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Ugandan Contractors have stepped up in terms of both quality and quantity and need to become main contractors – Guster Bukenya



By Reporter

The minister appealed to local contractors to deliver on time, quality, and quantity and meet standards as they are given advantages during public bidding.

The minister of trade and industry Amelia Kyambadde has urged local contractors to get informed about the tender opportunities.

“Local contractors should get well informed about the tender processes and where to address their grievances if they feel cheated,” Kyambadde said.

This was during a meeting held in Kampala to launch the First Uganda Contractors & Providers Summit.

The Ministry of Trade, Uganda Contractors & Providers and Beautiful Partners are organizing the first Uganda Contractors & Providers Summit under the theme:  ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda from a contractors’ perspective’.

Kyambadde said there are middlemen who are exploiting local contractors.  “Please be-ware of these middlemen. There is corruption in the tender process. They make bidding expensive, every bidding step you make they ask for money,” Kyambadde said.

The summit will take place from 12th to 13th November at Serena Hotel Kampala under the theme ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda from a contractors’ perspective’. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the guest of honour as the event presents a strong boost for Uganda’s local contractors and promote local participation.

The minister appealed to local contractors to deliver on time, quality, and quantity and meet standards as they are given advantages during public bidding.

She also urged public officials to make the bidding process easy for locals. “You make a contractor run from one ministry to the next looking for a signature that is a non- tariff barrier,” Kyambadde said.

Guster Bukenya, a representative of Uganda Contractors and Providers said they seek to create a platform to develop skills that can enable local contractors be part of the procurement cycle.

Bukenya said local contractors face financial challenges and other challenges that impact on their performance. “Contractors can play an important role in creating jobs, enable social and economic development,” he said.

“We want local contractors who are often made sub-contractors to grow and become the main contractors, local contractors have stepped up in terms of both quality and quantity,” Bukenya said.

The manager public and corporate affairs at the Uganda Revenue Authority Vincent Seruma said URA supports the BUBU policy. Seruma advised local contractors to comply with the tax system which will give them great opportunities to do business.

“Contractors can miss out on tenders because of not complying with the tax system. When you get into the bidding process you can grow and get markets in the region, the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area, we need to prepare for these markets,” Seruma said.

Benson Turamye, executive director Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) disclosed that President Yoweri Museveni has issued directive requiring furniture to be procured locally.

Turamye explained that the PPD Act provides for preference and reservation schemes that give advantages to local contractors and enterprises to outcompete foreign bidders on the pricing element by small margins.

He said tenders of sh45b and below for goods are reserved for local providers. While tenders for the provision of consultancy services of sh1b and below are reserved for local consultants.

He noted that foreigner firms that win tenders are required to subcontract 30% of it to local firms. He said the goal to support local contractors and providers was intended to promote wealth creation, technology and skills transfer.

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Local Business

Uganda TEF entrepreneurs seek government support in promoting youth empowerment



By Our Reporter

The Uganda Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurs led by United Bank for Africa management team on Tuesday met with the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, to discuss a possible partnership with the government of Uganda in a bid to promote youth empowerment through entrepreneurship.

The TEF beneficiaries in Uganda who recently formed a SACCO to enable access to funding to grow their businesses met with the Prime Minister to present their need for government support to promote a generation of job creators in the youth.

The government through the Office of the Prime Minister thereafter pledged to offer all possible support to the TEF beneficiaries in Uganda through financial engagements, to grow their start-up businesses beyond the boundaries of the country.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Johnson Agoreyo – CEO and Managing Director of UBA Uganda said that the bank will continue to support the TEF fund beneficiaries through trainings directly focused on needs of entrepreneurs in Uganda.

“UBA will continue to offer support to the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurs.”said Mr. Johnson Agoreyo.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Tony Elumelu Foundation and UBA for the support offered to the Ugandan entrepreneurs. He thanked the entrepreneurs for being organised and forming a Sacco. He also informed the young entrepreneurs that the government already has institutions in place to resolve some of their problems – such as the Microfinance Center, but further pledged the government’s additional support on all challenges raised.

Present at the meeting were the UBA MD, Mr. Johnson Agoreyo and staff of UBA Uganda, the Prime Minister of Uganda – Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister and select number of beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Uganda.

The TEF beneficiaries in Uganda have grown to 600, coming second after Nigeria. The entrepreneurs are selected from 54 African countries, after submitting an online application and are presented with seed capital, access to mentors and a 12-week business training programme on enrolment.

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Local Business

Airtel Uganda rolls out new Broadband Internet Solution for Homes and SMEs



Airtel Uganda Head of Broadband explains how the new Airtel broadband device works.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has today launched a new solution for homes, Small and Medium Enterprises that offers uninterrupted internet at affordable rates.

The Airtel Broad Band Outdoor Unit attracts a one-off entry cost of Shs280,000 inclusive of a 51GB of Data valid for 30 days, free installation and device maintenance.

The fixed internet device comes in a stylish/slim design and has the ability to connect 32 internet-powered devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, security cameras and many others to internet.

Commenting about the new solution, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar said the solution is ideal for businesses particularly SMEs that need a reliable, fast internet for uninterrupted operations adding that it as well addresses the need for the smart home allowing simultaneous connections for streaming online content, e-entertainment; while still acting as a WiFi Router for the entire house at the same capped monthly cost.

“The solution offers the best internet experience at the most affordable rate of less than Shs2,000 per GB,” he noted.

Hon. Werikhe Kafabusa, the State Minister For Trade, lauded Airtel Uganda for the substantial investment in innovations geared towards the economic development of Uganda through small and medium enterprises.

“SMEs form a major block of Uganda’s economy contributing immensely to the development of our country. Technology and Innovation are some of the drivers of socio-economic growth and transformation the world over. In Uganda specifically, the growth of the ICT innovation ecosystem has mainly been private sector led. This is an indicator of a conducive investment climate and I am happy to see a telecommunications company like Airtel using this environment to improve lives of the citizens,” he said.

Initial roll out is in Kampala for the pilot.

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



By Reporter

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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