Financial Service Availability Sees Improvement in Uganda

Financial Service Availability Sees Improvement in Uganda

From All Africa

The availability and easy access to financial services has a marked influence on individual and institutional development.

Specific to Uganda, the development trends partly have a bearing on the country’s burgeoning financial sector.

For instance, commercial bank lending to the private sector increased from sh681.9b in December 2001 to sh7755.3b in December 2012 observes Bank of Uganda deputy governor Louis Kasekende.

“Other positive developments in the sector include the increase in the number of banks from 20 in 1999 to 24, bank branch network to more than 455 branches compared to 153 in 1999, and ATMs to more than 600, from 430, four years ago,” he says.

The financial sector, Kasekende adds, has not only positively evolved in terms of volumes of cash handled, but equally in terms of investment in human capital accumulation, technology to deliver better services and continued innovation to meet user demands – some new products for small medium enterprises (SMEs), credit cards and points of sale services with major service providers and retailers have been created.

However, 62% of Ugandans have no access to financial services. That is where the Uganda Rural Challenge Fund, which was launched recently comes in.

The 8m euros fund is a result of partnership and development cooperation between Uganda and Germany. It will provide grants to support innovations that will lead to increased access to financial services for rural enterprises in Uganda.

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