Government and other stakeholders, including digital payment companies and innovators must make the cost of digital transactions affordable if Uganda is to achieve a cashless economy.
Speaking during the Women in Fintech Summit in Kampala at the weekend, Ms Damali Ssali, a trade expert, founder and author of the Ideation Corner, said it was important that the cost of digital transactions are made affordable to encourage creation of more innovations that will deliver Uganda to a cashless economy.
This, and the cost of internet, she said, remain way beyond what many Ugandans, especially women in micro, small and medium enterprises can afford.
“This explains why only just about 10 per cent of money is exchanged digitally in Uganda,” she said.
Uganda remains largely a cash economy with more than 80 per cent of transactions completed through cash.
During the summit, Ms Doreen Lukandwa, the MFS Africa/Beyonic vice president for global enterprises, said women must be allowed to revolutionise by innovating and developing products that will empower them.
The summit, a culmination of the week-long Women in Fintech Hackathon, saw 17 women teams compete for the top prize won by Kuzimba Online Services, providers of online construction and engineering solutions.
Organised by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, the hackathon seeks to empower women in technology as well as eliminate barriers that hinder women from participating in Fintechs.
Eng Ephrance Eunice Namugenyi, the Kuzimba Online Services team leader, said: “What was just an idea has turned out to be real and usable. We knew we had a good product that addresses real community needs but winning the overall prizet has been a huge surprise.”
Mr Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo chief executive officer, said that even amidst several challenges, it was important that stakeholders from government and the private sector continue to empower and encourage women into participating in technology at all stages.
“We want to ensure that the technological gender gap is closed,” he said.