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Business News of Friday, 29 May 2020


Financial therapy, literacy should be prioritised in coronavirus era - Gatsi

Prof. John Gatsi, Dean of the School of Business, University of Cape Coast Prof. John Gatsi, Dean of the School of Business, University of Cape Coast

The Dean of Business School at the University of Ghana, Professor John Gatsi has indicated that issues of financial therapy and financial literacy should be critical at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has deepened vulnerability and inequality in many economies including Ghana.

According to him, less attention to personal financial education has led to little or no savings and investments by households to fall on during the pandemic. He thus advocated for conservative investments and conservative expenditures by households.

He disclosed this at an E- Seminar on the topic , Coronavirus Pandemic, Household Financial Anxiety and Well-being being which featured Dr. Megan McCoy, a professor of practice in the area of financial therapy, from Kansas State University and other guests.

In the absence of elaborate formal savings, the development of financial products to improve access to credits could help, Professor Gatsi pointed out.

He lamented that formal savings by households in Ghana as presented by the Ghana Statistical Service since 2014 was 35%, and the situation has not changed significantly.

He advised government to look at data as an asset and invest in general data for development because post-economic management demands data driven policies.

Prof. Gatsi said the good lesson about the pandemic is that Ghanaians are naturally creative and innovative, adding inclusive empowerment is required to promote enhanced Ghanaian participation in the economy.

"In the midst of the pandemic we are able to set aside GHc600 million, it means we have what it takes to revisit strategies to support creativity", he mentioned.

Dr. McCoy explores the importance of financial therapy for households in times of difficulty to reduce stress and other psychological challenges.

"When people are not sure of maintaining their jobs due to the pandemic, they show instability and fear always advised that financial therapy during the Coronavirus pandemic should not be overlooked".

She advocated for personal finance principles to be part of training for children and adults.

She pledge her support to the department of finance to develop solution-oriented financial therapy programs to benefit students and the catchment areas of the University of Cape Coast.

Kwabena Gyan, an economist with the World Bank explained that his outfit has supported the government of Ghana with US$100million credit facility to fight Coronavirus pandemic geared toward households and small businesses.