By Our Reporter
Centenary Bank, the leading Microfinance institution in Uganda, in partnership with Shaka Zulu Foods Limited, a three-star restaurant in Bugolobi has rewarded Cente SupaWoman groups with assorted kitchen equipment worth Ushs. 20 million in celebration of International Women’s Day.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8th of March of every year, with the intention to honor women from different walks of life and who play an instrumental role in contributing to society in one way or another.
Beatrice Lugalambi, the General Manager Corporate Communications & Marketing at the bank in her remarks noted that women are taking more responsive roles in activities geared towards boosting the economy in various sectors which ties in tandem with this year’s International Women’s Day theme.
According to the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) report, Uganda was ranked in 1st position out of the 58 Countries that were assessed globally as the country with the highest number of women business owners.
However, women in Uganda, have continuously been challenged with access to affordable credit and apt financial literacy to be able to fund their businesses, efficiently run them and enable them grow and realize their dreams.
“Centenary Bank has continuously invested in women empowering programs in Uganda including financial literacy, funding of corporate social Initiatives aimed at training and improving the livelihood of Women and the girl child through the Cente Supawoman product,” Lugalambi highlighted.
While addressing the media, Kikungwe Umar, the Managing Director at Shaka Zulu Foods Limited, revealed that “Our decision to partner with Centenary Bank was informed by our knowledge of the women-focused initiatives championed by the bank in offering financial inclusion and women empowerment since there are immense opportunities for such businesses to thrive, given requisite support.”
Over the years, the bank has registered over 17,000 Supa women members, with over 5,000 that have accessed the bank’s credit services to start or boost their businesses.
aBi Development unveils new business plan as its celebrates 10th anniversary
By Our Reporter
Agricultural Business Initiative Development Limited (aBi), a multi-donor company, devoted to building a competitive, profitable and sustainable agriculture and agribusiness sector in support of equitable wealth creation in Uganda, marked 10 years of existence and unveiled a new 5-year business plan at a colourful stakeholder forum held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday.
The forum was presided over by Hon. Matia Kasaijja, the Minister for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development and attended by a cross section of aBi stakeholders including; Development Partners, Government MDAs, aBi Implementing Partners, Financial Institutions, agribusiness private sector and relevant agribusiness advocacy platforms.
While addressing the Forum, Sarah Walusimbi, Chairperson aBi said, “Over the period 2014-18 alone, aBi Development implemented around 130 matching grant projects with a total value of an estimated USh345bn to reach over 600,000 farmers and contribute to increase in employment, household incomes and Agribusiness.”
Walusibi added that, “The thrust going forward will see aBi supporting the introduction of new Fin-Tech enabled methods to broaden and deepen financial services in rural areas to drive financial inclusion.” Further noting that, “aBi Development through its Finance division is now in position to assist a wide range of Financial Institutions (FIs) to reach out and meet the needs of agricultural businesses ranging from additional income generating businesses to the medium sized industries.”
Ms. Walusimbi observed that the targeted outcome for the new strategy is to apply more innovative financing models to strengthen the agribusiness capacity of farmer organisations (FOs) considering that the former strategy of working with FOs and NGOs in order to serve the weaker and less commercially developed value chain actors was not very successful in transforming FOs into competitive players in market systems.
Explaining the transitioning of aBi, Josephine Mukumbya, the Chief Executive Officer, noted that, “As part of the 10-year journey, 2019 saw changes in aBi’s governance aimed at making it stronger, more efficient in its decision-making, and more sustainable. In September, aBi Trust completed its transition to a new vehicle called aBi Development Ltd, a company limited by guarantee leading to the voluntary wind up of the Trust. It also birthed a new Business Plan 2019/23 currently being implemented with support from our development partners and Implementing partners.”
Since inception in 2010, aBi has channeled development funding as matching grants and Business Development Services to agricultural producers and agribusinesses to enhance their management, production, productivity, value addition, income, profitability and employment.
In his remarks, the chief guest, Hon. Kasaija, on behalf of the government commended aBi and all the development partners that have supported aBi since inception and the agricultural sector in general, namely; Governments of Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Germany, UK and European Union. “Your support towards the operationalization of the existing development cooperation agreement has supported the implementation of the National Development Plans (NDP) and the Uganda Vision 2040. In addition, by aligning your development support to the national development priorities, you are helping in transforming Uganda from a peasantry to a modern and prosperous country.” He said.
Hon. Kasaija highlighted Uganda government’s contribution to the sector. He said that, “Government is financing value chains mainly through interventions at the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant ministries, Operation Wealth Creation, NAADS and Agriculture Credit Facility (ACF) housed in Bank of Uganda,” adding that, “Under the ACF, its uptake by government and partners has steadily increased and this is reflected in portfolio of loans disbursed amounting to UGX 331 Billion, extended to 525 projects across the country, as at March 2019.”
He further emphasized; “There is a need to increase credit access to the sector through a multipronged approach focusing on all financial institutions but with special focus on the lower tier financial institutions, as they operate in close proximity to agricultural value chain actors most constrained by limited institutional capacity and financial resources.”
During the forum, which coincided with the aBi’s 10-year anniversary, Dr. Richard Pelrine, an agricultural expert and Team Leader at GIZ Agricultural Finance Project, Nigeria delivered the keynote address under the theme; Financing Agricultural Value Chains: Balancing Strong Commercial Viability with Clear Development Objectives for Agribusiness.
The panellist were; Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi, Executive Director Supervision at Bank of Uganda, Ms. Damali Ssali, Trade Development Expert, Trademark East Africa, Mr. Tineyi Mawocha, Chief Executive Officer at Opportunity Bank Ltd and Mr. Collins Apuoyo, Chief of Party at Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) discussed the theme in depth as panelists.
Agriculture remains the major source of livelihood in Uganda. According to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016/17, the bigger proportion of the working population is engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing (65%). Among the females in the working population, 70% are engaged in agriculture compared to 58% of the males.
SATO introduces sustainable solution to improve community sanitation and hygiene
By Our Reporter
SATO, providers of smart and affordable sanitary solutions, has unveiled a sustainable solution to improve community sanitation and hygiene.
Poor sanitation and hygiene poses an imminent threat to the health and general well-being of the community. It is linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid.
In a bid to address this, SATO has renovated and upgraded the pit latrines at Emmanuel College in Kazo, Kawempe, giving them the functionality of a flush toilet. Pit latrines are breeding grounds for flies, which can carry and transmit diseases.
Speaking during the handover ceremony on Monday, Timothy Kayondo, Country Director SATO noted that proper sanitation and hygiene is critical in keeping the girl child in school.
“Girls often drop out of school because of menstrual issues and hygiene among others. We believe by partnering with schools to enhance their sanitation and hygiene through improving and upgrading the school latrines is one of the ways to encourage girls to stay in school.” Timothy Kayondo said.
According to Timothy Kayondo, putting SATO pans on the latrines helps keep away flies, block the foul smell and also makes it easy to clean them. The pans are placed directly above existing pit latrines and operate much like a trap door, using a counterweight to stay closed except for allowing the passage of waste.
“We plan to encourage other schools that are still using pit latrines to adopt this new solution. Putting a SATO pan is not an expensive venture because you can just retrofit the pan on an existing pit latrine with one SATO pan costing just Ushs 15,000/=.” He added.
Kigumba Paul, the headmaster of Emmanuel College expressed gratitude for the improved and renovated toilets, noting that it will greatly improve sanitation and hygiene around the school.
“We thank SATO for donating improved SATO pans to our pit latrines and also renovating them. We believe this is the way to go for all schools and encourage them to also embrace this initiative.” Paul Kigumba said.
10 Weeks of cheer campaign was a huge success — Shell Bugolobi station manager
By Our Reporter
The Shell 10 weeks of cheer campaign which was concluded last month was a huge success. This is according to Ronald Ngobi, the station manager of Shell Bugolobi who says the volume sales at the service station increased immensely during the duration of the campaign.
“The promotion was a huge success and helped us increase our volume sales. We hit our target over and beyond,” Ronald Ngobi revealed. “For example for the month of February our volume target was 600, 000 and we hit 750,000.”
Ngobi who rewarded over 1000 customers during the campaign attributed its success to the easy to understand mechanics of the campaign.
“Our customers were so happy with the promotion reason being that they were rewarded instantly by just presenting a message showing how much fuel they had won. I was also pleased with the promotion because it was run online which made tracking very easy.” He added.
The promotion targeted all motorists including boda riders, taxi drivers, private motorists and truck drivers that use Shell fuels, lubricants or shop services.
To participate, customers simply had to spend UGX 50,000 in the case of general motorists or UGX 10,000 for riders to get a draw entry coupon at participating Shell service stations. They were then required to enter the competition by sending a unique code and their license registration number to 8008 by SMS.
In addition to the instant rewards, 10 weekly draws were also held across the country that saw customers win jackpot prizes of fuel worth UGX500,000 and UGX50,000 for motorists and riders respectively.
“The promotion has not only rewarded customers but it has also helped build loyalty.” He concluded.
University students to be equipped with financial literacy skills at 2020 NSSF Career Expo
By Our Reporter
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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