DAR ES SALAAM—National Microfinance Bank Plc (NMB) in collaboration with global nonprofit Women’s World Banking is launching WAJIBU, a family of youth savings accounts paired with a financial capability program designed to help youth and parents in schools across Tanzania save and manage money together for a bright future.

WAJIBU, meaning responsibility, includes a suite of three savings accounts: NMB Mtoto Akaunti, NMB Chipukizi Akaunti and NMB Mwanachuo Akaunti, designed to serve youth at every stage of their lives and to help parents and youth conveniently save and manage money, independently or together, toward their goals. NMB Chipukizi Akaunti is particularly unique as it is the first account of its kind to be introduced in Tanzania, allowing teens ages 13-17 to manage their own accounts in their own names. The accounts are paired with Jifunze, Jipange – WAJIBIKA! (Learn, Get Organized – Be Responsible), a comprehensive financial capability program for youth and parents.

“Increasing the financial access and capability of youth helps NMB to fulfill its mission to build a savings culture in Tanzania,” said NMB Managing Director Ms. Ineke Bussemaker. “Not only that investing in and retaining financially capable youth from a young age makes business sense. WAJIBU is an opportunity for our staff to make a meaningful contribution to their community, while also helping NMB reach a new market of savers.”

By partnering with Women’s World Banking to develop WAJIBU, NMB had access to the nonprofit’s more than 35 years of experience conducting in-depth client and market research to understand women and girl’s financial behaviors and the life experiences that shape those behaviors. NMB and Women’s World Banking worked together to better understand the savings needs of youth and parents throughout Tanzania, and design savings accounts that meet those needs. They learned many key insights, for example, families often pool money to meet financial needs for youth, including education fees. As a result, WAJIBU accounts were created to help parents and youth save together. As one parent stated, “It’s the parent’s responsibility, and it’s the teen’s responsibility to use these savings well.”

“We are honored to partner with NMB to introduce WAJIBU, but as we know, access to a savings account is only the first step,” said Ms. Jennifer McDonald, Director of Product Development at Women’s World Banking. “This is why we applaud NMB for expanding WAJIBU to include a financial capability program that empowers youth with the knowledge and power to use their savings accounts effectively.”

Wajibu will be publicly announced today in Dar es Salaam at an event hosted by NMB welcoming distinguished representatives of government, the banking and education sectors.

Guest of Honor at the launch event, Dr. Edicome Cornel Shirima, Assistant Director of the School Quality Assurance for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, said, “Competent, confident and engaged consumers who make sound financial decisions will not only be improving their own lives but also society as a whole. I am very proud to launch the WAJIBU program today for I believe it will provide the youth and their parents with important skills that will assist them to secure their financial futures.”

“This is why the Government has an ongoing commitment to improving the financial literacy levels of all Tanzanian — particularly the majority members of our community,” added Hon Ndalichako.

This collaboration between NMB and Women’s World Banking is funded by UK Aid from the Department of International Development and FSD Africa.

For more information, contact:

Women’s World Banking: Maura Hart, +1 212 556 3156 or meh@womensworldbanking.org
NMB: Joseline Kamuhanda, +255754710769 or Joseline.kamuhanda@nmbtz.com