Saving money is generally a cultural aspect that differs among countries. But at a session of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week, Ms. Musa Salah said that there is a strong correlation between economic growth (both of the country and of the individual) and savings habits.
In Ghana, less than 40% of the population has a savings account. In China, on the other hand, almost everyone saves money from young kids to elderly men and women. In 2009, surthe plus savings of China’s citizens exceeded 18 trillion yuan. Its savings rate ranks first in the world, with per capita savings of more than ten thousand yuan.
So why don’t Ghanaians save more money, and is it really necessary for them to do it?
The main reason for this trend is that the access to capital is a major challenge among low income people; economic empowerment is low. However, it has been proven that even the poor can eventually accumulate capital through saving.
Personal savings are the easiest way for low-income people to build capital. They can save to buy new house or to invest in a business. Likewise, low-income governments can use savings for public spending in areas such as smallholder agriculture, irrigation, low-input use, infrastructure construction, mechanization and other development projects. This can improve productivity, rural household income, and hunger and poverty reduction.
According to Dr. Emmanuel Tambi, director of Advocacy and Policy of FARA, public spending in agriculture, rural roads and rural education has large positive effect on growth and poverty reduction. In agricultural research, it also has positive economic returns. Investment in national and international agricultural research has and especially significant and direct effect on productivity.
So, come on Africa! Save your money and contribute to your future.
Blogpost by Mengyao Sun, a social media reporter for AASW6.