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Global Money Week Celebrations at JA Africa

Junior Achievement Africa joined organizations across 135 countries to celebrate Global Money Week from March 27th to April 2nd 2017 with a series of events in its member nations all across Africa.  #GlobalMoneyWeek is an annual global celebration initiated by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), with events and activities aimed at inspiring children and youth to learn about money, saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and becoming entrepreneurs. The theme for this year was Learn. Save. Earn.

 

 

The data on financial literacy overwhelmingly underscores its importance in Africa. In Kenya and Zambia, only 38% and 40% of the adult population respectively are financially literate; the situation is worse in Uganda where just about 34% of the adult population is financially literate[1]. JA’s financial literacy programs are important for this reason. We believe that we can address low financial inclusion by orienting people from a young age.

At the Regional Level, JA Africa entered a partnership with Aflatoun International. This partnership enables JA Africa and Aflatoun International to promote each other’s work via their networks; share country profiles and identify opportunities and gaps that can be leveraged. As a result, we released an opinion piece; co-authored by the CEO of Aflatoun International, Roeland Monasch and the CEO of Junior Achievement Africa, Elizabeth Bintliff. 

 

In Nigeria, JA Nigeria delivered financial literacy training to 900 schools in 36 locations under a mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared 30 March as Financial Literacy Day. On that day, Managing Directors, Chief Executive Officers and top members of management of 29 banks and financial institutions visited over 800 schools in 36 states to teach a financial literacy curriculum developed by Junior Achievement Nigeria. Over 80,000 students benefitted from JA Nigeria’s curriculum. The CBN initiative is managed by the Bankers Committee, which works with JA Nigeria to match banks to schools. “This is the fourth year we are implementing Financial Literacy Day in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria, and we have seen the program improve and expand each year,” said Mr. Emeka Emuwa, CEO of Union Bank and Chairman of the CBN Bankers Committee Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub – Committee.

 

In Swaziland, a teachers’ forum and a Financial literacy program took place during the week.  JA emphasized the importance of financial literacy for students, in partnership with the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA), Financial services regulatory authority (FSRA), Saving and Credit Cooperatives department (Ministry of Commerce) and the Swaziland Bankers Association.

 

JA Kenya hosted Get In the Ring, a competition for high school students to pitch and defend their business ideas to win over $2000. JA Kenya students also visited the Central Bank of Kenya, Bank of Africa Kenya, RBA Kenya, Post Bank and other financial sector actors which fall under the Kenya Bankers Association to launch the ceremony and learn about the banks’ operations.

 

 

 

Similarly, JA Zimbabwe joined Stanbic Bank, Barclays Bank, POSB Bank, MBCA Bank, MOB Capital and Radio Zimbabwe. JA Zimbabwe Company Program student entrepreneurs also spent time at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). They learned how the ZSE operates and drew parallels to how they capitalize and run their businesses.

 

In Ghana, through a partnership with Prudential Insurance Plc, we implemented a program called Cha Ching. Students between the ages of nine and 11 completed a six week-long financial literacy curriculum, learning some basic concepts of money; earn, save, spend and donate. Using everyday references like chores and piggy banks, JA’s financial literacy programs help young children develop healthy financial practices that they will take into adulthood. This is how we build good financial muscle, by forming good behaviors and decision-making from an early age.

 

The future of financial inclusion for Africa depends largely on the levels of financial literacy among its growing youth population. Events like Global Money Week provide the platform and opportunity for JA to join others in elevating the importance of this subject, as well as investing in some key activities that can begin to effect real changes in knowledge and attitudes about money.

 

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[1] S&P Global FinLit Survey

 

 

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