HFC Bank Ghana Limited has partnered Global Communities, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to launch a savings product aimed at enticing the youth into the construction business.
The product, Boafo Ye Na Youth in Construction Savings and Loans, forms part of a five-year Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) programme designed for out-of-school youth in construction between the ages of 17 and 24.
It is intended to help the youth save part of their income from their businesses to cater for their training or work needs and support their families.
At the launch of the product and the dedication of the HFC Boafo Head Office at a ceremony in Accra, the Managing Director at HFC Boafo Microfinance Ltd, Mr Kofi Agyenim Boateng, said the bank was optimistic and convinced that the journey towards promoting financial inclusion was backed by employment opportunities, stream of income flow and “we know the perceived risk for the target market is not real”.
He said it was almost impossible for the formal sector to absorb all the unemployed youth and as such there was the need for all stakeholders in the country and donor partners to find ways of getting the youth in other productive ventures.
“Failing this, the youth unemployment situation will worsen with the attendant social vices that have the potential of threatening the peace of the country,” he added.
Mr Boateng, therefore, expressed the hope that the YIEDIE programme would help its immediate beneficiaries to in turn employ other people in their construction businesses.
Youth and guidance
The Managing Director of HFC Bank, Mr Robert Le Hunte, in his address, said the youth needed to be guided and the habit of savings inculcated in them in order for them to make meaningful financial decisions.
He said young people would improve their economic futures when provided with appropriate skills, support, opportunities and financial capabilities to gain employment or to be able to start and grow their own business.
However, he said their success depended on developing and engaging a broad network of stakeholders in the process which would include financial literacy training and guidance and provision of appropriate financial services to support their businesses.
“Savings is not only about money management, but also knowing the difference between wants and need,” he said.
Mr Hunte said by teaching financial literacy, the ultimate goal was to break the cycle of economic poverty, give our youth a sense of hope and empower them with the practical skills that could help them to manage their destinies no matter what their dreams were.
He assured Global communities and the other members of the consortium of the bank’s support in implementing the YIEDIE programme to the letter.
The acting Director of Global Communities, Mr Ebenezer Kye-Mensah, said the Boafo Ye Na Youth in Construction Savings and Loans product would offer accessible financial service to the youth and equip them with the requisite tools to enable them to effectively participate in the booming construction sector in the country.