49 percent of Samoans without financial access
The Central Bank of Samoa is holding meetings today and tomorrow with government, private sector, and civil society organisations to develop the country's first financial inclusion strategy.
The Central Bank of Samoa is holding meetings this week with government, private sector and civil society organisations to develop the country's first financial inclusion strategy.
The Bank's governor says the latest survey on financial inclusion in Samoa shows that 49 percent of the population do not have access to basic financial services.
Maiava Atalina Ainu'ū-Enari spoke with Koroi Hawkins about financial inclusion challenges facing Samoa.
MAIAVA ATALINA AINU'U-ENARI: For the last five years the central bank has been championing financial inclusion in Samoa. And in order for us to develop a national financial inclusion strategy we had to have some baseline data. And there were several diagnostic exercises that have been undertaken in Samoa. To build the picture of financial inclusion in the country. Where are we with the financial inclusion and how many are excluded. So today we launch this report it is called financial services demand side survey in Samoa. And some key findings of this report shows that 39 percent of Samoan adults currently have a bank account, while 12 percent use other forms of banking such as credit unions, microfinance, insurance or finance companies. So that means the remaining forty nine percent are not included in the formal financial sector. That is just some key findings in the report and that forms the basis of the consultations. We have a wide range of stake holders including representatives from the private sector, financial service providers, we have development partners, our mobile network providers all coming together to develop a first ever national communication strategy for Samoa. How do we address this financial exclusion that we have in Samoa.
KOROI HAWKINS: Now this is something that is faced all throughout the Pacific, for Samoa how is it that you are going to address some of these issues for example the lack of employment among youth?
MA: The challenge we have now in Samoa is very low growth. And we need inclusive growth which means we need a lot more people to participate in the formal financial system so that they can contribute to growth and growth can be sustainable if everybody contributes to it. Right now there is no point in having 10 percent growth if only a small portion of the population and the economic population have access and benefits from that growth. So we are very grateful that a lot of stakeholders the NGO's the youth groups are here to come up with strategies. To come up with ideas because they have worked in that space and they know the issues in that space. And we can have them addressed in this strategy to roll it out.
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