Lowering Youth Unemployment in Asia-Pacific through Youth Economic Citizenship Education

Asia-Pacific, as a region, accounts for more than half of the world’s unemployed youth – about 220 million young people. In response to the urgency of this issue, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Bank of Thailand (BOT), and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) organized the OECD/Thailand Seminar on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy in Asia in Bangkok, Thailand last December 16-17, 2014.

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Bringing together more than 150 international experts from 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, the seminar tackled topics related to advancing financial inclusion and financial literacy within the Asia-Pacific, with a primary focus on national strategies addressing:

  • the emerging topic of financial education’s role in supporting micro-, small-, and medium-entrepreneurs (MSME’s),
  • the complementary nature of financial education and consumer protection,
  • measuring the impact of financial education.

How Economic Citizenship Education can Boost Youth Entrepreneurship and MSMEs

Rene Cuartero, Child & Youth Finance International’s Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific,a1sx2_300_2014-15-01_OECD-RC.jpg stressed the key role which Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) – a curriculum which combines financial, social and livelihoods education - can play as a driver for youth entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific.

As young people dictate the future of the region, investing in young people’s ECE is vital to ultimately empower young people to have the capacity to make good financial decisions, find the work they want, or establish their own enterprise. By receiving ECE young people’s interest, initiative and confidence in starting their own entrepreneurial initiatives can be vastly increased – contributing to the emerging importance of MSMEs to stimulate job creation and drive overall economic growth.


The author of this article is Rene Cuartero, Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific at CYFI

Rene leads CYFI's efforts in Asia and the Pacific, a region he holds close to his heart. He finished his BSc Economics and BSc Financial Management studies in the Philippines, and his MSc International Management in the Netherlands. During his diplomacy courses he realized that his true passion lies and has always been in creating meaningful impact for future generations – a passion that led him to CYFI. Rene considers himself as a “Global Filipino” and is always enthusiastic to learn and grow his expertise in business, international affairs, and pop music.

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OECD and Child & Youth Finance International Sign MoU

Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) is proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on October 22, 2014. The MoU is sure to strengthen the relationship which CYFI and OECD have enjoyed since the Child and Youth Finance (CYF) Movement’s launch in 2012. This formal agreement is set to boost the Movement’s promotion of children and youth’s financial education, financial inclusion and the protection of their rights at a national, regional and international level.

MoU will Strengthen Existing Collaboration

We welcome the signing of the MoU as a major step in CYFI’s and OECD’s excellent relationship. We look forward to strengthening this collaboration within this enhanced framework with a view to promoting young people’s financial wellbeing.

Mr André Laboul – Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD

The OECD and CYFI have closely worked together in recent years with the OECD serving as a co-chair of the CYFI Education Working Group, providing technical expertize and input to CYFI’s Education Manual and Education Learning Framework and guiding the strategic direction of the CYF Movement in their position as observer in the CYFI Supervisory Board.

Since 2003 the OECD has been an international leader in the field of financial education. In 2008 the OECD established the International Network on Financial Education (INFE) to bring together high-level public officials from OECD Members and non-Members to discuss financial education issues, develop data and relevant policy instruments, and conduct analysis. CYFI is proud to collaborate as a key partner with the INFE, by promoting a child and youth focus in line with the goal of the CYF Movement in 2015, and beyond!

The highlights of the collaboration between CYFI and the OECD are as follows:

  • OECD as a key partner in Global Money Week activities;
  • Exchange of advice and expertize in the development of analytical reports and surveys, as well as on the organization and hosting of regional and international meetings on the topic of financial education and inclusion;
  • Sharing of child and youth focused financial education, inclusion and consumer protection research, resources and good practices.

Great News for the CYF Movement!

We are excited to collaborate more closely with the OECD and are positive that this partnership will do great things for the efforts of the Child and Youth Finance Movement!

Jeroo Billimoria, Managing Director, Child& Youth Finance International

The CYF Movement will greatly benefit from the formalization of CYFI’s collaboration with the OECD: we look forward to this relationship translating into the implementation of child and youth centered financial education and financial inclusion policies at both the national and international level.

Special thanks from CYFI Secretariat staff goes to our friends and long-time supporters of the Movement: Mr André Laboul – Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD; Flore-Anne Messy – Deputy Head, Financial Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, and Executive Secretary INFE; and, their amazing team!

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CYFI’s Young Interns Voice Their Opinions!

On 6 November, three very talented CYFI Interns were asked to express their opinions as the "views of young adults" at the 2nd OECD/GFLEC Global Policy Research Symposium to Advance Financial Literacy in Paris, France. The three expressed their opinions during a session that focused on the gaps in students' financial literacy.

Consulting Youth

Here is what they had to say about their experience:

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Shaireen Moon (Pakistan) - The OECD Conference was truly an enlightening experience, it was wonderful to see all of the attendees so interested in what we, as the youth, had to say – many people came up to us in person and spoke to us about what we felt were ideal practices in term of financial education!

Thomas Van Vynckt (Belgium) - I am proud of having been part of the first ever group of students to have been invited to speak at an OECD conference. Being asked about my opinion by experts and professionals on what the necessary tools and steps are to improve financial inclusion was incredibly motivating.

Priyanth Pathmarajah (Netherlands) - I enjoyed the conference very much. It was a very educational experience and it was nice and inspiring to see how the high level people approached us after our session to ask us about our opinions. It is a pretty amazing feeling to be one of the first students who spoke to the audience during an OECD meeting and I hope that in the future there will be more and more input of students during these kinds of meetings.

CYFI is very proud of the great job that they did and of the wonderful contribution they are making to the Movement!

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OECD Financial Education Meeting, 11-12 September

The OECD Financial Education Meeting was held for Asia-Pacific, Sept 11-12 in Cebu, Philippines. This event brought together high-level officials and experts from central banks and officials of state governments, the private sector, academia as well as non-government organisations from South East Asia/ASEAN and APEC countries.CYFI presented on the CYFI financial education framework and the integration of financial inclusion and education in schools.

For more information on the OECD meeting you can consult their website

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