Salaam Bank opening is a leap forward to the universal value of ‘leaving no one behind’

The opening of Salaam Bank will address the concerns of the Taqwa Islamic Sacco which they addressed to the  President sometime back alleging that PDM funds are unholy (Riba).

By Ben Ssebuguzi

The Office of the National Chairman (ONC) yesterday, March 27, organized Ramadan Duwa prayers at Kololo grounds in Kampala where President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni presided over as the Chief guest and also launched the first Islamic banking institution, Salaam Bank.

This came after parliament passed legislation which the President signed into law in August 2023.

I believe that the reason why the President signed it into law is because of his visionary strategic poverty alleviation program of “Leave No One Behind” (LNOB).

PDM and Emyooga funds are intended to encompass 39% of the population that is outside the money economy. He says those produce only for the stomach (kidda kyonka) which deprives people of the right to meet their basic needs of life like clothing, education etc.

Leaving no one behind is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable development goals of the UN. Similarly, It represents the unequivocal commitment of the government of Uganda to leave no one behind as enshrined in our 2030 agenda.

According to the UN, member states are supposed to eradicate poverty in all forms, end discrimination and Exclusion and reduce inequalities. This is one of the reasons that informs why our Fountain of Honour is desperate to use all viable means to give poverty a final blow.

The opening of Salaam Bank will address the concerns of the Taqwa Islamic Sacco which they addressed to the  President sometime back alleging that PDM funds are unholy (Riba).

The President allayed their fears by informing them that PDM is a government grant with no profit motive. He further assured them that 5% per year of PDM is intended to cover inflation and administration costs before sinking Shs 200m in their Sacco. So with Islamic banking policy in place, it will wake up these secular banks that have been exploiting Ugandans and driving them into abject poverty.

Likewise, in a bid to avail Ugandans of cheaper capital that can increase our competitiveness in the region and soar exports, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni through State House Investors Protection unit headed by Colonel Edith Nakalema mooted the visionary idea of establishing an African Investment Bank with the prime purpose of mobilising indigenous patient capital that can increase Africa’s investment landscape.

Given the Pan Africanist, he is, this mega idea should be everyone’s wish list because it will tackle the challenges of lack of cheap capital that is keeping our continent lagging behind. It is premised on Africans crafting their solutions. The President’s next step will be to sell the mervorous idea to his African counterparts to buy it so that they can commit funds for this cause.

At the climax of prayers at Kololo, the Muslim faithful went away with packages of items to help them break their fasting in Ramadan including sugar, rice, and posho, among others. All those are courtesy of the ONC manager, Hajjat Uzeiye Namyalo.

Thank you President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for availing us of your precious time to be with your Bazukkulu whenever you are invited. Thank you all stakeholders for taking part in this historic moment.
Long live General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and Long live Hajjat Uzeiye Namyalo SPA PA.

Ben Ssebuguzi is the Head of Research at the Office of the National Chairman of NRM (ONC)

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