Key stakeholders of the Ugandan financial ecosystem came together during a Scale2Save knowledge sharing event, which concluded with a joint call to action with concrete steps 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 program for financial inclusion, Scale2Save, are the Ugandan Bankers Association (UBA), Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU), The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), The Financial Technologies Service Providers Association (FITSPA), and the Mastercard Foundation.
“We are ready to work with all stakeholders to demonstrate the commitment of the industry, particularly in times of shock. We are also ready to continue making contributions to the empowerment of low-income customers to seize economic opportunities, build resilience, and, ultimately, have a better life”, state the signatories of the document.
This commitment was announced at the end of a 2-day Scale2Save event in Kampala entitled ‘Building resilience and economic empowerment for women and youth’ which brought together some 100 participants. Both the event and the call to action focused on the key drivers of financial inclusion such as customer-centricity, the potential of digital finance, and sustainable business models
Michael Atingi-Ego, Bank of Uganda’s Deputy Governor, described the current state of high financial exclusion of women and youth in the country during his keynote speech at the event.
“When you consider these observations about our lived reality, you start to see the imbalance that Scale2Save is attempting to address here today. This extent of financial exclusion of women and the youth is tantamount to trying to balance a three-legged stool on one leg. This is unsustainable in a country that is working towards socio-economic transformation”, he said.
“I am pleased to participate in this event because the Bank of Uganda shares the objective of democratizing access to and empowering the users of financial services, not least by championing 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,” added Mr. Atingi-Ego.
Scale2Save is a six-year programme working in six African countries including Uganda, where it partners with Centenary Bank, FINCA Uganda, and BRAC Uganda Bank. Weselina Angelow is Scale2Save Programme Director. During the event, she presented some of the key lessons learned during the last years of implementing financial inclusion initiatives in Uganda.