On World Savings Day, October 31, 2023, the Bank of Uganda (BoU) took center stage in a collective effort with financial sector partners and stakeholders to elevate financial literacy among Ugandans. The central focus of this initiative is to bolster the existing 20.4% of Ugandans actively saving towards specific life objectives, such as retirement and education.
In a press release, BoU Deputy Governor Micheal Atingi-Ego disclosed the proactive measures adopted by the bank. Citing data from the Financial Capability Survey (FCS) 2020, he emphasized that only a fraction of Ugandans, a mere 20.4%, currently engage in purposeful savings. In response, the BoU has embarked on a multifaceted approach, including the promotion of financial literacy in local languages, with a particular emphasis on rural areas.
Atingi-Ego outlined ongoing efforts, noting that the Bank continues to invest in training financial literacy trainers in rural locales. Additionally, various media platforms are being leveraged to deliver financial literacy programs in local languages, ensuring widespread accessibility.
Designating November as an annual banking and financial services awareness month, the Bank of Uganda is orchestrating a series of activities. These include radio programs and public webinars designed to engage the public actively and promote the culture of saving.
Atingi-Ego stressed the importance of saving within formal financial institutions to ensure the preservation and growth of the saved funds. He advised the public to opt for institutions such as commercial banks, credit institutions, and microfinance deposit-taking institutions—entities regulated by the Bank of Uganda.
In the broader historical context, World Savings Day traces its origins to October 31, 1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress in Milan, Italy. The day, initially named World Thrift Day, emerged as a global initiative to propagate the concept of thriftiness across the world. Italian Professor Filippo Ravizza declared this day the “International Saving Day” during the congress, with representatives from 29 countries in attendance.