Telkom Kenya has signed an agreement with the Ministry of ICT’s National Youth Council of Kenya (NYCK) to co-create ‘Fursa’, (Swahili for opportunity) a platform that allows the council to disburse funds to youth in the midst of physical and infrastructural barriers.
Fursa digital wallet will also be used to relieve the youth from financial exclusion during the pandemic. Fursa has a membership management system, financial reconciliation, savings and investments, an experienced board for job matching and e-learning as well as experiential skill development.
“More can be done to advance the financial inclusion of our youth. Further digitisation and investment in the mobile money ecosystem will help solve a crisis that has been further exacerbated during the pandemic. The Fursa e-wallet helps to address this challenge,” said Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mugo KIBATI.
Telkom will install the Fursa wallet and offer support with respect to its operationalisation, maintenance and updates. It will also provide professional and product support services, including infrastructure, care services, monitoring, performance and availability.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, digital financial services systems have been used to support social distancing efforts, aiding business continuity during movement restrictions that have been implemented in Kenya and across the world. Last year, The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) directed all banks and telcos to actively encourage the use of mobile payments. Telkom Kenya joined other telcos in eliminating charges on person-to-person transactions of less than KSh1,000 for an extended period, and also raised the transaction ceiling from KSh70,000 to KSh150,000.
The Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya estimates that 23% of the 18-25 year-olds are excluded from financial services and products and that financial services providers have no solutions targeted at youth.
According to the NYCK’s Chief Executive, Roy Sasaka TELEWA, the e-wallet will open up a portfolio of financial opportunities to the youth in Kenya and moreso at the grassroot levels. A strong financial services footprint is helpful especially to the youth to leverage in application for business opportunity and or demonstrate a working history.
“Far from development of joint programmes and incentivizing youth to take up technology and youth entrepreneurship, employment and engagement programs, Fursa is a huge opportunity to support the government’s nationwide efforts to provide a financial and safety net in the unraveling pandemic,” said Mr. TELEWA.