Speech by Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the state minister for ICT at the 2022 FinTech Landscape Exhibition

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Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the state minister for ICT has challenged the youth to use technology to find solutions to pressing issues such as employment and poverty.

The minister made these remarks while giving her speech at the 2022 FinTech Landscape Exhibition held at Mestil Hotel. She was the guest of honour.

Below is her full speech.

I am so thankful and grateful for choosing me as your chief guest at this 3rd Fintech Landscape Exhibition 2022.

We are very happy to see that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has transformed the financial infrastructure not only in Uganda but worldwide. For example, Africa and other Emerging Markets have utilised ICT-based financial services to enable the delivery of innovative, inclusive, affordable and instant financial products to the poor and vulnerable groups.

Digital financial services have helped to complement physical banking infrastructure which has traditionally been used. This has enabled the establishment of closer relationships with customers and the creation of convenience tailored offerings. Customers have benefited from more personalised, secure and affordable financial services. In addition, the government of Uganda is developing universal financial systems that are vital to sustainable and inclusive growth.

Digital Financial Services (DFS) support sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups. Additionally, Digital Financial Services facilitate the creation of efficient and effective payment infrastructures. The government is working to ensure that regulatory frameworks balance support for digital financial service innovation whilst managing systemic risk and compliance with Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) standards.

The digitization journey is a beautiful and longstanding one that has seen all of us transform as a nation from the times of wired telephones, the voice only enabled mobile devices to now micro hand banks that enable citizens to pay for bills, utilities, and other services in the comfort of their bedrooms, workstations or offices.

The Ministry of ICT and National guidance in partnership with other government agencies, donors, private investors and innovators have been pivotal at ensuring internet connectivity becomes for seamless, democratic, and more affordable every year. For instance, a gigabyte of data that costed an average of 60,000 Uganda shillings in 2011 now costs an average 5,000 Shillings and this is only going to get more affordable.

We applaud HiPipo for championing digital, Financial Technology (FinTech) innovation and instant and inclusive payments systems (IIPS) across Africa under the #IncludeEveryone Program in partnership with the Gates Foundation among other partners.

We clearly appreciate that HiPipo advocates for and supports the adoption of digital financial services (DFS) through advising and mobilising key financial inclusion stakeholders. For example, this year, HiPipo delivered the third season of #40Days40FinTechs event, which was organised in face-to-face locations in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania covering areas, such as Mojaloop, and offering guidance on Level One Project principles.

I am glad to officiate the culmination of season three of 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative here at the third FinTech Landscape Exhibition.

Thanks to the HiPipo Include Everyone initiative, guidance on Level One Project and its principles and Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems has been shared over the years and  there’s growing opportunities such as the rising understanding of stakeholders and users alike of the;

  1. Need for making use of Digital Financial Services to support the establishment of sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups.
  2. FinTechs and their collaborators are making it easier and cheaper for customers to engage with the formal financial inclusion ecosystem.
  3. FinTechs are encouraging transactional account usage through intuitive mobile apps (with a few growing super apps) and USSD-based innovations thanks to the momentum this initiative is causing to the market.
  4. Digital Financial Service Providers and FinTechs are partnering to provide cheaper, timely credit by rethinking creditworthiness, and remodelling the traditional bureaucratic lending models.
  5. Thanks to the HiPipo Include Everyone Program, and the viral conversation on interoperability and collaboration, Digital Financial Service stakeholders are reducing credit and insurance costs for smallholders and other excluded groups. Things such as micro-insurance policies have been introduced.
  6. This exceptionally useful Include Everyone trend is helping push FinTechs and Banks to wave unexpected costs on loans and other financial services that low-income users used to incur to onboard onto formal financial rails.

On my behalf and on behalf of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, and the government of the Republic of Uganda, I wish to congratulate participants of season three of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative and also take this opportunity to Thank HiPipo; the organisers of this program and their partners the Gates Foundation, Mojaloop Foundation, CyberPLC, Modusbox, Crosslake Technologies and #LevelOneProject for putting up such an exceptional event.

For GOD and My Country.

Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo

Minister OF STATE FOR ICT