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NSSF, Rotary partner to offer free dental care to over 1500 people

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At least 1500 people in Kampala will benefit from an annual dental awareness camp sponsored by the National Social Security Fund, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kampala North and the Makerere University Dental School.

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The camp started on Monday, 12th December and will run until Friday 16th December 2016 at the Dental School in Mulago.

Dr.Annet Kutesa, a Senior lecturer at Makerere University, Barbra Arimi Head of Marketing and Communication NSSF, Margaret Nakajanko, President Rotary Kampala North at the Press Launch of the Dental Camp.

Dr.Annet Kutesa, a Senior lecturer at Makerere University, Barbra Arimi Head of Marketing and Communication NSSF, Margaret Nakajanko, President Rotary Kampala North at the Press Launch of the Dental Camp.

Speaking at the launch, the Deputy Principle of the College of Health Sciences Makerere, Dr. Isaac Okullo, said, “The Dental School is grateful to the Rotary Club for having spearheaded the refurbishment of the teaching facility worth millions of shillings since 2007. This facility led to the idea of the dental camp as a way of giving back to the community through more advanced dental services other than the usual emergency treatment carried out at outreach programmes. Research from the Mulago Dental School indicates that at least 90 per cent of Ugandans are suffering from the effects of poor oral hygiene.”

“We are grateful to the National Social Security Fund for the sponsorship of this camp as it provides an opportunity for many disadvantaged individuals to get free treatment and consultations,” Dr Okullo added.

The Dental Camp will comprise a series of community dental health outreach activities aimed at providing free dental services to those who cannot afford it, mainly in Kamwokya, Kyebando, Bwaise, Kawaala, Mulago, Kivulu, Katanda, and Kaleerwe and surroundin areas.

Barbra Arimi, the Head of Marketing and Communications, NSSF, said, “It’s our endeavour to improve the quality of life of our communities through the various health care initiatives we undertake from time to time. We are delighted with the positive response received from the past dental camps and we shall continue to undertake such initiatives in the future and contribute to the well-being of the communities.”

Over the last five years, the Fund has supported the Dental Camp, which has contributed to treatment of over 5,000 underprivileged people.

Dental treatment and health promotion services, according to Dr Okullo, will be provided by doctors from Mulago Hospital, Makerere University College of Health Sciences and other volunteer doctors from around Kampala. The camp is held in Mulago because of the facilities and high profile doctors available to offer the service.

The free services provided are screening, filling, tooth decay extraction, oral education among others.

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Local Business

MTN opens Mobile Money API as it unveils Shs1bn fund for innovators

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  • The Mobile Money Open API will now be accessed by third parties.
  • The expectation is to enable innovation around payment systems.
  • MTN has also launched a Startup Fund valued at Shs1bn and unveiled the MTN Open API App Challenge

Kampala – MTN Uganda has today become the first telecom company in Uganda and in the MTN Group to grant access to third-party access to its Mobile Money Access Programming Interface (API). An Open API platform enables developers and programmers to get free access to MTN mobile money proprietary software platform. MTN Mobile Money is the most widely used mobile money platform in Uganda. Developers can now access it, create products that ease payment options and leverage the 10M of MTN clients registered on Mobile Money.

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“This is an exciting development for the Ugandan start-ups ecosystem. Innovators will now be able to develop applications that ease the customer experience in terms of mobile money payments. We do hope that this move will spur innovation in the developer community around the country because this is the first time this is being done here,” said Elsa Muzzolini, the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services MTN Uganda.

In January 2018, MTN Uganda and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) entered a partnership intended to drive customer growth and activity by facilitating a wider range of mobile wallet applications for all customers through open APIs. According to CGAP, open APIs have the potential to further drive financial inclusion, which is already being accelerated by the usage of mobile money.

“Our expectations are that this decision will enable innovators to monetise their products, ensure that there is fast turnaround of innovations to get to market and improve the value created for innovators and entrepreneurs, why not a Ugandan Ebay or Amazon in the next few months” Muzzolini added.

The MTN Mobile Money API will be accessed by developers online through http://momodeveloper.mtn.com/. This takes away the process previously where developers had to submit paperwork physically to MTN Uganda and to proceed to a lengthy standard integration. The online system provides an option where before developer’s product goes live, they can test it using a sandbox available at no cost on the website.

MTN also announced the launch of a Shs1bn Startup Fund that will be accessed by local technology start-ups in Uganda. The fund is expected to provide a financial boost to startups that participate in the MTN innovation challenge series.

The first of these is the MTN Open API Challenge starts on 3 December 2018. Participants will make their entries on the innovation challenge website.

“It has been 20 years since we started operating in Uganda and our role in this economy has been evolving. Today, opening the Mobile Money API further emphasises our ambition of being a digital company. Ugandan developers now have the opportunity to build products that will enhance financial inclusion, improved customer experience when making payments and improve the movement of virtual money,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda CEO.

Adding, “The Shs1bn commitment we have made towards the MTN Startup Fund also forms part of that ambition to continue supporting local innovators. I encourage as many startups as possible to participate in the several innovation challenges we shall be hosting in order to access funding from the MTN Startup Fund.”

At the same function, the MTN Uganda CEO unveiled a Ugx 310 million high speed internet connectivity package to the Innovation Village, courtesy of the MTN Foundation. The package includes free internet connectivity for use by young developers and innovators as part of its youth empowerment drive.

There has been a tremendous success in countries like Kenya where some telecom companies have opened up their Mobile Money APIs. MTN Uganda in partnership with several technology and innovation hubs around the country is facilitating the training of developers on how to use the platform. Free training program is available for registration on MTN website.

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Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism team tours NMS Kajjansi site, pledges additional funding

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Paul Okware (3rd from right) ,NMS Chief of stores and logistics gives an explanation as he leads the Global Fund CCM team around the Kajjansi site.

Paul Okware (3rd from right) ,NMS Chief of stores and logistics gives an explanation as he leads the Global Fund CCM team around the Kajjansi site.

National Medical Stores hosted the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) team at the Kajjansi site for the new warehouse and office complex on Monday. The Global Fund is a major partner and donor to the project, and the CCM team was led by Dr. Maggie Kigozi, the Vice Chairperson.

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The Global Fund provided an initial $ 7 million, and the CCM team were on hand to check the progress, and crucially also explore the opportunity to provide additional funding.

On hand to host the CCM team was Paul Okware, the NMS Chief Stores and Operations Officer. In his presentation, he gave an overview of the construction to date, and revealed various facts about the upcoming structure. The 69.5 billion shilling complex shall house one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical warehouses and cold-storage facilities. It shall have a pallet capacity of over 30000, a quality control lab, offices for more than 200 staff and basement parking for 90 cars. Also, a lot of its workings will be automated, and it shall largely be a ‘green’ building, for it is designed to let in as much natural light as possible. Indeed connected to that will be a solar capacity with an electricity load of 300 KVA, promising tremendous savings in energy.

“So far the progress of the project stands at about 50%, inclusive of design, and we are confident with the quality of work that’s being done by the constructor,” Okware disclosed. He also added that in spite of a few challenges, completion remained on track for 2019.

On the issue of finance, and central to the CCM visit, was Okware revealing that about 40 billion shillings is still needed for completion. The Government of Uganda (NMS inclusive) is to provide 19.9 billion.

The CCM team then toured the extensive site, after which Dr. Kigozi gave the assurance that the Global Fund would avail the additional resources necessary, approximately 21.56 billion shillings. “I must say that we are happy with the progress of this project and we will ensure that it is successfully completed,” she guaranteed.

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Airtel Uganda introduces Data OTT packs

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Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar addresses guests during a business breakfast held recently

Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar

Airtel Uganda has launched Uganda’s first-ever data OTT packs that will enable subscribers to enjoy undisrupted connectivity by simply subscribing once and getting both data and OTT of the same validity.

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Data OTT packs combine data and OTT Tax by maintaining the same data volumes of the selected bundles and simply adding OTT Tax to them. When an Airtel Uganda customer subscribes to this Data OTT pack, they will get a data bundle combined with OTT of the same validity as the bundle pack purchased. For example; daily 15MB will be purchased at UGX450 and it will include UGX250 for the 15MB plus UGX200 for the daily OTT – both valid for 24hours.

Commenting about the new product, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar noted that, “Gone are the days when subscribers had data but could not connect because they had not paid their OTT and vice versa. With these new packs, we are bringing convenience to our subscribers whether they prefer daily, weekly or monthly data packs.”

“This is the first offering of this sort in Uganda and we are proud to lead the way when it comes to providing our subscribers with affordable, convenient and innovative telecommunications solutions,” he added.

This announcement comes on the heels of a directive from Uganda Revenue Authority, the tax body in Uganda, which changed OTT validity to 24 hours. Airtel Uganda also recently added more options to the OTT menu giving subscribers the ability to pay their taxes on a quarterly and annual basis.

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