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NSSF blood donation drive across the country targets 3,000 units

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The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) has today launched a week-long countrywide blood donation drive aimed at collecting 3,000 units of safe blood.

The Annual NSSF Blood Donation Drive is organized to increase the stock of blood that can be accessed by patients in the country. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually although approximately 200,000 units are collected annually.

The Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Richard Byarugaba donating blood at the launch of the fund's annual blood drive.

The Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Richard Byarugaba donating blood at the launch of the fund’s annual blood drive.

Launching the drive in Kampala, Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director at NSSF, said; “This year we have extended this drive to 9 towns across the country in addition to the Kampala in response to an appeal by our partners, the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services due to a shortage of blood the country is experiencing.”

The drive will take place at the Constitutional Square, Mukwano Arcade and Workers House lobby in Kampala and at NSSF offices in Jinja, Hoima, Masaka, Mbale, Arua, Gulu, Fort Portal, Mbarara and Lira, as well other designated collection centres operated by UBTS.

“Over the past five years, NSSF and UBTS have collected more than 6,700 units from staff, members of the Fund and the general public. This is a noble exercise that I call upon all Ugandans to support,” added Byarugaba at the launch of the drive at Workers House in Kampala.

The drive is part of the Fund’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda which is premised on playing an active role in the sustainable development and well-being of the community in which it is doing business.

Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, the Director UBTS, said the country needs 340,000 units, as recommended by the World Health Organisation to effectively supply all hospitals in the country.

“Last year we collected 247,711 units of blood from all initiatives which was still not enough to meet the demand. Initiatives like this organized by NSSF will give us the much-needed boost since our primary blood donors; the students are currently on holiday,” Dr. Kyeyune said.

UBTS has seven regional blood banks across the country with six collection centers to support them. Approximately 80% of the blood donated is collected from pupils and students while only 1% of people eligible to donate blood in Uganda regularly do so, which is inadequate to meet the country’s needs.

Uganda regularly faces a shortage of safe blood, forcing the government to issue blood donation appeals. Kampala, Gulu, Masaka and Mukono are some of the districts that are experiencing blood shortages, according to Dr. Kyeyune.

She added that the surge in the number of people suffering from cancer, those in need of surgeries and the rampant drought that has hit Uganda over the past year has created an increased demand for blood.

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BigEye Money

#40days40fintechs: Beyonic is at the centre of facilitating a shift to a cashless Uganda

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By Our writer

While Uganda started efforts to boost a cashless economy over a decade ago, majority of Ugandans still prefer cash.

Available statistics indicate that about 99 percent of the economy is cash-based and only 1 percent is cashless.

However, over the years, several Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs) have heavily invested in helping Ugandans shift from a cash to a cashless economy.

Among them is Beyonic, one of the leading fintech integrators in Africa that aims to eliminate dependency on cash by helping businesses quickly set up and manage digital payments.

The software company entered the Uganda market at the end of 2005 but started operations at the beginning of 2006.

Seeking to answer the question of accountability for organizations and donor bodies, the software company thought of ways of further supporting companies better manage their finances – income and expenditures by setting up a mobile payments platform in 2012 thus unlocking clean, safe, transparent cashless management of project and enterprise budgets.

“There are challenges for use of cash by organizations. Beyonic came to help institutions reduce the use of cash in all their systems. We are here to support and promote a cashless efficient economy,” Ian Mubiru, the Beyonic Country Director said.

He added: “As the fintech space matured, the contrast between the simplicity promised by a digital ecosystem and the cost, complexity, and risk of cash payments became increasingly stark. Payments are hard; especially in emerging markets, and particularly in the last mile. Thus, Beyonic set out to make them easy.”

According to Mubiru, Beyonic is helping free its clients from non-core roles so as to focus on making their businesses and communities thrive.

Its solutions include access, data house and pricing services.

Under Beyonic access, it enables instructions to access over 26 telecoms from across nine countries in Africa. This means that once one connects to the Beyonic platform, they will have access to over 26 networks in the nine countries including Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, among others, from a single sign-on.

In 2018, Beyonic processed close to 10 million mobile money transactions across its system.

Beyonic was also selected as the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub successor entity, effective May 1, 2020, and it is responsible for all ongoing operational aspects of the IPN Hub including future growth.

The IPN Hub was developed by the GSMA in partnership with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and MasterCard Foundation, to provide a single point of integration between mobile money networks and PAYG service providers in Sub-Saharan Africa, accelerating reliable access to utility services at the last mile.

Following the successful piloting and scaling of the IPN Hub, the GSMA elected to transition it to an entity that would continue to scale it sustainability and after a rigorous selection process, it was awarded to Beyonic.

The Data House solution on the other hand is used to store data that can be used for planning purposes by their different clients.

Mubiru said that a lot of data is out there but it is not well organised, thus Beyonic helps companies store and make sense of such data.

Under the pricing services, Mubiru said: “Payments and pricing continues to change over time. At the beginning of our journey, we were just supporting organizations but with time we found out that there was need to support fintechs and other players.”

“We had already developed a lot of application program interfaces (APIs) so we decided to open them up for anyone that needed to use them. We made sure that our APIs integration is as short as possible,” he said.

While others take three months to integrate, Mubiru said they ensured that theirs takes less than a month.

He said their APIs are being used by multiple partners including fintechs, e-commerce players, among others.

While they currently operate in nine countries, Mubiru said the plan is to cover over 20 countries by 2023.

Majority of its clients are women, mostly in agriculture. It is also working with a number of Saccos that offer loans to farmers.

Beyonic is among the firms taking part in the 40-days-40-FinTech initiative, organised by HiPipo under its Include EveryOne programme, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, ModusBox and Mojaloop.

The initiative seeks to enable FinTechs to innovate solutions that facilitate cross-network financial transactions at minimal risks to enhance access to financial services.

The initiative will see the participating 40 FinTechs acquire interoperable development skills to improve access to financial services, using the Mojaloop open source software.

Mubiru applauded HiPipo for the 40-days-40-fintechs initiative, saying the discussion of interoperability with Mojaloop is timely, as the market needs as much solutions as possible.

The HiPipo CEO – Innocent Kawooya said that Beyonic has played a great financial inclusion role in the markets where it operates.

“We are glad that the Beyonic products and services are impacting thousands of people at the last mile. It fits well in the 40-days- 40-fintechs initiative because theirs is a prime story that is transforming the financial sector,” Kawooya said.

He added: “Going forward, as stakeholders we must collaborate and together develop products and services that serve our people. Alone, we may fail, but as a group, we shall overcome all road blocks and collectively serve our people.”

In addition to the 40-days-40-fintechs initiative, HiPipo is also organizing a Fintechs Landscape Exhibition in mid July 2020.

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Local Business

Shell Select introduces online shopping platform

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shell select shop

By Our Reporter

Customers are now able to do their shopping at Shell Select shops through a new online shopping platform dubbed “Click to Collect or Deliver”.

Via a dedicated website, for an initial 10 shops spread across the suburbs in and around Kampala, customers can do product browsing, order placement, and later pick the groceries when packed and ready, or have the goods delivered to their doorstep.

In due course, customers will also be able to access the solution on the Shell Africa App, that currently includes the Shell Loyalty programme for various customers.

The online store will allow shoppers to access a wide range of affordable and high quality products from the well-stocked Shell Select stores.

“Owing to the new reality presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important for businesses to innovate and find safer and more hygienic ways to serve customers as we continue to exercise caution to stem the spread of this pandemic.” Said Moses Kebba, Marketing Manager, Vivo Energy Uganda.

He added that the Shell “Click to Collect or Deliver” service is convenient, fast and safe as it allows shoppers to spend less time walking through supermarket aisles.

“The Shell ‘Click to Collect or Deliver’ service provides a convenient, quick and efficient shopping solution that allows for contactless shopping. This service will help many customers who are concerned about their health, and the health of others, do their shopping without the need to step in the store,” he said.

The Shell Select stores that have now gone live and are already trading online include: Shell Bugolobi, Shell Kabalagala, Shell Kireka, Shell Kasangati, Shell Kira road, Shell Ntinda, Shell Bunga, Shell Lugogo, Shell Najjera and Shell Gayaza.

In addition, Shell has entered into a partnership with Sendy to make swift and timely home deliveries.

Under the Shell “Click to Collect or Deliver” service, all payments will be contactless via a standalone Shell Payments App as well as through mobile money, bank transfer or by card.

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Ugandan property management company, Donville Properties expands to Dubai

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By Our  Reporter

Donville Properties, a leading property management company in Uganda has announced a partnership with Dubai Real Estate Company, Damac Properties.

As part of the partnership, Donville Properties will now be able to let and manage properties in Dubai, on top of their vast Ugandan property listing.

According to the CEO of Donville Properties, Collins Muyanja, the company prides in managing and constructing some of the most luxurious properties on the land.

“Our partnership with Damac Properties has only served our long term purpose of extension. But we have always created experiences for people who appreciate and can actually afford luxury,” Muyanja said during a press conference.

Donville Properties aren’t just the leading solutions provider in Property Management. They also offer payment options that make it easier for people to access their services without straining their finances.

They have also since grown their portfolio to include construction, in order to properly effect their solutions across the different aspects of Real Estate Management. Through their construction arm, Donville Properties can now plan and execute to completion, the construction of rental, residential and commercial properties.

Their services in management cut across; assessing your property’s current market rental value, Marketing your property for rent, Find and select suitable tenants, Collect rent, Routine inspections, Arrange repairs and maintenance, Payments and statements, Oversee final inspections and end of tenancy matters, Search for new tenants at the end of the existing tenancies, House keeping, Car washing etc.

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Ascenify Uganda set to hold online class on Personal Financial Management

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Phillipa Wavamunno

Phillipa Wavamunno, a banker and businesswoman, will be one of the class facilitators.

By Our Reporter

What a ‘year’ these first six months of 2020 have been! The COVID-19 ‘new normal’ era has made us to get cracking and find new and innovative ways to survive a lot of unexpected disruption. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything!

Now is the time to take a fresh look at our finances and get smart about how we will manage the months to come.

Ascenify Uganda, a Personal Development and Performance Management consultancy firm, is offering a Financial Management Class designed to provide practical skills on how to save and grow your money. The class will be held on 11th July 2020 online via Zoom starting at 9 am.

Two financially-savvy facilitators, Lynda Nabayiinda Were and Phillipa Wavamunno Byamah, are combining their many years of experience in banking, business management and finance to take participants through the essentials to get budgeting and investments in order at this critical time.

“The course will make you look at budget and financial planning in a whole new light,” says Phillipa Wavamunno, one of the class facilitators and founding member Ascenify.

Now is the time to apply proven financial methods to the economic madness facing so many people in Uganda and across the world. By registering for this online class, you could get the training you need so that not even a world pandemic can catch you off guard again.

Ascenify Uganda focuses its lessons on four pillars: Personal Development, Performance Management, Leadership Skills and Financial Literacy.

Ascenify’s strength lies in its knowledgeable directors, who bring decades of professional banking, investment and business management experience. These women have achieved excellence in the banking sector, consulting and managing their own personal businesses. They also partner with other highly skilled and sought after international consultants, which together can offer best practices and transfer knowledge from across the globe.

This one-day course will cost 100,000 UGX, however, there is a 25% discount on early bird tickets. Sign up here.

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