Trade, Poverty and Pencils

Friday, 14th July 2017

At the time of writing this piece, 13 July 2017, the Great Lakes Summit will be taking place in Munyonyo for two days. According to the website, Kampala will play host to a gathering of politicians, businesses and pro-market advocates from Europe, East Africa and beyond. The summit will explore the vast opportunities for greater trade and investment in the region: and make the ethical case for free trade as a means for poverty alleviation, conflict resolution and social justice"

The Regulatory Tweaks That Will Spring Refugees in Uganda To Economic Inclusion

Wednesday, 28th June 2017

Uganda is home to 1.2 million refugees, with more than 800,000 refugees entering the country since July 2016. Most refugees this year come from South Sudan and others have come from the neighbouring conflict - affected countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia.

The 2017/18 Budget: The Financial Inclusion Challenge

Thursday, 8th June 2017

Once again it is that time of year when the country takes stock of the performance of the preceding year. This year is no different. As I write this article, it is just two days away from the budget speech. Having read through the background to the budget, I have a few thoughts to pen down on the implications of the current budget and future economic projections on financial inclusion.Before we dive into the details the article we need to first unpack this term financial inclusion if we are to do justice to this discourse.

THE MOBILE DEBT TRAP: The Lion waiting to Pounce on its Prey

Tuesday, 30th May 2017

Mukasa is a small holder farmer in Luwero, a district in Central Uganda. Mukasa and his family of 7 live off his one acre maize farm. He is a subsistence farmer who mainly grows maize to feed his household. Out of the 20 sacks of maize harvested from his farm, Mukasa only sells 2 sacks at the local market. From these two sacks, He gets an average income of UGX 120,000 (US$ 35) per month. However, Mukasa does not have a regular and stable income due to the uncertainties associated with subsistence agriculture. 

Bitcoin: What you need to know

Wednesday, 10th May 2017
For the last few months Iíve attended several conferences discussing various aspects of the financial services sector from product innovation to financial inclusion. The one thing that has carried over from country to country and topic to topic is the inevitable moment when the coolest person in the room will mention that theyíre currently reading up on the next big thing. Bitcoin and Blockchain. This technology is going to change everything. It will upturn business models and the internet will finally be leveraged for change and life will be all rainbows and ice-cream-gluten free at that. 

The tip of the (data) iceberg in Uganda

Friday, 5th May 2017

Faith owns a small fruit-selling business in Uganda. Like most small business owners in Uganda, Faith started her enterprise with her own income and lacks access to finance to grow beyond the few fruit stalls she owns. She doesnít keep full financial records and lives most of her life informally and in cash, but has started using mobile money to make payments to the truck driver that delivers the fruit to the market and to receive payments from her customers. Faith, like Gimli Roberts from our 

Quick! Letís Triple The Number Of Bank Accounts In Uganda

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017

I had a call from the village on Monday. I needed to make a deposit into the farm managerís account urgently in order to allow him pay the vet. It was 3.45pm, I was busy, and had a packed social evening planned. I just couldnít make it to my bank (to withdraw the money), then run across to his (to deposit the same) in time.

Lessons from the Great Fire of London. Why insurance matters

Wednesday, 19th April 2017
Many people see insurance as a costly endeavor covering something that might not happen and see that money in opportunity cost terms-a car they could have bought, a piece of land, you name it. Further complicating this, a recent KPMG survey conducted in 2016 shows that fraud is a big concern for many insurers in East Africa and Uganda in particular.

Will Agency Banking be the required shot in the arm for the financial sector?

Tuesday, 7th February 2017

Banks and other financial sector players in Uganda await the issuance of the Agency Banking regulations in growing anticipation. Their issuance will allow for the extension of the provision of basic financial transactions to your local super market, hardware shop or pharmacy. In this way, banks should offer more convenient, flexible and accessible account access for both new and existing customers.

Digital systems can improve traditional banking methods

Tuesday, 7th February 2017
"M-Shwari hits the 10 million customer mark"- we've all seen the articles and blogs posts about this innovative Safaricom-Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) product that allows mobile money users to remotely open bank accounts, earn interest on their savings and access credit instantly. We've seen traditional financial institutions rushing to make strategic partnerships with mobile network operators, in an effort to replicate this success. 

Insurance Regulatory Authority Uganda and FSD Uganda MoU Signing Ceremony

Tuesday, 7th February 2017



Digital Credit is not always good for financial inclusion

Tuesday, 13th December 2016

The latest product from a combination of a bank and a mobile network operator (MNO) is MoKash.  It could be "the next big thing".  But before anyone gets too excited about the benefits, we should take a hard look at lessons from Kenya.  Kenya is where M-Shwari (a predecessor to MoKash) started and has really taken off.

Car Wash Sundays: A communal approach to health insurance

Thursday, 17th November 2016
The problem is, we can't all have a car wash or bake sale anytime a loved one falls sick. The public is generous but the public also gets tired and will move on. So where does that leave the most vulnerable among us? Those who live in small communities and whose peers earn about $2 a day.   

Micro insurance and the use of mobile phones

Monday, 14th November 2016

Micro insurance is giving people around the world with low incomes a method of managing risks in their lives. But microinsurance is not widely available. According to a GIZCountry diagnostic study, Uganda has an underdeveloped but growing insurance market. Insurance penetration is just 0.65% of GDP, much lower than our East African neighbour Kenya, and lower than the Africa market as awhole, at 3.6%. 

Unlocking capital for the Ugandanís poor: The Chattels Securities Legal Framework

Monday, 10th October 2016
The chattels new securities legal framework has the potential of increasing access to credit of micro-enterprises, which account for more than nine out of ten (93%) of the registered businesses in Uganda. These businesses employ between one to four people. This law will unlock capital in chattels previously untapped or not effectively utilized by the poor. That will put the little assets that they do have to work, and allow them to smooth their income or invest in their businesses and help them to eventually work their own way out of poverty.

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