December 14, 2018—Akuna Muchezo Development Club walked away with a UGX 30 million ($8,000) dummy cheque after emerging winners in this year’s ‘Battle for Cash Challenge’ organised by dfcu Bank and NTV in partnership with PwC Uganda. Akuna michezo is a Kiswahili term, that can be loosely translated into ‘no messing round’.
A representative for the club said, “The Battle for Cash competition has offered many lessons for us and we have been able to use these lessons to work towards the ultimate prize. This has been a great opportunity for us to get new ideas on how to handle different business challenges.”
The competition, which has attracted an even higher number of entrants compared to last year, pits investment clubs across the country to showcase the best business plans. This is in a bid to popularize savings and investment as a vital element of financial literacy.
Juma Kisaame, dfcu Bank CEO said: “Financial inclusion is high on dfcu Bank’s agenda. We believe that providing financial literacy is critical in driving financial inclusion in a sustainable way. There is a pressing need to raise domestic savings in our country and convert it into financing – loans – for infrastructure, housing and small business creation.
The bank received applications from over 200 investment clubs and these were independently vetted by PwC to select the top 20 clubs that entered the TV competition. All the shortlisted 20 clubs then had to defend their business plans to a panel of judges to make it to the next round. The clubs were trained in different aspects and assigned weekly tasks to demonstrate their ability to put into practice what they had been taught.
Kisaame told invited guests at the prize-giving ceremony in Kampala this week, “As dfcu Bank, it gives us a sense of pride that we are playing our role in the savings equation. We have a long history of promoting a savings and investment culture that dates as far back as 2007 when we introduced the Savings and Investment Clubs proposition to foster group savings. To date, we supported the formation of over 20,000 clubs across the country with a savings turnover of over UGX 600 billion. We believe there is a greater opportunity to raise more awareness and challenge ourselves about savings and investments,” he said.
Pamela N. Bahumwire, a Partner at PwC Uganda, said there is much to learn from the competition. “The teams that put themselves forward to participate in the Challenge are courageous and we could learn a lot from them. We all have a lot of potential that we may never realise until we put it to test,” she said.
Some UGX 100 million in prize money was set aside for the competition including regional draws carried out in different parts of the country. Additionally, one delegate from each of the 20 selected clubs that entered, is to be sponsored to attend a study tour in Nairobi during January 2019. This top seven clubs will also receive free advisory services for a period of one year courtesy of PwC Uganda.