Young people could face a global financial crisis if they dont develop the habit of saving money, Stanbic Bank Zambia Managing Director Charles Mudiwa has warned.
Increased financial literacy among the youth is vital in ensuring a sound economic future for the country, said Mr Mudiwa, who is also chairman of the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ).
Young people are among the most vulnerable to financial problems and need to learn how best to manage their affairs. While they do not always have access to financial services they still need to be empowered with the skills to earn, save and budget, explained the senior banker as the industry marked World Savings Day this week.
Our children could cause the next financial crisis if we all do not take responsibility. Considering we live in a globalised world, the future of the worlds economy is in jeopardy if we do not give tomorrows adults the ability to manage their own finances now, said Mr Mudiwa,
Since inception, the financial literacy campaign has focussed significantly on children and youths, and therefore, this World Savings Day commemoration has taken the same approach, he added.
In commemoration of the important day more than 800 Stanbic Bank staff shed light on financial matters with people on the streets during the launch of the banks Lutanda Community Day. The aptly named campaign focused on educating members of the public on financial literacy and savings. The volunteers took time out of their normal routine this week to carry out the sessions reaching over 5,000 people including nurses, students, pupils, police officers, soldiers and many others.
Lutanda means light and signifies the light we bring to our communities and difference we are making in the lives of Zambians. As a bank we believe in taking deliberate steps to make a difference in the communities we operate in, said Mr Mudiwa.
This years theme, A Better Life through Savings - Open your account now, sought to encourage the public to adopt a culture of savings and ensure that levels of savings in relation to GDP are improved. The commemoration saw the coming together of various financial institutions to exhibit their products and services, specifically tailored towards the promotion of savings. Furthermore, a Money Box competition themed Coin-a-thon aimed at encouraging learners in schools to create attractive boxes, which they can then use to save money in their respective schools for capital projects, will be run by the financial institutions across the country.
Minister of Finance Hon. Felix Mutati visited the exhibition, which at the Cosmopolitan Mall in Lusaka. Mr Mudiwa reiterated the banking industrys readiness to work with the government in providing financial services and products, with the aim of scaling up financial inclusion for all, pledging to work together with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia to come up with robust financial inclusion strategies that will help drive this agenda forward.
The savings culture in Zambia has been relatively poor and can be attributed to a number of factors. It is very important for the public to understand why saving is important and to have knowledge about the different types of products and services, as regards savings and where to access them. In promoting the savings culture, financial institutions are encouraged to provide the accurate information about the various products and services they provide to their clients, as well as would-be clients. This in itself is a step in the right direction to ensure that everyone is provided with the much needed information in order to make informed decisions on saving, said Mr Mudiwa