Promoting Financial Literacy Among Vulnerable Groups in Egypt

This Dutch funded project aims to maximize the benefits of the formal financial sector through raising awareness among vulnerable groups.

Project Background

Since the political turmoil in recent years, the Egyptian economy has been stumbling into obstacle after obstacle. However, statistically, the Egyptian economy is on the brink of witnessing a refreshing breeze after the completion of several economic and social reforms targeting the wellbeing of the Egyptian society.

The Egyptian government’s 2030 vision aims at developing the Egyptian economy in an inclusive, self sustainable, inter-connected and eco-friendly manner. With the huge room for improvement provided forth by the online economy, we witness a general direction, not just in Egypt, but in the entire African continent to shift towards a cashless economy (Rwanda, Ethiopia and Botswana having the highest rates of e-banking in the globe).

Altering the general nation’s direction towards financial literacy could solve two outstanding problems in Egypt simultaneously on a highly strategic level:

i) Formalizing the informal economy; promoting financial literacy and liaising the use of e-banking among all eligible candidates will allow the government to gain an invaluable insight on the informal sector operating in Egypt, enabling it to work on formalizing them through a better, more accurate, evidence-based policy making procedure.

ii) Promoting financial inclusion will ultimately lead to better inter-connectivity in Egypt’s vast terrain; having more than half the population living in rural areas, being financially literate, will provide it’s residents with more connectivity, less effort required in using old-fashioned financial methods, and ultimately easing the toll on the environment.

Implementation strategy

The project aims to maximize the benefits of the formal financial sector through raising awareness among vulnerable groups. The project implements a Training of Trainers (ToT) to train and certify at least 15 trainers in Egypt to use the ILO’s financial education tools and proceed with a national rollout of the training.
The tool’s main objective is to provide basic necessary financial knowledge to enhance the financial capabilities of financial service users and potential users.

Target groups

Our target groups are low to middle income groups; who are literate, are able to do basic mathematical calculations, and do not necessary earn any sort of income. There will be a special focus on youth (particularly potential Egyptian migrants and returnees), and women (particularly who receive any sort of remittances).

The proposed intervention will benefit the target group in the following manner: 

  • Prepare participants to make decisions, and meet challenges and opportunities related to their integration into working life.
  • Encourage them to think about their future, and attain them the skills to plan for several years ahead.
  • Help them build their confidence in making their own financial decisions.
  • Develop their skills to talk about finances with family.
  • Enhance the capacity of consumers in relation to financial institutions (rights and duties).
  • Understand the benefits of using formal financial institutions and learn how to make the best choice according to a given person's situation.
  • Basic financial tracking sheets to monitor expenses and income.
  • Knowledge on insurance plans and e-payment procedures (showcasing benefits of the formal financial sector).
The project also has a primal focus in working with different stakeholders such as monetary financial institutions, NGOs, banks, and several governmental bodies to achieve the expected outcomes.
Stakeholders will support the ILO to conduct trainings and achieve maximum outreach to the ultimate beneficiaries, hence contributing to the sustainability of the proposed intervention.

Expected outcomes

  1. Adapt ILO’s financial education toolkits to the Egyptian context.
  2. Certify 15-17 trainers on the financial education tool, and attain an outreach of at least 400 ultimate beneficiaries across different governorates.
  3. By the end of the workshops, the ultimate beneficiaries will have essential financial skills and knowledge that will allow them to set tangible, achievable goals and have a good understanding of different financial services and how to make the best of them.
  4. The holistic approach of the project will evidently degrade the informal financial mindset (day by day financing) and replace it with a solid goal oriented financial mindset.