Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, the State Minister for Microfinance, has stated that the government is considering cooperating with the Kingdom of Buganda to aid in the execution of the Emyooga program.
The program, which began last year, aims to help Ugandans in the informal sector increase their household incomes by increasing their small businesses through sacco savings and low-interest borrowing.
The Microfinance Support Centre is in charge of implementing the program.
Minister Kasolo led officials from the Microfinance Support Centre and the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) to meet with Buganda government officials, led by the Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, on Tuesday.
“I’m having a hard time getting individuals to join the Emyooga program.
Many people viewed it as a political instrument, despite the fact that it is intended at alleviating poverty,” Kasolo explained.
“People cannot become wealthy while receiving government handouts; instead, they must save and invest. Many people are talking about Emyooga, but that’s because it arrived during election season. It wasn’t political, but it was the right time to implement it.”
The minister stated that by cooperating with Buganda, the government hopes to assure the program’s success by utilizing Buganda’s infrastructure to reach out to the community.
“The program aims to ensure financial inclusion and will have a better chance of succeeding if we work with institutions like Buganda.” The alliance, according to John Peter Mujuni, Executive Director of the Microfinance Support Centre, would help monitor the program in Buganda utilizing Mengo government infrastructure.
“We expect the saccos to put the Shs30 million seed funding to good use once they receive it.
Your leadership can assist us in ensuring that the funds are used for the intended purpose. There is a belief that if money is available, you should eat it. We want to be able to rely on the leadership here to make sure that the money is spent wisely,” Mujuni said.
He advised that the Microfinance Support Centre create a Buganda-specific desk to deal with difficulties relating to the Emyooga program.
The Microfinance Support Centre, according to Mujuni, can also lend money to saccos at the lowest rates in the country, a service he claims may be accessed through Buganda government channels.
Buganda Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, spoke at the conference and praised the idea of collaboration, but cautioned the public against politicizing development issues.
“Saccos’ methods are primarily intended to benefit young people, and the goal even here in the kingdom is to ensure that young people can use them to save and invest. It is critical to remove politics from any measures aimed at improving the economic well-being of regular people,” he stated.
Mayiga said that coffee output has increased as a result of Buganda’s relationship with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, and that the same can be done to assure the success of the Emyooga program.
“This is a great effort that we should support wholeheartedly. We should collaborate with the federal government to guarantee that such programs reach all people. Using Kabaka’s structure, we will collaborate with the Microfinance Support Centre to ensure that this initiative reaches the average person.”
“We are ready to collaborate on this program with your team. We will send a team of technical specialists to work out a plan with you on how to implement this collaboration and benefit our people as soon as possible,” he added.