Liberty Life Kenya and Heritage Insurance have launched a free financial literacy programme aimed at growing financial literacy, financial freedom and insurance penetration.
Starting off with Kenya’s insurance brokers in Nairobi ahead of a countrywide roll-out to corporate workplaces and the general population, the free training series is targeted at individuals keen to understand and properly plan for their finances at any stage of their lives.
Dubbed the Mind My Money programme, it will use self-paced digital classes and classroom-based workshops to guide participants on savings and investments, managing credit and debt, insurance and budgeting. It will be administered by financial experts from South Africa and Kenya.
The programme comes hot on the heels of a condemning report indicating that Kenyans are in dire financial health due to lack of financial literacy. The 2019 FinAccess Household Survey, jointly conducted and launched recently by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Trust exposed that a substantial population in Kenyan is reliant on their own knowledge than expert opinion for financial advice.
While 39.6% rely on self-knowledge, 34.7% rely on family and friends – of these, 42.2% of those reliant on self-knowledge reside in rural areas against 35.8% in urban regions. Further, 51% of Kenyans feel they are in a worse financial position, compared to 34.3% who had a similar view in 2016.
The insurance industry has experienced a penetration inertia for the last few years even as the financial sector thrives. Financial literacy and awareness have been identified as a key hurdle.
Speaking on the launch of the programme, Abel Munda, the Managing Director of Liberty Life Kenya, said the aim is for Kenyans to learn and change on financial management. “We are offering this programme at a most opportune time when Kenya is at the crossroads of growing financial inclusion and emergence of a very complex and unpredictable financial landscape. This creates a financial decision headache which needs a high level of individual financial information and understanding,” said Munda.
With Kenya’s proportion of youth to the population and millennial workforce ranking high globally, the programme delivery has been tailor made in relatable fashion to drive uptake. Data from US-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB) illustrates that millennials add up to 10.1 million out of Kenya’s population of 49.7 million.
The Group has invested in an exclusive online portal that generates a personalised financial needs analysis and consequent expert financial planning to take advantage of a digital savvy millennial workforce.
Munda said: “In an era that is mobile and on mobile, we believe that digital inclusion is the gateway to other forms and types of inclusion.”
The financial analysis will precede a free and guided financial wellness program for corporate employees of institutions – an effort the business feels will address both short and long-term goals through education.
According to Godfrey Kioi, the Heritage Insurance Managing Director, employers must see the opportunity and vested interest to promoting a financial wellness agenda at the workplace.
“There is a body of reputable evidence across the world that innately links employee financial wellness to individual and organizational bottom-line. Ultimately the benefits are seen in the larger economy,” said Kioi.
The programme forms part of Liberty Group’s Pan-African mission to drive financial freedom through financial awareness and capability enablement in the immediate and short term– and insurance penetration in the long term.