Although Uganda has undergone positive economic change in recent years, making strides to reduce poverty and become one of the most liberal economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, millions of Ugandans still lack sufficient access to financial services. With a population of approximately 25 million people, 90 percent of whom are located in rural areas, only 1 in 5 Ugandans have access to formal lending or borrowing.
Since first providing support to African microfinance institutions in 2000, Accion has expanded its operations to provide industry training and technical assistance programs in Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and, most recently, Uganda. In November of 2015 Accion established a partnership with UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (UGAFODE MDI), Uganda’s leading Microfinance Deposit-Taking Institution (MDI). Accion aims to expand UGAFODE MDI’s current efforts to use mobile money and digital savings applications in order to support farmers, businesses, and other communities outside of Uganda’s formal economy.
We began working in Uganda in early 2002, collaborating with the Uganda Microfinance Union (UMU) to provide onsite resident advising and support for the organization’s technical assistance missions. Our work has allowed for impressive growth and transformation in Ugandan microfinance management and industry practices. Since partnering with UGAFODE in 2015, we have worked to expand rural access to financial services to the 2.6 million underserved Ugandans.