By Emojong Osere
BANKS should consider rolling out services to rural areas to tap into the entrepreneurial potential in upcountry, a top official urged over the weekend.
Louis Kasekende, the central bank deputy governor, who opened Ecobankâ€™s eighth branch in Wandegeya, Kampala, said the future of the economy was dependent on the rural entrepreneurs, who unfortunately wield limited banking knowledge.
â€œThe Bank of Uganda welcomes the enhanced outreach by Ecobank and prays that in the near future, the branch networks should be extended to the rural areas,â€ he said.
Kasekende said banking institutions had not sufficiently tapped into the countryside population, which predominantly relies on agriculture; a sector that presently employs an estimated 80% of the more than 30 million population.
He reiterated the necessity to cut bank lending rates to encourage borrowing and boost investment.
â€œLending rates have generally remained within a range of 16-22%,â€ he said.
â€œThese rates have hardly changed whereas returns on investment in Treasury Bills and Bonds have all come down to single digits.â€