The Bank of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Nationwide Micro Bank and K1 Association have signed partnership agreements confirming a commitment to deliver financial education training to a further 61,000 people in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Benny Popoitai, Deputy Governor of the Bank of PNG and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Microfinance Expansion Project (MEP), Tony Westaway, CEO of Nationwide Micro Bank and Gabriel Mapa, Program Director of K1 Associate signed the agreements at the Crown Plaza in Port Moresby yesterday.
As part of the agreement, one of the leading microfinance service providers Nationwide Micro Bank will deliver financial education training to 11,000 of its existing and prospective clients through its branch network located in Buka, Kime, Lihir, Bulau, Wau, Lae, Madang, Wewak, Goroka, Kundiawa, Mt Hagen and Boroko.
At the end of the training program, trainees will be given the opportunity to make their training real by opening a savings account or mobile phone account with Nationwide Micro Bank.
Local financial education contract management firm K1 Association, will deliver training to 50,000 people in Momase, the Highlands and Niugini Islands regions through its partners comprising of faith based organizations, community groups, NGO’s and women groups. Trainees will be linked to partner financial institutions of the Microfinance Expansion Project and other commercial banks to open savings accounts.
Deputy Governor Popoitai announced that a Risk Share Facility (RSF) will be established under the MEP to support lending to micro, small and medium enterprise sectors in PNG. German firm, AFC Consultancy International, a German firm will be the Managing Agent of the facility.
“The RSF will assist financial institutions to mitigate risk for lending to the targeted sector”. “The Microfinance Expansion Project expects to assist over 18,000 people to obtain financial assistance to start and improve business, through this facility.”
The Microfinance Expansion Project (MEP) has designed six financial education modules (Savings, Budgeting, Banking services, Debt management, financial negotiations and Mobile Money) in consultation with community groups.
These modules will be used for financial education training and the MEP will provide training of trainers and mentoring support to its training partners. MEP will continue to monitor trainings to ensure quality assurance and positive impact. It is expected that the financial education component of the project will reach 120,000 people in the next two years.
The Microfinance Expansion Project is designed to improve financial inclusion by strengthening the inclusive financial sector in PNG.
The project is co-financed by the Papua New Guinea and Australian Governments and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) together with the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) as executing agency and MicroSave as technical partner. Centre For Excellence in Financial Inclusion the main body for coordinating financial inclusion and financial education initiatives in PNG.
PORT MORESBY, PNG