By Zalimon Basighalha (Good Luck)
The Resident District/City Commissioners-RDCs/RCCs across the country have been directed to involve Microfinance Support Center staff in utilizing the free government airtime on radio stations in their respective areas to create more awareness on the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (Emyooga) Program.
The directive ensued over the weekend shortly after a section of Resident District Commissioners who had turned up for the annual general meeting of Members of Hoima Diocese Catholic Women Apostolate and SACCO formation and Managerial training in Hoima Oil City, raised a need for MSC to put in more efforts in popularizing their programs for the benefits of a local person.
The training was funded and facilitated by MSC.
The Emyooga Program was launched in August 2019 by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa as part of government’s strategies to transform 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production.
The Emyooga initiative is financed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development through the Department of Microfinance.
The Microfinance Support Centre Ltd (MSC) is responsible for the planning, management, budgeting, reporting and accountability of all funds disbursed for the program. This includes funds disbursements to the groups and training of members and leaders.
The District Task Forces headed by the Resident District Commissioners (RDCS) and comprised of District Commercial Officers (DCOs), District Community Development Officers (DCDOs), Local Council V Chairpersons (LCV) and District NRM Chairpersons (DNRMC), are charged with mobilizing communities to participate in the program.
On 23rd March 2014, the Uganda Communications Commission issued guidelines to be followed by the Electronic media which saw all licensed Radios and Television stations broadcasting government programs for free.
In this regard, Media houses were required to offer a one hour talk-show in prime time to government for dissemination of its programs, broadcast live national events and play jingles, announcements and DJ mentions promoting government programs.
Now, in an effort to hasten information dissemination about Emyooga program, the Deputy Executive Director for Microfinance Support Center, Hellen Petronilla Masika has ordered the RDCs and RCCs to always invite MSC staff whenever they have radio talk-shows on the local radio stations and sensitize people in their local languages about the benefits of the program.
The Deputy ED said that this collaboration would help them realize the intended goal.
Among the activities MSC is supposed to is to provide affordable Microfinance services through effective management and delivery of government credit funds, increased outreach and strengthening capacities of Cooperative Unions (CUs), Savings and Credits Cooperative Societies (SACCOs), Area Cooperative Enterprises (ACEs), Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Teachers’ Associations among others.
Speaking to rwenzoridaily.com, Masika revealed that MSC is extending affordable micro-credit in the Agricultural value chain, trade and commerce as well as supporting activities geared towards increasing production and productivity and improving household income and food security. She told this online that their financing avenues were categorized into two “Conventional and Islamic Microfinance”.
Conventional Microfinance include agricultural loans, group loans, Commercial loans, Asset Finance loans, Teachers’ SACCO Funds, Common User Facility/Community Asset and Micro-lease AND Islamic Microfinance includes Musharaka (equity financing/partnership), Murabaha (Cost plus financing), Mudaraba (profit sharing), Salam (forward sale) and Istisna (Supports manufacturing and construction contracts).
According to her, the Microfinance Support Center Ltd offers affordable micro-credit funds at the interest rate of 8% per Annum.