SBFIC – Promoting Sustainable Financial Inclusion in Uganda

SBFIC – Promoting Sustainable Financial Inclusion in Uganda

By UCSCU Media | October 19, 2019

The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V. makes the expertise of the German Sparkassen accessible to developing countries and emerging economies.

We are leading consultants and partners for the financial retail service sector in East Africa.

In 1992, Germany’s Savings Banks Finance Group established the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC). SBFIC is actively supporting stakeholders in the microfinance sector all over the world, promoting a sustainable economic and social development at a local, regional or national level. By strengthening regional and local financial structures, SBFIC does not only help to improve development options for broad segments of the population and local companies, but ultimately helps to generate jobs and income. This mirrors the approach and objectives pursued by the German Savings Banks and exerts a stabilizing effect on the financial sector concerned and thus on the overall economic development of the respective country. The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) started its activities in East Africa in 2009.

In Uganda, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) recently opened its office in Uganda. In cooperation with the partner organizations, the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU), SBFIC is providing the Micro Business Games and financial education for schools and refugees. Due to Uganda’s liberal refugee policy, many refugees receive land and the right to work. As such, SBFIC and its partners support the development of necessary business skills that foster economic independency. SBFIC maintains two offices in Uganda; one in close relationships with the project partners in Kampala and one operational office in Aura in order to implement and monitor project activities in West Nile.

Institutional strengthening of partner organizations. In order to strengthen the micro-finance sector in Uganda, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is supporting the foundation of a training academy for our partner organization Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU). The academy aims to become a center of excellence for microfinance related trainings in the Uganda. Lastly, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is supporting the institutional strengthening of their partner organization through the implementation of a human resource technical advice program for Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU) and with the development of a business plan for the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU).

Financial Education

SBFIC has conducted a baseline study in the West Nile region and a master training for financial education. To date, 10 MFIs and SACCOs are partaking in the financial education program. Through the program, these institutions are also developing and offering savings accounts for children. In the Northern region, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is conducting the Farmers Business Game and the Micro Business Game.

World Savings Day

The importance of saving

Wealth begins with the first coin in the piggy bank. What sounds like a banal commonplace is today as true as ever. Traditional forms of savings still are amongst the most popular in the world. What is seemingly a simple idea – setting aside small sums in a savings account – actually has profound consequences on economic development and on personal-financial well-being. Savings guard against risks like illness, unemployment, and other economic hardship. And they are crucial for the economy enabling banks to allow credits. Savings are a sustainable way to satisfy the needs of today in a way that future generations find themselves in an environment that is socially and economically intact. Recent research has emphasized that, while micro-credit is important access to general financial services in particular savings is also instrumental in alleviating poverty and stimulating economic growth.

World Savings Day – the History of Teaching How to Save

The World Savings Day was established by the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) in order to inform people all around the world about the idea of saving their money in a bank rather than keeping it under their mattress. Starting in 1925 it soon became an annual tradition in several countries going along with celebrations and campaigns to encourage savings. In their efforts to promote thrift the savings banks also worked together with schools, the clergy, as well as cultural, sports, professional and women’s associations. Indeed, World Savings Day was at first an educational activity, at least partly. In 1928, the WSBI stated that saving was “a virtue and a practice which are essential to the civil progress of each individual, of every nation, and of the whole of humanity!” Correspondingly, the World Savings Banks Congress declared schools the most reliable ally in the field of teaching future customers.

Celebrating the World Savings Day in Germany

The German Savings Banks celebrate the World Savings Day for more than 80 years now. Originally the idea was to educate families, children and thereby the whole society to save and particularly convince them of the importance of saving. Nowadays the World Savings Day is still celebrated once a year on the last working day in October. The German savings banks traditionally celebrate that day by running various information campaigns emphasizing the importance of saving and organizing events, especially for children and for schools.