Gov’t, private sector engage to revving financial inclusion

The main stakeholders of the Ugandan financial ecosystem have pledged to put in more efforts and concrete steps in order to boost financial inclusion in the country.

The signatories of this call to action and initiative of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and its programme for financial inclusion, Scale2Save, include Uganda Bankers Association (UBA), Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU), Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), Financial Technologies Service Providers Association (FITSPA), and the Mastercard Foundation.

According to the signatories’ statement during a joint commitment that “We are ready to work with all stakeholders to show the industry commitment, mainly at the time of shocks. We are also prepared to give our contributions to the empowerment of low-income customers, seize economic contributions to the appointment of low-income customers to take economic opportunities, build resilience and, in the end, have a better life.

They declared this commitment at the end of a two day Scale2Save event held in Kampala under the theme ‘Building resilience and economic empowerment for women and youth, which brought together some 100 participants.

Both things, the event and the call to action will concentrate on the critical drivers of financial inclusion, such as customer-centricity, the potential of digital finance and sustainable business models.

According to Michael Atingi-Ego, the Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor, When you try to observe our lived reality, you automatically start to observe the imbalance that Scale2Save is trying to address today. This period of financial exclusion of women and the youth tantamounts to trying to balance a three-legged stool on one leg. This is unsustainable in a country that is working towards socio-economic transformation.”

“I am happy because I am going to participate in this event because the Bank of Uganda shares the aim of democratising access to and empowering the users of financial services, not least by supporting the national financial inclusion strategy and through our strategic plan and operations. But like the multilegged stool, it will take the contribution of all stakeholders and partners to bring about universal financial inclusion.”

The Scale2Save is mainly a six-year programme and doing work with six African countries, including Uganda, where it partners with Centenary Bank, FINCA Uganda and BRAC Uganda Bank.

Weselina Angelow, the Scale2Save Programme Director, during the event, showed some of the key lessons learned during the last year implementing financial inclusion initiatives in Uganda.