More than 2,000 people in Manus Province have been equipped with the financial literacy skills needed to save money, run small businesses and promote local economic activity.
The financial literacy training was conducted by the Central Bank of Papua New Guinea’s Microfinance Expansion Project and supported by the Australian Government through the Manus Support Community Development program (MSCD).
The Central Bank estimates 70 to 75 per cent of Papua New Guineans are excluded from accessing the formal financial sector, which leads to people being unable to save money and spend within their budget.
The training program was designed to promote a culture of saving in Manus and encouraged participants in the informal sector to establish small businesses.
The training also focused on ensuring women are able to earn money and access funds when they need them.
Cathy Morgan, a village bank Treasurer from Pelipowai village in the Pobuma Local Level Government in Manus who attended the training, said people in her village typically did not save much money and spend most of their income.
“My husband and I have been operating a trade store, a boat service, and I used to sell fish and sago in town,” Mrs Morgan said.
“We now budget how we spend our money and try to save half of the revenue that we generate from our small business activities to sustain our future livelihood.”
The financial literacy training was rolled out to six of the 12 Local Level Governments in Manus Province through a partnership with the Manus Provincial Administration, the Central Bank of Papua New Guinea, the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank.