That, he said would make them independent to be able to meet their educational needs.
Besides, he said savings by girls from poor homes prevents them from taking up prostitution as a means of survival.
Speaking at a multi stakeholder conference on youth and financial services in Ghana on Thursday, Mr. Akuffo said, the youth can save to cater for their needs if given the necessary support.
Themed: “Promoting Saving Opportunities for Young People; Results of the 5 year Research Project on Youth Savings in Ghana,” the day’s programme brought together students from basic schools, head porters(Kayaye) and representatives from partnership organi-sations.
To encourage the culture of savings among the youth, Mr. Akuffo said the HFC Enidaso Account, which enables students between the ages of 12 and 16 to save for their education, had resulted in increased youth savings.
The Enidaso Account is part of the Youthsave project, a five-year multi-country learning project, aimed at promoting financial asset building for the low-income youth.
It was supported by the MasterCard Foundation being implemented in four countries including Ghana, Kenya, Columbia and Nepal.
Mr. Akuffo said the youth constitutes an integral component of the Ghanaian population hence the need to be supported to be financially independent.
He said the bank had embarked on a series of programmes including financial literacy education, campaigns and media outreach engagements with students in basic and tertiary education to raise awareness on secured accounts and the benefits of savings.
In its quest to ensure poor children acquire quality and affordable education, the HFC, he said, offers loans to tertiary students holding accounts with the bank depending on their savings.
He said children irrespective of their ages must be given the opportunity to hold accounts, saying the Central Bank must revise the age fixed for children to open accounts to enable more children to save.
Mrs. Ruth Dueck-Mbeba, Programme Manager, Financial Inclusion, MasterCard Foundation said about five per cent of Ghanaian youth have access to financial support, saying that contributes to youth unemployment.
Mrs. Dueck-Mbeba suggested intensification of education to get more youth including those in the informal sector, to open accounts and save regularly.
By Malik Sullemana