Mastercard has signed a deal with the Uganda Banker’s Association (UBA) to develop a framework that will strengthen the local financial services sector in support of the country’s National Vision 2040.
The National Vision aims to transform the country into a prosperous African economic powerhouse, where businesses can grow and people are able to prosper. The agreement between UBA and Mastercard is geared to support this Vision and sets out to drive collaboration in order to achieve the development and growth the National Payment Ecosystems.
Focus has been placed on anti-fraud and anti-counterfeit initiatives including cyber security; migration of payment cards to EMV; promotion of financial inclusion via capacity building initiatives and financial literacy and awareness programmes. Additionally the partnership will allow for research and policy development initiatives to further boost the sectors growth.
Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa at Mastercard noted that the partnership will help both organisations work towards accelerating the financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked in Uganda.
“This partnership is part of our commitment to financially empower 100 million people in Africa by 2020,” said Bwakira. “The collaboration with our partners, such as the Uganda Bankers Association, is key to achieving this vision and to support the country’s growth and sustainable development goals of ending poverty and promoting equality for all.”
One of the fundamental ways to empower people in Uganda is to ensure the seamless movement of their money within the economy. If you consider that over 80 percent of all transactions are still done in cash globally, there is an opportunity for African economies to ensure secure and convenient ways to pay are being delivered.
Cash has its risks and electronic payment solutions are delivering efficiency, transparency and security for the entire economy and includes a variety of solutions to meet the needs of all people. Including: prepaid, debit and credit payment card solutions to mobile driven innovation, such as Masterpass QR and remittance services.
“According to the 2017 African Outlook Report, Uganda has made incredible progress in implementing regulatory reforms, thus positioning itself as one of the easiest markets to do business with in Africa,” said Wilbrod Owor, Executive Director, UBA.
He went onto add that although Uganda had made great progress to reduce poverty, that much more work was required on this front. Furthermore, he highlighted that a strong financial services sector ensures that the broader economy is able to grow and overcome challenges.
“Our work with Mastercard will ensure that key sectors are supported, including agriculture and micro and small businesses. This partnership will help to establish Uganda as the powerhouse of East Africa and the continent, and provides us the opportunity to have open and transparent dialogue with global experts to ensure we are continuously innovating so we meet the changing needs of our citizens,” said Owor.
Bwakira noted that Mastercard will be one of the key sponsors of the Uganda Bankers Association Conference taking place in July, where leaders from across the economy will come together to discuss solutions and innovations that will deliver Uganda’s goals. He pointed out that this further highlights Mastercard’s commitment to the partnership, but also to the country.
The Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) is the umbrella organization for licensed commercial banks supervised by Bank of Uganda. UBA was established in 1981 and is currently made up of 24 members (all the 23 licensed commercial banks plus Uganda Development Bank).
The objectives of UBA include the development and maintenance of a code of ethics and best banking practices among its membership as well as to encourage and undertake high quality policy development initiatives and research on the banking sector, including trends, key issues & drivers impacting on or influencing the industry and national development processes therein through partnerships in banking & finance, in collaboration with other agencies (local, regional, international including academia) and research networks to generate new and original policy insights.