The Status of Financial Education in Africa
While the African situation displays disparities both within and between countries in terms of economic and human development, on average, many African countries have relatively low school enrolment ratios, highly informal labour markets, high poverty rates, as well as low financial inclusion and financial literacy levels. Against this backdrop, it is desirable to improve the level of financial literacy among the most vulnerable parts of the African population. Well-designed financial education initiatives can reduce demand-side barriers to more effective financial inclusion and can empower vulnerable individuals economically, so that they can better manage household resources and develop income generating activities. This report provides an overview of the status of financial education programmes developed in Africa, discusses their rationale, and offers initial guidance for policy makers. In recent years public authorities, as well as the non-profit and the private sector, engaged in the development of financial education programmes in several African countries. These programmes typically aim at improving financial knowledge and skills, raising awareness of financial issues, and improving financial inclusion. They usually target vulnerable groups, including low-income people, women, and youth, and sometimes deliver financial literacy training in combination with access to financial products.
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