2017-10-27

Uganda launches National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2022

Uganda launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2022 during the ceremony held on 26 October 2017. National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) entails that “all Ugandans have access to, and use of, a broad range of quality and affordable financial services which helps ensure their financial security”. The NFIS seeks to reduce financial exclusion from 15 to five percent by 2022.

Uganda’s NFIS is based on five key pillars that address both demand and supply side barriers to financial inclusion, with critical gaps identified under each strategic pillar. These pillars include: reducing financial exclusion and barriers to access financial services; developing the credit infrastructure for growth; building the digital infrastructure for efficiency; deepening and broadening formal savings, investment and insurance usage; and protecting and empowering individuals with enhanced financial capability.

The Strategy was launched by the First Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Rtd. Gen. Moses Ali, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Hon. Eng. Dr. Ajedra Gabriel Aridru (MP) and the Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile. Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Deputy Executive Director Mr. Norbert Mumba provided a key note address.

“The ultimate objective of enhancing financial inclusion is to improve the welfare of Ugandan citizens and to contribute to socio-economic development,” the Governor Tumusiime Mutebile said in his welcoming remarks.

Developed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Bank of Uganda, in consultation with various stakeholders, the NFIS defines the vision, pillars and Key Performance Indications that will guide the activities of the multiple implementing stakeholders over the next five years, the Governor explained.

“A financially included population is key to reducing income inequality and poverty as well as boosting productivity and growth,” First Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Rtd. Gen. Moses Ali said, adding that such a population would accelerate the realisation of Uganda’s aspirations to become a middle-income country.

First Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the Strategy’s emphasis on implementation of its measures through multi-sectoral arrangements, while fostering efficiency and sustainability. 

“I wish to reiterate Government’s commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind by the economic and social transformation process,” First Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Rtd. Gen. Moses Ali concluded.

Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Hon. Eng. Dr. Ajedra Gabriel Aridru (MP) explained that the NFIS 2017-2022 is an outcome of a strategic partnership between Government, the Private Sector, and Development Partners. The Strategy’s launch is timely due to “desire to accelerate our progress towards broader and more meaningful financial inclusion,” he said.

“My Ministry will continue to work closely with all the relevant actors to ensure that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy Action Plan is effectively and efficiently implemented,” Hon. Eng. Dr. Ajedra Gabriel Aridru (MP) emphasised.

In his key note address, AFI DED Mr. Norbert Mumba said that AFI applauds the development of Uganda’s elaborate national financial inclusion strategy that is an essential catalyst to scale up and deepen financial inclusion in Uganda as well as the East Africa region.

“A robust national financial inclusion strategy should be receptive to financial growth policies that take into account gender equity with specific emphasis to access for women, NFIS should address climate change and green finance and the plight of both externally and internally displaced persons,” Mr. Mumba explained.   

“Uganda is one of 27 countries that committed to develop national strategies under the Maya Declaration. Uganda has now completed this task and is one of 43 countries that has the national financial inclusion strategy in place,” Mr. Mumba emphasized.

Uganda has the total of 13 targets under the Maya Declaration, with six in progress and seven completed. Some of the thematic areas that Uganda is working on include agent banking, national strategy on financial inclusion, overarching national goal, financial literacy and financial education, microcredit and micro savings, consumer protection, financial identity, credit information system, financial inclusion data, consumer empowerment and market conduct, e-money, global standards, financial integrity.

Maya Declaration is an initiative to unlock the economic and social potential of the 2 billion unbanked population through greater financial inclusion. It is the world’s first commitment platform enabling AFI member institutions to make concrete financial inclusion targets, implement in country policy changes and regularly share progress updated. A public commitment to the Maya Declaration is a means to champion financial inclusion.

Read the Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2022. Visit Bank of Uganda for more information.

For more on Maya Commitments please visit AFI Data Portal.