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Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) and Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) Forge Partnership to Empower Western Province SMEs.

The Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) today (Tuesday 12th March) officially entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).This agreement solidifies their collaboration to implement a Financial Literacy Program aimed at empowering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and women-led SMEs in selected regions of the Western Province.

Under the MoU, CEFI will conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) sessions in designated areas, equipping 25 trainers with the necessary skills and knowledge in personal money management concepts. These trained individuals will then be responsible for imparting direct retail training to 1,000 SMEs and women-led SMEs within the Western Province.

The signing ceremony, held in Port Moresby, saw Mr. Andrew Mari, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Manager Program Services of OTDF, and Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director of CEFI, formalize the partnership.

The primary objective of this collaboration is to provide comprehensive financial literacy training and facilitate financial inclusivity for SMEs and women-led SMEs in the Western Province, particularly in Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) regions.

Mr. Andrew Mari expressed his gratitude for the partnership, stating, “This marks the beginning of a crucial initiative for us at OTDF. This will be the first MoU that we (OTDF) will be signing with CEFI and we are privileged that CEFI will partner with OTDF to roll out the financial literacy training targeting respective women associations,” said Mr. Mari

He further emphasized the significance of the MoU in empowering women associations financially and enabling them to meet the necessary requirements for advancing their SME businesses in Western Province.

In response, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe affirmed CEFI’s commitment to the partnership, stating, “Financial literacy is pivotal to the development process in the Western Province. We are eager to work with OTDF in rolling out the Financial Literacy program and empowering SMEs.”

Mr. Ranasinghe encouraged women association leaders to utilize the training effectively, highlighting their role as community role models. He also outlined CEFI’s plans to expand financial services in the Western Province, collaborating with local financial institutions to bring services closer to the people.

“We are looking forward to this partnership as financial literacy is going to be the corner stone in this whole development process that we would like to roll out in Western province,” he said.

He highlighted that Papua New Guinean has 16,500 access points that includes banks, sub-banks, agencies, eftpos machines and ATMS.

He explained that CEFI would like to expand this services in Western province by working with financial institutions in the province to bring the financial services closer to the people.

“Another important step that we would like to proceed in this particular agreement as we maintain a very good repo with the financial sectors in the country and we will be working with the banks to open up agencies in those respective areas and to bring the financial services to the door steps of this SME clients,” he said.

He concluded by affirming CEFI’s commitment to monitoring the progress of the program, ensuring its impact on the lives of the people in the Western Province, with the intention of replicating the model in other provinces.

This partnership between OTDF and CEFI represents a significant step towards enhancing financial literacy and empowering SMEs in the Western Province, fostering sustainable economic growth and development.


Image Captions:

Image 1.  Mr. Andrew Mari (Right/Acting CEO & Executive Manager Program Services-OTDF) & Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe (Executive Director-CEFI) sign the MoU.

Image 2. Mr. Andrew Mari (Right/Acting CEO & Executive Manager Program Services-OTDF) & Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe (Executive Director-CEFI) shaking hands to formalise the partnership.


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

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