The Bank of Uganda’s ‘Finance for Everyone’ Program

Inside Uganda’s emerging fintech ecosystem

The country has been experiencing a fintech revolution in the last four to five years. It was no exception in Kenya where M-PESA mobile money platform had successfully launched in the market.

But it hasn’t been the same in Uganda. But with the country’s adoption of mobile money, the situation has changed.

Although Uganda is now the world’s top mobile money and finance market, the country has been struggling with the issue of a lack of knowledge and understanding of the existing technology.

There have been a number of initiatives launched by central bank, the development partners and corporates, but some of them seem to have been designed to address the problem, rather than alleviate it. For example, the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has made a number of interventions such as releasing a ‘new banking code’, introducing an application on Android platform for the banking services but also other banks including J.P. Morgan and Barclays have been supporting such initiatives.

Recently, the Bank of Uganda has made its own contribution. In a bid to increase the adoption of mobile money and fintech among the youth, the Bank has launched a ‘Finance for Everyone’ Program which, according to the bank, would “improve the way service delivery is delivered to clients by facilitating access to financial services and tools for those in need, thereby making them more resilient against financial shocks”.

The Bank’s ‘Finance for Everyone’ Program involves a series of interventions for four years, including making financial literacy and microfinance education free for everyone through a school-based approach, improving financial access for the informal sector through the ‘Finance for Everyone’ programme, and encouraging early adoption of mobile money services through the ‘Finance for Everybody’ App.

So, what is the problem?

The main problem is a lack of awareness of what the current technology offers. As the Bank of Uganda puts it, a large number of youth are excluded from access to finance without making use of existing financial technology in the country.

Another important issue is the cost of using such technology. In fact, it is almost impossible for many segments of the

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