By Kiyimba Bruno
Association of Micro-finance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) in partnership NpM on Friday engaged various financial stakeholders to discuss thew best ways of offering financial services to refugees and other foreign born residents in Uganda alongside low-income host community members.
In an information exchange meeting that took place at Hotel Africana in Kampala, the stakeholders aired out their views regarding the challenges they face while delivering financial services to refugees and host communities.
Rogers Kakeeto,the head of business at UGAFODE noted that they are face an issue of language barrier between them and the refugees which makes it difficult for their to properly conduct their work.
“Many of these refugees come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Kiswahili and French that they speak is way to difficult for us to coordinate and this makes our work difficult,“ noted Kakeeto.
He however said that they are trying their level best to admit staff that can speak the languages that are spoken in the East Afican region more especially Kiswahilli to overcome the challenge.
He added that with the urban refugees, they are widely represented but they still have challenges which they believe shall later on be sorted as they get wider coverage.
Peter Kawumi,the innovations Manager at Financial Sector Deepening Uganda(FSDU) said that they strongly believe that access to proper financial services by every person in Uganda, refugees inclusive plays a very big role in the development of the economy.
He however pointed out some of the challenges that they have been facing while dealing with refugees in the previous years.
Kawumi said promoting the usage of financial services can only be utilized to the maximum if the problems are properly oppressed.
He further advised the Central Bank to come out and engage commercial banks on the best mode of opening up accounts for refugees so that they can also be financially included.
Kawumi added that there’s a high demand by refugees to have bank services near them but yet the banks are not yet in proper position to offer the required products which suit the clients needs.
Meanwhie, he promised to develop an acho system that will help them understand refugees on what they do with their money as well as helping them use it in the best ways.