Five years ago, ALTX East Africa rang in its first trade in a small room in a Kampala suburb, the culmination of years-long work by two Ugandans to create a securities exchange that would give a greater number of Africans access to affordable financial products.
In 2013, when the idea of ALTX Securities Exchange was first born, data showed that only 20% of Ugandans had an account with a formal financial institution. The majority of them were in the urban parts of the country.
A lack of financial inclusivity compounded by poor access to financial institutions and products has long been a challenge in Uganda and the wider region. There was then, and still is, a lack of knowledge about the vast world of investment options. There were myths about who investing was for; upper-class, financially-stable people with enough money to start investing. Although not factual, it has mainly been this group of people with access to the information and institutions allowing them to invest. It is this demographic of Ugandans that ALTX has set out to reach.
In the five years since then, we have been carefully developing cutting edge financial products and technology with these customers in mind.
In April 2021, we launched Uganda’s first Exchange-Traded Fund, bringing affordability, convenience and value for money in one.
The adoption of mobile money has brought over thirty million users in Uganda into the financial technology fold. ALTX has been working to take them a step further. We have developed ALTX Zaabu, a platform through which mobile money users can conveniently invest in securities from any mobile phone via USSD. This development removes the need for internet access which has been one of the most significant barriers to the uptake of securities investing.
With the rollout of Zaabu in early 2022, we will give Ugandans the ability to do more than transactions with mobile money and lead the financial industry in delivering a variety of local and international investment products to the fingertips of millions of Africans.
Read more about how we are reimagining the investment landscape: ALTX AT FIVE