Financial Accessibility and Poverty Reduction in Northern Uganda, Lango Sub-Region
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Access to a well-functioning financial system can economically and socially empower individuals and in particular poor people, allowing them to better integrate into the economy of their countries and to actively contribute to their development and protect themselves against economic shocks. The paper examined the contributions of financial accessibility in supporting poverty reduction in northern Uganda. A cross sectional study design was adopted. The data was collected by use of structured and closed ended questionnaire. The findings revealed that financial institutions had not done much to reach the poor, which limits their productivity capacity and capacity to acquire productive assets. While there are isolated pockets of poverty reduction as expressed by participants’ ability to own personal assets and easily manage their dependency burdens, a few individuals have access to better health facilities. The strides to promote financial accessibility are highly commendable, though poverty remains problematic even among those who have access to financial resources. The paper therefore recommends that financial institutions should endeavor to offer financial management training to clients before extending credit to them, especially clients with some noticeable levels of illiteracy. There is also need for a comprehensive analysis on the current poverty reduction models and their impact on the very poor, in terms of production capacity, owning productive assets and living meaningful lives.
Financial Accessibility, Financial Sector, Poverty, Poverty Reduction, Northern Uganda