(Team Members: Eng. Daniel K. Byamukama ,Team leader E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ) Mr. Paul Bakaki, Mr. Emmanuel Lule, Ms. Sheena Kokunda and Mr. Robert Kimera)
The Need: In many rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa households living in subsistence contexts hardly save their meager incomes. This is not only due to low incomes from subsistence agriculture but it is also a consequence of poor access to savings institutions like banks, credible micro-finance bodies, Village Savings and Lending Associations (VSLAs, and Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). Not only do households fail to undertake development projects due to lack of funds, but they also fail to respond to fairly manageable shocks like seeking skilled medical care for expectant mothers, just because they lack a small amount of savings. Access to savings is sometimes hindered by poor attitudes, high levels of illiteracy, innumeracy, inability to go through the bureaucratic and sophisticated processes involved in a bank transaction.
The Innovation: EDAD, the “wonder savings box” taps into the rising access to mobile phones to create an electronic platform that will disrupt current approaches to saving. This mobile application comprises an electronic feature which separates and directs some of the mobile money in the user’s mobile wallet to a virtual saving box within the mobile phone system. The saving box feature will be activated individually or as a group, by dialing *278#to reveal a fully interactive menu on the user’s phone screen enabling the user to save, check balance, withdraw and even view a mini-statement from anywhere, anytime.
EDAD saving box menu
The impact: This solution will increase household savings for investment and lead to improved household incomes, wealth and income security. The team has engaged communities in Kasese to inform the refinement of this solution and so far have 139 registered users. The community is excited about this innovation as it provides a group, individual or family owned savings box which is readily accessible on a mobile telephone. A short video of the visit to one of the communities in Kasese can be accessed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quxzmyt21hg