Business News of 2013-12-25

‘Include children in national financial strategy’

The Managing Director (MD) of the HFC Bank (Ghana), Mr Asare Akuffo, has called for the inclusion of children in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

He said stakeholders in the financial sector needed to intensify efforts towards ensuring that children and the youth in general are included in the proposed NFIS, which was proposed in the 2014 Budget presented last November.

The MD made the call at a multi-stakeholder conference under the auspices of the YOUTHSAVE Project held on December 18 in Accra.

The conference, which was on the theme ‘extending the frontiers of financial inclusion to the youth,’ was aimed at creating a platform for stakeholders in youth development and financial service providers to deliberate on issues bordering on the youth and their accessibility and participation in financial services.

Financial inclusion refers to people’s ability to access appropriate and desired financial products and services in order to manage their money effectively.

The HFC Bank MD, who was recently conferred with a doctorial honours, said one way to ensure financial inclusion was through policy innovations that will make children’s savings accounts widely available and supported by an infrastructure to support their its practice.

“This approach, in my view, will trigger increased savings behavior that can continue into adulthood and lead to improved financial outcomes over the long-term”, he added.

He also noted that HFC Bank have made considerable strides by developing its youth savings product, the ‘Enidaso Account,’ which is currently on offer at all HFC branches nation-wide.

The Director of Financial Sector Division at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Joseph Chognuru, assured the participants of government’s resolve to implement steps that will help develop NFIS that will have children and youth will be at the center.

He said the strategy, when fully developed, will coordinate the implementation of financial inclusion efforts, expand outreach and limit costs and duplication.

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