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The Impact of Financial Education for Youth in Ghana

We evaluate, using a randomized trial, two school-based financial literacy education programs in
government-run primary and junior high schools in Ghana. One program integrated financial and social
education, whereas the second program only offered financial education. Both programs included a
voluntary after-school savings club that provided students with a locked money box. After nine months,
both programs had significant impacts on savings behavior relative to the control group, mostly because
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Out-of-School Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Policy Perspective

The economic and social prospects are daunting for the 89 million out-of-school youth who comprise nearly half of all youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within the next decade when this cohort becomes the core of the labor market, an estimated 40 million more youth will drop out, and will face an uncertain future without work and life skills. Their lack of work and life skills will impair these youth’s ability to get good jobs in desirable occupations, resulting in low and unstable incomes while exposing them to potentially long periods of unemployment.

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Fast Facts: Economic Empowerment of Youth

Youth unemployment, underemployment and wages that are below the poverty line ($1.25 per day) diminish human and social capital and are associated with poorer health and educational outcomes. This contributes to long-term, intergenerational poverty and inequality leading to weaker resistance to shocks, and weaker social cohesion.

In its development policy and practice concerning youth, UNDP sees decent work and livelihood creation as chief determinants of socio-economic empowerment of youth and a contributor to the achievement of sustainable human development. 

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Video: Markus Goldstein Discusses Adolescent Girls' Empowerment

Watch Markus Goldstein, Senior Economist at the World Bank, speak about an adolescent girls' empowerment project in Uganda implemented by BRAC and the World Bank. The project focuses on providing four key elements: a safe social space for girls, life skills training, vocational training, and access to microfinance. In this video interview, Goldstein shares the promising results of rigorous impact evaluations that found that girls in the program are working more, earning more, and are 75 percent less likely to have had sex against their will.

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Youth and skills: Putting education to work

With just three years to go until the deadline for the Education for All goals that were set in Dakar, Senegal, it is vitally urgent to ensure that the collective commitments made by 164 countries in 2000 are met. Lessons also need to be drawn to inform the definition of future international education goals and the design of mechanisms to make sure that all partners live up to their promises.

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