By Michael Kanaabi
Bank of Uganda has started a campaign to boost people’s understanding of economic issues affecting them so that they can identify opportunities to exploit.
The move, according to the Central Bank’s head of corporate affairs, Edward Tenywa, was prompted by the realisation that many Ugandans have no grasp of economic issues, which affects their economic participation.
“Without the right financial knowledge and of the workings of the Central Bank, individual players in the economy will be in the dark about key indicators such as inflation and how they affect price levels and productivity,” Tenywa added.
Key factors such as the Central Bank Rates (CBR) directly affect interest rates on loans and deposits and commercial banks automatically adjust rates whenever the Central Bank sets a new rate.
Bank customers could also get a raw deal when they miss out on Central Bank information releases, Tenywa explained.
“Some people are just not interested in this information yet it affects them greatly, while others just haven’t done enough to access it,” he noted.
Last week the Central Bank launched what it called the “secondary schools challenge” which it hopes will educate students about its mandate and the macro-economy. It will also demystify the workings of the bank.
“We have decided to focus on secondary schools, especially the students in A level, because they are in a transition stage and will become the change agents as regards financial literacy in universities, tertiary institutions or in employment after school. They will also be role models to younger students,” Bank of Uganda governor Tumusiime Mutebile said at the launch of the campaign at the Central bank’s head office in Kampala.
He said the campaign is part of the bank’s strategy to reach out to the key youth audience. Eight schools from four regions of north, west, east and the central were selected because they consistently performed well in senior five examinations from 2009 to 2012.
These are Mount St. Mary’s College Namagunga, St. Henry’s College Kitovu, Ntare School, Standard College Ntungamo, Tororo Girls and Jinja College from the East. Others are Apostle of Jesus Minor Seminary Moroto and St. Peter and Paul Minor Seminary Arua.
The students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the workings of the Central Bank, especially the monetary policy. They will simulate a monetary policy committee and decide the (CBR).
The show will be aired on local TV stations in six episodes, starting next month. There will also be quizzes on social media and various radio stations, Tenywa said.
The participating students and members of the public will win prizes ranging from bursaries, investment in government securities, text books, branded T-shirts, commemorative coins and bags.
Central Bank begins financial literacy campaign in schools