17 August 2018
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Dausi calls for economic and financial literacy: Full Speech

Written by  Malawi Government

STATEMENT BY
HON. NICHOLAS HARRY DAUSI,
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF
THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOP
AT
SUN’N’SAND HOLIDAY RESORT
ON
TUESDAY, 16TH JANUARY 2018

Good Morning ladies and gentlemen.

Good Morning ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to perform the official opening of this Economic and Financial Literacy workshop this morning.

I would like to think all of you travelled well to this place and had a wonderful rest over the night, ready to fully participate in this workshop.

This is an important workshop because it aims at educating us so that together we can build a nation that is familiar with the fundamentals of economic and financial literacy.

The need for this kind of literacy is important at the implementation level, at the communication level and at the end-beneficiary or consumer level.

This is the reason I approved that this workshop should be segmented into three parts; namely that for officials, for the District Information Officers and the private media.

Officials are implementers of the Government economic and financial policies. They are the ones who translate these policies into concrete action. They are the ones who allocate resources in terms of priorities in their respective sectors.

It is important for the officials to be literate in terms of the significance of implementing Government economic and finance programs. This is the kind of literacy that will inform their decisions when they allocate resources and prioritize.

District Information Officers are the Government communicators at the local level. Their job is to assist Government to make the people understand its economic and finance policies and programmes for them to make informed decisions.

The citizens also need to understand the roles that they should play in ensuring that such economic and finance programmes are implemented because they will have understood how they will positively affect their lives.

The independent media is essential for Government in fulfilling its governance roles. The independent media serves as a mirror. For a mirror to be useful and effective it must be educated and become literate.

A mirror that is not educated and literate is useless because it misleads. It sends out wrong information to the public and brings back distorted feedback Government.

There can hardly be a better time to make the case for economic and financial literacy than right now.

Others have doubtless stood before an audience like you in years past and made the same case, but now we face serious perception challenges affecting our economic and finance policies.

You will have observed that often the nation has been thrown into informed debates that speak serious knowledge gaps about these specialized topics.

The point can therefore not be overemphasized that a better-educated citizenry can not only contribute to a better functioning economy, but also to a more-effective government.

There are many lessons that individual consumers can learn at the micro level, to those that financial companies can learn about investment and oversight.

In that regard, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, which has collaborated with our Ministry, proposes new rules to strengthen regulatory oversight and to protect consumers, and as Government we continue to assess this episode to determine what more can be done to help the consumer.

But there is no debate that, one of the most effective ways to help consumers is to empower them with information. Improving consumers' economic decision making will enhance the effectiveness of every new rule and regulation and the Reserve Bank comes up with.

I am pleased to know that the Reserve Bank although is charged with regulatory duties, also sees the value of education and the positive impact it can have on the broader economy.

Conducting monetary policy and maintaining a stable financial system depends upon the participation and support of an educated public. Accomplishing this mission involves trade-offs and tough decisions.

As the Bank pursues the monetary policy objectives that have been set out, it is essential that the public understands our objectives and our actions.

Educating the public about the reasoning behind our decisions helps build confidence in our economic system

Also, as we approach the election season, we are reminded of the importance of economic issues.

During this time when aspirants go around looking for votes, it is that the voters are economically and financially informed

In conclusion, let me say that the choices that are made by individuals--as consumers, investors, and even voters--are linked to the broader economy in ways that we don't always appreciate.

However, one thing is certain--we make better decisions if we are better informed, and the whole economy benefits.

That's the promise of economic education, that it not only improves the lives of individual consumers, but that it also makes for more-effective policy and a better economy.

Let me thank the Reserve Bank of Malawi for collaborating with us.

Let me thank the resource persons for turning up.

Let me thank the participations for accepting our invitations.

I wish you a very fruitful workshop which should deliver strategies for taking this education to the masses.

It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare this workshop opened.
I thank you for your attention.

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