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Tecno Mobile, StarTimes & MTN donate computers to schools in Mukono

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Mr Mpuuga (Left), Hon. Charles Bakabulindi (Blue Suit) TECNO Country Manager, Mr Shiva Zhong and Cleopatra, StarTimes PRO manager

TECNO Mobile Uganda and partners MTN Uganda and Startimes have today donated computers to five secondary schools in Mukono district.

The donation comes from proceeds of the second edition of Heroes in Color Run, a charity event organized by Tecno. The charity event is organized in collaboration with partners to raise awareness about various problems. The event that took place in September 2019 under the theme “Digitalizing the Future”.

The beneficiary schools that will each get desktops are Namilyango College, Kasawo Secondary school, Kasana Vocational School, Sir Apollo Kaggwa Senior Secondary School, and St. Charles Lwanga Senior Secondary School. The donation is part of TECNO’s efforts to contribute towards the introduction of ICT in schools.

“The world is too digital to leave our youngsters illiterate about digitalization. Almost everything nowadays is digitalized. Let’s educate those around us the benefits of living a digital life and how best to embrace digitalizing the future.” Said Shiva Zhong, Managing Director Tecno Uganda.

Charles Bakabulindi presided over the handover the desktops to the schools.

“Heroes in color” run is Tecno’s way of saying “Together we can”. It’s also a way of saying thank you to all their loyal customers, stakeholders and well-wishers for supporting them to be number one smartphone brand in Uganda.

“Digital illiteracy in Uganda is real and we recognize that fact. This year’s Heroes in Color run was under the theme “Digitalizing the future” and we feel it’s time we paid more attention to this since this is where the world is heading. Our desire is to see that everyone in Uganda is digitalized so as to live a better life,” Zhong said.

“We cannot digitalize Uganda alone, so we are absolutely grateful to hundreds of customers who turned up for this year’s Heroes in Color Run.  We thank our partners; MTN and Startimes for believing in our dream and joining us on this journey. We believe this is just the beginning of a bright ICT future all over Uganda.”Zhong said that the company selected a few schools in Mukono as a starting point on a long journey of digitalizing the future and called upon everyone to join this journey of digitalizing the whole Uganda.

“Heroes in Color Run is an important event on our Calendar, because of its essence. It’s a day we meet with our customers for a noble cause. It reaffirms our mission as a technology brand that has been in Uganda for close to 11 years, our passion for technology is evident with what we have produced over the years and most importantly we are here to give our customers best smartphones and be part of the journey of digitalizing Uganda.” Concluded Shiva

MTN Uganda is delighted to be part of this initiative. Through our Corporate Social Responsibility arm; the MTN Foundation, has and continues to be at the forefront of driving ICT literacy in schools across the country.

MTN Uganda has over the years executed several ICT education themed interventions like the support to KCCA funded Primary Schools, Public Libraries, ICT training in Vocational Institutes including St. Simon Peter located in Hoima, Amelo Technical Institute in Adjumani and St. Daniel Comboni in Moroto, among others. The MTN ICT Bus has reached over 45,000 learners in rural schools in various parts of Uganda since 2013. The MTN ICT bus is a fully equipped bus with essentials in ICT learning. It traverses the country, teaching and providing practical ICT experiences to pupils.

“The journey to developing our country is a shared one, and that’s why this partnership with Tecno is quite symbolic of the good that people, corporate companies and institutions of our country can do when we combine efforts,” said Sen Somdev, MTN Uganda acting Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re definitely good together as a team”, he further remarked.

Headmaster Namilyangi college, Mr Mpuuga Constantine

Uganda developed its initial ICT national policy in 2003. The policy framework document recognized that Uganda would need to embrace the goal of “lifelong education for all.” The policy further addresses literacy improvement and human resource capacity-building with strategies that include Integrating ICT into mainstream educational curricula as well as other literacy programmes to provide for equitable access for all students regardless of level, developing and managing ICT centres of excellence to provide basic and advanced ICT training  to mention but a few.

While Uganda has had significant economic growth over the last decades, with a concomitant reduction of poverty, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It is, nevertheless, on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education and, according to the 2006 National Report,2 is committed to achieving the MDGs of universal completion of secondary schooling by 2015 and elimination of gender disparity in both primary and post-primary levels.

As Uganda adopts ICT in education, the country faces the same challenges as most developing economies – poorly developed ICT infrastructure, high bandwidth costs, an unreliable supply of electricity, and a general lack of resources to meet a broad spectrum of needs. However, with the rapid emergence of wireless network capacity and the ubiquitous growth of mobile phones, the context of the infrastructure is changing. A national ICT policy is in place and an education sector ICT policy is before Cabinet. The Ministry of Education and Sports is taking steps to co-ordinate ICT development and has allocated resources to support implementation of its ICT strategy.

In addition to all these strategies by government in conjunction of Ministry of education and sports, brands like TECNO and its partners; MTN and Startimes are helping to facilitate in the reduction of ICT illiteracy levels within Uganda by organizing such charity events like Heroes in Color Run.

StarTimes PR Manager Cleopatra Koheirwe said, “At StarTimes, we love to support great initiatives such as TECNO’s Heroes in Color Run. A cause that has to do with giving back to society and helping develop the youths matters a lot to us. This is why we were glad to be actively involved in supporting TECNO to “digitalize the future.” A lot has been said about ICT and how everything has gone digital these days which cannot be ignored. We have to keep up with the times. So it is of great importance that students learn computer skills and are technologically equipped in order to sustain themselves in this digital era. We congratulate the schools receiving computers and we hope that our contribution will go a long way in shaping their future.”

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Court dismisses charges against Development Channel bosses

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One of the biggest hindrances to development in Africa is government suspicious position towards the private sector.- President Museveni

This admonition by the President was clearly not heeded as countless government agencies used every apparatus available from media to police, State prosecution and more to malign the vision of Charles Lambert’s Development Channel.

In a case which was subsequently charged at the magistrate court, Nakawa, the court dismissed the accusations as the government prosecutors lacked any single presentation of proof of any wrong doing.

Speaking shortly after the verdict, Lambert had this to say ” They have only done the right thing by dismissing this ridiculous case. One year was wasted coming to this court for nothing. We are now focused on getting back to our mission and rekindling the fire within those who this malicious attack and blackmail grossly affected. We have also not ruled out the possibility of law suits against these agencies. There must be consequences of using your privileged position as a government official to destroy the work and investments of others”.

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USAID AND THE UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO ADVANCE THE TWO-WAY TRADE AND INVESTMENT GOALS OF PROSPER AFRICA  

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U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.  This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.  

 USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States.  The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.

 Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

 The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.

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USAID AND THE UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO ADVANCE THE TWO-WAY TRADE AND INVESTMENT GOALS OF PROSPER AFRICA  

Published

on

By Reporter

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U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.  This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.  

 USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States.  The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.

 Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

 The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.

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How Judiciary Reduced Salaries, Laid off Redundant Workers to Manage shs600m Shortfall of Wage Bill

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The top management of the Judiciary headed by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe approved the proposal to reduce salaries with minor amendments of judicial officers and also lay off workers deemed weak and redundant as acknowledged by their supervisors.

The decision was made to manage a shortfall of shs 600 million, a wage bill for staff on local contracts which accumulated beyond the institution’s budget provision.

As a result of this decision, the affected workers have since rushed to social media influencers to cry foul and also malign the Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana as having powers to determine salaries at the Judiciary.

However, this website landed on minutes drafted by a taskforce of five highly skilled officials within the judiciary and later approved by the top administrators in relation to streamlining the financial position of the institution.

Late last year, it was established that the wage requirement for staff on local contracts was more than the budget provision by over shs 600 million because the funds meant for other activities were being used contrary, to the law.

The decision to constitute the panel of five experts was hinged on the fact that some contracts of staff were already running, fortunately expiring in the middle of the Financial Year therefore this problem would be solved by rationalizing contract renewals due at the end of December 2019.

It was anticipated that this would be achieved by not renewing contracts of officers who had various weaknesses as raised in the reports from their supervisors, and those who were deemed redundant as reported by seine courts.

The five experts on the taskforce include:

Maureen Kasande, the Undersecretary/Chairperson

Justice Boniface Wamala, Judge of the High Court/ member

Ayebare Tumwebaze, assistant registrar/ member

Mrs Tummwine Apophia, Principal HRO/ secretary

Sulaiman Hirome, principal assistant secretary/ member

Opolot Simon Peter, principal economist/ member

The Task Force was tasked to review the applications for contract renewal and recommend those who were suitable for re-appointment with the view of;

Recommending only those who had satisfactory recommendations from their supervisors, ensuring that we fit within the wage bill and the establishment structure, harmonizing contract staff salaries with those on permanent and pensionable terms and the Task force submitted its report and some of the recommendations related to this subject matter include the following:

Contracts of all Office Attendants and Process Servers not to be renewed except for special cases.

This was based on the fact that redundancies were reported by various offices in this category.

Besides there is a good number of officers in this category on permanent and pensionable terms.

Renewal of contracts for Research Officers who are not attached to any Justice/Judge to be pended.

Officers whose positions were not vacant on the structure not to be renewed. These included; one Communications Officer and three Clerks of Works

Officers who did not meet the minimum requirements for the jobs and did not qualify for any other available positions not to be renewed. These included: Three Copy Typists and Ten Court Clerks.

Despite the above recommendations which were hoped to reduce the Wage Bill, on analysis, it was established that there is still a shortfall of over UGX 400m.

It was therefore decided that since contract renewals can have new terms, the salaries be reduced to enable us fit within the budget.

However, with the reduced salaries the judiciary still has a shortfall of about UGX 70m.

Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary spokesperson earlier weighed in on the taskforce’s decisions saying:

“It’s no secret the Judiciary engages some staff on short-term Local Temporary Contracts every year and performance reviews are conducted upon expiry of the contracts for purposes of weeding out those that fall short of the job requirements.

I’m aware that over 400 out of 508 staff who re-applied for their contract renewals at the end of 2019 luckily got renewals on recommendation from an Adhoc- Committee comprising senior Judicial and Administration staff.

The Committee however, recommended the non-renewal of some contracts for various reasons, including under performance or indiscipline, and redundancy. All the affected were individually notified in writing.”

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