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Uganda Airlines acquires new planes, to expand route network

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By Our Reporter

Uganda Airlines has acquired two new Bombardier CRJ900s, growing their fleet to a total of 4 planes. The new planes were officially received on Monday afternoon and were welcomed with the customary water salute at Entebbe international airport in a ceremony that was attended by different government representatives, officials in the aviation industry as well as other dignitaries.

Addressing guests at the ceremony, Uganda Airlines CEO, Cornwel Muleya said, “With the addition of the new aircraft to the fleet, the carrier will expand its route network to cover several other destinations in Southern and Central Africa to include, Kinshasa in DRC, Zanzibar, Asmara in Eritrea, Hargeisa in Somaliland, Lusaka in Zambia, Harare in Zimbabwe, Johannesburg in South Africa, Djibouti and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.”

“Other international destinations will be added to the network on acquisition of two (2) Airbus A330-800neo wide-body aircraft, slated to join the Uganda Airlines fleet in the latter half of 2020.” He added.

The CRJ900 planes come with 76 passenger seats; 12 business class and 64 economy class.

Uganda Airlines received its first two aircraft, earlier this year, on April 23rd, but would later commence commercial operations on 28th August and currently operates direct flights from its hub in Entebbe to and from Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Bujumbura and Mogadishu.

The Board Chairman, Uganda Airlines, Hon. Ahabwe Godfrey Pereza in his speech said, “We are committed to seeing Uganda Airlines excel in its operations and in the provision of services which fall within the expected international standards.”

“Our growth and success as an airline facilitate the growth and success of our country, through the promotion of our tourism industry and building relationships between Uganda and other countries. We, as the board, commit our efforts to ensuring that our cranes stay in the sky,” he added.

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Local Business

Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) gets First and only Automatic blood components separator and three blood refrigerators from MTN Foundation

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By Staff Writer

  • This follows an agreement between the MTN Foundation and Ministry of Health to purchase an automatic blood plasma extractor machine and 3 refrigerators to improve the blood processing and blood storage. 
  • In July 2019, MTN Foundation availed UGX. 347 million for the purchase of the equipment. The MTN Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte handed over the cheque to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwiine.
  • The beneficiary blood banks/hospitals include; Nakasero blood bank, Mbarara Regional referral Hospital, Mbale Regional Referral Hospital and Arua Regional Referral Hospital.

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over blood processing and storage equipment to the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) to improve the blood processing and blood storage respectively. The equipment comprising of an automatic blood plasma extractor machine and 3 refrigerators was handed over to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of health in a ceremony held at the UBTS headquarters in Kampala today. 

This follows the telecom company’s pledge in July when it availed UGX. 347 million to procure the equipment. The automated plasma extractor will be stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank while the three blood storage fridges will be delivered to the regional referral hospitals in Mbarara, Mbale and Arua. The Mbarara Regional blood bank received their refrigerator last week. The other two blood banks are set to receive theirs in due course.

While handing over the equipment, Ms. Enid Edroma, the General Manager, MTN Corporate Services reiterated MTN Uganda’s commitment to supporting government’s push towards meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No.3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages. 

“We are proud of this partnership with the UBTS and the Ministry of Health in completing efforts to make available this scarce resource of blood,” Ms. Edroma said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Dr. Gilbert Sande a laboratory scientist and logistics officer at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services noted that the blood component extractor would be used for processing of blood to extract components of red and white blood cells and platelets for the Nakasero blood bank.

“The old machine was manual, laborious and could process one unit of blood in hours. This new machine from the MTN Foundation is automatic and processes a unit of blood in less than 10 minutes. That means we shall be able to get more components to save patients, especially the cancer patients who need platelets the most,” Sande said.

The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government health initiatives: Early this Month, the MTN Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Health unveiled their progress of the plans to implement maternal health projects to a tune of UGX.1.33 billion. While UGX. 600 million was raised from the 2018 MTN Kampala and Regional Marathons, the other half is a top up from the MTN Foundation.

The funds are being used to complement efforts by the Ministry of Health to improve service delivery in 5 Health Centre IV facilities across Uganda namely Muyembe HC IV in Bulambuli district, Pakwach HC IV in Pakwach district, Kalangala HC IV in Kalangala district, Karugutu HC IV in Ntoroko district and Kawempe Women and Children Hospital in Kampala.

Early this year, the MTN Foundation refurbished eight Maternity wards in eight health center III facilities across the country during the MTN 20th anniversary celebrations. Arua, Gulu, Lira, Kabarole, Hoima, Kiruhura, Kabale and Budaka are the districts that were reached during this initiative. 

In addition to renovating and refurbishing maternity wards, the MTN Foundation also provided selected facilities with solar energy, water and sanitation facilities to ensure that mothers not only plan for their pregnancies but give life in dignity and comfort.

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Local Business

Ugandan agricultural firm wins American Award for Corporate Excellence in Sustainable Operations

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Farmers being trained at the Asilis Farms in Kigumba.

By Our Reporter

Agilis Partners (Agilis), a Uganda-based food and agriculture enterprise, has been announced winner of the 2019 United States Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence in Sustainable Operations (ACE). ACE recognizes American-owned companies that lead in spurring the sustainable development of the local communities in which they operate.

Agilis is a leading wholesaler of grains and pulses sourced from smallholder farmers and its own 13,500 acres of primary production. Through trainings on sustainable cultivation and post-harvest handling practices, the company empowers rural communities to achieve bigger harvests on healthier soils. Agilis’s mission is to empower Ugandans to sustainably feed Africa.

“Agilis is committed to leveraging our unique business model, fueled by private capital, to transform rural communities and catalyze a more food-secure Africa. We are humbled and honored to have the U.S. Government recognize our efforts,” said Benjamin Prinz, Co-Founder of Agilis.

Established in 1999, the ACE seeks to highlight ways in which companies represent American values in the way they do business, in line with international best practices such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

“Uganda has unique potential to nourish a growing Africa. We are excited to partner with Ugandans to unlock the potential in an inclusive and sustainable way,” said Philipp Prinz, Co-Founder of Agilis.

Agilis prides itself as an American-Ugandan company. Agilis and its subsidiaries are members of The Grain Council of Uganda, a leading force in formalizing the Ugandan grain industry. Progressive policies implemented by H.E. the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and Ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Finance have created a positive investment environment for businesses like Agilis.

Agriculture is one of the most vital sectors of the Ugandan economy contributing about 20% of its GDP and accounting for about 48% of exports. The agriculture sector employs 73% of the population with close to 4 million households surviving on small-scale farming. Agilis envisions a food system in which these households participate in the prosperity Ugandan agriculture offers.

“Over 60% of Ugandans are employed in the agricultural sector but less than 5% are in wage earning jobs in the sector. That means that the population is spending a lot of time in agriculture but not in a commercial setting. We are creating the gateway for employees to flourish,” Eduardo Browne, Co-Founder of Agilis explained.

Past winners of the ACE include General Motors, Colombia, Motorola, Brazil, Coca-Cola, Egypt and Ford Motor Company, South Africa, among others.



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Local Business

Equity bank rebrands

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Equity Bank Kenya Board Chairman Prof. Isaac Macharia and Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi take a selfie with the newly unveiled Equity identity at the Group headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Our Reporter

Equity Group Holdings Plc has unveiled a new unified brand identity, signalling its next frontier in delivering a seamless customer experience across markets and across demographic segments.

Speaking while unveiling the new identity in Nairobi, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi said that the new identity matches the new realities, business model, customer segments and preferences, and the evolving digital space.

He also noted they have preserved the essence of the Groups brand retaining the best heritage from the past, while introducing the best of the future.

Equity maintains that the fresh identity will enable it to focus on key areas that will see it remain relevant diverse and current consumer needs. This, it adds, will be achieved through spurring economic growth by empowering consumers; businesses and enterprises through innovative solutions, infusing digital capabilities at all touch points, while nurturing existing and building new relationships.

In a bid to unlock new opportunities within the growing digital banking space, Equity will continually focus on operational efficiencies, driven through innovations and re-engineering of its value chain. Customers will be further enabled to interact with the bank on self-service channels of mobile and internet devices or on the 3rd party low variable cost infrastructure.

With operations strategically located in 9 countries in Eastern and Central Africa namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and now Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia, the new look and outlook come with the promise of accelerated growth and expansion, while delivering financial tools designed to unlock social economic potential, create wealth and accelerate transformation of households and enterprises across Africa.

The refreshed look will first roll out in Kenya where the story of the Equity brand started 35 years ago and eventually in all other markets where the Group has established its presence in Africa.



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