THE COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the Russia/Ukraine conflict which has affected supply chains globally, has exposed those who have not made adequate provisions for their financial independence.
At the national level, the current economic challenges, which have been made evident through high inflation, rising interest rates and depreciating currency, also bring to the fore issues regarding how resilient people are financially.
The recent financial sector clean-up which was meant to stabilise an ailing industry rather aggravated the problems as many innocent people fell victim to the faults of a cause they did not initiate.
Many have lost huge investments and some have even died as they could not withstand the loss of lifetime investments.
The development, coupled with the present economic challenges, has dampened the spirits of the investor community and it will only take concrete efforts to convince them.
It is against this backdrop that the activities to mark the World Investor Week have come in handy.
To help increase awareness and encourage people to invest, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has joined over 80 stock exchanges across the world to ring the bell for financial literacy and investor education to be intensified.
This will see the GSE, together with the Central Securities Depository (CSD), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and market players, educate the public and investors on the investment opportunities available to them and also raise awareness of the importance of investor education and protection.
At an event to mark the occasion, the Deputy Managing Director of the GSE, Abena Amoah, said financial literacy had become more important than ever to help investors navigate the challenges and uncertainties surrounding investment options.
She said the theme for the World Investor Week, ‘Building investor resilience’, was very relevant, considering the current economic challenges confronting the world and the uncertainties in the investor space.
“The GSE is very proud to host and celebrate this week together with our regulator and partners, market players, business associations and the general public,” she stated.
Key strategic pillar
Ms Amoah said financial literacy and market information dissemination were part of the GSE’s key strategic pillars as it sought to transform the capital market.
She said the GSE had undertaken some interventions over the last two years to create awareness of investment.
Ms Amoah said some of the interventions included the Money Education TV series, investor education tours across tertiary and secondary schools in the country, workshops for the pension industry and financial journalists, business associations’ engagements among others.
“The GSE’s digitalisation agenda which is also embedded in our financial literacy plans is on track,” she stated.
Key to building resilience
Giving the keynote address, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, said, “Five years ago, we witnessed clean-up activities within the financial sector and that also had some impact on people’s income. We have also had a period of investors chasing returns and through that, they exposed themselves and ended up losing their monies, coupled with an upsurge in fraudulent schemes.
“It is, therefore, important for us to bring out the education, and that is why the Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy programme is so important to get people to understand the dynamics of creating wealth and making sure that you attain the resilience that will help you in difficult times.”
Commitment to financial literacy
In his closing remarks, the Managing Director of GSE, Ekow Afedzie, said the exchange was committed to financial literacy and it had been so since it was first established.
He said although the Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy advocacy had been going on for the past six years globally, this was the first time the GSE was taking part.
He gave an assurance that going forward, the GSE would continue to participate in the global event each year.
“As an exchange, we will continue to do it because it will have a great impact on the development of the capital market. Without investments, there is no way the country can develop and without savings, there is no way people can invest.
“Financial literacy is, therefore, very important at this time, especially at a time when investors are having challenges and don’t know what to do,” he stated.