Diana Atuhaire on Financial Inclusion

Ahead of the second YELP seminar in August, we tasked our Class of 2019 Fellows to reflect on the kind of change they would want to bring to their sector/industry through a performance speech.

Ahead of the second YELP seminar in August, we tasked our Class of 2019 Fellows to reflect on the kind of change they would want to bring to their sector/industry through a performance speech. The speeches would borrow from the four principles that underpin the YELP Fellowship: empathy, clarity, knowledge and volunteerism. Below we have reproduced some of the speeches.

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Ladies and gentlemen, I greet you all!

My topic today is about financial inclusion and I’ll start by asking;

What is financial inclusion to you?

Financial inclusion is defined as the availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services.

Or the delivery of financial services at affordable costs, especially to the disadvantaged and low-income populations.

Many Ugandan individuals and businesses today still struggle to access useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs.

But luckily, we have the likes of MTN Mobile Money i.e. Momo pay and Airtel money which have taken over the traditional banking and savings cooperatives.

In my opinion, it is a very good thing that we have these avenues so far however, they are quite expensive to the ordinary Ugandan who you’d locally term as ‘omuntu wawansi’ – in Luganda, meaning a less privileged person. I’ll give an example of my grandmother deep down in the village who may not have access to banking services and opts to keep her cash under the mattress.

You’ll realize that at least every year, there’s an increase in the mobile money pricing and then the introduction of the mobile money tax where you’d have to incur an extra 0.5% for every cash withdraw – this I find quite exploitative to the struggling Ugandan.

On a positive note though, we need to appreciate the convenience that comes with Mobile Money payments and transfers, the new Ayo life insurance product.

To counter the financial inclusion gap especially in the rural areas where the natives have a common perception that financial services are expensive, we have seen the introduction of Agent Banking services. By bringing the bank closer to you, so you’re now able to easily access financial services in your local neighbourhood, transfer money and make payments.

I’m proud to be part of a team that is responsible for designing and bringing these financial services closer to the customer and that includes pricing them at affordable fees.

Yes, I may not be directly in control of what happens in the financial market but I believe that together and through continuous digital innovation, we can change the status quo.

That is how I intend to bring dignity to our world.

 

Diana Atuhaire, YELP Class of 2019.

 

 

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