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National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2023-2028 unveiled

National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2023-2028 unveiled

(Courtesy photo)

In a bid to foster inclusive economic growth and align with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of Uganda launched its second National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), outlining a comprehensive roadmap for the period 2023-2028.

Financial inclusion has emerged as a pivotal element in driving overall economic development and achieving broader development objectives. Recognizing this, Uganda initiated its first NFIS in 2017, and the latest strategy builds on the successes and lessons learned from its predecessor.

Key Highlights of the NFIS 2023-2028 Launch:

1. Prioritizing Inclusivity and Quality Services: While the first strategy successfully expanded delivery channels, the new NFIS places a heightened focus on deepening formal access, usage, and the quality of financial services. It aims to ensure that financial inclusion efforts benefit all segments of society, including women, youth, rural dwellers, refugees, people with disabilities (PWDs), and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

2. Responding to Lessons from NFIS I: Insights from over 50 stakeholders, including banks, fintechs, government bodies, and humanitarian organizations, have shaped the new strategy. The NFIS II acknowledges achievements and introduces critical objectives like inclusive gender finance and the development of an inclusive green finance market.

3. Overcoming Challenges: The implementation of the first NFIS faced challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, budget constraints, and accountability issues. In response, the new strategy emphasizes clear accountability, budgetary allocations, and resilience against external shocks.

4. Aligned with National Development Plan: The NFIS 2023-2028 aligns with Uganda’s National Development Plan III (NDP III), supporting the country’s transition to a money economy.

5. Official Launch: The NFIS 2023-2028 will be officially launched on Thursday, November 30, 2023, by Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, in collaboration with the Bank of Uganda and key financial sector stakeholders. The launch event encourages virtual participation through major media houses and the Bank of Uganda’s social media handles, starting at 8:30 am.

6. Strategic Interventions: The new strategy aims to reduce poverty and promote economic growth by expanding the usage of financial products and services, including savings, credit, insurance, remittance, pensions, investment, and Islamic banking.

7. Inclusive Approach: Underserved segments, such as women, refugees, youth, MSMEs, rural dwellers, and PWDs, are at the center of the NFIS 2023-2028, with proposed strategic interventions to uplift these communities.

As Uganda looks ahead to the next five years, the NFIS 2023-2028 stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to creating an inclusive financial ecosystem that empowers individuals, fosters entrepreneurship, and contributes to sustainable economic development.

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