Plans for Ugandan National Cooperative Bank in progress

The committee set up to investigate the project is made up of leading co-operators and aims to learn from mistakes of the previous co-op bank

The Ugandan government has this week announced the formation of a committee tasked with spearheading the development of a Ugandan National Cooperative Bank.

The committee was inaugurated on 2 August by trade state minister Frederick Ngobi Gume, Monitor has reported. 

Gume said that they had received “overwhelming support” from cabinet to pursue the formation of a co-operative bank.

The committee is made up of 14 members across seven organisations: Uganda Central Cooperative Financial Services, Uganda Cooperative and Savings Union, Walimu, Wazalendo, two parliamentary savings and credit co-ops (SACCOs) and national apex Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA), which will chair the group. 

The aim of the bank will be to serve Uganda’s SACCOs in a tailored way, with profits returning back to the co-operative members. 

UCA’s Austin Nyakubaho said at the inauguration that the main goal of the committee will be to lay out a plan for the development of the National Cooperative Bank, which once established, will be managed by a team under the bank.

They will also seek funding for the initiative, consult with farmers and research the country’s previous incarnation of a co-operative bank, which was seized by the Central Bank of Uganda in 1999 after 35 years of operation. 

The Central Bank cited insufficient capitalisation and insolvency as the reasons for closing the bank.

The committee plans to share a  proposed way forward for the new co-operative bank with government ministers within the next three months.