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, 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.
The complex has been named Mapeera in memory of the pioneer Catholic missionary, the late Rev. Fr. Lourdel Simeon.
The building 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 Shs140b 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.”
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.
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 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 shareholders.