Rural Villages Eyed For Financial Literacy Programme


Fourteen villages around the country have been identified as recipients of financial literacy services involving the iTaukei Affairs Board and financial institutions partner group.

These services will target local village businesses, commercial farmers and Small Medium Enterprises. On this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU), was signed between the iTaukei Affairs Board and the British High Commission pledging about $27,000 towards the programme recently.

The programme provides support towards promoting entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business in small and medium enterprises, commercial agriculture, joint venture business, eco-tourism and other avenues of primary business at village level.

The permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Meleti Bainimarama said the MoU will enhance diverse delivery of financial literacy product and services from financial institutions and contribute towards Fiji’s economic contribution in the National Gross Domestic Product. “One village per province is being targeted, which is set to benefit through the promotion of business programmes and other commercial forms of income generating avenues,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The iTaukei Affairs Board (TAB), had successfully conducted awareness at Sawaieke village on Gau island in the Eastern Division recently and provided training on savings and investment services leading the villagers to register for new accounts with the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), Fijian Holdings and Unit Trust of Fiji. “This shows the economic agricultural transaction happening at the rural level and its untapped financial yield has least engagement with financial banks due to geographical span, maritime, highland constraint access plus,” he added.

“The involvement of the financial literacy programme was timely and to align the villagers to understand savings, investment, budgeting, unnecessary spending, prioritizing in needs and wants, improving livelihood, job creation, reducing poverty, self-sufficiency and other means of financial success to explore.”

British High Commissioner to Fiji Melanie Hopkins said; This as a genuinely innovative public-private-partnership which will raise awareness on financial literacy in the 14 provinces around Fiji using the Westpac Banking Corporation training curriculum”.

“The best financial strategy is close and effective partnerships of key agencies working together in ensuring that all Fijians have the understanding and the competency to utilise the various financial services that are available to them,” Ms Hopkins added. She further adds the program endorses inclusive growth - reaching out to rural communities as well as urban areas with specific focus being on reaching women in rural areas.