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UDB Scores high with International Fitch Rating

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The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole (2nd from right) makes her remarks.

The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole (2nd from right) makes her remarks.

By Our Reporter

Fitch Rating, one of the top International Credit rating agencies worldwide based out of New York and London has assigned Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDB) a Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) of B+ with a Stable Outlook.

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A credit rating is an assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation. A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money — an individual, corporation, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government.

UDB is a state-owned development bank and its Issuer Default Ratings are driven by its Support Rating and Support Rating Floor of ‘4’ and ‘B+’, respectively, which reflects Fitch’s view of a high propensity of Ugandan authorities to support the bank in case of need. This is due to:

(1) UDB’s important, longstanding and clearly defined policy role in financing the country’s priority sectors as part of the bank’s mandate of contributing to economic growth and social development

(2) UDB’s 100% state-ownership

(3) Significant funding guarantees and ordinary capital contributions from the state.

UDB is Uganda’s primary development bank and its unique business model would be difficult to replicate by other domestic financial institutions. It is owned by government and overseen by the Ministry of Finance. Fitch Rating believes the sovereign funding guarantees that UDB receives will remain in place over the medium term. The bank’s policy role and strategic importance to the state is also evidenced by the government’s annual capital contributions, which have been committed until 2022. Fitch Rating’s assessment makes consideration for the government’s ‘B+’/ Stable IDR.

“The Stable Outlook on UDB’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating mirrors that on the sovereign,” the credit rating agency highlights.

The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole expressed pleasure upon this achievement. “This rating casts confidence in the institution in terms of our credit processes, governance and unwavering support from government, this process has provided our partners with an impartial opinion about the soundness of our business,” she remarked.

The Association of African Development Finance Institutions rating Uganda Development Bank Limited is a member of the The Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) and therefore adopted the Prudential Standards, Guidelines and Rating System (PSGRS) by which members assess themselves to the standards and guidelines for Development Finance Institutions across Africa. In adopting these standards and guidelines, UDB achieves two objectives in particular:

• Examine the institution’s operations in terms of how well they comply with good corporate governance principles and in identifying weak areas which need to be addressed.

• Assist Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and/or other supervisory authorities to custom-design supervisory procedures that better address some aspects of the Development Finance Institution’s operations that differ fundamentally from commercial bank operations.

In 2018, UDB was rated the Best Performing Development Finance Institution in Africa by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) with an A+ rating on its 8th peer review of AADFI member Institutions.

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MTN donates to Old Kampala Mosque and Kisenyi Health Center in Ramadan Drive

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MTN donates to Old Kampala Mosque in Ramadan Drive

By Our Reporter

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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.

MTN donates to Kisenyi Health Center in Ramadan Drive

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.

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Uganda Breweries partners with Kabaka Foundation to construct sanitation facilities in city markets

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By Our Reporter

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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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Sheraton hosts Muslim community to iftar dinner

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By Our Reporter

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Sheraton Kampala Hotel treated the Muslim community to iftar dinner as they broke their fast on Thursday evening. The dinner was held to thank their Muslim partners, clients and guests for the continued support to the hotel and to also wish them blessings during this holy month of Ramadan.

The dinner was a blend of Middle Eastern and Ugandan cuisine consisting of special and customized meals of starter, salads, condiments & dressing, soups, main course, carving, dessert and a variety of drinks.

While addressing the guests during the dinner, the General Manager, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Jean-Philippe Bittencourt encouraged the Muslims to keep up with the good spirit of brotherhood as they observe this Ramadan. He further thanked them for the immeasurable support to the Sheraton hotel and encouraged them to work as a team for peace and unity to be realized.

“To observe, this holy month, the hotel has set aside a special prayer place where our employees, guests and customers can say their prayer and break their fast. We have a designated area at the Victoria Restaurant where they can have a lavish buffet as they break their fast from Monday to Saturday,” Mr. Jean Philippe Bittencourt further noted.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and, is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam with the fast beginning at dawn and ending at set.

Sheraton hotel during this holy month of Ramadan has special daily Iftar menu packages for individuals, families, groups and companies hosting their Muslim clients or customers to a special dinner.

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