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Hima Cement Scoops Platinum Honour At Export Awards

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Building solutions firm, Hima Cement has been recognized as the exporter of the year at the annual Presidential Exporters Awards gala held at Grand Imperial Hotel on January 18, 2018.

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The awards, organized by the Uganda Export Promotions Bard (UEBP) are meant to recognize manufacturers that have earned the country a great deal of foreign exchange through exporting some of their locally made products.

Allan Ssemakula, the Acting Country CEO, Hima Cement says that the cement maker’s continued focus on providing customers with innovative propositions combined with effective cost management have enabled the firm cater to the diverse needs of the markets that they serve.

“We are very honored to receive this award from the exports board; a sign of recognition for the service we are offering the nation. As Hima Cement, we are committed to being the preferred provider of cement and concrete based building solutions in East Africa with a strong focus on customer experience,” he stated.

Ssemakula also added that Hima Cement clients benefit from the technical expertise and product innovation that are the hallmark of LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in the building materials industry.

Hima Cement received the Platinum Award, making the cement maker the overall winner after exporting products worth USD56million in the regional markets.

A total of 50 companies were evaluated by UEPB, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Coopratives, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the Uganda Investment Authority in 18 product lines. The companies were assessed based on export performance, contribution towards Uganda’s socioeconomic development, product diversification and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Prime Minister who officiated at the awards on behalf of the President, lauded the companies involved in the exports sector which he said was a sure way to earn the country much needed foreign exchange, jobs as well as improving the quality of lives.

He also encouraged exporters to work in groups and cooperatives in order to consolidate international trade gains such as sustainability of quality, quantity and timely delivery to international markets and also to continue investing in value addition.

Hima Cement offers a range of innovative and high-performance products that are highly adaptable. The cement firm lends itself to all kinds of projects like the Bujagali Hydro Power Project, Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Karuma Dam, the new Jinja Nile Bridge among others. It currently serves its core markets of Uganda and Rwanda and exports to Eastern DRC and South Sudan.

East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with an average GDP growth of c7%; the construction sector is growing at a higher pace of over 10% per annum. Cement demand in Uganda and in the region is projected to remain strong supported by the resurgence in infrastructure development and key Mega Projects.

“We are very positive about the long-term prospects of the cement industry in Uganda and the region, and LafargeHolcim is keen to solidify its position in the region as the leading producer of building solutions providing its customers with innovative value adding propositions,” he explained.

The Platinum Award given to Hima Cement followed a thorough evaluation exercise held towards the close of 2017 that required firms to submit information on their export activities including revenue, marketing activities, innovations, among others.

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Uganda signs MOU with Royal Danish Embassy in Uganda

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) Uganda has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Royal Danish Embassy in Uganda to help amplify their plastic collection effort as they drive their commitment as Coca-Cola to a World without Waste.

The Head of Mission at the Embassy of Denmark Ms. Majbrit Holm Jakobsen welcomed the partnership with CCBA and said “Sustainable development and green growth are focus areas of both Denmark and the Danish Embassy in Kampala, and Danish companies are leading when it comes to developing sustainable products and services. The cooperation with PRI is therefore a great opportunity to support Ugandan companies working towards the same goal”.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Conrad van Niekerk, the Managing Director of Century Bottling Company and Rwenzori Bottling Company, both subsidiaries of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda noted “Food and beverage packaging is an important part of our modern lives, yet the world has a packaging problem, which we as CCBA, together with The Coca-Cola Company, have a responsibility to help solve. Clearly, plastics are a significant global challenge. Our commitment is to invest in our planet and our packaging, to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past, focusing on PET plastic.”

“Through our PRI initiative, CCBA is leading the industry to bring people together to achieve a bold and ambitious goal: to help collect and recycle a PET plastic bottle for every one sold by 2030. This gives every package more than one life while contributing to job creation and growing adjacent local industries.” he added Van Niekerk explained the importance of partnerships in achieving this goal: “We want to support the Government’s environmental management objectives by making recycling more accessible for everybody to get involved.”

On their part, Ms. Majbrit Holm Jakobsen concluded: “We are excited at the shared opportunities that this recycling initiative creates for all of us and we are committed to ensure that the Embassy and all our staff participate to make this successful.”

“We are happy that the Danish Embassy can contribute to a more sustainable and climate conscious Uganda through this initiative. We will like to do even more, and are at the moment looking for more opportunities of recycling of waste in Uganda.”

CCBA’s 2030 recycling target is part of a larger strategy to create partnerships in plastic collection in all 13 countries where it currently operates.

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Akuna Muchezo Development Club wins “Battle for Cash” challenge season 2

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Katikiro of Buganda Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga hands over dummy cheque to the Battle for Cash Season II winners.

Katikiro of Buganda Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga hands over dummy cheque to the Battle for Cash Season II winners.

dfcu Bank, in partnership with NTV Uganda and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have awarded the winners of the second edition of the nationwide Savings and Investment campaign dubbed ‘Battle for Cash’. Aimed at building a savings and investments culture in Uganda, the ‘Battle for Cash’ challenge in form of a TV show engages various investment groups through saving and financial literacy workshops across the country and selects Clubs to take part in a competition.

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For the past six (6) months, dfcu Bank’s carried out workshops focusing on; Why and how to save, where to invest money so it can grow, things to think about when thinking of investing and so much more. This was aimed at changing the perceptions on money, savings and investments. dfcu Bank received applications from over two hundred (200) Investment clubs across the country and these were independently vetted by PwC to select top 20 clubs that entered the TV competition.

The Battle for Cash challenge has been running on NTV every Sunday at 6:00pm. As part of the application process, clubs were tasked to develop a Business plan for an innovative investment project. At the start of the show all shortlisted 20 clubs had to defend their business plans to a panel of judges to make it to the next show. The clubs were trained in different aspects and assigned weekly tasks to demonstrate their ability to put into practice what they had been taught.

According to Pamela N. Bahumwire, Partner at PwC Uganda there is a lot to learn from the Challenge. “The teams that put themselves forward to participate in the challenge are courageous and we could a lot from them. We all have a lot of potential that we may never realise until we put it to test,” she added.

Speaking during the grand finale event, the dfcu Bank CEO, Juma Kisaame said: “Financial inclusion is high on dfcu Bank’s agenda. We believe that providing financial literacy is critical in driving financial inclusion in a sustainable way. There is a pressing need to raise domestic savings in our country and convert it into financing – loans – for infrastructure, housing and small business creation. As dfcu Bank, it gives us a sense of pride that we are playing our
role in the savings equation. We have a long history of promoting a Savings and Investment culture that dates as far back as 2007 when we introduced the Savings and Investment Clubs proposition to foster group savings. To date we supported the formation of over 20,000 Savings and Investment clubs across the country with a savings turnover of over UGX 600 billion. We believe there is a greater opportunity to raise more awareness and challenge ourselves about savings and investments,” he concluded.

Following last year’s inaugural campaign, dfcu registered an increment in Investment Clubs with over 6,000 new Clubs being set up since January 2018.

“The Battle for Cash competition has offered many lessons for us and we have been able to use these lessons to work towards the ultimate prize. This has been a great opportunity for us to get new ideas on how to handle different business challenges,” said a representative from Akuna Muchezo Development Club the winner of the Battle for Cash Season II finale.

Speaking at the Award ceremony, the Katikiro of Buganda Owekitibwa Charles Peter Mayiga, commended dfcu Bank on choosing Nairobi as a destination for the Study tour for the participating Clubs. “Many Kenyan companies now registered on the Stock Exchange started as Investment Clubs and are turning the economy around. If you stay the course, get advice from experts like PwC, on top of the exposure you have got, you may be the biggest businesses this continent has ever seen,” he added.

An amount totaling to UGX 100 million in prize money was set aside for the Investment Club challenge including regional draws carried out in different parts of the country. Additionally, one delegate from each of the 20 selected clubs that entered the competition is to be sponsored to attend a study tour in Nairobi in January 2019. This as the top seven (7) clubs will receive free advisory services for a period of one (1) year courtesy of PwC.

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ICTAU Releases 3-year Strategic Plan

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Kampala, Uganda: As the ICT Association of Uganda gathers for its 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) set for December 15th, the ICTAU board has released its strategic plan for 2018 – 2021.

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ICTAU is the umbrella organisation for private sector stakeholders within the ICT industry, and seeks to champion digital inclusion, providing a range of benefits and support to its member organisations, and advocating on behalf of and for the whole ICT industry and practitioners within the industry to see the industry succeed and grow, and ultimately deliver the maximum economic, social and development benefits to Uganda.

Albert Mucunguzi, the Board Chairman ICTAU

The Strategic Plan outlines the objectives the Association will pursue over a three-year period, including membership growth, setting up of a self-sustaining and profit-generating Secretariat, consolidation of member services portfolio, continuing to lead on ICT advocacy, and conducting industry research to ensure the policies are formulated on the basis of detailed industry information.

“Over the next three years, ICTAU will seek to consolidate its position as the primary private sector led membership organisation for the ICT sector in Uganda, and work to grow the number, capacity and engagement of its member companies and partner organizations and advocate for the sustainable and successful growth of the ICT industry in Uganda,” noted Albert Mucunguzi, the Board Chairman.

A copy of the Strategic Plan can be downloaded here.

As the ICT Association of Uganda welcomes its 2019 board, the 2018 board and secretariat thank ICTAU members for their continued engagement and commit to a smooth transition ensuring that the association will be in a strong position to achieve the objectives set out in our strategy and roadmap.

The ICTAU board extends special appreciation to the International Trade Center (ITC) team, led by Mr. Martin Labbe, the NTF4 Programme Manager, for supporting the development of this Strategy, as well as Mr. David Gass, Mr. Richard Okuti, and the wider NTF4 project team for their support in ensuring the strategy is developed.

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