Plans to organise next year’s Uganda Universities Debating Championship are already underway.
Andrew Otiko, the chief executive officer of Mobinet Group, a financial technology company that organises the debates as part of its social corporate responsibility, says the next batch of winners will tour different destinations and also be a pilot test group for new financial technology ideas.
“Planning for UUDC 2019 is already underway... next year we would like to take them (winners) on a journey of more than one destination, to increase their awareness of and exposure to wider issues within the digital ecosystem outside the African continent,” he said.
Otiko was speaking after the inaugural UUDC, which was held at the Pearl of Africa hotel and was won by Makerere University Business School. This year’s winners will tour Dubai for a week.
He said next year’s section will see students “experience new fintech solutions first-hand and also be selected as part of a pilot test group for new ideas.”
This year’s debate, which touched on the issue of the impact of financial technology in the rural areas, saw students question whether the people in the countryside had enough education to embrace these new forms of technology, which largely require transacting over mobile phones, beyond sending and receiving money.
Otiko said the responsibility of education falls with the government and financial institutions.
“Low levels of financial education directly affect the number of people that save with formal and informal providers, thereby limiting the liquidity in the formal banking sector,” he said. He added: “The government and formal financial institutions should be responsible and accountable for providing financial education.”
He said there was a strong network of financial service providers, in the form of reach of village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) and Saccos, the in rural areas that the government and the private sector can partner in order to educate and deepen financial inclusion.