ILO Social finance

ILO empowers microfinance staff to promote financial literacy among hosts and refugees

The cadre of trainers trained on ILO's renowned financial education curriculum will strengthen the capacity of financial service providers to educate hosts and refugees and improve their access to financial services.

News | Addis Ababa | 12 February 2024
Participants of the ILO Financial Education Training of trainers©ILO/Zelalem Alemenew Desta
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA (ILO News): Staff members from 10 financial service providers in Ethiopia were equipped with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Financial Education Training of Trainers (ToT) program between 29 January to 2 February 2024 in Addis Ababa. They will now champion for fostering financial literacy among host and refugee communities, improving their businesses and livelihoods.

Organized under the Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS) programme, the ILO and the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI), equipped 16 participating staff with skills and knowledge to become certified trainers. From the existing cadre of financial education trainers in the country, two shortlisted candidates were mentored to become regional trainers at this workshop.

Regional certification:
The ILO Global Programme on Financial Education is a holistic programme addressing policy dialogue and capacity building at all levels. It works with policymakers, meso-level training providers and multipliers, as well as directly with beneficiaries. Part of this program is the regional certification program by which well-qualified ToT will become regional trainers given fulfilment of the criteria set. In Ethiopia, the ILO has an objective of strengthening national capacities so that the two regional trainers will be an asset to the country in terms of financial education.

This initiative stems from a “Call for Expression of Interest seeking financial service providers ready to invest in their staff's training and development” issued jointly by the ILO and AEMFI. Each participating organization nominated its staff to undergo the intensive training, paving the way for them to become certified national trainers and champions of financial inclusion within their institutions as well as their communities.

"The implementation of the ILO Global Programme on Financial Education relies on a multiplier effect," explained Eirmyas Kaase, Senior Programme Officer at ILO, highlighting the program's focus on building a network of trainers equipped to reach end beneficiaries. "For the host and refugee community, access to finance is a challenge. Microfinance institutions have an incentive in training communities on improved financial behaviours as it helps them secure their investments and develop a sustainable business model and on the other hand, communities benefit from better access to financial services.”

The program participants gained expertise in the ILO's financial education curriculum and even learned effective training methodologies and adult learning techniques. Successful completion of the training gets participants one step closer to becoming a certified ILO national trainer. There are also specific criteria to be fulfilled. This certification signifies their commitment and competence to independently deliver the program, amplifying its reach and impact.

I intend to master methodologies and empower other trainers to create lasting impact in the community. I encourage aspiring trainers to dream big, work hard, and embrace lifelong learning.

Ahmed Jafer, ILO Financial Education Candidate Regional Trainer with 4 years of experience training over 3000 individuals training to become an ILO Financial Education Candidate Regional Trainer

The training helped me gain facilitation and training skills which will allow me to better engage participants and communicate information effectively.

Sara Gelan, 31, is a Senior Risk and Compliance Officer at Digaf Micro Credit-Provider S.C., brings her passion and expertise to the program.

I value the financial education training program's role in building a skilled pool of trainers and fostering knowledge dissemination. I got lots of personal and professional benefits from being a trainer including honing communication skills, expanding knowledge, and contributing to community development.

Ahmed Tayib, a member of the Business Development Service Providers Association (BDSP), currently an ILO Financial Education Candidate Regional Trainer. Ahmed inspires others to embrace the journey of becoming a trainer, driven by passion and the desire to shape minds and empower futures. So far, he has trained more than 170 trainees with different ILO training packages, like Financial Education, Get-Ahead and Think/Start Coop.
The ILO Financial Education Training of Trainers program made possible with the support of the Government of the Netherlands marks a significant step towards financial inclusion in Ethiopia. By investing in the training of trainers, the program lays the foundation for a sustainable and impactful approach to empowering refugees and host communities with the knowledge and skills needed to build a brighter future.