Banks Refuse To Lower Youth Fund Conditions

2173 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
A meeting organised by Youth Minster Ronald Kibuule to unite the factions in the Youth Venture Capital Fund ended in a stalemate after banks refused to give in to political pressure to review the conditions for accessing the money.

A meeting organised by Youth Minster Ronald Kibuule to unite the factions in the Youth Venture Capital Fund ended in a stalemate after banks refused to give in to political pressure to review the conditions for accessing the money.

The meeting, which took place last Friday at the Ministry of Gender offices in Kampala, was one of the strategies adopted at the national youth consultative forum held on Monday last week to increase accessibility to the funds by the youths.
 
The meeting brought together officials from Centenary, Stanbic and DFCU, the three banks handling the 25 billion shillings fund,  youth MPs, Ministry of Finance officials, National Youth Council delegates and Minister Kibuule with the purpose of increasing accessibility to the fund by lowering the academic qualifications. The three partner banks, however, rejected this suggestion as one that would lead to the collapse of the fund and incur losses for the banks.

Stanbic bank publicist Daniel Nsibambi, who also heads the loans department at the bank, says they faced a few hitches during the meeting which the youth minister promised to address to the minister of finance Maria Kiwanuka, who is reported to be out of the country.

Nsibambi said that the banks would not review the conditions for accessing the money. He noted that if the fund is to actually serve its purpose, solving unemployment amongst youths, then only graduates with businesses already running, should be accessing the money.

Diana Kahunde, the DFCU spokesperson also echoed the same saying the fund was an initiative meant to reduce the spiraling youth unemployment and that her bank had already given out close to 1.2 billion shillings to the youth.

Nasser Shaft Mukwaya, the Executive Secretary at the National Youth Council told Uganda Radio Network that they held a meeting at the ministry of gender headquarters though they didn't strike a resolution as bank officials walked out in protest.
Minister Kibuule has not commented on this story.

Banks have an 11.5 billion shilling stake in the 25 billion shillings budgeted for the venture capital fund.