The executive director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Gideon Badagawa, has challenged bankers to educate clients on how best they can insure their businesses to enhance their sustainability.
Currently, Uganda is ranked among the top business starters but also with highest business collapsing rates. Badagawa said this is partly due to failure to insure those businesses.
“The financial services sector is very critical for private sector growth. It is also important for the growth of other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy, tourism, education and transport. However, they all lack the knowledge of insuring sustainability,” Badagawa said.
He was speaking during the seventh graduation ceremony for the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services, where over 60 students graduated.
The function took place at the City Royale Hotel in Kampala. Badagawa stressed that many Ugandans, especially in business, are not taking insurance policies which works against business prosperity.
Badagawa cited the MV Kaawa cargo ship which sunk in Lake Victoria with a lot of merchandise yet it had not been insured, causing huge losses. “As much as businesses do not take on insurance policies, the Government is worse off because it does not insure its assets, including vehicles,” he said.
“Why don’t we educate people on why they should take on insurance services as part of the financial systems so that we mitigate risks and uncertainty?” Badagawa wondered.
He explained that many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not consider insurance as an issue. He said the onus is on the graduates who have the knowledge to educate people.
He also pointed out the need for soft skills which “you do not learn from the institute of bankers but through using your head to reason and take a decision”.
Decision making, critical thinking, customer care, integrity and professionalism are soft skills,” he said.
The director of financial stability at Bank of Uganda (BOU), Dr Charles Abuka, Challenged the graduates to always work towards self-renewal to avoid irrelevance.
“To ensure relevance, the content of professional education should be regularly updated to incorporate developments from research, global trends and market practices,” Abuka said.
“We need to focus on professional ethics. Professionalism is a combination of technical compentencies and some ethical formation,” he added.
Abuka observed that ethical perspective is very critical now when financial institutions are challenged by employee-aided financial crime due to the onset of ICT growth. He implored the financial services proprietors to play a prominent role in promoting professionalism, saying the future of the financial services industry rests on the quality of human resource.
“As financial regulators, we are committed to ensuring a sound and stable banking system and recognize the link between a well-trained human capital base, sound and stable financial system,” Abuka said.
BOU, he said, will continue to support initiatives aimed at nurturing professionalism in the industry, saying it is currently promoting the regional professional banking certification programme.
The institute’s chief executive officer, Anthony Mulindwa, advised the graduates to fast-track the changing face of financial services and its implications to personal development. “Financial services are fast evolving. This dynamism reflected in the unprecedented pace of change in technological change has a direct implication on today’s professionalism,” he said.