Jean R. AbiNader
April 2, 2019
The implications of digitalization revolution are a controversial subject, not whether or not they are occurring, but how do we equip people to effectively use all the tools that it generates, from banking transactions and obtaining licenses from agencies, to accessing school and employment histories. The role of digital technology (DT) was one of the key themes at the 52ndSession of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) held in Marrakech under the theme “Fiscal Policy, Trade, and the Private Sector in the Digital Age: A Strategy for Africa.” The conference included ministerial meetings and extensive interactions with the private sector with an emphasis on the role of digital technology, “both for the development of economic exchanges in Africa, the strengthening of national budget policies, and the improvement of tax collection,” according to an article in the North Africa Post.
While much of the government focus was on how to make government functions work effectively and efficiently, discussions with the private sector looked at how DT can support efforts to increase intra-African trade, enhance cross-border transactions, strengthen regional logistics, and develop other fields where it can bring quick and useful applications. Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Benchaaboun, noted the importance of DT in the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), where it “will offer us an opportunity to accelerate what has been done with each country and will open a whole continent to exchanges in all directions and to co-development, which will enable growth to be raised to a higher level for the countries concerned.”
From the private sector side, there were panels featuring the latest offerings in digital applications to banking, financial transactions, agriculture, health, and education, in addition to those on improving financial literacy and education for all potential users of DT, from government officials to youth.
One of the priorities of the Moroccan Foundation for Financial Education (FMEF) is to offer young people training and awareness on financial issues. Its objective is to introduce them to the world of finance and prepare them, as adults, to make sound and responsible financial decisions. It is in this context that FMEF organized, in collaboration with its partners, the 8th edition of the Journées de la Financefor children and young people in the different regions of Morocco. For this year, it is estimated that tens of thousands of young people will gain new skills from this campaign.
The event coincides with the Global Money Week in which 169 countries take part, which will benefit an estimated 32 million youth. During these days, key themes of finance such as currency, savings, banking, insurance and the stock market will be discussed. The program includes workshops led by trainers and professionals representing the various partners of the FMEF including vocational and technical training centers, and OFPPT, the Office of Vocational Training.
Taking part in this year’s program are financial institutions such as Bank Al-Maghrib (the site of production of the currency, the museum of the currency and the network of branches and agencies of the central bank), the Moroccan Authority of Capital Transactions, the Insurance and Social Insurance Supervisory Authority (ACAPS), the Casablanca Stock Exchange, the Professional Group of Banks, and the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies operating through the branches and offices of the banking and insurance institutions, and, for the first time, microcredit associations.
Created in 2013, the FMEF aims to develop the financial skills of citizens with a view to contributing to the national financial inclusion and consumer protection in the use of financial services. It is chaired by Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor of Bank Al-Maghrib.