The first ever exclusively students’ backed unit trust fund in Kenya and the continent has been launched in Nairobi under the umbrella; Wanafunzi Investment Unit Trust Fund. The Fund is regulated by Capital Markets Authority, managed by Nabo Capital with KCB Group as the Custodian bank.
Wanafunzi Investment is an initiative aimed at building an early culture of savings among students in institutions of higher learning.
In a statement, the management says that the investment aims at raising Ksh1.5 billion in the next 3 years from over 300,000 college and university students.
“Research shows that students have spent a total of Ksh.89.6 billion in accessories, clothes and airtime, part of which should be directed to savings for future income. To be in a position to save requires behavioural change. Young people should strive to contribute to the national development through saving and investment,” says Wanafunzi Initiative Unit Trust Fund CEO Dr Fredrick Ogola.
Dr Ogola adds that 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.
Wanafunzi Initiative Unit Trust Fund seeks to align itself with Vision 2030 goal of mobilising savings to realise a savings to GDP ratio of 25-28 percent. Currently Kenyans save 12 percent of the GDP compared to advanced economies like Singapore with a saving rate of 50 percent.
Paul Muthaura, CEO Capital Markets Authority said,” We have created a mechanism to move students from being retail investors to being collective participants in the economy. This tool gives a route to be part of the Ksh66.3 billion assets under management that makes up collective investment scheme sector in Kenya, and much more critically to be part of KSh2.3 trillion institutional assets under management that are in Kenya.”
The subscribers will expect an average rate of return of approximately 8.4 percent and they can liquidate their investment after 4 year or earlier on demand.