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Four Young Start-Up Teams Win $10,000 Each To Develop Innovative Solutions To Improve Sexual And Reproductive Health In Uganda

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

The Up Accelerate programme has selected four (4) winning young start-up teams which will be supported to develop their promising ideas into transformative solutions to tackle persistent sexual and reproductive health bottlenecks in Uganda.

“We were impressed by the response and level of engagement of young people despite the complexity of the problem areas within which we wanted them to propose solutions. The amount of conversation, feedback and effort exhibited during the application period is testimony to the demand of programmes like Up Accelerate among the young people in Uganda,” said Richard Zulu, Outbox Team Lead.

Snap HMIS, a mobile application that helps hospital data clerks compile health management information system  reports, were one of the winners of the $10,000

Snap HMIS, a mobile application that helps hospital data clerks compile health management information system reports, was one of the start-ups that won the $10,000 cash prize.

Increasingly, entrepreneurship, self-employment, start-ups and other creative solutions are being recognized as avenues to address existing youth unemployment issues and to enable young Ugandans to participate in the social and economic growth of Uganda.

According to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics, over 26 million people in the country are below the age of 30 years; thus little can be achieved if the potential of young people is not harnessed.

Up Accelerate, a UK Aid-funded program launched last November, seeks to empower young micro-entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into healthcare start-ups that address persistent sexual and reproductive health challenges. The initiative is implemented by Outbox in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and supported by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance.

Investing in a healthier and more educated population and enabling young people to access opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, will provide young Ugandans with a favourable environment to thrive in business and private life, and to make informed and safe decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

A total of sixty-two (62) teams submitted their solutions to the program. Following public voting and shortlisting by an expert panel of judges, ten (10) semi-finalists were invited to present their solutions at today’s pitch day event.

The solutions presented included among others an alternative insurance scheme for deprived pregnant women to access healthcare services, a new IT-based data collection solution to improve quality of health records at facility level, and a health commodity dashboard to enable civil society organizations analyze health commodity data to support decision-making.

The four (4) winning teams, selected by a panel of 7 independent judges, are as follows:

• Snap HMIS –a mobile application that helps hospital data clerks compile health management information system (HMIS) reports accurately and in real time.

• Teheca –is a mobile app that enables one to find the closest and most qualified caretaker that best suits their care needs from a pool of qualified caretakers.

• Drug Dash – an information system to help health centres and distribution centers manage essential medicines and health supplies (EMHS) stock levels through analytical dashboards that support quick decision making.

• IDrain – is an improved chest drainage system which removes the pleural effusion contents of mothers.

Speaking on behalf of the selection panel, Dr. John Okiria applauded the innovative thinking demonstrated by all the solutions presented at the pitch event: “I congratulate all the innovators and must say it was a task to make a selection because they were all good ideas. The panel of judges that I was a part of made informed and impartial judgement because of the expertise we all hold. Some of the key factors we considered to make the selection of the 4 winning teams were how feasible the innovation was; how easy it would be incorporated in the current system; and was it a ready-to- be consumed product for the target market.”

Dr. John Okiria addressing audience at Up Accelerate pitch day

Dr. John Okiria addressing audience at Up Accelerate pitch event.

The four (4) selected finalist teams will be supported with business development and mentorship, receive $10,000 USD in seed funding per team, and undergo intensive mentorship for a period of four (4) months to turn their ideas into sustainable, market ready products or services.

“UNFPA is proud to support this initiative to empower young people by giving them the information, tools, and platforms for collaboration to become even more influential, productive actors in society,” said Ms. Miranda Tabifor, UNFPA Representative, a.i.

“We applaud the finalist teams and assure them of our total support throughout the upcoming four months. We have lined up a team of experts to train and nurture them as innovative models to address sexual and reproductive health challenges in Uganda,” said Richard Zulu.

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Local Business

Letshego Uganda offering repayment holiday to customers in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

Giles Aijukwe, the CEO Letshego Uganda

Giles Aijukwe, the CEO Letshego Uganda

By Our Reporter

Letshego Uganda has rolled out a Repayment Holiday facility to its borrowers in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world.

The repayment holiday involves giving customers a 3 month moratorium- meaning he/she/they (the borrowers) will not be required to pay their installments during that duration.

Different Heads of States, in their response to the pandemic, have implored the business community to augment government’ initiatives to offer financial relief to their customers and specifically lenders to offer repayment holidays and loan restructuring to their customers. It is in this regard that Letshego Uganda; a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings, a premier financial services company based in Botswana and with a footprint in 11 African countries has heeded to the call.

“The Repayment Holiday allows you to take some time out from the financial burden of repayments. It is important however, to note that this holiday mainly targets those customers whose businesses have been affected by Government Intervention measures during the current COVID-19 through business lockdown and closure for example those in sectors like- Education, Tourism, Transport, Leisure and Hospitality,” Aijukwe Giles, the CEO of Letshego elaborated.

The employees/clients that belong to these employers/industry sector will apply for the holiday and be approved based on the case presented. The biggest positive about a repayment holiday is that it relieves some pressure for a while. For a period of time, you have one less thing to worry about when considering outgoings.

“In line with their operational mandate, Letshego practices responsible lending and acts in a customer’s best interests, ensuring affordability, transparency of terms and conditions as well as supporting the borrower if they experience repayment difficulties. This means that by the time they have approved your loan application, they’ve made the effort to determine whether you can repay without substantial hardship,” Aijukwe affirmed.

Letshego has designed a simple application form to be signed by the customer; that will then be scanned and sent to the branch. Customers are also encouraged to use their digital and online platforms (WhatsApp and web application forms) to apply for these holidays. Furthermore, the Repayment Holiday is not only being extended to those in Kampala only but countrywide, across where we have a presence.

Aijukwe added, “A list of qualifying customers has been generated across our 45 branches countrywide and our branch teams are reaching out to them. Customers who are not yet contacted are encouraged to contact their respective branch managers and relationship officers to confirm if they qualify for the Repayment Holiday.”

Microfinance institutions were developed with the common purpose of contributing in the socio-economic changes of communities. As evidenced on numerous occasions, microfinances have exponentially uplifted the economic status of people by providing credit to individuals and skill based groups so that they are able to better their family and community stand.

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Entertainment News

StarTimes GO connects first customer

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

By Reporter

With the launch of the integrated e-shopping platform StarTimes GO, the company is excited to have connected with the first customer, Sula, last weekend. After watching the TV programme StarTimes GO, Sula decided to buy a solar kit alongside with a 24″ Digital LED TV. She made a call to StarTimes to order the products and was quite pleased with the door to door delivery and installation. While receiving her order, Sula said, “I like that StarTimes can easily be accessed in terms of customer care services unlike some service providers. I was interested in buying the solar kit which helps during power blackout situations. It will also help us enjoy our family TV-watching time without worrying about unstable power supply. I was relieved to know that we can pay for the solar kit in instalments. This reduces on the financial burden. With StarTimes GO giving a special offer on plenty of products, we got a FREE two-year TV program bouquet for our solar kit!”

The captain of the car fleet for delivery, Charles, escorted the products to the customer’s home which is about 40km away from the city centre of Kampala. He said, “It is not quite convenient for a family living far away from the city centre to carry these products home. We hope that the customers can enjoy their shopping with StarTimes GO from the beginning to the end.”

Together with Charles, the whole team of delivery and installation are quite honoured to complete the mission for serving the first customer of StarTimes GO, among other customers who followed, especially when they see the smile of satisfaction on their faces.

Mr. Franklin Wang, the StarTimes CEO in Uganda remarked, “We have been thinking of the considerate services which make the digital life available to more people hence the e-shopping platform StarTimes GO. We appreciate the support and trust given by the customers; and thanks to our staff in call centre, delivery car fleet and installation team, the StarTimes GO is operating as we expected and will keep providing products of quality to the public.”

StarTimes GO has made it easier to shop digitally for the product you need. Book via StarTimes GO and enjoy great discounts be it on a decoder, TV or solar system. Order with StarTimes interactive e-shopping platform StarTimes GO at ugmall.startimestv.com or call 0701152863/ 0781962712 and your package will be delivered to you.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

Jibu Uganda donates 10,000 litres of drinking water to COVID-19 National Taskforce

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

By Our Reporter

Jibu Uganda has made a donation of 10,000 litres of drinking water to the COVID-19 National Taskforce. The donation comes in the form of 2,000 bottles of 5L packaged drinking water.

According to Daniel Komunda, the Country Director of Jibu Uganda, the donation will go a long way in providing safe drinking water for vulnerable communities and the front line health workers.

“We are proud to support our government in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, and are humbled to provide safe drinking water for distribution to vulnerable communities and essential workers who are at highest risk during this crisis.” Daniel Komunda said.

Jibu Uganda manages a network of 30 locally-owned drinking water franchises in Kampala, and in 11 other major towns across the regions of Uganda.

Komunda also noted that all Jibu shops across the country have increased their delivery capabilities during the lockdown, and have been offering free delivery and other support services to help customers remain safe at home.

Established in 2014, Jibu Uganda is a social enterprise that capitalizes, equips and trains local entrepreneurs to operate successful franchises designed to serve local communities with radically affordable, high-quality necessities.

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Local Business

MTN Uganda hands over Ramadan food packages to Uganda Police and Muslim teachers

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

By Our Reporter

In a Ramadan drive that underscores the long standing relationship between MTN Uganda and the Muslim community spanning, the telecom giant has delivered food items among other alms to the Muslims in the Uganda police force and the Uganda Muslim teachers’ association.

The items were handed over at the Nsambya police barracks and the Kibuli Muslim Teachers’ College respectively on Thursday.

Ibrahim Kagolola, the RCC Mankindye on behalf of the COVID task force, received the donation and later handed over to Omoding David Deputy director counter terrorism police who was representing the IGP.

“I thank MTN for remembering the police during Ramadan. We don’t take this generosity for granted,” said Omoding David while receiving the food packages on behalf of Uganda Police.

While handing over to the police, Ismail Hamwada Manager work force planning MTN said MTN in partnership with Salaam Foundation has always donated to Muslim communities during Ramadhan.

“This time round we are happy to be giving back to the police. As we fast and seek Allah, we hope that this donation will go a long way when breaking fast,” Hamwada said.

This year’s handovers started this week on Wednesday with Old Kampala mosque and Kibuli mosque and will go in for the entire fasting period, with the guidance of the National task force against COVID19 due to the situation presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The food items/alms that include sugar, rice, posho, cooking oil, beans, bar soap for hand washing and wheat flour will be distributed to the vulnerable communities especially in the areas of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono district. MTN will be working with Salaam Foundation to reach out to the different communities during the fasting period.

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