Wildly inspiring business ideas feature in the third episode of MTN’s Nsindika Njake show

The third episode of MTN’s Nsindika Njake entrepreneurship show which aired on Wednesday last week was nothing short of magnificent, in its display of eminence in both the content and cinematography of the production.  The host of the show, the sassy Dianah Nabatanzi, is also always a sight for sore eyes.

Through the supreme lens of Kunta productions, the show captured wildly creative and inspiring business concepts submitted to Radio Buddu in Masaka and Radio Simba in Kampala, by ambitious youth with the hope of winning the cash prizes to a tune of UGX100million. 

In the episode, 11 youth with remarkable businesses qualified to join the entrepreneurship show. 

Lusaka Apollo’s breath-taking and high-value sculptures whose colour brings wildlife to life thrilled the judges to succeed the young man into the show. Kagezi Jovan’s innovation of briquettes made out of sawdust and garbage plus charcoal stoves made of cement made him outstanding in the episode. 

But it was the use of social media marketing, innovation and socio-economic contribution of the businesses to society that informed the selection of businesses by the judges.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a business owner, this show is a must watch as it dissects a cocktail of business ideas such as piggery, bricklaying, suit and garment design, groundnut grinding and shoemaking which were all part of the selection in the third episode.

In addition to the show’s catchy theme song which will make the elderly crack their joints, the funny banter of the judges is also a key highlight of Nsindika Njake which I reckon will keep you glued to your television. 

Catch the next captivating episode of MTN’s Nsindika Njake show on NBS TV every Wednesday at 8:30pm (EAT) with a repeat on Sunday at the same time. 

 

Kyabazinga and Hon. Kwiyucwiny Hail MTN Uganda’s Ramadan Initiative

As Muslims draw closer to the end of the fasting period, MTN Uganda alongside Salam Charity has continued to deliver assorted food items to various underprivileged Muslim and refugee communities, in a bid to reaffirm its longstanding relationship with the Muslim community across the country.

This week’s handover of alms commenced with the Luzira prisons in Kampala before moving to the refugee communities of Elegu and Yumbe in the northern part of the country. 

To crown the week’s Ramadan handovers, two ceremonies were concurrently held in Gulu and Busoga Kingdom.

In a Ramadan handover ceremony held at the Igenge palace in Jinja district last evening, His Royal Highness, Kyabazinga William Kadhumbula Gabula Nadiope IV commended MTN Uganda for its continued support to the Muslim fraternity in his Kingdom.

The Kyabazinga of Busoga at the Ramadan with MTN event held at his Royal Palace last evening.

Meanwhile, at the Iftar dinner held at the Boma Hotel in Gulu, Hon. Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the State Minister in charge of Northern Uganda urged all Ugandans to emulate MTN and Salam Charity by supporting one another for the growth and development of the country.

Sheikh Musa Khalil, the Acholi District Khadhi thanked MTN for traversing the entire country to reach out to all the Muslims across the country and prayed a blessing on the company as well as Salam Charity for the commendable work they are doing for the people of Allah.

Since 2017, MTN Uganda has worked with Salam Charity to reach out to the Muslim fraternity across the country during Ramadan. This year’s Ramadan project is being executed under the theme; “A giving heart”, as a way of fostering benevolence as the country recovers from the effects of the nearly two-year-long Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. 

The alms include; Sugar, rice, baking flour, cooking oil, salt, and soap among other assorted food items.

As was the case last year, MTN has brought back the special Ramadan bundles offer to ease communication during the fasting period. At only 500/=, all its customers will get 30 MTN minutes and 100MBs valid from midnight to 5am. This offer is open to all MTN customers; Muslims and non-muslims alike.

 

MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited and JUMO join forces to grow mobile lending in Uganda.

JUMO, a technology company building next-generation financial services for emerging markets, has partnered with MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited to launch MoSente, a new credit service that will afford the people of Uganda more choice when it comes to mobile lending services.

MoSente is a convenient way for MTN customers to access credit facilities. Customers can borrow from UGX 10 000 at a variable term that fits their personal circumstances or earning cycles. MoSente is easily accessible, in real-time, and available to registered MTN subscribers and mobile money users when they dial *165*5*5# and follow the prompts. 

MTN currently represents more than half (53%) of all mobile subscribers in the country, which means 15 million people, roughly a third of Uganda’s population, will have the opportunity to access tailored lending products to suit their business and living requirements. According to Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU), 22% of Ugandans are financially excluded and 56% use informal financial services. Financial inclusion is significantly skewed towards adults in urban areas (86%), making access to mobile banking anywhere, anytime a significant milestone.

“In a market where large segments of the population are still unbanked, in large part due to lack of access to easy and convenient credit, our partnership with JUMO is an important milestone for advancing financial inclusion for the people of Uganda,” says Richard Yego, Managing Director, MTN Mobile Money Uganda. 

JUMO’s Africa CEO, Buhle Goslar, said:Our work with MTN is focused on supporting entrepreneurs who need simple, quick access to working capital to grow their businesses. We offer them the opportunity to increase their access to credit in the long-term, through ongoing responsible loan management.” 

Both MTN Mobile Money Uganda and JUMO are familiar with the financial needs of the Ugandan market. MTN has operated a similar credit service called MoKash on their Mobile Financial Services Platform since 2017.  JUMO has operated a similar mobile lending product delivered in partnership with other mobile network providers for the last five years.

JUMO is currently the underwriter and capital provider for both MoSente and WeWole. The company has developed a large pool of capital to reach new customers and serve digital financial products to the financially excluded market segments.

“Partnerships between financial technology companies like JUMO and mobile money providers are essential to creating more opportunities for the people of Uganda to borrow and save conveniently using their mobile phones,” says Wilfred Wabwire, Country Manager for JUMO Uganda. 

JUMO’s intelligent banking technology reduces the unit economics on the delivery and administration of financial products so that customers can access high-value products at low prices and partners such as telcos, impact investors and banks can reach new markets. The launch of MoSente in Uganda forms part of JUMO’s long-term growth plan for Africa. The company is launching new products and expanding into new markets, such as Nigeria and Cameroon, post their fundraise of $120 million in 2021. 

Facts about MoSente

Product description MoSente – micro loan on your MTN Mobile Money
Multiple loans You can either take a Mokash or MoSente loan not both, at the same time. 
Customer journey Dial *165*5*5# and Select option 1 “Accept”, to sign up for the service 
Charging MoSente offers;

  • 14-day loans at 7.5% 
  • 30-day loans at 8.75% 
Nature of line of credit This money is loaded on the customer wallet and the customer chooses to do whatever they want to use if for.
Payment method Customer pays back at will as long as they have not exceeded their payment period. After loan period is done, auto-recovery from the customer’s wallet will be applied.
Credit Eligibility  The credit eligibility of customers may vary based on their Credit worthiness which can change time to time based on their usage of MTN Services (Voice, Data, MoMo), their tenure and their repayment behaviour of similar services subscribed to earlier.

 

“MTN MOMO focused on consolidating market leadership”- MTN MOMO MD

Following the enactment of the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act, 2020, MTN Uganda’s telco and fintech business was separated leading to the creation and licensing of MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited in 2021. We caught up with the newly appointed Managing Director of MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited, Mr Richard Yego, for his initial interview with the media since his appointment, during which he discussed the company’s focus for the year and shared insights on the mobile money industry.

 

  • Congratulations upon the appointment to Managing Director, MTN Mobile Money Uganda. How would you describe your first few months at the job?

It has been an interesting 2 months for me. With the support of the team at MTN, I familiarized myself with the new role; sitting at the helm of a very economically significant company. During this period, we have been focused on the completion of the separation of the Telco and Finco entities which included building a team of personnel with the right skill-set, across the various departments whose collective strengths and efforts will steer the company in the right direction.

 

  • It is close to a year since the mobile money business was separated from the telco core business, how has the adjustment been for MoMo?

The separation of Telco and Fintech businesses took place in May last year with the guidance of Bank of Uganda (BOU) which culminated into the creation and licensing of  MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited. At MTN, we welcomed this move because we believe in the power of regulation in creating a conducive business environment for not only us the operators, but also our customers. Following implementation of the law about 10 months back, we are now being directly regulated by BOU which has greatly improved the rate at which we innovate. Owing to direct engagement with BOU for approvals of product and services, we are now able to achieve faster speed to market of new services, to the benefit of our customers.

 

  • Following the enactment of the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act, we have seen a proliferation in the number of fintechs licensed to undertake mobile money business, are you concerned this will impact MTN MoMo?

The enactment of the National Payment Systems (NPS) Act, 2020 and the implementation of the accompanying NPS Regulations, 2021 therein have enabled the entry of new market players in the Fintech industry. This brings competition in the Financial Services space that spurs innovation and improvement of quality of services in the sector which is a welcome move. As MTN, we remain focused on consolidating our market leadership by leveraging our value proposition to our customers and stakeholders through ensuring that we deliver more value and quality because at the heart of our ambition is to lead the drive for digital and financial inclusion in Africa.

 

  • After nearly two years of lockdown, how is mobile money fairing today in comparison to 2020 and 2021?

With the full reopening of the economy earlier this year, a sizeable part of the population has returned to work, and we have seen an increase in daily transactions. The results for the first quarter will be shared by the end of this month to give a full picture. We are optimistic about the future and remain focused to delivering relevant services and shared value to all our esteemed customers.

 

  • As the new MD, what are your investment plans, focus or Strategy for MTN MoMo this year?

Our objective is to leave no one behind in our quest to promote financial inclusion in Uganda and achieve a key pillar in our ambition 2025 strategy rooted on sharing economic value with our customers.

Our major area of investment for this year is hinged on enriching our MoMo ecosystem and platform capabilities. We are focused on scaling the adoption of our Banktech products like Loans & Savings, Payments, and e-Commerce.  

We remain determined to attain a cashless economy, something that has been accelerated by covid and therefore we will continue to entrench MoMo pay across the country through strategic partnership engagements. 

 

  • In your opinion, what do you think will drive mobile money growth this year?

I believe mobile money will grow mainly on the account of the full reopening of the economy. We anticipate an increase in mobile money activity owing to the fact that businesses are all fully reopened meaning more jobs are going to be created thus attracting income, the night life is back in action, travelling across or in and out of the country is unlimited. We believe this will greatly impact on the volume and value of income transacted via the service. We expect increased activity across all the MTN MoMo products.

 

  • Mobile money fraud remains a concern in the ecosystem. Are there any plans to tame this?

In a bid to curb mobile money fraud, we have embarked on sensitization initiatives in the market. Through our newly formed National Payment Systems (NPS) Providers Association, we are going to launch a major sustained customer sensitization campaign at an industry level later this month. This initiative is aimed at driving customer awareness of the importance of protecting their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and One Time Passwords (OTPs). We believe this consistent awareness campaign will empower customers with information to safeguard their accounts. We do hereby assure the public that the MTN MoMo platform is safe and secure. We also urge our customers to always keep their PINs and OTPs secret and not share them with anyone. 

 

  • What is the future outlook of MTN MoMo?

Looking into the future, MTN MoMo should be a way of life. We want the MTN MoMo wallet to be part of everyone’s day-to-day life. The goal is to enable our customers to pay for all goods and services using MTN MoMo. We are positioning MTN MoMo as a financial solution aimed at driving digital and financial inclusion and boosting economic growth in the country as highlighted in our ambition 2025 strategy.

MTN paves the way for women’s progress to achieve sustainable societies

Given the high unemployment levels in the country, there is need to break the bias and promote gender diversity across professions by encouraging women to seek opportunities in male-dominated industries.  In support of SDG 5 which advocates for gender equality, MTN Uganda in collaboration with key partners is making strides in empowering women in order to achieve sustainable societies.

MTN Foundation supports Girls with Tools

Prossy Nalunkuuma is pursuing a mechanical engineering certification at Smart Girls Foundation in Wakiso. Garbed in a blue mechanic’s overall shielded by gloves in hand, Nalunkuuma, who is bent over a car’s open bonnet is cognizant of the awkward stares she attracts from the public as a result of her career choice. 

Driven by her passion and unfettered ambition to one day become a renowned mechanical engineer, Nalunkuuma continues to pursue her dream; breaking the bias against women in this male-dominated career.

“Despite girls’ persistent shunning of mechanical engineering, I chose to pursue this line of work because of the passion I have for it plus the need to be unique through penetrating a male-dominated world. My goal is to actively practice in this field through setting up an auto repair and parts shop,” she narrates.

Nalunkuuma just like other girls at the Foundation, sought an opportunity to chase her engineering ambition at Smart Girls Foundation, a non-profit making, girl-centered, development organization that empowers and mentors girls in health and education to mention but a few.  Under the Foundation’s flagship projects, girls with tools, girls are equipped with skills in traditionally male-dominated professions including carpentry, machinery, and automotive mechanics and welding.

Over the years, MTN has supported this cause through donation to the Smart Girls Foundation and more recently, construction of an additional facility that will see the Foundation increase the number of girls trained to about 400 annually. As a result of MTN’s support, already, the organization recorded an increase in the number of girls trained at the facility from 30 to close to 90 in a wide range of programs including mechanical, electrical installations and welding.

Dorcas Muhwezi, the MTN Uganda general manager customer experience, who is also an engineer said it is reassuring to see a significant number of girls showing interest in engineering and having the ability to pursue their interests.

“It is encouraging to see such programs that empower the girls and help them develop practical skills. I was very excited to hear that some girls have already set up shop. As MTN, this success is the embodiment of our vision. We are committed to facilitating a diverse society through generational equality and increase women representation for sustainable societies,” she noted.

 

MTN Supports Women in sports

In the same spirit, MTN last weekend rewarded a group of outstanding women in sports who have played a pivotal role in bridging the gender gap in the world of sport. 

The awards which summed up the telecom’s month long celebration of women following the International Women’s day in March, saw the public nominate and vote for their phenomenal sportswomen of choice in a bid to narrow the gender gap in the sports profession through recognizing and celebrating women in sports.

The top 5 women in accordance with the public votes, each received Ugx.3,000,000 shillings while the other 15 who made it to the top 20 were rewarded with Ugx.500,000 shillings each.

“As MTN we deliberately set out to use the women’s month to shine a light on the greatness of the women in sports. We believe that if we work together in recognizing and celebrating the women who have in no small way upheld our country’s flag far and wide, we shall erase the gap between genders in the sports profession,” Muhwezi said.

Rehema Nanyonga, the Manager of the Suncity United Netball team, a community-based team leveraging Netball to empower underprivileged girls hailing from slum areas in and around Kampala, thanked MTN for the recognition award as well as the sponsorship package to facilitate the team’s travel for the U.S Open Junior championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

“As the Suncity United community, we are humbled to be recognized and supported in our endeavors by the biggest company in the country. This gesture from MTN has motivated us to continue pursuing our goals to continue inspiring more girls in our community through sports,” Nanyonga said.

During the awards ceremony, Suncity Netball team walked away with a community service award and a sponsorship package worth Ugx.30,000,000 shillings in recognition of its efforts towards empowering young girls through sports.

Hon. Lt. Col. Rwamirama Commends MTN Uganda and Salam Charity Ramdan Drive

Hon. Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama commended MTN Uganda and Salam Charity’s Ramadan initiative for supporting the members of the Muslim faith as they embark on strengthening their faith through fasting, which is a critical pillar in the Islamic faith. This was at the just concluded Iftar dinner held last weekend at the Lake View Hotel in Mbarara. 

At the Iftar dinner where Rwamirama was the chief guest, he thanked MTN and Salam TV for helping to nurture the Islamic religion by remembering the Muslims during the holy month of fasting.

“To us, religion is an important part of the society as it shapes families. I applaud Salam TV and Salam Charity for doing such a commendable job of reaching out to communities at such a time,” Rwamirama said. 

Rwamirama also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fully operationalizing Islamic banking in Uganda, in conjunction with the Turkish government.

Present at the dinner was the Ankole kigezi Regional Qadhi, Sheikh Abdallah Katamba who thanked MTN and Salam Charity for the great initiative.

“Thank you for considering us this year. I want to urge you to be hard workers so that we can honestly portray who we are as Muslims at heart. May Allah bless MTN, Salam charity, and all the people involved in this great act of kindness,” Sheikh Katamba said.

The dinner was preceded by a series of several handovers of alms to the Muslim communities in Nakivale refugee camp in Isingiro district and to the refugee Muslim community in Kisoro district. Prior to this, MTN Uganda alongside Salam Charity delivered alms to the Luzira Prisons Muslim community and the Imams’ Forum in Kampala mid-last week.

Since 2017, MTN Uganda has worked with Salam Charity to reach out to the Muslim fraternity across the country during Ramadan. This year’s Ramadan project is being executed under the theme; “A giving heart”, as a way of fostering benevolence as the country recovers from the effects of the nearly two-year-long Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. 

MTN Uganda’s Western Region Business Manager, Ibrahim Ssegujja said that; “This years’ Ramadan alms are specifically targeting the less privileged and refugee communities across the country to support them with food items as they fast during the month of Ramadan.”

The alms include; Sugar, rice, baking flour, cooking oil, salt and soap among other assorted food items.

Ssegujja noted that through this execution, MTN is standing with the Muslim faithful to reinforce its oneness with them as they undertake the fasting period. 

In this week’s alms handovers that start tomorrow, MTN Uganda and Salam Charity will deliver alms to the refugee Muslim community in Elegu in Northern Uganda. On Thursday, the team will deliver alms to the refugee Muslim community in Yumbe before hosting the northern region Muslim community to an Iftar dinner in Gulu City.

As was the case last year, MTN has brought back the special Ramadan bundles offer to ease communication during the fasting period. At only 500/=, all its customers will get 30 MTN minutes and 100MBs valid from midnight to 5am. This offer is open to all MTN customers; Muslims and non-muslims alike.

 

MTN solidifies action on climate change with net-zero commitment 

As part of initiatives aimed at alleviating the perils of climate change, MTN has pledged its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.  

In this commitment, MTN has set science-based targets to achieve a 47% average reduction in absolute emissions (tCO2e) which stands for tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2030.  

Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.

According to the UN, increased emissions that cause climate change will continue to rise temperature levels well beyond 1.5°C to levels that threaten the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.  In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries committed to limiting the global average temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5°C.

According to Reuters, already, the world has heated to around 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Each of the last four decades was hotter than any decade since 1850. Scientists have said crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Therefore, the commitment by MTN underscores the telecom’s strategic pillar of achieving shared value and growth embodied in ensuring protection of the lives of the people in the communities it serves.  

The net zero commitment further underpins the core of MTN‘s Environmental, Social and Governance principles hinged on the belief that the company’s growth and success should not come at the expense of the future of the planet.

Wim Vanhelleputte, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer said MTN is strategically aligned with the global call to action focused on deliberate transitioning to a net-zero world.

“The net zero commitment is part of our responsibility to the people of Uganda rooted on our promise to improve the livelihood of the people in the communities by creating a clean and healthy environment today, for a bright future tomorrow,” he explained.

Vanhelleputte went on to say: “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are at the heart of our revised strategy, ambition 2025, in which we articulate the  ESG practices in accordance with our sustainability framework envisaged to drive economic value sharing.”

To achieve the net zero commitment as stipulated in its sustainability framework, MTN aims to improve energy efficiency in its operations, reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, and improve its water and waste management. 

At the group level, MTN has partnered with Ericson to leverage the latter’s latest and most advanced sustainable technologies to enable MTN realize its energy use and carbon management efforts in line with its commitment to reach Net Zero emissions by 2040.

During the launch of the collaboration recently, Nompilo Morafo, MTN Group Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer said: “It’s about doing for tomorrow, today – realizing a Net Zero future is critical to our commitments towards sustainability, and we know that we can only realise our ambition through collaboration with our partners. With Ericsson joining our pledge, we hope to inspire our other partners, the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to take meaningful steps towards decarbonization.”

The commitment by MTN comes as the impact of climate change becomes increasingly visible around the world.

“The relationship between Agriculture, Tourism and ICT in creating opportunities for youth in Uganda” Her Excellency Lulama Xingwana.

The South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Her Excellency Lulama Xingwana, recently addressed youth about the opportunities in agriculture during a one on one session organized by the MTN Youth Skilling Program under the theme: Business Relations for Sustainable Partnerships. Below are the excerpts.

Uganda is among the leading producers of coffee in the world, hence my surprise to discover that there is no Ugandan coffee in South Africa.  I would like to believe that currently, coffee is Uganda’s best kept secret. I don’t know if you are able to sell or export it, but I think there is an opportunity for you to do more. For instance, we do not produce coffee in South Africa but we love drinking it.  Therefore, there is a ripe market for coffee farmers in Uganda to take advantage of in South Africa.  However, to do that, Ugandan coffee farmers must evolve beyond subsistence farming and into commercial agriculture with the ability to undertake agro-processing. Young famers must look at opportunities in agro-processing, which will help them grow their markets from local or regional to International. Selling fresh fruit and vegetables has its limitations, but selling processed fruits and vegetables is more profitable as fruit juice or tomato paste which lasts longer and can reach a bigger export market hence making your products more profitable through value addition. 

I am cognizant of the challenges of limited capital that hinder farmers’ ability to scale their operations to large scale farms and the heavy capital requirement for agro-processing.  

Start Small dream Big

However, it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. We all start small, but we must have the vision and ambition to start from small but to grow big and ultimately move to commercial agriculture and the export industry. This will greatly contribute to Uganda’s economy.

More importantly, the need to grow your business underpins the significance of building business relations for sustainable partnerships. I am aware that MTN is interested in supporting agriculture and especially agro-processing businesses. It is up to you therefore, to take up this opportunity as young farmers.

Business Relations for Sustainable Partnerships

Strong partnerships with banks, such as Stanbic, Absa and multinationals are important and can help grow your business. Donors can also assist in this regard. It is for those reasons that keeping good reports and audited financial statements is vital and will help you develop trust and confidence of your donors or partners (e.g Danida, Sida etc).  Partnerships are not designed for companies only, you can also harness a relationship with individuals. The introduction of agreements such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area has opened a 1.4 Billion market (i.e. the African population) for African Farmers. Currently, African countries predominantly export to Asia, Europe and other continents, yet trading between Africans is still at 15%. Intra-Africa trade is still very low, which presents an opportunity for harnessing sustainable partnerships among African farmers. It is up to our youth to seize this opportunity. I know that Ugandans love goats, nyama ye mbuzi. We too have lots of goats in South Africa, so Ugandans can buy goats from South Africa and we can buy your pineapples, pawpaws or coffee. This is how we can start these partnerships. Farmers in Uganda can partner with farmers in South Africa such that we import and export between our countries, thus increase Intra – Africa trade and grow the economies of our countries and the continent. Through these same partnerships, young Ugandan farmers can benchmark from South African farmers who are already working in agro-processing and have experience and equipment or machinery needed for such projects.

Agritourism

There is also a direct correlation between commercial agriculture and other sectors. Commercial agriculture can be the springboard for other sectors for example tourism and ICT to prosperity.  Through agritourism, a concept defined as a tourism programme that covers agricultural and farming areas where tourists can see local products and often participate in farm activities, Uganda can increase the number of tourists visiting the country. A common phenomenon in South Africa, providing additional income to farmers and contributing to our economy, agritourism particularly in wine production has proved profitable to local farmers in the country and the tourism sector.  In Cape Town, we have turned the grape and wine farms into great tourist destinations. People want to see where this bottle of wine from South Africa was produced. They go to Stellenbosch or Franchoek for wine tasting, they buy wine and stay there and experience lifestyle in the wine farms. Wine farms and wine tasting have contributed a great deal to tourism and to our economy. Why can’t we have coffee tasting and farm holidays in the coffee farms of Uganda? This way more people will buy and import Ugandan coffee. Therefore, I appeal to you my dear youth who have been trained in nourishing your entrepreneurial spirit to move from subsistence to commercial Agriculture. 

ICT

Growth of the agriculture and tourism sectors can also directly spill into the ICT sector. There has been a proliferation of innovations in the technology space created with the aim of  bridging gaps such as lack of market for agricultural produce and need for critical knowledge in agriculture.  There are also vast opportunities for ICT in the tourism sector such as travel apps, links to accommodation in the country, marketing the agricultural farms and the local experience to the outside world.

 It is even better now that the AU has adopted the Forth Industrial Revolution led by our President His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa.  MTN and Multichoice are major players in this sector, and will support such projects. I also know that, as young people, you love this sector. I therefore appeal to all our youth to look into this area and develop projects that will empower young people and, create jobs in the country.

Kyaka FC Crowned the MTN Tooro Masaza Tournament Champions MTN Throws King Oyo 30th Birthday Bash 

Kyaka FC has sealed their victory by beating Bunyangabu FC 1-0 in a highly contested final match that brought the first edition of the Tooro Masaza Tournament to an exciting end yesterday.

Kyaka FC’s Richard Mugume scored the only goal of the match in the 20th minute of the game that was held at the Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal City

With this win, Kyaka FC has walked away with prize money of Ugx.5million shs as the title winners. Bunyangabu FC, the runners-up took home Ugx.3 million shillings while the 3rd place and 4th teams walked away with 1.5 million and 0.5 million respectively.

The King of Tooro Kingdom, His Majesty, King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV along with the Queen Mother of Tooro, Queen Best Kemigisa attended the match that fell on the eve of the King’s 30th birthday. 

A birthday bash complete with fireworks and exciting performances by a lineup of top artists marked the end of the feverish football tournament as the King marked his new age, surrounded by his subjects and well-wishers.  

According to King Oyo, this championship match is an apt crescendo of the month-long tournament of spirited matches played amongst the 9 counties of Tooro Kingdom. 

“This tournament has generated a lot of excitement in our kingdom and has further brought the people of Tooro together. We thank MTN for organizing and funding this first-ever tournament and we look forward to the next season of this thrilling experience,’ King Oyo said.

The Tooro Masaza tournament is part of MTN’s sponsorship package to the Kingdom following a partnership between the Telecom and the Kingdom in an endeavor to uplift the people of Tororo through leveraging sports alongside other social-economic engagements in health and education.

Andrew Tusubira MTN Uganda’s head of commercial services in the western region congratulated all the participants of the tournament

“The real winners of this tournament are the people of this kingdom. Football is not just a game to the people. It sits at the heart of their culture. As MTN we feel very proud to have been part of this tradition together with the people of Tooro. We promise to continue this journey and thank the Kingdom for embracing MTN as a friend and a partner for years to come,” Tusubira said.

The MTN Tooro Masaza Tournament grand finale that doubled as King Oyo’s 30th birthday celebration attracted thousands of people who paid 2,000/=via MTN MoMo and 4,000/= cash. The money was handed over to the kingdom to support development projects in Tooro Kingdom.

Tooro Kingdom has nine counties that include, Ntoroko, Kibale, Bunyangabu, Kitagwenda, Mwenge North, Mwenge South, Kyaka, Fort Portal, and Burahya. All the counties participated in the tournament that has proven to be the hottest sporting activity in the Kingdom thus far.

MTN prepares youth to tackle the unemployment Gap

In a market with too many applicants and not enough jobs, getting experience is a catch-22; you need it to get jobs, you need a job to get it.  It is not once that employers in Uganda have voiced their grievance of employing youth armed with theoretical knowledge and no practical experience.

It gets worse when the lack of experience blocks job opportunities for the youth, further exacerbating youth unemployment in the country. 

In an effort to curb youth unemployment, MTN has taken a deliberate effort to equip youth with practical knowledge that is required in work places.

Graduate trainee program

Through the MTN Graduate trainee program, hundreds of youth in Uganda have undergone on-job training that has elevated their knowledge beyond the theoretical education attained at learning institutions. The program seeks to fast-track the career aspirations of youth in Uganda. 

According to Michael Sekadde, MTN Uganda General Manager Human Resource, there is need for employers to provide opportunities for youth to attain the much needed experience that organisations require.

“At MTN, we believe in creating opportunities that will elevate the standard of living and improve the livelihood of the communities we serve. Through our graduate trainee program, we aim to achieve shared growth by passing on the knowledge and experience attained over the years to the young people who are also the future generation,” he said.

 Sekadde also underscored the significance of partnerships in tackling youth unemployment noting that it requires collective effort in order to make progress. 

It is with that context that MTN has also engaged like-minded partners determined to combat youth employment.

 

Victoria University experiential learning

MTN at the beginning of the year partnered with Victoria University (VU) to award 10 scholarships to youth.  The education programs at Victoria University are uniquely designed to provide youth with work experience prior to graduation.

Speaking during a recent interview on television, Christine Nabayise, the Victoria University marketing executive said the University is the technologically enabled university of the time, driven by its authentic and experiential learning programs through Work-Integrated Learning.

“Victoria University and MTN have the same passion of enabling young people’s dreams come to life.  Experiential learning means that by the time the youth graduate, they have two to three years’ work experience due to attachments made to companies during the course of their education at the university,” she explained.

The partnership between MTN and VU is a resounding determination by the telecom to extend experiential training to youth with the aim of curbing youth unemployment.

 

Nsindika Njake entrepreneurship show

Similarly, in partnership with Makerere University Business School, MTN Uganda recently launched a captivating youth entrepreneurship television show dubbed Nsindika Njake. The show aims at equipping youth with business skills envisaged to drive them to set up their own establishments thus creating more jobs.

The show which airs at 8:30pm every Wednesday on NBS TV involves practical utilization of skills on members of the public in accordance with training facilitated by MUBS such as customer care, sales and business ideation among others. 

At the launch of the Nsindika Njake program recently, Somdev Sen, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer said that the show would go a long way in addressing unemployment amongst the youth.

“Given the high rate of youth unemployment, many youths have taken the right path of starting small businesses but sadly, majority of them have not had the opportunity to get the skills required to effectively operate a business. We believe that this show will teach them how to navigate the day-to-day challenges that they face in their businesses and set them on a path to becoming better entrepreneurs,” Somdev said.

 

Youth skilling program

In the thick of the pandemic and massive job losses in 2020, MTN launched the MTN Youth Skilling Program through which youth were equipped with business technical and digital skills. The goal of the program was to empower youth to become job creators. By the end of 2021, about 100 youth had been trained, with some having already started their own businesses.