Housing Finance Bank joins GIZ and StartHub Africa in promoting innovation and sustainability towards smart cities

In fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Building sustainable cities and communities) Housing Finance Bank joined StartHub Africa with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH for the Open Innovation Program demo day where six startups - WENA Hardware, Yunga, ShareCARD, RentBeta, Kawu, and SEMA – showcased their customized solutions to the growth of sustainable and smart cities.

The Open Innovation Program, implemented by StartHub Africa in partnership with Make-IT in Africa, a project by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is dedicated to supporting technology-driven solutions in the areas of smart cities. This initiative aims to refine smart city ideas, establish long-term partnerships between startups and relevant partners, and equip startups with personalized venture development and business modeling.

Within this context, Housing Finance Bank played a pivotal role in developing the problem statements in relation to smart cities, contributed to the shortlisting of participating startups, and offered training sessions and essential financial advisory services. Furthermore, the Bank is actively pursuing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with startups sharing mutual areas of interest to solidify its commitment to advancing the smart cities agenda.

Representing the Bank, Mr.  John B. Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgages and Consumer Banking at Housing Finance Bank emphasized the significance of this collaboration during the demo day. He underscored that Housing Finance Bank's involvement in the program aligns seamlessly with the bank's unwavering commitment to advancing smart cities and green technology while addressing Uganda's substantial housing deficit.

"We believe that the Open Innovation Program is a pivotal step in addressing the profound housing deficit, currently estimated at 2.4 million units, and in safeguarding our planet for future generations. Since the Program started, we have witnessed innovative solutions that not only reduce the cost of homeownership but also enhance environmental protection, home security, and digital platforms that unify key stakeholders within the housing value chain," said John B. Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgages and Consumer Banking at Housing Finance Bank.

Housing Finance Bank is proud to be a part of the innovative movement shaping the future of housing and sustainability in Uganda. The bank remains committed to enabling sustainable home ownership and financial independence, and the Open Innovation Program is an important step in that journey.

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