Financial literacy low among adults in Northern
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot
Accra, Aug 19, Ghanadot - A survey undertaken by the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s
Trade and Investment for a Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE),
and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has
revealed that adults in Northern Ghana have the lowest
financial literacy in the country.
According to the survey, the national mean score of the
country in 2008 was 44% compared with 57% as the score
for the 2007 urban financial literacy survey.
While, the southern belt comprises Eastern, Volta,
Western, Greater Accra and Central regions, middle belt
involving Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions and the
Northern belt-Northern, Upper East and Upper West
regions returned total financial knowledge scores of 51,
44 and 38% respectively, establishing the northern belt
as the least financial knowledgeable belt in Ghana.
Presenting the findings of the second baseline survey on
Rural Financially Literacy at a stakeholders’ forum in
Accra, yesterday, the Team Leader of the CDC Consult
Ltd, Mr. Ernest Dzandu further revealed that on the
general basic financial knowledge, the southern, middle
and northern belts returned the mean scores of 63, 57
and 51% respectively compared with the subcomponent mean
score of 57%.
The study was conducted by the CDC Consult Ltd with the
specific objectives of providing evidence of the extent
personal financial literacy among rural adults;
examining why some rural adults are relatively more
knowledgeable than others, and finding out how an
individual’s knowledge influences his/her opinions and
decisions on personal financial issues.
Two regions in each of the three geographical belts were
selected and the selection was based on the regions with
the highest rural population except the middle belt
which has two regions.
Mr. Dzandu indicated that in the southern belt a total
of 630 people were sampled, whilst 354 and 316 were also
sampled in the middle and northern belts respectively.
In all, a total of 1,303 rural adults aged 18 years and
above were interviewed through face-to-face interactions
with a structured questionnaire as the main instrument.
Touching on knowledge of financial institutions,
services and products, he astonishingly disclosed that a
number of people interviewed recorded a mean score of
0.45 on a scale of zero to one, saying “Commercial and
rural banks are the well known financial institutions
with respective awareness proportions of 47% and 29%.”
Mr. Dzandu intimated that the well known banking
services and products known among adults in rural Ghana
included money transfer, savings and current accounts,
representing 74, 37 and 31% accordingly.
He added that the middle, southern and northern belts
returned financial institutions, services and products
scores of 53, 45, and 37% respectively.
The results underline the disparity between the
availability of financial institutions, services and
products in the northern belt compared with the other
On knowledge of laws regulating the financial services
industry, Mr. Dzandu observed that knowledge of basic
laws regulating the industry was weakling and returned a
mean score of 31%.
Although, the male mean score of 50% is higher than the
female score of 41%, statistically females in rural
Ghana are more knowledgeable than their male
The team leader noted that 53% of rural adults compared
with 78.1% under the urban adult financial literacy
survey had knowledge on insurance.
He therefore recommended that “There is the need to
attach importance to rural financial literacy especially
with the ongoing changes on the financial landscape,
further shrinking of small businesses and the emergence
of alternative financial service providers including
fraudsters who bolt away with meager savings of their