Africans equate financial freedom to prosperity

by Trust Matsilele 0

The Barclays Africa Prosper Report captures what ‘prosper’ means to Africans in 11 of the countries surveyed. 

The survey, which was conducted online, surveyed over 7,000 respondents from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. 

Maria Ramos, chief executive of [DATA BGA:Barclays Africa Group Limited] said the survey provides invaluable insights into what is important to people, their dreams and aspirations – essential intelligence if we are to contribute to building strong and sustainable economies on the continent.

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“There is a remarkable similarity in the aspirations and hopes of the respondents even though they come from 11 different countries. The results highlight the fact that as Africa’s young and emerging middle-class continues to develop and grow, they are expressing their economic power in new ways, for example prioritising long-term financial security through investing and education.”

Seventy-eight per cent of the respondents were between 18 and 35 years of age, representing a significant portion of the ‘youth bulge’ – the future drivers of the African economy. 

The report said the youth bulge was a common phenomenon in many developing countries where a large share of the population is comprised of children and young adults thanks to a decrease in infant mortality and steady levels of fertility.

The Barclays Africa Prosper Report identifies that Africa’s youth, given the right tools, are set to become the drivers of economic prosperity.

Monde Makiwane of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) said a decrease in mortality rates coupled with the youth’s connectivity to a global community saw was resulting in emerging youth bulge of Africans that are more optimistic than ever before.  

“Africa’s youth are confident they will be around to live their future.  Given this optimism, they prefer to spend their money on computers and books to aid their prosperity, rather than making flashy statements in their local communities by parading the latest must-have item,” said Makiwane.

“The Barclays Africa Prosper Report addresses critical issues of financial behaviour and prosperity that have either been missed or poorly measured by previous social and financial surveys in Africa.

“Encouragingly, one of the most significant findings from this African survey is the high level of savings and investments reported by participants.  Almost 50 per cent of respondents would save or invest to help them prosper financially, a powerful statistic if viewed in the context of the Asian savings boom,” said Makiwane.

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Bobby Malabie, Group Executive of Marketing, Communications, Citizenship and Public Affairs at Barclays Africa said report shows people work hard for their money and want their money to work hard for them.

“What is particularly encouraging is that when questioned further, the youth of Africa would rather invest their money to fund further education than to spend it on flashy consumer goods,” said Malabie.

“Investment, education and savings are seen by Africans as the main drivers of prosperity to open the doors to economic growth. It is also clear that Africa’s emerging youth presents the continent with an unprecedented opportunity to deepen our human capital, and with the right tools, tomorrow’s decision makers can unlock Africa’s potential.”