In Summary

Ms Rebecca Kiconco, a lecturer at Makerere University Business School and MTG project country coordinator said although Uganda has about 30 million mobile money subscribers, this wide adoption of the platform remains indirect

Kampala.

Experts in entrepreneurship have appealed to telecom companies to develop mobile money solutions that are tailor-made for women in rural communities.

The director of Small and Medium Enterprises Uganda Investment Authority, Mr Basil Ajer, said the biggest impediment in adoption of technologies like mobile money is illiteracy among rural women entreprenuers.

“When you talk about information technology in villages, challenge number one is illiteracy. So we have had to customise services that can allow a user to know how to use a basic phone,” he said.
He was speaking at the Knowledge Sharing Workshop on the use and adoption of Information Communication Technology by rural female entrepreneurs in Kampala last week.

This follows the Muppets to Gazelles project conducted in Nakaseke and Mpigi districts which focused on 3000 women entrepreneurs in the districts with the aim of tackling barriers to innovation and ICT use.

Mobile money platforms are the main financial inclusion tools that rural women can use to send and receive money to support their businesses, transfer money to their bank accounts if they can and save their money.

However, according to a Research fellow at Economic Policy Research Centre, Ms Madina Guloba, almost 70 per cent of women entrepreneurs are illiterate.

Adoption
Ms Rebecca Kiconco, a lecturer at Makerere University Business School and MTG project country coordinator said although Uganda has about 30 million mobile money subscribers, this wide adoption of the platform remains indirect.

“A bigger percentage of the 30 million subscribers, in particular in the districts of Nakaseke and Mpigi have adopted but this is not direct. People are not using the mobile money themselves, it is more of an agent operating on behalf of the people who are illiterate,” she said.

Ms Kiconco added that most rural female entrepreneurs lack the basic knowledge of operating a mobile phone beyond making a call.