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MTN to celebrate 20 years in Uganda with futuristic expo

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MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte addresses the press at the launch event.

MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte addresses the press at the launch event.

MTN Uganda has announced the start of a six-month-long celebration campaign to mark 20 years of operations in Uganda. In 1998, MTN Uganda started operations, entering the Uganda market as the Second National Operator (SNO) with an initial licence of 20 years. MTN has since successfully applied and has been granted a 10-year extension to its SNO licence.

This month of October, MTN Uganda will be turning 20 years and under the theme “Celebrating the past, inspiring the future”, the company will conduct a number of commemorative activities starting with an MTN@20 Expo at the Kololo Independence Grounds starting Friday, October 19th, 2018 and ending on Monday 22nd October 2018 with visits by pupils from various primary schools around Kampala.

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“It has been an incredible 20 years journey for MTN Uganda. At the expo, together with our partners, we shall be showcasing the part – where MTN has come from – and what we anticipate the future will be for us and more importantly for our customers,” Wim Vanhelleputte, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) MTN Uganda said at a press conference to announce the 20-year festive calendar.

The expo will celebrate bits of history including a museum to show the journey of where the MTN brand (in Uganda) has come from but will also be heavy on the future including having a display and test drive of the 5G powered – driverless car being tested by the MTN Group. Visitors to the expo will get a feel of what a “connected or smart home” offers as well as access to massive smartphone discounts. Expect to see a connected, smart cow and get to see how we’ll soon manage our cattle herd. There will be engagement with robotics and spectacular 3D mapping and laser show displays. Other attractions include a circus show, performances from some of Uganda’s big-name artistes, fireworks display and a special production from renown Uganda playwright Alex Mukulu among others.

“We started with one customer in 1998 and 20 years later in 2018, we have a customer base of more than 11 million. This growth we cannot take for granted and thank Uganda for embracing MTN in the way they have.,” Mr. Vanhelleputte said. This success wouldn’t have been achievable without the support of partners, who have over the years worked with MTN to connect every single corner of this country.

Mr. Vanhelleputte, specially applauded Stanbic bank, Huawei, Coca cola, Club beer and Huawei who, together with several other corporate entities are supporting the MTN@20 Expo.

Speaking on behalf of Stanbic Bank Uganda, Emma Mugisha – Head of Corporate and Investment Banking said, “As a long partner, we are extremely proud to be celebrating this significant milestone as we commemorate 20 years of MTN in Uganda. Stanbic Bank is MTN’s longest financial services partner over the past 10 years and our partnership has grown from strength to strength contributing to the growth of Uganda’s telecom sector. The bank has been instrumental in providing the key financial solutions supporting MTN’s investments in their network and as the key escrow account holder supported the growth of mobile money in the Uganda.”

The expo at the Kololo Independence Grounds will be one of several other expos and activities that will be executed to mark the 20 years milestone. In 2019, between January and March, the expos will go regional and shall be taking place in several towns across the country. The towns include Entebbe, Jinja, Mbale, Gulu, Arua, Mubende, Hoima, Masaka, Fort Portal, and Mbarara.

Campaigns for the remainder of 2018 including the MTN Kampala Marathon, festive season promotions and others in the first quarter of 2019, will be executed as part of activities celebrating this landmark.

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Local Business

Fanfare in Masaka as MTN launches “MoMo Nyabo” promo

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Bebe Cool entertains revelers in Masaka. Bebe Cool entertains revelers in Masaka.

Bebe Cool entertains revelers in Masaka.

By Our Reporter

Business was brought to a standstill in Masaka town on Friday afternoon as MTN Uganda launched the second edition of the “MoMo Nyabo” campaign which is aimed at encouraging customers to transact using Mobile Money.

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The campaign which was officially launched during a press briefing held at Brovad Hotel was marked by a flurry of fanfare, much to the excitement of the town dwellers.

The launch was followed by a procession around the town displaying the brand new Toyota Wish cars and motorbikes that will be given away during the campaign.

It culminated in a mega concert which was hosted at the Masaka Recreation grounds. Revelers were entertained by Uganda’s top artistes including Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool among others.

During the concert, the first winners in this year’s MoMo Nyabo campaign were also announced. Kigundu Rashid and Steven Nanziga emerged the lucky winners and each walked away with a motorcycle.

Hundreds turned for the concert at the Masaka Recreation grounds.

Hundreds turned for the concert at the Masaka Recreation grounds.

Meanwhile, prizes worth Ugx 1.5billion will be won by lucky customers in the eight week campaign.The prizes include 24 cars, 32 Boda bodas, 160 smartphones as well as mobile money.

The MoMo Nyabo promotion is part of a series of offers the telecom company has launched in recent times to reward customers including bonus on data bundle purchase via MTN Mobile Money and a few days ago, MTN slashed mobile money sending rates by more than half.

“This will be a double win for our customers. First of all, they will be sending money at half price. While doing that, they will be entered into a draw to win one of those exciting prizes. So in a way, all our customers will be winners”. Samuel Gitta, MTN Uganda’s Ag. GM Risk & Compliance said.

“We are continually evolving to make our customers’ lives better. We value and appreciate our customers and all that we are doing is just to give back to them for continuing to support us,” he added.

For customers to stand a chance to win one of the prizes, all they have to do is dial *165*1#. Customers will then automatically enter into a draw to win the exciting prizes.

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Vivo Energy in joint venture with Kuku Foods to accelerate roll-out of KFC restaurants

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By Our Reporter

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Vivo Energy plc (Vivo Energy), the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has agreed to form a non-fuel joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of KFC restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The 50:50 joint venture will manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings (Kuku Foods), who will remain the local KFC franchisee. Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory and competition authority approval.

The restaurants, 22 in Kenya and 8 in Uganda, are located in shopping malls, city centre locations, and service stations. Kuku Foods plans to open its first KFC restaurant in Rwanda in 2019.

The 5 KFC restaurants operated by Kuku Foods Tanzania, the KFC franchisee in Tanzania, will not form part of the transaction.

The joint venture will enable a significant increase in the number of KFC restaurants in the portfolio in the coming years. It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities.

Commenting on the transaction, Christian Chammas, CEO of Vivo Energy, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kuku Foods to replicate the KFC joint venture model we pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire. Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand. This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers.”

Derrick Van Houten, Group CEO of Kuku Foods and Principal Operator of the KFC franchises, added: “Having launched our first KFC in East Africa in 2011, we have successfully grown the business over the last eight years. We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Vivo Energy to continue this growth, bringing our world-renowned KFC products and experience to as many customers as possible.”

KFC Africa’s General Manager, Tarun Lal concluded: “We are delighted that KFC can leverage the joint venture entered into between Vivo Energy and Kuku Foods to continue to grow its network of KFC restaurants in Africa. We are confident that the KFC franchisee will continue to provide customers with a great KFC experience, driving improvements in customer
service and quality through its relationship with Vivo Energy.”

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Local Business

Rising Woman initiative returns for second edition

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By Our Reporter

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Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor in partnership with dfcu Bank’s Women in Business Program and Uganda Investment Authority(UIA) have launched the second edition of the Rising Woman initiative.

The Rising Woman initiative which was started last year under the theme ‘Taking your business ahead’ is meant to recognize, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among women in business in Uganda and targets Ugandan business women, Small scale investors, Entrepreneurs, Members of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL), Members of Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) members.

Speaking at the launch, dfcu Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba called the initiative a “…fundamental step on the path to creating a financially-enabling environment for female entrepreneurs.”

He went on to note that the bank has created programs and products which specifically address the financial needs of women across the country. “As a financial institution that believes in building thriving communities, dfcu embarked on a journey to creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Women owned Enterprises starting in 2007, with the introduction of the Women in Business program. Our primary motivation is the fact that despite women making up over 52% of the population of Uganda, it is not reflected in the ratio of women who have access to financial services.”

“Through the program, we work with women in diverse ventures to turn business ideas into realities which in turn become vehicles for change in communities. With over 53 years of lending to SMEs, and at least 10 years running the WiB program, dfcu Bank understands the financial needs of women and goes ahead to provide tailor-made solutions for them,” Katamba added.

He also officially announced the call for business proposals through the bank’s official website which will begin the contention for the top 10 business ideas.

The proposal submission is already underway and will run up to 20th September 2019. The top 3 winners will walk away with Ugx 15 million, Ugx 10 million and Ugx 5 million respectively and the top 10 will take part in an all-expense study tour trip to Nairobi.

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