The Embassy of Sweden in Uganda and the UN Capital Development Fund signed a SEK 40 million contribution agreement to set up a Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) in Uganda. The goal of RECF is to increase access to renewable, efficient energy for domestic, productive and social uses among underserved poor households, especially in rural areas. By end of 2020, RECF aims to support 150,000 low-income customers transition to renewable energy.
The theme of this year’s World Cities Day, “Inclusive Cities, Shared Development”, reminds us of the important role urbanization plays in advancing development and social inclusion.
Sonya Turyahabwa is an UGAFODE Customer Service Officer (CSO) in the rural town of Kagadi, Western Region, Uganda. She is a busy woman, attending to customers in the branch and taking care of her children at home. She will soon be celebrating four years at UGAFODE, where she first began as a teller and recently transitioned to her new role as CSO. UGAFODE has been her first experience working directly with customers.
At Habitat III in Quito (Ecuador), UNCDF and the Financing for Development Office of UN-DESA (FFDO/UN-DESA) joined forces to underline the importance of innovative approaches to municipal finance for local authorities, especially secondary cities, in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as a way to respond to the needs brought by rapid urbanization.
Guest post by Tony Fosu, Sinapi Aba
Although the MicroLead project is still in process, the team has been constantly assessing its impact through external studies and conversations with partners. Sinapi Aba is a savings and loan institution based in Ghana and a MicroLead partner. We asked Sinapi Aba CEO, Tony Fosu, about working with MicroLead. Here’s what he had to say:
On Day 3 of the #DFS4Women event, important insights started emerging about how to leverage the digitization of high volume payments to build a digital ecosystem in which people feel at ease using mobile money and second generation financial products. Significant emphasis was placed on behavioural changes and on what drives individuals to reassess their saving and spending practices and adopt new ones.
As agents represent the first and most tangible touch point for most digital financial service (DFS) customers, there is little doubt that having an effective agent network is key to the success of any DFS provider’s operations. Research published by The Helix Institute of Digital Finance in 2015 suggests that agent networks are also probably the most operationally burdensome and costly element
Day 2 of the #DFS4Women event saw participants go out into local communities to meet the real digital financial service (DFS) experts: mobile money customers and agents. Using a mobile-based Android app developed by Optimetriks, a provider of technological solutions to collect, process and visualize data, participants set out on a casual survey of DFS customers and agents.
Guest Post by Anjali Banthia, Specialist, Women's World Banking, Consumer Insights and Engagement
When it comes to digitizing bulk payments, scale is often considered the only thing that matters. No doubt scale is essential—but what if the obstacles to receiving the payments are so significant that women can not readily participate? This major challenge loomed over the discussion of benefits of high volume payments for women in the break-out session that opened the #DFS4W event organized by UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Kampala, Uganda, today. The gap between assumptions and reality on the ground is stark.