200 million people in Africa are between 15 and 24 years, with the number expected to double by 2045 according to the 2012 Africa Economic Outlook report. Therefore, an initiative like the Global Money Week, that aims to raise awareness about the need for financial inclusion and education for the youth, should be of concern to all Africans independent of their age.
Drawing importance on the need for the youth to plan for their finances, the Global Money week (March 12-18, 2018) is celebrated in 137 countries, reaching up to 7.8 million people and involving 23,738 organizations, including the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) as which has been an champion of the initiative.
A brainchild of Child and Youth Finance International, the event has humble begins, first celebrated in 2011 as Child Finance Day and Week in 21 countries but later renamed to the current Global Money Week active in 137 countries.
The 2018 theme is ‘Money Matters Matter’, focusing on the existing inequality gap between the youth and the older generation. Financial education and skills enrichment plays a big role in bridging this gap, hence money matters matter.
The organizations supporting this initiative help expose children to the world of finance through numerous activities; for instance, New York-based NASDAQ (the second largest stock exchange in the world) has twice invited Child and Youth Finance International to ring the NASDAQ opening bell (a significant ceremony reaching millions of worldwide viewers meant to provide awareness for companies).
In Kenya, during the 2017 edition, CBK hosted students at the CBK Money Museum to learn about Kenya’s money history, in addition to an art competition for university students. The Nairobi Securities Exchange also hosted students to expose them to capital markets, investing even at a young age.
The Global Money Week has been impactful throughout its seven years of existence; however, for the effects to trickle deeper, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as individuals, should take a personal responsibility in supporting financial inclusion, ‘Money Matters Matter’.