NWSC to connect new Masaka Referral Hospital

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) continues to promote hygiene and sanitation across the country.

Latest info reaching our desk has it the water body is set to connect the new Masaka Referral Hospital on the national grid. The management of NWSC has confirmed to us that plans are underway to connect the hospital.

“Promoting Sanitation and health, Plans are underway to connect the new Masaka referral hospital onto the NWSC Sewer network,” NWSC.

Airtel Uganda hands over UGX 100,000,000 for the 2017 Airtel-FUFA Awards

Airtel’s Kisakye calls upon Ugandans to vote as many times as possible for their favorite players in the 4 awards that are SMS based

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations, this morning, officially launched the 2017 Airtel-FUFA Awards scheduled for 1st December 2017 at Speke Resort hotel, Munyonyo in Kampala.

Launched in 2014, the Airtel-FUFA awards are held every year with a goal of honoring and recognizing the excellence of Ugandan footballers throughout the year regardless of their team or club performance. The awards also aim to encourage players to remain disciplined and focused throughout the year.

This year, the awards will see Geoffrey Sserunkuuma, Muzamil Mutyaba and Tadeo Lwanga battle for the honor of being awarded Airtel – FUFA male footballer of the year while Hasifah Nasuuna, Vannesa Kalungi and Fazila Ikwaput are the nominees for the Airtel – FUFA female footballer of the year.

Speaking on behalf of the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo, Mr. Rogers Byamukama thanked all the sponsors for their contributions that have been instrumental in planning these awards; specifically, Airtel Uganda for standing with FUFA and believing in Ugandan football. “Our objective is to bring these outstanding players to the front, recognize them and award them for their efforts as well as the entertainment throughout the year. This year we will have 11 awards given out,” Byamukama commented.

Speaking on behalf of main sponsor Airtel Uganda, Mrs. Remmie Kisakye Kakuru, the Head – Brand and Communication, commended the awards organizing committee for the consistency in holding the awards as well as the media for the job well done in the past and encouraged them to keep it up.  She appealed to the public to vote as many times as possible in the 4 award categories that are SMS based as winners will be chosen according to the votes they received. “On behalf of Airtel Uganda, I would like to pledge our commitment to continue supporting football in Uganda at all levels,” she concluded, thereafter handing over a cheque of UGX 100,000,000 to the organizing committee.

The 4 sms based awards include the ; Airtel-FUFA Male player of the year, Airtel-FUFA Female player of the year, Fans’ Favorite Ugandan player of the year, Fans favorite player in Other Leagues- outside Uganda. To vote, type FUFA (space) Code of the player and send to 8888.

NSSF Deputy MD Geraldine Ssali’s tenure ends amidst controversy

The current National Social Security Fund (NSSF) act which allows the Minister for Finance to appoint the Fund’s board could be the cause of potential clashes among employees. This is according to an analyst who asked to remain anonymous while commenting on the recent firing of the NSSF Deputy Managing Director Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa by the Fund’s board. The analyst believes there are legal gaps that could have led to Ssali’s insubordination thinking she was not accountable to the Managing Director (MD) Richard Byarugaba.

Geraldine Ssali

“The law needs to be revised to allow the board to appoint both the MD and the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and thus keep them in check. You cannot effectively supervise someone you did not hire or cannot fire. There is an urgent need to address the administrative gap because both MD and DMD are appointed by the Finance Minister. For this reason, the DMD finds it convenient to disrespect the board and the MD. This needs to be addressed,” said the analyst.

NSSF Uganda MD Richard Byarugaba

Early this month, the NSSF board voted to not renew Ssali’s contract which expires on 29th October 2017.

Her performance had been deemed “unsatisfactory” over the three years she had been with the Fund.

In 2016, Ssali was suspended by the NSSF board on grounds of indiscipline. She sued NSSF, the board chairman Kaberenge and Byarugaba and the courts cancelled her suspension and reinstated her in office pending investigations into her alleged insubordination. However, two days after the court order, the security guards at Workers House, blocked her from entering her office forcing her to go to court and sue the Byarugaba and Kaberenge over contempt of a court.

NSSF board members

She later held a meeting with Finance Minister Kasaijja and some members of the board and it was resolved that she be reinstated but on condition that she withdraws all the cases against NSSF in the High Court.

Kasaijja is yet to approve the board’s recommendation to not renew her contract since he has the last word.

Photos: Sheraton Kampala Hotel @50 Dinner

Sheraton Kampala Hotel last week celebrated 50 years of priceless memories and vowed to create more.

The hotel has amazing views and serene spots you can choose for relaxing evenings and fun weekends, delicious food and unforgettable dining experiences that keep you coming back and the staff at the hotel is always ready and happy to serve the customers…lovely it is!!!

Sheraton Hotel, Kampala marked 50 years of existence last week.

“I congratulate its management and staff upon this feat. I also congratulate the other proprietors of other hotels like Serena, Protea, Africana and others who continue growing the hospitality industry.

The Sheraton Hotel has a monthly revenue of $1.25 million. If these seven acres on which the hotel sits were a potato garden, I do not know how much it would reap. At independence, we had small hotels that wouldn’t meet international standards.

In 1987, however, as Uganda prepared to host the PTA Conference, the NRM government refurbished Apollo (Sheraton) and Nile (Serena) hotels which had deteriorated.

I am glad that more Ugandans are moving into manufacturing and services sectors, expanding from agriculture. This will grow our economy. Again, congratulations to Sheraton Hotel,” Chief Guest President Yoweri Museveni said.

“Thank you for honoring us with your presence”, Sheraton management said.

Here are some of the moments from the event Sheraton at 50 that took place at the hotel.

Masindi District to host upcoming Airtel Regional Health Camp

All roads lead to Masindi this Saturday (21st October) as Airtel Uganda continues on its mission to provide health care and health information to less fortunate Ugandans across the country.

In fulfillment of the health pillar of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the telco holds regional health camps every year. This year alone, residents in Kampala and Kisoro districts have benefitted from the free medical care outreaches that the company is currently holding every quarter.

Airtel Uganda staff, helping out an old lady during one of the health camps

In partnership with Hinds Feet Project Uganda various medical practitioners and health institutions such as Red Cross, Cancer Institute, Doctor Agrawal, Re-pad, Maristopes, Uniliver, District health centers etc among others have volunteered their services and medical personnel to participate in the cause and treat thousands of Ugandans across the country with free diagnosis, treatment and referrals to major hospitals. The health camps have also dedicated time to educating Ugandans on different topics such as HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, nutrition, prevention of communicable & infectious diseases among others.

Commenting about the upcoming health camp, Mrs. Charity Bukenya, Airtel Uganda’s CSR Manager said Health is a pertinent issue in our country and information is vital key in formulating our behavior and health choices; Airtel thus comes in to support the work of the Government and other health practitioners, not only make this information accessible, but also to bring the doctors closer to where there is a shortage of health information as well as evidence of health challenges among the people.

“Research shows that Masindi still has a high prevalence of infectious and communicable diseases and we would like to, not only treat these diseases, but also teach the residents how to stay healthy,” she commented, adding that Airtel will also give out clothes to the needy.

“As part of the camp, we shall also offer minor surgeries, dental care, health and nutrition, re-pad project that involves boys alongside the girls learning how to make the pads and help the girls stay in school through avoiding stigmatization, there will be blood donation, a maternal health program, counseling, treatment of communicable diseases, First Aid and Primary Health Care information,” Bukenya added, noting that since October is cancer month, people will be screened for Cervical, Breast, Prostate Cancer and other abnormal growths that may be of concern.

According to the District Health Office, there have been some efforts to improve the health situations; however, the health status of the population of Masindi is still poor.  A high prevalence of infectious and communicable diseases and Malnutrition among the general population especially in children under 5 still contributes to a heavy disease burden.  Malaria is the major disease in the District with morbidity at 37% in 2005/06, followed by coughs (17%), intestinal worms (6%), and skin infections (4%); as provided by our research partners Hinds Feet Project Uganda.

Other environmental health issues include acute diarrhea affecting 2.6% of the population, pneumonia, eye infections and genital infections.

“Our effort is a drop in the ocean that supports what several other generous organizations are doing to make conscious and deliberate steps towards fulfilling the sustainable development goal #3 which is about ensuring Good Health and Wellbeing and we at Airtel know Together We Can,” Bukenya concluded.

Emirates launches US$15 million campaign to promote Dubai hub and inspire travel

Set to iconic soundtrack by Queen, campaign features airline’s global network and onboard product

Emirates today launched a US$15 million campaign to inspire travel and promote the airline’s extensive network of global destinations including its home and hub, Dubai.

The campaign is backed by the iconic soundtrack “Don’t stop me now” by British rock band Queen, which was found in a scientific study to be the most uplifting or “feel-good” tune on the UK charts in the past 50 years.  The ad spot utilizes clever camera work that seamlessly transitions between key destinations and Emirates’ onboard features, reminiscent of a visual storytelling style that show “a picture within a picture”.

Emirates’ new US$15m ad campaign utilises clever camera work and CGI to seamlessly transition between key destinations and the airline’s onboard experiences

The ad culminates in Dubai, with a sound bite on how Emirates connects the world via Dubai.

Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, said: “Emirates and Dubai have always been inextricably linked. Each day, Emirates operates more than 500 flights that connect Dubai to the world, and the world through Dubai.  Since day one, Emirates has proudly and actively promoted our hub. Dubai offers a great experience at our world-class airport, and the city has become a top global destination because it continually invests to bring new attractions and supporting infrastructure for international visitors.”

Emirates’ new US$15m ad campaign to inspire travel and promote Dubai features the uplifting “Don’t Stop Me Now” soundtrack by Queen

He added: “At Emirates we believe that people, regardless of their backgrounds, have a strong desire to travel and experience the world for themselves. They want to be inspired, to discover, and to have fun. That is why we chose to use the Queen soundtrack, and a creative approach that was uplifting and energetic, to remind people of the excitement of travel.”

The campaign will run in key markets around the world starting from 15 October.  It was conceptualized and scripted in-house and shot by award winning director Vaughan Arnell. The “no-cuts” continuous camera transitions were supported by cutting-edge CGI (computer generated imagery) work from MPC in London, the studio responsible for the Oscar winning SFX (special effects) work for the Jungle Book.

NWSC launches a One Million Tree Planting Campaign

Pursuant to the overarching government policy on provision of safe water and sanitation, in 2013 the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), formulated a Five-Year Strategic Direction (2013-2018) that focuses on Infrastructure growth, increased water and sewerage services coverage, capacity development, and stake-holder management among other objectives. In 2016, the Strategic Direction was rolled over to 2016-2021 to align it with the Government Strategic framework.

In fulfilling the Strategic Direction objectives, the Corporation has implemented a number of infrastructure development initiatives in water and sewerage services. The geographical coverage of NWSC operations has increased from 23 towns in 2013 to 218 towns to date.

Besides major infrastructure development initiatives, the corporation is mindful of the need to protect and conserve the environment for sustainable provision of water and sewerage services. In this respect the Corporation is working together with the Young Water Professionals (YWPs) and a group of young vibrant men and women with a passion of water and sanitation and the environment working towards promoting catchment protection and environmental conservation.

The YWP Association aims at enabling young water, sanitation and environment professionals across the globe to come together, share their experiences and discuss the role of the youth in the governance and management of challenges relating to the water, sanitation and environmental sector in their country and region.

Today National Water and Sewerage Corporation through the Young Water Professionals is launching a one million tree planting campaign under the theme “PLANT A TREE, SAVE THE FUTURE”. The objective of the tree planting campaign is to encourage NWSC staff, the youth, school going children through the NWSC School Water and Sanitation and Sanitation clubs and the communities in which NWSC operates to collectively plant at least one million trees within one year as a means of promoting environmental conservation and catchment protection. Protecting the catchments provides a significant ‘natural’ barrier to contamination and yields high quality water.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker Of Parliament during her speech thanked NWSC for taking on the tree planting campaign as it is in line the nationwide tree planting campaign launched in April 2014 by the Government of Uganda. The speaker requested the Management and staff of NWSC to take the initiative to communicate monitoring the trees for sustainability purposes.

She called on other organisations to take up tree planting as a priority to manage the current climate change challenges.

The Managing Director of NWSC Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha noted that NWSC through the YWPs has been able to plant more than 15,000 trees both in Kampala and other service areas, and intends to continue with the tree planting exercise.

NWSC is in a phase of accelerated service delivery that has seen the organisation expand its service coverage from 2014 to 218 towns as at September 2017.

Having expanded its service footprint from 24 to 208 towns in the last four years, NWSC and Government of Uganda have rolled out of a project to connect water to 12,000 villages by 2020 within NWSC operational areas.

The national goal of Uganda’s water supply and sanitation sector to increase urban and rural access to water supply services for 77% and 65% respectively to 100% and 79% by 2020.

NWSC is committed to Water for All for Delighted Customers by a Delighted Work Force

“Our dear customers please enjoy the highlights of the 1 MILLION TREE Campaign Launch by the Young Water Professionals Uganda chapter. Click on the link below to watch speeches, activities of the day, and a statement from the YWP president.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga pledged to support National Water and Sewerage Corporation in its initiative to plant trees as part of the water utility’s campaign to preserve the environment ,” NWSC. Click on this link for more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WdcQKoR1M0&feature=youtu.be

Huawei Unveils the HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro

Introducing the next era of mobile: smartphones with the world’s first Kirin AI processor deliver a faster, more customized mobile experience

Disruptive innovation often begins with bold dreams. During IFA Berlin, Huawei Consumer Business Group introduced its first AI mobile chipset, the Kirin 970. Yesterday evening in Munich, Huawei announced the HUAWEI Mate 10 Series, which will open the door to new AI mobile applications. The HUAWEI Mate 10, HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro, and Porsche Design HUAWEI Mate 10 are breakthrough AI devices that combine innovative hardware, the Kirin 970 chipset and EMUI 8.0. The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series continues its legacy of superior product performance and long-lasting battery life, while integrating New Leica Dual Camera technology.

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones.”

Key features include:

Kirin 970, the world’s first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU);

A 3D Glass Body featuring a barely-there-bezel, HUAWEI FullView Display and HDR10 supported technology for intensely vivid and brighter colors;

TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certified HUAWEI SuperCharge and 4000 mAh battery with AI-powered Battery Management;

New Leica Dual Camera with SUMMILUX-H lenses, with both featuring  an aperture of f/1.6, and intelligent photography including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and AI-powered Bokeh Effect;

An all-new, simplified EMUI 8.0 based on Android™ 8.0.

A New, Mobile AI Computing Architecture for Intelligent Mobile Experiences

The HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro are the first devices powered by the new Kirin 970 processor and deliver AI enhancements for a faster, more customized mobile experience. The Kirin 970 is built using an advanced TSMC 10nm semiconductor manufacturing process, and features an octa-core ARM Cortex CPU, a first-to-market Mali-G72 12-core GPU and the first NPU designed specifically for a mobile device. The Kirin 970 also has a new dual ISP for AI-powered intelligent photography.

The specialized NPU, combined with Huawei’s innovative HiAI mobile computing platform, means the Kirin 970 delivers 25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency for AI-related tasks, compared to four Cortex-A73 cores.¹ The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series is also the world’s fastest smartphone supporting super-fast LTE connectivity and download speeds. The device comes with the world’s first dual 4G SIM support and dual VoLTE connections.

By combining individual and collective intelligence for on-device AI, the new HUAWEI Mate Series delivers real-time responses to users, including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition and an AI Accelerated Translator. Kirin 970 is an open, mobile AI computing platform for third parties to create new and imaginative AI applications and which extends Huawei’s processing capabilities to the entire value chain.

Design Qualities for New Levels of Sophistication and Comfort

With an all-new HUAWEI FullView Display, the HUAWEI Mate 10 features a stunning 5.9-inch screen with a 16:9 display, barely-there-bezel and HDR10 to support vivid colors. The 6-inch HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro features an 18:9 OLED display, high screen-to-body ratio and HDR10 for dynamic video viewing.

The iconic devices feature a 3D Glass Body, beautifully and symmetrically curved on all four sides for an ergonomic hold. The back of the devices feature a reflective band design to highlight the New Leica Dual Camera.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro is also IP67 Water and Dust Resistant.

New Leica Dual Camera and AI-powered Battery Management for the Next Era of Smartphone Use

Huawei has again partnered with Leica to co-engineer the dual-lens camera for the HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro. They combine 12-megapixel RGB + 20-megapixel monochrome sensors, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), dual lenses with the world’s largest aperture of f/1.6, AI-powered Bokeh Effect and AI-powered Digital Zoom. New AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition, which automatically chooses camera settings based on the object and scene, supports an advanced AI-powered Digital Zoom function with AI Motion Detection for clearer and sharper pictures.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro pack a 4000 mAh high-density battery featuring a smart battery management system that understands user behavior and intelligently allocates resources to maximize battery life. It supports 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charging, powering the device from 1 percent to 20 percent in 10 minutes, and from 1 percent to 58 percent in 30 minutes.² Additionally, HUAWEI SuperCharge is the world’s first fast charging technology to receive TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certification, ensuring safe end-to-end charging.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will launch with Huawei’s all-new EMUI 8.0 powered by Android™ 8.0. Features include an AI Engine to fully leverage the capabilities of the Kirin 970; an AI Accelerated translator to deliver faster and more accurate interactive translation for a smoother communication experience; an easy projection feature to connect the new Huawei Mate Series to a larger screen; support for a full desktop experience – either mirroring or extending the smartphone display like a PC.

New Accessories

Huawei also launched three HUAWEI Mate 10 accessories: the EnVizion 360 Camera, SuperCharge™ Power Bank, and Smart Scale.

The EnVizion 360 Camera can shoot 5K photos and 360-degree 2K videos with multiple viewing modes for users to share across their social media channels.

Huawei’s SuperCharge™ Power Bank supports a 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charge.

The Smart Scale can monitor and analyze health information such as body fat percentage and Body Mass Index through a mobile app.

Pricing and Availability

The new HUAWEI Mate 10 will be available starting in late October in more than 15 countries and regions including Spain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will be available beginning in mid-November in more than two dozen countries, including Germany, France, Italy, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The Porsche Design HUAWEI Mate 10 will also be available starting in mid-November.

¹Based on Huawei’s laboratory testing results.

²Based on Huawei laboratory testing results. In the test, the device was charged from 1 percent battery with the display off, through the HUAWEI SuperCharge charger and cable, in an environment with a 4G network, 25°C temperature, and relatively humidity of 45-80 percent.

UBL in safety campaign

Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has launched a safety campaign to create awareness and promote safety at the workplace.  The one week campaign is being held under the theme “EXECUTING SAFELY EVERYDAY.”

The campaign is part of a celebration to mark five and ten years of “No Lost Time Accident” at Uganda Breweries Limited and its spirits plant; International Distillers Uganda respectively.

UBL Staff during the launch of the campaign

An LTA (Lost Time Accident) is a type of accident that causes an employee to skip work for a day or more to pursue treatment. These kinds of accidents are common place in plants where heavy machinery is operated such as a brewery.

“We are extremely proud of our employees for working safe every day. This milestone is not only a testimony to our individual and collective effort on the journey to safety excellence but also a daily concern for our teams to execute safely.” Ronaldly Miti the Health and Safety Manager at UBL said, adding that, “It’s an indication of growing personal safety and engagement through leadership at all levels of the business.”

According to Miti, during the safety week, UBL shall showcase its staff relentless effort, infectious passion and personal accountability that is driving the development of their safety culture.

“We shall also reward individuals that are challenging the status quo and inspiring our teams through leadership and exceptional passion in driving the ZEROHARM safety culture. “ Miti said.

Activities for the safety week will include a health, Wellness health and fitness sessions, cancer education and Defensive Driving awareness session.

Equity Bank Uganda unveils its Digital Banking Solutions

Equity Bank Uganda Limited has launched its range of digital banking solutions into the market in a bid to enhance the banking experience of customers as well as enable them have more convenience and control of their banking. The suite of digital solutions dubbed ‘Eazzy Banking’ promise to give an easy, comprehensive and secure banking experience.

The Eazzy Banking suite of products includes a banking app known as EazzyBanking App which allows one to transfer funds to other accounts and mobile wallets or pay utility bills like Umeme and Water; a solution to assist welfare clubs, investment clubs and groups manage their joint finances and investments known as EazzyClub; a real time bulk payment solution that allows one to automate electronic fund transfers, RTGS and mobile transfers called EazzyRemittance and a retail Internet portal where customers can manage their bank accounts known as EazzyNet.

In addition, the suite has an interoperable payment platform, EazzyPay which allows one to pay for bills as well as goods and services at registered merchant outlets; a mobile based loan product known as EazzyLoan; a cash and liquidity management solution for SMEs known as EazzyBiz, and banking capabilities packaged as APLs exposed through EazzyAPLs platform.

Speaking during the event, Samuel Kirubi, the MD Equity Bank Uganda, said that the launch of the Eazzy Banking suite of products led by the flagship solution, EazzyBanking App, marked furtherance of the Bank’s strategic approach of availing digital convenience in banking. “This has been informed by consumers banking trends which are showing a pattern of favouring self-service channels to enable them bank anywhere, anytime. They simply download the EazzyBanking App or sign up for EazzyClub, EazzyNet, or EazzyBiz and experience convenience in banking. Banking is no longer a place you go to, it is something you do,” he added.

Equity Bank Uganda’s digital strategy is underscored by the forging of strategic partnerships with global leading experts in data security, big data capture and analytics. This is to ensure security, scalability and interoperability of the different solutions.

Equity Bank has opened up its digital solutions to everyone, in line with its inclusive agenda which it has carried as part of its commitment throughout its history. The bank’s strategy is to be the region’s leading digital bank delivering a remarkable client experience in key digital touch points. The rapid adoption of mobile and other digital channels in Uganda has transformed how people bank and Equity aims to be an enabling partner.

Equity Bank Uganda Limited is one of the fastest growing banks in Uganda. It has adopted the Equity Bank Group approach of financial inclusion by opening its doors to customers across the financial pyramid. On the back of the Group technological advances, Equity Bank Uganda is now recognised as a key driver of inclusion and innovation through strategic partnerships with telecoms, utility companies, local government, religious bodies, and third-tier financial institutions.

Click for the launch video https://www.facebook.com/UgEquityBank/videos/1577526422323612/