Mbabane: Eswatini Bank unveiled a new branded and personalized debit card for the Junior Achievement (JA) financial literacy program.
The card was unveiled on Thursday at the Happy Valley hotel.
Speaking during the launch, Eswatini bank Managing Director (MD) Nozizwe Mulela highlighted that the JA financial literacy program is supported by Siyakhula Savings Account which is rolled out to children between the ages of 6 to 21. Melela said learned who open these accounts under the JA program will receive a tap-to-pay debit card which allows withdrawals from ATMs locally and worldwide.
Mulela said Siyakhula aims to foster the culture of saving among children and increase financial inclusion. She said to date Eswatini Bank has over 6.2 million in Siyakhula savings accounts, which he said was a good indication that the mind-set of these young ones is already shifting towards the culture of savings.
Mulela stated that it was one of the bank’s initiatives to ensure that the youth are taught to manage finances at an early age while at the same time instilling the Eswatini Bank brand in their minds at an early age in anticipating a guaranteed future clientele.
She said the bank acknowledges the major role JA plays in being a catalyst for economic growth in the country. She said they will continue to empower the youth through innovation in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and career development in an effort to drive and create self-employment in Eswatini.
Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. It is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management and budgeting.
JA targets 3000 accounts in 75 schools
Junior Achievement Executive Director Phetsile Masilela disclosed that in the financial year 2021/22 they are targeting to open 3000 accounts in 75 schools across the country. She said as an organization they were looking at opportunities to further partnerships with the bank in investing the funds for students in cooperatives so they can attract better interests for savings.
Masilela also disclosed that in 2018 they were 1556 students who had opened Siyakhula savings accounts and 663 in 2019.
She further disclosed that 2021 was the 13th year of JA’s partnership with Eswatini Bank. He disclosed that to date, about 890 895 has been invested so far by the bank to better their financial literacy skills.
He said the financial literacy program for JA in schools has reached over 56 100 students over the past ten years, since the program started in schools.