CEO Summit 2021: Absa MD calls for purpose-driven innovations

The Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda, Mumba Kalifungwa has called for creativity of purpose-driven innovations to enhance equitable service delivery for sustainable growth in the banking sector.

Mumba said this during the 12th Edition of the Annual CEO Forum 2021 held under the theme ‘Innovating for Shared Value – Putting Purpose into Practice.’

“For us to remain relevant now and in the future, we must create an ecosystem that serves customers at their places of convenience,” he said, adding that financial services like mobile money have greatly contributed to the banking sector since a lot of payments are made through that platform.

According to a World Bank report, more than half of Uganda’s adult population now has access to an account at a formal financial institution. This is almost twice as many as in 2009. The entry and fast penetration of mobile money is the main reason for the increase, having allowed over 8 million Ugandans to conduct financial transactions.

Only 16% of the adult population keeps their savings at formal deposit taking institutions, including banks, microfinance institutions and savings and credit institutions. Up to 60% of adult Ugandans still keep their savings at home and in the form of assets such as animals. Moreover, a much larger share of the population, reaching more than 65%, are unable to access formal financial institutions for credit.

Mumba said as the bank they are providing social change beyond profit motivation. “We have donated a number of medical supplies to ministry of health during and before the Covid-19 pandemic, pay school fees for needy students,” he added.

“The bank has provided affordable loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the country for sustainable groups. You know 90% of the businesses are SMEs. We have financed developments for individuals who have for over time approached us. We believe in providing solutions that will enable our clients achieve their dreams,” he said.

During the forum, Kalifungwa urged other companies to come together to advocate and solve a particular need for a society in terms of relief taxes for sustainable growth.

Under the ecosystem, Kalifungwa said agency banking, Internet bank, mobile money services have brought their customers closer since they can transact at their conveniences.

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