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Focus beyond financial inclusion – Economist to govt

Financial Sector Deepening Uganda Executive Director Jacqueline Musiitwa, has urged stakeholders to strengthen the financial sector beyond financial inclusion (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The Executive Director of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda, Jacqueline Musiitwa has urged players in the financial sector to push beyond financial inclusion.

Speaking at the launch of the FinScope Uganda survey, Musiitwa noted that although the statistics on financial inclusion are improving, there is a dire need for all players in the sector to move beyond financial inclusion to the push for financial health.

“We need to ensure that a farmer, for instance, moves from getting paid by mobile money for her crops and her taking that money out as cash to the same farmer being able to use her money to pay for her child’s school fees, to borrow, access insurance and save all with ease, at an affordable price and with the intention of those financial services making her less vulnerable to shocks,” she advised.

She further noted that while the numbers for financial inclusion in general are increasing, women are still being left behind.

“We are committed to doing more as we are finalizing our gender strategy which weaves gender into all of our pillars. We have already started engaging with our partners on aspects of gender to ensure that they too mainstream gender sensitivities into their programming.”

According to the Finscope Uganda 2018 report, the percentage of the adult population with access to formal financial services has more than doubled since 2006.

However, formal sector financial inclusion is dominated by the use of mobile money, which provides only a limited range of financial services.

Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende called for the broadening of financial services as an effort to lay strategies beyond financial inclusion (FILE PHOTO)

The report further shows that only 11 percent of the adult population in Uganda use a commercial bank or micro deposit taking financial institution while only 3 percent of the adult population in the country who borrow money do so from a commercial bank.

Speaking at the same event, the deputy governor Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende called for the broadening of financial services.

“These findings suggest that the focus of public policy should be to try and broaden the range of financial services to which the population has access particularly from formal sector financial institutions which can offer a degree of prudential management and customer protection which is not available from the informal sector.”

Derived from a survey based on a representative sample of the population comprising approximately 3,000 adults, the Finscope survey also found that the breadth of access to financial services is quite wide in Uganda, with 78 percent of Ugandan adults have access to financial services.

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