Kampala- Uganda Government has assured Ugandans that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2022 will reduce the number of people excluded in the financial system by 10 per cent in the next five years.
Officials say the strategy provides a long term framework for the realisation of the vision for “All Ugandans to have access to, and use of, a broad range of quality and affordable financial services which helps ensure their financial security”.
In his address during the launch of the strategy in Kampala last week, Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said: “The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Bank of Uganda therefore, decided to craft an ambitious and comprehensive national strategy which aspires to reduce financial exclusion from 15 percent to 5 per cent by 2022.”
He added: “The ultimate objective of enhancing financial inclusion is to improve the welfare of Ugandan citizens and to contribute to socio-economic development.”
Mr Mutebile explained that the strategy has been developed in consultation various stakeholders and defines the vision, pillars, and key performance indicators that will guide the activities of the multiple implementing stakeholders over the next five years.
The Strategy is based on five key pillars to address both demand and supply side barriers to financial inclusion.
Critical gaps have been identified under each strategic pillar and key interventions have been articulated to address these gaps.
Giving the keynote address, deputy executive director Alliance for Financial Inclusion Norbert Mumba said global trends show strong and increasing interest in development of national financial inclusion strategies.
He added that this reflects recognition by policymakers that the complexity of financial inclusion, involving many different policies and actors, requires an overall organising framework and strategic approach.
“Financial inclusion is a long-term challenge which requires guiding principles and frameworks under which detailed action plans can be tailored,” he said.
First deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali said the strategy is in line with the National Resistance Movement government’s ideology which places emphasis on empowering all citizens, as also envisioned under the earlier programmes such as the Economic Reform Programme of the 1990s which sought to improve the supply side bottlenecks of the financial system.
“The Economic Reform Programme provided autonomy to the Central Bank to license, regulate, and supervise the financial institutions which by then were largely commercial banks,” he said