By Margaret Wahito
Nairobi — If given Sh8,500 ($100) to help them prosper, 63 percent of the youths aged between 18 to 35 years in Kenya would invest the money.
This is according to a new Barclays Africa Prosper Report which also revealed that 61 percent of them would most likely consult a bank to seek financial advice once they get the funding while only 8 percent would consult a family member.
Commenting on the report, Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said this was enough evidence that if given the right tools, the youths are set to become the drivers of economic prosperity.
“What is particularly encouraging is that when questioned further, the youths would rather invest their money to fund further education than to spend it on flashy consumer goods,” Awori said.
The survey was carried out between April to August 2014 and collected views from up to 7,000 youth across 11 countries in Africa including Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Egypt.
Overall, 49 percent of all the respondents said they would invest or save an extra $100 if they had it, 14.7 percent would use it for education and skills related expenses and 13.2 percent would use it to pay off their debt.
If they were to buy anything with the money to assist them in their prosperity journey, a majority, 30 percent said they would buy a computer, followed by 24 percent who said they would buy books, 7 percent house necessities and 3 percent to buy a phone.
“The report reveals that Africa’s urban youth consider investment and savings as the vehicles to financial independence, while describing financial freedom as having enough personal wealth to live, without having to actively work to pay for basic necessities,” Awori said.
The three major obstacles to financial prosperity reported by survey participants included lack of finance at 68.9 percent, lack of opportunity at 50 percent and lack of financial advice at 26.2 percent.
Lack of finances was more prominent in Zimbabwe at 73 percent and Kenya, 72 percent.
Awori noted that the research reinforces on the important role that financial services institutions play in helping customers achieve their financial freedom.