By Mustapha Ezekiel Dumbuya
The Chief Executive Officer, David Mansaray for Orange money at Orange SL mobile Company, has said that his institution have trained over 3000 customers on financial literacy under the partnership project with the United Nation Capital Development Fund, Mosabi and Empire Solution.
Mr Mansaray, CEO Orange Money, made this statement on Wednesday 30th November, 2022 during their one year celebration with UNCDF, Mosabi and Empire Solution at the Orange Head office Hill station Freetown.
The CEO continued that last year, Orange SL mobile Company signed a partnership together with Mosabi and Empire Solution in order to bid for a funding project of 150,000 dollars in an attempt to expand access to finance, train female agents as well as recruit and train customers on financial literacy.
He also explained that out of that fund, they were also able to train customers as to how to seek loans and how to utilize those monies, train customers how to manage their businesses as well as selling orange financial products.
The CEO continued that with the help of Power Solution, they were able to tailor their products and as a result, more than 500 customers were able to access those loans and there is another additional of 57, 000 customers who have had access which mounts to the tune of 3.5 million dollars which is very huge for micro businesses that is meant for people to access in a form of loans.
“But I am quite sure that all those customers will be able to put those monies into proper good use and thanks to Power Solution as one can sit in his or her residence and get EDSA top up by using Orange Money facilities,” he noted.
Wycliffe Ngwabe, Country Lead, United Nation Capital Development Fund Sierra Leone, said that a year ago, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) partnered with Orange Mobile Financial services as a consortium of Orange; Mosabi and Empire Solution so as to improve distribution of Digital Financial Services in Sierra Leone thereby leveraging innovative agent models, financial and digital literacy as well as digital credit.
Mr. Ngwabe also said that the project aimed to focus on women, youths and low-income segment of the population in Sierra Leone, the financial inclusion rate is 29% and for women it is 25% adding that this is according to the Global Iindex report of 2021.
He continued that with accelerated financial inclusion, there is the need to drive digital financial services (DFS) since they cannot continue to depend on brick-and-mortar structures and there has been a lot of work done in the DFS space in Sierra Leone over the past years but there remains a lot more to be done.
“Mobile Money Operators, Commercial Banks and other DFS providers have tried to develop the ecosystem under the leadership of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), but there is the need for more collaborated efforts through partnerships and integrations” He expressed.
The Country Lead explained that this project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, No poverty; 5, Gender Equality; 8, Decent work and economic growth and 10, Reduced inequalities as well as the UNCDF and its sister UN agencies are committed to working with you all too achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
According to him, he said that at the time of the start of the project, only 4% of the mobile money agents in Sierra Leone were women. Financial and digital literacy was low, and the digital loan product popularly called orange money Lajor was very well suited to the needs of the targeted market and thus required some enhancement.
He added that over the last one year, they have gone through this partnership which has increased the number of women agents from 360 to over 2000 and Over 10,0000 customers have also been trained in financial and digital literacy using Mosabi Edtech App and there has also been enhancement to the Orange Money Lajor product with increased loan amount and notification for low balance and so on.
Momoh L Sesay, Head of Financial Sector Development Unit at the Bank of Sierra Leone, siad that the financial literacy in Sierra Leone is 29.7% which is almost close to 30% and the financial inclusion rate for women is 22.4%, for the youths is 22% according to the UNCDF projection.
He added that the Bank of Sierra Leone is very interested more especially when they talk about improving digital financial services and financial inclusion which the bank will always continue to make policies that will give a level playing field for every financial sectors in Sierra Leone.
Mr Sesay concluded that the Bank of Sierra Leone is very pleased with Orange Mobile Company for promoting digital literacy and giving access to financial inclusion and therefore advised all the women to take this venture very seriously.