President Yoweri Museveni has today launched the multibillion-shilling Centenary
Bank headquarters building that is situated Kampala City’s central market
business district along Kampala opposite Constitutional Square. The construction
of the US$40 million dollar 19-floor complex began in 2007. The bank has been in
service for the last 25 years.
Speaking at the launching ceremony this afternoon, President Museveni
congratulated the Catholic Church in Uganda and the bishops of the 19
dioceses for the good work done manifested in the imposing Mapeera House
in Kampala City’s skylines. He commended the Church for her contribution to
the development of Uganda not only evangelization but also in the education,
health care and wealth creation whose success is the Centenary Bank whose
headquarters he launched today.
The complex has been named Mapeera in memory of the pioneer Catholic
missionary the late Rev. Fr. Lourdel Simeon. The building is was largely
constructed using locally generated resources provided by Centenary Bank that
boasts of 1.2 million loyal customers. The Bank’s capital has in the last 25 years
grown close to Shs.140 billion with assets nearing Shs.1 trillion.
The President, quoting the 2002 statistics that showed 68% of Ugandans being
seriously involved in homestead subsistence farming, wondered whether these
were part of the 1.2 customers of Centenary Bank saying that “68% of Ugandans
are out of the money economy. They only dig, eat and sleep.”
President Museveni, therefore, strongly urged Bishops, Members of Parliament,
government officials, MPS, government officers to look at the 68% of the
Ugandans engaged in subsistence production so that they help them to change
them and get them involved to undertake production activities that lead them to
realize high returns as a strategy of eradicating household poverty. Mr. Museveni
also rooted for food and income security in order to help transform the welfare
of the country and her people. Museveni also asked all families in the country
to be fully involved in production food as well as working to get money so that
everybody can be rich and happy. He lamented the fact that most children
of peasant farmers experience a lot of untold suffering because of poverty
compared to those whose families are engaged in ventures that earn their
families more money in comparison to their domestic expenditures.
He reminded the people at the ceremony that Mapeera House would not have
been constructed if its shareholders had not established a core foundation. He
commended the shareholders of the Mapeera House project for laying a healthy
core and urged them to even venture into investing in more projects that would
go a long way to benefit the people of Uganda and their country.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, lauded
Centenary Bank for providing services for the benefit of both rural and urban
areas. She stressed that the private sector is an engine of development. She,
therefore, commended the shareholders of Centenary for not only providing the
headquarters of the bank but also for keeping to their vision of aiming “to be the
best provider of financial services, especially Micro-finance in Uganda.”
Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese, who is also the current
Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, appealed to Ugandans to
spearhead development using their own locally generated funds adding that the
external sources of funding should be used for supplementary purposes.
He highly commended President Museveni and the NRM government for
the good political atmosphere in the country that has enabled not only the
construction of Mapeera House but also other developments in various sectors
of the national economy. Archbishop Odama called on the management of
Centenary Bank to use Mapeera House to achieve their dreams and those of the
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