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Media Releases

CEFI Launch New Website

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion launched its new revamped website on Wednesday July 12 marking a very important milestone for the organization’s marketing and communication. The new CEFI website can be found at https://www.thecefi.org/

CEFI Executive Director Mr. Garima Tongia after launching the new CEFI website emphasized on the importance of a website saying it is the main tool of communication, marketing and awareness in organizations.

“A revamped, revitalized and brand website is very important for CEFI because it will educate people who want to know more about CEFI and also do business with us,” Mr. Tongia said.

“At CEFI we realize the importance of having a website that is simple, efficient, user friendly and incorporating key features of style and must remain modern and current,” he added.

“It took us three years to finally complete the project and thank you SNS Tech for your patience with us and for finally delivering our new website.”

Mr. Jacob Segodi from SNS Tech, who gave a brief on the overall project, thanked CEFI for engaging SNS Tech to develop CEFI’s website adding they were happy that the project was a success and will continue to work with CEFI on the website.

The Executive Director highlighted other important cutting edge technology projects also that CEFI is currently undertaking and promoting on its website apart from its other core functions.

Some of these projects include, Business Link Pacific, Ledger Pal Application, Market for Village Farmers project, Inclusive Green Finance Project and the World Bank on Child Nutrition programme.

“These are some of the projects CEFI is involved in that people don’t know about that is why a new improved and reinvigorate website is important to market and communicate these projects,” he said.

“We will continue to update from time to time to reflect the changes that are happening and I’m certain SNS Tech will be happy to work with us,” Mr. Tongia said.

The CEFI website has undergone a number of developments and the current website is built on WordPress platform and page builder application.

Discussions on redeveloping and revamping the CEFI website started in 2021 while diagnostic work started in 2022 around reviewing of website pages by CEFI managers and the Executive Director, which cumulated into the signing of a service agreement between CEFI and website developer SNS Tech in 2023 and start of the project.

The focus of the project was on website revamp, redesigning and search engine optimization.

The CEFI Website team undertook two separate trainings delivered by SNS Tech to administer the front end of the website.

Media Releases

Business Link Pacific, the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion and the Lae Chamber of Commerce announce new Business Support Grants for the private sector in Papua New Guinea

Business Link Pacific, the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion and the Lae Chamber of
Commerce announce new Business Support Grants for the private sector in Papua New Guinea
06 July 2023

Business Link Pacific (BLP), a private sector development programme delivered by DT Global and funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), has announced the availability of new Business Support Grants for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Papua New Guinea. “Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to continue our support for Business Link Pacific. As I get around and meet businesses and chambers of commerce, I have heard how much Business Link Pacific is valued in Papua New Guinea. And these Business Support Grants will help businesses here invest in and grow
their operations, creating jobs and economic benefits for local communities”, said Peter Zwart, New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG

The Business Support Grants are designed to stimulate SME growth, innovation, access to finance, and investment in social inclusion and climate action. SMEs in Papua New Guinea can present proposals that
meet the criteria of at least 1 of the following 5 categories:

• Innovation: grant will be used to drive innovation within the business.

• Growth: grant will used to drive business growth.

• Inclusion: grant will be used to increase inclusiveness within and by the business.

• Climate: grant will mitigate, adapt, or increase resilience to climate change.

• Finance: grant will be used to secure additional finance e.g., equity for a loan.

To apply, businesses must submit a proposal that outlines the project they are proposing to undertake, the expected outcomes of the project, and the financial resources they are seeking. Proposals will be
evaluated based on their alignment with at least 1 of the 5 grant categories mentioned above, as well as the feasibility of the project, the sustainability of the project, and the quality of the proposal.
Grants will be awarded based on business size and other factors. As a guide, businesses with up to 5
employees are eligible for grants up to NZD 5,000 equivalent (11,000 PGK), and businesses with up to 10 employees are eligible for up to NZD 10,000 equivalent (22,000 PGK). Businesses with 20 employees or more can apply for grants up to NZD 20,000 equivalent (44,000 PGK). Businesses with up to 50 employees can apply for grants up to NZD 30,000 equivalent (66,000 PGK). BLP encourages applications from women, youth, indigenous entrepreneurs, and community-led
businesses. Guidelines and full criteria can be found on the BLP website. https://businesslinkpacific.com.
The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion and Lae Chamber of Commerce will assist with the submission of applications. SMEs that require assistance to access the internet or computers should
contact them to be supported. “We are excited to announce the availability of these new Business Support Grants, to support local
businesses with their innovation and growth projects. We know that grants can boost SMEs capacity to access finance, increase employment and invest in critical issues such as climate resilience,” said Steve Knapp, director of BLP. “The growth and empowerment of MSME is critical to the country. Unemployment is high and our people
want to learn how to run a business successfully and profitably. The BLP programme is one of real sustainability, not only providing support to SMEs but to business service providers, who are also local
business, that have not only local knowledge but continue to work with, mentor and develop our SMEs into more robust businesses. There is not a business in the world that started out ‘big’, all businesses
start small and with the right attitudes, support and guidance grow into big and successful businesses.

We applaud and support BLP as truly a circular, sustainable model and are pleased to be part of it,” said the president of Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), John Byrne. The Advisor to Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe said, “There is an increasing recognition of the importance of SMEs in supporting overall economic growth. According to a recent survey of nearly 50,000 firms in 104 countries, SMEs provide as much as two-thirds of all employment, with small firms contributing more to employment in low-income countries than highincome countries.”

Further information:
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BLP Service Managers- Ensie Rennie lae@businesspacific.com, Gabriel Iso png@businesslinkpacific.com and Adelle Auhava cefi@businesslinkpacific.com

About Business Link Pacific:
BLP is a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and aimed at supporting the economic growth of Pacific Island countries.

The Business Link Pacific team is based in New Zealand and is currently supported by in-country partners in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. BLP is extending its services to Nauru, Niue Tokelau and Tuvalu.

Since Business Link Pacific was established in 2017, it has assisted over 6,500 small-medium sized businesses with online Business Health Checks, Continuity Plans and in-depth diagnostics. Also, it has facilitated over 2,000 business advisory services subsidies, nearly 600 business grants and contributed to the creation of an estimated 1,300 new jobs; 41% of which are filled by women.

Case studies and stories about the business talent in the PICs have been captured and shared with the Business Link Pacific audience both in New Zealand and across the Pacific Region, and can be accessed via the Business Link Pacific website.

Business Link Pacific in Papua New Guinea is coordinated by the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion. It has a quality approved Network of 47 business advisors offering services in 15 areas of business advice, including accounting, marketing, HR, business strategy, training, and couching. Approved business advisors can offer subsidies to eligible local SMEs to partially cover service fees. BLP has provided 209 subsidies in Papua New Guinea, 127 to businesses with one or more female owners and 31 Adaptation Grants for a total value of 267,470 NZD (587,038.71 PKG).

BLP is adding another important element for the SME support eco system in Papua New Guinea. Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion is extremely pleased to be part of this important support structure that facilitate growth and prosperity. We encourage SMEs to use this opportunity to improve and grow entrepreneurship, skills and access to credit and markets.

Lae is known as the commercial hub of Papua New Guinea, contributing immensely to the economy of the country. The Lae Chamber of Commerce promotes the economic viability of local small businesses to develop, grow and contribute equally to the economy. Through the partnership with Business Link Pacific has given the opportunity for our local SMEs throughout Papua New Guinea to benefit from the BLP services including the grant, for the sustainability of their business operations.


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)


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.

Media Releases

CEFI Commemorates 10 Year Anniversary

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) commemorated its 10-year anniversary in a small but significant ceremony at its Port Moresby office on Friday March 24.

CEFI’s humble beginning was the outcome of the Microfinance Expansion Project in 2013, under the direction of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Department of National Planning and Department of Treasury.

Since its establishment 10 years ago, CEFI has grown from strength to strength in becoming the leading industry apex organisation in coordinating, advocating and monitoring financial inclusion activities in Papua New Guinea.

CEFI Executive Director, Mr. Garima Tongia during his opening remarks acknowledged Bank of PNG, CEFI Board Members, CEFI staff, stakeholders and partners for playing very important roles in ensuring CEFI continued to carry out its mandate in financial inclusion.

Acting Governor of Bank of PNG and Chair of CEFI Board, Mrs. Elizabeth Genia during her congratulatory remarks applauded CEFI’s accomplishments in areas of financial literacy training, developing and implementing financial inclusion policies and documents and partnering with key stakeholders to deliver financial inclusion projects.

“It’s important to note CEFI board members and staff contribution to achieving this important financial inclusion milestone and also gratifying to see that the financial inclusion agenda is being actively promoted,” Mrs. Genia said.

The Acting Governor highlighted CEFI’s partnership with financial institutions in the area of financial literacy training stressing on CEFI’s collaboration with its partners to deliver financial literacy training to over 350,000 Papua New Guineans.

“CEFI is now trying to work with an international agency to conduct impact assessment of the trainings delivered and improve the training material,” Mrs. Genia added.

She praised CEFI’s dedicated strategy in using innovative technology to attract more women into the financial mainstream and economically empower them.

Some of the important projects that CEFI have used to bring gender equity into the financial inclusion domain include, introduction of the Ledger Pal Application for women SMEs, digital online training for women and development of a financial literacy mobile application.

Mrs. Genia also highlighted CEFI’s financial inclusion strategies developed and implemented in partnership with its important stakeholders from Government and private sectors between 2014 and 2020 and the participation of women in CEFI’s training programs.

Mrs. Genia also thanked Bank of PNG for some of its initiatives such as the SME Accelerator Program, Financial Consumer Protection, National Payment System and the Regulatory Sandbox approach, that supplemented the work of CEFI by providing assistance for Papua New Guineans to access knowledge, skills and information to run projects and businesses in the financial inclusive space.

Acting Assistant Governor, Financial System Stability Group, Bank of PNG, Mr. George Awap, who played a very key role in CEFI’s establishment, paid tribute and gave recognition to important key stakeholders who had worked with CEFI during the 10 years such as the Bank of PNG, the National Government, Asian Development Bank, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, World Bank and International Finance Corporation.

Mr. Awap acknowledged former governors of Bank of PNG for the foresight in supporting and driving the agenda of financial inclusion in PNG.

CEFI’s Financial Inclusion Adviser, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe who was the organisation’s second Executive Director, reflected on some of CEFI’s key achievements including, NEC’s approval for CEFI established as an organisation, development of financial literacy training materials, development of the first financial inclusion strategy, launching and implementation of the financial inclusive strategy, partnerships with international agencies, statutory authorities, provincial governments, civil societies, and the many other important stakeholders that CEFI works with and continues to collaborate in the financial inclusion space.

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