Financial Education Curriculum for Certified Financial Educators Launched in Dar es Salaam

“Financial education is a one-time investment that will always pay you. People can steal your possessions, but no one can steal from you whatever you have gained in financial education. Once you are financially literate, it can never go missing.”

The Bank of Tanzania launched the curriculum for certified financial educators on the 18th December 2023, in Dar es Salaam. The curriculum was developed by The Bank of Tanzania, which is also the Secretariat of the National Council of Financial Inclusion, in collaboration with various key stakeholders in order to implement the approved Financial Education Guide.

The curriculum is meant to address challenges emanating from financial illiteracy levels across the country and more specifically for the off-schooling segment. It is expected that by having competent certified financial educators, financial education will trickle down to the mass majority. Financial educators will originate from financial regulators, financial institutions, government bodies, non-governmental organizations, and other relevant parties involved in providing financial education. Academic institutions, media and training institutions will also be highly involved in the ecosystem. 

Speaking at the launch event, the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania and the Chairman of the National Council for Financial Inclusion, Hon. Emmanuel Tutuba, pointed out that the financial education curriculum aims at addressing challenges arising from low levels of financial literacy countrywide. He said the financial educators will spearhead financial knowledge to the society. He went on to explain that the program will be carried out for two weeks, and will consist of five (5) main modules:

i. Financial Numeracy skills

ii. Financial Ecosystem

iii. Money Management

iv. Financial Obligations

v. Personal Financial Protection

On the Microfinance side, financial management for low-income people is a critical challenge. In an effort to manage personal and business growth, they often make reactive choices, simply going through life passively and react when in a crisis mode. Financial education, which basically, teaches the skills and attitudes necessary in understanding money and finance is of utmost importance to microfinance clients. Since financial education  often entails developing an understanding of finance management needed to manage money effectively, microfinance clients will make well informed decisions and build to their financial responsible behaviour. It is at this juncture that MFIs should embrace financial education for win-win relationships with their clients by providing financial education that will provide information and tools needed. The program will place MFIs in a competitive and reputable position within the financial sector.

Professor Martin O’Reilly and Goodluck Mwashilindi, in a study they conducted with MFIs in Tanzania, An exploration of Financial Education and MFIs in Tanzania, in 2021, concluded that in general, MFIs in the study were keen in providing financial education to their clients. 

However, there were some obstacles:

1. First, the majority of the loan officers they worked with did not have the confidence to deliver financial education because of their own deficiencies when it came to managing their own finances.

2. Second, there is an enormous social and educational gap between the typical loan officer and his or her clients, which makes it difficult for them to comprehend the nature of the financial problems many clients are facing.

3. Third, there is simply an enormous work-related pressure loan officers face in having to manage numerous loan groups, and recover the loans given to them. 

In the next edition we will bring you recommendations and way forward drawn by Professor Martin O’Reilly and Goodluck Mwashilindi’s research based on these two questions:

“Is financial education needed by MFI clients in Tanzania?”

“Do MFIs in Tanzania have the will and capabilities to provide FE?”