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Hima Cement Scoops Platinum Honour At Export Awards

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Building solutions firm, Hima Cement has been recognized as the exporter of the year at the annual Presidential Exporters Awards gala held at Grand Imperial Hotel on January 18, 2018.

The awards, organized by the Uganda Export Promotions Bard (UEBP) are meant to recognize manufacturers that have earned the country a great deal of foreign exchange through exporting some of their locally made products.

Allan Ssemakula, the Acting Country CEO, Hima Cement says that the cement maker’s continued focus on providing customers with innovative propositions combined with effective cost management have enabled the firm cater to the diverse needs of the markets that they serve.

“We are very honored to receive this award from the exports board; a sign of recognition for the service we are offering the nation. As Hima Cement, we are committed to being the preferred provider of cement and concrete based building solutions in East Africa with a strong focus on customer experience,” he stated.

Ssemakula also added that Hima Cement clients benefit from the technical expertise and product innovation that are the hallmark of LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in the building materials industry.

Hima Cement received the Platinum Award, making the cement maker the overall winner after exporting products worth USD56million in the regional markets.

A total of 50 companies were evaluated by UEPB, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Coopratives, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the Uganda Investment Authority in 18 product lines. The companies were assessed based on export performance, contribution towards Uganda’s socioeconomic development, product diversification and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Prime Minister who officiated at the awards on behalf of the President, lauded the companies involved in the exports sector which he said was a sure way to earn the country much needed foreign exchange, jobs as well as improving the quality of lives.

He also encouraged exporters to work in groups and cooperatives in order to consolidate international trade gains such as sustainability of quality, quantity and timely delivery to international markets and also to continue investing in value addition.

Hima Cement offers a range of innovative and high-performance products that are highly adaptable. The cement firm lends itself to all kinds of projects like the Bujagali Hydro Power Project, Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Karuma Dam, the new Jinja Nile Bridge among others. It currently serves its core markets of Uganda and Rwanda and exports to Eastern DRC and South Sudan.

East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with an average GDP growth of c7%; the construction sector is growing at a higher pace of over 10% per annum. Cement demand in Uganda and in the region is projected to remain strong supported by the resurgence in infrastructure development and key Mega Projects.

“We are very positive about the long-term prospects of the cement industry in Uganda and the region, and LafargeHolcim is keen to solidify its position in the region as the leading producer of building solutions providing its customers with innovative value adding propositions,” he explained.

The Platinum Award given to Hima Cement followed a thorough evaluation exercise held towards the close of 2017 that required firms to submit information on their export activities including revenue, marketing activities, innovations, among others.

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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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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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