By Renuka Naj, Supervisory Development Outreach and Communications Specialist
As part of Feed the Future, USAID in partnership with Centenary Bank launched a state-of-the-art mobile banking unit. This unit will bring financial services to more than 300,000 farmers and agri-business enterprises in Amolatar and Amuru districts of northern Uganda.
Under a 50-50 cost-sharing partnership, USAID and Centenary Bank each invested $210,000 for the purchase of the armored truck that will provide a vital service for clients who had little or no access to financial services in their communities.
The mobile unit will be fully staffed by Centenary Bank personnel, including tellers for opening and operating savings accounts, and loan officers. The mobile bank will travel weekly to 25 locations, including rural trading centers and markets, providing a range of financial services. About 4,000 people are expected to open accounts in the first year, with the numbers increasing to more than 10,000 in the next three years.
USAID has been working with farmers and producer organizations across Uganda for more than 15 years. Through Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development (LEAD) project, USAID is transforming Uganda’s agricultural sector from subsistence to commercial farming in line with the priorities of the Government of Uganda.
The mobile banking unit will broaden the impact of USAID Uganda’s Development Credit Authority Loan Guarantee Program, a credit facility offered through Centenary Bank, whereby USAID encourages rural lending by sharing some of the risks on agriculture-related credits to Ugandans.