October 3, 2020

PRESENTER: Dr. Fred Muhumuza. – Lecturer, School of Economics, Makerere University PANELISTS: Dr. Adam Mugume. – Executive Director, Research: Bank of Uganda Dr. Albert Musisi – Commissioner, Macroeconomic Policy Department, MoFPED Dr. Asumani Guloba. – Director, Planning, National Planning Authority  Moderator: Dr. Fred Matovu. Director PADRI and Sen. Lecturer, School of Economics, Makerere University DATE: 29th May 2020 Moderator: The discussion is going to be started by Dr Muhumuza who is going to give us the landscape of the issues to discuss and after he has done his presentation. We are going to have our colleague from the National Planning Authority to give us the planning horizon and how the National Development III is going to respond to the Covid-19 effects. Then we shall have Dr. Albert Musisi from the Ministry of finance who are the people to deal with resource mobilization and spending. Then thereafter our colleague from the Bank of Uganda will come in as the agency that actually does the Macroeconomic stabilization. Dr. Muhumuza kindly introduce yourself. Dr. Muhumuza: As you have written fully put, mine is simply to kind of it put it in context the discussion that we are going to have, Macroeconomics is not something that everybody appreciates so we want to just put a context so that when people come out to speak, they will be understanding of where they are coming from. So at this point, I just want to say that Macroeconomics can be equated to a tent under which many activities are done by different people you may find people seated in the corner as they are doing salon work, as somebody is registering other people and children are playing in that tent. Very many things will happen inside there and as long as the tent is intact nobody will have a problem. But if the wind comes and blows the tent off then everybody will have a problem. So Macroeconomics is that discussion on Economic parameters necessarily interacted with but they are actually critical for whatever else these people may be doing in their own businesses. In the National Development Plan II, macroeconomics was equated to the shell of the egg literally meaning of the shell of the egg is intact, growth happens inside that egg but once the shell of the egg cracks then you have a problem that that egg will not do any growth. So am going to quickly run through some eight key parameters of the Macroeconomic nature that we shall be discussing this evening that we would like people to appreciate. Like I have said if the shell of the egg cracks then that egg cannot grow into a chick. So the growth of the economy is very important and we do relate it not necessarily with other countries but with what which country has to bear. Even medical practitioners are very much concerned with the growth of children especially and they will have parameters like height for weight and age for height. If a child has a weight that is less than their age and people will get concerned. So in countries, we always measure the […]

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August 3, 2020

Empowering Vulnerable Women in Eastern African through Innovative Savings Groups Project Countries:                   Burundi, Kenya and Uganda Project Leader:                        Fred Matovu, PhD Funding Agency:                    IDRC Project Number:                     108715-001 The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada is supporting researchers in Uganda, Kenya and Burundi to undertake a study to explore how innovative Savings Schemes can lead to economic empowerment of vulnerable women in Eastern African Countries The lack of access to affordable financial services is one of the major bottlenecks to starting and growing income generating activities among women in east Africa. This could be attributed to the limited number of financial service providers that target marginalized women in rural areas and in informal settlements. Financial markets are also established on a challenging environment complicated by security concerns, economic and political instability, minimal infrastructure, a dispersed population, and limited economic activities. These factors among others keep the majority of the women in Africa unable to access financial services. As such, they are unable to turn their business ideas into reality and many of them remain economically unproductive. Innovative savings schemes do provide an opportunity for vulnerable women to achieve economic and social empowerment, by enabling them make regular savings to finance investments in business, asset acquisition and household expenditures. There are networks of saving groups for women within east African region but there is a paucity of evidence on how they have impacted on the social and economic empowerment of the women, and how these schemes enable women to cope with economic shocks.   The overall objective of this research project is to evaluate theimpact of innovative savings schemes and the ways in which they have economically empowered women in E. Africa and enabled them to cope with shocks and vulnerability. Specifically, the research will: (i) Document the most promising and innovative financial schemes to women empowerment within the target areas of the three countries; (ii) Investigate the motivating factors for joining and remaining in Savings Groups (SGs), and how decision-making power relations influence women’s participation in SGs; (iii) Examine the effects of SGs on Women’s usage of financial services, business activity, income, empowerment, consumption, and their ability to cope with economic shocks; (iv) Evaluate the differences in penetration, operation, and impact of SGs between fragile and stable states; and (v) recommend practical policy relevant results and directions on how to support and scale-up savings schemes in Africa. The Project used a quasi-experimental survey design involving three categories of households: (1) women who belong to an innovative savings group network (World Concern (WC) in Kenya and Uganda; and Five Talents (5T) in Burundi) (2) women who belong to other savings group; and (3) women do not belong to any savings group. The impact of savings groups on women’s welfare is assessed through a comparison of the women’s circumstances at baseline and at endline, 12 months after the baseline. It is hypothesized that innovative savings groups significantly improve the welfare of women compared to belonging to a regular savings group; and that when women participate is savings schemes of any kind, their welfare is […]

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