Several people across the country have fallen victim to land evictions or have their pieces of land lying idle for lack of funds to develop them. In a bid to solve this challenge especially in the Buganda region where such cases are rampant, Buladde Financial Services, a Cooperative Society, was started by the Buganda Land Board to help people improve their security of tenure on land.
According to John Mark Ernest Golooba, the Buladde Financial Services Manager, this was done through voluntary savings and access to affordable credit facilities to enable people to secure the land and use it to develop themselves.
“If you have land with the right documentation, you can access money from financial institutions. You can also get partners to develop the land,” Golooba says.
The Cooperative is currently serving 3,650 customers in Kampala and Wakiso, with 58% of them being women.
Golooba notes that women are more interested in savings and accessing soft loans, given that most of them are involved in a number of trading activities.
Using savings and soft loans from Buladde, Golooba says that the women have also been able to expand their businesses.
While the Cooperative is able to serve its existing clients immediately, it still takes about a week for new clients as it still has to do manual background checks, which consumes time.
In a bid to serve its clients in a convenient and efficient manner, however, Buladde Financial Services set out to streamline service provision by embarking on a digitization journey last year.
All client information has since been transferred onto the new system, according to Golooba.
“All client information is in the system but we are now working on having them transact digitally so that they don’t have to come to the office to transact,” Golooba notes.
Buladde Financial Services is among the firms participating in the ongoing second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.
Golooba commended the organizers for the initiative, which he says has widened their understanding of the financial services sector in relation to technology.
“It has helped us see why we need to digitize our services because it is for our own good. It will help us improve on efficiency in service provision and effect real-time settlement which can only be done when you are digital,” he notes.
He adds: “You find that we also have a challenge of people who come to borrow from us yet they have multiple loans from other institutions while others present forged documents for security. But I believe when we digitize, and solutions like Mojaloop are adopted to enable us access information in a pool, doing background search will be made easier to curb such issues.”
The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya says the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators to enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.
He explains that FinTechs have played a great role in financial inclusion across Africa, as the various products and services innovated by FinTech players are impacting thousands of people at the last mile.