The State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo has warned Ugandans that begging and receiving cash handouts from government will never get them out of poverty.
Speaking during the launch of Emyooga presidential initiative on wealth and job creation at Hoima district headquarters on Wednesday, Kasolo said Ugandans can only get wealthy by changing their mindset to start saving the little they earn than wait for handouts.
“Government has introduced many programs to eradicate poverty out of Ugandans but many have remained poor because of their mindset. Many have remained poor despite these programs because they are waiting for government to give them cash,”Kasolo said.
“You can never get rich through receiving handouts from government or anyone else.”
The minister said that unlike other programs, the Emyooga initiative emphasizes the role of saving in alleviating poverty.
“You should not look at the money that government will inject in each sacco as seed capital. That is too little money compared to what you can save as a group. What has made people remain poor is waiting for government handouts yet there is a lot of unsaved money that they waste every day and is not accounted for,”Kasolo.
The minister cited an example of boda bodas, saying that 6000 riders in a constituency can save at least shs2000 each per day which translates into shs12 million per day for the entire group and shs360 million per month.
He however noted that because of the problem of the poor mindset, many don’t see it that way, yet there is a lot of money they spend on unnecessary things.
“If you don’t understand the problem, you will continue being poor. The only problem is the mindset but if it can be changed and you start saving, you can become wealthy in a short time.”
Kasolo urged locals in Hoima to organize themselves in various clusters doing the same job(Emyooga) and form saccos from where they can save but also borrow for development.
According to Alfred Eboku Ejanu, the head of Credit and Operations at the Microfinance Support Centre, they would help train sacco members on what to do, as one of the ways to ensure they become wealth and sustain themselves.
“The Microfinance Support Centre as the implementing agency will give skills in book keeping and financial discipline to all sacco members free of charge. The main objective is to ensure that sacco members can be self-sustainable as the project becomes a success,”Eboku said.
The Emyooga initiative targets Ugandans especially in the informal sector who come together in form of saccos under 19 clusters including Boda boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders.
Each of the saccos will receive shs30 million as seed capital, save for the private teachers and leaders that will each receive shs60 million and 50 million respectively.