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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

High interest rates hinder women businesses – finance ministry

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High interest rates charged by commercial banks are hindering the success of the women empowerment fund which was launched to uplift the status of women in Uganda, a senior government official has said.

Margaret Kakande, head of budget monitoring and accountability unit in the ministry of finance said yesterday in Kampala that on top of high interest rates, lack of a specific institution to track funds disbursed to various groups is another hindrance to the success of programs to empower women financially.

Ms Kakande made the remarks as she addressed guests during the launch of the Action Learning Project in Uganda on gender responsive budgeting. The project was launched by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) in partnership with the International Development Research Centre, Canada.

She said that in the financial 2015/2016 government released over Shs53 billion geared towards empowering women groups in 20 districts. However, she said reports coming in indicate that the program hasn’t yet delivered results due to lack of an institution to manage the fund.

According to Ms. Kakande, banks are the best institutions to manage such funds since they even have capacity to offer business skills and training to women but then they failed to reach a mutual ground on the interest rates.

‘We can’t walk out and start giving out the money to women and mostly revolving funds, these women also need training before being given the money,” she said.

Diakalia Sanogo, the senior programs official at the International Development Research Centre, Canada, while speaking at the function called for the empowerment of women and children with lobby skills to enable them demand for a gender responsive budget which favors their growth.

“Most of the budgets made end up not addressing the needs of women and children,” Sanogo said, adding that project is first to be rolled out in Uganda and Senegal because the two countries run gender responsive budgets.

Executive Director ACODE, Dr. Arthur Bainomugisha said the Action Learning Project aims at equipping women and youths with knowledge and skills to influence the national budgeting processes.

Officials said the program is to be tried out first in the districts of Mukono, Soroti and Mbarara, starting with the agricultural sector.

“If the program is successful in those three areas, then we shall roll it out all over the country,” Bainomugisha said.




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