CARE Kenya is collaboration with Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) organized a breakfast meeting around the issue of access of young Kenyans to independent bank accounts before the age of 18. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss the barriers, challenges, regulatory framework and recommendations that should be addressed to facilitate the development of adolescent friendly accounts by financial service providers in Kenya, and form a core group of stakeholders that will continue working on this issue.
CARE Kenya particularly advocates for more independency in opening and operating the bank accounts for adolescents between 15 and 18 years old. This particular age group was chosen due to the fact that Article 56 (2) of Kenya's Employment Act allows employment of children from the ages of 13-16 years for light work, and define those of 16-18 as employable. So while adolescents can be engaged in various forms of income generating activities, their possibility of owning an independent bank account is still quite limited according to the national regulation.
The forum brought together over 40 representatives of civil society, government, humanitarian agencies, financial service providers and umbrella organizations to discuss the issue. Representatives from CARE Kenya, CYFI, UNHCR, Child Savings Kenya and Postbank Kenya presented their findings and evidence about the importance of youth financial inclusion and access to formal savings, and participated in an interactive panel. The forum outlined several challenges and many opportunities in the area, and CARE Kenya will lead the follow up to continue consulting and engaging various stakeholders and policy makers on the topic.You can keep updated about the initiative by following the hashtag #TeenAccountKenya2017.