LAUNCH - Financial Capability Strategy 2022-2025
Following the launch of the first national strategy on Financial Capability in 2017, ĠEMMA, an initiative within the Office of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Right, is today launching the second national strategy covering 2022-2025.
Before embarking on what ĠEMMA intends to focus on for the coming period, it is important to highlight some of the achievements that ĠEMMA accomplished in its first national strategy.
During its first Strategy, ĠEMMA strongly endeavoured to create awareness about improving the financial capability of the Maltese citizens through its drive of Know, Plan, Act. ĠEMMA’s objective, since its inception, was always to educate followers about financial domains such as managing debit, budgeting, planning for the future, knowledge in the investment landscape and financial abuse.
This was undertaken by means of establishing an active programme of works together with the Ministry for Education, Ministry for Health and Ministry for Finance and Employment as well as other NGO’s such as Caritas and Istituto Paolo Freire amongst others. In order to broaden its outreach, ĠEMMA entered into Strategic partnerships by means of a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with various entities such as various banks, the Local Councils Association and unions – GWU and UĦM Voice of the Workers, the Central Bank of Malta, MSV Life, the Malta Chamber of SMEs, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ as well as the University of Malta. Various training presentations have been prepared and delivered with some of these strategic partners targeting different and specific cohorts of participants. Due to its popularity, this training is now ongoing and thus has become a regular activity on ĠEMMA’s calendar.
For the first time in Malta, ĠEMMA, in conjunction with the Department of Artificial Intelligence (DAI) of the University of Malta, launched a digital educational game: Money Monster directed at children aged 6 – 9 years old. This fun game focuses of how certain financial decisions taken during one’s early life, can have a positive or negative impact on one’s future. Furthermore, through various interactive and educational plays, ĠEMMA also penetrated in both primary and secondary schools as well as during the SKOLA SAJF programme.
‘ĠEMMA through its financial educational activities, is today recognized as a credible financial capability platform. This recognition has been achieved also with the constant support of its strategic partners’ confirmed Minister Michael Falzon.
It is encouraging to note that an independent research carried out in 2021, shows that awareness of ĠEMMA has increased to 30% whilst 21% engaged with it in contrast with 20% and 9% respectively shown in April 2020. This could only be ascertained through the frequent educational material that ĠEMMA regularly updates on its social media, Website, Facebook and Instagram.
Mark Musu, the Ministry Permanent Secretary stated that ‘Awareness on financial capability is fundamental if one is to ensure a comfortable quality of life in retirement. This can only be attained if during one’s lifetime, the appropriate financial decisions are taken to eventually reach one’s retirement goals’
So, for the period 2022-2025 the Strategy will continue consolidating its financial capability platform by building on the lessons learnt during the previous period 2017-2021. The OECD/INFE financial literacy tool kit will be referred to as it is a key measurement to determine progress in meeting its financial literacy objectives. Furthermore, it will continue to evolve and grow its social media platform mainly its website. It will also work closely with its ever-growing number of strategic partners on enhancing behavioural changes through organized financial capability-driven activities. ĠEMMA also intends to strengthen its position by working with its partners to articulate common messages with the aim of having a more effective and unified impact in contrast to working alone.
Helena Holland, ĠEMMA’s team leader stressed the importance that for ĠEMMA to continue growing it needs to build on the existing achievements and the positive experience gained so far in order to have a sustainable financial capability platform that secures a financially capable society.