COVID-19 and access to agricultural finance in Uganda

COVID-19 and access to agricultural finance in Uganda

During August and September, Wellspring Development Capital and Sofala Partners conducted a “rapid diagnostic” on the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural finance in Uganda, on behalf of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU). We consulted more than 85 experts and practitioners across the country, from those involved in farming and agro-processing, to traders and exporters, commercial banks, NBFIs, SACCOs, regulators, development partners, and more. We would like to express our sincere thanks to those who took the time to share insights with us.

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The impact of Pandemics on Poverty and Financial Inclusion

The impact of Pandemics on Poverty and Financial Inclusion

By Rashmi Pillai, Executive Director.

By now, the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – is a household term. Hand sanitizer is out of stock, businesses are closing or cutting staff, and even boda-boda riders near the FSD Uganda office report possible plans to stop working and go back to the village because they aren’t earning enough to remit back to their families. The pandemic is another reminder of our global interconnectedness. It is a reminder of how an issue that is completely external can dramatically influence economies, both through on the ground effects like killing tourism, and through macro level effects like disrupting trade and weakening the currency.

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How the blockchain technology can secure your mobile phone transactions

How the blockchain technology can secure your mobile phone transactions

The blockchain technology will act as a ‘second eye’ looking at the SIM card registration database on behalf of the regulator, ensuring the users are legitimate and consolidating the data

By Noah Baalessanvu, Cryptosavannah Limited Uganda and George Muga, Digital Finance Expert, Nairobi

Twenty years ago, communication between persons across distances and services like sending money had a heavy reliance on physical channels, such as landlines, the post office and public service vehicles. The advent of mobile telephony came with the benefit of easy, reliable, and affordable communication nationally and across borders.

This evolution has birthed benefits and in same breath risks that have propagated crime, fraud and other related illegal activities. Fraudulence has also penetrated products and services delivered through the mobile phone for example mobile banking.

To stem these challenges, UCC has taken a bold step to adopt blockchain technology for new SIM card registrations. Blockchain is a register of decentralised data that is securely shared1. It enables a collective group of select participants to share data. Data is broken up into shared blocks that are chained together with unique identifiers known as cryptographic hashes, which cannot be altered without the permission of a quorum of the parties who participate in the blockchain.
It additionally, provides data integrity given that all parties use the same data thereby eliminating data duplication and increasing security.
The development of the blockchain for SIM card registration is a first in the region and is spearheaded by Cryptosavannah a technology company in Uganda with requisite expertise. The initiative is financed by Financial Sector Deepening, (FSD) Uganda to help develop, efficient financial market infrastructure and processes, that will bring to life sharing of data (interoperability) amongst actors of the same ecosystem.

According to Finscope 20182, mobile money contributed about 20% to financial inclusion, which stands at 78%. It is therefore crucial that telecom operators and other players who rely on the mobile phone as a channel for their products, ensure safety of their customers’ data.

Benefits of SIM registration blockchain to Uganda
The blockchain technology will offer a single registry that consolidates data in real time. It is expected that for every newly registered SIM card by an operator, details of National Identification Number (NIN) would be captured and automatically searched across the other registered SIM cards the NIN is registered against. This will eliminate the need for manual intervention searches which is onerous and inefficient. Additionally, this will also address the illegal registrations as exhibited in the past, hence stem fraud and other identity theft related activities.

This technology is time saving since telecom operators do not have to share their SIM card registration data with UCC regularly. Because of it, customers will have secure access to relevant products and services offered through the mobile phone such as mobile banking.

Additionally, other actors within the private and public sector can utilise this technology when they disburse cash benefits through mobile money.

The blockchain will act as a ‘second eye’ looking at the database on behalf of the regulator, by ensuring the users are legitimate and consolidating the data. It will enhance security by tracking any inconsistencies and illegal SIM cards being registered in the black market.

The blockchain will also allow users to verify the number of SIM cards registered under their NIN, ultimately enforcing compliance to the law on SIM card holding limits.

In line with Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP III)3 vision of enabling a truly digital economy, this platform will play a pivotal role in driving the digital economy agenda, where majority of digital products and services are offered and fulfilled via the mobile phone.

Telecom operators are currently testing this technology in conjunction with UCC with a plan to operationalise it by year end.

Before the blockchain technology

Prior to the introduction of the blockchain technology, the government of Uganda put in place several interventions aimed at preventing fraudulence in the telecommunication sector.

In 2010, the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act4 was passed. It prescribed a maximum of 10 SIM cards per customer across all networks regulated by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). In 2016, the government of Uganda made it mandatory for an individual to present valid identification to telecommunication operators in order to obtain a sim card. The card would be activated upon verification via a shared system enabling a customer access to various services as offered by the operator.

While the provisions of the law are being implemented, they are largely inefficient, given several reported incidences of SIM card fraud. The lack of standardised know your customer records, a regulation by the Ugandan government2 across the industry also led to complexities in SIM registration data reconciliations. This presented a challenge in enforcing the SIM card limits as the operators would not have visibility to the other operators’ SIM registration database to determine the number of SIM cards registered to everyone.

These gaps posed a risk not only to customers’ identities being abused and used for fraud but also to undertake criminal activities. Criminals would illegally register SIM cards using other individuals’ identity documents, commit crimes and discard the same2. The blockchain technology comes in to fill these gaps.


REFERENCES

1. https://www.oracle.com/ke/blockchain/what-is-blockchain/#:~:text=What%20is%20Blockchain%3F-,Blockchain%20defined,collected%2C%20integrated%2C%20and%20shared.
2. https://fsduganda.or.ug/our-work/foundational-work/finscope-uganda-2018-survey/
3. http://www.npa.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NDPIII-Finale_Compressed.pdf
4. https://old.ulii.org/system/files/legislation/act/2010/18/Regulations%20of%20Interception%20of%20Communications%20Act%2C%202010.pdf
5. https://www.ucc.co.ug/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/All-Telecoms.Operational-Guidelines-on-simcard-registration..pdf
6. https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/scam-rocks-sim-card-registration-1852002

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FI4R Diaries Round IV Insights: Gender

FI4R Diaries Round IV Insights: Gender

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    This is the final(part four) of an ongoing series of insights from a financial diaries study undertaken with refugees in Uganda, focused on their ability to cope with risks. The respondents are drawn from customers served by three financial service providers: Equity Bank Uganda, VisionFund Uganda, and the Rural Finance Initiative.

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    FI4R Diaries Round III Insights: Digitization of Saving Groups

    FI4R Diaries Round III Insights: Digitization of Saving Groups

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      This is part three of an ongoing series of insights from a financial diaries study undertaken with refugees in Uganda, focused on their ability to cope with risks. The respondents are drawn from customers served by three financial service providers: Equity Bank Uganda, VisionFund Uganda, and the Rural Finance Initiative.

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      Behavioral Biases and Nudges A/B Testing Report

      Behavioral Biases and Nudges A/B Testing Report

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        Findings from the behavioral nudges A/B testing on biases that hinder uptake of personal financial investment and wealth management solutions.

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        Informal Cross-Border Trading In Uganda Study Report

        Informal Cross-Border Trading In Uganda Study Report

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          COVID-19 continues to impact individuals, families, and economies, lowering household income and decreasing resilience. The pandemic has been felt on cross-border traders, especially on their livelihood activities. While the government has eased COVID-19 related restrictions, business recovery, public and private transport have been affected, impacting border districts that rely heavily on trade.

          Many enterprises, both formal and informal, are regarded to be underperforming or on the verge of collapsing, leaving cross-border trader and informal traders susceptible and at risk of falling further into poverty.

          FSD Uganda desires to design an intervention to support women engaged in cross-border trade to access financial support, arises from the need to respond to impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods of women engaged in informal cross-border trade in Uganda.

          FSD Uganda aims to develop interventions to support women whose livelihoods depend on affected cross-border trade.

          FSD Uganda seeks to provide financial support through a carefully designed financial instrument in order to build livelihoods and enable resilience of the affected women who derive livelihoods from their participation in cross-border trade.

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          FSD Uganda and EAVCA sign MoU to Bridge Gap in Private Capital Access in Uganda

          FSD Uganda and EAVCA sign MoU to Bridge Gap in Private Capital Access in Uganda

          Kampala Tuesday, 04 April 2022: Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the East African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EAVCA), Uganda Chapter, under the Deal Flow Facility (DFF) to bridge the existing gap between the supply and demand side of private capital in Uganda.

          The DFF, which is funded by the European Union, in collaboration with the Capital Markets Authority and incubated at FSD Uganda, is helping Ugandan companies to become investment ready by actively supporting them with technical assistance and matching them to long term investment capital that will allow businesses to focus on growth.

          Under the MoU, the DFF applicants and EAVCA members will have opportunities to access a pool of investors, gain access to quality investment opportunities and have a networking platform for growth-stage companies seeking long-term investment capital to grow their companies.

          During the signing ceremony, the DFF Director at FSD Uganda, Norah Koigi Ngare, said: The DFF and EAVCA share a common vision to promote and create a favourable business environment to position Uganda as a private capital destination of choice. We are confident that through collaboration with EAVCA, we will share learnings, support in increasing awareness in the market and create an opportunity for EAVCA’s members to access deal pipeline, and for Ugandan enterprises to access non-bank funding.

          The EAVCA Chairperson , Steering Committee, Jarl Heijstee said, “This MoU will set the pace for us to work together to improve the business environment for investment promotion. We will jointly identify and unlock any impending policies that incentivise the deployment of private capital and co-design a networking event for the DFF’s investor pool and EAVCA members.”

          FSD Uganda is an independent, non-profit organization that supports innovation, conducts research, and helps to promote and improve policy, laws and regulations that shape the financial sector. Apart from increasing capital inflows, the accelerated growth of medium to large companies through the DFF will result in direct and indirect job creation, with a multiplier effect on household income and financial inclusion.

          EAVCA was founded in 2013 to represent East Africa’s private equity and venture capital industry and provide a voice for industry players to raise awareness and engage on regional policy matters. The industry body is the primary industry association for East Africa’s private equity and venture capital ecosystem. Its operational jurisdiction within East Africa includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. With a membership comprising primarily of fund managers, limited partners, and private capital industry service providers, the core business of EAVCA is the provision of services in pursuance of the interests of actors within its membership base. EAVCA launched their Ugandan chapter in 2021 to promote Uganda as a private sector capital destination while ensuring a favourable environment for trade and investment in the local Ugandan private business sector.

          The Ag. Executive Director, Joseph Lutwama, acknowledged the support of the European Union and the Capital Markets for their role in creating the DFF Flow facility which, he said, its not just about matching companies, but also develop the whole capital and investment ecosystem.

          Mr Richard Mugera, the Vice Chairperson, Steering Committee said the DFF and EAVCA have a shared vision of addressing the gaps in accessing growth capital for emerging Ugandan businesses. The MoU is the first step towards achieving this goal.

          For more Information contact:

          Brenda Amony
          FSD Uganda – DFF Portfolio Relationship Manager
          bamony@fsduganda.or.ug
          +256 782 379611

          EAVCA Contact
          EAVCA Uganda Chapter – Country Co-ordinator
          doris@eavca.org
          +256 779587540

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          Study on Uganda’s Climate Change Adaptation Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis

          Study on Uganda’s Climate Change Adaptation Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis

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            The most pressing agricultural risks in Uganda are directly related to climate change (CC):  droughts, floods, crop/ livestock pest diseases, post harvest loss, hailstorms and thunderstorms, and other natural risks such as landslides

            The lack of ownership and control over land and resources, and their disproportionate burden of unpaid care work, restricts access to finance, extension services and technological innovation to Ugandan women. They predominantly prefer VSLAs to formal financial institutions for savings and credit. Enhancing opportunities for women constitutes an efficient strategy for climate adaptation

            The bulk of the climate change adaptation funding to Uganda is funded via bilaterals 87 with only 8 via multilaterals, and 4 via climate change funds. This suggests an unmet opportunity for Uganda to access a larger proportion of international climate finance through climate funds

              • Lack of knowledge of the ecosystem across different actors and how to apply for funds were commonly cited as reasons that explain the gap

            So far, the commercial financial sector has had a limited scope in enhancing climate change adaptation due to persistent challenges that also explain the lack of financial inclusion:

              • The majority of farmers depend on rainfed agriculture with minimal use of irrigation. Most have poor access to information, high risk, low bankability and are located in areas that are not well connected areas,
                poor access to information, high risk, low bankability
              • Farmers rely heavily on local materials with minimum use of external inputs (improved seed, inorganic fertilizers and agrochemicals) to improve crop production.
              • There is a lack of awareness and knowledge of CC risks and information both for farmers and commercial sector end.
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            Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Supply – Side Report)

            Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Supply – Side Report)

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              The overall objective of the study was to develop practical solutions for preserving and building relevant elements of the financial system to support the survival, recovery, and growth of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Uganda. The core of the market analysis was to understand how the supply of finance to the MSE sector in Uganda had been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and what options were available to build on ready measures to mitigate the impact. This analysis identified both threats and opportunities for inclusive finance service providers (IFSPs) to meet the financing needs of MSEs.

              With the support of the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and with some direct provision of information by IFSPs, the study team had detailed operational and financial information on 30 SACCOs and 11 MFIs. Due to confidentiality/nondisclosure policies, AMFIU provided anonymous data, stating only the region in which the entity operates and its institutional form.

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              Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Demand- Side Report)

              Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Demand- Side Report)

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                The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on the Ugandan economy especially hitting the micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in the informal sector. MSEs have been facing unprecedented income losses and uncertainties about their future because of business disruptions due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

                FSD Uganda commissioned a demand side market diagnostic study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on micro and small enterprises in Uganda. The overall objective was to develop practical solutions to preserve and build relevant elements of the financial system to support the survival, recovery and growth of micro and small enterprises in Uganda.

                From the research, only 3% MSEs reported to be completely recovered. 71% of the surveyed MSEs are yet to return to normal pre-COVID-19 operations timing. Several factors such as reduced hours of operation, disruptions in movement, and general low customer turnout have impacted the businesses severely.
                MSE owners hope to bounce back, however, some issues continue to plague the recovery of enterprises. These include, on an average 50% of reduction in household income due to low revenue from the business, job losses in the family, or depletion of other income sources hit by the pandemic.

                Women-led enterprises have suffered a greater average loss in income (50%) compared to men-owned MSEs (33%) from the pre-pandemic level of income. Also, while MSEs in urban areas have been able to attain 57% of the pre-pandemic income level, MSEs in rural areas have recovered up to 50% of the pre-pandemic income level.

                As per the estimates of the World Bank, the COVID-19 crisis has pushed around 2.6 million Ugandans into poverty. With longest closure of schools in Uganda, not only the education sector but many other businesses providing services in the ecosystem suffer a great deal in their bid to recovery to pre-pandemic level.

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                Executive Announcement – Ms. Rashmi Pillai

                Executive Announcement – Ms. Rashmi Pillai

                The Board and staff of FSD Uganda, with mixed feelings of sadness and gratitude, announce the exit of Ms. Rashmi Pillai as the Executive Director – FSD Uganda, effective 8th March 2022.

                Rashmi joined FSD Uganda as the Director of Programmes in 2018 and was appointed to the role of Executive Director in 2019. Over the last four years, she has spearheaded FSD Uganda’s vision on systemic change for a more inclusive financial sector. A sector that proactively catered to the marginalized like women, youth, smallholder farmers, refugees, and small businesses.

                Under her stewardship and strategic steer, FSD Uganda has grown to become the country’s leading ‘think and do tank’ on financial inclusion.

                The organisation has nurtured strong partnerships with key government ministries and agencies, the private sector, development partners and industry associations to help shape the operating environment of the financial industry in the country. The alliances enabled us to inform policies, regulations and digitally driven and evidence-backed approaches that have led to the development of tailor-made products benefiting many more Ugandans. The forward-thinking approach for relevant studies like the Covid -19 Wave series, has informed government initiatives, such as the recovery programmes being implemented by the government of Uganda.

                Over the last four years, the organisation has championed innovative ideas that continue to challenge the status quo to meet the needs of ‘risk groups’ and strengthen the digital space to improve efficiencies and increase the reach of financial services. Some notable innovations include the Shared Agent Banking Network, the Electronic Know Your customer project impacting 15 million bank accounts, refugee finance directly impacting 200,000 households, digitisation of SAGE elderly payments, among others.

                Rashmi leaves at a time when she has championed the development of a bold new strategy, “FSD Uganda 2.0,” to support the development of a financial sector that will increase the take-home income of people and businesses and contribute to the real economy.

                This new direction, flexibility of approach and strategic alignment led FSD Uganda to onboard new partners –  the Mastercard Foundation for a $25MN Recovery Fund targeting micro and small businesses , and the $3.25 MN European Union led technical assistance  Deal Flow Facility targeting non-bank financing into mature Ugandan businesses. Thus, contributing to the national development goals of economic transformation.

                The outgoing Executive Director, Rashmi Pillai, said:

                “I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to contribute to Uganda’s national financial inclusion goals for the past four years. As the FSD Uganda team, we made incredible strides. We have influenced policies that have changed the financial sector landscape, collaborated with partners to develop innovative products that have benefitted most Ugandans, and we have rightly earned our place as the thought leaders in the financial sector. The new alliances we have onboarded have enabled the team to be more agile, efficient, and purposeful in what they do. I thank our donors – the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Mastercard Foundation, and the European Union for believing in us.

                I want to thank the FSD Uganda team for their unprecedented resilience, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. We were tested, but we came out stronger. I’m confident that with the clear strategic direction we have put in place and a good team, the organisation is in a much stronger position and has a defined legacy that will thrive for years to come.”

                The FSD Uganda Board Chair, Ms. Amani M’Bale said:

                 “On behalf of the Board and our staff of FSD Uganda, I would like to thank Rashmi for her passion, commitment and contribution to the financial inclusion ecosystem in Uganda. Her stewardship has sustained our position as a leading and relevant organisation that has facilitated and triggered sustainable changes in the market. This will continue to drive growth and access to finance. Rashmi has steered FSD Uganda in a solid position for continued growth. We thank her for her contribution and leadership that has seen over 700,000 Ugandans get included in the Financial Sector through innovations, improvement of the business environment, progressive policies and regulations that will continue to impact Ugandans’ lives positively. We wish her success in her next assignment”.

                Joseph Lutwama
                Joseph Lutwama

                In the interim, the Board has appointed Mr Joseph Lutwama, the current Director of Programmes, as the Ag. Executive Director. Joseph has a wealth of experience in the financial sector and has been part of the growth witnessed at FSD Uganda over the years.

                We trust that you, our partners will provide him the usual support as we transition into new management.

                If you have questions about the transition or the organisations do not hesitate to reach out to Joseph Lutwama on jlutwama@fsduganda.or.ug.

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                Rebuilding livelihoods in displacement Endline Report – March 2022

                Rebuilding livelihoods in displacement Endline Report – March 2022

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                  Little has been known about the financial strategies employed by refugees over time to build their livelihoods and manage their finances. This report provides an in-depth analysis of a baseline survey undertaken in January 2020 and an endline in November 2021. The sample included refugees and their host communities in the settlements of Nakivale, Bidi Bidi, Palorinya and in the capital Kampala. An endline study was conducted to understand the evolved financial behavior of refugees, get feedback on financial products offered by the implementing partners and assess how new financial products were used by the refugees. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred during the study period and offered the opportunity to track how households coped with the situation.

                  The Financial Inclusion for Refugees (FI4R) project was launched in 2019 by FSD Uganda and FSD Africa to support financial service providers (FSPs) to offer financial services to refugees and host communities. The project is supporting three financial service providers (FSPs) Equity Bank Uganda Limited (EBUL), Vision Fund Uganda (VFU) and Rural Finance Initiative (RUFI) to offer financial services to refugees and host communities.

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                  Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Recovery Fund Launched

                  Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Recovery Fund Launched

                  Mastercard Foundation and Financial Sector Deepening launch new fund to revive 50,000 Micro and Small Enterprises In Uganda

                  Thursday, 24th February 2022, Kampala: Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, today launched a five-year Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Recovery Fund under the Young Africa Works initiative, to boost 50,000 enterprises recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

                  The US$20 million (approximately UShs70 billion) fund will shorten the recovery process of youth and women-owned businesses that employ and sustain the livelihood of millions of Ugandans. The fund will directly secure  100,000 at-risk jobs while enabling 150,000 additional opportunities for dignified and fulfilling work for young people

                  MSEs in the program will receive credit worth between UShs100,000 and UShs10 million, which will be delivered through participating microfinance institutions and SACCOs (Tier III and Tier IV financial institutions).

                  In addition to supporting MSEs, the fund will build the resilience of grassroots Financial Service Providers (FSPs) by digitizing workflow processes and strengthening their capacity to attract more long-term institutional capital to address shocks and ensure the sustainability of systemic growth.

                  The Executive Director of FSD Uganda, Ms. Rashmi Pillai, said that FSD Uganda prides itself in working closely with like-minded partners such as the Government of Uganda and the Mastercard Foundation to find solutions that benefit all Ugandans.

                  Ugandans.

                  “The MSE Recovery Fund was a result of the FSD Uganda 5-waves COVID-19 studies. The studies show that while most people returned to jobs by late 2020, the quality of jobs declined, and net pay was still below pre-pandemic levels for nearly 73% of surveyed adults.. Individuals and households that worked for and with MSEs were worst hit. That’s why the facility we are launching today is intentional in targeting micro and small enterprises whose credit needs fall between UShs100,000 to UShs10 million. We are confident that this facility will be an excellent complement to the Government of Uganda’s Small Business Recovery Fund,” she added.

                  Speaking on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation, Adrian Bukenya, the organizations’ Country Head, Uganda, added: “MSMEs are a significant driver of employment in Uganda. So, as the Foundation looks towards enabling 3 million young Ugandans to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030, we know we can only get there by addressing the residual effects of the pandemic on MSMEs. This facility is about standing with the individuals and businesses that are the backbone of our economy as they bounce back.”

                  The Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi, commended FSD Uganda and the Mastercard Foundation for this initiative, which he said will bolster Uganda’s effort to accelerate growth and revive the economy. “I am pleased that these organizations are targeting MSEs that employ most Ugandans. The fund will  boost our effort as a government and will help us to cover more ground and support our people to become self-reliant amidst the challenges of the pandemic,” he said.

                  The Recovery Fund will be implemented in partnership with ASIGMA, the facility manager, who will ensure effective management of the funds, and gnuGrid, who will be tasked with the implementation of the credit referencing services to improve the processes of selected financial service providers.

                  #End

                  About FSD Uganda 

                  Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSD Uganda) is a company limited by guarantee promoting greater access to financial services in Uganda. FSD Uganda seeks to develop a more inclusive financial sector focusing on low-income individuals, particularly smallholder farmers, women, youth, and forcibly displaced people and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). With support from FCDO, FSD Uganda facilitates product innovation, conducts research, helps to promote and improve policy, laws and regulations that shape the financial sector in Uganda. For more information on FSD Uganda, please visit www.fsduganda.or.ug

                  About the Mastercard Foundation 

                  The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

                  About Young Africa Works 

                  Young Africa Works is the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Africa will be home to the world’s largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the job market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa’s global competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities. The Mastercard Foundation will implement Young Africa Works in 10 African countries in collaboration with governments, the private sector, entrepreneurs, educators, and young people. The first phase of countries identified by the Foundation are Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Nigeria.

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                  Gender Barriers to Access and Use of Financial Services by Women in Uganda

                  Gender Barriers to Access and Use of Financial Services by Women in Uganda

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                    This qualitative study was commissioned by Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSD Uganda) to provide an understanding of the underlying barriers to access to and usage of formal financial services by women. Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO – formerly DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the European Union (EU), FSD Uganda is an independent not-for-profit company committed to promoting greater access to and usage of financial services in Uganda. It seeks to support a more inclusive financial sector with a focus on low-income individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

                    The overarching aim of the study was to obtain a deeper understanding of the constraints and enablers of women’s access to and usage of formal financial services. The study framework was aligned to the three key components of a market system, namely: the core (demand and supply), supporting functions, and formal and informal rules and thus involved obtaining insights and perspectives from all types of market system actors including FSPs, support service providers, regulators and policymakers, individual household members and a mix of women and men in the community. Since the study also sought to establish geographical variants of women’s experience in accessing financial services, field visits were undertaken in southwestern, central peri-urban and rural villages as well as in Kampala to capture rural, semi-urban and urban perspectives.

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                    MSME Resilience in Uganda Study – November 2021

                    MSME Resilience in Uganda Study – November 2021

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                      MSMEs in Uganda are underserved by insurance but are a significant potential target market. MSMEs play a fundamental role in the Ugandan economy as drivers of growth and employment, but they face considerable risks that hinder their capacity to thrive. Insurance could bolster MSMEs’ resilience in view of the risks and challenges that they face but, at present, does not sufficiently fulfil this role. Moreover, from insurers’ perspective, there is considerable business opportunity to reach this largely untapped market.

                      Insurers challenged in serving MSMEs. Despite the business opportunity that this group represents, MSMEs are a heterogenous potential target market that is generally difficult to reach/distribute products to and gather data on. MSMEs’ perception of insurance also tends to be negative – based on a lack of experience with the value of insurance (often due to poor claims experience and lack of tangibility of the benefits).

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                      Managing the complexities of insurance partnerships – Turaco and Fenix International

                      Managing the complexities of insurance partnerships – Turaco and Fenix International

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                        Above our mission of leveraging finance for the upwards economic mobility of women, youth, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), smallholder farmers and refugees, FSD Uganda’s interventions are aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals, households and communities using appropriate financial products and services. Aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our interventions are designed to increase access to critical social services including health, education, and affordable housing. This will positively impact the wellbeing and long-term outcomes for the communities that we serve.

                        Turaco’s pilot project, a collaboration with Fenix International, was one of the winners of the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda Microinsurance Challenge Fund (MCF) commissioned in 2018. The MCF winners’ projects provided learnings that will be beneficial to all players in the market. Case studies from the MCF winners will highlight the different models that exist and document key learnings. This specific case study draws on the experiences of the Turaco and Fenix International teams navigating the complexities of insurance partnerships.

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                        Making Elephants Dance – A Case Study on Shared Agent Banking in Uganda

                        Making Elephants Dance – A Case Study on Shared Agent Banking in Uganda

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                          Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda collaborated with several market actors, who together, played a foundational role in piloting Uganda’s Shared Agent Banking System (SABS). Following an extensive engagement with industry actors, FSD Uganda produced a case study on Shared Agent Banking in Uganda “Making Elephants Dance’ that contains critical reflections on how SABS can be enhanced and scaled sustainably in Uganda. Further, the learnings captured in the case study will be an important reference point for countries looking to embark on a similar journey.

                          The title of the case study, Making Elephants Dance, depicts the herculean efforts that were put in by the industry association, Uganda Bankers’ Association, industry actors, the Agent Banking Company, the regulator, the technology partner Eclectics International, as well as development sector actors to establish mutual principles that are governing the complex partnerships required for SABS in a highly competitive industry. The case study also highlights forward-looking opportunities that exist.

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