Financial Literacy is a critical component of the UN SDG 1 “No Poverty”. As stated in Target 1-.4 “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance”. Rural communities in peri-urban Abuja, in Nigeria, were identified as being of limited financially literacy. This hinders them from growing their wealth and become be successful farmers. This in turn prevents elimination of poverty. As a community, they are excluded financially as they lack the basic financial skills needed to navigate the world of finance, money and success life.
Okwuoma Chijioke, a librarian from the National Library of Nigeria, noted that the library, as an information hub, can be a bridge between hard working farmers and financial literacy. By helping farmers gain financial literacy skills, Okwuoma sought to ensure financial inclusion for the people of Ketti. Ketti is an agrarian community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abuja. The community is not in the city centre, therefore lacks access to financial services. Women are particularly vulnerable.
Okwuoma Chidumembi Chijioke, is a library innovator undergoing a two-year life changing capacity building Program – INELI SSAf organized by Africa Library & Information Associations & Institutions (AfLIA). This is a group of thirty-two(32) librarians, selected from libraries across Africa, to drive innovations in their different communities through impactful library services. The training is tied towards achieving the Africa we want through achieving the AU 2063 agenda and United Nations SDGs.
Following her training in INELI SSAf, Okwuoma conducted a financial literacy training programme for the AMAC community in the month of May 2019. The programme was in partnership with ACCESS Bank in Abuja. The programme included financial literacy in general, training in income generation, opening of bank accounts, training on saving money, and other financial transactions. Through this programme Okwuoma helped train a total of 19 farmers, of whom 5 were women. One of the famers has testified that the programme helped them to “bank without going to city!” Mr Sunday, one of the farmers trained, is so inspired that he now aspires to become an Access Bank agent in the area! The financial literacy training has indeed transformed the farmers by removing financial exclusion and ensuring that these farmers become part of the attainment of UN SDG Goal 1 “No Poverty”. In this way Okwuoma and her library are contributing to the aspirations of the African Heads of States “to leave no one behind!”
The INELI SSAf programme is transforming librarians like Okwuoma into agents of development, which in turn transform the live hoods of communities. Your donations have made helped make librarians like Okwuoma continue with the kind of transformative work that helps bring us closer to achieving the Africa we want. Thank you for your continued support.Attachments: