Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) aims to increase financial inclusion, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship among young people throughout Africa.
CYFI has worked as a driver of Financial Inclusion and Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) for children and youth in Africa since 2012. CYFI is also currently working on the regional collaboration with African Union (AU) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). CYFI is also supporting the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) in the developement of the BCEAO Regional Strategy for Financial Inclusion, and will provide technical assistance at the implementation phase of the strategy. The collaboration between CYFI and the African Union relates to Advocacy, Entrepreunership, right, governance and youth empowerement.
Global Money Week has been an incredible success in Sub-Saharan Africa! GMW 2017 saw a significant increase in participation - over 36 countries from Africa joined the celebrations, including more than 20 governmental insitutions and regional organizations such as BCEAO. CYFI was very happy to see Mauritius and Sao Tome celebrating GMW for the first time and that Mali, Kenya and Swaziland celebrated GMW at the national level this year. Ivory Coast, Kenya and Swaziland also became the regional finalists of the Global Inclusion Award in GMW category in 2017.
The recent years saw an increase in interest in the integrated approach of SchoolBank across the continent. While similar small-scale programmes have been running in different countries before, CYFI has supported a number of new pilots in 2016-2017. In Namibia Schoolbank has been implemented in partnership with GIZ, the Ministry of Finance of Namibia and the First National Bank, with two schools participating in financial education progmam and opening of bank accounts. In Uganda Private Education Development Network (PEDN) is implementing the e-SchoolBank with the help of the software that tracks group and individual savings of students, in partnership with Finance Trust Bank. More SchoolBank programmes are in the pipeline, including Zambia, Ivory Coast and Madagascar.
In July 2016 Ye! co-organized a pitch event with UNCTAD at the UNCTAD XIV meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. In October, 2016 Ye! collaborated with Building Bridges to create a training event for 100 young entrepreneurs on investor readiness followed by a pitching event where Florence Kamaitha was awarded for her project 'Pad Heaven'. In 2017 Ye! has held events in both Zambia and Uganda. In Zambia, the pitching & training was part of the National Youth and Entrepreneur & Innovation Forum hosted by the Zambia Ministry of Youth, Sport & Child Development. In Uganda, the event was the first organized 100% for the youth, by the youth. Ye! Ambassador Sandra Letio organized a government panel, trainings, pitching competition & awards ceremony where a prestigious jury led by Ugandan entrepreneur Patrick Bitature awarded Sam Turyatunga the Ye! Uganda Young Entrepreneur award.
CYFI Product Development and Capacity Building workshops are emerging as key training platforms for financial service providers (FSPs), financial services regulators as well as other partners of CYFI. The workshops have become essential mechanism for providing practical training on child and youth financial services to staff of commercial banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs), as well as regulatory authorities. They focus on the technicalities of developing child and youth friendly banking products, linking Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) to product portfolios for youngsters, and assessing youth financial products on their child & youth friendliness. Since 2015, CYFI has organized such workshops in Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ivory Coast and Madagascar. CYFI has also supported the organization of the national teacher training in Malawi in 2017.