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Initiative to empower Namibians

A financial literacy initiative centred in the northern region of Namibia is aimed at educating the public on matters regarding spending behaviour and saving.
Clemence Kashuupulwa, governor of the Oshana region, officially launched the Financial Literacy Initiative on Tuesday, 29 May in Ongwediva.
Various activities are slated to take place in the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions. The main theme of the first financial literacy educational campaign, ‘Be wise’, will cover financial matters around saving, budgeting and spending behaviour and will comprise interactive approaches such as street theatre; television and radio shows; cooperation with schools as well as training for entrepreneurs.
The campaign kicked off on 26 May 2012 and ends 6 June 2012.
The Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), a national platform which is aimed at enhancing financial education for individuals as well as micro, small and medium sized enterprises, was initiated in 2009 by the Ministry of Finance with support of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It was launched in March 2012.
More than 30 stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors, are striving to address the needs in the area of financial literacy and consumer protection in a coordinated effort. According to the 2007 FinScope Survey, financial exclusion in Namibia is estimated to be at 51.7%. The survey further shows that over half of the adult population in the country is not participating in the formal financial system, which means that they have no life cover, property insurance, financial assets investment, access to credit, bank accounts, or other products.
Available statistics from the 2011 FinScope Survey indicate that 76% of the banked population have problems in making ends meet, 60% have difficulties in keeping up with their financial commitments, 27% do not save at all, and about 10% save at home.
Speaking at the launch, Kashuupulwa said that while findings of recent surveys suggest improvements in access indicators; the quality, diversity and affordability of product and service offerings, especially for low-income earners and SMEs, remain a significant cause of concern. “There is also sufficient evidence that personal financial management and decision-making capacity is an area which needs effective redress. We will not be able to build a knowledge-based, competitive economy and prosperous society under these circumstances,” says Kashuupulwa.
The campaign’s theme is based on the connotative meaning that by receiving financial education, consumers of financial services gain the knowledge and wisdom to make correct decisions regarding the use and management of their finances and financial assets.
The overall objective of the initiative is to empower Namibians by conveying, in an easy to understand fashion, information on the imperatives of managing personal and business financial matters.

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