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 participated in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Financial Education Training of Trainers (ToT) between 29 January to 2 February 2024 in Addis Ababa. They will now champion the training programme within their own institution, thus enhancing financial literacy of their clients, supporting their businesses and improving their livelihoods.

The event was organized under the Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS) programme in collaboration with the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI). The ILO invited 16 staff members of financial institutions to participate to the ILO Financial Education ToT and access the skills and knowledge to become national trainers in financial education. This was the first step of their journey towards being certified by the ILO as national financial education trainers.

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.

In addition, this ILO Financial Education ToT delivery was extra special as it was facilitated by two ILO Financial Education candidate regional trainers from Ethiopia, namely Ahmed Jafar and Ahmed Siyad. When they both finish the regional certification process, they will be in a good position to act as ILO Financial Education focal points, coordinating the various financial education activities led by the ILO in the country and further helping to improve financial literacy levels in Ethiopia.

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. One of the key characteristics of this programme is its thorough regional certification process through which well-qualified certified national trainers follow a path to become regional trainers, if they comply with a set of criteria developed and managed by the ILO Financial Education team in Geneva. In Ethiopia, the ILO has the objective of strengthening national capacities to promote the sustainable delivery of its financial education programme. Therefore, these two regional trainers promise to be strong assets in financial education for Ethiopia.

"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 training participants gained expertise in the ILO's financial education curriculum and even learned more about effective adult learning methodologies and facilitation techniques. Successful completion of the training got participants one step closer to becoming ILO certified national trainers, although the journey just started and include a specific set of criteria to be fulfilled. Obtaining the national certification would showcase the participants’ commitment and competence to independently deliver the program, amplifying its reach and impact.

I intend to master the 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.
This ILO Financial Education Training of Trainers, 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.