The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is to roll out a countrywide financial literacy and education campaign.

Bank of Sierra Leone2

The campaign is aimed at enabling the public make better financial decisions, know their rights and responsibilities as consumers of financial products and be able to understand and manage financial risks. The campaign is part of the Bank’s drive to reduce financial exclusion and strengthen access to financial products and services especially by the rural poor.

The Bank and UNDP will jointly fund the project. The campaign will be implemented countrywide in the dominant dialect in every region. The messages are designed to raise awareness of positive behaviors toward financial products and services as well as provide the population with the requisite skills and confidence to manage their personal and family finances well.

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The UNDP has indicated that they are highlighting the importance of financial literacy and capability because the lack of consumer knowledge contributed greatly to the global financial crisis. Therefore, there is a need to provide greater awareness of financial discipline and rights as a milestone in building global protection against a similar crisis in the future. In Sierra Leone the Bank and UNDP have resolved to work together to build the relevant financial psyche and know-how in the vast majority of the population, to deepen usage of financial products and sharpen consumer frugality.

The Central Bank as the major implementing partner in this project will ensure the achievement of its objectives. The Bank is expected to partner with civil society groups, financial services providers, and professional organizations, like the Market Women Associations, in rolling out the campaign.