'Consider Youth In National Financial Inclusion Strategy'

Most adults in Ghana did not have the opportunity to practically learn how to save and invest during their childhood, hence their inability to achieve their dreams.

Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of HFC Bank, who disclosed this recently in Accra at the 2nd multi-stakeholder conference in Youth Development and Financial Services in Ghana organized by the HFC Bank in partnership with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), called on all stakeholders to intensify their efforts to ensure that children and the youth were considered in the proposed National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which is expected to be finalized in 2014.

He said the National Financial Inclusion Strategy seeks to facilitate reduction in the adult population excluded from the financial system, which currently stands at 44 percent.

'It is estimated that about 70 percent of Ghanaian adults do not have bank accounts. Several factors may account for this,' Mr. Akuffo observed.

The conference was themed: 'Extending the Frontiers of Financial Inclusion to Children and Youth'.

Corrinne Ngurukie, Regional Technical Advisor, YouthSave Project, in a remark, said the scheme is a five-year multi-financial initiative established in 2010 in four countries, Ghana, Kenya, Colombia and Nepal to educate and advise the youth on the importance of savings.

Madam Ngurukie noted that three years after the inception of the project, Ghana is the only country to have recorded a significant percentage of the youth patronizing it.

Joseph Chognuru, Director of the Financial Sector Division, Ministry of Finance, commenting on the national financial inclusion strategy, noted that the comprehensive strategy, when fully developed, will coordinate the implementation of financial inclusions efforts, expand outreach and limit costs and duplication.

He added that the strategy would also seek to broaden access, awareness and appropriate use of a range of financial services through tailored financial capability programmes.

By Samuel Boadi