Financial Inclusion Global Asset Building Working Paper

Youth Saving Preferences in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Potential for Asset Accumulation

As youth transition to adulthood, their ability to save and accumulate assets becomes very important as they begin to accept financial responsibilities and plan for the future. This paper uses data from Masindi, a rural area in Uganda, to (a) investigate the savings preferences of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), (b) examine the relationship between an asset-building intervention for youth and higher savings, and (c) determine whether gender and marital status interact in their effect on young people’s savings in SSA. Univariate statistics, independent sample t-test and factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) are used to address the study’s three goals. Results reveal that most youth in SSA prefer informal saving to formal saving mechanisms. In addition, a culturally tailored asset-building intervention is associated with higher savings in SSA. Finally, the study finds that gender and marital status do not interact to affect young people’s total savings. It is suggested that formal financial institutions should be encouraged to provide equal savings incentives and opportunities for both young males and females in rural communities.

Subsequent publication: Ansong, D., & Chowa, G. A. N. (2010). Youth saving preferences and the potential for asset accumulation: The case of Masindi, Uganda. The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher, 22(3), 402–419.

Project: AssetsAfrica


Ansong, D., & Chowa, G. (2009). Youth saving preferences in Sub-Saharan Africa and the potential for asset accumulation (CSD Working Paper No. 09-28). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.