CYFI's Managing Director, Wessel Van Kampen, and Regional Coordinator for Africa, Anne Reynaud, recently visited Madagascar to meet with various key national stakeholders in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo.
As part of this, CYFI facilitated a product development workshop, co-organized and co-hosted with our local partners the Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive.
More than 50 participants attended the Product Development Workshop, which focused on discussing the creation of a SchoolBank pilot and the adoption of the concept to align to the local circumstances. Participants shared their views and ideas on the best strategy to successfully implement a SchoolBank in Madagascar starting the new school year.
One of the goals of the workshop was to emphasize the importance of Financial Products adapted to Children and Youth. The workshop aimed at underlining the importance of having both Financial Education and Financial Inclusion. The workshop presentation pointed out the positive outcomes for a country population to have financial education and financial inclusion such as better academic achievement for example. The importance of a good consumer protection framework to develop financial inclusion and education was also stressed during the workshop presentation.
The workshop also highlighted the fact that the financial inclusion of children and youth represents a great opportunity for financial service providers. The goal of the workshop presentation was also to highlight that children and youth represent an opportunity for financial service because children are easy to reach and use low cost self-serve channels for example.
The main outcome of the workshop was the implementation of the SchoolBank program in Madagascar. SchoolBank aims to increase financial inclusion of children and young people through the school system. Through an innovative multi-stakeholder approach, the goal is to create systems change by providing children and youth with a Child & Youth Friendly bank account that they can use to save money, while at the same time imparting the appropriate education to teach them why and how to save and what their economic rights are.
The workshop in Madagascar brought together all national key stakeholders essential for a successful implementation of the SchoolBank program. All participants of the workshop expressed their willingness to collaborate to implement the program. All local financial service providers already have financial products adapted to children and youth. Next steps will build upon the various existing contacts between local banks and schools in the capital of Antananarivo, but will also expand to the more rural Southern part of the country.
The Coordination Nationale de la Finance Inclusive is also currently working on the draft of a National Strategy of Financial Inclusion with a strong emphasis on Children and Youth and are leading the organisation of GMW in Madagascar since 2016.