Statistically, Africa has the youngest population in the world with a median age of 19 years and about 80% of the population being below 35 years. Youth unemployment has steadily risen over the years with circa 50% of unemployed youths holding university degrees. Being the continent with the largest “youth bulge” in the world, it is critical that we develop deliberate strategies to secure the continents future by addressing the needs of the burgeoning youth.
We at Africa Risk Institute (ARI) developed the A-FLY programme to play our part in addressing this discerned market need with our sights trained on bridging the gap between academia and industry. We consider finance to be a cross-cutting subject required by everyone – whether seeking employment or entrepreneurship. Hence, we are profession-agnostic in our approach and are positioning Finance where it is supposed to be – an essential Life Skill for all.
BENEFITS OF THE A-FLY PROGRAM
- Gives youth practical Financial Literacy skills
- Written by practitioners for practitioners
- Provides a globally portable certification – the program is developed in partnership with the internationally acknowledged Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) – the leading professional body for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning
- Practical experience through internship opportunities – The program includes a 3-month long internship period with a company within the capital markets industry in a bid to arm them with practical financial skills
- Employability since the knowledge impacted is industry driven
- Youth empowerment – The skills also give young people wherewithal to go into entrepreneurship should they opt for self- employment.
- Continuous Professional Development
- An opportunity to network with an expansive network of financial
- Research skills and remote learning through use of cutting edge technology
- Computer Based Testing and instant results, among others
A-FLY contains four modules – the first two being foundational level and the last two intermediate level courses. Upon conclusion of this program, students will qualify as associate members of CISI and can therefore use the designatory letters ASCI (Associate of after their names.
The eventual qualification will put students on course for a Diploma in Capital Markets, Corporate Finance, Investments Operations, or any other specialization that fits their career goals. The modules are as follows
1. Fundamentals of Financial Services – 4 weeks long
Fundamentals of Financial Services is an important first step in developing the essential basic knowledge required for working in financial services. You will learn about the industry and commonly used financial products, such as shares, bonds and insurance and it will provide you with an understanding of financial terminology.
2. International Introduction to Securities and Investments – 4 weeks long
The qualification focuses on international markets and covers key financial principles and products in depth including assets and markets, equities, bonds, derivatives and investment funds. It explores the broader economic environment in which the financial services industry operates and looks at how economic activity is determined and managed in different economic and political systems. The qualification offers an introduction to financial services regulation and ensures candidates are provided with an understanding of ethical behaviour and acting with integrity
3. Regulations and Market Practice – 4 weeks long
The aim of this unit is to provide candidates with a general understanding of the rules and regulations applied in the Capital Markets globally. Currently, the Kenyan context is used as a proxy for Africa. In-country regulatory contexts to be co-opted.
4. Technical Options (Choose one) – 8 weeks long
Global Securities – The Global Securities professional qualification will provide you with knowledge of market infrastructure, operation, regulation and practice pertaining to securities.
Derivatives – The Derivatives professional qualification will provide you with the knowledge and skills required for advising and/or dealing in derivatives. The qualification demystifies derivatives and brings them home with African examples
Wealth Management – The Wealth Management professional qualification will provide you with specialist knowledge and expertise to foster a strong career in wealth and investment management and will qualify you to advise clients in most global jurisdictions.
THE A-FLY STRUCTURE
To supplement the modules nad to ensure that learning is practical, the A-FLY program includes an internship and a Financial challenge (The A-FLY challenge).
THE A-FLY CHALLENGE
A-FLY Investment Challenge is a Financial Education tool kit that mimics real-life financial investment decisions by giving students a pot of virtual capital to use to optimize returns while appreciating the various risks inherent in the market opportunities. The challenge aims at enhancing financial literacy in the youth and creating a culture of saving and investing. It also aims at inculcating prudent financial management skills in the youth and lays emphasis on the use of technology, information and research in making investment decisions to optimize returns as they are required to justify every financial decision that they make.
Students have the opportunity to invest in various asset classes traded at a securities exchange, they can save with a bank, they can borrow additional funds to invest, etc.
The A-FLY program incorporates internship opportunities with partner corporates that give the students a practical understanding of how the theory they learn in class is applied in the market place. The students will intern for 3 month-long internships after completing the first two modules principally because modules 3 and 4 require on-the-job experience for effective understanding.
Upon conclusion of the qualification, students will be armed with greater knowledge and understanding of financial matters; practical work-place skills through the investment challenge enabling them to apply financial knowledge in every-day life; confidence and assurance to make decisions arising from the internship program; ability to make responsible financial decisions boosted by an international qualification (ASCI), and a strong support network of the A-FLY alumni. Our graduates get the confidence to decide whether they will pursue employment or entrepreneurship.