Special Projects Update
There were a number of projects implemented by the Special Projects Team in 2019. In particular; the Provincial Government Financial Inclusion Engagement, Partnership with Market for Village Farmers Project, baseline study in Simberi Mine. A summary of the projects are outlined below:
Provincial Government Financial Inclusion Engagement
CEFI signed two Memorandum of Understanding partnership with West New Britain in August and Milne Bay Province in November 2019.
The partnership will promote the integration of financial inclusion in Provincial administrations’ planning and implementation processes and also build the capacity of the Administration staff to implement important financial inclusion activities. The activities will include integrating the PNG financial inclusion strategy in provincial government planning process to expand banking and financial services network, increase formal bank accounts for residents, financial literacy and business development training and digitizing provincial government payments. Respective Project Steering Committee headed by Provincial Deputy Administrator with heads of divisions has been appointed to direct and guide these activities. Official invitations have been extended to East New Britain and New Ireland Provinces to participate in this initiative in 2020.
Partnership with Market for Village Farmers Project
CEFI and Market for Village Farmers Project have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to design new agriculture lending products which will be a trendsetter in agriculture lending and the future of Papua New Guinea. Market for Village Framers Project is executed by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and implemented by Fresh Produce Development Authority. The project aims at improving the livelihoods of village farming households in five target provinces of PNG (Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and East New Britain) by facilitating their transition from semi-subsistence agriculture to market oriented production and framing as a business. CEFI signed a partnership agreement with the project to implement the financial inclusion component during the next five years with a budget of US $ 2,899,000.
Partnership with MIX Market
CEFI’s partnership with Mix Market (International microfinance information exchange) to disseminate information on Microfinance institutions in PNG and publishes annual benchmark reports continued in 2019. Nine microfinance institutions provided data to Mix Market and latest reports that include PNG Annual Microfinance Benchmark report for 2018 are released and published on Mix market and CGAP websites. MIX have decided to refocus efforts on its catalytic data initiatives in digital, fintech and agriculture finance, which ensure equitable capital flows, encourage the growth of inclusive markets, and support informed thinking on the future of financial services. Data portal is taken down in December 2019. Past PNG Data of MIX Market is now transferred to World Bank’s data catalogue which consolidates access to the World Bank’s flagship datasets. CEFI has now adopted an existing off-the-shelf tool, BRS Microfact collecting and aggregating / analysing data. This process commences from September and CEFI will produce Annual Benchmark Report and the Annual Factsheet reports for 2020.
Baseline study on Simberi Mining area
A baseline study for financial inclusion activities was conducted in Simberi Mining area of New Ireland Province to establish the status of banking services in the locality and to develop a work plan to establish the viability of banking and mobile banking services and roll out financial literacy. An initial Financial literacy training was conducted in June 2019.
Support for Productive Partnerships for Agriculture Project (PPAP)
PPAP is a World Bank funded flagship Project to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa and coffee producers through the improvement of the performance and the sustainability of value chains in cocoa-and coffee-producing areas. As part of the long term sustainability CEFI developed business plans for three lead partners of the project that can be used for funding from financial institutions. In addition, CEFI provided recommendations on institutional development of the partners and implementation of financial inclusion activities on the project next phase.