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Western Union Pays Tribute to First Responders & Essential Workers Globally

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By Staff Writer

Western Union provides fee reduction for frontline and essential workers as a part of company’s ongoing efforts to provide essential money transfers and payments services amid the COVID-19 pandemic


Western Union , a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, today announced a 50 percent fee reduction1 for front-line responders and essential workers sending money globally via any of the company’s digital channels for the next two weeks. The promotion is a small tribute by the company to these customers for their endless commitment to their local communities and dedication to maintain the infrastructure and resources necessary to keep local economies afloat. 

More than 65 percent of global citizens working and living across the world occupy roles as first responders or in essential service industries, according to Western Union’s business intelligence. These global citizens indexed high in such roles across major countries: 63 percent in the U.S.; 67 percent in the U.K; 68 percent in France; 70 percent in Germany; 62 percent in Australia; 58 percent in the UAE and 71 percent in Saudi Arabia. 

“Many of the world’s frontline or essential workers are global citizens who regularly send money to loved ones back home,” said Western Union President and CEO Hikmet Ersek. “At Western Union, our inspiration comes from our customers who trust us with their hard-earned money. We want to acknowledge their dedication to keeping remittances moving to the communities and economies around the world that depend on them the most and support them as they continue promoting the health and safety of the communities around them.”

In Uganda, remittances play an extremely important part of the economy – for the community here, remittances are often a lifeline,” said Jason Nass, Regional Director, East Africa Western Union. “The reduction in fees for frontline and essential workers around the world should help receivers locally in Uganda as they face the current pandemic.”

The fee reduction, valid with transfer code THANKS2020, applies to any transaction initiated in the majority of Western Union’s digital-enabled countries at westernunion.com or via the Western Union app, and received anywhere Western Union’s Global Network reaches: via bank account or wallet payout in more than 100 countries, as well as retail Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. The fee reduction will run from now until May 20, 2020 and is available to first responders representing medical, police, and fire department professionals as well as essential workers across food, transport, utility, and other essential industries, including manufacturing and construction.

Last month, Western Union announced the expansion of its digital money transfer services, the fastest-growing part of its business in 2019, to more than 75 countries. The end-to-end coverage ensures that these safe, convenient digital services are available to millions of the world’s most active money movers, especially during COVID-19. The company also last month announced, “Digital Location”, a phone-based concierge service meant to help customers complete digital transactions from the safety of their homes as well as home-delivery of remittance funds in some markets. 

Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, along with partners, have pledged more than US$1.0 million in the fight against COVID-19. The foundation is prioritizing initiatives that include strengthening healthcare systems around the globe, serving vulnerable populations, including refugees and migrants. Additionally, the Foundation will continue to support local and global nonprofit organizations providing access to essential services, including hunger relief, medical training, education, supplies and equipment for frontline healthcare workers.

In addition, Western Union Business Solutions’ WU® NGO GlobalPay platform has enabled NGOs to focus on the vital work at hand delivering critical international operations to support communities in need. Since 2012, more than 2,000 NGOs have sent nearly $8 billion around the world in 132 currencies to more than 200 countries, through the platform.

All of Western Union’s responses and initiatives related to COVID-19 may be accessed via our dedicated Resource Center here.

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Local Business

MTN donates food to Luzira Prison inmates in Ramadan drive

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MTN Uganda and its partner, Salaam Foundation have donated food packages to Luzira Maximum Prisons inmates.

By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda and its partner, Salaam Foundation have donated food packages to the Luzira Maximum Prisons inmates in a Ramadan drive that has seen them deliver similar packages to various vulnerable Muslim communities in Kampala and neighboring areas. This drive underscores the long-standing relationship between MTN Uganda and the Muslim community.

The food packages delivered to the inmates had rice, sugar, milk, cooking oil, maize flour, soap, tomatoes and onions. These food items are meant to help the Muslim inmates as they break their fast during this holy period of Ramadan.

Ismail Hamwada MTN’s Manager, Workforce planning said that it is only proper that people fasting have proper Iftar.

“It is the second time we are donating to Luzira prison during Ramadan. This is MTN’s way of celebrating with the Muslim faithfuls as they observe the holy month of fasting. We recently delivered similar consignment to Uganda police because of the good relationship with the security organs in the country.” Hamwada said.

On behalf of the Regional Prisons Commander, Ms. Akirapa Dinah Martha the senior rehabilitation and reintegration officer thanked MTN and its partner, Salaam Foundation for choosing prisons as one of their Ramadan beneficiaries.

“It is rare for people to think about people behind bars and we thank you for keeping the inmates in your thoughts especially during this Ramadan season,” Akirapa said.

Sheikh Muhammad Mulajje, the Cheif Imaam at the Luzira prisons mosque thanked MTN for the donation and prayed a blessing over the company for remembering the inmates.

Worth noting is that this year’s Ramadan has come at a time when the country is locked down due to the Covid19 pandemic that has made it hard for inmates to receive Iftar packages from their loved ones as movement is restricted. Therefore, the move by MTN and Salaam Foundation will go a long way in helping the Luzira Maximum prisons inmates that are observing the holy month through fasting.


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Celebrity Gossip

KUNTA PRODUCTIONS, the production company that has put smiles onto East Africans

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By Stuart G-Khast

Have you recently enjoyed the famous TV shows like the cool NBS TV’s “MTN Pulse rap battles”, Bukedde TV’s hilarious “Yolesa Ekitone”, or Urban TV’s massive national dance competition “DANCE OFF” TV show? Well, lately its becoming obvious tthe production house behind such large scale productions.

KUNTA AFRICA, which you may commonly have seen on your TV as “KUNTA PRODUCTIONS”, with a tagline “masokulutimbe” and a massive black baboon at the end of your favorite TV shows, is a Ugandan creative production house. It is behind some of the most popular TV series, and national talent competitions. Within a span of less than 10 years, they have produced many binge worthy TV shows like the crazy ‘ERIC’S GAME’ dating show and NORTHERN CONNECT both on NTVU, ENSITAANO, a TV game trivia show on Bukedde TV, NBS TV’s ‘GIRL TALK’ – a chit chat dialogue of beautiful campus girls, SMART KIDS and other shows like SUPERWORMAN, the UGANDA NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, “MTN’s Gaggawala” with 100million to give away, VUVUZELA NATIONAL SPORTS CHALLENGE, a sports quiz show where sports fans do push-ups while answering sports questions… and the list goes on.

 They have TV shows running across the East African Region in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania on major TV stations like Citizen TV Kenya, TV10 Rwanda etc. Ugandans can now be very proud to know that the biggest TV production house in East Africa right now, is Ugandan, and is run by its founder a one Lubwama Eric Michael.

With editing suites located in Kyanja and large production warehouse in Nakawa, KUNTA PRODUCTIONS is a full service production company, with start to finish, High Definition video production. They have created thousands of motion pictures for not only TV stations, but for many corporate companies, non-profit organizations and advertisers. This is an achievement for the fast growing media, TV and film industry in Uganda.

What is unique about KUNTA PRODUCTIONS’ work is that they are clearly very creative, and professional.  Their level of quality has only been imported in Uganda just a few years back. With such creative Ugandan minds and works, this gives a lot of hope that the East African film industry is growing very fast in comparison to other African regions. The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) encouraged Ugandan TV stations to air at least 70% of locally made content. Inspiring the growth of companies such as KUNTA PRODUCTIONS working hand in hand with our ever growing number of TV stations, we are more certain about the quality of TV content on our local TV stations.  This has also assured that videography is a more valid career option for young Ugandans. To check out some of their work, go to www.kuntaproductions.com

 

 


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CoronaVirus Uganda

BIC East Africa donates Ugx 50 million worth of pens to Ministry of Education

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BIC East Africa, manufactures of BIC pens, lighters, and shavers, has donated UGX 50 million worth of pens to the Ministry of Education & Sports.

By Our Reporter

BIC East Africa, manufactures of BIC pens, lighters, and shavers, has donated UGX 50 million worth of pens to the Ministry of Education & Sports. The donation comes in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that has left schools shut down.

Richard Mugenyi, the Bic Country Manager said the donation is aimed at boosting the government’s efforts in providing study material to students as they continue to stay grounded at home.

“We are making a donation of 100,000 BIC Pens to the Ministry of Education & Sport to help in the government program of providing study material during this lockdown. Our total contribution is equivalent to Ugx 50,000,000/=.” Said Richard Mugenyi while handing over the donation.

The donation which was handed over to Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday is in response to the President’s call to the private sector for support to government’s Coronavirus relief efforts.

The COVID-19 National Task force has so far received contributions in excess of Ugx 21 billon from individuals, corporate companies and well wishers.


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BigEye Money

StarTimes launches a “1 to 3” project to reward subscribers

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Find out information about Coronavirus in Uganda. More here.

By Reporter

We recently celebrated Mother’s Day despite the hard times considering the country is on lockdown and people must stay home. Family time is always warm, especially when everyone can leisurely enjoy watching the content he or she likes. To fulfil the viewing requirement of a family, StarTimes launched a “1 to 3” project available in long term, to reward each Pay TV subscriber with 3 free membership rights on the StarTimes ON App. With this reward, all the family members are able to watch their favorite content simultaneously on various devices.

The project aims at providing more possibilities and alternatives for all family members to enjoy their stay at home especially with the StarTimes ON App which has already been applied by over 20 million users in Africa. This handy application can provide the users with 150+ live TV channels and 20000hrs+ movies and TV series.

Simply link your smart card with the StarTimes ON app, watch all the VIP programs available on your TV bouquet on the app for free and enjoy the convenient self-service. One decoder can be linked to three different StarTimes ON accounts, so your family can enjoy exciting content at the same time on various devices. Enjoy happy moments anytime anywhere. Get the App now at http://bit.ly/2U3NPC8 or download it on Google Play and iOS App Stores.

Users of StarTimes ON can enjoy the same quality of HD performance of videos with less data consumption at around 30% compared to the other Apps in the same category. All content can be watched in HD or SD depending on your preference. Most content can be downloaded to your phone for later watching. These features make the StarTimes ON a desirable and convenient platform to be on during the pandemic.

“We appreciate the support of our audience and would like to have them rewarded with more access to the content during these tough times of the pandemic. The various ways in which different family members can watch and enjoy content via the Startimes ON App will be satisfactory.” said Isma Lule the Brand & Marketing Director at StarTimes Uganda. 


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