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News — 30 December, 2015

Mapping Financial Services in Uganda - starting January 2016!

As we near the end of the year, there’s many stories that stand out and define the past year. One that I’d like to highlight here is a positive one - the continuation of the sharp decline of absolute poverty over the past year.One of the factors that’s shown to contribute to raising people’s standards of living, especially for those living on next to nothing, is financial inclusion. And one of the success stories here is the rise of mobile money - at number 5 in the Gates Foundation list of Good News stories for 2015: “Mobile Banking Exceeds Our Optimistic Projections”.The mobile money sector in countries like Uganda is growing at an enormous pace, processing over 500 million transactions in 2015, with many more people using mobile money than a traditional bank account - and these services only came into existence six years ago!With the HOT project on “Mapping Financial Services” in Uganda (more background on the CGAP blog here), we’ll be updating, opening up and increasing access to data on financial services, and specifically mobile money services, for Uganda. With only a short time to go until we start our field survey on January 5th, the project team is working hard to finalize our training curriculum, logistics and mapping process.

As we near the end of the year, there’s many stories that stand out and define the past year. One that I’d like to highlight here is a positive one - the continuation of the sharp decline of absolute poverty over the past year.

One of the factors that’s shown to contribute to raising people’s standards of living, especially for those living on next to nothing, is financial inclusion. And one of the success stories here is the rise of mobile money - at number 5 in the Gates Foundation list of Good News stories for 2015: “Mobile Banking Exceeds Our Optimistic Projections”.

The mobile money sector in countries like Uganda is growing at an enormous pace, processing over 500 million transactions in 2015, with many more people using mobile money than a traditional bank account - and these services only launched six years ago!

Mobile money allows those without a bank account to save up some money in a safe way, compare prices across the marketplace more easily, and to conduct transactions fast and securely without needing to physically go to that marketplace.

 

 

For further expansion, and to measure and guide the continued growth of these networks and services, it’s important to be able to measure and analyse coverage and help with service discovery. With the HOT project on “Mapping Financial Services” in Uganda (more background on the CGAP blog here), we’ll be updating, opening up and increasing access to data on financial services, and specifically mobile money, for Uganda; it’s yet another way to #mapthedifference! With only a short time to go until we start our field survey on January 5th, the project team is working hard to finalize our training curriculum, logistics and mapping process.

Our three mapping supervisors on the project are Douglas Ssebaggala, Geoffrey Kateregga, and Ketty Adoch. All three have been involved with the Ugandan OSM community for years, organizing mapping days with http://www.mappingday.com/ and touring universities throughout the country to teach OSM and take students out mapping. As we’re taking this opportunity to stimulate and grow the OpenStreetMap community in Uganda, we’ll be working closely with MapUganda, and students from universities in Kampala and eastern Uganda, such as Makerere University, Busitema University in Tororo, UCU Mbale and Livingstone International University in Mbale.

 

Students from Makerere University we'll be working with

Besides looking at financial services, we’re also working with the local community and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics on importing and improving the data sets for health and educational facilities. As the project progresses, we’ll be sharing more updates and stories about the community and work we’re doing in Uganda!