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Media Releases

The Bank of Papua New Guinea collaborates with the Global Green Growth Institute to launch Papua New Guinea’s Green Finance Centre

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, March 25, 2024. The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) in close collaboration with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) together with other key partners including the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), the Department of Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), the Department of Treasury, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (NZ MFAT) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) all gathered at the Hilton Hotel to launch Papua New Guinea’s Green Finance Centre (GFC).

GGGI, as the main delivery partner and CEFI as a champion in financial inclusion teamed up to develop the Inclusive Green Finance Policy (IGFP) back in 2021. GGGI received a total funding of USD 670,000 from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under the Low Emission Climate Resilient Development Program (LECRD) program for the initiative which includes the establishment of the GFC.

The GFC will now serve as the entity responsible for overseeing the implementation of IGFP and all future initiatives related to green finance flows in the country. Its core objective would be to address environmental and climate challenges in PNG and promote sustainable economic growth through innovative, yet inclusive climate financing and green investment mechanisms and it will be guided by a steering committee that is chaired by BPNG.

During the launch, GFC’s logo and website were unveiled by the guest of honour, Chief Secretary to the Government of Papua New Guinea Mr. Ivan Pomaleu OBE, Conservation Environment & Climate Change Minister Hon Simo Kilepa MP, and the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea Mrs. Elizabeth Genia.

Other high-profile guests who were present at the auspicious launch included New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG, HE Pete Zwart, France Ambassador to PNG, HE Guillaume Lemoine, GGGI Country Representative Mr. Sakiusa Tuisolia, AFD Executive Director Mr. Philippe Orliange, AFI Executive Director Dr Alfred Hannig, BPNG Assistant Governor Mr. George Awap and CEFI Chief Executive Officer Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe.

Coinciding with the launch was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among BPNG, GGGI and the three financial Institutions; Bank of South Pacific Group (BSP Group), Nationwide Mirco Bank (MiBank) and Women’s Micro Bank (Mama Bank) to integrate the IGFP onto their books to develop green loan products.

Also at the launch, AFD signed a 6 million Euros grant agreement with GGGI as the delivery partner of Greening the Pacific’s Financial System. Under this grant, PNG through the GFC will receive 1 million Euros to support the ongoing work of IGFP implementation and an additional 1.8 million Euros for designing and capitalizing of a Green Refinancing Facility.

The guest of honour in his keynote remarks praised the establishment of the GFC that it is a bold step forward in greening PNG’s financial sector and will mobilize green investment opportunities to address climate change impacts to ensure a more resilient future for Papua New Guineans.   “In line with the Government’s mandate, the Green Finance Centre will strongly advocate for banks to channel loan investments in sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, SMEs and Bioeconomy to promote low-emission options to reduce our carbon footprint and lead by

example in the region and globally, demonstrating our commitment to addressing climate change impacts,” said Mr. Pomaleu.

BPNG Governor Mrs. Elizabeth Genia echoed BPNG’s commitment to this endeavour. The Bank of Papua New Guinea is committed to promoting national financial inclusion and the greening of the financial sector and the launch of the Green Finance Centre underscores the commitment of all stakeholders involved to drive sustainable development and address climate change challenges through innovative financial mechanisms,” said Mrs. Genia.

Mrs. Genia also thanked CEFI and GGGI for their tremendous work in developing IGFP and now establishment of GFC.

The New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG, HE Peter Zwart, emphasized that climate change and its impacts are real, and that responsive climate action is increasingly urgent. He said, “The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is proud to provide funding for IGFP and collaborate with the Bank of Papua New Guinea and GGGI in establishing the Green Finance Centre which will play a crucial role in working with financial institutions to mobilize increased green lending and investments in Papua New Guinea.”

The France Ambassador to PNG HE Guillaume Lemoine also emphasized the importance of the initiative giving similar remarks saying “Greening the financial system in PNG is crucial towards the fight against climate change and I am proud that France is happy to help PNG tackle this. PNG is a role model in the Pacific, and we wish all the best to the team involved.”

Other VIPs that also spoke during the occasion were AFI Executive Director Dr Alfred Hannig, AFD Executive Director Mr. Philippe Orliange and BPNG Assistant Governor Mr. George Awap who all highly commended the significance of the Green Finance Centre.

The Inclusive green finance initiative is in line with BPNG – CEFI’s Third National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS 3) (2023-2027) and PNG’s climatic goals stated in PNG Vision 2050 and Medium-Term Development Plan IV (2023-2027). The GFC is located within the CEFI office on Level Three, Credit Corp Building, Downtown Port Moresby. For more information on GFC, kindly visit GFC’s website, www.gfcpng.com or send an inquiry to infor@gfcpng.com

Post Archieves

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.

Media Releases

Launching of the Third National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2023-2027

The third National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2023-2027 was launched at the Hilton Hotel on 25th April, 2023 by the Chief Secretary, Ivan Pomaleu, OBE.

The Chief Secretary was honoured to launch the 3rd National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2023-2027 at this great event, stating the importance of Financial Inclusion in the country.

“We (the government) believe that financial inclusion is key to integrating the unbanked into the formal economy, which helps to alleviate poverty, make the poor less vulnerable to financial shocks, reduces economic inequality and raises living standards for all,” said the Chief Secretary.

The Chief Secretary emphasized specifically on how the NFIS is receptive to global trends, emerging issues, digital financial services and gender.

Mr. Pomaleu also highlighted the importance of the financial inclusion strategy in embracing the green finance policy and contribution of financial inclusion in financial stability for the unbanked and underbanked individuals and small businesses.

He said financial inclusion is the development priority for the government due to increase in income inequality between the lower- and higher-class societies.

“Financial inclusion is one of the key enablers of many of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations and serves as a powerful element for progress in education, health and other basic public needs, as well as contributing even to climate change and sustainable development,” he said.

Bank of Papua New Guinea Acting Governor, Mrs. Elizabeth Genia in presenting the NFIS stated that the Bank recognises that expanding financial services can encourage the participation of more Papua New Guineans, especially those in rural areas and urban settlements, in development activities in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, and that the benefits of growth and technology need to be widely shared.

“Many Papua New Guineans find themselves on the fringes of the monetary economy with little understanding of, or access to financial services. Improvement in the proportion of the banked population and the financial literacy of this population will empower them to improve outcomes in savings, investment and sharing of the benefits of economic growth,” said Mrs. Genia.

The Acting Governor stated that the overall objective of Third National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS3) is to reach 2 million unbanked population by 2027 of whom 50% will be women.

“It’s also important that the strategy focuses on reaching our women and youth. Access to financial services for women and youth will remain a challenge. As indicated in the strategy, use of new technology and innovative business models will overcome barriers to access and improve inclusion for women and youth,” said the Acting Governor.

Assistant Governor, Financial System Stability Group – Bank of PNG, Mr. George Awap thanked and commended the stakeholders for recognising financial inclusion as an essential component of Papua New Guinea’s development plan.

“The Central Bank embedded various initiatives in PNG to fight financial exclusion can be traced back to the development of National Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-2015 followed by the Second National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020,” said Mr. Awap.

“Building on the success of the first and second national strategy implementations and lessons learnt in the process, CEFI and BPNG developed the third NFIS 2023-2027,” he added.

CEFI Financial Inclusion Advisor, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, was grateful to the institutions that participated in the studies of the third NFIS strategy.

“The NFIS basically outlines building capacities, establishing partnerships with public and private sector creating space for innovation and using technology to reach the unreached,” said Mr. Ranasinghe during his NFIS presentation.

Mr. Ranasignhe in his presentation of the NFIS, highlighted the main strategic objectives which were, build financial competency through financial literacy and education, create an enabling policy and regulatory environment, develop effective public and private sector engagement, develop an enabling environment for inclusive green finance and deepened financial services.

Chief Executive Officer’s from nine financial institutions, including BSP, Kina, Westpac, Digicel, Savings and Loans Federation, Nationwide Micro Bank, Womens Miro Bank, People’s Micro Bank, Kada Poroman Microfinance, participated in a signing of contract ‘I-Commit’ with the Acting Governor of the Bank of PNG, Mrs. Elizabeth Genia.

I-Commit (Institutional Commitment of Measurable Inclusion Targets) is a set of measurable commitments by the financial service providers to achieve financial inclusion targets and thereby contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in PNG.

The launch ended on a high note with the announcement of the Financial Inclusion Excellence Awards (FIEA) by the Assistant Governor, FSSG Mr. George Awap.

The awards will be given in the following categories: Financial Inclusion and Deepening Award, Financial Innovation Award, Inclusive Green Finance Award, Financial Inclusion Media Contribution Award, Financial Inclusion Advocate Award and the Financial Inclusion New Player Award which will be awarded in November 2024.

Impact Stories

Impact story 3 – Market for Village farmers

Livelihood training inspires farmer Kevin to lead money management training for young farmers.

Farmers in rural communities in Jiwaka Province rely on farming for their livelihoods, but many face challenges transitioning from semi-subsistence farming to market-oriented agribusiness. Coupled with limited financial services & products and poor money management skills, it can be overwhelming for farmers to grow and sustain their farming business.

Kevin Yehi, a lead farmer in Jiwaka is looking at addressing this issue, with his focus on youth farmers. In 2005, Kevin left formal employment in the city and headed to the province to set up his vegetable farming business. Kevin never imagined that his small farming business would one day inspire him to establish the Jiwaka Youth in Agriculture (JYIA) in Kudjip Rural Local Level Government, Angalimp South Waghi District.

“Seeing that there are decent earnings from farming the land, I decided to set up the youth association which supports young people venture into farming as a business.”

Fifteen years after the establishment, the association now supplies watermelon, capsicum and citrus fruits to the Mount Hagen Main Markets, Highlands Fresh, JP Investments, PAK Vegetables and to catering contractors. The organic produce is also sold to Porgera Mine and CPL Group through Highlands Fresh (Tininga Limited) and JP Investments.

There, however, needs to be more work on changing youth financial behaviour. Kevin explains that young farmers gain significant income from the vegetables they sell to the organised markets, but they misuse or poorly manage their income.

“My dream is to see more young people build and live in permanent houses and excel in agribusiness. I think critical money management training will help the youth manage their money well and live a fulfilling life.”

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) in partnership with the Market for Village Farmers (MVF) project and CARE International-PNG is training lead farmers like Kevin and other trainers to help build the capacity of rural farmers to improve their livelihoods.

Kevin was part of 25 trainers who underwent a two-week Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement Training of Trainers program in May 2021. The Village Farmers Livelihood Improvement Training addresses the attitudes often prevalent in farming households that result in women and youth unequal participation in important decision-making for the family, including managing family income and participation in training and learning opportunities.

“This training is added value for me as a lead farmer,” Kevin beams after his certificate presentation. “I can confidently train young farmers to approach farming as a family business.”

CEFI through the Market for Village Farmers Project will facilitate the access of 25,000 farming households to financial training, services and products across Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Simbu and Eastern Highlands in the Highlands region and Morobe and East New Britain provinces. CEFI will roll out money management skills, develop community-level savings and innovative lending schemes that will pave the way to support farmers to build a strong savings culture and grow their businesses into viable commercial businesses.

Market for Village Farmers (MVF) is executed by the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and implemented by Fresh Produce Development Agency, with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).


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.
Media Releases

CEFI celebrates IWD by encouraging women SMEs to recognise the importance of the digital technology in the financial space

The Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with the theme ‘DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.’

Fourteen Women in Small and Medium Enterprise (WSMEs) businesses under the Ledger Pal App Pilot Project were invited by CEFI to attend the IWD celebration-activities and had the privilege of listening to two national digital online entrepreneurs sharing their experiences of conducting business in the digital platform. These women entrepreneurs were, Ms. Ginia Sialis, Director and Business Owner of Tapioca Delight and Ms. Deslisha Wasem, Owner of Shebon Kiddy Box. Two other senior women, Ms. Naime Kilamanu, Chief Information Officer (ICT) – Bank of PNG and Ms. Fulaiyo James, Project Manager – MiBank, also spoke to the women on their experience of working in leadership roles in their respective financial institutions.

CEFI Executive Director, Mr. Garima Tongia when speaking at the IWD event on Wednesday March 8, told the women that CEFI recognises the importance of innovations and technology in the financial inclusion space.

“At CEFI we realise that bringing women out from the subsistence informal sector into the formal monetised economy will empower them to contribute meaningfully to their families and communities thereby wining the respect from those in the community including the men folk and hence being recognised as equals,” Mr. Tongia said.

“CEFI wants to ensure an additional one million women are banked during the period 2023 – 2027. As at September 2022, we have 1.4 million accounts for women from the total 3.8 million representing 37%,” said Mr. Tongia when highlighting the importance of women’s inclusion in the monetised economy.

Bank of Papua New Guinea Acting Assistant Governor, Mr. George Awap encouraged the women that to empower women economically would mean providing opportunities for women to venture into sustainable income generating activities so they are recognised as important contributors to family welfare. Mr. Awap said the sad reality in PNG is that many basic services including banking cannot reach many women and also men due to the harsh geographical terrains, high security risks and rundown public infrastructures.

“Technological innovations remain the answer to basic service delivery including banking in a country like PNG,” Mr. Awap said.

CEFI Financial Inclusion Adviser, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe when speaking on the topic of Potential for Women Business, Vision for the Future, said technology has created new opportunities for women and great opportunities for business.

“Digital literacy has become an important aspect and that the businesswomen need to build a long-term vision for its business and build a strong partnership with the banking sector.”

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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