With an alarming 38% of the Kenyan population lacking financial literacy, a new campaign has emerged to promote a positive shift in attitudes and behaviors towards financial understanding and credit management.

Dubbed “Kaa Chonjo!” (which translates to “Be Alert!”), this initiative aims to disseminate financial literacy messages that focus on the importance of savings, banking, pensions, and insurance.

During the Banking Industry Financial Literacy Campaign held in Nairobi, notable figures such as CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge, KBA CEO Dr. Habil Olaka, and Family Bank MD Rebecca Mbithi, who also serves as the KBA Governing Council Vice Chair, shared their support and dedication to this cause.

One of the main barriers to fostering a savings culture among Kenyans is the lack of disposable income. Although recent data indicates an increase in savings among Kenyans compared to the pre-Covid-19 period, the financial sector has yet to witness a corresponding improvement in its overall performance.

According to a 2021 report by EFG Hermes, Kenya’s savings rate stands at a meager 13%, which falls significantly below Africa’s average of 17%.

In response to this challenge, stakeholders in the financial services sector have initiated a public awareness campaign. Its primary objective is to promote a savings culture within the economy and address the pressing need for enhanced financial literacy among the youth and the general public.

With an estimated 38% of the Kenyan population lacking financial literacy, the campaign’s ultimate goal is to bring about a shift in behavior and attitudes towards financial understanding and credit management.

Dr. Patrick Njoroge, the Central Bank of Kenya Governor, emphasizes the necessity for collaborative efforts among financial industry stakeholders to drive financial literacy initiatives. He recognizes the need to bridge the gaps in financial services utilization across socioeconomic boundaries.

“Much more needs to be done,” states Njoroge. “We must address the disparities in financial services adoption throughout our society.”

As part of the “Kaa Chonjo!” initiative, partners will circulate financial literacy messages that specifically address savings, banking, pensions, and insurance.

Dr. Njoroge highlights the significant transformation of Kenya’s financial ecosystem over the past decade. The transition from traditional brick-and-mortar establishments to an inclusive and accessible system necessitates the promotion of financial literacy.

The campaign will particularly engage the youth, who make up approximately 75% of the Kenyan population. Their active involvement is crucial in shaping a financially literate society.

Tamara Cook, the CEO of FSD Kenya, recognizes the shifting savings trends among Kenyans. Increasingly, individuals are turning away from traditional banks and embracing informal savings schemes like “chamas.”

“We firmly believe that by fostering financial literacy, we empower individuals to secure their financial future and contribute to the overall economic well-being of our country,” affirms Dr. Habil Olaka, the CEO of KBA.

Through heartfelt dedication and collective efforts, this campaign aspires to transform the financial landscape of Kenya. By equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills, it seeks to empower them to make informed decisions, secure their financial well-being, and contribute to the nation’s prosperity.