Stanbic Bank today hosted its 4th annual economic forum, a flagship event for the bank’s clients to discuss economic events that will shape 2019.

The summit aims at informing, creating thought-provoking discussions and gathering feedback from the bank’s stakeholders about their expectations. This year’s theme was “Achieving a paradigm shift in Uganda’s Economic growth through leveraging Technology”.

While delivering opening remarks at the event, Patrick Mweheire the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank said, “We are optimistic that this will be a very positive year for growth. This platform was an opportunity to discuss and explore the best practices in utilizing technology to drive Uganda’s economy. Technology has practically revolutionized every industry globally. It has enabled businesses to be more efficient while reducing their cost to serve. As a bank, we aggressively match this trend through the various innovations that have put our customers in greater control of their overall banking experience.

Analysts have sighted ICT as the biggest accelerator of economic growth. In FY 2017/18 for example, the sector registered the highest growth at 7.9% per annum, Industry at 6.2%, services at 7.3%, and agriculture at 3.2%. This affirms a recent Harvard report that predicted that Uganda will be one of the fastest growing economies in the world by 2025.

While making her remarks at the summit, the Stanbic Head of Corporate Investment Banking Emma Mugisha, noted that technology has had a broad-based impact on various sectors of the economy.

“We need to align ourselves with current economic trends. Technology is not only about digitization. From previous budget speeches, there is a conversation around embedding technology in all sectors including the mechanization of agriculture, industrialization, and the whole Blockchain trend. As a result, we feel the need to provoke a discussion within the market on exactly what technology means for Uganda’s growth and how it is going to impact businesses,” she said.

Mugisha reiterated that technology has reduced the cost of labour force which forms the largest expense for most institutions, allowing businesses to do more with less.

“Agency banking, for example, is not a digital platform. We are using it to create pseudo ATMs. It has allowed us as a bank to drive financial inclusion and reach more people affordably in a space of one year affordably. Today, banking is no longer an 8-hour business, technology has made it a 24hr affair,” she concluded.

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