Financial Assets for Youth
College student Afrah Ali Tilha is building her financial assets every month, as she saves money in a special youth savings account developed through a Silatech program in Yemen. Through a Silatech partnership, two leading financial institutions—Al Amal Microfinance Bank (AMB) and Al Kuraimi Islamic Microfinance Bank (KIMB)—have slashed their minimum deposit amounts from the equivalent of USD 20 down to just 80 cents.
The result is that tens of thousands of Yemenis have now opened their first savings accounts, entering a formal financial system that was locked shut to most of them previously. Savings is important, especially for youth, because it helps to ease financial shocks, mitigate risks, and build assets for future investments such as housing, education or marriage.
Silatech led a nationwide campaign promoting the benefits of youth savings, and by March 2014 over 24,000 new accounts had been opened, with deposits totaling USD 3.2 million. Thousands of new accounts continue to be opened every month.