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MTN announces 2nd Apps developers challenge



MTN LOGOMTN Uganda, in partnership with tech and incubation hub; Outbox Hub and Garage48 has launched the 2017 edition of the MTN App Challenge – an event that brings local innovators from Uganda, both Students and Non Students, together to create innovative mobile apps for the better good of the community.

The MTN App Challenge has over years gathered over 100 innovators and is the birth place of the ‘Yoza app’; a service application that helps users find someone in their area to do for them laundry. Other applications that got their break at the MTN App Challenge include; ‘Run For Your Life’; a 3D mobile game built to create awareness about HIV and other chronic diseases, ‘Common Sense’; a mobile app that challenges you by getting you to answer questions and you win points for all correct answers, ‘MamboPay’; a mobile phone payment solution that enables individuals or organizations to send funds to various beneficiaries using e-coupons and ‘Dawa’; an app that provides access to patient’s medical information on the go while allowing a patient to dial a health professional at any time and from anywhere.

The MTN App Challenge 2017 is the second edition, the first having been held in 2015. The 3 days Hackathon style challenge will pit talent from all over the country to innovate and create mobile based apps in the categories of; Health, Media & Entertainment, Education, Finance and Agriculture.

Commenting on the challenge, MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Mapula Bodibe said, “Digital innovations are at the heart of true transformation around the world and through programs like this challenge, we are able to create entrepreneurship opportunities especially for the young brilliant minds behind the digital revolution.”

She further noted that, “The ideas and prototypes, in many cases, already do exist. However, opportunities like the MTN App Challenge enable developers to show case and court public interest and that of potential partners to commercialize their applications.”

The Hackathon is part of a series of initiatives that will drive MTN Uganda’s innovation ambitions and through which the brand lives its mission to deliver a bold, new digital world to customers.

In an interesting twist this year, each team will be expected to register a team of at-least four (4) individuals and a maximum of five (5) with skill-sets/roles: UI/UX creative designer, software developer, marketer and project manager.

 A maximum of up-to twenty (20) teams to will be selected to participate in this year’s MTN App Challenge.

How the winners will be chosen:

1. Best M-Health App: an original concept to address the need for accessing health services in Uganda through the phone.

2. Best M-Education: the App with the most potential to extend consumption of education using the phone.

3. Best M-Media & Entertainment: the most original concept that enables Entertainment on the phone.

4. Best M-Finance: an original concept that can extend financial services to low income segment of the population via the phone.

5. Best M-Agriculture: an original concept that aims to support the Agricultural industry via the phone.

6. Overall Winner: Out of the winning Apps in the categories above, this is an Application identified as most aligned to MTN’s current objectives in Enterprise, Consumer, Financial and Digital services.

7. Audience’s Favorite: This application will be chosen by the audience as their favorite.

All Awards will be chosen and given out on 14th May 2017 as per the event program.

Awards and Prizes:

The Overall Winning app will get; a certificate of recognition for each team member, USD$2500, commercialization support through MTN, 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months, and a smartphone for each team member. The best M-Health App, M-Education, M-Media &Entertainment, M-Finance, and M-Agriculture apps will each receive USD$1,000, a certificate of recognition for each team member, commercialization support through MTN, 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months, and a smartphone for each team member.

The app that is chosen as the Audience’s Favorite will get; a certificate of recognition for each team member, 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months, commercialization support through MTN, and a smartphone for each team member.

How to Register:

Interested innovators can register their teams free of charge here.

Registration closes on 28th April, 2017. All successful entrants shall be notified by 4th May, 2017 via e-mail or through a phone call.

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MTN excites youth with launch of MTN Pulse





  • Customers to sign up to enjoy exciting weekend bundles with preferential rates, free online gaming days, music and video streaming.
  • MTN launched the Pulse Movement following weeks of the #NoFear campaign
  • MTN hosted the youth at a launch party in Kampala dubbed #NoFear.

Thursday, 15th January 2017

MTN Uganda has today made its pitch to the young, tech-savvy growing population through a new proposition, MTN Pulse. Uganda’s population demographics indicate that Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) at least 77% of Uganda’s population is under 30 years. For MTN Uganda, this presents an opportunity to meet the growing demands of the young, energetic and technology driven people.

“The MTN Uganda brand is 20 years old in Uganda today. That is as old as most of the young population in the country. We have decided through MTN Pulse to customize products and solutions that are appealing to them and that they can identify with,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer MTN Uganda.

MTN Pulse was launched at the #NOFEAR party at Legends Rugby Grounds in Kampala.

Wim noted that MTN Uganda took the time to gather insights into the youth market and noticed that brand needed to identify further with them. The future in the country in terms of technology will be driven by data. MTN Pulse is all about how affordable data that will enable the young Ugandan’s to express themselves.

“Young people want to be creative. They want to communicate. The Fear Of Missing Out – FOMO can be real. MTN Pulse will be able to allow them do gaming, listen to music, create sharable video content, get the latest updates to parties and offer data bundles that suit all their plans,” Wim added.

To join the MTN Pulse movement and become a “Pulser,” customers can dial *157#.

“For the first time ever, we are introducing a weekend bundle that can only be accessed through our Pulsers community code *157# and the MTN Pulse website on We understand that the weekend is filled with activities that must be shared. Those moments can now be shared with an affordable youth friendly weekend bundle,” said Olivier Prentout, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Uganda.

Prentout also revealed that “Pulsers” will have access to free gaming days on Game+, music streaming and downloads on Deezer, watch and create short video content on MTN Shortz.

The launch of MTN Pulse marked the conclusion of a month-long teaser campaign called #NoFear. During the campaign, MTN had several of its billboards in Kampala ‘defaced’ and sprayed with the words #NoFear in what was viewed as a bold, fearless act of expression, which are desirable traits sought in the Pulsers’ movement.

“The young people like living life on the edge, looking for opportunities to grow and associating with success. With MTN Pulse, we offer them a dynamic gateway to express themselves and interact freely. We would like them to use the movement to seize the opportunities with #NoFear,” Prentout said.


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Local Business

Burson-Marsteller Africa appoints new Senior Counsel




Nicholas WilliamsBurson-Marsteller Africa, a leading strategic communications and public relations firm, has strengthened its financial and investor relations offering by engaging Nicholas Williams as a senior counsel. Williams brings more than 20 years of experience in investor relations both in the UK and South Africa, with particular expertise in capital markets.

Robyn de Villiers, Chair and Chief Executive of Burson-Marsteller Africa, said: “I am delighted that Nicholas has come on board as a member of our extended team. He brings a wealth of experience for companies looking to have the highest standing with their shareholders and other financial stakeholders. He will add important expertise in delivering integrated communications solutions for our clients across Africa.”

Williams has advised leading JSE Top 40 and mid-cap public companies in South Africa as well as internationally in all areas of capital markets PR. He was notably active in the communications of capital transactions including initial public offerings (IPO), fundraisings, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and black empowerment. He advised on the largest ever IPO in South Africa as well as on many significant stock exchange introductions and M&A.

Before his tenure as Managing Partner at Instinctif Partners Africa (previously known as College Hill), a strategic corporate communications firm, which he established, Williams worked with Barclays Bank globally, including as head of private banking in sub-Saharan Africa and in corporate banking in Botswana. His background in finance has stood him in good stead to interact with companies in their boardrooms as well as with institutions, investment banks, sell-side analysts, financial journalists and other stakeholders who influence the reputation of business in the financial markets.

Williams will work with Burson-Marsteller partners in South Africa as well as other parts of the group where there is an African requirement, including other financial public relations firms owned by the group outside Africa.

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Local Business

Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism now open to Ugandan financial reporters




Mr. Gary Corbit the CEO Sanlam General Insurance Uganda(R) together with Mr. Donato Laboke the General Manager; Marketing and Brand launching the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Mr. Gary Corbit the CEO Sanlam General Insurance Uganda(L) together with Mr. Donato Laboke the General Manager; Marketing and Brand launching the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Sanlam Uganda has announced that Uganda will be participating in the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism which aim to honour the indispensable role of the financial journalist in modern business life and the high standards required by this profession.

Speaking at the press launch, Donato Laboke the General Manager: Marketing & Brand Sanlam Uganda highlighted the exceptional work that business reporters have done since last year to date and how this is a great opportunity for not just showcasing their work but also getting recognised for it.

“You have been exemplary in informing the country about various businesses and also educating them about the insurance sector,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to not just be recognised locally, but globally.”

The awards are the premier financial journalism awards in South Africa and have become a prestigious and fiercely contested accolade. As such, they have become open to journalists outside of South Africa in line with Sanlam’s expansion on the continent.

In an ongoing effort to streamline the entry and judging process, there are no separate “platform neutral” and “platform specific” categories, rather one combined category that includes entries from all channels – print, TV, radio, online and multimedia – across businesses/companies, economy, financial markets, consumer financial education and the African Growth Story.

The best performers in each medium – print, TV, radio, online and multimedia across all five categories will be decided by the judges and announced on the awards evening as Financial Journalist of the Year – print, TV, radio, online and multimedia.

Each entry must include a minimum of three and maximum of five articles, reports, recordings or transcriptions that have been published or broadcast between 1 January to 31 December, 2017. Entries for the competition close on Friday, 2 March 2018.

The Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism have been recognising and rewarding exceptional business journalism since 1974.

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