Dr Hellen Namawejje

Dr Hellen Namawejje

South Africa

Makerere University

Statistical Methods and Actuarial Science

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Work and Research

Dr Hellen Namawejje is lecturer in the Department of Statistical Methods and Actuarial Science, College of Business and Management Science of Makerere University, Uganda. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Tanzania; MSc (Mathematics) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam and BSc. Educ (Mathematics) from Makerere University. Her previous research is in mathematical modelling, Optimal control, and Applications in Actuarial Modelling. She has seven years of teaching, conducting research, and student supervision experience. Currently, her special interest is in mathematics and its application to translate research evidence into policy.

Fields Of Expertise

Mathematics
Statistics

RATHER A MONEY LENDER THAN A MONEY SPENDER

Very few Africans are introduced to the essential principles of smart money management or given personal money knowledge at home or school. This is one of the reasons why the continent is sitting on financial illiteracy- and lack of financial awareness challenges – and is essentially poverty-stricken.

This lack leaves Africans susceptible to becoming victims in everyday money decisions jeopardizing most aspects of their lives, including health, education, financial security, and any hope of financial independence now or in their old age. This impacts both genders, but females are the most affected.

Africa has a history of many initiatives, policies and programs aimed at accelerating development and fighting poverty failing. Governments and other players have responded to poverty reduction by financing several initiatives, including paying minimum wage to salary earners. A representative case in point is Uganda. The country has experimented with and implemented many programs designed to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Outputs reveal astonishing results in terms of the value of money and effort invested, but unfortunately, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has again escalated poverty amongst Ugandans.

 

Dr Hellen Namawejje’s FAR-LeaF research project is called Financial awareness and literacy leadership. Her research intends at improving financial awareness and financial literacy amongst women in the rural areas of the Luweero district and Namasuba College of Commerce (NCC) students in the Wakiso district of Uganda.

 

We will teach them how to become money leaders – lenders instead of spenders. Financial awareness and literacy are paramount to women because they are home managers and when students learn how to use money, they will pass on their knowledge. We will achieve this by bringing different specialists on board to train rural women on different financial knowledge concepts and skills, for example, the relevance of budgeting and planning, interest rates, saving and investing accounts, risk diversification and insurance, time value of money and how these concepts can be applied in their daily lives such as the use of improved pocket-friendly methods of farming. At the NCC, we will develop a course unit on financial awareness and literacy leadership that will cut across the different courses that students do. We will teach them how, when, and why they should save.

 

The research aims to improve the quality of life. Specific objectives would firstly be to perform a needs assessment before developing training materials and putting methods in place and then to link the newly financially aware women to different associations within their vicinity. These may impact them financially in areas of healthcare, insurance, agriculture, banking, financial services, planning for retirement and women’s associations to name but a few. The development of the course unit for NCC will equip students with strong financial decision-making skills, starting a savings club and the development of a policy brief.