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Exim Bank Celebrates Another Milestone In East Africa’s Financial Sector

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Bank Of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, has commended Exim Bank for being resilient and withstanding a possible upheaval as the bank rebranded from Imperial Bank to Exim Bank.

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Addressing guests at a Cocktail Party at the Serena Kampala Hotel and Conference Centre to celebrate the Bank’s new identity, Governor Mutebile commended the board, management and staff of Exim Bank for bringing additional banking services and facilities to Uganda.

Exim Bank Managing Director, Mr. R. R. Chandramouli, thanked the Governor for maintaining a steady hand on Uganda’s banking sector.

”We are extremely grateful to you for staying the course with us all these years especially the times when some were uncertain. I’d like to think that your loyalty as customers is given to us in return for our loyalty to you as reliable bankers,” Chandramouli said.

“We also wish to thank the Governor Bank of Uganda and the government at large for continued support you have given to us as a bank and the entire financial sector. Your steady hand at the till has ensured we all stay afloat and has given confidence to investors in the financial sectors including our own,” he added.

Exim Bank Chairperson, Mrs. Sarah Nanziri Baggalaliwo, pointed out the long and venerable heritage that Exim Bank shared with Tanzania, and said Uganda was proud to be the first country in East Africa outside Tanzania that Exim Bank had chosen to expand into.

“You represent a very large number of customers that we hold in very high regard and we thank you for accepting our invitation to celebrate with us the beginning of a new era” she added.

Exim Bank Uganda began operations on March 17, 2016, taking over from Imperial Bank Uganda Limited.

The shareholders in Exim Bank Uganda are Exim Bank Tanzania with 58.6%, Mukwano Group 36.5% and Export Finance Limited 4.9%.

Exim Bank Tanzania is the largest indigenous Bank in Tanzania, and has been in operation for 19 years, with a total of 37 branches at strategic centres across Tanzania, and two overseas Subsidiaries. The Bank’s Total Assets were at Tzs 1.250 trillion (USD 580 mio) as on 31st December 2015 with Shareholders Funds of nearly USD 90 Million. The bank has two banking subsidiaries in Comoros Djibouti. Uganda is the third operational country the bank has expanded to.

Exim Bank posted a stellar financial performance for the year 2015, with the bottom line (Profit after Tax) posting a record growth of 80% over previous year at Tzs30.666 billion (USD 14 mio).

“It has been a great honor to partner with ‘Exim Brand’ here in Uganda”, said Alykhan Karmali, key promoter of the Mukwano Group.

“We are all excited to benefit from the prowess of ‘Exim Group’s experience on trusted and futuristic banking. Customers with operations in both the countries can now look forward to greater synergies, efficiencies and facilitations on banking services”, added Mr Alykhan Exim Bank Uganda shall have the privilege of making a strong beginning with a set of five well-established branches in Kampala. The bank has more than 100 dedicated and loyal staff.

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Entertainment News

Azam TV launches new channel to promote Ugandan content

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Musicians pose for a photo with a team from Azam TV during the launch of their new channel held at their offices in Kololo.

Local musicians pose for a photo with a team from Azam TV during the launch of their new channel held at their offices in Kololo.

By Our Reporter

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Azam TV, a sub-Saharan Pay TV service provider, has launched a new TV channel aimed at promoting Ugandan content. Dubbed “Channel U”, the new channel will be entertainment-focused and will be showing content from music to movies to dramas among others.

Speaking to media during a press conference held at their offices in Kololo on Thursday, Dennis Kalikwani, the Sales & Marketing Manager at Azam Media Uganda revealed that the new channel was created in response to a growing demand from their customers for more Ugandan content.

“Our motto has always been that despite being a sub-Saharan company we still can cater for the needs and interests of our viewers in the individual regions,” Dennis Kalikwani told media. “In this regard, we have delivered on the request from our Ugandan customers for more local content with Channel U and hope to continue to exceed our viewers’ expectations by providing them with the best entertainment experience.” 

Channel “U” serves as a home for majorly Ugandan content aimed at exporting Ugandan culture and talent to the rest of the world and will be airing an array of content ranging from music, Luganda dubbed series, and entertainment shows.

“We want to redefine entertainment with Channel U by providing something localized for everyone to enjoy with content that resonates with what happens in their day-to-day life.” Kalikwani added.

Channel U will also be showcasing and highlighting the region’s best talent and rising stars. It will be broadcasting on channel 362 and is available to all Azamtv subscribers across all its packages.

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Local Business

UBL rewards youth in Northern Uganda

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UBL has given cash rewards to 10 youth from Northern Uganda for their startup businesses.

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By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has given cash rewards to 10 youth from Northern Uganda for their startup businesses. These youths received a reward of Ugx 15 million for excelling in the UBL skills for life program.

UBL, under the skills for life scheme, in October 2018 offered 30 scholarships worth shs 116 million to young, academically talented but financially challenged students from the farming communities in Northern Uganda. Under project, UBL provided funds to cover tuition, entrepreneurship training and mentorship that enabled the students to start businesses in their communities.

“At Uganda Breweries, one of our key priority areas is skilling youth in order to secure a sustainable future. Under our Skills for Life Initiative, we continue to offer special opportunities to the nation’s brightest scholars who are less fortunate. We not only offer them scholarships but also provide career guidance and mentorship on business start-ups and expansion skills which the youth can later use to increase job opportunities in their communities, improve their incomes and eradicate poverty in the long run.” Charity Ekudu Kiyemba, the Uganda Breweries Legal and Corporate Relations Director said.

“From the total beneficiaries that we sponsored and skilled in 2018, we are happy to share that all have finished school and gone ahead to start businesses of their own. However the 10 youths that we are rewarding today put up exceptional and valuable businesses which we are proud to recognize.” She added.

UBL has given cash rewards to 10 youth from Northern Uganda for their startup businesses.

The scholarship project is managed and run on behalf of UBL by technical expert, Enterprise Uganda, who have vast experience in SME development, training and mentorship in entrepreneurship. Enterprise Uganda was in charge of skilling, mentoring and training the students as well as selecting the top performing businesses to receive the seed capital.

Explaining the criteria they used to pick the students to receive the reward money, Rosemary Mutyabule from Enterprise Uganda said, “We selected the best young entrepreneurs based on their capacity to execute and implement business projects. We also assessed the sales that were made since they started the business, the profits made, the number of employment opportunities that have been created by the business and the general contribution of the business to the neighboring community.”

“For example 21 years old Betty Apoo from Kitgum technical Institute in December 2018 set up a tailoring business and a Simsim business in Rackoko, Pader district. Her initial capital was shs 98,000/= borrowed from her aunt. She made sales of Shs 1,000,000/= and a profit of shs 510,000/=. Betty is now supporting her family and paying school fees for her two children.”

“Similarly, Auma Sunday Okee (22 years) set up a maize grain farm in Mucwini, Kitgum district using capital of shs 98,000/=. She earned sales of shs 1,611,000/= and a profit of shs 1,446,000/=. Ojok Christopher from St Daniel Comboni started a piggery and brick making business in February 2019 with capital of shs 150,000. He has so far made sales of shs 560,000 and currently employs 6 people in his brick laying business.”

The youth that have received the seed capital are Nelson Mandela, Christopher Ojok, Innocent Wokorach, Geoffrey Opoka, Bongomin Calvin from St Daniel Comboni in Gulu, Auma Sunday Okee, Ocen David, Apoo Betty Canwak, Okema John Kelly and Ayaa Rosemary from Kitgum Technical Institute.

Since inception in 2001, the Uganda Breweries Skills for Life Initiative has awarded over 200 university scholarships to bright and needy students across East Africa, with 40 of them from Uganda.

In 2017, UBL re-focused their scholarships to focus on Technical and vocational courses in response to the cry for more practical entrepreneurial skills for the youth to reduce unemployment levels around the country. UBL has so far awarded scholarships worth UGX 230m to 70 students in vocational schools in Northern, Western and Central Uganda. Every year the company will be giving out scholarships to students from the different regions around the country.

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Local Business

AZA spurs inter-Africa trade with launch of BFX in Uganda

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Thomas Yieke, Head of Sales for East Africa at AZA, explains how the BFX platform works.

Thomas Yieke, Head of Sales for East Africa at AZA, explains how the BFX platform works.

By Our Reporter

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AZA, Africa’s biggest non-bank currency broker, has rolled out its recently upgraded payment platform BFX to Uganda.

BFX is a B2B payment platform that leverages AZA’s hybrid infrastructure and empowers companies to use African currencies with less risk, cost and friction than ever before. The launch comes within three months of the Bank of Uganda approving a remittance license for AZA, which is registered locally as BT Payment Services Uganda.

The expansion to Uganda reflects AZA’s conviction that the economy is poised for growth. The country is one of the world’s most entrepreneurial, with 28% of adults owning or co-owning a business, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Progressive currency market liberalizations have helped Uganda to rank as the third best among 20 countries for access to foreign exchange in Africa in the ABSA Africa Financial Markets Index.

The BFX platform will enable Ugandan small and medium-size enterprises (SME’s) to grow beyond their borders, opening up previously under-served trade markets through a number of pay-in and payout channels such as banks and mobile wallets. BFX is significantly easier and faster to use than incumbent systems, processing international transactions within one or two
business days. With extensive infrastructure, faster processing and local settlement accounts, BFX ensures quick transactions with less friction and lower fees.

“Our commitment to Uganda, East Africa and the wider continent is evident from our investment in building the best and most reliable technology for this market,” said Thomas Yieke, Head of Sales for East Africa at AZA. “We have created a competitive facility based on world-class technology, reducing settlement time to less than a day and at the best possible rates. Through the BFX product, Ugandan businesses will be able to save millions in fees each year with cost-effective transfers and efficient treasury solutions.”

AZA is the only non-bank provider of both wholesale foreign exchange and distribution across the African region, and has expanded through increased bank accounts, mobile money and other payment options.

With a team of over 100 people, AZA is led from regional HQ offices in Lagos, Nairobi and London, with growing satellite teams in Kampala, Dakar, Madrid, Accra and, very shortly, Johannesburg. The firm’s culture and fast-paced startup environment have helped spur its execution ability, operational efficiency and ability to retain top talent.

“We are hopeful that AZA’s existence will increase the number of skilled forex practitioners and intermediaries on the ground in Uganda,” said Yieke. “We are here to be an integral part of how Africa in general, and Uganda specifically, accelerate its growth.”

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Local Business

MTN Uganda named highest performing network

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MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte addresses the press at the launch event.

Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda CEO.

By Our Reporter

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MTN Uganda has been recognized by Rohde & Schwarz with the “Highest Network Performance Score” award for its data and voice services.

The award was officially presented to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MTN Uganda – Mr. Win Vanhelleputte at the company’s offices in Kololo, Nyonyi Gardens on Tuesday by Shakil Ahmed, Director Africa together with Paul Mwangi, Manager Mobile Network Testing, Rohde Schwarz.

Rohde & Schwarz bestowed this award on MTN Uganda following tests conducted on ground in Uganda, during the 3rd quarter of 2019, and within the framework of a study that involved extensive tests of voice calls and internet speed evaluations across over 8500km around the country as well as static tests in hot spots.

These independently conducted network quality and performance tests were done on the networks of all mobile operators in Uganda and benchmarked against leading European mobile telephone operators using the network performance scoring methodology of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) TR 103 559 S.

Rohde & Schwarz is a renown international organization that specializes in auditing 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G performance of mobile networks across the globe using the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/ETSI standards and methodology.

“The advantage of using this global standard of measurement (is that), it challenges us to not only be the best in Uganda but also benchmark ourselves against leading networks across the world. Our consistent investment in the network over the years is getting us ever closer to the ‘best in class’ global networks.” Win Vanhelleputte noted.

MTN’s network had the highest aggregated voice performance score across major towns and on highways. This specifically with regard to placement and quality of calls.

In addition, MTN Uganda also registered the highest aggregated data performance score in relation to quality of videos and ability to stream.

Being the market leader with more than 13 million customers, MTN Uganda has made it a strategic priority to deliver and maintain a positive experience for customers using the network.

Commenting on the subject, MTN Uganda Ag. Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Mr. Samuel Sentongo said, “MTN Uganda’s innovation agenda requires that we constantly invest, upgrade and maintain a robust network, one that can optimally carry and sustain both voice and data traffic as well as the rapidly growing mobile financial services portfolio.”

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