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dfcu Bank extends efforts to empower female entrepreneurs to Northern Uganda

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) completed a two-day training in Gulu district, Northern Uganda as they continue in their efforts to equip and empower and female entrepreneurs across the country. Over 300 women attended the two-day event which was facilitated by key experts.

The training was the third and second last of the ‘Rising Woman’ regional activities which are all aimed at imparting skills necessary to run and maintain successful businesses to women involved in various ventures. Previous trainings were held in Mbale and Bushenyi districts.

An initiative under dfcu Bank’s Women in Business program, ‘Rising Woman’ seeks to recognize, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among women in business in Uganda. This year marks the initiative’s second season, following last year’s successful inaugural activity that attracted thousands of women who took part in different activities including; trainings, the Rising Woman Expo, Awards Gala and study tour to Nairobi.

dfcu Bank’s Gladys Nalukenge noted that the theme for this year’s Rising Woman Initiative, ‘Taking your business ahead’ is focused on “…providing female entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve the way in which they operate their businesses; with a goal of enabling them to create profitable operations.”

“Through this initiative, we are focused on building women’s financial literacy skills, creating awareness of available opportunities, widening their networks, and enabling access to credit and financial support,” Nalukenge added.

While many of the barriers faced by entrepreneurs are common to both men and women, in many cases, they are more significant for women. Fear of failure discourages most women from entering the entrepreneurship arena. Women also tend to perceive that they lack entrepreneurship skills in addition to challenges such as difficulty in accessing finance. Equally, tax policies can discourage female labour market participation, including entrepreneurship.

A participant in the training session, Ms. Josephine P’Ochen, Proprietor of Tour De North, said the marketing and customer care skills tips acquired were enlightening. “At times we fail our businesses just because we cannot get the small things right. I have learnt that appreciating customer and understanding their individual needs provides my business with additional value, which in turn builds loyalty and maintains my customer base.”

During the sessions, women are equipped with various business skills including; business planning; enterprise management, positioning for access to credit and marketing to help them leverage on existing opportunities.

Ms. Fausta Akech, a business woman in the coconut oil business noted that the training on standardization of the products was timely and eye-opening. “Many businesses tend to ignore standards; as we don’t often realize that standardization plays an important role in building and maintaining both a brand and a business.

The fourth and last regional training will take place at Hotel Africana in Kampala district on 2nd and 3rd October 2019. Women entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in proposal writing which runs up to 20th September 2019.

The top 3 winners of this year’s Rising Woman Initiative will win UGX 15 million, 10 million and 5 million respectively. The Top 10 participants will go on an all-expense-paid study tour in Nairobi in January 2020.

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Retiring Master Brewer shows what Uganda is Made of with Nile Special Stout

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By Reporter

Nile Breweries Master Brewer Moses Musisi has done it again. After developing the great success brands Nile Special, Club and Eagle, he has now created the first Premium Ugandan Stout, a beer that he refers to as the crown on his career.

 Nile Special Stout is a stout Uganda can be proud of. It is brewed with the finest Ugandan Malts and Roasted Barley. It is brewed at the Source of the river Nile. The liquid is beautifully dark and has a truly satisfying rich taste with a long lingering but surprisingly clean after taste. A drinking experience crafted specifically for the growing appetite for richer and more rewarding beers in Uganda.Nile Breweries’ charismatic master brewer, Moses Musisi will start enjoying his well-deserved retirement in a few weeks. When discussing his retirement plans late last year he mentioned his passion for Ugandan beer and the lack of a proper Ugandan Stout. “We have local Dark lagers and there are imported stouts on the market, but I would really like to create a stout that will make Uganda proud,” Musisi said.

“We have tremendous confidence in Moses’ brewing skills; he is definition of a true craftsman, so when he expressed his wish to do something truly remarkable and create something that will be of value for the country, we quickly agreed to move ahead with the project. It is fantastic to see that after many months of crafting the liquid he got it absolutely right,” said Thomas Kamphuis, Country Director, Nile Breweries Ltd.

“In my view this is the legacy every brewer wants to leave,” he added. Nile Special Stout will be for sale to consumers from 29th November.

“As it is a black beer, launching on Black Friday is giving the launch a nice touch. We have a great consumer launch planned at Kyadondo Rugby Club where consumers can experience this great beer while we kick off the new rugby season,” Amou Majok, Nile Breweries Marketing Head said.

“As one of Uganda’s most iconic companies and the undisputed leader of the beer industry with 57.7% market share. We remain committed to brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. We are proud that 100% of our beers are made in Uganda,” she added.When asked about the ‘Hack’ she commented “In a world where attention is scarce, we needed to use a stunt that was ‘bold and strong’ to get the attention we believe this beer deserves. The campaign truly shows the power of social media and we have been blown away by how quickly it was picked up and the amount of attention it got.”

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Local Business

MTN Foundation donates Advanced Blood Storage Refrigerator to Arua Regional Blood Bank

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By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over a blood storage equipment to the Arua Regional Blood Bank under the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS). This is in a bid to address the issue of blood shortage born from inadequate blood storage facilities.

The Arua Regional Blood Bank serves 3.38 million people including 815,000 from South Sudan living in the 9 districts of West Nile. However, the facility is faced with a challenge of blood storage.

To alleviate this challenge, a state-of-the-art blood refrigerator was handed over to Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku, the State Minister for Primary Health Care in a ceremony held today at the regional blood bank in Arua district.

Even when the blood is collected, proper storage of the blood remains a challenge in many facilities. Statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that Uganda has an annual demand of about 340,000 units of blood but falls short by over 100,000 units. Last year, only 240,000 units were collected against the country’s target of 340,000 units.

As a result, MTN Uganda committed to step in, investing UGX 347 million shillings to procure equipment that includes; an automated plasma extractor and three refrigerators. This year, the Uganda Blood Bank is aiming to collect 300,000 units of blood.

While the automated plasma extractor is stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank, the blood storage refrigerators have been delivered to each of the three respective regional blood banks.

Arua is the third regional blood bank to receive its equipment after Mbarara and Mbale Regional blood banks which received their refrigerator early this month.

While handing over the equipment, Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to supporting the Government of Uganda’s goal of meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages.

“We are proud of this partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services and Ministry of Health in ensuring that Ugandans have access to enough blood and blood components across the country,” Mr. Mbasa said.

While receiving the equipment, Hon. Moriku, who was also the guest of honor thanked the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.

“Thank you MTN Foundation Uganda for this equipment. It will address the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” Hon. Moriku said, “The MTN Foundation has shown its passion for maternal health. By supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”

Dr. Isaac Atiku, the Arua Regional Blood Bank In-charge noted that the additional refrigerator from MTN will enable them store more blood than before.

“Out of the 2000 units of blood collected every month, we were only able to store 1400 units, therefore, with this state of the art blood refrigerator, we shall be able to store an extra 720 units of blood,” said Atiku.

Dr. Grace Otekat, the principle Technologist in charge of all the regional blood bank laboratories in the country noted that by supporting the facility with an additional blood bank, the MTN Foundation has saved them daily trips to Kuluva hospital every day to store and collect blood.

“Blood is a very delicate substance which without proper storage, becomes poisonous to the body. So because of our limited storage capacity, we used to store some of our blood at Kuluva hospital, a private facility about 9kms outside Arua Town. A number of times, the blood got destroyed due to these movements,” Otekat said.

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Uganda Breweries launches Ugx 10 Billion Water Recovery Plant

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L-R: Uganda Breweries Supply Chain Director Anthony Njenga(L) and The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi (R) during the commissioning of the water recovery plant at UBL. Looking on is the  EABL Group Managing Director Andrew Cowan and UBL Managing Director Alvin Mbugua (Extreme Right)

Uganda Breweries Supply Chain Director Anthony Njenga(L) and The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi (R) during the commissioning of the water recovery plant at UBL.

By Our Reporter

As Urbanization puts more strain on existing water sources and bodies, Uganda Breweries is looking for ways to reduce the amount of water they use in their production processes. As such, Uganda Breweries Limited has announced the launch of a Water Recovery Plant worth over 10 billion Uganda Shillings.

Speaking at the launch of the recovery plant, the Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mr. Alvin Mbugua said that this plan is a Strategic investment to deliver Diageo 2020 Water targets of reducing water consumption by 50% vs the 2018 baseline when the brewery was using 4.9 litres of water per every litre of beer. “Uganda Breweries, a subsidiary of Diageo has adopted this ambitious goal to ensure that as a company, being mindful of the scarcity of water as a commodity frugally minimise the amount that we already use. We aim to achieve continuous improvement in environmental performance, concentrating our efforts on areas of greatest impact at our manufacturing and distribution points. Our company’s stringent environmental policy ensures that all our facilities are challenged to keep improving their performance in these areas.” he said.

The Water recovery project offers treatment capacity of 1000 m3/d water from the Effluent Treatment Plant with ability to deliver 80% permeate recovery. The water is to be treated according to the UBL specifications for general purpose use.

At usage efficiency of 3.2L/L from the current 4.3L/L, the Effluent Water Recovery shall improve efficiency to 30% at minimum use and to 80% at maximum use clocking 2.6L of water per liter of beer by 2020.

Water Recovery is the process of converting wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields or replenishing surface water and groundwater. At Uganda Breweries Limited, the recycled water will be used for general purpose cleaning of the plant.

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