In line with its commitment to enhance and impact journalism, media and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa, MTN Uganda sponsored three Ugandan journalists to attend the just concluded Highway Africa Conference in South Africa.
2013 marks the 12th year of MTN’s support of the Highway Africa Conference, which is the world’s largest gathering of African journalists to address challenges facing African journalists and assess the impact of technological changes on the media. The Conference is a project of Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa), in partnership with Telkom, Absa Barclays and MTN. The number of MTN Operations sending sponsored journalists to the conference has increased over the years.
The three journalists; Charles Kodili -Gazzaman, Business Editor at Red Pepper, Arthur Oyako On-line Editor- New Vision and Ismail Ladu Business Reporter with Daily Monitor took part in the three day conference hosted by Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in partnership with the Department of Communications (South Africa), Corporate South Africa, development agencies and media associations.
For over a decade, the Highway Africa conference has been at the centre of Africa’s debates on journalism, media and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The conference has over the years become the largest annual gathering of African journalists in the world.
Welcoming the journalists back on Thursday 5th September 2013, MTN Uganda’s General Manager Corporate Services, Anthony Katamba expressed the company’s continued commitment to support the media fraternity both locally and on the continent as a whole.
“We are proud of the immense contribution of MTN Uganda in enabling Ugandan journalists to be part of critical reflection and engagement on what it means to be a media practitioner and scholar in the African continent. This is an annual conference to which MTN typically sponsors journalists from the business section of our key partner newspapers on recommendation of their CEOs and Editors in Chief. This is something MTN Uganda will continue doing as a commitment to our support for impactful journalism in the country and Africa at large,” Katamba said.
Commenting on their experiences at the just concluded Highway Africa Conference, the three journalists had the following comments:
Charles Kodili -Gazzaman, Business Editor at Red Pepper said, “It is definitely value for money for MTN giving us that opportunity to critically dissect the profession of journalism at the just concluded Highway Africa conference.”
Arthur Oyako, On-line Editor- New Vision said, “There is much to carry back home for somebody who draws life both from IT and journalism. The blend of policies and case studies was great. The evenings were just as good. I wish I could do this again next year. Thank you MTN.”
Ismail Ladu, Business Reporter at the Monitor Publications said, “Off course without the goodwill of MTN, such an opportunity could have taken long to come by. I am thankful that I was able to network and share experiences with the great speakers and fellow journalists from across the African continent. We were able to exchange ideas on how we can practice our trade-journalism. That was definitely the icing on the cake. I thank MTN for making all this possible”.
Key note speakers at the Conference included among others, the Honourable Minister Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Government of the Republic of South Africa. She noted that the media has an immense role to play in the continent’s development agenda adding that the Conference provided a forum for discussion on sustainable development and tit bits on how the media can educate African people on what little things they could do in their own environments that could make a difference.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sizwe Mabizela the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Rhodes University said the Conference which started off as an ad-hoc conference featuring just 65 delegates in 1996 has grown into a highly prestigious conference and the most pre-eminent platform for journalists, media practitioners and professionals, policy-makers and others to exchange views and reflect on the challenges facing their profession and practice in the African continent and beyond.
This years’ Highway Africa Conference theme was ‘Speaking truth to power? Media, Politics and Society’ and participants were taken through a multi-pronged programme with the following components:
Research: mapping the terrain of the challenges of the interface of technology, journalism and the media;
Education and Training: responding to the identified gaps this project makes a practical intervention by re-skilling, upskilling, educating and training journalists;
Reporting Development: this is our new and exciting project that seeks challenge and transform how African journalism and media cover the development agenda. The project consists of three elements – a web portal (www.reportingDNA.org), an annual Reporting Development Forum and training workshops.
Conference: the flagship of the programme, it is the forum for critical reflection on journalism, media, technology and development in Africa.
Uganda Breweries contributes 335 Million towards Bududa water project
By Our Reporter
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has contributed UGX 335M towards the construction of a water supply system that is aimed at improving access to safe and adequate water in Bududa.
The two-year water project is being implemented in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kampala North. It will see both entities construct a piped water supply system that will serve over 2,000 people in Buwali Sub County and the neighboring communities.
The announcement was made by the Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mark Ocitti at a ground breaking ceremony held at Budei education center on Saturday.
According to a community assessment done by Rotary Uganda, Bududa has insufficient access to clean and safe water as the few spring wells serving the residents are hard to access due to the terrain of the area. In addition the majority of the people in the area have disabilities making it even more difficult for them to reach the water sources.
“We are pleased to be part of a project that will enhance development in the community through provision of basic and essential necessities such as clean and safe water. By constructing a reliable water supply facility in this area, we hope to ease access to clean and safe water, which will ensure a healthier community.” Ocitti said.
Many people in Bududa and the neighboring areas are still lacking access to clean water and other social services.
The BOU Deputy Governor, Dr. Louis Kasekende, who is also the water project’s manager said, “Oftentimes, families have to move long distances to get water from unsafe sources which has posed health risks to them. I am pleased that we are solving some of these issues with this water project that will directly benefit hundreds of people in Buwali Sub County and the neighboring community.”
The Bududa LC5 chairman, Wilson Watira acknowledged Uganda Breweries and Rotary Uganda for their efforts in empowering and developing the region by providing clean and safe water.
Uganda Breweries Limited has in the past years run similar projects. Under the Water of Life initiative, UBL supports projects that help combat water poverty by improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
MTN donates to Old Kampala Mosque and Kisenyi Health Center in Ramadan Drive
By Our Reporter
MTN Uganda donated an assortment of items to the Old Kampala Mosque and KCCA’s Kisenyi Health Center IV last Friday in a drive aimed at promoting the act of sharing and giving as the Muslim community observes the month of Ramadan.
Items donated included Qurans, tunics and food items such as rice, wheat flour, sugar, salt, cooking oil and juice among others.
Prior to this, MTN Uganda donated similar items to Kibuli mosque and hospital. A similar drive was held in Masaka last week. MTN will reach out to a total of eight mosques and hospitals during this month of Ramadan.
Speaking at the event, Ali Monzer, MTN Uganda’s Chief Information Officer said that MTN was elated to be able to share with the Muslim community in the country.
“Ramadan is about sharing. That is why we are here to share with our brothers and sisters,” Monzer said.
In his speech, Sheikh Mouhammad Ali Waiswa, the Deputy Supreme Mufti at the Uganda Supreme Muslim Council thanked MTN for its noble gesture and urged Muslims to renew their faith during this holy month.
“I pray that Allah blesses MTN for its kindness. I also urge the muslims and Ugandans at large to join in and use this month as a point of renewing their faith through prayer and fasting,” said Waiswa.
Edson Mugisha, the Administrator of Kisenyi Health center IV lauded MTN for reaching out to their patients.
“We appreciate MTN’s kindness towards our patients and their caretakers,” said Mugisha.
MTN Uganda has over the years been known for its Ramadan CSR projects as a way of connecting with its Muslim clientele.
Uganda Breweries partners with Kabaka Foundation to construct sanitation facilities in city markets
By Our Reporter
In a bid to improve the sanitation and hygiene that are health concerns in Kampala markets, Uganda Breweries Limited has launched a sanitation project that will see the brewery construct modern public sanitation facilities for the residents and traders of Nakulabye, Katwe, Mengo and Mulago Markets.
The project dubbed the “Kampala City Markets water and Sanitation” has been done in partnership with the Kabaka Foundation, which is an NGO presided over by His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda. The 3 months project which is part of UBL’s “Water of Life” initiative will cost UGX 300 Million and will benefit over 26,000 people.
Under this project, each Market will get a modern sanitation facility with eights units; a toilet for people with disabilities, a washroom for men and women, three urinal bowls for men, one shared attendants room, a water reservoir of 5000 liters, a 1000 liter over- head tank and a water pump.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony at Nakulabye Market, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mark Ocitti said, “Access to clean sanitation facilities is critical to the health and prosperity of our communities, and yet, too many people especially in the markets around the city do not have access to these basic services. Uganda Breweries is proud to partner with the Kabaka Foundation to reform and improve the lives of more than 26,000 people who live and work around these markets.”
Ocitti noted that this project is not the first done in partnership with the Buganda Kingdom. “UBL and the Kingdom have a long standing partnership to brew Ngule beer, the Kingdoms official beer. The beer is made from cassava and sorghum all of which are sourced locally from Buganda Kingdom.”
In his remarks, Owekitibwa Chris Bwanika, a Trustee in the Kabaka Foundation said, “This project marks another milestone in achieving Kabaka foundation’s aim of improving sanitation. Kampala city markets have dilapidated sanitation facilities and with the construction of these new facilities, we will now be able to address the problem of poor sanitation and the consequent spread of diseases among the residents, especially the children.”
Uganda Breweries Limited has in the past years run similar projects. In 2017, the company constructed public sanitation facilities worth UGX 300 million at Port Bell and Kirombe markets. The project benefits over 12,000 residents, traders and visitors to the two areas. UBL has also previously constructed sanitation facilities in Ggaba market and Kinawataka market.
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