Policy Pledge for a Generation of Financially Capable Young People

Today is the last day of the 3rd Annual Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) Regional Meeting for Africa. Held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the meeting brought together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries. The main objective of the meeting is to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.

During a variety of workshops and plenary sessions it was concluded that a great deal of innovation and action is needed to create an economically active and responsible youth population by addressing the various barriers to youth financial inclusion in Africa. The development and prosperity throughout Africa must be framed around the large, and very dynamic, youth population. The growing youth population is a unique resource for several African countries; youth must be given the attention they deserve as they are essential for social and economic stability and growth.

Integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion

At the close of the meeting a policy paper pledging for an integrated African Policy for Child and Youth Financial Inclusion to be part of Agenda 2063 was announced. This policy paper details the recommendations needed for “a global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans” for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

African leaders must develop and pursue national financial programs and strategies for children and youth with the objectives of ensuring that every child and youth in Africa has access to safe financial services, quality Economic Citizenship Education, and the opportunity to attain a sustainable livelihood.

Providing young people with financial services, which include an educational component, enhances a young person’s ability to make their own economic decisions and escape the cycle of poverty. Such access to appropriate financial services allows young people in increase their awareness of their social and economic rights and their ability to build assets and invest in their own future.

CYFI 3rd Annual Regional Meeting for Africa Key Recommendations

Outlined below are the 4 main recommendations highlighted throughout the meeting. Please read the Recommendations and Action Points document for a full overview of the concrete and necessary action plans that African policymakers should lead and implement at national level while engaging the various stakeholders and practitioners, and, of course, children and youth.

By focusing on and taking the necessary steps to turn these recommendations into a reality, the region at large will benefit from such interventions, as a new generation of financially capable young people grows up to be responsible economic citizens.

Key Recommendations for every African State/Country

  1. To celebrate nationally and integrate Global Money Week in the public national activities’ calendar
  2. Global Money Week (GMW) is a worldwide celebration intended to empower the next generation of financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. During this week various worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn about how to save, gaining employment, and creating livelihoods.

    The participation of each African country brings the world one step closer to ensuring that every child will have access to financial services, basic financial awareness, a reliable source of income and the will to save. In order for children and youth to have a safe tomorrow, they should begin to save today.

  3. To integrate Economic Citizenship Education into the national curricula starting from primary school; and non-formal economic citizenship education should be provided for out-of-school children and youth
  4. In the CYFI Global Youth Survey, nearly 85% of respondents http://childfinanceinternational.org/resources/publications/2014-cyfi-global-youth-survey.pdf felt Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) should be learned in school. This profound percentage should be taken forward to ensure that ECE is taken on in national curricula, and is not left as a “family item”. Children and youth must be given a standard learning format to ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary ECE knowledge to make wise financial decisions and act as economic citizens.

    Furthermore, empowering all children and youth, both in and out-of-school, must also be a priority for national policymakers. According to UNESCO in 2010, sub-Saharan Africa was the second region counting the highest number of out-of-school lower secondary school children (22 million). Research has shown that depriving children of opportunities at a young age, such as education, have been associated with a well-catalogued variety of negative outcomes, including social and mental well-being. Financial inclusion towards social and individual empowerment, need to be inclusive and be devoted to all children and youth.

  5. To ensure that all children and youth, starting from primary school, have access to appropriate child and youth-friendly banking products and services such as savings accounts.
  6. Africa has the lowest saving-account penetration rate for youth in the world, equal to 12% http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-financial-inclusion.pdf. Cultural barriers, legal restrictions, inadequate child and youth friendly financial services, long distance to access points, low education, unemployment, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth are among the main challenges for youth being financially included in Africa. Legal and regulatory barriers create also significant obstacles for the youth to access to financial services suiting their needs. Such barriers impact the prosperity of policies and practices for the economic and financial empowerment of young Africans.

  7. To support young entrepreneurs in Africa by providing connections, education and access to financial resources for developing their enterprises.
  8. Various research and studies have shown that unemployed persons – particularly young persons – are unhappier, more likely to experience a range of health issues, and face difficulties in integrating back into the labor market place . While the youth unemployment rate in Africa hovers around 20%, data collected from the 2014 CYFI Global Youth Survey points out that Africa is undoubtedly the leading region for numbers of young entrepreneurs.

    The promotion of youth entrepreneurship simultaneously supports the creation of job opportunities, economic growth and development within local, regional and global communities.

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Ethiopian Airlines & African Union Commission Flying the CYF Movement Flag High!

African Union Commission (AUC) to Recommend Child and Youth Friendly Financial Policies

The 1st African Union Commission (AUC) Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from October 27 to November 1, 2014. Akwasi Osei, Child & Youth Finance International’s Regional Adviser for Africa spoke at a youth-focused breakout session where he presented a case for integrated African policy for financial education and financial inclusion for children and youth. a1sx2_AUC Delegates_Africa-Union.jpgThe AUC adopted a recommendation for member states to invest in financial education and inclusion for children and youth, which includes child and youth friendly financial product development.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) - Official Carrier for CYFI's 3rd Regional Meeting for Africa

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) is please to recognize Ethiopian Airlines (ET) as the Official Carrier for 3rd CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa, to be held at African Union Conference Center from December 04 - 05, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As part of this collaboration between CYFI and Ethiopian Airlines, ET is offering a 12% discount on Business class and 10% discount on Economy class fares for delegates traveling from its Africa and Europe online cities to Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines.

Delegates are invited to make travel arrangements to the event by contacting local Ethiopian Airlines sales office. To find out your nearest ET office, please email Ahmed Abdulhadi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your departure city.

Kindly take note of the following sales and travel conditions for the event:

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  • Delegates may purchase their flight ticket until Thursday, December 04, 2014.
  • Delegates are expected/ allowed to travel to Addis Ababa from Friday, November 21 up to December 05, 2014.
  • Delegates are allowed to return to their original destination or travel to their intended destination from Thursday, December 04 up to 18, 2014.
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Summary of the last day of the CYFI Regional Meeting at the ECB

The last day of the Second Annual CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia truly went in the sign of celebration and was closed with great excitement, as European Central Bank President Mr. Mario Draghi gave a closing speech about the importance of financial inclusion and education for the health of the society and the region and got awarded by the youth of the region as the ‘Financial Inclusion Champion’ in Europe and Central Asia.

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Mr. Draghi opened his speech by commending the youth representatives on their great efforts and stated the importance of child and youth financial education and inclusion saying:

” While education in general is critical for the health and wealth of society, so is financial education. In the modern world, wherever you live, it is essential to have the skills and knowledge to manage your money and to know at least something about how the economy works. If you have that knowledge, you are more likely to have your own bank account and can then make savings or even borrow money and set up a small business. You are connected to the world around you.”


The speech by Mr. Draghi followed the presentation by the youth representatives with proposals on how they think the ECB can help in fostering financial education and inclusion for children and youth. The youth also invited Mr. Draghi to take part of the celebrations of Global Money Week 2014. A smiling Mr. Draghi thanked the youth for the extent of invitation and said that he would be glad to try to join the celebrations.

The presentation of proposals hade been prepared by the 25 youth delegates form the 12 different countries during the course of the meeting, but represented the voices of 100 000 youth from all over the world, that had participated in giving input for the proposals presented via social media. The issues presented upon were Employment and Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education. The calls for action were clear:

  • Introduce tax reduction for young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the school curriculum.

  • Every child graduating from primary-school should have the right to have a bank account.

  • All school curriculum should include Economic Citizenship Education.


In response to these calls for action Mr. Draghi stated that youth are calling for action on the same points that Europe is calling for: transparency and access to financial services and bank accounts. He further stated his support of the issues that the youth addressed, and that he goal of the ECB; a truly European banking sector with a European banking union, could be a platform to implement youth financial inclusion.

We sincerely thank Mr. Draghi for his support and congratulate him on being awarded by the youth as ‘Financial Inclusion Champion’ in Europe and Central Asia.


Youth sessions

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© ECB/A. Böttcher   

Earlier on Tuesday European and Central Asian leaders cold also engage with the youth on their ideas for their future as financially included, educated and entrepreneurial citizens of their countries. The discussions on three core matters: financial inclusion, financial education and youth entrepreneurship.

“We believe in ourselves, we want you to believe in us too. We want to be financially empowered, so please listen to our suggestions.”

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Financial Education

They youth on the stage representing the young people of their countries told the audience that many of their peers still do not know that the subject of financial education exists, and that we need to change this.

“We need to know in order to be passionate, and we need to be passionate in order to be good at what we are doing.”

They also addressed that many children and youth have a lack of self-confidence and independent thinking, and that we need to empower them and build their confidence to make sure that they will believe in themselves and in their own decisions. One representative stated: “School have been made easy to go through without learning about real life skills”.

This was a point that they wanted to change. One suggestion to do this was to introduce internship to the school curriculum to make sure that the young people build their confidence and get to experience real life situations.

Another point that was made during the sessions was the fact that current financial education is focusing too much on macroeconomics, but is missing the private financial issues.

Entrepreneurship

An issue that was raised is that there is currently little access to information about entrepreneurship and how to become an entrepreneur. There is also insufficient access to start up funds. One possible solution for this that was suggested by the youngsters was to engage more crowd funding to raise funds for young entrepreneurs and their endeavors. Another call for action form the youth was that the subject of entrepreneurship needs to be introduced to the school curriculum. This subject should focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and connect traditional subjects like math to an entrepreneurship setting.

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Financial Inclusion

The third topic of financial inclusion, that the youth had named ‘Re-shaping for inclusion’ focused on how to make youth more financially included and what they found necessary in order to make this happen. They stated that increasing financial inclusion for children is essential for them to be empowered. A point that was made by the youth presenting was that if they are able to spend at a certain age – why not be able to save at the same age?


Financial inclusion and education: the last mile

Mr. Panagiotis Strouzas, Head of the Financial Services Policy Division at the Directorate General Financial Stability of the ECB chaired this session, which brought together several themes and discussions from the past two days, including key themes during the Youth/policy-maker dialogue during the morning. Mr. Stouzas started by emphasizing the seminal role of financial literacy and inclusion for children and youth towards financial stability.

Mr. Bram Stoffele, Partnership and Certification Manager at CYFI, and youth representatives Mr. Kirill Akhmetov and Mr. Bogdan Baciu reflected on the state of child and youth financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia. Observing that financial access levels differ greatly throughout the region and statistics for child and youth access are scarcely available, they argued that financial access needs to be complemented by independent financial capability training and quality standards for child and youth friendly banking products to ensure real financial inclusion.

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They finished by presenting preliminary results of a CYFI survey of banking products and educational programs for children and youth which seems to corroborate the view that most child and youth banking accounts currently don’t fulfill these requirements, and financial education programs offered currently by financial institutions often lack a holistic perspective or sufficient safeguards for independence.

Ms. Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Pfeg (UK), shared the success story of child and youth financial education in the UK. Through the concerted efforts of the Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg), schools and children, government, and the financial sector, financial education is now top on the political agenda. In February 2013 the government took the decision to integrate financial education in England’s national secondary education curriculum. Reflecting on next steps, Ms. Bleakley commented that ‘maybe we should get over ourselves’ and accept that children and youth already engage with the financial system in many ways (e.g. through prepaid mobile phones and internet transactions), and that their safe financial inclusion would be a logical step, provided parents can decide when their children can be given greater financial autonomy.

Mr. Hidde van der Veer, Aflatoun, concluded the session, emphasizing the importance of providing children and youth with a more holistic concept of economic citizenship education, moving beyond financial education only, including life skills and livelihoods education. 


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The final session of the day was devoted to Global Money Week, and how the countries of the region can join in on the celebrations of Global Money Week March 10-17 in 2014. The session started with an introduction by Mr. Dakic, Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro. Mr. Dakic shared with the delegates how the Central Bank of Montenegro had celebrated Global Money Week of 2013 with activities of the ministry of education and the central bank such as visits to the money museum and workshops for students. He ended the introduction by stating:

“It is obvious that a lot of work is ahead of us, and there are still some steps to be taken to ensure financial inclusion – Global Money Week is one way of doing this. I strongly believe in its success.”

Luís Vas, Head of Financial Literacy Unit at the Bank of Portugal presented on the rationale for promoting both financial education and inclusion, and the importance of events such as Global Money Week in order to do this. He pointed out that Global Money Week and similar events is key for Bank of Portugal to help promote the importance of financial education and inclusion. Mr. Vas also shared what the Bank of Portugal had learned from arranging Global Money Week and similar events. 

Philippe Racine, Founder and CSO, Ekomini Inc., was the second panelist to present, and addressed how technology can be used to engage children and youth to learn about money matters. 

The Republic of Macedonia was the winner of the Global Money Week award for Europe and Central Asia of 2013. Ms. Kristina Nikolovska, Assistant to the Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, shared the story of how they celebrated Global Money Week, which went under the slogan “Learning By Playing”. She expressed why it is important for countries to engage in Global Money Week by pointing out that it is a way to rise the level of financial literacy among youth, while at the same time rise awareness of the importance of being financially literate and included. She further stated that Macedonia are committed to take part of Global Money Week 2014 and make it even bigger than 2013.

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© ECB/A. Böttcher   

During the last part of the session three youth representatives presented the ideas that they had come up with together with the other youth at the meeting for how they wanted to celebrate Global Money Week 2014. The ideas presented included involving universities all over the world in TEDx Talks, involve social media channels, having a school week dedicated all the subject to finance and money matters, entrepreneurial contests and challenges as well as a Global Money Week song and having children teach their parents about financial inclusion and education.

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Daily Digest of the CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia at the ECB

Daily Digest of the CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia at the ECB

 

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Daily Digest: Day one from the CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia

 


The first day of the Second CYFI Annual Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia started off with a bang on Monday morning! We are very excited to share the day with you! With this Daily Digest of the meeting we would like to share the day in short with the rest of the Movement.


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Follow the Meeting on Social Media! The designated hashtag for the event is #CYFIEurope. 
 


Tuesday 2.30 p.m.
Join in for the live streaming of the closing speech
by ECB President Mr. Draghi 
here 

 


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Welcome Speech
European Central Bank (ECB) Vice-President Vítor Constâncio who opened the meeting with a welcome speech. In his speech Mr. Constâncio acknowledged the ECB’s role in ensuring financial inclusion to the European youth, and the ECB commitment to the issue:

“The European Central Bank plays a direct role in achieving the objectives of financial inclusion.” - Mr. Constâncio, Vice-President, ECB

Mr. Constâncio emphasized the long-term benefits for both youth and their communities to understand financial literacy & inclusion, as he argued that it will not only affect the lives of youth themselves, but also the financial stability and economic growth. At the same time he also addressed the challenges that are still to be overcome for youth financial inclusion. He also pointed out the opportunity to listen to the opinions of the 25 youth participants on the meeting. “It is rare for us to hear the opinion of youth, and I think we should listen carefully”. He continued saying: “Our children have enormous potential, we need to help them fulfill it”.
 


Inaugural Session
At the Inaugural Session the governor from the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bogov and the governor of Bank of Albania, Ardian Fullani, as well as UNICEF Director for Europe and Central Asia, Philippe Cori and the chairman of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, Mr. Vahdettin Ertaş, took the stage together with CYFI founder and managing director Jeroo Billimoria. 

One of the great surprises of the morning was the announcement that the Republic of Macedonia will be hosting the next CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia in 2014. 

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The session also focused on sharing all the great commitments and initiatives that have been made by Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. Mr. Ertaş, further stressed the importance of financial inclusion for Turkey, as well as four Europe and Central Asia as a region.

In addition to explaining the commitment to financial literacy and inclusion by the Bank of Albania, Mr. Fullani, shared his personal experiences with children and youth in Albania and how they have inspired the continuous engagement for such initiatives.

Mr. Cori from UNICEF further pointed out the UNICEF commitment to ‘social cohesion’ and the great importance of financial inclusion, connected to social inclusion, to make sure that children and youth grow up to be empowered adults. During his speech he proclaimed:

We need to invest in our youth today!” - Mr. Cori, UNICEF

He pointed out that we need to start considering youth stakeholders of our society. He also stated that children are drivers of change of our society, and the inclusion and empowerment of youth is, and will continue to be, a key priority of UNICEF and the UN.
 


Celebrating the Movement
The second session, ‘Celebrating the Movement’, was moderated by Mr. Koen Vermeltfoort, Partner at McKinsey & Company. During the session another great announcement was made. Mr. Joseph Falzon, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy who was representing the Ministry of Education from Malta, proclaimed the commitment of the Ministry of Education of Malta to fully support and collaborate with CYFI with promoting and implementing financial education.

He further addressed financial inclusion as a mean to make sure that all children and youth grow up with equal access to the tools to lead happy and successful lives, independent of their background or circumstances. Representing the Ministry of Education from Malta, Joseph Falzon, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy stated: “Inclusion means that we positively help all disadvantaged children and young people to be able to start the marathon of life at the same starting line.”

During the session Mr. Marin Molosag, First Deputy Governor, National Bank of Moldova stated his support of the Movement and of its goals. He ellaborated, stating that financial literacy is a form of wider self interest, promoting financial literacy is a public good. 

The returning topic of the day was the still present financial crisis and its effects on the European countries. But it was also raised as an important influence on the progress we now see for financial inclusion and financial education initiatives all over the region. Eva Zamrazilová, Board Member of the Czech National Bank described how the current financial crisis has brought about a mind shift regarding the importance of financial literacy and inclusion: “Before the crisis, many people considered financial literacy to be a topic of marginal importance. The crisis has changed many things, one of them being attitudes to financial literacy.”

Mr. Kornél Kisgergely, Deputy State Secretary for Financial Policy Affairs from the Ministry for National Economy in Hungary also referred to the financial crisis, and its affect on the Hungarian community. Referring to a quote from a professor in finance he also raised the need for financial literacy in order to make sound financial decisions: “If somebody tells you can make a fortune in financial markets without taking excessive risk – he is a fool, or he thinks that you are a fool.”

 


Creating an integrated policy for youth economic citizenship in Europe and Central Asia
The third session of the day was on how to create an integrated approach for youth economic citizenship. Moderated by Chris Sier, Director at Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network, the session became a dynamic and interactive part of the morning where many of the delegates gave their views on financial education, inclusion and the complexity of integrating initiatives to policy.

Panelists were Ms. Catherine Fagan, Chair of the International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education at the University of Glasgow and Mr. Anatoly G. Gavrilenko, Chairman of Expert Group on Financial Education from the Russian Federation.

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Ms. Fagan opened the session by stating the importance of getting together and meeting face to face to connect, share and inspire each other to keep promoting further initiatives for financial inclusion and education. Mr. Gavrilenko shared the initiatives being made by the Russian Federation, and the increased awareness of the importance of such initiatives.

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As the delegates were able to pose their questions to the others in the room, a question regarding financial literacy to prevent the next financial crisis came up. This started a long discussion regarding the importance to not consider isolated parts as the single solution to a complex problem, such as the financial crisis. Even though many agreed on the importance of financial literacy to prevent irresponsible financial behavior, it became clear that education alone will not be the answer. Instead it need to be a integrated solution that not only make sure that youth grow up being financially literate but also have the values and understanding of their role in their community.


 


Workshops
During the remaining part of the day delegates were involved in Workshops moderated by McKinsey & Company. The workshops presented the delegates with the opportunity to actively engage in discussion and come up with questions on the topic at hand. The details of the topics and panelists of the workshops are presented below.


Integrating economic citizenship education into the school curriculum
Miroslava Salavcová, Head of Department of Pre-school, Basic and Basic Art Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic
Michaela Dlouhá, Head of the Financial Literacy Working Group, Ministry of Finance, Czech Republic Pranvera Kamani, Head of Sector for Curriculum and Textbooks, Ministry of Education, Albania
Besa Prela, Head of Communications, Bank of Albania

Enhancing financial capability: the value of combining financial education and financial inclusion
Michael Chapman, Senior Policy Expert on Consumer Protection, OECD
Mark Fiander, Strategy and Innovation Director, Money Advice Service, United Kingdom
Anna Zanghi, Head of Global Innovation and Product Development for Youth, Mastercard

Financial inclusion policies and regulation for young people: gaps and recommendations in the EU context
Maciej Berestecki, Policy Officer, European Commission Jürgen Klute, Member of European Parliament Sébastien de Brouwer, Executive Director, European Banking Federation
Armenuhi Mkrtchyan, Head of Consumer Protection and Market Conduct Division, Central Bank of Armenia

Teacher training capacity-building
Angela Cara, Coordinator, National Institute for Educational Sciences, Moldova
Vanessa Nowak, Teacher Training Expert, My Finance Coach

Innovative outreach models for economic citizenship education through formal and non-formal education Mustafa Özer, Financial Education Program Manager, Youth for Habitat, Turkey
Ligia Golosoiu, Counsellor, National Bank of Romania

Policies encouraging youth entrepreneurship: how to develop a greater entrepreneurial culture among young people in Europe
Darja Saar, Chief Executive Officer, Entrum Foundation, CENTRES, Estonia

 



The day ended with a dinner for all the participants, hosted by Ignazio Angeloni, Director General of the European Central Bank. Mr. Angeloni gave a warm welcoming speech were he spoke about ECB’s ambition to fight unfulfilled opportunities and talents of today’s youth through financial education.

The last day of the meeting, on Tuesday November 5th will focus on voicing the opinions and suggestions the 25 youth participants have been working on during Monday, celebrating Global Money Week, as well as have the honor of a closing speech from Mario Draghi, ECB President. 


Join us for the live streaming of the closing speech
by Mr. Mario Draghi, President ECB

 

 
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The European Case: Financial Inclusion & The Prevention of the Next Financial Crisis

The European Case: Financial Inclusion & The Prevention of the Next Financial Crisis

Just a few days ago we celebrated the World Savings Day. But there are still many people who are excluded from the formal financial services and bank accounts. According to a newly made study by MasterCard, the population of unbanked and underbanked totals 93 million people in Western Europe alone.

Other studies has shown that only 31.9% of youth in Europe between the ages of 15 – 25 hold an account at formal financial institutions. This means that almost two thirds of Europe’s youth are currently left out of the formal financial institution market.

As the financial services offered become increasingly complex, there is an even greater need to make sure that the people who will grow up to make the financial decisions, are educated and experienced enough to do so.

Coming up next week, 4-5 November, is the Second CYFI Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia. The meeting will take place at the European Central Bank and is a great opportunity to inspire and inform others of the great social and financial winnings attached to making sure that our next generation of adults are financially included and educated.

The recent financial crisis has shown us that the decisions made by the adults of today will affect the financial landscape of the future. It is our responsibility to make sure that our children, who will be the adults of tomorrow, are well prepared and educated to make sustainable and favorable decisions for themselves and their countries.

But how do we prepare them to make the ‘right’ decisions?

The Child and Youth Finance Movement promote two things to make this happen: education and inclusion. We need to make sure that young people have sufficient and proper education on financial matters. But the Child and Youth Finance Movement also believe that we need to make sure that the education is connected to inclusion, to create good habits at an early stage.

So what does it really mean, Financial Inclusion? It is about being included, not excluded. Being empowered. Having access. We need to make sure that our children and teens are a part of the financial services and system that will be the venue for some of the most important financial and life decisions they will ever make. We need to make sure that the habit of saving instead of lending, earning interest on savings instead of keeping your money at home, are things that will affect their lives and those of others in many ways.

This has been, and continues to be, one of our greatest challenges. Giving all children access to a bank savings account and safe financial services should be part of the fabric of our financial systems. Financial institutions should recognize this is their role in the financial system, their corporate social responsibility, and simply the right thing to do. Facing the issues of financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia constitutes a challenge in itself.

Since the European and Central Asian region consists of such a diverse group of countries, there are specific challenges and opportunities within each country that needs to be approached in the local context. There is no ‘fix all’ solution that can be applied to all the countries of the region. Instead there is a need to move together as one, but keep the solutions and efforts on a local level to meet the local needs.

And this is what the Child & Youth Finance Movement is trying to do. Since we launched our Global Movement in 2012, we have already spread to 100 countries and reach 18 million children with financial inclusion and education. This great progress has been made possible through aligning the efforts of countries and organizations to work together toward the same goal: increase the economic citizenship and financial inclusion of children and youth all over the world.

The Child Finance Movement builds on the notion that by aligning and supporting the efforts being made by isolated actors we can achieve great change in a short amount of time.

One part of aligning these efforts is through our Regional Meetings were we bring together policymakers and leaders of the region with young people to discuss and take action for the future generation of their countries. With the current situation and all time high statistics in the European and Central Asian region, it seems as though this year’s meeting is as relevant as ever.

There is a need for nations to join together to build change within their local context, but also cross borders. In order to change the future of our youth we need to start working together. We need to start learning from each other, as well as support and inspire others to make changes that go beyond the actions themselves.

Like the rings that spread over the water, we can make great things happen if we only drop a stone big enough. It is our goal to make sure that every child and youngster in Europe and Central Asia are included, a part of, their own financial landscape and are educated to be so. Are your ready to help us pick up the stone and spread the rings?

 

Follow the Meeting via #CYFIEurope, and tune in for the live streamed closing speech by Mr. Mario Draghi, European Central Bank President.

 

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Countdown to the upcoming CYFI Meeting at the ECB

Countdown to the upcoming CYFI Meeting at the ECB

 

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The countdown for the CYFI Second Annual Regional Meeting for Europe & Central Asia has started!

 


Follow the Meeting on Social Media! The designated hashtag for the event is #CYFIEurope. 

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Have you signed up for the meeting? Registration is still possible here 


The countdown has started for the Second Child and Youth Finance International Regional Meeting for Europe and Central Asia! 

This year we have the privilege to co-host the Meeting with the European Central Bank in Frankfurt am Main, Germany 4 -5 November. The meeting is shaping up to be a game changer for children and young people in Europe. 

Meeting Delegates
The meeting, featuring closing remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and inaugurated by Vice President of the European Central Bank, Vítor Constâncio, will bring together leading experts, practitioners and innovators from within the region engaged in issues of increased child and youth financial inclusion, economic citizenship education and youth entrepreneurship.

We are honored to announce the following confirmed speakers at the meeting:

Ardian Fullani - Governor, Bank of Albania 
Dimitar Bogov - Governor, Central Bank of Macedonia 
Eva Zamrazilova - Board member, Czech National Bank 
Evarist Bartolo- Minister of Education, Malta
Ignazio Angeloni- Director General of Financial Stability, European Central Bank
Jorgovanka Tabaković- Governor, National Bank of Serbia
Marin Molosag - First Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Moldova
Philippe Cori- ECA Director, UNICEF
Vahdettin Ertas - Chairman, Capital Market Boards of Turkey


Additionally, 30 youth participants representing the opinions of 1500 youth throughout Europe will present action points on how they want to Reshape their own and Europe’s Financial Future.
 



Subjects that will be addressed during the Meeting include

  • Celebration of the Child and Youth Finance Movement;
  • Creating an integrated policy for Youth Economic Citizenship in Europe and Central Asia;
  • Financial Inclusion;
  • Global Money Week 2014;
  • Dialogue between youth, policy makers and practitioners

There will also be several workshops on Financial inclusion policies and regulations, Integration of Economic Citizenship Education in school curriculum, Innovative Financial Education outreach models, as well as Policies Encouraging Youth Entrepreneurship.

The full Meeting Agenda can be found here

 

Have you signed up for the meeting?
Registration is still possible 
here 

 

 
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Financial Football Brought Policymakers and Youth together in Bogotá

Financial Football Brought Policymakers and Youth together in Bogotá

BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIAFinancial Football was one of the items on the agenda as the first day of the Fourth Latin American Congress of Financial Education by FELABAN /Second CYFI Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean took off. Leaders and policymakers from a variety of sectors got together to share innovations, ideas and collaborate on financial education and inclusion for children and youth. Some of the topics discussed where how to promote responsible consumption and sustainability for the next generation.

It was with an electric atmosphere that the first day of the Fourth Latin American Congress of Financial Education by FELABAN and Second CYFI Regional Meeting for the Americas and the Caribbean came to an end. Participants from a wide arrange of sectors in the region, such as financial institutions, Ministries of Finance and Education, NGO’s, foundations as well as leading researchers got together in Bogotá, Colombia. Topics discussed during the day included Responsible Consumption and Sustainability, Behavioral Economics, the Landscape of Financial Education and the role Mass Media can play in this as well as experiences on Financial Education. The participants had gathered to network, collaborate and share innovations and opinions on the topics of financial education.

One of the most memorable sessions of the first day was the “Financial Football”; a game of questions between two countries, played in the atmosphere of a football game. Two teams squared off: Columbia (the host country) and Chile (who not coincidentally will be facing off again Columbia today for a World Cup qualifying match). After a succession of questions; “What is the role of the World Bank?” and “What is the difference between fixed and variable interest rates?” Chile was poised for a shot. After a quick response Chile’s shot was on target but a correct response to another difficult question about derivatives by the Columbian Goalkeeper kept the ball out of the net.

The Columbians started the second half with the ball and, after a series of correct answers were in the Chilean box. An excellent shot based on currency fluctuations was on goal, and while the shot appeared to be blocked by the Chilean goalkeeper, a controversial goal was nonetheless awarded. The game ended with a 1-0 Columbia win. There was much good natured taunting and ribbing by the winning team and the teams left to Plenary room together in smiles. It was a fantastic match.

The meeting serves as a true milestone for youth financial inclusion and economic citizenship in the region of the Americas and Caribbean.  With the collaboration between FELABAN, ASOBANCARIA and CYFI, this unique meeting is 2013’s biggest event dedicated to youth financial education in the region. The meeting gives children and youth the opportunity to express their own opinions and needs to the attending high level policy makers and leaders.  

About the FELABAN Latin American Congress on Financial Education

The Latin American Congress of Financial Education is an initiative of the Latin American Banking Federation (FELABAN), which in 2013 has the support of the Association of Banks of Colombia (ASOBANCARIA). In 2013 FELABAN, ASOBANCARIA and Child and Youth Finance International decided to join efforts to host a joint event which represents the largest regional gathering of its kind. The objective of the CLEF 2013 is to allow stakeholders to share knowledge on public-and private partnerships and multilateral organizations approach financial education and the challenges posed by technological innovations in financial products and services to deepen financial penetration and reduce informality. 

 

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Youth Spoke to Leaders and Policymakers during last day of CYFI Africa Meeting

Youth Spoke to Leaders and Policymakers during last day of CYFI Africa Meeting

The last day of the CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa started off with celebratory spirit as Global Money Week, and how to celebrate it was presented. Global Money Week is a global event of national initiatives coordinated by CYFI focused on engaging children in learning how money works, how to save, creating a livelihood, gaining employment, and becoming an entrepreneur. CYFI shared a toolkit for supporting national stakeholders that outlines the details of joining, designing and organizing initiatives for the upcoming Global Money Week celebrations in March 2014. The session was followed by workshops on the topics of Economic Citizenship Education, Sustainable Livelihoods and Youth Employment as well as Financial and Educational Services. 

A very inspiring and rewarding session of the day was the Child, Youth & Adult Policy Dialogue. The session focused on voicing the opinions of the youth participants from the region and gave the present leaders and policymakers first hand feedback on what the youth of the region really want and need with regards to child and youth finance.  The youth participants stepped up on stage in front of the African leaders and policymakers attending the meeting to present their own recommendations that they had during the course of the meeting in reference to three topics; the importance of encouraging savings habits, supporting youth entrepreneurship and the need for career guidance.

The first topic addressed was the importance and need for children and youth to have access to savings accounts and develop responsible money management skills. Their recommendations included the integration of economic citizenship education in the school curriculum, to help children and youth learn about how to manage money as well as the need for specially developed child and youth friendly savings products. For sparking and supporting the African youth entrepreneurial spirit, the second topic of the session, they suggested dedicating funds for financing youth enterprises, introducing and reviewing employment policies for youth on a national level, as well as developing youth-enterprise competitions at schools. Lastly, the need for career guidance was addressed. The youth participants asked for schools to develop career guidance’s programs for advising youth in shaping their career path as well as organization of career days, involving universities and labor associations. 

The meeting was concluded with a closing ceremony. The chair of the ceremony was Dr. E.D. Wala Chabala, CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Mr. Daniele Scauso spoke on behalf of CYFI, stressing the hope that CYFI will be able to call stakeholders from Africa to develop collaboration and actions towards Economic Citizenship Education and Financial Inclusion for the children and youth of Africa. On behalf of the Zambian Minister of Education, Mrs. Christine Mayondi, Deputy Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Education rounded off the two-day meeting by ensuring Zambia’s steps in building a population of capable economic citizens, which includes developing a national strategy that includes Economic Citizenship Education in school curriculums.

 

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Summary of Day 1 of CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa

Summary of Day 1 of CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa

 

The first day of the Child and Youth Finance International Regional Meeting for Africa was concluded late yesterday. 150 participants from 14 countries are gathered in Livingstone, Zambia to share practices and opinions and strengthen alliances for Child and Youth finance initiatives in the region. The meeting focuses on bringing together African leaders and policymakers with youth participants to develop national and regional agendas and strategies for Child and Youth Finance issues, and how to bring the Child and Youth Finance Movement further to the goal of reaching 100 million children in 100 countries  with Economic Citizenship Education and access to safe financial services.

During the welcoming speech Dr. Michael Gondwe, Governor of Bank of Zambia stated that hosting this regional meeting is a sign of Zambia committing to placing child and youth finance at the center stage of its development agenda. Further, he said as half of the population of Zambia is below 15, it is a very important issue to be focusing on. The Zambian Minister of Finance, Mr. Alexander Chikwanda further stressed the importance of a Child and Youth Finance focus for Zambia and the region:

Youth are our most important resource. They are the leaders of today and they are our future. Therefore Child and Youth Finance education is essential for every Zambian youth – Mr. Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, Zambia

After the welcome speech the 'Access Africa' session was held, led by Mr. Chibamba Kanyama, Director General of the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation. The session focused on ways on how regional bodies and governments can take the lead on Economic Citizenship Education and Financial Inclusion for children and youth.

Later during the day Mr. Reinier van der Lely, consultant at McKinsey & Company and Mr. Daniele Scauso, Regional Platforms Manager at Child & Youth Finance International launched the newly-developed Child and Youth Finance National Implementation plan. The Child and Youth Finance National Implementation plan provides a framework to implement a national platform and action plans for undertaking Child and Youth Finance activities at country level.

An important aspect during the whole meeting was the youth representatives that were taking part during the sessions, giving their own thoughts on Child and Youth Finance to the leaders and policymakers at the meeting. One of the youth representatives voiced his opinion on the importance of financial education and inclusion:

If we do not learn about money and what choices to make, then how can we learn to manage our future? – Youth Participant

The day ended with workshops that engaged the participants of the meeting to share their thoughts and practices on the topics of ´Establishing the National Platform and Roadmap for Implementation´, ´Developing Children and Youth Friendly Banking Products and Services´, as well as ´Monitoring and Evaluating Design for Children and Youth Finance Initiatives´. During the workshops participants were able to share innovation and thought leadership from across various sectors and countries, as well as establish new collaborations.

As the first day of the meeting was concluded and the participants headed out for a sightseeing of the nearby Victoria Falls, the preparations for the second and last day were made. The last day of the meeting is held today September 20, and will focus on the celebration of Global Money Week, workshops and a session dedicated for youth participants to voice their opinions on Economic Citizenship and Financial Issue to the leaders and policymakers. The meeting will be completed by a closing ceremony.

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Press Release: CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa

Press Release:  CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa

18 September 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AFRICAN LEADERS, POLICYMAKERS AND YOUTH ASSEMBLE, TO ‘RESHAPE THE FUTURE OF FINANCE’ IN LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA ON SEPTEMBER 19-20 AT THE SECOND CHILD AND YOUTH FINANCE INTERNATIONAL REGIONAL MEETING FOR AFRICA

LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA - On 19-20 September the Second Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa will be held in Livingstone, Zambia. The meeting will gather some of Africa’s top leaders and policymakers in financial inclusion and economic citizenship education as well as youth representatives. The leaders are expected to address cutting-edge and high-impact financial inclusion and economic citizenship education strategies and initiatives as well as to get insights from young people from across the region, under the theme of the meeting: “Reshaping the Future of Finance”.

Children and youth in sub-Saharan Africa make up 47.30% of its population. However, only 16.8% of those between ages 15-25 hold accounts at formal financial institutions. Similarly, many children in the region lack access to financial education creating cyclical patterns of uninformed financial practices.
The Second Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa will bring together some of Africa’s finest leaders of government institutions, international and regional bodies, academia and research, the IT sector, civil society, and non-governmental organizations to show their support for financial inclusion and economic citizenship education, and help the Child and Youth Finance movement’s progress. The meeting will have 165 participants from 22 countries. It is organized by Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) and the Bank of Zambia, in collaboration with Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) and CareersExpo Zambia.

The theme of the meeting is ‘Reshaping the Future of Finance’. In addition to the distinguished keynote speakers, action-oriented workshops and plenary sessions that will take place, a unique feature of the meeting will be the active participation of children and youth. Young people from across the continent will come to share their views on Child and Youth Finance issues and engage with delegates in panel sessions.

The event hashtag for the Second Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa is #CYFIZambia .

Previous CYFI Regional Meetings in Africa

The First Annual CYFI Regional Meeting for Africa took place in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2012. It was held under the distinguished patronage of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and jointly organized by the CYFI Secretariat, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Nigeria. Participants from 19 African countries participated in this groundbreaking event.

About the Child and Youth Finance Movement

CYFI is a non-profit organization established in July 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It launched the global movement in April 2012. CYFI focuses on increasing financial inclusion and financial education for children and youth, so that every child can graduate from primary school with financial education and a savings account which they can own and operate. Its target is to reach 100 million children in 100 countries by 2015.


More information about CYFI is available via  www.childfinanceinternational.org


Media contact information
For more information contact:
Robin Willing
Director of Communications
Child & Youth Finance International
+ 31 20 520 3900
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also visit the CYFI social media channels and the dedicated CYFI Africa Regional Meeting website for the latest updates and information.


Facebook                  http://www.facebook.com/childfinance
Twitter                     http://www.twitter.com/childfinance
Africa CYFI website     http://africa.childfinanceinternational.org

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The Voice of Youth: Callista learning about financial products

Callista Sandi ,Indonesia – Sharing her experience during CYFI`s regional meeting in Manila, Philippines.

This regional meeting was set in Manila, Philippines Central Bank during the 4th of December 2012. My experience during the regional meeting was amazing, fun, and interesting. It was very understandable too because as a youth in my age, it would be hard to understand these topics that the adults were talking about. But I really enjoyed listening to the speakers because they were interesting and kept us on track. The environment was nice and comfortable, it was very much enjoyable. I got to meet the Government of the Central Bank, Mr. Amando M.Tetangco, Jr. There were also lots of representatives from their country. This meeting marked the importance of Child and Youth Finance issues around the Asia-Pacific region...

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