Uganda: SME’s to benefit from $20m African Development Bank loan

UDBL is the first development finance institution established by the Government of Uganda in 1972.

The Non-Sovereign Line of Credit will also trigger a Technical Assistance programme of up to $1 million to help improve UDBL’s credit risk management and underwriting processes. This should help improve loan quality, corporate governance and UDBL’s capacity to track development outcomes, the Bank explained in a statement.

The transaction will give UDBL leverage to provide long term funding to deserving customers and industries where long tenured funds are scarce due to the perceived risk profile of SMEs.

It also reinforces its role as a national development bank in implementing Uganda’s National Development Plan and complementing the institution’s efforts to diversify its funding base and mobilise resources from external sources.

Historically, UDBL intervenes in the agriculture and agro-processing, hotel and tourism, education, health and manufacturing sectors, among others. Read more: Index unveiled to evaluate electricity regulatory governance in Africa

The support will enhance the country’s private sector development as beneficiaries’ businesses and revenues grow, with the associated positive impact on government’s tax income.

The facility aligns with the African Development Bank’s Uganda Country Strategic Paper (CSP) 2017-2021 and Financial Sector Strategy (2014-2019). It also supports Uganda’s Vision 2040, which aims to transform Uganda from a low-income agriculture- dependent economy to a prosperous middle-income industrialised nation.

The Loan will also advance the country’s financial inclusion, gender and social welfare aspirations. It will further contribute towards provision of quality and low-cost education and health services, helping to narrow the widening social and income gaps in the country.

The African Development Bank support to UDBL is consistent with three of the Bank’s High 5 priorities: “Feed Africa”, “Industrialize Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”.

Mmakgoshi Lekhethe, executive director at the African Development Bank for Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland, said: “The Uganda Development Bank is clearly a well-managed institution with an experienced management team in place. I am particularly impressed with the diversity of the bank’s SME portfolio…”

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