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MTN customers can now send any amount of money free of charge using MTN MoMo

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  • For 30-days, customers can now send any amount of Mobile Money every day to other MTN MoMo customers free of charge.
  • The offer comes alongside a day-time data bundle that is enabling Ugandans stay on-line and work from home. Customers get 1GB of data at just Ushs 2,000 valid between 9am and 5pm.
  • These offers are designed to reduce the risk of transmission by avoiding the physical exchange of currency notes.
  • MTN is also supporting government’s sensitization drive by availing UGX 500 million in cash and free media channel space (radio, tv, social media, SMS, call centre IVR platform) to promote the Ministry of Health’s sensitization messages.
  • To facilitate the flow of information, MTN Uganda has zero rated Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) websites, so the public can access information about the virus at no charge. They include; who.int , www.health.go.ug and www.covid19.gou.go.ug

MTN Uganda has further enhanced its Mobile Money offer to allow Ugandans to now send any amount of Mobile Money, at no cost for the next 30 days in a move to minimize the physical exchange of paper money.

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The offer is meant to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19 that has paralysed daily life across the world.

Alongside this offer, the company also launched a data bundle that is enabling customers to work from home. Dubbed ‘Work from home’, the data bundle is meant to promote the concept of ‘social distancing’ while reducing the anticipated negative impact that limited movement and contact between people, may have on both the economic and social fabric of our society.

The ‘work from home’ data bundle can be accessed through Mobile Money by dialing *165*19# or through the MyMTN app. 

“This is an extraordinary time, a time when as MTN we need to stand up and be counted on to do the right thing,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda CEO.

“MTN is committed to continue working with the government, to reduce the impact and disruption that this pandemic is having on the lives of Ugandans. Working closely with the Ministry of Health, MTN Uganda has committed its media assets including radio, SMS, social media, call centre and continues to implement various precautionary measures to drive awareness among the public to protect themselves,” Wim further commented.

MTN Uganda also made Ushs 500 million available, to facilitate various government endeavours to equip and facilitate various efforts to prevent, manage and curb the spread of covid 19 in Uganda.

Its also now free to check for covid 19 updates at www.who.int , www.health.go.ug and www.covid19.gou.go.ug. Customers will not be charged for browsing these sites.

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Absa Bank Uganda appoints new Managing Director

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Mr Mumba Kalifungwa

Mr Mumba Kalifungwa, the new Managing Director for Absa Bank Uganda.

By Our Reporter

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Absa Group Limited has  announced the appointment of Mr Mumba Kalifungwa as Managing Director for Absa Bank Uganda effective 1 April 2020.

He succeeds Mr Nazim Mahmood, who has held the position on an interim basis since July 2019, leading the organisation through a historic brand transition to Absa. He will work closely with Mr Kalifungwa over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Kalifungwa has held various positions within the Group, most recently he served as Chief Financial Officer for Absa Bank Botswana Limited since 2015. Prior to that, he was the Chief Financial Officer for our operations in Zambia.

“Absa has a clear imperative to operate as a truly African bank with global scalability, while prioritising purposeful continental collaboration. We have no doubt that Mumba’s experience across several African markets, deep knowledge of the bank, as well as his demonstrated strategic and operational vision will be invaluable as Absa firms its position on the continent,” said Absa Uganda interim Board Chairman, Nadine Byarugaba.

She added; “As Absa Bank Uganda, we have recently been through a historic and exciting brand and name change journey. We welcome Mumba to the organization; we are looking forward to working with him and the wider leadership team as we continue to drive our business for growth in Uganda.”

Mr Kalifungwa is a Chartered Accountant and seasoned organisational leader having over 24 years post-qualifying experience across banking, public and private sectors. He is currently a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA). He also holds an MBA from Herriot Watt University, Scotland and has attended various senior leadership development programs over the years.


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MTN Foundation partners with Joint Medical stores to improve maternal health services in Kamwenge District

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  • MTN Uganda has injected over five hundred million in the Bwizi Health Center III for the renovation of the general wards and, expansion and equipping of the maternal ward at the health center.
  •  With the construction of the new maternity ward underway, MTN Foundation is holding a corporate build with the key stakeholders in the project.
  • This is project was initiated in February 2020 and will be officially handed over in April 2020 upon its completion.

MTN Uganda, through its corporate social responsibility arm, MTN Foundation, has today held a corporate build at Bwizi Health Center III to bring to the attention of the general public and various stakeholders on the plight of maternal mortality rates within the region.

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The telecom giant has injected over five hundred million Uganda shillings in the health center to renovate, expand the maternal/ general wards, and improve the sanitary facilities like showers and placenta pit as well as a comprehensive re- equipment of the entire health facility.

With an estimated growth rate of 3.2% per year, the estimate for 2010 was 350,000 people. MTN Uganda noticed a gap that it sought to mend together with its stakeholders to see to it that mothers are availed with a safe environment for child delivery.

MTN Uganda together with Joint Medical Stores, started the project started last month.  With construction currently underway, the project will be officially handed over upon its completion next month.

The health center located in Bwizi sub county serves all the locals in the region however is restrained when it comes to the proper facilities and equipment in place.

Speaking at the corporate build, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte the MTN Chief Executive Officer, said that MTN Uganda, together with its partners would have chosen to have all hands on deck as they wage a war against poor maternal health services.”

“Life is precious and valuable thus each and every mother deserves to give birth under the right conditions in a suitable environment without hindrances that we are in position to improve,” said Mr. Vanhelleputte as he reiterated MTN’s commitment to supporting maternal health in Uganda as an ongoing, long term project.

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Gender, Labor and Social development thanked MTN Uganda for its continued support against maternal health not only in Bwizi but Uganda as a whole.

“For the last three years the MTN Marathon has raised funds to support maternal health in Uganda and today we are pleased that the MTN Foundation has delightfully come out to support Bwizi Health Center III,” Hon. Tumwebaze said.

He further urged the locals and hospital staff to be good stewards of the equipment, and facilities put in place such that the entire community gets to benefit from the improved health center.

“We have to police each other and hold the other accountable if we are to benefit as a whole from the generosity of MTN Uganda and Joint Medical stores,” Honorable Tumwebaze said.

In Uganda the maternal rate as per December 2019 was at 375 deaths/100,000 live births.

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DStv gives extra boost to step up offer

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By Our Reporter

DStv Uganda has unveiled a new promotional offer in which customers who upgrade to a higher package will be bumped up to an even higher package at no extra cost.

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“In line with our mission to add value and enrich the lives of our customers, and with the positive response we received from the initial Step-Up deal to our customers, we wanted to up the stakes with an greater offer,” says Sauya Nakiyaga, MultiChoice Uganda’s Head of Customer Retention. “We understand that now that viewers have experienced the quality entertainment that sits on higher packages, there’s an appetite to view more of the top-class content that DStv has on its platforms.”

In this latest offer, Access customers can step up to Family and get Compact. Family subscribers can step up to Compact and get Compact Plus while Compact customers can step up to Compact Plus and get Premium.

Compact Plus customers will simply have to renew their subscription to continue to have access to the Premium package during this offer period.

Upgraded customers will be able to enjoy world-class sporting action together with original local content, international movies, series, telenovelas, music shows, news and kids’ entertainment on the Step Up Extra offer.

Meanwhile, GOtv customers have also not be left out. They will pay UGX 29,000 from UGX 39,000 for GOtv Max during this promotional period.

The Step Up Extra offer expires on the 30th of April 2020.


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What Are The Rules About Online Gambling in Uganda?

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By Staff Writer

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The online gambling industry is growing quickly and becoming more popular every day. Online casinos make it easier than ever for people all over the world to play their favorite games or join in on wagers for sporting events.

While previously, most people did not have access to physical casinos to play the games they love, the convenience of playing on a computer or smartphone makes this pastime accessible to everyone. With the increased popularity, many countries have lifted bans and/or restrictions on gambling to allow their citizens to play online.

One place in particular that has fully embraced online casinos and sports betting is Uganda. Gambling was already a popular form of entertainment in this country before online casinos were an option. Land-based casinos in Kampala have been thriving for years. Now, even more people in Uganda are gambling and it has even become a cause for some concern.

To adapt to the increasing popularity of online gambling, Uganda’s government has passed several laws to ensure that citizens are playing in a safe way. The major concern in this particular situation is a rise in underaged gambling and gambling addictions.

Gambling Habits in Uganda

Gambling has been popular in Uganda for a long time. There are multiple cities within the country that are home to land-based casinos with over a dozen options combined. Gambling is legal in Uganda and has been regulated with laws like The National Lotteries Act and the Gaming and Pool Betting Act. Some of the most popular activities include sports betting, slot machines, and the lottery.

In fact, in Africa overall, the gambling industry is thriving. Casinos continue to see record-high revenues. Each year gambling also brings in increasingly large sums in federal taxes. In Uganda specifically, the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board enforce a 35% revenue tax on all gambling activities.

Despite the financial success for the industry and the government, excessive gambling habits have been the cause of some serious concerns. The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, is currently working to decrease gambling in the country.

One major way that he is attempting to slow things down is by banning sports betting. In 2018, Museveni declared that no new licenses would be issued for domestic sports betting companies. Those that were already issued would also not be renewed once they expired.

The major areas of concern that lead to this decision were an increase in underaged gambling, increased poverty, and gambling addictions. The impact that gambling has on the citizens of this country is not always positive. Many hear success stories and spend what little money they have trying to win a large jackpot. Because of the unhealthy mindset around gambling, the government has begun to take these measures in an effort to decrease the amount of time that its citizens spend gambling.

The Rise of Online Casinos

In the past few years, the number of people in Uganda who had access to the internet has dramatically increased. There is also a significant rise in smartphone usage. This increased connectivity, combined with the rise of online casinos, makes it easy for citizens of Uganda to continue with their gambling habits despite the discouragement from their government.

The ability to connect with online casinos from all over the world is, of course, one of the major draws of the industry. According to Lucian Marinescu of Online Casino Gems, “The industry shift from land-based casinos to online casinos is bringing in wider audiences than ever because it’s just so convenient.”

While there is growing concern from the government in Uganda, citizens won’t have to change their online gambling habits yet. The regulations that the government is sending down so far only interfere with domestic companies. Companies in other areas of the world will continue to offer services to the population of Uganda.

With such a simple alternative, it’s likely that the restrictions the government places on domestic gambling will only cause citizens to seek out other online casinos. So, these regulations will not necessarily discourage citizens from gambling, but it could decrease the amount of tax revenue that the government receives from casino games and sports betting.

Rules in Uganda

When it comes to rules that affect online gambling among Ugandans, the focus is mainly on safe and secure gambling. These safety checks are common across the entire industry, not just in Uganda, and include identity confirmation, age confirmation, and exclusion systems to reject those who are gambling illegally.

Currently, online gambling is legal in Uganda, though there was suspicion initially that the practice would be banned. However, this speculation comes from the fact that Uganda seeks to protect its own domestic gambling industry. It does not stem from any sort of fear or distaste for online gambling.

Right now, the only restriction to online gambling in Uganda that affects players is an age restriction. The legal gambling age for Ugandans is 25. In order for citizens to legally gamble, they must confirm their age and provide identification before playing.

The regulations that are in place today, specifically The Lotteries and Gaming Act of 2016 has more of an effect on the online casinos themselves rather than the players. This act repealed the National Lotteries Act and the Gaming and Pool Betting Act that were in place previously. This act ensures that the casinos are honest, trustworthy, and safe for the user. In this act, required operational licenses, capital requirements, and increased gaming tax laws are enforced on casino companies.

Conclusion

Gambling is a popular pastime in Uganda, and despite the efforts of government officials, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change anytime soon. The only rules to keep citizens from gambling online are focused on age requirements. As long as players are of legal gambling age, they can enjoy online casino games and sports betting to their heart’s content.

With increased regulations and a looming ban on sports betting companies, it’s likely that more citizens of Uganda will turn to online casinos over the next few years so that they can continue their gambling habits.


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