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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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dfcu Bank granted USD 30 Million to support SMEs in Uganda

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Proparco has arranged a USD 30 Million senior debt facility to support dfcu bank’s efforts to bridge the long-term financing gap for SMEs.

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French Development Finance Institution, Proparco has arranged a USD 30 Million senior debt facility to support dfcu bank’s efforts to bridge the long-term financing gap for SMEs.

Proparco has extended financing of USD 15m alongside USD 15m from FMO (the Dutch Development Bank) to dfcu Bank. The facility is primarily earmarked for financing of small and medium-size businesses in line with the bank’s SME-oriented strategy.

This facility was announced during a signature ceremony attended by Proparco’s Head of Financial Institutions in Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Haye, who stated that “Proparco is pleased to once again partner with dfcu. This new credit line reflects the commitment of both institutions to support an inclusive and sustainable growth in Uganda.”

This Line of Credit builds on the long-term relationship between FMO, Proparco and dfcu Bank which spans two decades since 1999 when FMO’s maiden facility of EUR 2,000,000 was extended to dfcu Limited. Over the two decades, the partnership has extended more than USD 170m to dfcu Bank which is equivalent to Uganda Shillings 639 Billion. The facilities have been used to finance various SMEs in sectors including Education, Health, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Transport, Construction, Hotel and Tourism.

Proparco and dfcu Bank have had a long-term partnership that has seen Proparco extend a series of facilities to the bank since 2005. The current facility is the 5th transaction with the bank. This testifies to Proparco’s long term commitment to supporting SMEs in developing countries and to the deepening of the financial sector in Uganda.

The USD 30m fund will go towards financing SMEs in similar sectors with emphasis on businesses with foreign currency earnings potential, with the aim of boosting the country’s export earnings.

“The operations of SMEs occupy an admirable position in the Uganda’s economic landscape. Despite being a key driver of economic growth, long term development finance remains a huge challenge. This line of credit will facilitate dfcu in providing a range of financing instruments to SMEs in order to enable them to continue to play their role in growth, innovation and employment. This facility will further strengthen the Bank’s capacity to grow its business and subsequently consolidate our position as a leading provider of long term development finance,” said Mathias Katamba, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, dfcu Bank.

“FMO is proud to partner with dfcu Bank, a bank that supports productive SMEs in Uganda. Supporting local enterprises through trusted partners like dfcu Bank is core to FMO’s mission”, said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer of FMO.

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National Medical Stores engages with different stakeholders in silver jubilee celebrations

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His Grace Stanley Ntagali, flanked NMS General Manager/CEO, Moses Kamabare, arriving for the prayer breakfast on Wednesday morning.

His Grace Stanley Ntagali, flanked NMS General Manager/CEO, Moses Kamabare, arriving for the prayer breakfast on Wednesday morning.

By Our Reporter

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“I want to assure you that the work you are doing is ordained by God and is a blessing.” That was the message delivered by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Stanley Ntagali, as he officiated at the National Medical Stores (NMS) Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday. The occasion was part of the NMS Silver Jubilee celebrations, and was the culmination of 3-days of the corporation engaging various stakeholders, having started with Women and Youth leaders on Monday, followed by members of the medical fraternity on Tuesday. Religious leaders were the invitees on Wednesday, and the Archbishop was part of the entourage of officials from various faiths who honoured the invitation.

NMS is a statutory body, mandated to procure, store and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies to government health facilities, including those that belong to the Police, Prisons and Military facilities.

A recent innovation had also seen NMS become the first medical logistics body worldwide to integrate the distribution of vaccines with those of ordinary medicines, a milestone for which it received international accolades and also contributed to a dramatic increase in immunisation coverage in Uganda. That, and other achievements, were highlighted by the NMS General Manager/CEO, Moses Kamabare, as he addressed the attendees. He also touched on the various challenges the corporation is facing, stressing on the need for those responsible at health facilities to deliver their procurement plans in a timely manner in order for NMS to quickly process their orders.

Also majorly featured was an update on the ongoing construction of the new NMS Warehouse and Office complex in Kajjansi, slated for completion by mid-2019. “It shall be one of the biggest warehouses of its kind in the world,” Kamabare noted. Its pallet capacity of over 30000 shall surpass NMS’ present storage at least four-fold.

Archbishop Ntagali lauded NMS for its efforts to cater for the health of Ugandans. And he also agreed with Kamabare on the need for Ugandans to take greater responsibility with regard to their health. “God is the healer, but before we need medicine, we need to take care of our bodies. We can prevent disease where possible, so go for regular health checks, because prevention is better than cure.”

He also decried the theft of medicines and essential supplies from government health facilities, and the regular occurrence of having to bribe medical workers to receive treatment in the first place. “It is our collective responsibility to fight corruption and stop this theft,” Ntagali added.

The religious leaders were also given a guided tour of the NMS stores and cold-rooms, as they got further insight into the corporation’s operations.

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