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Group photograph of participants from the training

 

The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives’ (KFCC) President, Park Cha Hoon recently announced the establishment of Uganda's first official Saemaul Geumgo (Community Credit Cooperative or SACCO) in Mpigi district, Uganda. A total of five Saemaul Geumgos are in various stages of establishment and two more have been planned for the future.  Uganda's Saemaul Geumgo is the result of joint efforts by the Ministry of Interior and Safety, Korea  (Minister, Kim Boo Kyum) and KFCC to alleviate poverty and enhance financial accessibility in rural areas of Uganda.

 

Statistics show that 42% of the population in Uganda is still financially excluded or only has access to informal financial services. Considering the cost of transportation and the low population density in rural areas, setting up a branch in itself is very costly. Therefore, it is not easy to solve the financial problems of rural villagers, especially women.

 

Recently, however, a message of hope has been received from Uganda through the Certificate of Registration from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to establish Saemaul Geumgos. This has paved the road for rural villages, who have never touched passbooks, to have access to formal financial services (Tier 4).  

 

KFCC has provided trainings for operating Saemaul Geumgo and helped  rural villagers learn to develop income sources and save money. One of Saemaul Geumgo Pioneers, Mr. Mpagi Edirisa said, “The savings story of Korea, which started collecting pennies with a strong will to get out of poverty, was impressive. We hope that the Saemaul Geumgo model, which was transferred from Korea, will be successfully expanded to Uganda.”KFCC alone cannot provide the complete answer to alleviating poverty in Uganda but we are certainly part of the answer. As Korea’s representative financial cooperative with a strong adherence to cooperative values and principles, we hope Saemaul Geumgo, will sprout new hope in the lives of rural villagers in Uganda.