Boosting Financial And Business Literacy In Rwanda
Over 200 executive women from government, private enterprises and international organizations took part in a two-hour financial planning and business investment seminar dubbed “Finishing Rich” in Kigali, Rwanda. It was the first seminar in a series of luncheon-events supported by the Rwanda Development Board, UN Women and the International Finance Corporation.
This March 2015 event aimed at exposing career women to guidance on prudent financial management and triggering a shift in mindsets in managing personal finances and interest in personal growth, finance and investment.
The host, New Faces New Voices (NFNV), a pan-African movement backed by the African Development Bank, advocating for women’s participation in finance through a network of national chapters.
UN Women provides technical and financial support to NFNV and sits on the Board of its National Chapter. NFNV draws its membership from a large cross-section of women and focuses on access to financial services, influence in decision-making positions in financial institutions and increased capabilities of women in finance, as savers, investors and entrepreneurs.
Diana Ofwona, UN Women Representative in Rwanda, said: “This trailblazing event is the culmination of many months of deliberation, consultation and brainstorming on the best way to shift mindsets from micro-finance initiatives to large investments in the financial and other sectors, beginning at the personal financial-management level, and onto a deeper understanding of, and engagement with, money and investments.”
The keynote speaker, Nancy Asiko Onyango, a Partner at Ernst & Young based in Nairobi, redefined the notion of 'rich' as holistic well-being and abundance of wealth in mental and physical health as well as in income. It is not limited, though, to financial resources. Ms. Onyango made a convincing case for a well-planned retirement, cutting the dependency umbilical cord, revisiting social and cultural norms that disempower women financially. She sounded the clarion call for all women to take control of their finances and their lives and 'finish rich'.
A NFNV Rwanda Chapter will be officially launched on 10 June 2015 in Kigali at the international conference “Transformative Financial Solutions for Women”. The two-day conference will be hosted by H.E. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda, and Graça Machel, former First Lady of South Africa and Founder of NFNV.
Article first published on UN Women
Photo credit: Christian T. Mulumba/UN Women Rwanda.