The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V. makes the expertise of the German Sparkassen accessible to developing countries and emerging economies.
We are leading consultants and partners for the financial retail service sector in East Africa.
In 1992, Germany’s Savings Banks Finance Group established the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC). SBFIC is actively supporting stakeholders in the microfinance sector all over the world, promoting a sustainable economic and social development at a local, regional or national level. By strengthening regional and local financial structures, SBFIC does not only help to improve development options for broad segments of the population and local companies, but ultimately helps to generate jobs and income. This mirrors the approach and objectives pursued by the German Savings Banks and exerts a stabilizing effect on the financial sector concerned and thus on the overall economic development of the respective country. The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) started its activities in East Africa in 2009.
In Uganda, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) recently opened its office in Uganda. In cooperation with the partner organizations, the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU), SBFIC is providing the Micro Business Games and financial education for schools and refugees. Due to Uganda’s liberal refugee policy, many refugees receive land and the right to work. As such, SBFIC and its partners support the development of necessary business skills that foster economic independency. SBFIC maintains two offices in Uganda; one in close relationships with the project partners in Kampala and one operational office in Aura in order to implement and monitor project activities in West Nile.
Institutional strengthening of partner organizations. In order to strengthen the micro-finance sector in Uganda, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is supporting the foundation of a training academy for our partner organization Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU). The academy aims to become a center of excellence for microfinance related trainings in the Uganda. Lastly, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is supporting the institutional strengthening of their partner organization through the implementation of a human resource technical advice program for Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union (UCSCU) and with the development of a business plan for the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU).
SBFIC has conducted a baseline study in the West Nile region and a master training for financial education. To date, 10 MFIs and SACCOs are partaking in the financial education program. Through the program, these institutions are also developing and offering savings accounts for children. In the Northern region, the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) is conducting the Farmers Business Game and the Micro Business Game.
World Savings Day
The importance of saving
Wealth begins with the first coin in the piggy bank. What sounds like a banal commonplace is today as true as ever. Traditional forms of savings still are amongst the most popular in the world. What is seemingly a simple idea – setting aside small sums in a savings account – actually has profound consequences on economic development and on personal-financial well-being. Savings guard against risks like illness, unemployment, and other economic hardship. And they are crucial for the economy enabling banks to allow credits. Savings are a sustainable way to satisfy the needs of today in a way that future generations find themselves in an environment that is socially and economically intact. Recent research has emphasized that, while micro-credit is important access to general financial services in particular savings is also instrumental in alleviating poverty and stimulating economic growth.
World Savings Day – the History of Teaching How to Save
The World Savings Day was established by the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) in order to inform people all around the world about the idea of saving their money in a bank rather than keeping it under their mattress. Starting in 1925 it soon became an annual tradition in several countries going along with celebrations and campaigns to encourage savings. In their efforts to promote thrift the savings banks also worked together with schools, the clergy, as well as cultural, sports, professional and women’s associations. Indeed, World Savings Day was at first an educational activity, at least partly. In 1928, the WSBI stated that saving was “a virtue and a practice which are essential to the civil progress of each individual, of every nation, and of the whole of humanity!” Correspondingly, the World Savings Banks Congress declared schools the most reliable ally in the field of teaching future customers.
Celebrating the World Savings Day in Germany
The German Savings Banks celebrate the World Savings Day for more than 80 years now. Originally the idea was to educate families, children and thereby the whole society to save and particularly convince them of the importance of saving. Nowadays the World Savings Day is still celebrated once a year on the last working day in October. The German savings banks traditionally celebrate that day by running various information campaigns emphasizing the importance of saving and organizing events, especially for children and for schools.
The UPDF SACCO, known as the Wazalendo Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited (WSACCO) has hit an asset base of shs271.1 billion.
This was revealed on Wednesday during the Sacco’s 13th annual general meeting held at the Uganda Military Engineering College (UMEC) in Lugazi, Mukono District aimed at sharing and reviewing the performance and operations of the Sacco for the year ended (January to December 2018).
Speaking at the function, the Chief of Defence Forces in the UPDF, Gen. David Muhoozi hailed the progress of the Sacco, equating it to a teenager who has performed “exceptionally” well before becoming an adult.
“We have done well and we should maintain and improve the welfare of our members,” Gen Muhoozi told members, adding that it is the duty of the leadership to maintain the sound relationship with the Sacco members to provide reliable solutions that can fight poverty.
He said there must be trust between the leadership and members to have a SACCO that can transform the lives of its members and not just accumulation of figures.
“We need to come up with smart innovations, build strong consensus with members, understand the critical importance of the SACCO and design simple and clear messages to all members for WSACCO to do even better.”
Gen Muhoozi encouraged members to invest in assets that generate income like commercial buildings as opposed to investment in luxurious items that yield short term benefits
According to the Sacco’s Board Chairman and Deputy Commander Land Forces, Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, the Sacco provides an opportunity for the UPDF fraternity to come together and accumulate a fund that betters their welfare and prepare them for life after retirement.
He noted that with effect from last year, the society’s monthly retirement savings on salary increased from 7% to 10% and were followed by a reduction in the refinancing period from 75% to 50% on top of a reduction in interest rates from 15% to 13% .
He said that the asset base had grown from shs219.1 billion last year to Shs 271.1 billion over the last financial year and attributed the growth to the rolled out refinancing that enabled members access more loans on top of their existing loans.
Maj.Gen. Kavuma encouraged members to continue saving by revisiting their enterprise selection and investing in real assets that generate income to fill the liquidity shortfall.
“Any Ugandan who exploits the country’s green cover, fertile soils, favourable climate, abundant water, forests and mountains, cannot fail to improve their welfare,” he urged.
He however warned on investing in luxuries like cars.
Members adopted and approved the proposal to issue bonuses to shareholders by appreciating the share value from shs10,000 to Shs 15,000 and extending the maximum loan period from 4 to 5 years, increasing the loan size from Shs 40m to Shs 80m, among others.
The Wazalendo Sacco is a Ministry of Defence and UPDF Cooperative society that enables its members to come together and pool savings that can help them access loans to engage in productive activities in a bid to improving their welfare. It was registered in Sept 2005.
The army Sacco, registered in 2005, is the biggest Sacco in Uganda with 70,087 members.
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga has urged more Ugandans to join savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs) around the country and improve their livelihoods.
Kadaga said that the cooperatives have contributed to the wellbeing of many Ugandans calling for increased membership in the SACCOs.
The Speaker made the remarks while launching the Balyegera Kwiife SACCO based in Bupadhengo sub-county, Kamuli District on Friday, 04 January 2019.
Kadaga boosted the SACCO operations with shs2 million and two sewing machines which she said ought to help the members to earn a living and in turn support their families and the community at large.
"I know many women are engaged in tailoring so these machines will help them to serve the community and get money to support their families," Kadaga said.
The Chairperson of the Baryegera Kwiife SACCO, Ali Mpasa, said that since its inception, several groups have been established through the organization which were building the community socio-economically.
"We have several associations that impact positively in our area including one for Boda-bodas, a farmers' group, a women's development group and a sports club for the youth," Mpasa said.
He told the Speaker that their agricultural efforts had not yielded due to the harsh drought conditions and thus called on her support to the SACCO with agricultural inputs.
Kadaga on her part committed to engage Kasolwe Stock Farm in Kamuli district to provide quality seeds and other agricultural stock that can boost their farming operations.
"I know how tough the dry season has been; I will talk to the managers at Kasolwe to provide your SACCO with some seeds and animals that you can rear to boost your incomes," said the Speaker.