By Emmanuel M. Kamara
A Seminar on Financial Inclusion and the Impact on Deposit Mobilization was over the weekend organised by the RokelCommercial Bank in collaboration with the Faculty of Accounting and Finance of IPAM.
The one-day Seminar which was held at the new Freetown City Hall attracted over 500 participants including academics, bankers, students, Civil Society, disability groups, business people and media practitioners among others.
It was meant to provoke a discussion on the importance of digitalisation and how it could aid financial inclusion and financial intermediation. It is expected that the outcome will lead to the development of a communique that may lay the foundation for the development of policies to address new developments in the financial sector.
This will make the public more desirable to access banking and financial services.
To aid financial inclusion compliance is important to facilitate financial inclusion, literacy is important to know how to manage these risks and optimize the opportunities that come with these risks which financial institutions should be ready for.
Bank Governor of Sierra Leone, Professor Keifala Kallon said financial inclusion is a prerequisite for efficient financial intermediation.
He said approximately Eighty per cent of Sierra Leone’s population does not have access to formal financial institutions in Sierra Leone according to the World Bank Financial Index.
He further said that financial inclusion became an important global policy agenda since the early 21st Century because it is one of the main goals for Millennium Development set by the United Nations.
The Bank of Sierra Leone remains committed to creating an enabling environment for all players in the financial market to operate with ease by facilitating the enacting of relevant laws and continually improving regulatory framework to provide a viable robust development-oriented financial sector.
Positively, it will provide a payment gateway that will minimisethe problem of cash transactions and replace them with more secure electronic systems that will eliminate long queues in the banking halls.
The 3rd edition of Rokel Herald Magazine was also launched to give the public and customers knowledge about the Bank, its products and its transitioning stage into advanced banking systems.
The Executive Masters program on Banking and Finance at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) which was supported by Rokel Commercial Bank was also launched at the event,
This will create an enabling environment for people to earn their Masters in Banking and Finance and be able to become members of other Charters Accounting forums in Africa and the world at large.
This program will provide better opportunities for people to compete
The Executive Master of Banking and Finance (EMBF) program objective is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the field that allows students to analyse and solve financial issues.
This program provides a unique learning experience where formal knowledge transfer of technical concepts is rooted in business practice.
“The programme specifically will address strengths and weaknesses with respect to market opportunities in the students’ major and intended field of work. This philosophy addresses the dynamic and constantly changing environment of working professionals by helping adult students in reaching their professional and personal goals within the scope of the degree program”. Dr Duramany-Lakkoh, Dean Banking and Finance stated.
The Seminar was organised to make participants be aware of the concept of financial inclusion and digitisation in the financial inclusion process and others as stated.
It is also aimed to give knowledge about what the Bank of Sierra Leone (the Regulator) is doing for the country in the area of the digital space and financial inclusion and to again better understand the various sectors taking part in digital financial inclusion, especially through the Telcos among other reasons.