Lancaster University Ghana hosts Financial Literacy masterclass

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On 20th May, 2022 a Financial Literacy Masterclass was held for the cohort 7 Executive MBA class of Lancaster University Ghana.

The masterclass, which was held to give a more practical insight into the Business Ethics and Sustainability module, taught by Dr. Alison Stowel of Lancaster University – UK, was delivered by the managing consultant of 3A Consult Limited and Former Head of Other Financial Institutions Department of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Joseph Kofi Amoa-Awuah.

The topic for the masterclass was ‘Financial Literacy Education – A New Dimension’. Mr. Amoa-Awuah spoke to the audience on what customers or consumers of financial services can and should do by themselves to avert the loss of financial assets and have confidence in the sector in future.

Mr. Amoa-Awuah began his talk by explaining that, the financial market is like a spectrum, with the government at one end and private financial institutions at the other end. He further explained that “usually, for government instruments, the risk is low because the returns are guaranteed and this is due to the fact that governments don’t disappear, and private financial institutions have higher returns and high-risk rates”.

He further stated that, “in the spectrum of low risk – low return and high risk – high return, at one end is the government and at the opposite end is the private sector, and the private sector is where the problems are, where we need to understand financial literacy and ask the right questions so we are informed as customers or consumers of these products to enable us make the right decisions”.

Mr. Amoa-Awuah then explained what customers of financial institutions should do to safeguard themselves.  He stated that, customers should conduct research to know more about the financial institution they hope to deal with. He further stated that, it’s important for customers to know about the risk and return relationship, and lastly, customers should know the workings of financial markets. He added that customers should hold financial institutions accountable and complain to financial institution watchdog agencies when they detect any Ponzi schemes or fraudulent activities by these institutions.

The class ended with Mr. Amoa-Awuah stating that “customers should conduct research before putting their money anywhere; they should strive to find out if the institution is licensed, and they should make sure that they have some basic information about the institution.” He urged the class to look out for published financial reports in newspapers or on the websites of these institutions to help them make informed decisions.  

In her closing remark as the moderator for the masterclass, Dr. Alison Stowel commended the speaker for a great presentation, in terms of the knowledge gained around financial literacy and coming from such a rich background.

About the LU Ghana EMBA Masterclass

The EMBA masterclass is an engagement designed around taught modules of the EMBA programme with industry speakers. These masterclass sessions form and strengthen the relationship between industry and academia in support of our students’ personal, professional and leadership development.

About the Speaker

Mr. Amoa-Awuah is a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) who worked with the Central Bank of Ghana for over 33 years and played a prominent role in establishing the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Unit of the Bank and headed the Unit for the ensuing five years. Prior to this, he worked in the SME financing unit (FUSMED) at the Bank of Ghana and supervised feasibility studies, project appraisals, approval of funding and post disbursement monitoring for SMEs.

He is exposed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank financial system safeguard assessments, Basel Core assessments and also initiatives in the area of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and has been involved in sub-regional efforts at the level of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) since 2011.

Mr. Awuah currently holds directorship at Corporative Governance Africa, Project Nyame Nsa, Guarantee Trust Bank Ghana and Apex Health Insurance Company.