United Bank for Africa (UBA) Uganda has reaffirmed its commitment to support innovation and technology in Africa.
The revelation was made by Chioma Mang, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Uganda.
Speaking during the commemoration of African Day under the theme; innovating the continent for growth, Chioma said Africa is in a significant growth stage. “If you want to grow exceptionally, you have to be highly innovative. You have to be creative. You have to have the right technology to drive all the initiatives that you want to use to create that level for growth”. She said.
In a bid to see the young generation realize their dreams, she said UBA Group chairman Tony Elumelu established a foundation for African youth. He gave out $100 million of seed capital to any youth that is creative and has a business and is looking for support. A lot of youths in Uganda have participated and they have been successful. Last year about 250 Ugandans were able to get the seed capital of $5,000 for each founder program.
“Global trade is not only driven by finance, it is driven by connectivity across African countries. All the African governments are trying to unite Africa through a trade platform. Every African country is blessed with some mineral, commodity however, most of them are exported to Europe and then brought back into Africa as finished products. So, we are trying to drive interconnectivity amongst the countries so that we can process these resources other than sending them outside Africa,” She said.
The Bank has made a lot of proposals to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) office in Ghana on how they can work together to spur trade and businesses on the continent. We are working with all the agencies including UNDP that have been pushing African trade to be able to bring that benefit to the people of Uganda.
ACfTA is aimed at creating a single, liberalized market and reducing barriers to capital and labor to facilitate investment.
According to the World Bank, Uganda’s Exports increased to $674.54 million in March from $349.44 million in February 2023.The country’s most important exports is coffee (22 percent of total exports) followed by tea, cotton, copper, oil and fish. Uganda’s main export partners include; Sudan, Kenya, DR Congo, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and UAE.
She said UBA Uganda has the capacity to fund any transactions at the country level and where it is far beyond we fall back on the strength of the Group. We are in 20 African Countries, we are using this initiative so that we can help our customers realise their dreams as we link them to people who can buy their products from our present locations.
The financial sector in Uganda is committed to driving among the things needed to open trade across Africa are Government policies and they are working on that.
“We extend finances to women in telecommunication, agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing. What makes you successful in accessing finance from a bank is how you organize and present your business. Where we see a gap, we train them on how to make their businesses bankable,” she said.
“I wish to take this opportunity to wish all UBA Uganda stake holders a happy Africa Day that is celebrated every 25th of May,” she said.
Speaking during an online session, Abiola Bawuah, the Executive Director and Chief Executive officer of UBA Africa said innovation is about adding value, moving Africa to the next level, and ensuring that our customers in Africa have what we call experience because it is no longer about ordinary customer service.
“Innovation is being very intentional about bringing positive change to people so that they can bring forth what the continent needs to get to where it needs to be.” Foluso Gbadamosi, a Business and Tech Executive said.
“Innovation simply put is survival. You innovate, survive. How do you modify your products, your services, your contact points, in a way that you continue to engage with that key person that is in mind, Owen Omogiafo, Group CEO of Transcorp Plc said?
Hilda Baci, a chef Innovation is survival to be sustainable in business, you have to keep thinking of ways to meet your customer’s needs, because needs are constantly arising and they are constantly changing.