Brac, the number one non-governmental organisation in the world, has opened a bank in Uganda, one of the five African countries that it currently operates in. Brac Uganda Bank Limited (BUBL) was formally opened in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, on Thursday (25 April 2019) through a colourful ceremony.
Not to be confused with BRAC Bank Limited which operates solely in Bangladesh, BUBL is a one-of-a-kind international initiative of BRAC. It has evolved from BRAC Uganda Microfinance Limited, the largest microfinance provider in the central African nation with over 200,000 clients in 163 branches in 84 districts.
BRAC received banking license from the Ugandan central bank on March 7, 2019 which enabled it to offer savings accounts, money transfer, insurance and other financial services besides credit products to the people of Uganda, especially women and those belonging to low-income communities.
In his chief guest’s speech, General Moses Ali, first deputy prime minister of Uganda, said: “BRAC has a specific focus on women, youth and rural population. I am very much pleased that these are also the three priority areas of the comprehensive strategy that the Ugandan Government developed for financial inclusion.”
Shameran Abed, Senior Director for BRAC Microfinance, said: “Becoming a bank is not the end in itself, but a means to an end. We are now in a position to not only provide far greater value to the hundreds of thousands of clients that we already serve, but to achieve greater financial inclusion in Uganda by serving many hundreds of thousands more who are outside of the formal financial system.”
The opening event at the BUBL head office was attended by Evelyn Anite Kajik, the Ugandan State Minister for Finance, Investment and Privatisation; Justice Augustus Kania, Chairman of BUBL Board of Directors; Dr Muhammad Musa, Executive Director of BRAC; Faruque Ahmed, Executive Director of BRAC International; Lamia Rashid, director for the Africa region of BRAC International; Hans Eskes, director of BRAC International Holdings B.V.; and Moutushi Kabir, director for communications and outreach of BRAC and BRAC International.
Starting in 2006, BRAC Uganda has been providing financial services responsibly to people, especially women in rural and low-income communities in Uganda in addition to advance women empowerment, education for children and adolescent girls, address gender-based violence, improve livelihoods and skills for farmers. Currently, BRAC operates in 13 countries with a focus on Asia and Africa.