Youth everywhere face challenges as they transition into adulthood, and for youth in developing countries, these challenges can be even more intense. Access to financial services can help them smooth this transition and yet youth are often excluded from financial services, either by policy or prejudice. As youth mature and become heads of their households, they will need access to and a working knowledge of financial services to enable them to be productive members of their societies.
Evaluating progress toward adoption of affordable formal financial services matters because financial inclusion is a key ingredient in promoting household well-being and broader economic development.1 The first annual FDIP report and scorecard, published in August 2015, addressed fundamental questions regarding ways to advance inclusive finance, including 1) Do country commitments make a difference in progress toward financial inclusion? 2) To what extent do mobile and other digital technologies advance financial inclusion? and 3) What legal, policy, and regulatory approaches promote financial inclusion?
African countries are experiencing the issue in varying degrees. Education and infrastructure problems are often cited. However, members of Future Forward, a network of leading social entrepreneurs, youth-serving professionals, and youth changemakers across Africa, have pinpointed a key — and often ignored — challenge: young people in Africa lack the opportunity to become authentic leaders.In other words, young people don’t have many options when it comes to leadership opportunities, in part due to mindsets around the capabilities of youth.
Mobile phone ownership gives women the ability to open a mobile phone-based bank account, an important gateway to financial independence. A private account gives women in developing nations control over their money as well as the ability to put food on the family table. A mobile phone also gives women the ability to open a business in a remote village, without having to trek to a distant city to register that business. And, with a phone, women in developing countries can more easily schedule a clinic appointment or register their children for school.
The over-arching conference theme considers the space that microfinance could occupy, if it fully embraces new technology, and the detachment it will suffer if it does not. This conference will be a key platform to debate the trade-offs, make the case for digital innovations, and critically examine what aspects of traditional service delivery need to be preserved. Importantly, it will be done by putting the experience of real institutions under the microscope.
Where kids grow up affects lifelong prospects: adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter. The gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001 to 2014. The top 1 percent in income among American men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent; for women, the gap is 10 years. These rich Americans have gained three years of longevity just in this century. They live longer almost without regard to where they live. Poor Americans had very little gain as a whole, with big differences among different places.
A young person’s first job is a critical developmental step toward adulthood. A first job provides an opportunity for youth to engage with the financial system and also infuses earnings into the local economy. In cities across the nation, youth employment programs are the single most significant way that hundreds of thousands of teens are introduced to the working world each year. With municipal ingenuity as well as private sector and philanthropic support, some city leaders and partners have developed innovative, locally-financed summer employment programs in recent years. Related year-round programs complement summer efforts, typically for smaller numbers of youth.
“Youth are the strength of a nation.” Says Monalisa Mbise, participant in SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) program in Tanzania. When observing the power and potential of youth, it’s hard to face that worldwide 74 million young people are unemployed. In the countries where OYE operates, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Mozambique, unemployment rates for youth are 2 to 3 times higher than those for adults, with an even higher rate of unemployment among young women.
Did you know that whilst almost half of young people in sub-Saharan Africa say they save, 80% do not have a bank account? Young people aren’t a target of traditional savings groups either; a survey in 2013 found that of 103 organizations that promote savings groups in 43 countries, only 22% include youth or child-focused groups.
Did you know that whilst almost half of young people in sub-Saharan Africa say they save, 80% do not have a bank account? Young people aren’t joining traditional savings groups either; a survey in 2013 found that of 103 organisations that promote savings groups in 43 countries, only 22 per cent include youth or child-focused groups. Banking on Change, a partnership between Barclays, Plan International UK and CARE International UK, set out in 2013 to find out why don’t young people join savings groups, and is it worth investing in them?