The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says improving education and promoting financial literacy in youths is vital for all African economies. The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says improving education and promoting financial literacy among the youths is vital for all African economies.
Speaking during the second Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) regional meeting for Africa, BoZ Governor Michael Gondwe said financial literacy among children and the youth is of vital importance to economic development.
“The importance of financial literacy among children and the youth cannot be over emphasised…… a person with a good level of financial literacy is likely to be better poised than someone who does not have the knowledge to manage financial affairs in a prudent manner,” he said.
Dr. Gondwe explained that poor financial choices are often made as a result of a lack of understanding of financial matters.
He further said this could result in a number of negative outcomes, including a lower level of financial wealth and imprudent debt levels.
The BoZ Governor said financial literacy and consumer education makes the financial market place effective, efficient and better equips consumers to make smart financial decisions.
And speaking at the same event, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said young people are the most important resource that Zambia has.
He noted that stakeholders should encourage efforts to turn youths into a productive section of the population.
“In Zambia, approximately half of the population is below the age of 15 years, placing us amongst the youngest countries in the world….. it is therefore important that we place our youths at the centre of our development agenda,” he stated.
Mr. Chikwanda lamented that any economy that needed to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development should ensure efforts that promote economic growth and reduces poverty by engaging the youth, women and small businesses.
He said government had taken concrete steps to promote a broad based development of the financial sector under the Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP).
He explained that this expanded the reach of financial institutions across the country, strengthened corporate governance framework and developed the payments system and common platforms for expanding financial services.
And speaking earlier, CYFI managing director Jeroo Billimoria said the second CYFI regional meeting would work towards attaining the movement’s global agenda of reaching 100 million children and youths in 100 countries by 2015.
Ms. Billimoria commended the BoZ governor for his dedication and passion for the empowerment of youths and encouraged all participants to do the same.
The CYFI regional meeting was being held at the Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone under the theme ‘Reshaping the future of Finance’.
CYFI is a global movement of international stakeholders dedicated to improving the financial empowerment and security of children and youths through increased financial education and financial inclusion.