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18 November 2022

Promoting the financial empowerment of young people: The Financial Literacy Speech Competition for Schools

Access to finance empowers people, and financial inclusion is critical for accelerating inclusive economic growth, creating jobs and addressing inequality. Through its consumer-education programmes, Absa empowers individuals to make informed choices and improve their lives through responsible personal financial management.

In line with this goal, Absa proudly supports the Financial Literacy Speech Competition for Schools. The competition is conducted by the Financial Services Consumer Education Foundation in partnership with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, and is targeted at Grade 11 learners in non-fee-paying schools in all nine South African provinces.

Initially piloted with just 150 schools in Gauteng in 2016, this popular skills development initiative has grown considerably into a national event – more than 5 000 learners took part in the 2022 competition – with an admirable impact on the lives of learners, their teachers and families.

The purpose of the competition is to inculcate financial literacy and knowledge in the formal schooling environment using an interesting and engaging approach. The competition consists of four rounds, each of which requires learners to present a five-minute prepared speech on a financial literacy topic. A panel of independent adjudicators are appointed to score the learner presentations and select the winner from each round.

The winners from each round receive prizes and progress to the following round – from school, to district, to province level. The competition culminated in the national final, where the top three learners were announced.

Winners have demonstrated the ability to plan effectively for major financial decisions, and participating learners have increased their understanding of responsible financial behaviour and consumer rights and responsibilities.

The competition promotes financial literacy and entrepreneurship, encourages discussions with family and friends around financial concepts, and empowers learners to enter and contribute to the financial services industry. Ultimately, the objective is that participants gain an increased understanding of financial matters and make well-informed financial decisions.

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