Stanbic advocates transparency for traders dealing with financial institutions
In a bid to foster better collaboration and improved working conditions within the supply chain, Stanbic Bank organized a business trade forum under the theme "Coming together to achieve procurement." The event, held at Protea Hotel, served as a platform for traders and contractors to discuss avenues for enhancing working conditions and financial access.
In a bid to foster better collaboration and improved working conditions within the supply chain, Stanbic Bank organized a business trade forum under the theme “Coming together to achieve procurement.” The event, held at Protea Hotel, served as a platform for traders and contractors to discuss avenues for enhancing working conditions and financial access.
During the forum, Paul Muganwa, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) at Stanbic Bank, emphasized the crucial role that traders and suppliers play in the country’s economic landscape. He urged traders to prioritize transparency when dealing with financial institutions, recognizing it as a key factor that can facilitate smoother interactions.
“We recognize the important role that traders and suppliers play in this country and we pledge to continue supporting them to attain growth. However, whenever you are seeking financial assistance, it is imperative to treat your bank as a very important stakeholder that requires transparency,” stated Muganwa.
The call for transparency comes at a time when access to credit remains a challenge for the private sector in Uganda. According to World Bank data, only 14.2% of the private sector in Uganda had access to credit in 2020, a significantly lower figure compared to Kenya, which stood at 32% during the same period.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), considered key engines of economic growth in developing countries, face hurdles in accessing finance. In Uganda, SMEs employ about 2.5 million people, contribute to 20% of GDP, but less than 40% have access to bank loans, with approximately 80% being unserved or underserved by financial institutions.
Emma Mugisha, Executive Director and Head of Business and Commercial Banking (BCB) at Stanbic Bank, highlighted the bank’s role in facilitating trade agreements and payments between different traders. He stressed the importance of financial institutions in supporting traders and ensuring compliance with various agreements.
The event also addressed Uganda’s efforts to adopt an electronic government procurement system aimed at enhancing efficiency, reducing corruption, and minimizing delays. Mercy Kyoshabire, Head of Procurement and Capacity Building at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), emphasized the potential of the electronic system to reduce human interference and improve accountability.
Lawrence Male, representing the Director of Procurement at the Bank of Uganda, acknowledged the challenges posed by high interest rates in financial institutions. He highlighted the central bank’s efforts to lower the Central Bank Rate to support traders in accessing affordable capital.
In conclusion, the forum served as a platform for stakeholders to discuss practical steps toward achieving more transparent and efficient financial interactions, ultimately contributing to the growth and development of businesses in Uganda.