By Leonard Kamugisha Akida,
Following the acquiring of the first operational license to Salaam Bank, the Uganda People’s Congress has hailed the government for heeding to their frequent calls on the same.
Two days ago, Bank of Uganda (BoU) approved and handed over the first Islamic banking license to Salaam Bank Limited, to allow access to Islamic banking services to Ugandans.
UPC has been at the frontline of advocating for Islamic financing which they say will promote financial inclusion to more Ugandans.
Addressing the media on Wednesday at UPC headquarters, Spokesperson Sharon Arach Oyat said the approval is a good step to building a self reliant economy urging the government to facilitate licensing of similar banking institutions.
“We are applauding the government for allowing the first bank in Uganda to be licensed under the Islamic Banking. And this is a step government should take to accommodate and encourage other banks to be facilitated in a similar way to grow our economy rather than relying on international aid which in most cases has always been demonstrated by the world bank to be attached with some type of behavior,” said Arach
She further appealed to the government to engage the World Bank in effective and constructive dialogue on their recent suspension of funding of new loans to Uganda. She says this will help to cement the long build mutual relationship between the two parties.
Although government has approved the licensing of Salaam Bank, experts have warned of possible challenges due to the dominance of traditional banking in Uganda’s economy. According to experts, there is a need to create more awareness about the services of Islamic Banking as well as partnership with key industry stakeholders, such as the Uganda Bankers Association and Central Bank.