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CDC Group sells it’s stake in DFCU bank

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The Danish Embassy representative shakes hands with dfcu Bank Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba.

The Danish Embassy representative shakes hands with dfcu Bank Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba.

By Our Reporter

CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has announced its decision to sell its remaining 9.97% stake in dfcu Limited (“DFCU”). The shareholding is being sold to IFU, the Danish development finance institution.

CDC made its first investment in DFCU in 1964 as a founding partner to the bank and has played an integral role in its long-term growth over the last six decades, through a number of equity and debt funding rounds.

In that period DFCU has grown to become a major player in the Ugandan banking sector, a champion of SMEs and a committed supporter of financial inclusion and female entrepreneurship through a Women in Business programme created by CDC.

CDC has been reducing its stake in DFCU over the last six years – from 60% to 15% in 2013 and then to just under 10% in 2017 following a rights issue at the bank.

CDC’s Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe said: “Our partnership with DFCU has perfectly demonstrated our credentials as a provider of patient capital. And I am delighted that in IFU, we are passing the baton to a like-minded investor that, alongside Arise, the largest existing shareholder in DFCU, will be as equally committed to DFCU’s long-term stability and success.”

“DFCU is now a stalwart of the Ugandan economy so we felt it was the appropriate time to deploy our capital elsewhere. Uganda is an incredibly important country for CDC and we look forward to the opportunity to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of our DFCU stake into other businesses here.”

IFU´s Chief Executive Officer, Torben Huss said: “IFU is pleased to become a shareholder in DFCU as we share the ambition to expand access to financial services, which will lead to productive investments, the creation of decent jobs and improve people’s welfare. Moreover, we see this acquisition as a strategic step to increase our engagement in the private sector in Uganda and further promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

Elly Karuhanga, the Board Chairman of dfcu Limited said: “dfcu has made a significant contribution to the economic development and transformation of Uganda, over the last 55 years because of among others – our strong shareholders. With IFU as one of the shareholders, we are confident that dfcu is well on track to achieving its vision of being the preferred financial institution in Uganda. We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to CDC who have walked this journey with us since 1964. Their commitment and support over the last 55
years has enabled us to make real tangible progress towards the achievement of our vision. We look forward to continued collaboration with CDC in other areas in the future.”

Ever since its first investment in Uganda in 1949, CDC has been a committed supporter of the country’s private sector and will remain so after its exit from DFCU.

CDC is actively looking for new investment opportunities in the country to build upon its US$120 million portfolio of 35 businesses. Those business backed by CDC’s capital – which include Bujagali Hydropower – have an important impact on the country’s economy, supporting almost 3000 direct jobs and paying US$7.4 million in taxes to the Ugandan exchequer last year.

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Airtel Uganda launches free TV app

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Airtel Uganda MD V.G.Somasekhar addresses guests at the launch of the Airtel TV App held at the Ndere Cultural Centre on Thursday.

Airtel Uganda MD V.G.Somasekhar addresses guests at the launch of the Airtel TV App held at the Ndere Cultural Centre on Thursday.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has launched a Live TV and Video on Demand (VOD) service offering a premium mix of local and international content sourced from some of the largest studios across the globe.

Named Airtel TV,  it is available only to Airtel Uganda subscribers and is designed to add value to the high quality streaming while promoting local content and talent in one convenient and easy to access package free of charge only requiring the users to have an active data bundle.

Speaking during the launch, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G Somasekhar noted that Airtel TV is the embodiment of convenient and affordable entertainment.

“The platform will deliver the very best of entertainment experience directly to all Airtel customers across the country. With our 4G network, subscribers to Airtel Tv will enjoy a seamless viewing experience without and interruptions. We are confident that the platform will delight, entertain and inspire Airtel customers as it offers first-class entertainment.” He said.

Somasekhar also noted that the App is Airtel’s contribution to the development and promotion of local content in Uganda.

“This App will have different local news, music, Ugandan comedy and movies, in addition to streaming of sports, video-on-demand and many other offerings. We encourage Uganda’s local content producers to utilize this platform for revenue,” he added.

Users on Airtel TV can watch movies — Ugawood, Nollywood and Bollywood among others, Bloomberg, Trace (Urban, Africa, Mziki, Tropical, Gospel, and Sports Stars), Gametoon, Fashion Box, Nautical, God TV, Inspiration TV, and Al Jazeera, among others.

To access Airtel TV, Airtel Uganda subscribers can download the Airtel TV App from Play store for Android or iOS for iPhone, enter their Airtel number and the OTP SMS received. Subscribers will then be able to stream and watch all channels available on the App as long they have an active data bundle.

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Local Business

Freelyformd: A consultancy firm reinventing delivery of IT Solutions in Uganda

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By Our Reporter

Software development and incorporating IT solutions in business has over the years become integral and a driving mechanism for the sustainable growth of any company, especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Founded in 2017, Freelyformd is a Ugandan-headquartered provider of IT consulting services and custom software development with IT professionals located internationally.

The company handles complex business challenges, building all types of custom and platform-based solutions and providing a comprehensive set of end-to-end IT services with customer satisfaction in mind.

Freelyformd brings custom and platform-based solutions to large and mid sized companies in Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Telecom and other industries.

From the development stage to the end result, the client is able to interface with the developing team which creates a bond like no other. Freelyformd offers services such as dedicated developer teams, Mobile App Development, Web applications and Website Design, Enterprise software development, software testing & QA, Security Audit, IT Consulting, DevOps,
USSD, and Startup partnerships.

The company has experience and the expertise to build custom web & mobile solutions of any kind for any client as well as IT consulting, software development and testing as can be testified by many clients.

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Local Business

NSSF members urged to embrace new technology

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NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba

By Our Reporter

The National social security Fund has asked all its members (employers and
employees) in the Western region to embrace and skillfully utilize their available technological innovation especially their online channels and platforms. This was accentuated during the NSSF western regional employer meeting which was held at Hotel Triangle in Mbarara on Tuesday.

This meeting was the fourth in the Western region and the second of its kind to take place in Mbarara town. The NSSF Western belt is comprised of districts like Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kanungu, Kabale Kisoro and Fort portal.

“We must accept that the environment of doing business has changed due to the sophisticated technological progressions that are happening now, we as NSSF, have pushed for a paperless economy in all our branches, therefore we request all our customers to appreciate our e-services for a better service delivery,” Managing Director, Mr. Richard Byarugaba said.

The Fund’s current statistics show that 70% of their members access their services such as self-registration, clearing remittances and checking balance statements via their online portal whereas only 30% are still visiting the branches for services.

According to Mr. Geoffrey Ssajjabi, NSSF Head of Business, this percentage is promising but it’s not their target, therefore, for them to be able to hit their intended target of 100% e-services, members have to appreciate the existing Fund’s online channels and interact with them more often.

Mr. Byarugaba highlighted the key importance of the online tools such creating customer satisfaction, saves money and time, staff and customer convenience.

Members in the Western region have expressed their sincere gratitude to the fund for always being transparent and interactive with its members on issues that need clarity.

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dfcu Bank rewards winners of Investment Club App

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank has rewarded six Investment Clubs with cash prizes for emerging the winners of the Bank’s Investment Club campaign dubbed “Bonanza ne Investment Club App”. The two-month campaign which was aimed at encouraging Investment Clubs to grow their savings attracted participation from existing and new Savings Groups across the country.

The Clubs received UGX 1,000,000/- each, which was presented to them during a financial literacy session organized by the Bank under the theme, “Building and growing the Investments Engine.” The session was also attended by over sixty Investment Clubs.

The six campaign winners included; Eight Investment Club, Ngeye Kwagalana Association, Moside Savings and Investment Club, Ladies Together Investment Club, Da Climbers Investment Club, and Fontaine Ladies Association Limited.

In November 2019, dfcu Bank launched its Investment Club App as part of efforts to leverage technology in advancing financial inclusion. With more than 24,000 Investment Clubs, the App is instrumental in simplifying the day to day management of group savings.

Speaking during the session, Robert Wanok dfcu Bank’s Head Personal and Business Banking encouraged the groups to take advantage of opportunities that foster individual and combined growth. He also applauded them for their commitment to growing their respective club savings, which was a key aspect of the campaign.

“On behalf of dfcu Bank, I congratulate our winners and commend their dedication to boosting their financial standing. The success of Investment Clubs is determined by the discipline and commitment of their members. The success of many is made possible by combining the efforts of many and the success of this campaign is a testament to this fact,” Wanok said.

Pamela Nakityo, Senior Manager Investment Clubs and SACCOs at dfcu Bank noted that the Bank has made significant progress in growing a culture that promotes group savings.

“Over the past 13 years, dfcu has not only introduced the Savings and Investment Clubs Product to customers across the country, we have been part of initiatives such as Battle for Cash which directly benefit these groups with funding as well as learning opportunities,” she said.

She also noted that as part of dfcu’s commitment to driving financial inclusion, the Bank extends several benefits to its customers including regular and free financial literacy sessions which are free of charge, mentorship and coaching from expert consultants as well as financial support to grow their savings and investment portfolios.

423 members in 76 clubs have benefited from the financial literacy session since January 2020, with over 5,000 clubs and SACCOs expected to benefit by the end of the year.

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