Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are an important segment in Uganda’s economy. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, the SME sector employs over 2.5 million people (90% of the entire private sector) and generates 80% of manufactured output which contributes 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Even though SMEs play a significant role in the economy, most have limited access to financing. “Less than 40% of SMEs in Uganda have access to bank loans and approximately 80% of the SMEs are unserved or underserved by financial institutions. SMEs are typically deemed riskier than large corporations due to lack of credit history, poor financial backing and governance structures, less business experience, and low business diversification,” explained Lilian Lwantale, senior manager Advisory, Strategy and Operations Deloitte Uganda Limited.
Today, these needs are inadequately addressed by Uganda’s financial ecosystem. Although the SME loan size is growing, the amount of loans SMEs receive is still disproportionately less than corporates despite their more significant contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment. The current state of SME financing
remains both a sizeable gap to fill and opportunity to serve. SME loan volumes in Uganda constitute less than 20% of total loans, presenting a sizeable opportunity for banks to target and increase lending to the SME market.
Lack of financing is consistently cited by SMEs as one of the main barriers to growth. However, several key factors impede SME lending. “Financial infrastructure such as low SME coverage by credit reference bureaus increases the cost of SME credit risk assessment, inadequate distribution channels limit banks from reaching out and serving SMEs in either the physical or digital space- not to mention lack of cash flow visibility which forces banks to adopt stringent collateral-based credit risk models hindering lending,” she emphasized.
These impediments are not unique to Uganda but also prevalent in more advanced economies where SMEs have easier access to loans. In those countries, we see banks, financial technologies (FinTechs) and e-commerce providers seeking to fill the SME financing gap by adopting innovative business solutions. So what opportunities are ripe for Uganda’s case study?
“Research shows that there is a disparity between what SMEs want and expect from banks and what banks can deliver. They require access to unsecured credit and are willing to pay a higher interest rate to obtain it through reliable, convenient channels such as branches, ATMs, and internet banking. At Deloitte, on top of providing SMEs with financial oversight, we offer business advice on how to lower their business costs, improve productivity and be better prepared for the global market,” Lwantale added.
Lwantale further mentioned that in the advent of the digital age, financial institutions in Uganda have to rethink the role of banks in the SME banking space to address the financing gap and capitalize on the SME banking opportunity.
“Given the importance of SMEs to Uganda’s economy, a strong well financed SME base is key to local and regional economic growth. With sufficient financing and access to business advisory services to foster continual improvement of operational efficiency and productivity, SMEs can become more competitive and resilient, drive innovation and be sustainable in today’s competitive economic landscape.”
dfcu Bank granted USD 30 Million to support SMEs in Uganda
French Development Finance Institution, Proparco has arranged a USD 30 Million senior debt facility to support dfcu bank’s efforts to bridge the long-term financing gap for SMEs.
Proparco has extended financing of USD 15m alongside USD 15m from FMO (the Dutch Development Bank) to dfcu Bank. The facility is primarily earmarked for financing of small and medium-size businesses in line with the bank’s SME-oriented strategy.
This facility was announced during a signature ceremony attended by Proparco’s Head of Financial Institutions in Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Haye, who stated that “Proparco is pleased to once again partner with dfcu. This new credit line reflects the commitment of both institutions to support an inclusive and sustainable growth in Uganda.”
This Line of Credit builds on the long-term relationship between FMO, Proparco and dfcu Bank which spans two decades since 1999 when FMO’s maiden facility of EUR 2,000,000 was extended to dfcu Limited. Over the two decades, the partnership has extended more than USD 170m to dfcu Bank which is equivalent to Uganda Shillings 639 Billion. The facilities have been used to finance various SMEs in sectors including Education, Health, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Transport, Construction, Hotel and Tourism.
Proparco and dfcu Bank have had a long-term partnership that has seen Proparco extend a series of facilities to the bank since 2005. The current facility is the 5th transaction with the bank. This testifies to Proparco’s long term commitment to supporting SMEs in developing countries and to the deepening of the financial sector in Uganda.
The USD 30m fund will go towards financing SMEs in similar sectors with emphasis on businesses with foreign currency earnings potential, with the aim of boosting the country’s export earnings.
“The operations of SMEs occupy an admirable position in the Uganda’s economic landscape. Despite being a key driver of economic growth, long term development finance remains a huge challenge. This line of credit will facilitate dfcu in providing a range of financing instruments to SMEs in order to enable them to continue to play their role in growth, innovation and employment. This facility will further strengthen the Bank’s capacity to grow its business and subsequently consolidate our position as a leading provider of long term development finance,” said Mathias Katamba, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, dfcu Bank.
“FMO is proud to partner with dfcu Bank, a bank that supports productive SMEs in Uganda. Supporting local enterprises through trusted partners like dfcu Bank is core to FMO’s mission”, said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer of FMO.
National Medical Stores engages with different stakeholders in silver jubilee celebrations
By Our Reporter
“I want to assure you that the work you are doing is ordained by God and is a blessing.” That was the message delivered by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Stanley Ntagali, as he officiated at the National Medical Stores (NMS) Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday. The occasion was part of the NMS Silver Jubilee celebrations, and was the culmination of 3-days of the corporation engaging various stakeholders, having started with Women and Youth leaders on Monday, followed by members of the medical fraternity on Tuesday. Religious leaders were the invitees on Wednesday, and the Archbishop was part of the entourage of officials from various faiths who honoured the invitation.
NMS is a statutory body, mandated to procure, store and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies to government health facilities, including those that belong to the Police, Prisons and Military facilities.
A recent innovation had also seen NMS become the first medical logistics body worldwide to integrate the distribution of vaccines with those of ordinary medicines, a milestone for which it received international accolades and also contributed to a dramatic increase in immunisation coverage in Uganda. That, and other achievements, were highlighted by the NMS General Manager/CEO, Moses Kamabare, as he addressed the attendees. He also touched on the various challenges the corporation is facing, stressing on the need for those responsible at health facilities to deliver their procurement plans in a timely manner in order for NMS to quickly process their orders.
Also majorly featured was an update on the ongoing construction of the new NMS Warehouse and Office complex in Kajjansi, slated for completion by mid-2019. “It shall be one of the biggest warehouses of its kind in the world,” Kamabare noted. Its pallet capacity of over 30000 shall surpass NMS’ present storage at least four-fold.
Archbishop Ntagali lauded NMS for its efforts to cater for the health of Ugandans. And he also agreed with Kamabare on the need for Ugandans to take greater responsibility with regard to their health. “God is the healer, but before we need medicine, we need to take care of our bodies. We can prevent disease where possible, so go for regular health checks, because prevention is better than cure.”
He also decried the theft of medicines and essential supplies from government health facilities, and the regular occurrence of having to bribe medical workers to receive treatment in the first place. “It is our collective responsibility to fight corruption and stop this theft,” Ntagali added.
The religious leaders were also given a guided tour of the NMS stores and cold-rooms, as they got further insight into the corporation’s operations.
TECNO CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO launched at special Christmas Price
By Staff Writer
Christmas is around the corner and so are all the juicy deals from top brands in Uganda. Today, TECNO Mobile Uganda has launched two new smart smartphones called the CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO at a special Christmas price. The new phones have been described as the drivers for the future of selfies by some thanks to the ability to take bright and clear selfies with high quality powered by the new AI Technology.
The CAMON 11 duo exploits improved AI technology for selfie photography among many more AI- powered operational features like AI Bokeh effect, AI HDR, and AI automatic scene detection. Together with the super Notch Screen of 6.2inches and upgraded multi-tasking software, CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO offers consumers a better user experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in-built in the CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO is capable of doing a lot more than what previously seemed to be impossible by smartphones.
The revolutionary AI technology embedded in the CAMON 11 PRO and CAMON 11’s camera elevates the smartphone selfie experience.
For the Selfie-lovers, the high-end 24 or 16-megapixel front camera gives a whole new dimension of selfie experience. AI-technology smartly allows customers to create high-quality self-portraits with natural skin colour by optimizing the image, thereby achieving brighter colours and sharp contours.
The new CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO does not pride only in the new AI technology but also showcases its ability to give customers an impeccable experience right from the slick beautiful diamond fire design to the space and many more fantastic specs.
The new phones comes sealed fully accessorized with new headsets, charger, tempered glass, (screen guard) and pin.
CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO have been favourably priced to not only enable customers access it but it’s also time for giving and celebration, therefore the price is to give customers a reason to celebrate their festivities in style with a new super smart gadget. The new phones will be at a Recommended Retail Price of CAMON 11 UGX 578,000 and CAMON 11 PRO UGX 899,000.
The new CAMON 11 and Camon 11 PRO will be available country wide in all TECNO exclusive shops starting today 10th December 2018.
Below are the some of the spectacular features of to look out for;
AI Technology Captures More Beauty of You
New AI technology advances include more accurate facial recognition capability. CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO cameras are able to improve self-portraits with the help of AI Beauty by recognizing up to 240points on the face of the subject, delivering better beautification effects no matter the gender or age, and enabling self-learning capabilities based on user preferences, plus other added fun features. It also supports Face Unlock option and is equipped with its own powerful AI adjustable front LED flashlights, which allows to get beautiful and realistic photos with a certain flash level customized for you.
Taking selfies has never been better, thanks to the advanced 16 MP front camera for the CAMON 11 and 24 MP for the CAMON 11 PRO. These front cameras have the widest dynamic range due to the AI feature in HDR mode, guaranteeing perfect shots in any light. In low light conditions, the camera takes several pictures at once, combining them into one clear shot, which guarantees accurate detail processing and eliminates the problem of image blur. AI is also able to automatically recognize scenes and adapt to shooting conditions, as well as select the optimal parameters for a wide variety of shooting modes from sports to portrait.
The dual camera is designed for impressive shots to gain popularity in social networks. Night shooting mode is also based on AI-technology and provides high detail photos, even in conditions of limited lighting.
The storage- 6GBRAM + 64GB ROM
Set the pace with the new CAMON 11 PRO, powered by a ground-breaking 6GB RAM and 2.0 GHz Octa-Core processor, taking your “speed” to the next level. Feel free to watch your favourite videos, download content, play games, and with the help of machine learning technology, CAMON 11 and CAMON 11 PRO are able to accelerate the game and put the phone into anti-disturb mode for users, which will bring a more immersive gaming experience.
More Fun with Animoji
Animoji combines human expressions with 3D virtual expressions through Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and creates dynamic cartoon images in keyboard, which is embedded in the typewriting and allows for usage in all major instant messengers and social networks – Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Google+, Hangouts, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, etc. Animated emoji reads facial movements and recreates them, making chatting with friends so much more fun!
Advanced HiOS Software – Favorite Apps at Your Fingertips
The HiOS software is intelligent enough to recognize your favourite apps and have them open in just 0.3s through your different fingerprints. One can set up “Google + Facebook + YouTube” to open using your forefinger print or access “Instagram + Google Map + Snapchat“via your mid-finger print, all at your personalized convenience.
Call Recording by Fingerprint
Conversations embody our relationships, fuel career growth, offer evidence for justice, and more. From helping us keep alive the memory of loved ones, to keeping records of legal discussions, conducting interviews or even making customer service calls, the CAMON 11 or CAMON 11 PRO makes recording calls a breeze. By just a simple tap of the fingerprint scanner, the call will be recorded immediately.
Follow @TECNOMobileUganda on Facebook for more information.
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