Chinwe Talks Financial Literacy for Kids on Career Quick Five

Chinwe Egwim is a seasoned Economist with experience in macro, financial, development, gender and behavioral economics. She is currently the Chief Economist and Head, Economic Research/Intelligence at Coronation Merchant Bank. Her diverse corporate experience includes short and long-term forecasting, strategic planning, and market outlooks. Chinwe currently has 700+ published economic notes under her belt. Her contributions have supported high-level committees’ setup by development agencies and reputable think-tanks.

She was appointed as a National Consultant by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to lead the services trade project partly driven by UNCTAD, and successfully led the UNECA National Seminar on global and regional value chain analysis for the financial services sector and produced a policy document which serves as auxiliary resource for the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

Chinwe was recently appointed as a member of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee. The committee was set up by President Bola Tinubu to review and redesign Nigeria’s fiscal system with respect to revenue mobilization, quality of government spending and sustainable debt management.

Her efforts to simplify complex economic concepts through her book “Understanding Economic Jargon” demonstrate her commitment to making economics accessible to a wider audience. The book has ranked as a bestseller under education leadership on Amazon. This commitment extends to her recent accomplishment in authoring a children’s book addressing the enigma of inflation, reflecting her ingenious approach to nurturing awareness through education.
Chinwe is frequently pulled in to give expert advice on economic trends across print and visual media.

1. Can you provide an overview of the book’s storyline and the main message you aim to convey to young readers?

“Super E: The Inflation Smackdown” isn’t your typical children’s book; it’s a captivating and enlightening journey that demystifies the concept of inflation. Join CHICHI, an inquisitive young girl passionate about economics, and her squad of friends, including RUKKY, FOLA, SADIQ, ENO, UWA and more, as they team up with Super E, a superhero economist. Together, they break down economic concepts in a fun and relatable way. Through relatable scenarios, young readers discover how inflation impacts their lives and gain valuable insights into making informed decisions.There are also amazing behavioral lessons around patience, contentment and more which are important for fighting inflation.

2. How do you believe introducing economic concepts to children at an early age can benefit their long-term financial literacy and awareness?

Well, I have multiple views which I will share – 

Early exposure to economic ideas helps kids learn how to handle money wisely. They pick up skills like budgeting and saving, which are super important when they’re all grown up.
Learning economic stuff means kids become good at solving problems and making smart decisions. These skills don’t just help with money but can be used in everyday life.
Children figure out the connection between work and getting paid. It’s like planting the idea that hard work can lead to good things, especially in the money department.
Some kids might get excited about creating their own businesses. Learning economic concepts can spark that “entrepreneurial spirit” and make them think about new and creative ideas.
Children also learn that economic ideas aren’t just about their piggy banks; it’s about the whole world. They start to see how different countries and money are connected.

3. In what ways can parents and educators effectively use this book to engage children in conversations about economic and financial matters?

“Super E: The Inflation Smackdown” serves as a fantastic tool for parents, guardians and educators to initiate conversations about economics and financial matters with children.

Story-Based Learning: The book uses a superhero storyline, making economic concepts like inflation entertaining and relatable for kids. Parents and educators can use the exciting narrative to kickstart discussions about real-world economic situations.
Everyday Examples: The book presents economic concepts through everyday situations, making it easy for kids to connect the story to their own experiences. Parents and educators can ask questions like, “Have you ever noticed prices going up or down? Why do you think that happens?”
Character Engagement: Children often connect with characters. Super E becomes a friendly guide for kids to explore economic concepts. Parents and educators can ask questions like, “What do you think Super E should do about inflation? What would you do?”
Interactive Activities: Complementing the book with interactive activities can reinforce the concepts. Parents and educators can engage kids in simple activities like setting up a pretend store or discussing the cost of items over time. There is also a workbook attached to the main book with amazing riddles and games that assist with learning.
Real-World Connections: After reading the book, parents and educators can connect the story to real-world situations. For example, discussing family budgeting or pointing out inflation during a trip to the grocery store can help children see the relevance of economic concepts in their lives.
Encouraging Questions: The book’s engaging storyline is likely to spark curiosity. Parents and educators can encourage children to ask questions about economics and guide them in exploring the answers together.

4. What kind of impact do you hope “Super E: the Inflation Smackdown” will have in promoting economic inclusion, particularly among children from diverse backgrounds?

Super E: The Inflation Smackdown’ is designed not only to educate but also to inspire and empower children from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of economic inclusion that can have a positive and lasting impact on their lives.”.

Accessible Learning: By presenting economic concepts in a children’s book with an engaging narrative, I aim to make these ideas accessible to children from all backgrounds. Regardless of their economic context, children can relate to the story and learn fundamental economic principles.
Representation: The diverse characters in the book reflect various backgrounds and experiences. This representation is intentional to ensure that children from different ethnicities, cultures, and economic circumstances can see themselves in the story, fostering a sense of inclusivity.
Empowerment Through Knowledge: Economic knowledge is a powerful tool. By providing children, regardless of their background, with a foundational understanding of economic concepts, I hope to empower them to make informed decisions about money and finances as they grow older.
Encouraging Aspirations: Super E, as a relatable superhero, shows children that anyone can understand and navigate economic concepts. This can inspire children from diverse backgrounds to aspire to careers in economics, finance, or entrepreneurship, breaking down stereotypes and encouraging diversity in these fields.
Starting Conversations: The book serves as a conversation starter for parents and educators to discuss economic matters with children. This is crucial for families from diverse backgrounds where such conversations might not be as prevalent, creating an inclusive space for learning and understanding.
Building Financial Confidence: Children from different economic backgrounds may face varying levels of financial confidence. ‘Super E’ aims to instill a sense of confidence and capability in all children, regardless of their economic circumstances, as they learn about managing money and making informed choices.
Long-Term Impact: By promoting economic inclusion at a young age, the hope is to contribute to breaking the cycle of economic disparities. Providing children with economic literacy can equip them with the tools to navigate financial challenges and opportunities, irrespective of their background.

5. As an author, what advice do you have for others interested in writing educational children‘s books with a similar mission?

That’s a really good question. This is my first children’s book but my second book. I will share a few nuggets that I am sure would be helpful for emerging authors.

Identify a Clear MessageStart by identifying a clear and compelling message or concept you want to convey. Having a distinct mission will guide your storytelling.
Know Your Audience: Understand the age group you’re targeting and tailor your content accordingly. Consider the language, themes, and narrative style that will resonate with your intended audience. ‘Super E’ is designed to captivate and educate children, striking a balance between entertainment and learning.
Simplify Complex Concepts: Break down complex ideas into digestible and age-appropriate content. Use relatable metaphors, engaging characters, and interactive elements to simplify educational concepts. The goal is to make learning fun and easily understandable for young minds.
Collaborate with Illustrators: Visual elements are crucial in children’s books. Collaborate with skilled illustrators who can bring your story to life. The illustrations in ‘Super E: the Inflation Smackdown‘ complement the narrative, making the economic concepts more accessible and enjoyable for children.
Seek Feedback: Before finalizing your book, seek feedback from parents, educators, and, most importantly, the target audience—children. Their insights can help refine your narrative, ensuring that it effectively communicates the intended educational message.

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