The campaign was initiated because young people, especially those in the least developed countries (LDCs), face many barriers in accessing Child and Youth-Friendly financial services.
On March 27th, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), in partnership with the UNCDF, have officially launched the Bank the Youth Campaign.
The aim of this Campaign is to overcome the barriers to financial inclusion for young people and increase their exposure to Child and Youth Friendly banking products throughout the world.
The Campaign launch consisted of several events in seven African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, DRC, Madagascar, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Representatives from governments, UNCDF, Financial Services Providers (FSPs), Youth Serving Organizations (YSOs), as well as youth themselves, actively participated in the launch of the Campaign throughout Global Money Week (March 27th – April 2nd).
Global Money Week was selected as the optimal time to launch the campaign, since this year's GMW slogan 'Learn, Save, Earn' is profoundly related to the objective of the 'Bank the Youth' Campaign. In fact, education, clever savings habits and entrepreneurial training can all enhance the financial awareness and economic opportunities for children and youth in all parts of the world.
Why do we need to "Bank the Youth?"
The campaign was initiated because young people, especially those in the least developed countries (LDCs), face many barriers in accessing Child and Youth-Friendly financial services. Some of these barriers include legal and regulatory restrictions to opening an account in their name, inappropriate and inaccessible products and services to meet their financial needs and low financial capability amongst a burgeoning youth population.
These barriers can prevent young people from realizing their full economic potential. 'Bank the Youth' is indeed an advocacy campaign that promotes smart policies for youth financial access while facilitating greater opportunities for economic empowerment and youth development. These aspects are at the core of CYFI's model of economic citizenship, whose objective is to achieve sustainable economic and financial well-being, a reduction in poverty and greater respect for rights of self and others for children and youth through the attainment of financial inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education.
Beginning in 2017 with nine pilot countries in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, DRC, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania), 'Bank the Youth' will coordinate efforts among numerous stakeholders in the country to advance best practices in financial inclusion and education for youth. All participants are encouraged to take part in GMW and World's Savings Day's celebrations. After the launch during GMW, more members will be recruited as Impact Champions for the Campaign. Topics will be discussed via webinars and social media on a monthly basis related to financial inclusion both at the country and the international level. The target is to recruit at least 200 campaign members by the end of 2017.