exercise is very important.

During this process, it is critical that stakeholders consider the following:

  • Set registration deadlines that are realistic and reflect local market circumstances
    • Ensure registration requirements are clear and unambiguous
    • Encourage the storage of electronic (rather than paper-based) records
    • Encourage the registered ID to be used for other value-added mobile and digital services
    • Contribute to consumer awareness campaigns and to mobile operators’ operational costs

In the coming months, we hope that the SIM registration policy requirements are proportional and realistic, enabling – rather than inhibiting – services that can improve Papua New Guinean people’s lives and build a more inclusive society.

Mereseini Tuivuniwai is the Manager – Communications & Stakeholder Mobilisation with the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI)


Latest Port Moresby Ban Doomed to Failure

The National Capital District Commission (NCDC) has introduced a ban targeting the sale of cooked foods in Port Moresby. This is not the first time the NCDC has implemented such a ban. In the last decade alone, it has implemented several separate bans targeting the trade of betelnut and the sale of cooked foods in the city.

The first ban on betelnut was introduced in 2013, but was lifted in 2017 after it was discovered that betelnut was being smuggled by sea, and NCD reservists were implicated in a shooting linked to the ban.

The second ban, on the sale of both betelnut and cooked foods in public places, was introduced in 2017, about two months after the NCDC Governor had removed the previous ban on betelnut. According to the NCD city manager at that time, the ban was introduced because of “an increase in littering, petty crimes and other issues of health and safety in the city”. This ban continued into 2018 during and after the APEC Summit. The full ban on betelnut was replaced by a partial ban, which allowed sales in markets but banned them in public places, shopping malls and commercial areas.

The third ban, in 2019, outlawed the sale of cooked foods. Like the previous bans, many vendors did not comply with this ban as this activity sustained their livelihoods.

The last ban that was introduced before this latest one was in 2020. Selling of cooked foods had been banned during the COVID-19 state of emergency by the National Pandemic Controller. After pandemic restrictions were relaxed, the NCDC reintroduced its ban on betelnut. Under this ban, offenders faced a fine of K10,000 or three years in jail. The enforcement of this ban, which is supposedly still in place, is questionable given that betelnut is sold almost everywhere and there are no reports of offenders being fined or thrown into jail.

In sum, the earlier bans all failed. They have either been withdrawn or they are still in place, but not being implemented. What are the reasons for this failure?

First, the bans drive these activities underground. With betelnut this creates an opportunity for smuggling to thrive. Bans on cooked foods are either ignored or drive this widespread activity underground and make it harder to regulate.

Second, these bans affect countless households – both producers and sellers. Perhaps some 70-80% of the adult population in the city either use or sell betelnut. Poorly paid workers gathered around a cooking stand sizzling with sausages, potatoes, bananas and kaukau is a common sight in Port Moresby. A ban on cooked foods would deprive these workers of economical meals. Now is not a good time to be introducing a ban on the sale of cooked foods, with the cost of living on the rise due to escalating inflation.

Third, enforcement is always controversial and results in widespread public outcry. At the height of one of the first betelnut bans there were reports of widespread harassment, violence, abuse and in some cases, deaths. The effectiveness of the deployment of NCD police and reservists to enforce these bans leaves a lot to be desired. Their approach is confrontational rather than respectful.

It is disappointing that the NCDC has not itself learnt these lessons. It is also bizarre that the NCDC Governor has already indicated that he will review this decision which has just been made. Wouldn’t it be better to review the past experience before repeating a strategy that has failed? And what does this say about the relationship between the Governor and NCDC management?

review conducted in 2017, but not yet released, found that a total ban was not the best way forward for all stakeholders, including chewers and vendors. Experience on the ground clearly shows that the earlier ban, instead of improving hygiene, made the problem worse. The betelnut ban made this industry even more lucrative. The winners are the law breakers.

The NCDC management used the Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004 to justify the introduction of the ban. However, in no way does the law support the imposition of a ban on informal economic activities such as the sale of cooked foods. Furthermore, questions have been raised about the legality of these bans. In fact, the NCDC acknowledged during a stakeholder workshop it organised in 2018 on the betelnut ban, that there were loopholes within the betelnut ban law and therefore the law could not be enforced by the courts.

The betelnut growers of Mekeo-Kuni LLG in Central Province have also challenged one of the NCD betelnut bans in court. That case has not yet been decided, but in 2013 the Lae City Court overturned the decision of the Lae City Council to close down the informal market in Voco Point, a trading hub for market vendors of cigarettes, food, cold drinks, and small goods.

The alternatives to bans are awareness and regulation. The NCDC should deploy trained health inspectors on the streets of Port Moresby, to do routine inspections and promote awareness to ensure that the sale of cooked foods and trade of betelnut conform with health and safety rules and standards, as per the NCDC’s own regulations as well as other relevant laws such as the Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004.

The NCDC also needs to engage in dialogue with the affected traders. This would be facilitated if vendors were organised into associations. The Gordon’s Market Vendors Association and Little Income Generating Women’s Association are good examples, but need more promotion. The NCDC has made inroads in this area through its work with UN Women under the Safe Cities Program. It should fully institutionalise this program so that it is sustained.

It is clear from Port Moresby’s experience that bans of the sort just introduced are no solution at all. The current ban will be no different. The NCDC needs to take a different approach – one that is centred around awareness, regulation, and the organisation of informal micro-entrepreneurs into vendor associations.

Busa Jeremiah Wenogo is the Manager – Special Projects with the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI).

Disclosure: This research was undertaken with support of the ANU-UPNG Partnership, an initiative of the PNG-Australia Partnership, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The views expressed by the author are not shared by CEFI.


CEFI graduates trainees in financial literacy

CEFI for the first time issued student identification numbers to its graduating trainees for the purpose of accessing a financial literacy application that CEFI is developing and planning to launch soon.
Head Trainer Jill Pijui made the announcement during presentation of certificates for 19 participants in a week long EOI (Expression of Interest) Training of Trainers Training.
“We will be doing back tracking of all our trainees whether Retail Training or Training of Trainers for the mass issue of student ID numbers,” Ms. Pijui said.
Ms. Pijui explained that CEFI is in the process of developing a financial literacy application (FL App) where these FL App will act as a reminder tool for the 250,000 trainers trained by CEFI.
“The FL App will remind the trainees to do their savings plan, banking, basic household budget, tracking of income and expenses and cash flow training, all these topics were covered in their respective training,” Ms. Pijui added.
In order to access the FL App, Ms. Pijui explained that all trained trainers will have to have a student ID number in order to access the application.
The 19 participants from the EOI Training of Trainers trainees were also the first batch to receive their student ID at the end of their training.
The EOI Training of Trainers training saw 14 female participants among among 19 trainees to be certified as trainers to train financial literacy in their respective communities.
Both employed and SME training providers attended the training from Monday, May 08th to 11th, which comprised of two women from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a participant each from Wewak and Enga while the rest of the trainees were from Port Moresby.

CEFI conducts second WSME workshop

The second series of training for the Online Training for Women (WSME) commenced this week (Tuesday May 02nd to Thursday May 04th), for Ni-Vanuatu WSME from Vanuatu.
Vanwods Microfinance Institution is the implementing agency in Port Vila, Capital of Vanuatu.
The Vanuatu WSME trainee participants virtually attended training through zoom from the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu’s Conference Room.
The WSME’s received training in Digital Financial Literacy, e-Commrece, Business Planning and Debt Management.
PNG and Solomon Islands training is scheduled respectively for May 23 to May 25, 2023.
The training is an initiative funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and facilitated by the #cefi Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion.

CEFI Facilitates for training in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.

The #cefi Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) is facilitating online training for women running small businesses in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.
Known as the Online Training for Women SMEs (WSME), the training is an initiative funded by the #adb Asian Development (ADB).
The three (3) training courses include Digital Financial Literacy, e-Commerce, and Business Planning and Debt Management.
The first series of training started last week (Tuesday April 18 to Thursday April 20) for WSME from Fiji.
The training was facilitated at the CEFI Office, and women participants virtually attended through zoom from Lautoka and Suva.
The objective of the training is to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs to acquire new knowledge through learning about;
– Digital financial products and services and how to utilize them;
– conducting business through the use of e-Commerce platforms;
– preparing proper business plans; and
– managing debt to maintain the operations of the business under unfavorable circumstances.
Vanuatu WSME’s training is scheduled for May 02 to May 04, 2023, PNG and Solomon Islands schduield respectively for May 23 to May 25, 2023.

The role of CEFI in enabling top tier transparency and Financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) can play a significant role in enabling top-tier transparency and financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the South Pacific. Here are some ways in which CEFI can intervene to achieve this:

  1. Promoting financial literacy: CEFI can promote financial literacy among individuals and communities to help them make informed decisions about their finances. This includes providing educational materials and training sessions on financial concepts and practices, such as budgeting, savings, and investment strategies. By improving financial literacy, CEFI can help individuals and communities understand the importance of transparency and financial inclusion.
  2. Developing financial products and services: CEFI can work with local financial institutions to develop financial products and services that are accessible and affordable for individuals and communities in PNG and the South Pacific. These products and services can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the local population and can help promote financial inclusion by providing access to credit, savings, and insurance.
  3. Encouraging financial institutions to adopt best practices: CEFI can work with financial institutions to encourage them to adopt best practices in terms of transparency and accountability. This includes promoting the use of technology to enhance transparency and reduce the risk of fraud, as well as implementing robust internal control systems to ensure that financial transactions are properly recorded and monitored.
  4. Conducting research: CEFI can conduct research on financial inclusion and transparency in PNG and the South Pacific to identify gaps in knowledge and areas where interventions are most needed. This research can inform the development of policies and strategies to promote financial inclusion and transparency.
  5. Collaborating with stakeholders: CEFI can collaborate with stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector, to promote financial inclusion and transparency in the region. By working together, stakeholders can leverage their expertise and resources to achieve common goals.

Overall, CEFI can play a critical role in promoting financial inclusion and transparency in PNG and the South Pacific. By improving access to financial services, promoting financial literacy, and encouraging best practices among financial institutions, CEFI can help ensure that individuals and communities in the region can participate fully in the economy and achieve their financial goals.


CEFI intervention in providing financial literacy for the grass roots in Papua New Guinea

the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion, can play a significant role in providing financial literacy for the grass roots in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Financial literacy is crucial for individuals and communities to make informed decisions about their finances, including managing their income, savings, investments, and debt.

Here are some ways in which CEFI can intervene in providing financial literacy for the grass roots in PNG:

  1. Developing educational materials: CEFI can develop educational materials such as brochures, posters, and videos that explain financial concepts and practices in a simple and accessible manner. These materials can be distributed in schools, community centers, and other public places to reach a wide audience.
  2. Conducting training sessions: CEFI can conduct training sessions for community leaders, teachers, and other influencers who can then pass on their knowledge to the wider community. These sessions can cover topics such as budgeting, savings, and investment strategies, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the local community.
  3. Offering financial counseling: CEFI can offer financial counseling services to individuals and families who need help managing their finances. These services can include one-on-one sessions, group counseling, and online resources.
  4. Providing access to financial services: CEFI can work with local financial institutions to provide access to financial services such as savings accounts, loans, and insurance products. By helping individuals and families access these services, CEFI can improve their financial stability and resilience.
  5. Conducting research: CEFI can conduct research on financial literacy and financial inclusion in PNG to identify gaps in knowledge and areas where interventions are most needed. This research can inform the development of educational materials, training programs, and other interventions.

Overall, CEFI can play an important role in improving financial literacy and promoting financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea. By providing individuals and communities with the knowledge and tools they need to manage their finances, CEFI can help promote economic growth and development in the region.


CEFI Launches Online Certified Microfinance Professional Course Batch 2

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) and the PNG Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM) had an open day to officially commence the applications for the second batch of the Online Certified Microfinance Course on Monday February 20, 2023 in Port Moresby.

The Online Certified Microfinance Professional Course was first launched in 2021 with the first batch of 23 participants successfully on boarded and which will be graduating in April 2023. CEFI in partnership with IBBM created the Microfinance Professionals Course in Papua New Guinea to fulfil the need of the industry and to create a pool of professionals for the expanding industry. The course will help banking staff and banking and finance students obtain professional qualification to be successful in a dynamic environment and acquire new skills in microfinance and build competence in areas to meet the diverse needs of different market segments.

IBBM Lecturer, Ignatius Timothy presented the course and indicated that the materials cover aspects of important microfinance subjects under three levels. Level 1 is a certificate course designed for frontline staff in microfinance institutions who wish to build Strong Customer Services in Microfinance skills for undertaking customer service, marketing and credit lending roles. Level 2 certificate course is an advanced program and is intended for those who wish to deepen and expand their competence in Delinquency Management in Microfinance skills. And Level 3 course certificate is an advanced certificate designed for those who wish to develop an advanced level of Financial Management in Microfinance skills. And in all aspects of this skills will enable an individual ability to apply new skills and judgement in a more complex business operations at a higher management level.

IBBM CEO, Susil Kongoi acknowledged the ongoing support from CEFI, financial institutions and stakeholders for the partnership with IBBM in continuing the online microfinance courses.

The Executive Director for CEFI, Mr. Garima Tonga encouraged financial institutions to work in partnership with CEFI to boost microfinance in the country, through creating an enabling platform for their staff to learn and grow in the industry. He further welcomes them to start nominating their staff to attend the course, as batch number 2 nominees.

“It is an exciting program (Online Certified Microfinance Professional Course), and CEFI has developed this new e-Learning platform and will continue to look forward to maintain it with the software developer and IBBM and try to bring the best out of this program to the partner financial institutions.”

“CEFI is looking forward to working with IBBM and Bank of PNG as we take this platform to the next level,” Mr. Tongia said.

Bank of Papua New Guinea Acting Assistant Governor, Mr. George Awap in his keynote address re-emphasised the important objective of the course, which is to build a pipeline of professionals for the growing microfinance industry. Mr. Awap stated that microfinance is a growing industry and acknowledged microfinance banks for using technology to reach rural Papua New Guinea.

“(This course) provides greater opportunity to financial institutions to train as many people as they can because if they understand the principles and concepts of microfinance in both the supply side and the demand side, to improve customer satisfaction.”

“It is also encouraging to note that 17 people have completed the Batch One Course successfully and will be graduating in April this year,” Mr. Awap said.

The Certified Online Microfinance Professional Course was introduced in 2021 to provide an opportunity to obtain theoretical knowledge on the concept of microfinance. Learnings from the Microfinance Expansion Project, microfinance training is incorporated into this course as the sustainable arm of the concept. An important aspect of online training is that you can study during your free time without disrupting your other work.

Interested applicants can email info@thecefi.org for more information on the Online Certified Microfinance Professional Course.

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