Taking Money Matters to the Youth

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UKZN students with Dr Mabutho Sibanda (third left),
UKZN Finance Lecturer and Mr Naeem Asvat

UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies participated in the 2014 Child and Youth Finance Summit hosted by the Provincial Department of Treasury under the theme: “Taking money matters to our children”.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance and Champion of the KwaZulu-Natal Financial Literacy Association (KZNFLA), Ms Ina Cronje, welcomed the delegates, who included schoolchildren and university students.

Cronje outlined the rationale for the theme of the Conference. ‘At this Summit, we want to hear the voices of the youth. We want to inculcate a culture of saving and investment in our young people.

‘As our young people, you constitute almost half of the population. You are the present and the future consumers, and the business leaders of tomorrow. And therefore we have to include our young people on decisions on financial matters.  The financial future of our country and our province really depend on how money smart you will be.’

National Finance Minister, Mr Pravin Gordhan, delivered the keynote address via Skype. Gordhan said thousands of young South Africans would celebrate their 20th birthday this year. ‘These children of our freedom mark the progress that we have made. They will be an important part in determining our future.

‘Building a culture of financial literacy and financial prudence amongst young people is the task that we have.’

Gordhan outlined Government’s commitments to invest in the infrastructure of South Africa, ‘so that our economy becomes more dynamic, but also that our infrastructure connects us with the rest of Africa’.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Mr Senzo Mchunu, congratulated Cronje for establishing the programme. He acknowledged the importance of financial literacy, especially for the youth in the province. ‘We want our young people to appreciate the importance of saving.’

UKZN speakers at the two-day Conference included Dr Mogie Subban of the School of Management, IT and Governance and Professor Stephen Migiro, Dean and Head of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership.

Subban highlighted the importance of research being beneficial. ‘Research should not be lying in fancy, leather-bound dossiers on bookshelves. We need to actually convert that into deliverables. And come up with actual learning strategies, so that models can be put into practice.’

She said students at UKZN were given a holistic experience, when it came to the curriculum at the University. ‘Financial literacy at UKZN is spreading across all Colleges, and all fields and disciplines, so much so that it has actually become firmly entrenched from the undergraduate programme right up until the postgraduate programmes.’

Migiro spoke about the opportunities and challenges in financial education for young entrepreneurs.

Postgraduate students from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance participated in various sessions including providing feedback to policy makers. Mr Hamza Mohomed and Ms Anne Holding explained the findings of a study aimed at influencing policy makers and bankers to create financial products attractive to the youth market.

UKZN students Mr Christian Ishimwe and Ms Amanda Jali gave the delegates an overview of Enactus, the student organisation, and outlined various entrepreneurial initiatives they are involved in.

The Conference closed with a webinar between the school children at the Conference and school children in Romania.