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Uganda’s top farmers rewarded

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dfcu Bank rewards Uganda’s top Farmers

By Our Reporter

For the 6th year running, dfcu Bank in partnership with Vision Group, KLM Airlines, Koudjis and the Netherlands Embassy has awarded Uganda’s best farmers country wide through an initiative dubbed ‘Harvest Money’. As part of the activities, farmers were called upon to participate in a competition aside from the farming training conducted throughout the year.

The initiative aims to highlight the contribution of agriculture to the development of the economy and also change the negative perception that most Ugandans hold towards agriculture as not being a good career option.

According to the United Nations, the world needs to produce around 75 per cent more food over the next 40 years just to keep in line with the global population growth, which is expected to top 9 billion by 2050. In fact, the East African region is home to more than 145 million people and growing. Uganda’s agriculture gross domestic production is estimated at more than USD 3 Billion.

At face value, growing populations and rising affluence across the African continent means there are enormous opportunities for agricultural produce.

During the panel discussion, different challenges were sighted that the agricultural sector currently struggles with, among which are; poor organisation and management of cooperatives and farmer groups, inadequate and or ineffective policies, poor quality inputs, uncontrolled and uncoordinated production, lack of expertise of financial institutions in managing agricultural loan portfolios, and lack of access to capital due to limitations of bank acceptable collateral.

In his speech dfcu Bank’s CEO, Mathias Katamba reiterated dfcu Bank’s commitment to supporting agricultural development in the country. Additionally, dfcu Bank with support from Rabobank, established a dedicated agribusiness unit in 2013, which is tasked with product development, deal structuring, new client acquisition, act as a knowledge centre for internal consultations and support internal staff training and capacity building. The agribusiness unit supports all agri customer segments with dedicated relationship managers for the corporate and commercial clients while the retail clients are served by agricultural loans officers that sit in the different branches.

“We have a strong heritage as a provider of affordable financing to viable private sector projects. For the last 55 years, dfcu has transformed several commercial agri- Business enterprises in Uganda and is associated with many success stories. Using our suite of flagship products like leasing, term loans and Trade Finance, we provide a mix of working capital, medium and long-term funds to match the business needs of large scale agricultural enterprises.” He said.

This year, the overall winner was Anthony Mateega of St. Anthony Agribusiness Enterprises from Mpigi District, the second overall winner was Charles Byarugaba a catechist from Kabale who produces potato seeds for sale beside his pastoral work. The third winner was Musasizi from Busembatia.

Vision Groups’ CEO. Robert Kabushenga commended the sponsors for supporting the competition. “In just six years, the reputation of farming which had been tinted has been transformed. For the last 40 years, people were told to study degrees and wait for white-collar jobs, but now they are into farming and making money,” Kabushega said.

He also said that because of the competition, people’s lives have changed and farmers are earning the respect they deserve in society.

The top three winners have been awarded cash of up to 150 Million and an all-paid trip courtesy of the partners together with the top 10 winners from the different regions.

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Entertainment News

Airtel Uganda launches free TV app

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Airtel Uganda MD V.G.Somasekhar addresses guests at the launch of the Airtel TV App held at the Ndere Cultural Centre on Thursday.

Airtel Uganda MD V.G.Somasekhar addresses guests at the launch of the Airtel TV App held at the Ndere Cultural Centre on Thursday.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has launched a Live TV and Video on Demand (VOD) service offering a premium mix of local and international content sourced from some of the largest studios across the globe.

Named Airtel TV,  it is available only to Airtel Uganda subscribers and is designed to add value to the high quality streaming while promoting local content and talent in one convenient and easy to access package free of charge only requiring the users to have an active data bundle.

Speaking during the launch, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G Somasekhar noted that Airtel TV is the embodiment of convenient and affordable entertainment.

“The platform will deliver the very best of entertainment experience directly to all Airtel customers across the country. With our 4G network, subscribers to Airtel Tv will enjoy a seamless viewing experience without and interruptions. We are confident that the platform will delight, entertain and inspire Airtel customers as it offers first-class entertainment.” He said.

Somasekhar also noted that the App is Airtel’s contribution to the development and promotion of local content in Uganda.

“This App will have different local news, music, Ugandan comedy and movies, in addition to streaming of sports, video-on-demand and many other offerings. We encourage Uganda’s local content producers to utilize this platform for revenue,” he added.

Users on Airtel TV can watch movies — Ugawood, Nollywood and Bollywood among others, Bloomberg, Trace (Urban, Africa, Mziki, Tropical, Gospel, and Sports Stars), Gametoon, Fashion Box, Nautical, God TV, Inspiration TV, and Al Jazeera, among others.

To access Airtel TV, Airtel Uganda subscribers can download the Airtel TV App from Play store for Android or iOS for iPhone, enter their Airtel number and the OTP SMS received. Subscribers will then be able to stream and watch all channels available on the App as long they have an active data bundle.

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Local Business

Freelyformd: A consultancy firm reinventing delivery of IT Solutions in Uganda

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By Our Reporter

Software development and incorporating IT solutions in business has over the years become integral and a driving mechanism for the sustainable growth of any company, especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Founded in 2017, Freelyformd is a Ugandan-headquartered provider of IT consulting services and custom software development with IT professionals located internationally.

The company handles complex business challenges, building all types of custom and platform-based solutions and providing a comprehensive set of end-to-end IT services with customer satisfaction in mind.

Freelyformd brings custom and platform-based solutions to large and mid sized companies in Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Telecom and other industries.

From the development stage to the end result, the client is able to interface with the developing team which creates a bond like no other. Freelyformd offers services such as dedicated developer teams, Mobile App Development, Web applications and Website Design, Enterprise software development, software testing & QA, Security Audit, IT Consulting, DevOps,
USSD, and Startup partnerships.

The company has experience and the expertise to build custom web & mobile solutions of any kind for any client as well as IT consulting, software development and testing as can be testified by many clients.

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Local Business

NSSF members urged to embrace new technology

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NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba

By Our Reporter

The National social security Fund has asked all its members (employers and
employees) in the Western region to embrace and skillfully utilize their available technological innovation especially their online channels and platforms. This was accentuated during the NSSF western regional employer meeting which was held at Hotel Triangle in Mbarara on Tuesday.

This meeting was the fourth in the Western region and the second of its kind to take place in Mbarara town. The NSSF Western belt is comprised of districts like Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kanungu, Kabale Kisoro and Fort portal.

“We must accept that the environment of doing business has changed due to the sophisticated technological progressions that are happening now, we as NSSF, have pushed for a paperless economy in all our branches, therefore we request all our customers to appreciate our e-services for a better service delivery,” Managing Director, Mr. Richard Byarugaba said.

The Fund’s current statistics show that 70% of their members access their services such as self-registration, clearing remittances and checking balance statements via their online portal whereas only 30% are still visiting the branches for services.

According to Mr. Geoffrey Ssajjabi, NSSF Head of Business, this percentage is promising but it’s not their target, therefore, for them to be able to hit their intended target of 100% e-services, members have to appreciate the existing Fund’s online channels and interact with them more often.

Mr. Byarugaba highlighted the key importance of the online tools such creating customer satisfaction, saves money and time, staff and customer convenience.

Members in the Western region have expressed their sincere gratitude to the fund for always being transparent and interactive with its members on issues that need clarity.

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Local Business

dfcu Bank rewards winners of Investment Club App

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank has rewarded six Investment Clubs with cash prizes for emerging the winners of the Bank’s Investment Club campaign dubbed “Bonanza ne Investment Club App”. The two-month campaign which was aimed at encouraging Investment Clubs to grow their savings attracted participation from existing and new Savings Groups across the country.

The Clubs received UGX 1,000,000/- each, which was presented to them during a financial literacy session organized by the Bank under the theme, “Building and growing the Investments Engine.” The session was also attended by over sixty Investment Clubs.

The six campaign winners included; Eight Investment Club, Ngeye Kwagalana Association, Moside Savings and Investment Club, Ladies Together Investment Club, Da Climbers Investment Club, and Fontaine Ladies Association Limited.

In November 2019, dfcu Bank launched its Investment Club App as part of efforts to leverage technology in advancing financial inclusion. With more than 24,000 Investment Clubs, the App is instrumental in simplifying the day to day management of group savings.

Speaking during the session, Robert Wanok dfcu Bank’s Head Personal and Business Banking encouraged the groups to take advantage of opportunities that foster individual and combined growth. He also applauded them for their commitment to growing their respective club savings, which was a key aspect of the campaign.

“On behalf of dfcu Bank, I congratulate our winners and commend their dedication to boosting their financial standing. The success of Investment Clubs is determined by the discipline and commitment of their members. The success of many is made possible by combining the efforts of many and the success of this campaign is a testament to this fact,” Wanok said.

Pamela Nakityo, Senior Manager Investment Clubs and SACCOs at dfcu Bank noted that the Bank has made significant progress in growing a culture that promotes group savings.

“Over the past 13 years, dfcu has not only introduced the Savings and Investment Clubs Product to customers across the country, we have been part of initiatives such as Battle for Cash which directly benefit these groups with funding as well as learning opportunities,” she said.

She also noted that as part of dfcu’s commitment to driving financial inclusion, the Bank extends several benefits to its customers including regular and free financial literacy sessions which are free of charge, mentorship and coaching from expert consultants as well as financial support to grow their savings and investment portfolios.

423 members in 76 clubs have benefited from the financial literacy session since January 2020, with over 5,000 clubs and SACCOs expected to benefit by the end of the year.

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