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Linking refugees to formal financial services (Part I)

Linking refugees to formal financial services (Part I)

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By Anne Gachoka and Carmen Merab, BFA Global Financial services are an important avenue for refugees to save money, access loans, and manage life shocks. However, many of them struggle ...
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Unlocking the Potential of Uganda’s Housing Value Chain Through Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration

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Download Presentation By Jimmy Ebong and Maria Nkhonjera Uganda’s Financial Sector Development Strategy (FSDS) estimates the country’s housing deficit to be 1.6 million units, with an annual requirement between 180,000 ...
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Regulating for Innovation Supervisory Toolkit

Regulating for Innovation Supervisory Toolkit

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Download Toolkit The fast-paced changes in the financial sector are primarily driven by innovation and advancements in technology. Proactive engagement with the market will help policy makers and regulators build ...
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Cooperatives as Engines of Transformation

Cooperatives as Engines of Transformation

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By Anthea Paelo Cooperatives continue to be an important engine for economic productivity and growth in countries like Uganda. They play a critical role in mobilizing savings, increasing access to ...
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Insurance Innovation Dialogue; Opportunities in the time of COVID-19

Insurance Innovation Dialogue; Opportunities in the time of COVID-19

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The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Uganda, in partnership with FSD Uganda and the Innovation Village, hosted an interactive virtual workshop on 19th November 2020, to discuss the opportunities and ...
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Informal Sector Pensions: Protecting millions of East Africans from old-age poverty

Informal Sector Pensions: Protecting millions of East Africans from old-age poverty

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By Joseph Lutwama. It is everyone’s desire to retire with a roof over their head and a decent income that will sustain them through their old age. However, very few ...
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Reimagining settlement communities: responding to the growing financial needs of Uganda’s refugees and their hosts

Reimagining settlement communities: responding to the growing financial needs of Uganda’s refugees and their hosts

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By David Darkwa & Fred Ndiwalana. Mama Nicole is what most academics would call a ‘Forcibly Displaced Person’ - a refugee. Three years ago, she fled her village in Northern ...
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Message from Rashmi Pillai - FSD Uganda Executive Director on COVID-19

Message from Rashmi Pillai – FSD Uganda Executive Director on COVID-19

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Uganda confirmed its first case of COVID-19 this weekend. The Government of Uganda, together with private sector actors, continue to demonstrate great leadership by putting in place and adopting progressive ...
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New lives, new tools: The financial lives of refugee communities

New lives, new tools: The financial lives of refugee communities

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Observations by BFA Global based on initial field research  Access to financial services and a steady source of income are key concerns for displaced populations when they begin to settle ...
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Harnessing the power of data to create relevant products and services for consumers

Harnessing the power of data to create relevant products and services for consumers

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The 2019 Financial Inclusion Week themed Financial Inclusion: For What? Is being recognized globally between October 21 and October 25. The Financial Inclusion Week (FIW) is aimed at getting stakeholders ...
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Mapping Regulatory Behavioral Biases to Innovation in Financial Services

Mapping Regulatory Behavioral Biases to Innovation in Financial Services

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By Joseph Lutwama and Kim Kariuki Technology advancements in the last two decades have resulted in a chain reaction of innovations in financial services never experienced in this generation. Whereas ...
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Rethinking Insurance uptake in Uganda: Why legacy models aren’t enough

Rethinking Insurance uptake in Uganda: Why legacy models aren’t enough

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By Joel Muhumuza(FSDU) and Protazio Sande(IRA) It’s midnight and Muzeeyi Bizibu and his wife are meant to be asleep because they have to wake up at 5am to go to ...
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Digital Finance Can Transform Agriculture

Digital Finance Can Transform Agriculture

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By Alice Nakagwa Advances in Technology could be the solution to smallholder farmers’ access to financial services in Uganda. Take Enid Nimusiima, 42 years old, a member of Mushanga Savings ...
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Solar Energy Lighting Up The Way To Financial Inclusion

Solar Energy Lighting Up The Way To Financial Inclusion

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By Peter Kawumi Increased access to solar energy by rural households and small businesses will drive demand for formal credit in the developing world. Off-grid solar energy solutions are taking ...
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Digital Payments: Unlocking the Formal Economy for Small Businesses

Digital Payments: Unlocking the Formal Economy for Small Businesses

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By Joel Muhumuza Like many developing countries, Uganda is a cash economy. This is particularly true for the transportation sector. Boda-Boda’s or motorcycle taxis dominate private transportation in Uganda, particularly ...
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FinScope 2018: The case for a deeper and more inclusive financial sector in Uganda

FinScope 2018: The case for a deeper and more inclusive financial sector in Uganda

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The FinScope Survey is often conducted to respond to a lack of information regarding the need for financial services. The study is designed to determine how individuals 16 years or ...
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FSD Uganda Design Sprint for Refugee Financial Services

From Ideas to Field Tests in 4 Days: A Design Sprint for Refugee-Centered Financial Services

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By John Won*, Consulting Associate (BFA) and Peter Kawumi, Manager Competitive Strategies (FSD Uganda) In June 2018, BFA, a global consulting firm led a four-day design sprint for financial service ...
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How sandboxes can help the rural poor borrow, contribute to growth

How sandboxes can help the rural poor borrow, contribute to growth

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According to Uganda’s National Household Survey 2016-2017, eight out of every 10 Ugandans reside in rural areas, with the majority engaged in agriculture, while those living in urban areas are ...
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Mapping the Financial-access Journey of the Refugee

Mapping the Financial-access Journey of the Refugee

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By John Won, Consulting Associate, BFA In April 2018, BFA facilitated a series of workshops for six banks - Diamond Trust Bank, Equity Bank, FINCA, Opportunity International, Post Bank, Ugafode ...
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World Food Programme(WFP) Beneficiaries during the bio-metric registration for the PostBank Prepaid card at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

Notes from the Frontier: Could Refugee Populations Be Ripe For Financial Inclusion?

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As we approached the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement area, we were met with a calm sense of normalcy. People went about their business as usual, men and women tilling farms, children ...
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Financial Inclusion for Refugees: Laying the Foundation for a Business Case for Financial Industry Players in Uganda

Financial Inclusion for Refugees: Laying the Foundation for a Business Case for Financial Industry Players in Uganda

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On Friday 8th December, FSD Uganda held a roundtable event in Kampala to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss Financial Inclusion for Refugees in Uganda. Representatives from financial service ...
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Photo by ice3x

Bitcoin, Tulip Mania and the need to dwell with knowledge

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Bitcoin, Tulip Mania and the need to dwell with knowledge. As I write this on the 20th of December 2017, 1 Bitcoin (BTC) is worth $ 18,969.33. Exactly one month ...
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Partnering in digital payments to strengthen financial inclusion in Uganda

Partnering in digital payments to strengthen financial inclusion in Uganda

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Over half of Uganda’s adults are forced to keep their savings at home because of a lack of access to formal financial services1. Not only is this not safe, but ...
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Why you should care about financial inclusion

Why you should care about financial inclusion

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Starting Monday 30th October for one week, people all over the world are going to celebrate Financial inclusion. According to Center for Financial Inclusion the focus will be on exploring ...
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Financial inclusion is vital to end Uganda’s poverty

Financial inclusion is vital to end Uganda’s poverty

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By Jacqueline Musiitwa, Executive Director, Financial Sector Deepening Uganda The poverty level in Uganda is shockingly high.  According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in the 2016/17 Household Survey, about ...
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FSDU Symposium on Financial Inclusion

FSDU Symposium on Financial Inclusion

On October 30, 2017, as part of Financial inclusion week running from 30 October to 3 November 2017, FSDU held its first Symposium on Financial Inclusion at the Kampala Serena ...
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Notes from the Frontier: Spurring Refugee Economic Inclusion in Rwanda through Inclusive Financial Products

Notes from the Frontier: Spurring Refugee Economic Inclusion in Rwanda through Inclusive Financial Products

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Note to reader: For the safety of the refugees and following guidance from UNHCR, no names or pictures have been used in this piece. Thursday 2nd November 2017 was the ...
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Low-cost private schools; the untapped gold mine for financial institutions

Low-cost private schools; the untapped gold mine for financial institutions

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The concept of the missing middle and needs of SMEs goes beyond access to finance. There is need for support in governance, business development and mentorship. To take this forward ...
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Uganda’s rural households will be energy deprived unless swift action is taken

Uganda’s rural households will be energy deprived unless swift action is taken

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A new report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation warns that the 2013 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets will not be achieved based on the current course of action by world ...
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Why collaboration and not competition, is key in improving financial services industry in Uganda

Why collaboration and not competition, is key in improving financial services industry in Uganda

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The financial services industry – banks, mobile network operators, insurance providers and others – have historically sought to work independently in achieving their profitability goals. With the recent global and ...
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Consumer Protection: Is your Money Safe?

Consumer Protection: Is your Money Safe?

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By Joseph Lutwama Policy, Legal and Regulatory Specialist Can my money ever be safe? Can I trust the bank to keep my money safe? I am sure at some point ...
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FinTech ASSOCIATION OF UGANDA LAUNCH

FinTech ASSOCIATION OF UGANDA LAUNCH

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FinTech Association of Uganda in partnership with Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) launched the FinTech Association of Uganda at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on August 31, 2017. The emergence and increasing ...
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The case of Mobile Money innovation in Uganda

The case of Mobile Money innovation in Uganda

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Undeniably, a lot has been said as well as written about mobile money. However, it seems there is still some unfinished business related to the topic of mobile money. This ...
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Trade, Poverty and Pencils

Trade, Poverty and Pencils

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

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

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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 ...
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The 2017/18 Budget: The Financial Inclusion Challenge

The 2017/18 Budget: The Financial Inclusion Challenge

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

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

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Mukasa is a small holder farmer in Luwero, a district in Central Uganda. Mucks and his family of 7 live off his one acre maize farm. He is a subsistence ...
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Bitcoin: What you need to know

Bitcoin: What you need to know

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For the last few months I’ve attended several conferences discussing various aspects of the financial services sector from product innovation to financial inclusion. The one thing that has carried over ...
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The tip of the (data) iceberg in Uganda

The tip of the (data) iceberg in Uganda

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aith owns a small fruit-selling business inUganda. Like most small business owners in Uganda, Faith started her enterprise with her own income and lacks access to finance to grow beyond ...
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Quick! Let’s Triple The Number Of Bank Accounts In Uganda

Quick! Let’s Triple The Number Of Bank Accounts In Uganda

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I had a call from the village on Monday. I needed to make a deposit into the farm manager’s account urgently in order to allow him pay the vet. It ...
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Lessons from the Great Fire of London. Why insurance matters

Lessons from the Great Fire of London. Why insurance matters

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Early on Sunday morning September2nd, a fire broke out at Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane in1666 London, at the time, Europe’s largest city. After a couple of rainy summers,a ...
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Will Agency Banking be the required shot in the arm for the financial sector?

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

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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 ...
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Digital systems can improve traditional banking methods

Digital systems can improve traditional banking methods

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"M-Shwari hits the 10 million customer mark"- we've all seen the articles and blogs posts about this innovative Safaricom-Commercial Bank ofAfrica (CBA) product that allows mobile money users to remotely ...
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Digital Credit is not always good for financial inclusion

Digital Credit is not always good for financial inclusion

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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 ...
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Digital Credit is not always good for financial inclusion

Digital Credit is not always good for financial inclusion

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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 ...
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Car Wash Sundays: A communal approach to health insurance

Car Wash Sundays: A communal approach to health insurance

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The car wash ends with about 15million shillings raised and a relieved family that could afford to take their daughter, Rita, to India for medical treatment. This was the only ...
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The impact of shutting down mobile money in Uganda

The impact of shutting down mobile money in Uganda

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On February 18, 2016, the people of Uganda went to the polls to vote in the Presidential and Primary elections. Citing a threat to "national security," the Uganda Communications Commission ...
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