Welcome to YouthSave, a project dedicated to developing and testing savings products accessible to low-income youth in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. Through this website the YouthSave Consortium will share lessons and build awareness about its work while providing broader information on youth savings accounts around the globe. We encourage you to explore the shared knowledge provided on this website and stay connected with us through this exciting journey. To learn more about YouthSave click here.
The theme for the final multi-stakeholder meeting held on October 23, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya was “Promoting Youth Financial Capability to Unlock Sustainable Development in Kenya”. Over 130 participants of whom at least 30 were youth gathered together to discuss future opportunities for youth savings in Kenya. The meeting included three sessions. First, the YouthSave partners discussed successes, challenges and opportunities of the project in Kenya over the past four years. After this session, several youth participating in the programme took the stage to relate their experiences with saving and financial education.
Corrinne Ngurukie, YouthSave’s Regional Technical Advisor for Africa, attended the final MSM in Kenya on October 23, 2014. She recorded the following impressions.
"...even when uptake is facilitated by extensive outreach to youth and by the creation of more flexible regulation regarding identity and control, usage of youth accounts is not as promising as practitioners would hope..."
To protect youth and financial institutions, we note that as policies around access and management are made more flexible, there will be a greater need for a solid, protective regulatory framework and adequate oversight.
Creating fertile environments for youth savings at financial institutions in the developing world could certainly lower the threshold of profitability for financial institutions by creating a larger pool of clients or by lowering or subsidizing the cost to financial institutions of doing business with those clients, at least in the short-term.
"those seeking to recommend policies, particularly in the context of a development framework, must be exceptionally calculated in their recommendations and must, at times, acknowledge that, while broad frameworks can create a point of departure, local stake-holders, particularly youth themselves and groups that work closely with youth, might be better positioned to craft context-specific policies that strike the necessary balance between rights and protections."
“We [need to] make the conscious decision to be on a different trajectory and to never, ever talk about young people as a problem, as a threat, as a vulnerability. The only way that young people would ever fit into any of those categories is if we haven’t done the groundwork to allow them to realize their full potential. And I realize that to some of you in the crowd that sounds like semantics and a whole vocabulary lesson but it’s not. I mean it really has to be about a complete reframing and re-pivoting of how we understand potential and what our responsibility is to unlock that potential for our future—not their future, our future.”
--Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO, Population Action International, Inaugural Co-Lead, FP2020 Rights and Empowerment Working Group
“Banking on Girls: From Piggy Banks to Savings Accounts”- Should girls be considered a separate segment when designing youth savings programs?
Is it more difficult to financially include girls? Data from some programs seeking to increase girls’ participation in formal savings seems to suggest it might be.1