International Youth Day 2022: The Role Of Youth In Driving Financial Inclusion In Africa

Youth Development
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The African Union defines ‘youth’ as someone between the ages of 15 and 35. With 70% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population under 30, Africa has the youngest population in the world. With such a burgeoning young workforce, the continent’s economy has a chance to grow exponentially, but only if the next generations are given the tools they need.

It is crucial that young people participate in decision-making processes and be provided with numerous possibilities for employment and innovation.

Depending on their needs and stage of life, access to financial services can empower young people and improve their well-being in the right circumstances. Research shows that children develop good financial habits as early as seven.

A study by the OECD for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion shows that young people are more likely to choose non-traditional financial service providers since they frequently have weak links with the official banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa and globally. It should be no surprise that this generation is driving fintech adoption globally, given that they have never known a world without mobile, web, and app-based services.

The study further revealed that; one in three internet users worldwide is under the age of 18, and globally, 71% of young people and only 48% of the general population use the internet. Many national governments, including Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, and Spain, have explicitly recognized Internet access as a human right since access to online information and services has become crucial.

At Cellulant, we view fintech collaborations as a vehicle for advancing financial inclusion, business expansion and the overall economic development of Africa. We are working towards opening up options for people to become financially autonomous and empowered by giving global and regional. Local enterprises the rails they need to own their financial journeys.

We view collaborations with Fintech firms, especially those Founded and Led by the Youth, as a tool to promote financial inclusion and the growth of individual businesses and the continent of Africa’s economy. As evidenced by some of our recent partnerships, Young African Founders in Africa are making significant steps in a variety of sectors to drive financial inclusion;

In the Gig Economy:

ImaliPay partnered with Cellulant for its payments infrastructure and solutions in Kenya and Nigeria as a one-stop financial platform for Africa’s gig workers. Founded by two young Africans, Tatenda Furusa & Sanmi Akinmusire, ImaliPay is driving financial inclusion by allowing ImaliPay users to access financial services quicker through Cellulant’s payment rails while at the same time building an ecosystem where gig workers can create a safety net around their work through savings, credit,  and insurance that drives their productivity and economic empowerment.

Cellulant is also the Payments Processor for Grey, a Y-combinator-backed fintech startup, powering its payouts to thousands of Grey customers. Grey offers a unique international money transfer service that lets its users send and receive international payments quickly without restrictions. Grey was launched in 2021 by Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo, who wanted to help Nigerians easily exchange to local currency and access the foreign currencies in their accounts.

In the Retail Sector:

Leveraging Cellulant’s footprint across the continent, where we are present in 35 countries, MarketForce entered a partnership with Cellulant to offer additional revenue opportunities for informal retailers by empowering them to be agents for major

Financial services, access payments, savings, investments, insurance, and buy-now-pay-later products. Established in 2018 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, MarketForce is an all-inclusive B2B commerce platform that empowers informal African merchants to source and order. It pays for inventory digitally and conveniently, access financing, collects digital payments and makes extra money by reselling digital financial services such as airtime, electricity tokens and bill payments through its RejaReja app.

In the Remittances Sector:

At Cellulant, we aim to simplify payments by ensuring they are made most seamlessly. This seamlessness is also required in the remittance space hence our partnership with Nala to facilitate seamless cross-border payments and significantly reduce the cost of sending money from the UK and the US into Africa. Nala is a Y-Combinator-backed company founded by Benjamin Fernandes that provides an app for Africans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money to the continent seamlessly.

Cellulant continues to power payments across the continent, one transaction at a time, assisting businesses to explore how the evolution of digital payment solutions may assist job creation, increase efficiency in service delivery, and encourage financial inclusion for our youth population to develop Africa’s payment sector and to boost economic development.

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