Across Africa during Global Money Week (12th-15th March 2018), students in countries where JA Africa works built their financial literacy skills by visiting some of the pillar institutions of the economy. Students visited the stock exchanges of Tanzania, and the Central Bank of Kenya to name a few. In order to have true financial inclusion on the continent our young people have to know about our financial institutions, what roles they play and what careers are available within them.
Junior Achievement Africa joined 137 countries to celebrate #GlobalMoneyWeek, 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 Money Matters Matter.
#MoneyMattersMatter because children & youth need to receive the knowledge and develop skills to make smart financial decisions throughout life. Happy Global Money Week from all of us at #JAN.#GMW #FinancialLiteracy #Money #MoneyMatters #YouthEmpowerment @JA_Africa_ @JAWorldwide pic.twitter.com/RWcSdDYTUz
— JA Nigeria (@JANigeria) March 12, 2018
According to the African Capacity Report (2015), Africa has the lowest savings rate of all developing regions. A low savings culture can negatively affect macro-economic stability as domestic funds are not available for productive investments into economic development. The low financial literacy levels, in combination with low savings culture in Africa highlight the importance of targeting students as early as primary school to develop a sound understanding of the importance of financial literacy to the development of the continent. Considerations around financial literacy education are especially important for young children because the opportunity exists to correct knowledge gaps proactively, rather than retroactively. Global Money Week provides the platform for JA to join others in elevating the importance of this subject.
During Global Money Week, we're celebrating JA's global impact on shaping young people's financial-literacy skills and behaviors. @JAWorldwide #GMW2018 #GlobalMoneyWeek #MoneyMattersMatter pic.twitter.com/0B9l7Y58AW
— JA Africa (@JA_Africa_) March 14, 2018
In Ghana, through a partnership with Prudential Insurance Plc, JA 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.
A certification ceremony was also held at Alpha Beta Primary school for students who have completed the six-week Cha Ching session.
In Gabon, sessions of the JA Company Program, Our Community and Insure your Success which teach financial literacy skills were delivered in schools all over Gabon. JA’s curricula teach age-appropriate concepts around spending, sharing and saving money. Students learn about managing risk: taking responsibility for financial decisions, how to make those choices based on prioritizing needs and wants, and then develop a plan for spending and saving. They need to consider real life scenarios and plan for them.
In Kenya, students visited the Central Bank of Kenya and other financial sector actors which fall under the Kenya Bankers Association to shadow the employees and learn about the banks’ operations.
Lenana school students @CBKKenya for their job shadow session. @unleashingideas @JA_Africa_ @ChildFinance @KenyaBankers pic.twitter.com/1DeqoCPGed
— Junior Achievement K (@JA_Kenya_) March 14, 2018
JA Mauritius held a talk and a financial literacy program for students to emphasize the importance of financial literacy. 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.
Celebration of Global Money Week 2018 at Esperance 2000.
Talk on Managing your money smartly done with the beneficiaries today.#GlobalMoneyWeek2018 #MoneyMattersMatter #Earn #Save #Spend #Share #GMW2018 pic.twitter.com/khYoUfc8QD
— JA Mascareignes (@JAMascareignes) March 14, 2018
Officials from the Central Bank, WEMA Bank, First City Monument Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and other financial institutions in partnership with JA Nigeria were present at Government Secondary School, Winners International Academy Secondary and Holy Rosary College to implement a
#FinancialLiteracy curriculum prepared by JA Nigeria.
JA Nigeria also took 50 students to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) where they learned about financial literacy. They particularly loved the lesson on investing in stocks from Mr. Bola Adeeko, Head Shared Services and Mr. Abimbola Babalola, Head, Market Surveillance and Investigation, gave a tour of the trading floor by the Doyen of the stockbrokers and rang the closing gong which was featured on CNBC Africa!
"Learning to live within your means is a good way to achieve the culture of saving" Mr. Ademola Adebise, Deputy Managing Director of @wemabank. #JANFLD2018#GMW2018 #FinancialLiteracyDay #YouthEmpowerment @JA_Africa_ @JAWorldwide pic.twitter.com/n2iGF84b9c
— JA Nigeria (@JANigeria) March 15, 2018
JA Senegal partnered with Ecobank Senegal to educate students from CFPT Japon University on financial literacy and the banking system. Students were taken on a tour of the bank after which they had the opportunity to ‘shadow’ the employees.
JA South Africa teamed up with The Banking Association South Africa & Gauteng Department of Education to host the More than Money Programme workshop at the Mveledzandivho Primary School in Chaiwelo, Gauteng. Through learn and play activities, Grade 7 learners from a few schools in the area learnt about the value of money and how to manage it well.
The launch in Swaziland, was attended by the Minister of Education and Training, the Governor of the Central Bank and the Chair of the Swaziland Bankers Association, all of who also contributed financially to making the event possible. In his remarks, the FRSA CEO, Mr. Sandile Dlamini said there is a need to scale more financial literacy programs for consumers, starting with schools and advocated for
increased participation of girls and women as financial decision makers. He said ‘financial discipline should be engraved in our DNA and should start at home and stressed consumer protection as being pivotal to all financial products. He ended by announcing the near completion of the Swaziland Stock exchange and called on students to be exposed to it to learn more about the nation’s financial institutions.
The Dar Es Salaam stock exchange hosted JA Tanzania, and trained 50 high school students. They learned how the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange operates and drew parallels to how they capitalize and run their businesses.
JA Uganda partnered with NC Bank Uganda to host a one day job shadow session for students from Gayaza High School, Nabisunsa Girls School, Ndejje Senior Secondary School, Makerere College School & Aga Khan High School. Students learnt about money matters, livelihood & entrepreneurship.
In Zambia, in partnership with Prudential Life Insurance Zambia, a certification ceremony was held for students at Kalingalinga Primary School who have gone through the Cha Ching financial literacy program which teaches students the four money management concepts: Earn, Save, Spend and Donate.
JA Zimbabwe worked in partnership with Aflatoun and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to empower young people on the value of saving and investments towards securing a healthy and happy future. Additionally, GetBucks Financial Institution visited Fitchlea Primary School in Kwekwe and had an interactive two hour session focused on money and financial matters. JA Zimbabwe also partnered with BancABC Bank and Barclays Bank in Kwekwe to enhance their money-management skills.
There still exists a vast opportunity, through in-school financial education programs and financial literacy awareness campaigns to educate youth with the knowledge and provide them the skills they need to make better financial decisions as adults. Global Money Week celebrations allow the opportunity for a wide range of young people to be reached, including those who have had fewer opportunities than others to learn about the financial world outside of school.
 (Mahdzan & Tabiani, 2013; Wachira & Kihiu, 2012).