Officials of a Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) branch in Kikandwa parish pose with residents there. The KFCC plans to increase its access to more Ugandan people this year. Photo courtesy of KFCC

Korean outfit strives to come up with inclusive financial policies

Uganda’s people have suffered from poverty in recent years as many of them lived on less than $2 per day in recent years. Worse, the African country was hit hard by the virus pandemic.

In particular, the rural areas in the sub-Saharan nation faced bigger problems over the past two years because the COVID-19 negatively affected the economy there.

But there is always a silver lining. For some farmers of Uganda, South Korea’s cooperative banking system is giving a sign of hope in an otherwise grim situation.

The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC), the top apex organization for Korea’s cooperative banking sector, made inroads into Uganda in 2018 when the outfit debuted there with some 30 farmers.

Things have changed much in just a few years _ the new entity now offers financial services to more than 7,000 Ugandan people to help reduce poverty and achieve regional development.

For example, the KFCC’s branch has attracted an upside of 1,300 customers at Bongole parish in Mpigi district to chalk up a substantial amount of profit last year.

Despite the novel coronavirus, a branch in Mityana district also drew 1,129 members just a year after its establishment.

Against this backdrop, observers point out that the KFCC supports the Parish Development Model of the Ugandan government. Parish is the unique sub-county of Uganda.

In addition, the KFCC offers hope to female residents of Ugandan villages by helping them open bank accounts. Previously, it was practically impossible to do so.

“In the operation of KFCC branches, members are their owners. As they make important decisions through democratic ways, they build up strong affinity and a sense of trust for each other,” a KFCC official said.

“Beginning this year, we strive for digital transformation in Uganda so that more people can get access to our services based on our inclusive financial policies.”