The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) have partnered to train financial institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda to help them build financial strength and resiliency to better meet the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

IFC noted that the training for 32 financial institutions will equip them with knowledge, tools, and techniques to help them meet the current economic challenges.

The training. delivered to roughly 500 SMEs, will help them navigate the challenges of lockdowns and reduced trade. The training will be provided online over the next six weeks.

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The webinar trainings for financial institutions include stress testing to help banks assess the impact of COVID-19 on their portfolio and support their risk mitigation.

The SME webinars will cover topics such as accessing finance during crises, adjusting business plans, communicating with stakeholders, and digital sales, marketing, and promotion. Recordings of the SME training webinars will be broadcast on UBC TV, Uganda’s public broadcaster.

IFC launched an $8 billion fast-track financing facility in March to assist companies and countries in their efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19. As of July 31, IFC had invested several hundred million dollars supporting African partners through this facility.

Wilbrod Owor, executive director at UBA, said: “This partnership is timely and is in line with our mission to promote a sound banking environment and drive financial inclusion through financial literacy initiatives. We are excited to work with IFC to roll out these training sessions, which will help achieve growth, sustainable development, and poverty reduction in Uganda.”

Dan Kasiyre, IFC resident representative for Uganda and Rwanda, added: “The virtual training on stress testing and SME crisis management are part of broad actions by the World Bank Group to support economic recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. IFC is a longtime champion of the private sector in Africa and our experience will help Ugandan businesses navigate the difficult waters of COVID-19.”