USP, ANZ joint partnership to boost financial literacy in Pacific
USP Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme and ANZ Fiji staff at the announcement of the joint partnership agreement to boost community-based financial literacy. Picture: NUSAIBA BI
By JONE SALUSALU
A joint-partnership between The University of the South Pacific’s Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is expected to boost community-based financial literacy and maximise the livelihoods and sustainability of Pacific- African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) coastal communities.
The partnership agreement, which was signed on Tuesday, would also build connections with communities through financial literacy trainings that would be conducted in local languages.
According to USP PEUMP, the University would also strive to achieve the regionally accredited version of the ANZ financial literacy micro-qualification, ‘Developing Personal Financial Capability’, which is currently housed within the Pacific Qualifications Framework (PQF).
USP deputy vice-president of regional campuses and global engagement, Dr Giulio Paunga, said the unique milestone inspired the transformation of people’s livelihoods in coastal communities in the Pacific-ACP region to take charge of their lives, which is critical to sustainable fisheries management.
“This partnership to collaborate on delivering the accredited micro-qualification on ‘Developing Personal Financial Capability’ is timely as it promotes sustainability in allowing people in the P-ACP region to use such micro-qualifications towards building more formal educational pathways,” he said.
Given the high number of substantial challenges associated with the fight against economic challenges of coastal communities in the region, USP PEUMP said the partnership mirrored financial literacy as an ‘essential tool’ to boost resilience and deal with unforeseen financial constraint.
Becoming the first private sector partnership for USP to channel their stance on economic empowerment of coastal communities, PEUMP has also built on two existing micro-qualifications – establishing and operating a small seafood business and maintaining seafood safety and quality.
ANZ Fiji head Rabih Yazbek, said their commitment to MoneyMinded reflected the importance they placed on the financial wellbeing of the people they looked after by helping them make the most of their money throughout their lives.
“We will continue to invest in MoneyMinded in the Pacific because we know that focusing our efforts in this area is important,” he said.
“Independent research tells us it is working. Having MoneyMinded recognised as a micro-qualification will be life-changing for many who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to study and receive other qualifications.”
The first cohort for the financial literacy training will be rolled out in Fiji and later to Pacific-ACP countries such as Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, and Vanuatu through ANZ country offices.
The two-day trainings will focus on ANZ’s Money Minded Programme and the Business Basics Programme. It is expected to follow a ‘holistic’ approach to enable coastal communities to better manage their earnings from the ocean, marine and coastal resources.
*Jone Salusalu is a final-year journalism student at USP’s Laucala Campus. He is also the student online editor for Wansolwara, USP Journalism students’ training newspaper and online publication.