JUBA: Speaking at ongoing South Sudan – Uganda Business Forum, Fabian Kasi – Managing Director; Centenary Bank, and Brenda Magoba – Company Secretary and General Counsel; Centenary Group made presentations that spurred feedback from the business leaders. Centenary Bank, received incredible appeals from over 200 business leaders at the Business Forum to extend Centenary Group services to South Sudan.
The Republic of South Sudan and The Republic of Uganda are holding their first Joint Business Forum in Juba, South Sudan under the theme “Enhancing Bilateral Trade and Investment through Industrialization and Infrastructure Development.” The business forum and exhibition are being held at the Beijing Hotel, Juba. The forum was opened by, H.E Kuol Mawien the Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of South Sudan.
During the Joint Business Forum, one of the participants remarked, “I want to commend Centenary Bank for the fact that we don’t hear that you’ve taken customer property. Thank you Centenary Group, you’re really are in it for the people. We need Centenary Group in South Sudan, urgently, desperately.”
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Ambassador of Uganda to the Republic of South Sudan, H.E Brig. Gen. Ronnie Balya stated that the core objectives of the Joint Business Forum are to promote commercial and investment interests, improve the welfare of citizens and further bolster bilateral relations between Uganda and South Sudan, among others.
Delivering a keynote presentation, Brenda Magoba said, “South Sudan has recently overcome civil unrest – we are here to explore, just like we did in Uganda, how we can increase access to financial services for micro and small businesses and work with the general population of South Sudan to grow and become prosperous”.
She also noted that Centenary started its bank operations in 1985 – during a period when no investor would fathom committing to Uganda owing to the civil unrest. “Then, we did not give up on Ugandans because we had a great belief in the power of humanity to overcome adversity,” she added.
Fabian Kasi also assured the business leaders that at the heart of Centenary Group is customer well-being and growth. “Profit at the expense of the customer’s existence is not a value Centenary Group,” he added.
The Private and Public Sector stakeholders from South Sudan and Uganda are engaging in open trade discussions with the view to identifying ways of enhancing investment opportunities, enhance already vibrant trade relations between both countries, and consequently improving the livelihood of their people.
Centenary Group seeks to transform the lives of East African Community citizens and promote environmental conservation through financial inclusion and innovative business solutions.
Centenary Group owns Uganda’s oldest and largest indigenous financial entity. It also owns Centenary Rural Development Bank; the bank with the largest customer base in Uganda serving over 2.5 million customers with an asset base of UGX. 5 Trillion, approximately USD. 1.3Billion. Centenary Bank also has 12,000 SACCOS and over 46,000 Village Saving & Lending Associations (VSLA) based in rural areas.
The bank has an extensive branch network of 80 branches covering all regions of Uganda supported by 189 Automated Teller Machines and over 5,200 bank agents countrywide making the largest footprint in the country.
The Group also owns Centenary Technology Services Limited (Cente-Tech), the Group technology company, with a combined professional ICT experience of over 75years. As the group technology company, Centenary Technology Services provides technology leadership to the group subsidiaries to enable them to grow and provide meaningful services to the rural poor.