The Bank of Uganda and the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development are poised to launch the second National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
Building on the success of the initial strategy spanning from 2017 to 2022, this new phase aims to deepen formal financial services and enhance their quality and usage.
Alex Ochan, a representative from the Bank of Uganda, emphasized the global significance of the NFIS, stating,
"The NFIS has become a global priority because it improves household incomes and gives a chance to individuals to participate in financial decisions."
The first strategy focused on creating access to financial services, including the establishment of mobile money and banking agents, benefiting the entire Ugandan population.
However, in this second phase, the spotlight shifts to deepening formal access from regulated financial institutions. Ochan highlighted key objectives, stating,
"We should also improve usage as well as the quality for which these financial services are provided." This underscores a commitment to not only expanding access but ensuring meaningful engagement with financial services.
In the initial NFIS, women were given priority, and this emphasis will continue in the second strategy.
Ochan emphasized that while women, youth, and rural dwellers were prioritized in the first strategy, there will still be a focus on these demographics in the new strategy.
Additionally, refugees, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be prioritized to promote inclusive economic development.
Ochan highlighted the inclusive nature of the new strategy, stating, "Although women, youth, and rural dwellers were prioritized in the first strategy, there should still be sufficient targeting in the new strategy. In addition, refugees and PWDs, as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises, should be prioritized."
The implementation of the new strategy will involve ensuring clear budgetary allocations for initiatives designed to benefit the economically disadvantaged.