Junior Achievement Africa joined the rest of the world in celebrating Global Money Week (GMW) from 25th to 31st March 2019. GMW, a Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) initiative, is an annual financial awareness campaign built to inspire children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihoods and entrepreneurship. Since its inception, GMW has touched the lives of 32 million children and young people in over 165 countries worldwide. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Learn, Earn, Save”.
JA Africa and its member nations commemorated the week long celebrations with events to educate and create awareness on financial literacy among young Africans. The celebration is in line with JA Africa’s mission to empower Africa’s youth through financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness education.
In Gabon , JA Alumni, Laurain Essono Ngoua and Cedric Bekale gave back to young JA students by speaking at a conference organized by the Entrepreneurship Club in Collège Bessieux. The conference was themed “The initiation of young people into entrepreneurship and digital age.” During the lively sessions, Laurain and Cedric shared personal experiences and tips from their ventures in business and mentored the students on how to take advantage of the digital age in their business aspirations.
In Ghana, JA Africa held a twitter chat with Abeiku Greene, Programs Manager for JA Ghana, on the theme “Celebrating Financial Inclusion for Africa’s Youth”. The aim of the twitter chat was to engage stakeholders in a dialogue on the need for financial education for young children and start the conversation on possibly integrating financial education into the school curricula.
JA Mauritius had a Money Box Challenge to inspire children to save money in a smart way. Many young children participated in the challenge. Students also participated in a workshop on how to finance a business, which was conducted by representatives of SME Mauritius Ltd. JA More than Money program sessions were also held at the Beau Sejours Government School followed by a money management talk at MCSS Novelle France School.
JA Nigeria kicked off Global Money Week with a Global Money Week walk organized by Central Bank of Nigeria. On Financial Literacy day, several financial institutions represented by their senior management taught JA financial literacy curriculum to students across Nigeria. In Abuja, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, taught Students of Government Secondary School about earning, managing and saving money. JA Nigeria, Executive Director, Simi Nwogugu, was on Channels Television Business Morning show to speak about Financial Literacy in Nigeria.
JA South Africa celebrated Global Money Week in partnership with Star Savers South Africa, Boys and Girls Club of South Africa and the Ombudsmen for The Banking Association of South Africa to teach primary school learners about smart money habits.
In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), GMW kicked off with a students’ debate between three high schools on the topic “My Savings My Future”. Throughout the week long celebration, students attended lectures at Eswatini Central Bank and the Eswatini Stock Exchange to experience the world of work in Finance and Stock Exchange. JA Eswatini also signed a partnership agreement with Eswatini Revenue Authority to strengthen financial literacy skills of over 1,300 students across 50 schools.
In Tanzania, students attended a job shadow at NIC Bank Tanzania as part of GMW. The purpose of job shadow is to give students first-hand experience of the world of work and allow them to develop and practice both technical and soft skills that are critical for certain job roles.
JA Uganda in partnership with NIC Holdings Ltd delivered a program to teach students of Seeta High School and Ndejje Senior Secondary School about career opportunities in banking and emphasized the importance of financial literacy.
JA Zambia and Citibank Zambia celebrated financial literacy day by teaching students on knowledge and skills they need to make better financial decisions.
JA Zimbabwe worked in partnership with financial institutions including Barclays Bank, NedBank, First Capital Bank and BancABC during Global Money Week to teach students about money, savings and investments.
JA is proud to be a part of education initiatives like GMW as they are critical platforms to bring attention to the need for developing personal financial management capability of young people. However beyond GMW, there need to be focused and consistent efforts to build the financial literacy skills of African youth if we want to move beyond the low adult financial literacy levels across Africa. This is where JA comes in.
Through a variety of in-school financial education programs, JA educates youth, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to make better financial decisions as adults. JA believes that financial education is especially helpful when provided from a young age, because the opportunity exists to correct knowledge gaps proactively, rather than retroactively. Read more about our primary school financial literacy programs here.