Mastercard and Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSD Uganda) will likely be entering a partnership to develop financial services and solutions in Uganda. This comes after the two organizations entered into a memorandum of understanding which it is hoped will improve the livelihoods of Ugandans and strengthen the country’s economy through better financial services.
The partnership was announced during Financial Inclusion Week in Uganda.
Vice President and Area Business head for East Africa at Mastercard, Chris Bwakira and FSD Uganda Executive Director, Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa sign the MOU for partnership in innovating around financial inclusion.
“Digital payments have played an important role in connecting Ugandans to financial services securely and seamlessly: 53 out of every 100 Ugandan adults have transacted because of mobile money solutions, for instance, which shows us that the ability to include people in the economy is driven by innovative digital solutions,” said Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa at Mastercard.
Mastercard and FSD Uganda have also committed to focus on meeting objectives in specific areas, most notably in protecting consumers, driving engagement with Uganda's government policies, as well as carrying out research and partnering with other critical stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise around financial inclusion.
"Mobile penetration sits at 65 percent and continues to grow rapidly, illustrating that as businesses, we should be targeting solutions that are convenient for citizens and that are easily accessible and available on platforms that they have adopted and use regularly,” said Bwakira.
Bwakira added that it was for that reason that the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion is working on an education payments project in Uganda which will be followed soon by an agricultural payments project next year. Solutions developed by Mastercard and FSD Uganda will seek to close these gaps and build on the education pilot, eventually linking to other initiatives not only in education but also in agriculture, trade and health – core sectors in Uganda’s economy.
Approximately 60% of Uganda’s citizens are involved in agriculture, for example, making pioneering tools and solutions in these areas a driver of growth.
"Uganda takes building a more inclusive economy extremely seriously, as evidenced in the recently launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2022. Strategic partnerships between organizations with the same values such as FSD Uganda and Mastercard, are an important step on the journey towards creating a country where financial services are accessible, affordable and beneficial to all,” said Ms. Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa, Executive Director at FSD Uganda.