Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) on Wednesday launched the ‘USE University Challenge’ in a bid to inculcate an investment culture among students in Universities across the country.
The Challenge seeks to give the youth a platform to trade and understand how to invest in shares and bonds listed on the bourse.
About 1,000 University students are expected to take part in the first of its kind trading and investment competition across the country.
The challenge will see each participating student get Shs35m worth if virtual capital which they will use to invest.
Speaking at the launch at USE head offices, Nakawa, USE CEO, Paul Bwiso said the virtual capital will be used to buy and sell virtual shares and corporate or government bonds listed on the USE or invest in fixed deposits or swings.
He noted that the investment challenge will be central in raising awareness among the young generation on investing in the stock market and how students can create wealth through the exchange.
“This platform will be critical in demystifying what securities and trading is all about while giving an opportunity to students to learn how to make informed investment decisions early in their lives,” Bwiso said.
He added: “The USE investment Challenge is our way of encouraging the youth to develop a culture of savings and investments by demonstrating in a practical way how to buy and sell securities on the USE and as a result, create financial inclusion for the youth.”
Capital Markets Authority CEO, Keith Kalyegira, who was Chief Guest, said capital markets play a big role in the development of a country.
He said in developed economies, capital markets contribute as high as 60% to the GDP of their countries, but in Uganda they contribute a mere 5%.
He revealed that businesses can be grown and expanded using capital markets.
“Age is an asset; when you’re young, you have time to make mistakes and learn from them,” he said, encouraging University students to embrace capital markets as a source of funding for businesses.
Participants will have access to the USE real time information.
“The online platform will be an assimilation of the real market,” said Catherine Gitonga, the Founder & CEO of Smart Youth Investments.
The students that will have the highest portfolio at the end of the three months’ competition will receive Shs10m worth of shares or bonds to start investing.