Business

PMRC urges financial literacy awareness

KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA needs to extend financial literacy awareness to rural areas, which is key in developing the informal sector, the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has said.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka said Zambia’s informal sector is estimated at approximately 50 percent of the gross domestic product, and this is uncharacteristically large and undermines domestic revenue collection, which is below the regional average at 18 percent.
Ms Deka said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday that  improving financial literacy could prove to be a useful tool in reducing the size of the informal sector and ultimately  boost economic growth.
She said various studies provide evidence which suggests that intervention such as financial education improves personal and household savings.
“PMRC is encouraged by plans to extend financial education to rural areas and schools as is contained in the central bank’s strategic plan.  As PMRC, we believe that these are key strategic focal points that must be included in efforts to increase financial literacy.
“The schools should ensure that a savings culture is inculcated in the youth, who are the majority, while the rural areas account for the majority of those financially excluded,” Ms Deka said.
This year’s Financial Literacy Week will be commemorated from March 27- April 2, under the theme “Know and plan your finances to lead a better life”.
The aim of this year’s Financial Literacy Week is to create public awareness of the key life events to empower citizens with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to improve.
Ms Deka, however, said PMRC focuses on encouraging citizens to plan for key life events by making future investments to smoothen future consumptions.

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