Financial education conference now targets youth
MANILA, Philippines — Over 300 financial education experts and policy-makers around the world have convened in town for a two-day summit tackling financial capability as a 21st century life skill, putting emphasis on the need to reach out to young people.
The 9th Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, which opened on Wednesday, underscored the youth as the segment that should be targeted for financial education.
In his opening address, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. stressed the importance of financial education as a tool in empowering Filipinos. “If we are able to communicate to Filipinos what different financial matters like investment and savings mean, they can properly manage their resources and safely grow their money. Financial education at a large scale can improve people’s lives,” he said.
Citi head of ASEAN Michael Zink described the theme of the two-day summit “Financial Capability as a 21st Century Life Skill” as an issue touching every level of society no matter the age, social standing, or wealth. “Financial capability is now an essential skill that everyone needs to have in this fast-connecting world. Those who have it are less vulnerable and more empowered,” he said.
“We are glad that the Philippine government has recognized financial education as an important part of the plan to improve the economy. And we believe that the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit is the perfect venue to begin discussion and development on this agenda,” said Sanjiv Vohra, Citi country officer for the Philippines.
After the opening rites, Citi Foundation chief operating officer Brandee McHale chaired the international keynote session, which sought to address issues on bridging the financial capability gap. The panelists agreed that governments and other key stakeholders must be persuaded to invest more in large-scale financial education initiatives.
Succeeding discussions throughout the day focused on financial education for the youth. Experts from around the world shared examples of programs that have adressed unique financial education needs of young people. These include tailored financial products that promote saving, or multimedia and Internet-based learning tools.
Group sessions also discussed programs for out-of-school youth and the importance of forging partnerships between government, educational institutions and non-government organizations in promoting financial education within the school system.
Moderating the different panel discussions were Rafael Lopa, executive director of the Philippine Business for Progress; Nina Lim-Yuson, president of Museo Pambata Foundation; Dan Songco, president and CEO of PinoyME Foundation; Bam Aquino, president of MicroVentures Foundation; and Kathy Hurley, executive vice president for education alliances at Pearson Foundation.
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