UN Secretary General Highlights YouthStart in Message to the Child and Youth Finance International Summit
On April 3rd and 4th, we participated in the Child and Youth Finance International Summit (CYFI) in Amsterdam. The Summit kicked off a global movement on youth financial inclusion, and we were thrilled to be a part of its first steps. At the Summit, our YouthStart project was highlighted by the UN Secretary General as an initiative that is advancing the economic and social development of young people. We also launched a paper with the UN Capital Development Fund titled, Policy Opportunities and Constraints to Access Youth Financial Services. The paper draws on insights from YouthStart to identify barriers that limit young people’s access to financial services. It provides recommendations on how governments, policy makers and regulators can address these barriers. YouthStart is in its second year of implementation and works with microfinance institutions to spur innovation and delivery of microfinance for youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. A number of our other partners, including SEEP and the YouthSave Consortium, were also present and shared important learnings that are emerging from our projects on youth financial inclusion.
Ann and Deepali participated in discussions on the role of foundations in advancing the “ChildFinance” movement. There were some interesting takeaways on how to identify and scale approaches that work. About seventy children and youth between the ages of 8 and 18 took part in workshops and provided policy recommendations on financial education, how to make banks more relevant for young people and how to create greater awareness of the need for youth financial services.
CYFI’s goals are remarkable – organizations who took part in the Summit will work collaboratively to provide 100 million youth in 100 countries with financial services and access to a savings account by 2015. We look forward to seeing the energy from the Summit carry forward!