‘Money looks for money’: Managing financialization in eastern Uganda

Ben Jones, Sarah Amongin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Savings groups are an important feature of life in rural Uganda and elsewhere. They have been celebrated as an ‘alternative’, community-based, approach to economic development with a particular focus on empowering women. In this article we offer a more critical perspective, showing how a savings group in a village in eastern Uganda informs more general experiences of financialization. Joining the group was not really an ‘alternative’ to other forms of finance and was often a first step to securing loans from moneylenders, microfinance institutions and commercial banks. We show how poorer members of the group, typically women, ‘rented out’ their membership to wealthier villagers. Members also used the Friday meetings to socialize and to build political careers, and to reflect critically on experiences of financialization. ‘Money looks for money’, a phrase new to the area, interrogates these socialities and inequalities, as part of the seemingly inexorable pull of loans, interest and financialized debt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-475
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Early online date11 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Cite this