Dr Jasmine Cernovs, Counsellor Economics, Australian High Commission opening the Savings Group Linkage Ideation Workshop – 11 September 2017

September 11, 2017

Savings Group Linkage Ideation Workshop

9:00am 11 September 2017

Heritage Park Hotel

Audience

  • CBSI Deputy Governor
  • Savings Club members from selected Saving Groups
  • Partner Organisations
  • Commercial banks

 

  • I am pleased to be here today participating in the opening of the ‘Savings Group Linkage Ideation Workshop’ for the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) that will take place today and tomorrow.
  • The Australian High Commission is proud to support the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme.
    • Australia has provided a total of $14.8 million regionally under PFIP Phase 2 from 2013-201.
    • Our bilateral program has provided $6.5 million to fund Solomon Islands PFIP activities.
  • The overall goal of PFIP is to enhance financial inclusion in the Pacific among low income and rural households.
  • The Australian High Commission is providing support to improve access to, and usage of, a range of financial services to rural Solomon Islanders, especially women. 
  • Savings clubs are an important vehicle to achieve financial inclusion objectives given the challenges of geography, lack of access and literacy of rural people.
  • Savings clubs offer a secure place for cash, opportunities to improve financial literacy, peer support for small business owners, and access to credit.
  • The Australian High Commission’s funding to PFIP has supported the successful roll out of Savings Groups in remote rural locations in Solomon Islands and demonstrated the value of these institutions in extending opportunities to people in rural areas to save for their future and meet important financial needs including:
  • Paying school fees, meeting emergency expenses, improving livelihoods, engaging in small businesses and improving household well-being.
  • Solomon Islands has seen a slow but steady improvement in Savings Groups:
  • PFIP through the National Financial Inclusion Task Force reported last quarter that 72 savings groups were created by the Ministry of Women, Youths, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) with a total membership of 1673.
  • 80-85% of members rejoins the Savings groups after each cycle and their average savings year on year has improved.
  • However many challenges remain.
  • This important workshop will look at taking savings groups to the next level by enhancing linkages with formal financial services and ensuring long term sustainability.
  • The Australian High Commission is keen to ensure that the savings groups are promoted, nurtured and developed in a sustainable manner as it will further the financial inclusion in Solomon Islands and will also contribute to the economic development of the country.
  • The Australian High Commission through PFIP is happy to support further initiatives that will progress financial inclusion in the country and meet the national financial inclusion goals championed by the National Financial Inclusion Task Force.
  • I wish you all the best with the Savings Group linkage Ideation Workshop and look forward to hearing about the fruitful discussions and outcomes.
  • Thank you.