THE BANK of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has celebrated Global Money Week for the first time with various programs targeting youths and school children.

Global Money Week, held from 10-17 March, gave BPNG along with other commercial and financial banks the opportunity to bring awareness to young people about how many works.

BPNG governor Loi Bakani said Global Money week was a worldwide celebration to empower the young generation to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens.

Young people around the globe can engage in numerous activities to increase their understanding about a range of aspects to do with money, basic banking services, principals of savings, gaining employments, and becoming an entrepreneur.

2014 marked the first time PNG has been involved in the yearly event, joining more than 80 countries worldwide to create awareness for young people. The initiative is coordinated by the Children and Youth Finance International (CYFI) Secretariat.

As part of the celebrations, BPNG, commercial banks, micro banks and savings and loan societies engaged in various programs, including visits to 10 primary and secondary schools within NCD and the nearby villages in Central Province, with the aim to promote the Young Minds Savings Campaign

The Governor said that The National Youth Savings Campaign was one of the key financial inclusion strategies launched by the Minister for Treasury in December 2013, to reach the unbanked youth in PNG.

The treasurer also recently launched the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy program 2014-2015.

“Under this strategy, we intend to reach one million unbanked people by 2015, of which 50 per cent will be women,” Mr Bakani said.

“This is an ambitious target but through partnerships with financial institutions and through programs such as this I am confident we would be able to reach the one million target.”

Financial institutions will visit numerous schools under the programs to raise awareness of the Young Minds Savings product, engage in Q&A sessions and provide the opportunity for students to open bank accounts during the visits.

During the event, Mr Bakani led a series of radio talkback shows to talk about the National Youth Savings Campaign and Financial Inclusion program.

He was joined by panel members comprising of managers and chief executive officers of commercial banks, micro banks and savings and loan societies, who discussed various savings products offered by their institutions.