Uganda Financial Institutions pledge to carry 50 Million African Women Speak Project’s agenda to the next level
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 13th December, 2018: A first consultative meeting with financial institutions in the Republic of Uganda on the implementation of the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform (50MWS) Project was held on 11th December, 2018 in Kampala, Uganda.
The objective of the meeting was to introduce the project to the financial institutions and to solicit their support as key stakeholders in the implementation of the project.
EAC Director of Social Sectors, Mary Makoffu, reiterated the critical role of financial institutions in the implementation and success of the project.
“It’s a social responsibility for all of us to support women, because they are pillars of our economies” noted the Director.
Daniel Ocakacon, in charge of National Payment Systems in the Bank of Uganda, a regulator in the financial sector, reaffirmed that women have a crucial role in sustaining the region’s economy but regretted that most of these women still operate informally.
“Women are more active in the informal financial sector, but when you cross to the formal sector, they are almost nonexistent. Not many women have a bank account or access bank loans,” he said.
Mr. Ocakacon congratulated the EAC Secretariat for this undertaking stating that the 50MWS Project comes to complement the already existing efforts that are geared towards financial inclusion that the Government of Uganda started some years back.
The Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2022 was developed in an effort to ensure the middle missing women, youth and rural population at large are reached by services of the finance sector.
Mr. Ocakacon called on bankers present at the meeting to ensure that the objective of the strategy are kept in mind whenever banking services are being delivered.
“The Central Bank of Uganda has already paved a way for the 50MWS Project, the Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy highlights a number of products that need to be put in place by financial institutions to deliver on the objective of the financial inclusion”, he concluded.
Speaking at the meeting, Beatrice Lugalambi, in charge of Women Banking, at the Uganda Centenary Bank, said that the Bank and many other banks in Uganda had already embarked on the financial inclusion process.
“This project cannot however be successful unless it embarks on capacity building. Many women we work with, are still confronted with the issue of lack of knowledge and technical know how,” she said.
She nonetheless pledged on behalf of the Centenary Bank and other banks in Uganda to carry the 50MWS Project agenda to the next step, while calling for a stronger partnership with the Project and other Development Partners in addressing that shortfalls in capacity.
“Capital coupled with capacity building will bring us far in this undertaking,” Ms Lugalambi concluded.
Representing the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the coordinating Ministry in the implementation of the 50MWS Project, Caroline Rukundo Benda, expressed her gratitude to see the platform coming up and was confident that it will allow the population especially women in business to network with other regions as well as access regional and international markets.
Wilson Muyenzi, 50 Million Women Speak Project Coordinator noted that the commitment of the financial institutions had escalated his confidence in the success of the project.
The meeting participants were drawn from the financial services sector including commercial banks and Government funds as well as from the public sector including the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of EAC Affairs.
For more information please contact:
Content Manager for the 50MWS Project
Tel: +255 786726230;
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified