The Governor of Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) Dr. Rets’elisitsoe Matlanyane has called for financial literacy among Basotho and warned the nation against the dangers of entering into quick money making schemes which often leave them poor.
Speaking during the launch of the Money Month at Avani Maseru hotel on Monday (25/03/2019), the Governor said the need to warn Basotho was even more pertinent now considering the latest developments in the financial sector in the country such as the proliferation of dubious quick money making schemes.
“You may have noticed that we have changed money week to money month because of the circumstances that our country face. In future, we would like to do it over a year,” said Dr Matlanyane adding the CBL has been observing ‘Money Week’ since 2013.
She also expressed gratitude to the media for its role in passing messages to the nation as well as other partners within government and the private sector who are keen to ensure that Basotho were financially literate.
She acknowledged that there were no job opportunities in the country but said that was not reason enough for people to look for short cuts in gaining financial freedom. She therefore urged Basotho to be vigilant and peruse carefully the contracts that they get into, before they can sign them so that they can protect themselves.
She further implored on Basotho to develop a saving culture as that would help the economy of the country to evolve and be vibrant. “We have to develop a saving culture because there is no way that the economy of this country can develop if we don’t save. It is upon us in the financial sector to intermediate as the financial sector is the engine of the economy and it needs oil so that it can run smoothly,” she said.
Dr. Matlanyane said this year’s theme was ‘Learn. Save and earn’, which means that individuals should be knowledgeable about money so that they could save it for the future and also be able to invest. “It is critical for our society to know how money functions. We want an empowered society. Easy money goes easily, if you have sweated for money it would take longer with you because you know how you have earned it,” she added.
She said that CBL had run studies over a period of time which have found that consumers had limited knowledge. “There is an emergence of untoward borrowing and lending which leaves consumers more broke. We see consumer indebtedness increasing and proliferation of pyramid schemes. These limitations have forced us to embark on this journey to teach the people about financial literacy,” said Matlanyane.
She also advised people who invest outside Lesotho to familiarise themselves with the laws, rules and regulations of such countries because Lesotho does not have jurisdiction over other countries.
“If you are adventurous you should learn about the laws of other countries because your investments are regulated by the laws of those countries. Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer,” she stated.
Part of activities to mark money month will be held in Quthing and will focus on money education, targeting around 5000 people.
Money week has already been held in Qacha’snek and Thaba-Tseka to spread financial literacy to rural communities.
In conclusion, Dr Matlanyane clarified that Lesotho is part of the global village therefore there was no way CBL could stop Basotho or Foreign Business owners from opening bank accounts in neighbouring South Africa as Lesotho’s currency Maloti is pegged to the South African Rand and it is in line with monetary policies of both countries.
The launch was graced by the presence of various local financial, Insurance and telecommunication companies in the country.