Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says efforts invested in the financial literacy initiatives are yielding results, with over 700 000 bank accounts opened within one year.
RBM financial sector regulation director George Chioza said this yesterday in Blantyre on the sidelines of the start of the 2019 Global Money Week when the central bank together with the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) hosted university students from DMI St John the Baptist University in Mangochi.
He said figures show an upward trajectory from 2.3 million bank accounts at the start of 2018 to three million at the end of December 2018.
Said Chioza: “You will recall that the registrar has reported that part of our efforts was to encourage saving and opening of bank accounts and we have seen an upward trajectory in that area.
“Still, we are making more efforts to ensure that more accounts are opened as this encourages saving.
Commenting on the Global Money Week, he said this is an opportunity for the financial services sector to reach out to youths on financial dynamics in their early life.
“We are encouraging youths to learn about money management, saving as well as how to develop skills to earn money. There is a lot of work to be done. At the moment, the ones in the right path are in the age bracket of 25 years and above while those below are still in infancy,” said Chioza.
MSE operations manager Esnart Suleman said as an investment avenue, the local bourse has aligned different programmes on how to encourage investment culture among the youth, observing that the uptake is still low.
“In other countries, investment culture is nurtured in young people at a young age, but here in Malawi, that is a concept that is missing where only a few young people have access to such information.
“We want students to know that even with K1 000 only, one can buy shares on the stock exchange and in that way, saving money,” she said.
One of the students, Beatrice Bakuwa, while observing that it is possible to start saving at an early age, said lessons on financial literacy are crucial as they help equip youths at an early stage in life with skills on how to invest, earn money and how it is important to save.
The 2019 Global Money Week was established by the Child and Youth International, a global network dedicated to promoting financial literacy and inclusion.
During the week, RBM says it will intensify dissemination of key financial literacy messages and activities focusing on children and the youth through; among others, education visits to RBM, MSE and selected commercial banks and secondary schools.