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UBA Group expands banking operations to the UK

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By Our Reporter

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Three weeks after the UBA group launched its operations in Mali, the global financial city of London hosted a high level gathering of business and public sector leaders on Thursday February 28, 2019, as the new UBA franchise, UBA UK was formally birthed in the United Kingdom amidst high expectations.

At the upscale ceremony which was held at The Prestigious Shard in the city of London, UBA UK was formerly introduced to business leaders across Europe and Africa with a commitment from the UBA Group of its readiness to galvanise trade and commerce between Europe and Africa.

The formal launch is sequel to the authorization of the Prudential Regulation Authority(PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) for UBA UK Limited to carry out full scale wholesale banking across the United Kingdom.

With this launch, UBA Group further consolidates its unique positioning as the first and only Sub-Saharan African financial institution with banking operations in both the United Kingdom and the United States, thus reinforcing its strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the world.

Speaking at the event, the Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu said the Group is excited by the authorization of the relevant regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom for UBA to upgrade its operation and further fulfil its aspiration of deepening trade and investments flows between Africa and Europe.

“The enhancement of our business in the United Kingdom is very timely and mutually beneficial for African and European corporates as well as respective governments. With the British and other European governments seeking new and improved measures to grow trade relations with Africa, we are enthusiastic on our positioning and capabilities in supporting corporates and government institutions to fulfil these lofty aspirations, which we believe are pertinent for the sustainable growth of both continents.”

Elumelu expressed that he is extremely pleased as UBA is living up to its mantra of being Africa’s global bank and positioning itself to support investors in key financial centres across the world.

Also speaking at the event, The Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said “Simultaneously, we are serving the trade and capital needs of our African customers, who are seeking exposure to the European markets. With the upgrade of UBA UK Limited, we are excited to deepen our support to existing customers whilst also providing the leverage for new customers to effectively fulfil their cross-border transactions through UBA Group’s network.”

On his part, the CEO, UBA UK, Mr. Patrick Gutmann, said; “We are now on a stronger footing, as the authorization of the PRA and FCA for an enhanced business model affords us the opportunity to swell our capital and balance sheet as well as the broader UBA Group’s network across Africa. We welcome our existing and new customers to this new world of borderless opportunities, as we creatively serve our customers in meeting their international transaction needs.”

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Local Business

NC Bank partners with JCB to make it easier to acquire construction equipment

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NC Bank Managing Director, Sam Ntulume addresses media.

NC Bank Managing Director, Sam Ntulume addresses media.

By Our Reporter

NC Bank has partnered with Ganatra Plant & Equipment Limited (GPE), the sole authorised distributors for the JCB brand in Uganda and Kenya, to make it easier for individuals and SMEs to acquire construction equipment.

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The partnership which was officially signed on Tuesday at the JCB showroom located along Kampala road will see JCB customers receive financing for equipment with a 5 percent subsidy on the customer’s contribution per equipment. The total subsidy is to be used as a deposit enhancement for the minimum contribution or in addition to the customer’s contribution.

While addressing media, NC Bank Managing Director, Sam Ntulume said that this partnership will go a long way in supporting businesses to acquire the equipment needed which will play a big part in helping them grow and expand their business.

“We believe this scheme will benefit all players in the construction industry; both individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who want to grow their businesses and acquire new assets, but face strained cash flows. Through this partnership, they will now have an opportunity to purchase equipment to expand their business when they have less deposit amounts”, Ntulume said.

“Every loan will be considered on a case by case basis. We will consider your cash flows and structure the facility in a manner to fit with in it. Therefore the payment could be monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your cash flow.” He added.

JCB General Manager, Ms Ashiana Jivraj expressed excitement about the partnership and noted that this will enable SMEs and local contractors to acquire quality construction equipment even when they are unable to raise the required deposit.

“The partnership between NC Bank and JCB through GPE will offer a fixed total subsidy per unit on a deal by deal basis to customers who qualify under the bank’s credit approval,” she noted.

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Local Business

MTN Foundation refurbishes Kamukira hospital in Kabale

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The MTN Foundation has handed over a refurbished and furnished Kamukira Health Centre IV in Kabale District to the health centre administration.

By Our Reporter

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The MTN Foundation has handed over a refurbished and furnished Kamukira Health Centre IV in Kabale District to the health centre administration. The health centre got a complete facelift after MTN Foundation committed Shs 300m for the cause that also included donating items like beds, mattresses, bedsheets, blankets and mosquito nets. This event took place on Friday, 27th February 2019 at Kamukira Health Centre IV in Kabale District.

“Through the MTN Foundation, MTN Uganda continues to show its commitment towards improving the livelihoods of Ugandans. We identified this health centre because it had an urgent need and services quite a number of people. The MTN Foundation refurbishments will go a long way in improving the services offered by the health centre,” said Gordian Kyomukama, the Acting CEO MTN Uganda.

The donation formed part of the MTN at 20 celebrations that are taking place in Kabale through the MTN Expo currently ongoing at the Kabale Stadium. Since October 2018, MTN Uganda has been celebrating 20 years of operating in Uganda. The regional expos are part of the celebration until 25th May 2019 and Kabale was the first stopover.

The regional expos are part of MTN’s indication that it remains committed to operating in Uganda for years to come.

“We have been celebrating the connections made of the last 20 years. The MTN customer has been able to connect because they are on the network. However, that is not all a telecom should do. Through the MTN Foundation, we are ensuring that connect communities to essential health and education services among others,” said Charles Mbiire, the Chairman MTN Uganda.

The handover ceremony was graced by The Prime Minister of Uganda, Right Honourable Ruhakana Rugunda. Rugunda commended MTN Uganda for the work to foster communication in Uganda and for the several initiatives to improve the livelihoods of Ugandans.

“I once again commend the MTN Foundation for this great work and for the demonstration of great corporate social responsibility by contributing to the improvement of health care of the disadvantaged communities in Uganda.

“We look forward to even more support from our friends at MTN Uganda and hope that even other companies will follow their example for the greater development of our country,” he said.

The MTN Foundation is expected to carry out charitable events as part of the activities to mark 20 years in Uganda. The remaining expos will take place in Gulu, Lira, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Arua, Hoima and Mbale districts.

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Local Business

Airtel takes internet to Kampala’s public libraries

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Airtel Uganda CSR Manager Mrs Bukenya with students at the community center

Airtel Uganda CSR Manager Mrs Bukenya with students at the community center.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has introduced free unlimited WiFi internet to two major public libraries in Kampala, granting users access to high speed internet connectivity.

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The two libraries include; Uganda Community Libraries Association in Kawempe and National Library of Uganda along Buganda Road. The company is in the last stages of connecting the KCCA Library.

The Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, which aims at scaling up ICT in education, is in line with Airtel’s efforts to provide modern internet connectivity.

Speaking at the launch event held at Uganda Community Libraries Association of Uganda, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar said the initiative will enhance user experience in public libraries. “The libraries will be connected to internet with a capacity of 10Mbps. With this connectivity, users in the libraries will enjoy an improved experience in internet-based research, online book access and reading thus boosting digital education in Uganda,” he said.

Commenting about the initiative, Mr. Justine Kiyemba, the Chairman of Uganda Community Libraries Association said; “The youth are a very important pillar and enabler of development in Uganda. With access to the internet, service delivery especially in education will be enhanced to the benefit of the community and the nation. I thank Airtel for their commitment towards the development of Uganda,” he commented.

Esther Kyazike, the Treasurer of the Board of Uganda Community Libraries Association and the Manager of the Library thanked Airtel Uganda for this initiative. “At the Kawempe Youth Center, young people come in to learn a number of life lessons as well as skills necessary for them to go through the complexities of growing up, handling life’s opportunities and challenges. I thank Airtel because with full time internet, we shall be able to complement the lessons we teach with documentaries and real-life lessons from across the world,” she noted.

The initiative comes on the heels of the launch of 100% 4G LTE coverage across the country making Airtel the first telco to achieve this milestone in Uganda.

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