Former minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, recently blamed the poor performance of the economy on what he called a poor saving culture among Ugandans.
Out of close to 40million Ugandans, only 6million people own bank accounts and 20% of deposits are held in fixed deposit accounts.
This is about to change, thanks to Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) that launched the USE University Challenge yesterday. The challenge aims at inculcating an investment culture among students in universities across the country.
The three-months challenge seeks to give the youth a platform to trade and understand how to invest in shares and bonds.
About 1,000 university students are expected to take part in the challenge, the first of its kind in the country.
Speaking at the launch at Nakawa Industrial Park, USE CEO Paul Bwiso noted that the investment challenge help raise awareness among the younger generation on investing in the stock market and how the students can create wealth though the exchange.
“This platform will be critical in demystifying what securities and trading is all about while giving an opportunity to students to learn how to make informed investment decisions early on in their lives,” Bwiso said.
The challenge will see each participant get Shs35m capital for investment. The virtual capital, according to Bwiso, will be used to buy and sell virtual shares and corporate or government bonds listed on the Securities Exchange or invest in fixed deposits or swings.
“The USE Investment Challenge is aimed at encouraging youth to develop a culture of savings and investments by demonstrating in a practical way how to buy and sell securities listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange,” Bwiso said.
Participants will have access to the USE real time information.
According to Catherine Gitonga, the Founder & CEO of Smart Youth Investments, the best student will receive Shs10m worth of shares or bonds to start investing.
“This is an entry point for students to learn how to invest through the Uganda Securities Exchange,” added Gitonga.
The challenge is sponsored by among others dfcu Bank, Stanbic Bank, NIC, Uganda Clays and Umeme are sponsors of the challenge.