The State Minister for Microfinance Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo has revealed that so far 19,0710 emyooga parish-based associations have been mobilised across the country with 70,133 of them already validated.
Kasolo said validation is aimed at assessing actual existence, legal status and leadership structures of the groups to minimize the risk of funding non-existing and ghost groups.
“The number of registered associations is set to increase since many of them are in advanced stages of the registration process. All registered SACCOs are in line to be funded by The Microfinance Support Centre by the end of the year,” Kasolo added.
Kasolo said that there has been an upsurge in savings among a number of associations across the country in line with the objectives of the Emyooga initiative.
He added, “ During the validation exercise for the savings associations, it was established that in different areas – from Mukono to Mutukula, Soroti, Serere, Jinja, Kassanda and Masaka, Iganga, Kaliro, Mbale, Lira, Arua– a number of savings associations that were set up within the past 8Months have embraced the culture of savings.”
In relation to sensitization, Working with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Office of the State Minister for Microfinance) and YASPED, The Microfinance Support Centre(MSC) has carried out mobilization and sensitization meetings of district leaders, local leaders and political leaders in 146 Districts, 353 Constituencies, 2,184 Sub counties/Municipal Divisions 10,595 Parishes and 70,626 villages.
“A total of 4,080 core district leaders, Emyooga Representatives and Members of Parliament have been sensitized about the programme objectives, targets and delivery model in the regions of Ankole, Kigezi, Lango, Central Region, Teso, Bugisu, Busoga, Acholi, West Nile, Sebei, Karamoja, Bunyoro and Rwenzori. MSC continues to engage critical district stakeholders/Partners across the country, especially the RDCs, DCOs, Local Council Leaders to devise more strategies to ensure success of the programme,” Kasolo said.
Kasolo said, as of November, 25, 2020, The Microfinance Support Centre had disbursed Shs 20 Billion to 660 constituency-based Sacco’s in the districts of Budaka, Bukwo, Kapchorwa, Kitgum, Kiboga, Busia, Alebtong,Kalungu,Kaberamaido,Kalaki,Iganga,Bukomansimbi,Serere and Bukedea.
On the issue of teachers in private schools, Kasolo said discussions on how their scheme is to be managed are still ongoing.
“After the discussions are concluded, the Ministry of Education will issue a communication on the procedure for teachers in private schools to access this support. In the meantime, the organized teachers’ groups and SACCOs can still access funding but under the MSC credit funds,” He said.
The Emyooga project was initiated In 2019, by president Museveni as a special program dubbed ‘Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation’, to address the challenge of limited access to finance by the poor.
According to Kasolo, the Program targets organized groups formed around 18 specialized enterprises (Emyooga), with the aim of increasing household incomes and creating employment opportunities.
“The initiative is part of the broader NRM principle of socio-economic transformation in which government has committed itself to transform 68% of the country’s homesteads currently in subsistence to market orientation,” he said.
The programme, is fully funded by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and is being implemented by The Microfinance Support Centre Ltd, a government agency.
The Government of Uganda has set aside Shs 260 billion to fund Emyooga SACCOs across the country. With each constituency to receive Shs 560 million as a grant (not to be paid back). The money to revolve within the SACCOs.