By Afia Nyarko Asare
Saving has been acknowledged as a crucial tool in the global fight against poverty and a catalyst in attaining the Sustainable Development Goal’s agenda 2030.
The General Manager of the Swedru Teachers Co-operative Credit Union (STCCU), Mr. Joseph Acquaye divulged this to Micro Watch during an exclusive interview at the union’s ultra-modern office at Swedru Wawase in the Central Region.
He emphasized that most Ghanaians who languish in poverty have poor savings attitude or do not save at all. Bemoaning World Bank report that; “nearly 800 million people globally live in extreme poverty, unfortunately Africa is home to more extremely poor people than all other regions combined. Most of the poor have low educational attainment and work in agriculture”.
The General Manager, argued that various interventions have failed because poverty reduction and its eradication can be achieved through savings and other good financial management practices. He explained further that when poor people become financially literate and are able to manage their money, their finances improve and they migrate from poverty to better financial life.
He mentioned that Credit Unions have the best philosophy to fight extreme poverty and improve the lives of its members. However, over the years it has not done much to preach its philosophy to those that need it most.
Mr. Acquaye note that STCCU is doing a lot in terms of financial literacy outreach programs and promoting youth savings because poor people are too uneducated to control their finances but rather manage highly complicated budgets on very tight margins.
STCCU he explained, is leveraging on digitization and other products to assist poor people defy the complications that keep them stuck in poverty totally. “The youth savings for instance has promoted financial literacy and the will to save amongst many children in Swedru and it catchment areas”.
“Many traders and entrepreneurs have made huge transformation in their financial lives joining STCCU. With the introduction of our USSD short code *718*222# we are striving to reach more unbanked population, improve lives, alleviate poverty to make agenda 2030 a reality”.
By Afia Nyarko Asare