CEFI and Coffee Industry Corporation sign MoU to work in partnership to rollout financial literacy and financial inclusion to targeted coffee farming communities
by PNG Business News - February 10, 2022
Photo: CIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui (seated left) and CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe sign the MoU Documents. Witnessing the signing are CIC Company Secretary Wilma Banake (left standing) and CEFI Head Trainer Jill Pijui.
The Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre of Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI). CIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui and CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe signed the MoU in Port Moresby which will now enable the two organization to work in partnership to rollout financial literacy and financial inclusion to targeted coffee farming communities. This will allow savings culture introduced to coffee farmer’s households by teaching them how to make the right financial management decisions and allowing them to have access to a wide range of financial services that address their farming business or personal household needs.
The MoU will also allow CEFI to conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) to 100 CIC Extension Officers; 20 from each impact areas of the five regions including Upper Highlands, Lower Highlands, Momase, New Guinea Island and Southern. “A very historic occasion for Papua New Guinea (because) we are very proud that we are able to (sign this MoU) with the Coffee Industry Corporation because the coffee industry is one of the key industries in the country which brings in substantial revenue to the country,” said CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe “We would like all Papua New Guineans to access to financial services which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable manner to improve farming activities and improve standard of living.” “We can make an impact if we work with economical active people.”
“What we sign today ((Wednesday February 09) ) will be one of the most critical activity for the farming communities whom you serve and we are extremely pleased and extremely grateful to the (CIC) CEO and his team for taking this initiative to partner with us (CEFI) to provide this important services to the farming communities,” Mr Ranasinghe said. CIC Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Dambui said, “Coffee is grown in 18 of the 22 provinces and annually we generate 500-400 million kina into the country and over 55%-60% of that money goes directly to the farmers.”“(But) many of our farmers lack some knowledge when it comes to finance management. We want our farmers to be business man and women and not just subsistence farmers and the skills they are lacking is budgeting and savings.” “We have seen our coffee farmers pulling away from coffee because they do not have any money to invest back into the coffee garden and they do not have savings culture” “On behalf of the board and the management and the industry players we would like to thank CEFI, we will be working closely with CEFI to see that our farmers are financial literate,” Mr Dambui said.
Article courtesy of Centre of Excellence in Financial Inclusion
PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
CEFI and Department Sign MOU
Photo Credit: Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion Facebook Page The Department of Community Development and Religion's Informal Economy Section recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Center of Excellence and Financial Inclusion (CEFI) that will provide a new collaboration pathway for training and education of Informal businesses and vendors in order to help them graduate and grow into the SME Sector. The cooperation agreement signed by interim Department Secretary Jerry Ubase and CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe would pave the way for joint efforts in providing individuals with Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Training through the District Community Development Centre (DCDC). Ubase praised CEFI's work with the department on behalf of Minister Wake Goi, and spoke about how the relationship will benefit the lives of participants in the Informal Economic Corridors. “My department recognises and embraces partnership and collaboration in delivering protection and empowerment services to people. “This MoU signing is yet another milestone to assist the government of the day to achieve its vision of growing the economy through informal business and SME. “As a responsible government department, we will continue to create dialogue and partnership with stakeholders such as CEFI to create an enabling environment for people in the informal economy to access necessary services,” Ubase said. Warren Marape, Acting Deputy Secretary, Community Development Division, described the MOU signing as a big step forward for the Department in addressing the country's financial literacy needs. “The participants in the informal economy are in a dire need of this service so they can venture into SME. “And we will make sure to deliver this significant program at the DCDC beginning with Imbonggu after the official opening on September 17, 2021. Saliya Ranasinghe, CEFI's Executive Director, commended the department for partnering with them (CEFI). “The diverse setup of financial institutions is meant for people to partner with and everyone has to patronise that. “To do that, Financial Literacy is the first step to moving towards your financial goals and direction. “We are looking forward to working closely with the department to push the goal of transiting the participants at the informal sector into the formal sector,” Saliya said. Representatives from the North Fly District Development Authority, the Imbonggu District Development Authority, the media, department officials, and CEFI were present during the signing of the MoU at Sambra Haus in Port Moresby. Reference: Salmang, Grace Auka. Post-Courier (7 July 2021). “MOU by CEFI And Department To Boost Informal Sector”.
PNG Business News - September 28, 2021
CEFI signs MOU supporting the DEFINE Initiative
CEFI, the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PNGX Markets, the PNG Digital ICT Cluster and Emerging Venture Management (Unkapt), together the proponents of the DEFINE Initiative, to provide for a framework of cooperation and communication. To achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the country, one of the initiatives to implement work on the Fintech space is the Developing Financial Markets for Enterprises in the Pacific Islands (DEFINE) Initiative that is being spearheaded by partners which includes Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), with PNGX Markets, the PNG Digital ICT Cluster and Emerging Venture Management (Unkapt). The objective of the DEFINE Initiative is to contribute to the development of financial markets, products, and services for – aligned enterprises in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island countries, with the ultimate goals of diversifying their sources of capital and enhancing access to finance. This includes the establishment of specialist SME funding facilities for debt, debt-like, and equity-like investments in SDG-aligned private enterprises which demonstrate governance, performance, return and impact potential with a special focus on Women-led enterprises, clean energy initiatives, agribusinesses, and businesses in the ICT sector. Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director for CEFI expressed his views on the journey taken to be working with and supporting the DEFINE Initiative. He further stated that the objectives of the DEFINE Initiative are very well aligned with those of CEFI and together is hopeful that the collaboration of all parties can deliver greater financial inclusion, financial literacy and business capability to the SME sector. PNGX Chairman Mr. David Lawrence stated that a key objective of the DEFINE Initiative is to strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking and financial services for all, in particular women and the vulnerable, and their integration into value chains and markets. Mr. Lawrence elaborated that as a locally driven initiative, CEFI will be a key partner for meeting our objectives within Papua New Guinea and using the experience gained to export financial services and financial access across the Pacific.
PNG Business News - June 17, 2021
BPNG, CEFI, GGGI, and New Zealand team up for the development of an Inclusive Green Finance Policy for PNG’s banking sector
Papua New Guinea yesterday launched a new project to develop a National Inclusive Green Finance Policy for the banking sector to boost financial inclusion and guide public and private sector investment towards Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development. Bank of Papua New Guinea Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik representing Mr. Loi M Bakani, Governor of BPNG, H.E Dr. Nathan Ross New Zealand Acting High Commissioner to PNG, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director, Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion and GGGI´s Deputy Director General Ambassador Jenny Kim, jointly initiated the project. Inclusive Green Finance is a new and evolving policy area that countries are beginning to devise and implement policies, regulations and national strategies to mitigate or build resilience to sweeping environmental, health, social and economic effects of climate change. The project will deliver two main outputs: first, a green taxonomy based on PNG’s goals and priorities; and second, and a diagnostic report on the state of green finance in PNG. Both are expected to steer financial flows (loans, equity, and guarantees) towards technologies and services that contribute to the government’s financial inclusion and green growth goals. Bank of Papua New Guinea Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik representing Mr. Loi M Bakani, Governor of BPNG pointed out, “We understand that dual threats of financial exclusion and climate change are recognized as key barriers to financial stability. As a member country of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and implementing the work on Green Finance, we have identified Inclusive Green Finance (IGF) as a key priority area in the financial inclusion space. Similarly, Acting High Commissioner of New Zealand H.E. Dr. Nathan Ross stated that “Climate change is the most significant security and development issue facing the Pacific region, and we can only meet its challenges through collective action. This includes the private sector, and the Inclusive Green Finance Policy will be an important step towards helping businesses to contribute to PNG’s low-emissions, climate resilient development.” Ambassador Jenny Kim states GGGI´s role in the project will be on scaling up access to green finance, “we hope that this project will serve as a strong foundation for future cooperation between New Zealand MFAT, BPNG, CEFI, and GGGI for more ambitious and impactful cooperation on climate change.” At the event, an MOU was signed. The MOU between GGGI and CEFI is under the initiation of the regional program, Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development Program (LECRDP), a regional collaborative effort between GGGI, NZ/MFAT and the governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji to support regional resilience and emissions reductions, by working with these Pacific Islands Countries to transition to inclusive, low emissions and climate resilient development.
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PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Creating decent income-earning opportunities for rural communities in Papua New Guinea under road maintenance programme
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, as part of its mission to support efforts towards reducing rural poverty, is engaging local communities with a focus on struggling single parents as a support workforcefor maintenance of 18 selected farm-to-market roads in the Sepik region. Led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the creation of these employment opportunities in remote communities where there are limited income-generating activities because of lack of accessible roads to markets is a relief to many disadvantaged households. This month the ILO team visited some of these beneficiaries who are employed in the Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs) working on a 17.7km-long Walkasa Mai-Wanwan road and an 8km-long Yiminum-Wilbowe road in the Nuku District of Sandaun Province. For the beneficiaries, this is a lifetime opportunity for a regular and steady income to support their and their families' everyday needs, and one important concern for the struggling families is paying for their siblings' and kids' school fees and associate costs. Among the struggling families are some widows like Marathia, aged 59, from Yiminum Village, who works on the Yiminum-Wilbowe road. "My husband died, and we were really struggling because our families have their own problems to take care of. Now, I'm very happy with this job which I joined last year. It helps with school fees for my children," said Marathia. Marathia was left with five children to support, including one who is attending final year studies at a vocational training nearby. With the income as an RMG, she was able to pay PGK 500 school fee last year and early this year she paid PGK 250. She said the community is also happy to see her contribution in a job they usually see as for men only. For youths like Jena Suwa this employment opens a new window to their life. She was not able to complete her studies after year 10 in 2018. "I'm very happy today because I was doing nothing in the house. I will now save some money to prepare to go back to school to become a nurse," said Jena. Sony Apo is another youth who completed Grade 8 in 2015 and is looking forward to some money to upgrade. He dreams of becoming a carpenter to continue the legacy of his late 'big daddy'. "Big daddy was the only skilled man we had in the family, and now I'm ready to become a carpenter as well," he said. The main works that encompass the road routine maintenance aspect to be undertaken by the RMGs include pothole patching, vegetation clearing, drainage and general cleaning along the road in preparation for engagement of a contractor to perform specific maintenance on these farm-to-market access and feeder roads. Safety gears and road maintenance tools like boots, gloves, vests, safety helmets, spades, hoes, wheelbarrows were also among the tools and equipment provided and distributed by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme among the RMGs' members. During the visits, the Programme's Community Facilitator, Rachel Bowie also shared with the RMGs to demonstrate commitment in their work to take ownership in the routine maintenance of these roads because it will serve them, their families and their fellow community members. The mission also conducted a drone survey of a 14km-long Nanaha-Tau LLG access road in the Ambunti-Drekikier District, East Sepik Province. In consultation with Ward Members, locals, including youths and women, were also recruited to form RMGs to conduct routine maintenance for this road that will also service Drekikier Secondary. Under the Programme selection criteria, one RMG comprises six members that must have at least two females. The group must also have representation from youths, single parents whose partners have died or have deserted them and traditional owners of land the road passes through. The Programme, in partnership with MiBank, a local financial institution, is implementing cashless transactions and banking for rural farmers by opening bank accounts for these RMGs, and their payment is deposited directly at the end of every month. This arrangement encourages rural farmers to save and grow their earnings, which can be used to access small loan benefits. Under this rural agriculture development programme, 18 rural roads in the Sepik region totalling close to 300 km in length are being maintained or upgraded with the help of RMGs to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme for rural and farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to three targeted cocoa, vanilla and fisheries agri-food value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural communities. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads. The EU-STREIT PNG Programme, being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as the leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. The Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Santos welcomes new apprentices in higher-level program
Photo: Leon Buskens, Santos Country Chair PNG meeting the 25 new apprentices in Port Moresby before their departure to the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia. Joining Mr Buskens and the apprentices are members of the Santos Training and People & Culture Teams. Santos is helping to equip Papua New Guinea’s next generation of oil and gas technicians with international qualifications. Ten females are among 25 novices who have joined the Santos 2022 Apprenticeship Program following a rigorous selection process which will see them train at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia – 900 applications were received for the 2022 Program. Upon completion of the technician training at INSTEP, the apprentices will earn a Pearson Business Education Technology Council Level 2 and Level 3 UK qualification. Santos Country Chair for PNG, Leon Buskens when welcoming the apprentices, said: “You have joined at an exciting time following the merger between Oil Search and Santos. As the inaugural batch under the merged entity, there are greater opportunities for you to advance in all aspects of your career both in PNG and abroad. I encourage you to do your best and importantly, maintain a positive attitude and uphold your values - this is what will take you far on this journey. “This is the beginning, but you should be proud of yourselves as we are of you for making it this far. Congratulations and welcome to Santos.” Joining Mr Buskens to address the new cohort were pioneering trainees Cornelius Soagai, Senior Government Affairs Manager and Lydia Warubi, Deputy Occupational Health & Safety Manager. Mr Soagai went on to become the first national Production Manager in the Operations and Maintenance Department while Ms Warubi made waves as the first national female process technician to work at the Central Processing Facility. Both leaders encouraged the apprentices to maximize on the career development opportunities available to them at Santos. Among the cohort was Judy Sasa who completed the Company’s pre-apprentice program at the Kumul Petroleum Academy (KPA) in 2020. Judy finished at the top of her class and attained an honourable achievement award. A grateful Judy thanked Santos for a further opportunity to broaden her knowledge in oil and gas production. “My dream is coming true as I have always wanted to work in this industry,” Ms Sasa said. The 25 apprentices along with the Santos training team departed PNG for Malaysia last weekend. Two permanent employees were also part of the travelling party to INSTEP where they will train to become dual Electrical & Instrumentation tradesmen. Article courtesy of Santos
PNG Business News - June 23, 2022
PM Marape says East Sepik can become ‘economic powerhouse’ of PNG
Photo: PM Marape addressing the crowd in Maprik Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says East Sepik has the potential to become the “economic powerhouse” of Papua New Guinea. He said in Maprik recently (June 22 2022) that because of this potential, and in memory of founding Prime Minister the late Sir Michael Somare, the next Government would be formed in East Sepik. Present with the Prime Minister were East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird (National Alliance), Angoram MP Hon. Salio Waipo (National Alliance), Maprik MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Hon. John Simon (Pangu) and Pangu candidate for Wosera-Gawi Ronald Asik. Sir Michael was instrumental in the formation of both Pangu and National Alliance “East Sepik has the potential to become the ‘economic powerhouse’ province of our country,” PM Marape said. “This is why I will bring Government formation to here: Firstly, in memory of Sir Michael, and secondly, in memory of Sir Pita Lus. “This will be the 11th Parliament, and the first Parliament without Sir Michael and Sir Pita being alive. “This will be symbolic that the nation is now being passed on to the next generation.” PM Marape said formation of the new Government in East Sepik would also inspire the new generation of leaders to hold on to the lofty ideals of the founding fathers like Sir Michael and Sir Pita. He said his Government, over the last three years, had passed major laws to fight corruption and promised the people of Papua New Guinea that some prominent leaders would be prosecuted after the elections. These include the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Whistle Blowers’ Act and Undisclosed Wealth Act. “What would be the point of Allan Bird and I growing the economy of the country when corruption is still prevalent?” PM Marape said. “We have managed to stifle corruption in the big way with passage of the three bills during the last term of Parliament. “Over the last three years, we have spent over K56 billion, which has grown the economy by K30 billion.” PM Marape said East Sepik’s economic powerhouse potential was in agriculture, through the vast Sepik Plains, and challenged the province to start growing rice on a large scale to reduce the huge K900 million rice import bill. “Over the next few years, and into the future, we want to grow our own rice for domestic consumption as well as export to Phillipines, Indonesia and the rest if the region,” he said. “Sir Michael, before his passing, said he had helped groom me up and asked me not to forget East Sepik into the future. “The way to achieve this is through economic independence. “I want every Papua New Guinean to have money in their pockets: Grow rice, grow cocoa, grow vanilla, look after cattle, bring in tourists, stop consumption of home brew, stop marijuana and other bad habits. “We are ready to take the country to the next level. “I want East Sepik to be an economic powerhouse no longer dependent on Waigani. “This is why I ask the people of East Sepik to send Allan Bird, John Simon, Salio Waipo and my Wosera-Gawi candidate Ronald Asik, Ambunti-Dreikikier candidate Richard Rafa and Wewak candidate Jim Simitab to Parliament. “ Article courtesy of PM JAMES MARAPE News Page