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Western Union partners with Airtel to enable customers receive funds directly on Airtel money account

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An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company's Premium shop at Forrest Mall

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company’s Premium shop at Forrest Mall.

By Our Reporter

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Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, and Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, have announced a strategic agreement to offer Western Union’s cross-border capability via the Airtel Money wallet, enabling customers to move money in real-time across 14 countries in Africa.

The collaboration with Airtel Africa will enable more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles to simply route any money transfer received from across the world into their wallets. The service will allow users to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their Airtel Money accounts. They can also use the funds to pay bills and merchants, top-up airtime and send money domestically and internationally. Service launch is expected in the course of 2020.

Global senders will also be able to direct international money transfers to Airtel Money mobile wallets using Western Union’s digital services in 75 countries plus territories, or the walk-in agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of tech leaders is helping Africa to connect to the global financial system and enables African companies like Airtel to pursue their global ambitions. It also drives financial inclusion and improve last mile access for millions of unbanked Africans to financial services,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is leading the way globally in mobile money and digital technology and is allowing the continent to leapfrog traditional barriers to development and accelerate economic growth. We are delighted to be part of this success story by leveraging our inclusive omnichannel approach and core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems – to enable international cross border money transfers and payments,” Ersek said.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said, “We are very excited to partner with Western Union to offer Airtel Money customers better access to one of the world’s largest money transfer organisations. International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership will give our customers the convenience and security of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets. They will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches.”

This tie up with Western Union adds to other tie ups that Airtel Africa has already put in place to help customers get inflows from across the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a home to the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is poised to create an entirely new development path harnessing the potential of its resources and people, according to the World Bank 1 . GSMA 2 project that in 2025, there will be nearly 6 billion unique subscribers, 5 billion mobile internet users and adoption of smartphones will reach nearly 80%.

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Local Business

University students to be equipped with financial literacy skills at 2020 NSSF Career Expo

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NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba addressing media at the launch of the expo at Makerere University Business School.

NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba addressing media at the launch of the expo at Makerere University Business School.

By Our Reporter

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The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Daily Monitor has kicked off a month-long career expo for university students countrywide. The expo, now in its 9th year, is intended to prepare students for the work place, equipping them with skills and knowledge to increase their employability.

Addressing media at the launch of the expo at Makerere University Business School, NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba said that this year’s expo will focus on entrepreneurship and financial literacy to prepare them to be financially independent.

Under Financial literacy, students will obtain knowledge on Personal finance management with topics that include Debt Management, Positioning oneself for higher Pay, and Habits of the financially intelligent.

“This is in line with the NSSF’s overall Financial literacy program, where we offer professional financial and investment advice to our members to enable them make better decisions when they get their retirement funds. We have therefore tailored the program to be relevant to university students during the expo.” Byarugaba said.

Other topics for discussion at the expo will include Self-start ups, a session on today’s job market and career advice from the best employers in the country.

The Expo will be held in 11 universities countrywide including Makerere University Business School, Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Ndejje University, Nkumba University, YMCA, Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, IUIU, Gulu University Mutesa 1 University and Bishop Stuart University.

The Nation Media Uganda Managing Director, Tony Glencross said, “The expo gives us an opportunity as media to bring to life the career advice we give weekly through our Friday paper. Through this platform, we are able to have an interactive session with our readers, especially the university students, to prepare them for the job market and life after university.”

Speakers lined up for the interaction with the students include financial literacy experts, employers from top organizations, and proprietors of successful local investments.

Over 10,000 university students are expected to attend the expo countrywide this year.

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MTN Uganda contributes Ugx 20 million towards boosting  palliative care in Busoga region

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By Our Reporter

The MTN Uganda foundation has boosted Palliative care activities in Busoga sub region with a shs 20million cash donation.

The donation was handed over to the Executive Director Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja by the CEO MTN Uganda Wim Vanhelleputte during a brief ceremony at the MTN Uganda offices at Nyonyi gardens.

Rays of Hope Hospice is a nongovernmental organisation that provides palliative care to improve the quality of life for people with life threatening illnesses and their families in Busoga region and the neighbouring districts.

“In 2019, 33% of our enrolled women with cancer suffered from cervical cancer and 21% had breast cancer so we started education and screening for early diagnosis and treatment for these two most common cancers in Uganda, but we are limited by financing a the need is very great. So we are grateful to MTN for coming to our rescue and call on others to join the struggle not just in Busoga but the whole country,” explained Sylvia Nakami, the Executive Director Rays of Hope Hospice.

“The absolute poverty and last mile isolation of our clients means ray of Hope Hospice is often our patients last hope for treatment and care making our work immense and a crucial challenge. We can’t do this all on our own but with support from everyone, we can save several lives,” Nakami further explained.

According to the lady, many of the victims are mothers or sexually active people. “If a mother dies leaving her children that will be another problem, that’s why we do everything we can to save the mother or if they don’t make it, at least it will be more dignified.”

Vanhelleputte said he was delighted to work with a partner that puts every cent they get into good use and promised to continue supporting the work of the NGO.

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Huawei applauded for contribution towards improving ICT and innovation in Uganda

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Hon. Rebecca Kadaga Making her remarks at the ceremony

Hon. Rebecca Kadaga making her remarks at the ceremony

By Our Reporter

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The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has applauded Huawei for their efforts in improving ICT and Innovation in Uganda.

The speaker who was the chief guest made these remarks at a donation ceremony that happened at Kamuli where Huawei handed over assorted equipment.

The donation was handed to Hon. Rebecca Kadaga by Mr. Liujiawei, Huawei Uganda’s Managing Director, in the presence of the LC1, LC5, and the area member of parliament among other leaders.

“On behalf of the government of Uganda, I continue to commend you Huawei for your great contribution to I.C.T and Innovation of this nation. We have indeed proved you as an industry leader because of your efficiency and timely implementation of the various projects and as a government we have a special relationship with you (Huawei). We thank you for your corporate social responsibility initiative that you have exhibited today,” said Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda

“I commend you for the Huawei ICT Academy that skills Ugandans and your intentions to take this program in Busoga University, I encourage you to keep going. I believe that this initiative is not only going to equip I.C.T skills but also create employment, innovation and general economic development,” she added.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Liujiawei, Huawei’s Managing Director expressed his deepest pleasure for the opportunity to give back to the people of Busoga.

“We hope to bring Uganda not only these specific materials, but also, more importantly, the development opportunities for the every Ugandan; Digital skills that bring capabilities
and seize opportunities; the connectivity and a better life for the future,” Mr Liu Jiawei said.

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Shell brings cheer to motorists

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Veronica Ndagire, one of the jackpot winners in the recently concluded Shell 10 Weeks of Cheer campaign.

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Vivo Energy Uganda, the company that distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants in Uganda, brought cheer to motorists with exciting rewards in their recently concluded Shell 10 Weeks of Cheer campaign.

The campaign which kicked off in December and ended with February saw customers who spent UGX50,000 at a participating Shell station handed draw coupons requiring them to enter the competition by sending a unique code and their license registration number to 8008 by SMS.

Through weekly draws, 10 lucky jackpot winners walked away with UGX 500,000 worth of fuel each.

“My work involves a lot of field work and we often have to use a car,” Veronica Ndagire,  a sales personnel who was one of the jackpot winners said. “One day, while filling up at a Shell fuel station in Namanve we were given scratch cards, and that is when I started sending messages.”

Ndagire revealed that she was skeptical about the promotion, and could not believe that she was one of the lucky jackpot winners.

“I even thought the promotion was not real and did not believe it when someone from Vivo Energy called me telling me that I had won fuel worth 500K.” She said. “I had almost shrugged it off, and then I received a message reminding me to go redeem my fuel.”

For Kugonza Jennifer, who had learned about the promotion through a friend, she had no doubts when she was told she was one of the winners.

“I was encouraged to participate in the promotion by my friend who had already won free fuel,” Kugoza said. “After sending messages for a week, I was also a winner. They called telling me I had won Ugx 500K worth of fuel.”

“I am really excited to have been one of the lucky winners and because of this I will always be a loyal Shell customer.” She added.

A total of 19,365 customers were rewarded with prizes worth UGX 500M during the campaign. The campaign spread cheer to all regions of Uganda with over 100 Shell stations countrywide participating to ensure convenience for customers across the country.

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