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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa commissions new Ugx 38 billion Manufacturing Line

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By Our Reporter

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda) has officially commissioned a brand new US$10million (UGX 38billion) Manufacturing Line to enable them bottle more Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water.

The new bottling line at the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda) Namanve site operated by Century Bottling Company has a capacity of producing 24,000 bottles an hour, accelerating the production of Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water to refresh and hydrate Ugandans.

The USD10million (UGX38billion) investment brings to Uganda the newest bottling line technology out of Germany, by KHS enabling the Company to innovate further for the increasingly changing consumer demands.

The investment was part of a US$15 Million investment plan that Coca-Cola Beverages Africa had for Uganda alone in 2018.

The Minister of State for Investment and Privatisation, Hon. Evelyn Anite, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony on 20th April 2018 and by December 2018, the line installation was complete.

Representing the President of the Republic of Uganda Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the launch event, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives lauded Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for focusing on Uganda and investing US$10million (UGX38billion) within Uganda to benefit citizens and support the economy.

“Of this, I am told US$3.5million was spent inside Uganda on civil works, construction and auxiliary services. That is a very significant amount for many reasons. First of all, that means that the bulk of the investment that we are commissioning today was spent inside our own country and directly benefited Ugandans. This fits well within our ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ policy and I applaud you for that. Also, your investment in a new Manufacturing Line creates more jobs for very many categories of Ugandans – which fulfills the NRM pledge to create more jobs and wealth especially for the youth of Uganda,” she said.

“As Government, we acknowledge and thank Coca-Cola for being a development partner of Uganda. On top of these investments, you also pay taxes – I understand you paid UGX 140billion in taxes last year. This is a very significant amount and we look forward to seeing it increase once this new investment begins to bear results. During the tour of the facility, it was gratifying to see the quality of your equipment and to note that you have two other bottling facilities in Uganda, and that you are still setting up more. By bottling high quality international brands in Uganda, you are promoting the economy within Uganda and also promoting the country internationally,” Hon. Kyambadde added.

The CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Mr. Jacques Vermeulen assured the Minister of the investment commitments of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda), which runs three subsidiaries bottling Coca-Cola products (Century Bottling Company), pure natural mineral water (Rwenzori Bottling Company) and recycling plastic waste taken from the environment (Plastic Recycling Industries).

“We employ about 1,900 Ugandans in our three plants in Kampala, Mukono and Mbarara, and support more than 100,000 businesses across our extensive retail distribution network. Coca-Cola Beverages Africa is proud to make these contributions on top of paying taxes to the tune of more than UGX140billion annually. We are serious about doing business in Uganda and supporting this economy,” Mr. Vermeulen said.

He added that the investment in the brand new US$10million Manufacturing Line was a strong demonstration of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Uganda`s commitment to the development of Uganda despite the tough economic conditions.

It is important to note that this investment was made on a promise to reduce excise duty from 13% to 12% in the 2018/19 FY and gradual decrease per year until 10%.

“We are grateful that this happened last year. Unfortunately, the reduction from 12% to 11% in the 2019/ 2020 FY has been rejected by Parliament. This investment is confirmation that a favorable tax regime can attract more investment for the industry,” he added.

CCBA management emphasized that the Company will continue to be a relevant partner with Government and called upon the Government officials present to ensure they work to limit the challenges private sector faces in doing business

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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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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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