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HFC-Boafo and Global Communities Launch New Youth-Focused Financial Products

Published 03/11/2016 by Global Communities

HFC-Boafo and Global Communities Launch New Youth-Focused Financial Products
By Katie Deierlein, Communications & Learning Officer, Global Communities Ghana

Accra, Ghana – HFC-Boafo, a microfinance institution in Ghana, recently launched a suite of new financial products with Global Communities as part of the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE, Twi for “Progress”).

The microfinance institution was formed as a collaboration between Global Communities (then CHF International) and HFC-Bank in 2007. It has continued to work with Global Communities on a variety of programming, including a suite of products for the Youth Engagement in Service Delivery program between 2009 and 2012. Today, HFC-Boafo is working with Global Communities on the YIEDIE project to adapt those products to youth within the construction sector.

YIEDIE is creating economic opportunities for youth ages 17-24 in Ghana’s construction sector by training young women and men in technical construction skills and helping them to grow and start small businesses. It is increasing collaboration and support amongst construction sector stakeholders to improve their enabling environment.
During a launch ceremony last week, HFC-Boafo Managing Director Kofi Agyenim Boateng reflected on lessons that HFC-Boafo has learned while implementing the Boafo Ye Na products since 2012. These lessons helped the microfinance institution to think strategically about how to implement within the construction context. “Many of these economically disadvantaged youth are intimidated by plush banking halls and sophisticated banking officials,” Boateng said, which has led to HFC-Boafo’s approach of deploying field officers to work directly in target communities.

He added that youth in the program take pride in having their own bank accounts, especially accounts that give them simple yet tangible representation of their relationship with institutions such as a checkbook.  HFC-Boafo provides branded materials to promote that relationship.

And in addition to providing access to financial products, HFC-Boafo is training YIEDIE youth participants in financial literacy. All 23,700 youth who participate in YIEDIE will receive financial education and support in opening a savings and/or loan account from HFC-Boafo staff to complement their training in entrepreneurship or technical skills. “Savings is not only about money management, but also about knowing the difference between wants and needs,” said HFC-Bank Managing Director Robert Le Hunte, hinting at YIEDIE’s approach to financial education.
HFC-Boafo’s financial products will assist YIEDIE youth and its influence will have a multiplier effect spread throughout the rest of Ghana. Said HFC-Boafo Director Mercy Mamle Tetteh during the event, “We pray that the 23,700 youth that will be trained will grow and benefit and then train others so that youth unemployment may be a thing of the past.”

HFC-Boafo is a member of the YIEDIE consortium, which is being led by Global Communities. YIEDIE is part of the Youth Forward Initiative in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. The Youth Forward Initiative is focused on transitioning economically disadvantaged young people to find quality employment or start their own businesses.