Our systemic approach to building inclusive financial markets will ensure that our interventions benefits all poor people who need access to formal financial services to strengthen their resilience and improve their livelihoods. However, FSD Uganda recognises that specific groups of people face additional constraints in accessing these financial services, and tailored approaches are required to enable them to become active participants in, and beneficiaries of the any improvements in the market.
Poor women face higher rates of formal financial exclusion than men in Uganda. This is driven by lack of access to land, lower rates of mobile phone ownership, high participation in the informal economy and cultural factors, among others.
Uganda has the world’s youngest population with over 78% of the population below the age of 30. It also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Including Uganda’s youth in formal financial markets will be critical to providing them with opportunities to improve their well-being.
Uganda has the largest refugee population in Africa and the third largest of any country in the world. Beyond immediate humanitarian assistance after being relocated, there is growing recognition globally that access to well-functioning financial markets is a critical requirement for refugees to be able to settle and integrate with host communities or return to their homes if possible; either way engaging in economic activity.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
MSMEs are therefore a crucial source of income and employment creation for the poor given the lack of formal employment opportunities in Uganda. Financial markets must support MSMEs to grow and employ more people for this employment-creation impact to be realised.
Access to formal financial markets is critical for smallholder farmers to improve their productivity and insure themselves against the loss of their crops or livestock.