Equity Bank (U) Ltd and the DYNAMIC (Driving Youth-led Agribusiness and Micro-Enterprise) program have signed a partnership agreement aimed at bringing access to formal financial services closer to the youth through Equity Bank’s agency banking and digital finance model.
“This was made possible because we share the same principles on entrepreneurship and job creation. We are aiming at economically and socially empowering young people between 15 and 24 years in the selected districts by facilitating youth access to and usage of formal and non-formal financial services”, said Anthony Kituuka the Equity Bank Uganda Executive Director while launching the partnership at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
Kituuka said the partnership targets 125,000 youth between the age of 15-24 in Northern Uganda.
DYNAMIC is one of the Mastercard Foundation’s Youth Forward Initiative being implemented by a consortium of partners led by GOAL Uganda, Mercy Corps, Restless Development and Voluntary Services Overseas.
According to Kituuka, Equity Bank has already completed preparations to expand conventional and digital financial literacy training as well as a variety of banking services to thousands of youth and other farmers in Northern Uganda in the districts of Lira, Abim, Kaboong and Agago.
The partnership agreement signed will strengthen ongoing efforts of GOAL Uganda’s market systems development initiatives to creating opportunities for youth in agribusinesses and off-farm enterprises in the said four districts of northern Uganda.
In addition, it will open up opportunities for Equity Bank to offer financial and technical advisory services to enhance the competitiveness and dynamism of young Ugandan entrepreneurs.
“The growing youth population in Uganda is a great opportunity for the country’s economic development.
“Creating decent and dignified employment and self-employment for this young population is our main objective in DYNAMIC program. The partnership with Equity Bank will definitely help to achieve this objective,” added Jennifer Williams Country Director GOAL Uganda.
Kituuka said the youths will be able to borrow up to Ush 10 million on their Mobile Phones. He added that they have carried out similar tasks in Kenya where over 600,000 peasant farmers have been transformed into agribusiness.
“We shall set up as many EquiDukas as we can close to as many farmers as possible. The challenge still existing is most farmers still take farming as an occupation, not a business,” said Kituuka.
He said in the future, Equity Bank will set up more branches in Soroti, Iganga, Masaka, Kasese and Entebbe.