The Uganda Development Bank’s (UDB) performance for 2022 was largely excellent that the bank officials have vowed to continue supporting the growing spirit of entrepreneurship to tap the enormous potential and drive socio-economic growth.
UDB IS Uganda’s national development finance institution that lends loans to qualifying enterprises in different sectors at between 8% and 10% interest rate.
That is 12 and 10 percentage point rate lower than the current lending rate of 20% per annum by commercial banks, majority of which are foreign originated.
On February 10, 2023, the bank held an annual press briefing at Bwendero Dairy Farm in Kitoba Sub-County, Hoima district where it was hailed by the local business community for being a metonymy in offering loans which has birthed and grown strong investment in various businesses across the country.
This has consequently improved livelihoods and heavily supported economic recovery and resilience of Uganda businesses.
Official data indicates that in 2022, UDB registered a 52% gross loan portfolio growth from Sh851b in December 2021 to Sh1,298b in December 2022.
The Bank’s total assets currently stand at Sh1.44 trillion, growing by 19% from sh1.21 trillion at the start of 2022.
This growth is on account of growth in funding, mainly through capital allocations from government and drawdown of lines of credit from various other funding partners.
“This performance is anchored on the Bank’s deliberate efforts towards the revitalisation and transformation of Uganda’s economy,” said UDB’s Managing Director, Patricia Ojangole in a speech delivered on her behalf by Joshua Mwesigwa, UDB’s Director for strategy.
“This gives us confidence that we are on track to achieve our strategic objectives,” she added.
Uganda like other economies across the world faced major socio-economic shocks in the last three years including Covid-19, adverse climate and the impacts from geopolitical shocks.
“Our product portfolio has been designed to support key priority sectors to achieve their full potential which aligns with the country’s strategic direction and National Development Plan III to support local businesses to revitalise, transform and overcome shocks,” Ojangole said.
The value of new loan applications approved to receive funding grew by 40% against the 2021 performance registering a total of Sh894b from the Sh635b registered in 2021.
The Industry sector (comprising manufacturing and agro industry) received the highest number of approvals worth Sh454.75b while primary agriculture received Sh96.75b.
The Bank disbursed a total of Sh776.6b during the year 2022, improving by 81% from Sh428b disbursed the previous year 2021. Of this sum, 76% was disbursed to projects engaged in agriculture, agro-processing and manufacturing.
To support underserved sectors of the economy, UDB in 2022 launched the Special Programmes intervention which has effectively implemented several strategies, with a focus on channeling interventions to promote small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as businesses run by women and youth within the Bank’s supported sectors.
After a year of implementation, the Bank approved over sh31.5b, with 128 enterprises (including 42 women-owned) benefitting from this programme.
To further support these businesses, the Bank launched the Business Accelerator for Successful Entrepreneurship (BASE) aimed at preparing entrepreneurs for financing through enhanced business practices.
In 2022 alone, eight regional training sessions targeting 1,130 SMEs were conducted in Kampala, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Lira, Gulu, Arua, Masaka, and Mbale districts.
Ojangole says as a result, the Bank identified funding prospects amounting to Sh147.3 billion. Additionally, 77 hitherto informal enterprises undertook various business formalization processes – with 45 registering their business names and 37 others formally registering as new taxpayers or for tax certification numbers.
“Conversely, the Bank earmarked 274 enterprises to participate in the inaugural UDB Business Incubation Programme to be held this year, the aim of which is to facilitate the incubatees to be credit-ready, and potentially prospective customers of UDB,“ the bank said in a statement.
Ojangole said their mandate is to accelerate social economic development in the country through sustainable financial interventions.
Consistent with its mandate, UDB supports projects within the private sector that demonstrate potential to deliver high social and economic value in terms of job creation, improved production output, tax contribution and foreign exchange generation among other outcomes.
She explained that the projects approved for the year are expected to generate 35,372 new direct jobs, and Sh9.35 trillion worth of output value/turnover from firms financed.
These are further expected to generate Sh393.79b in tax revenue to the government and attract foreign exchange earnings of Sh1,58 Trillion.
About 72% of the 249 projects are within primary agriculture, agro-processing and manufacturing.
Jenepher Namuyangu, Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, extolled the crucial importance of UDB in accelerating the growth for key sectors like agriculture, tourism, human capital development, among others, which are in line with the governments National Development Plan 3.
“I am pleased to know that local firms such as Bwendero Dairy Farm is a beneficiary of funding from UDB, and I believe the support has enabled them to expand their operations and, in the end, improve the livelihoods of our people in Hoima and the surrounding areas who are directly or indirectly impacted by the existence of Bwendero Dairy farm.”
John Fitzgerald Magara, the proprietor of Bwendero Dairy Farm, appreciated the Bank for the support which enabled it to install a modern sugar plant from the rudimentary and old one in Bwendero A village, KitobaSub-County in Hoima district.
The plant operated at 38.6% capacity in 2021 but increased its performance twofold to 77.3% in 2022, producing 580 tons of sugar per day.
“Our farm has been able to diversify its operations to sugar processing, distillery, and milling, hence we are producing brown sugar, maize flour and pharmaceutical ethanol, among others,” Magara revealed.
Mary Grace Mugasa, the state minister for Public Service, urged local businessmen to register or formalise their enterprises with Uganda Registration Services Bureau as well as follow all procedures to benefit from UDB.
“This will help you to get more capital and expand your businesses to create an economic ripple effect,” she added.