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Address Financial Literacy to Improve Household Income-Study

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Findings by a team of researchers from the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) have recommended that the Government through its agencies should partner with private financial institutions to organise financial literacy trainings to teach households on how to access capital, save and invest in productive ventures. The recommendations were made at a research dissemination workshop for the project titled: Evaluation of the effectiveness of financial inclusion on household’s welfare in Uganda: A case study of Busoga region.

While officially opening the hybrid dissemination workshop held on Wednesday 29th September 2020 in the School of Business Conference Room and virtually, the Principal CoBAMS, Dr. Eria Hisali thanked the Government of Uganda for funding the project through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). He equally commended the Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Eric Nzibonera and his team on successfully completing their project and achieving the set objectives.

Chief Guest at the Dissemination Mr. John Peter Mujuni represented The Executive Director, Microfinance Support Centre.

Dr. Hisali proposed four options to ensure that the findings from the study reach a wider audience.

  1. Immediately upload the findings on the College’s new working paper series website, which will enable staff to read the document and provide feedback
  2. Proceed to transform the working paper into a journal article so as to reach audiences from different parts of the world
  3. Proactively review curricular in preparation for the possibility of gradually using research from Makerere as part of course outlines and teaching materials.
  4. Take advantage of the College’s planned framework of engaging policy makers formally through policy labs that will be held every quarter.
Principal College of Business and Management Sciences Dr. Eria Hisali officially opened the workshop

Presenting the findings from the project, the PI Dr. Nzibonera thanked the Principal for his advice and his research team for their hard work. Other members of the team that sampled 430 heads of households included the Dean School of Business Dr. Godfrey Akileng and Ms. Hellen Nambi.

“Financial Inclusion is a process through which financial services are delivered to the disadvantaged and low-income sections of the society on a timely basis and at affordable costs” defined Dr. Nzibonera, adding that “the relationship between financial inclusion and poverty alleviation has been widely discussed but only few studies explore the effect of financial inclusion on household welfare.”

He therefore shared the twofold objective of the project as; to establish the extent to which the rural households engage in financial inclusion and to examine the nature of household welfare and establish the extent to which financial inclusion enhance households’ welfare. The latter, he noted, would help guide policy recommendations to the Government and private sector.

Project PI – Dr. Eric Nzibonera (back row 5th Right), Dean of School of Business- Dr. Godfrey Akileng (R) in a group photo after dissemination of the project findings.

Dr. Nzibonera noted that financial inclusion is measured through establishing the extent of availability and accessibility to financial services, affordability, usage and quality of financial products. He added that household welfare is improved through access to quality education and health services, improved shelter, food production and consumption as well as access to information.

The findings on availability and accessibility to financial services revealed an interesting pattern. “Whereas households still find it hard to access formal financial services for savings and deposits’ and services provided by bank agents are irregular, they easily access mobile money services for withdrawals and payments” he shared.

In terms of affordability, findings revealed that although the cost of accessing financial institutions and withdrawing funds from mobile money agents is still high, the cost of accessing financial services through bank agents and carrying out financial transactions through financial institutions is affordable.

Investigations into the usage and quality of services showed that households find it easy to use mobile money and village SACCOs to make deposits and payments for school fees. Despite the ease of use, households find it hard to save with banks, microfinance institutions and SACCOs.

“The accounts opened in banks and SACCOs are not frequently used and the services offered by banks or their agents are not regular” added Dr. Nzibonera.

The research team’s findings showed that financial inclusion has partly enhanced the welfare if households in Busoga.

“The study revealed improvement in income levels as a result of accessing loans from financial institutions and SACCOs. The number of school going children has also increased as a result of borrowing opportunities from SACCOs” said the PI.  

Dr. Nzibonera added that although it is easy for households to access information about financial services relevant for welfare improvement, “there is limited income to enable households gain access to good healthcare and carry out construction.”

The team therefore made the following policy recommendations;

  1. Financial and microfinance institutions should employ agents to at least every parish or sub-county to grant households easy access to financial services.
  2. Government through District commercial officers should encourage households to organise into village savings and credit cooperative organisations (SACCOs) at parish level and identify unique financial products that promote savings and investments for different groups.
  3. Government agencies such as the Micro Finance Support Centre and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) should partner with private financial institutions to organise financial literacy trainings for households on how to save as well as identify and invest in productive investment ventures.
  4. The cost of financing should be reduced to rates that are affordable by households. This will improve household income for both consumption and investment.
  5. Financial institutions should design financial products that would enable households to access funds for construction as long as there is a clear payment plan and evidence of source of income for loan repayments.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) Chairperson Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala congratulated the research team upon the successful dissemination and thanked Dr. Hisali for proposing policy labs as a means of engaging policy makers.

She urged Dr. Nzibonera as a firsthand witness on the state of financial inclusion to go beyond the policy recommendations and draft a successor project proposal on solutions that can clearly and precisely take financial inclusion at the grassroots level to the next level.

“You are the right people to guide Government on what unique product the community will get and how it will help improve their financial knowledge” she recommended.

Dr. Nkabala thanked the Government for funding research and innovations that inform national development priorities and the University Management for creating an environment conducive to conducting research. In the same breath she thanked the GMC for providing oversight and the GMC Secretariat for ensuring that the projects run smoothly.

“This is a clear example of taking the Ivory Tower to the community” she concluded.

Representing Mr. John Peter Mujuni, Executive Director, Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) and Chief Guest at the dissemination, Mr. Godfrey Mangeni thanked the research team for a job well done, and pledged take the findings and policy recommendations very seriously.

“Please share these findings so that we can work with you in other areas like Bukedi and Karomoja to improve our services” he remarked.

Mr. Mangeni shared that there still remains a lot of work to be done to support Government’s Parish Development Model in the Busoga region despite MSC’s zonal office in Jinja and a satellite office in Iganga and as such, called upon researchers from Makerere to share their expertise.

Dean of School of Business and Member of Research Team- Dr. Godfrey Akileng

Delivering the concluding remarks, Dr. Akileng in his dual capacity as Research Team member and Dean noted that Financial Inclusion is an important topical issue for national development and therefore expressed happiness that the Government had found it fitting to fund the project.

“As a nation, we need to reflect reflect on Government interventions aimed at addressing gaps of financial inclusion that financial institutions have not been able to fill” he rallied. This reflection, he said, ought to be guided by the question ‘Where have been the successes in social impact and where have been the failures?’

He noted that although Financial Technology (FINTECH) is the buzzword when it comes to improving service delivery, its success is hinged on how easy it will be for end-users at the grassroots level to adopt the various solutions offered.

“I believe that a highly informed community with the ability to easily access financial services and mobilise savings is key to the improvement of household earnings as well as boost demand and productivity in the country” he added.

In the discussion that preceded the concluding remarks, Mr. John Emoi, the Manager Investments at Uganda Development Bank who joined the conversation virtually had expressed his organisation’s keen interest in the days topic and research findings. Particularly, he had urged the research team to include the development of FINTECH models as a means of disseminating financial services among their policy recommendations.

In conclusion, Dr. Akileng called for affirmative action for business teaching institutions, “Business touches every sector and it is important to appreciate that if we must make money in any sector, we must understand business.”

Business & Management

MBA Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

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An aerial photo of L-R: The Main Library, Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2), School of Economics and School of Business (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, invites all shortlisted candidates who applied for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme offered at Makerere University Main Campus; College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) for academic year 2022/2023 for a Graduate Admission Test (GAT).

The test is scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th August, 2022 starting 9:00 AM at CoBAMS.

Further information can be accessed by following the link:

Shortlist for Graduate Admission Test (GAT) 2022/2023

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Hon. Baryomunsi Launches Book with Pledge to continue Supporting Research

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Hon. Chris Baryomunsi signs a dummy of the Book "Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University" signifying its launch on 29th July 2022.

The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, the Hon. Chris Baryomunsi today July 29, 2022, launched a book authored by 20 researchers of Makerere University.

The book titled “Academics, Research and Leadership in Institutions of Higher Learning: Experiences from Makerere University” details the research and training experiences of some academic units in Makerere University. The programs analyzed in the book include training of statisticians, population scientists, quantitative economists among others. The book documents past, present and emerging issues in training and research in the above fields. The book, according to Prof. Ben Kiregyera who gave the keynote address, makes the case for strengthening the infrastructure for training and research including technical and administrative leadership. The book also looks at the acquisition of new knowledge, strategic skills and competences in different disciplines to meet the 21st century development and data challenges.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, also a former lecturer in the department of population studies said the government would continue to support research and innovation because they drive development of the economy. “What we need to do better is engage policy makers in our research processes,” Dr. Baryomunsi advised. “Your research needs to inform government but you also have a role of simplifying statistics to the public”. He challenged researchers to engage in new research areas such as robotics, nano-technology, big data, Internet of Things and integrate them in our day to day lives.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, who represented the Vice Chancellor, applauded the authors of the book, saying they are greatly contributing to the research agenda of the university. He said the book will go a long way in informing decision making in the university, as the university moves into becoming a research led university.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
Prof. Henry Alinaitwe delivers the remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The Principal of the College of Business and Management Science, Prof. Eria Hisali, who was represented by the Deputy Principal Prof. Bruno Yawe, congratulated the authors and editorsfor a job well done. “This is yet another reminder that a lot can be achieved when we are determined and when we choose to work closely together,” the Principal said.

The Principal told the authors, most of whom were drawn from CoBAMS that the college will be launching a special purpose vehicle for policy engagements called the Policy Labs. This will bring together policy makers, implementers, private sector actors, development partners and the academia to engage on topical policy issues. It will enable researchers to share the recommendations with a wider audience of policy makers and implementers.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd L), Prof. Eria Hisali (R) and other officials at the Book Launch.

The Director of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi also congratulated the authors and reemphasized the university’s commitment to supporting research geared at finding home grown solutions to society challenges.

The coordinators of the book project, Prof. Abel Nzabona, shared with the audience the 5-year journey of writing the book.

The journey started in June 2018 when Prof. Ronald Wesonga (in the company of Dr. Fred Maniragaba) mentioned that he had a book idea and wanted Prof. Nzabona to coordinate the writing process. Prof Ronald Wesonga’s idea of the book was an academic document that was researched, evidence-based, informative, marketable and interesting to read. The team then set out on a journey or writing, vetting, peer-reviewing and manuscript writing, identifying editors and publishers. 

Part of the audience at the Book Launch.
Part of the audience at the Book Launch.

“We started off with just 4 chapters but never gave up. We intensified the popularization of the book idea and eventually reached the 15-chapter mark,” Prof. Nzabona said. The team was delighted to have been joined by colleagues from the College of Education and External Studies namely Dr David Onen and Prof. Fred Bakkabulindi.

The vision bearer and funder of the publication, Prof. Ronald Wesonga, in his remarks highlighted the objectives of the book which included:

  1. To Share evidence-based, data-driven experiences pertaining academics and research leadership at Makerere University.
  2. To Infer how leadership shapes academics and research outputs at universities
  3. To Provide viable recommendations based on findings from different studies
  4. To Contribute to the Mak@100 celebrations

The book Prof. Wesonga shared addresses the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of leadership on excellence in academics? Addressed in seven chapters: {4,5,6,7,9,10,12}
  2. What is the effect of leadership on research outputs? Addressed in six chapters: {2,3,8,11,13,14}
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.
One of the Book Authors, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana.

The book employed the following methodology:

  1. Teamwork and networking
  2. Primary and secondary data sources
  3. Literature Search
  4. Mixed Methods
  5. Descriptive and Inferential Approaches
  6. Quality Standardization and Flow (Abstract, KW, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion & Recommendations)

According to Prof. Wesonga, the book’s unique attributes include:

  1. First ever in the history of Mak to demonstrate impeccable teamwork and network with 20 contributing authors
  2. Pioneering book in Mak history that focuses on leadership audit
  3. Proven data-driven scientific approach
  4. Baseline for various monographs, yet to come soon
  5. First book to be internationally demanded before its launch
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (5th R) poses with officials and some of the authors at the Book Launch on 29th July 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

THE AUTHORS

  1. Anthony Tibaingana
  2. Abraham Y. Owino
  3. Mwanga Yeko
  4. Fred Maniragaba
  5. Ronald Wesonga
  6. John Mushomi Atwebembeire
  7. Abel Nzabona
  8. John Paul Tugume
  9. Christian Kakuba
  10. Charles Lwanga
  11. Ishmael Kalule-Sabiti
  12. James Ntozi
  13. Edward Musoke
  14. Richard Tuyiragize
  15. Fabian Nabugoomu
  16. John Bosco Asiimwe
  17. Yeko Mwanga
  18. Paulino Ariho
  19. Fred Edward K. Bakkabulindi
  20. David Onen

EDITORS:

  1. Fredrick Ruguma Tumwine
  2. Fred E. K. Bakkabulindi
  3. James Ntozi

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Business & Management

Makerere signs MoU with ACCA: CoBAMS students to get exam exemption

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The Principal CoBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali (C) and ACCA Uganda Country Manager, Ms. Charlotte Kukunda (L) exchange the signed agreement as the Dean School of Business, Prof. Godfrey Akileng (R) applauds on 18th July 2022, Makerere University.

Makerere University, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which is set to benefit students of Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting major.

According to the Country Manager of ACCA Uganda, Charlotte Kukunda, Makerere University students, starting with the next Academic year 2023 will be exempted from 8 examination papers out of the 13 papers one is supposed to take before being certified as a professional accountant.

This means that of Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting students will be sitting for only 5 out of 13 examinations to attain full ACCA qualifications.

The accreditation is for five years effective 2023 to 2027.

This comes with a reduction in the years a student is scheduled to spend studying ACCA as well as reducing the money one is supposed to spend on the eight courses.

Ms. Kukunda said that it takes one about two years to complete the ACCA course if one is to do all the 13 courses. However, with the exception of the 8 examinations, one can finish the course in one year.

The team from ACCA joins Management and staff of CoBAMS for a group photo.
The team from ACCA joins Management and staff of CoBAMS for a group photo.

During the signing ceremony, the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences, Prof. Eria Hisali, who represented the Vice Chancellor said the exemptions are a stamp of quality of the curriculum and education that the school of Business offers. He said the college was dedicated to conducting quality assurance for her courses, service delivery and research. “We want to get to the level where all our flagship programs are internationally accredited,” Prof. Hisali said.  

The Dean School of Business, Prof. Godfrey Akileng, said before the accredidation was done, ACCA conducted an audit of the curriculum and examinations of the Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting course.

“This decision means that ACCA highly regards the quality of the curriculum, training and examination of Bachelor of Commerce and that students of Bachelor of Commerce-Accounting option will attempt only 5 examination papers to attain a full ACCA qualification,” Prof. Akileng said.

 This is because, in some course units, what the students will have studied and accomplished within their three years of Bachelor’s training will be similar to some of the post-business school content they ordinarily should have encountered as part of their ACCA training.

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