This is Africa's first exclusively students’ backed unit trust poised to raise 1.5 billion shillings ($10 million) in the next three years from over 300,000 college and university students.
They will be part of the 66.3 billion shillings ($638 million) assets under management that makes the collective investment scheme sector in Kenya.
This investment initiative is in line with Vision 2030 which envisages to grow Kenya’s savings rate to GDP from the current 12 percent to the targeted 25-28 percent.
The Fund is regulated by Capital Markets Authority, with Kenya Commercial Bank as the Custodian bank.
Wanafunzi Investment is an initiative aimed at building an early culture of savings among students in institutions of higher learning through a student’s friendly platform that will enable them to save and lay an early foundation for assets’ growth, which is key for economic and social transformation.
“To be in a position to save requires behavioural change. Young people should strive to contribute to the national development through saving and investment,” said Wanafunzi Initiative Unit Trust Fund CEO Dr. Fredrick Ogola.
Paul Muthaura, CEO Capital Markets Authority said that they have created a mechanism to move students from being retail investors to being collective participants in the economy.
“At the Capital Markets Authority we see this as a potential game changer in creating an avenue through which youth have a mechanism through which they can participating not only in saving but also in investing in the economy,” he said.
This investment platform will further promote financial literacy through capacity building programs aimed at entrepreneurial and management skills.
The platform enables students to leverage on skills and capacity of experienced fund managers to make investment decisions, hedging against the volatility they would suffer as direct investors.