Many of you have that moment when a Village Saving and Loans Association become a quickest way of chasing an emergency financial loan to start up a business, pay tuition and hospital fees or simply borrowing.
In deed apart from providing several people with quick loans, many would attest to the different ways in which VSLAs have patched the gaps in the formal and informal financial sector.
Ambrose Byamugisha, hopeful MP aspirant for Ruhinda county Mitooma district is a business consultant in Kampala who believes in supporting VSLAs in his community because of their critical role in bringing financial services nearer to the people especially those in rural areas where formal financial services is typically limited to few individuals.
In an interview with our Parrotsug author, Byamugisha was quick to recall his early childhood times when few members of his community would walk miles away to save money and acquire loans from distant banks, while many people kept their money in non interest rate traditional means, a situation which still prevails in some parts of Mitooma.
A village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) is a group of people who meet regularly to save together and take small loans from these savings. The structures of the group run in cycles of one year, after which the accumulated savings and the loan profits are distributed back to members. VSLAs are the most preferred for quick loans to formal & digital financial financial institutions because of their friendly interest rates and other financial terms.
He suggests for financial support of VSLAs in his leadership stating that few Banking institutions in place limits access to their services is costly and doesn’t favour those in financial vulnerability.
Asked on how this shall be made a success, he said conducting workshops with expert talks on financial literacy, mindset changing and lobbying for these VSLAs will equip the youth and women with relevant financial skills thus promoting their livelihoods.
Byamugisha who has written his name on the walls of fame through Ambrosoli Consult Uganda Ltd, always holds free workshops on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, leadership and career guidance in Mitooma which has enabled various groups such as Boda Boda riders, the youth, women, SMEs, which were formerly perceived as “less privileged/marginalized” harness their financial potentials.
In 2019, President Museveni held nationwide campaigns on improving household incomes, he is recalled to have pledged for gov’t financial support to several groups of persons in the informal sector and professionals ‘Emyoga’ as he referred to them. These includes, Boda Boda groups, Saloon operators, Teachers, youth, carpenters, Taxi drivers among others.
As a a way of implementing this presidential initiative, Byamugisha urges the youth and women in Ruhinda to form at least a 15 -39 members VSLA group pledging his heartily support this time around more than he has always done through Ambrosoli consult.