School Bank Egypt Pilot Project News update

On 10 January 2017 the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) ​conducted the first savings collection process for students participating in a pilot School Bank project in Egypt, held in partnership with Banque Misr and Modern Education Schools.

The bank set up its branch inside the school, which includes a representative from the bank branch and a service counter. Following financial education sessions the students were able to deliver their saved amounts to be deposited in their School Bank Banking Product. The simulation introduced students to the experience of visiting a bank and conducting a transaction using their cards. This enriched the children's learning experience and further cemented the importance of managing their finances as well as encouraging them to save. Financial literacy is a key part of the child-friendly product provided by Banque Misr, which is supported by incentives for students and close monitoring by the school's administration.

The pilot School Bank project in Egypt, is the first of its kind in the MENA region, launched in December 2016. This project is a part of the EBI's efforts in enhancing financial literacy through quality financial education among the children and young people in Egypt. Through its "Shaping the Future" initiative, EBI is committed to working with the financial sector in Egypt in building sustainable public private partnerships in order to alleviate financial illiteracy and contribute towards building well educated young economic citizens. The SchoolBank project is a pioneering model that allows implementing bodies to combine financial education and financial inclusion through practical and participatory methods.

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Exploring New Frontiers in Youth Microfinance

CYFI had the pleasure of hosting the panel at the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi on Reshaping the Future of Youth Finance and Economic Citizenship. The panel was held during Global Money Week (GMW) 2016 with CYFI and the Microcredit Summit Campaign forming a strategic media partnership to promote both the Summit and GMW during the week of March 14-18th.

The panel consisted of Ms. Essma ben Hamida, Executive Director of Enda-Inter Arabe in Tunisia, Mr. Tim Nourse, President of Making Cents International and Dr. Khaled Algazawi, CEO of Ebdaa Microfinance Bank in Bahrain. Given the location of the Summit, and the background of the majority of the panelists and participants, the session focused on new frontiers in youth microfinance within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The panelists shared many of challenges they face in scaling their operations and reaching youth with a wider range of financial and non-financial services such as financial education, business management and career counselling. They also hi-lighted a need to more effectively serve young people aged 15-25, as this is recognized as a critical age cohort for economic and social stability in the region. Stories were shared of the countless unemployed and under employed MENA youth idling away their time in cafes, susceptible to the allure of criminal activity or risky migration channels to Europe.

Youth at the Center of Microfinance Innovation

In an effort to make a greater difference in the lives of youth, and to encourage them to seek sustainable livelihoods as engaged economic citizens, microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the region are taking more innovative approaches in reaching out to young clients. Harnessing technological advancements in mobile banking and e-learning was one way to bring financial and non-financial services into the hands of youth through a favourable digital medium. Forming creative partnerships with education providers and civil society organizations also helped MFIs offer integrated financial and educational services that were more relevant and tailored to the needs of their youth clientele. It also allowed them to more easily reach younger, poorer and more isolated segments of the youth population.

The panel also highlighted the important role of religious leaders and civil society organizations in collaborating with MFIs in building economic citizenship amongst young people by instilling a greater belief in themselves and identifying positive ways in which they can support themselves and make a difference in their community. Through the accumulation of financial and social assets, and with the development of essential financial and entrepreneurial skills, young people can take greater control of their futures and contribute more effectively to their families and to society at large. MFIs play an important role in this process, especially in a region affected by poverty, unemployment, conflict and insurgency.

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The 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi - leading discussions on financial services for youth

Over the past 30 years, microfinance has emerged as an important tool to economically empower low income families, allowing household members, especially women, to access necessary financial resources to develop and sustain various enterprise ventures.

Recently, increasing importance has been given by the microfinance industry, and the international donor community, on the provision of Child and Youth Friendly banking products linked with holistic educational services. CYFI has been at the forefront of this global Movement to advance integrated financial and educational services for young people, and sees microfinance institutions as integral to this effort.

The upcoming Microcredit Summit, being held March 15-17th in Abu Dhabi, is a leading forum for microfinance industry leaders to come together to review progress being made against the primary goals of the Microcredit Summit Campaign (MCS). CYFI is a member of the Leadership Council of the MCS and has joined forces with the Campaign to draw further attention to Child and Youth Friendly principles and practices in the design and delivery of youth financial services.

CYFI will be moderating a panel at the upcoming Summit on new frontiers in youth finance and will also lead a speaker’s corner to allow microfinance practitioners to share their commitments and ideas on their future service towards youth clients. This will be held within the frame of CYFI’s Global Money Week, allowing institutions to share the exciting programs they are running with integrated financial and educational services for youth and to demonstrate their commitment to expanding youth financial inclusion. CYFI is honoured to be a part of this illustrious event, which will feature Nobel laureate (and newly named UN SDG Advocate) Muhammad Yunus, Queen Sofia or Spain, Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia and H.E. Hussain J. Al Nowais, chairman of the Khalifa Fund.

CYFI encourages microfinance practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to register for this exciting event and consider applying for one of the Scholarships offered by MCS to bring microfinance representatives to the Summit.

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Advancing Young People’s Financial Empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa

The 3rd Annual Conference of The Arab Banking Training Network was hosted by the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies and the Egyptian Banking Institute at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. on January 28th, 2015. The meeting brought together central banks and banking institutes representatives from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


During the conference, the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) presented their innovative financial education initiatives and their plans for their participation in Global Money Week 2015.

Along with EBI and Bank Al Maghrib CYFI’s Financial Inclusion Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., represented the Child & Youth Finance Movement, highlighting the importance of young people being financially included and receiving financial education if they are to develop into empowered economic citizens.

The participants in the conference including Egyptian Banking Institute, Al Maghrib, Saudi Arabia’s Banking Institute, the Palestinian Banking Institute, and Oman’s College of Banking and Financial Studies expressed their interest in advancing initiatives on financial literacy for children and youth in their countries.

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