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July 11, 2013 by 

For the last 4 years, MUBS has been hosting a group of South African bankers who come to Uganda every July to learn about the Uganda economy in the banking sector. South Africa is the biggest economy in Africa and has been positioning itself over the years to enter different markets of Africa. South Africa has a big presence in most African countries with MTN as its flagship. Stanbic is a South African bank and is spread all over Africa. South African airways flys to most capitals in Africa. And Shoprite, Woolworth, Edgars and other South African companies have located in different African countries. The bankers who come under the Bankseta umbrella are curious to learn how the economy works putting emphasis on the financial sector.

On July 10, 2013, among other people, the group was addressed by the MUBS Principal Prof. Waswa Balunywa and the Standard Chartered Bank Chairman Robin Kibuuka. Dr. Kibuuka is a veteran Banker with several years of experience at the World Bank and served in different banks in different countries. Dr. Kibuuka talked about the challenges the banking sector faces primarily with the Mobile Money that was unregulated. Prof. Balunywa talked about the challenges on the supply side and on the demand side of the financial sector. He said that high interest rates, inefficiencies in the economy, competition by the former sector and technology were the major challenges facing the commercial banks in Uganda. On the commercial side he said poverty, absence of incomes and general nature of the economy were responsible for the lack of demand for financial services. He also said that lack of trust in the financial sector was the cause of the poor performance in the financial sector. Among the issues raised was how to integrate mobile money into mainstream banking. It was noted that Uganda did not have an indigenous bank and this posed a threat for the long term health for the sector. It also emerged that the Uganda financial sector had no strategy in operating in the east African market.

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