Marion Evelyn Akumu
20 March 2020

Marion is my name from FRIENDS Consult Ltd in Uganda, a business and management consulting firm with 90% operations in the financial sector. Much as our country (Uganda) has not yet reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19, H.E the president in his state of the nation address on Wednesday 18th March directed the closure of all schools (from pre-primary to university and tertiary level), churches, mosques and banned all gatherings of more than 10 people for a period of 30 days starting on 20th March. The Ministry of Health has also set up and is circulating a tollfree line for anyone that presents with the symptoms of coronavirus to call for help. Public transporters have also taken the initiative to provide hand washing facilities and sanitizers at their stations to try and help keep the virus away.

The effects of this pandemic are already being felt in the business community and the entire economy. With the boarders closed in the neighboring countries, some businesses have had to be suspended. Some projects have been put on hold for example research projects targeting schools. People have been advised to avoid places that are usually crowded for example banks and other financial institutions. The good this is that with digital financial services, people can still access the much needed financial services without necessarily walking into the banking hall.