NSSF bets on technology to drive innovation

Friday September 10 2021
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Dr Peter Kimbowa. PHOTO/FILE

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

The new National Social Security Fund board will prioritise reshaping the Fund’s investment portfolio and leverage on technology and analytics for improved decision making and innovation, according to newly appointed chairman Dr Peter Kimbowa. 

Speaking at the inauguration of the 12-member board in Kampala early this week, Dr Kimbowa, said there was need to build a Fund that responds to market needs as well as leveraging technology to innovate products that will serve members that are seeking global standards from the Fund.

“We pledge to be open minded and curious so that we can ask the right questions. We will, however, remain agile and adaptive so that we can move with, but ahead of the times,” he said in his maiden speech as NSSF chairman. 

Dr Kimbowa, who replaces Mr Patrick Byabakama Kaberenge, whose term expired on August 30 after six years, also noted that the new board takes over leadership of the Fund at a unique time when the world is at the “cusp of the [fifth] Industrial Revolution where artificial intelligence, data analytics and the internet of things have become part of our daily professional lives”.

The new board comes at a time when NSSF has grown from Shs5.6 trillion as of 2015 to Shs15.4 trillion, which represents a growth of about 175 per cent in the past eight years. 

NSSF holds one of Uganda’s and East Africa’s largest assets portfolio with investments in equity markets both in Uganda and East African countries, real estate and fixed income.

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Therefore, it will remain to be seen how the new board will deploy income at its disposal to improve member returns at a time when Covid-19 has disrupted markets and global economies.  

At the same meeting, NSSF managing director Richard Byarugaba, noted that the Fund was going through a number of milestones, some of which point to a shift in the very basis for its set up necessitating a structure that will “make savings a way of life”. 

Whereas the Fund, he said, had experienced stability and growth over the last decade, it was apparent that the growth had created a change in the needs of social security, which will further be impacted by the NSSF Amendment Bill. 

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