Government has officially kicked off the 2014 financial literacy week with a call on stakeholders to ensure that the country mops up its own pool of home grown entrepreneurs and investors who are financially literate in order to grow Zambia’s economy.
Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training Permanent Secretary Patrick Nkanza said the industrialization and job creation policy which government has just launched should inspire Zambians to save and invest their monies in businesses that will create industries and in turn lead to job opportunities for the youth.
Dr. Nkanza said this in a speech read for him by Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) Director David Chakonta during the launch of the 2014 Financial Literacy Week in Lusaka today.
He noted that when young people who form the majority of the population are given the right skills, knowledge, values and competencies to start businesses for themselves, the country will have a success situation in terms of job creation.
Dr. Nkanza said the initiative for financial literacy has thus become very important.
And Dr. Nkanza has noted that financial literacy was important as it helps the citizenry recognise and appreciate their duties and responsibilities such as paying tax.
He said there was need for people to pay tax for the government to have sufficient funds to build user facilities such as roads, clinics, schools among others.
Dr. Nkanza further stated that unless citizens have financial literacy abilities by which they can see and exploit the opportunities available in the country, they will continue to mourn against foreign investors.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Pamela Kabamba said there was need for Zambian citizens to embrace a culture of saving for personal and economic growth.
Mrs. Kabamba noted that maintaining a solid savings rate was one of the best cures for economic woes in any economy globally.
She said the credit free spending spree that has personified the 21st century globally because of innovations in financial products, which has made access to finances by the public especially those in employment easy, has led the majority of the people to borrow only for consumption.
She said sadly Zambia has to a great extent not been spared from this scourge and that the situation has been exacerbated by the existing background of a poor saving culture.
Mrs. Kabamba said the financial literacy week was therefore a timely intervention to encourage saving at household and national level.