By Andrew Visper
Kampala: The Uganda Bankers Association has today (Tuesday 16th July 2019) organized the 3rd edition of the Annual Bankers Conference under the theme “De-risking the financing & investment in agriculture to promote decent youth employment and inclusive growth”.
The one-day conference was held at the Kampala Serena Conference Center, Victoria Hall, Kampala Uganda. The event was graced by Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor, Bank of Uganda.
While delivering his speech at the conference, Mutebile thanked UBA for inviting him to address the third edition of the Annual Bankers Conference as well as spearheading job creation for the youth through highlighting the role of the finance sector in leveraging agriculture to diffuse the demographic bomb that could explode anytime.
Mutebile further showed his love for the country while breaking down why there is need to reduce on the lending rates as he called upon the general public to think about the challenges holding back the power of finance to transform the economy.
“While I remain uncomfortable with the high lending rates and believe that they should be reduced sustainably over time, I dare say that access to credit is not the ultimate binding constraint on economic growth.” Mutebile said.
“We must think holistically about the challenges holding back the power of finance to transform our economy. Proper diagnostics must reveal the problems that constrain agricultural finance before we devise durable solutions. We must examine the borrowing capacities of the businesses in our real sector.” He added.
The hopeful Governor however added that with the increasing automation, banks will reduce lending fees to their customers with time, a move likely to reduce the debt burden, hence development of Ugandans.
“Through automation and adoption of new technologies for delivering financial services, it is possible for banks to reduce their operating costs, and pass on the savings to borrowers through reduced lending rates.” Mutebile added.
The conference was aimed at facilitating a focused discussion among key players & stakeholders around making financing of agriculture attractive to financial service providers, leveraging on several perspectives for mitigating risk including market incentives, technology, insurance, research, specific policy frameworks & a wider support & collaborative framework to ensure sustainable growth & investment in the agriculture sector of Uganda.
The morning session kicked off with the topic: De-Risking Financing Investment in Agriculture to promote decent youth employment and inclusive growth. The afternoon session on the other hand focuses on Making Financing Agriculture Attractive to Financial Institutions with topics like; Leveraging on technology/digital infrastructure to revolutionize agriculture value chain in Uganda, Improving overall agricultural productivity, youth employment and inclusive growth