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December 2014

Customers can now use Airtel Money to transact on their bank accounts.

Airtel Uganda has today added a new service onto its Airtel Money platform in partnership with Equity, Centenary, Pride, Opportunity and DFCU banks. The Airtel Money Mobile banking service will enable Airtel Money customers to deposit money from their Airtel money accounts to their bank accounts and withdraw money from their bank accounts to their Airtel money accounts.

Airtel Uganda has been at the forefront in regards to partnering with companies and fostering innovations that are aimed at improving the lives of their customers. With innovations such as; sending and receiving money across networks, bill payments with Airtel money, Airtime topping up using Airtel Money and KCCA fee payment using Airtel money, Airtel has always had the interests of their customers at heart and has tried to cater to all of them despite their different locations and economic activities.

Announcing the official launch of the partnership at Serena Hotel Kampala, Mr. Nuhu Kanyiike, the Airtel Money Director at Airtel Uganda, said the partnership was not a promotion but a new addition to the Airtel Money platform.

“Better security, convenience and accessibility for our customers, colleagues and stakeholders is at the heart of our purpose at Airtel Uganda and we are extremely happy to partner with these banks to enable our Airtel Money customers deposit money from their Airtel money accounts to their bank accounts and withdraw money from their bank accounts to their Airtel money accounts whenever they want, wherever they are.”

Commenting on this partnership, Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Mr. Tom Gutjahr said Airtel Uganda was proud to partner with the strongest and most popular financial institutions in the country, in the creation of a service that will bring much needed relief to people and even organizations.

“Each development and partnership that involves Airtel Money is ultimately designed to ease the lives of our customers and all Ugandans. We look forward to forging more of these partnerships and ultimately making Airtel Money the number one partner of choice in mobile banking,” Gutjahr added.

Airtel apps store now live in Rwanda.

Airtel Rwanda today unveiled the airtel app store in Rwanda to support local content developers monetize their content and to allow its customers to download free or premium apps from

Speaking on the new initiative, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Teddy Bhullar said, “We want to bring locally relevant mobile applications to our customers and also continue to drive local application development by empowering talented apps developers in Rwanda. We are happy to announce that this is now live and that customers can enjoy using the Airtel App Store.”

He added, “Localized content combined with our fastest internet connection in Rwanda brings a unique opportunity for local and international developers and content providers to monetize their content through Airtel Apps Store which enables Airtel customers to purchase the apps using their airtime at affordable rates.”

The Airtel apps store consists of free and premium applications, and it is available for all phones using Android, Blackberry, Java, Symbian, and Windows. In addition to being able to buy the applications, customers can also- browse, preview, rate, report, comment, recommend, blog, download and gift apps.

Airtel Africa Announces Appointment of Board Chairman For Rwanda Operation

Bharti Airtel a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has today announced the appointment of Mr. Richard Mugisha, as the Board Chairman for Airtel Rwanda.

Mr. Mugisha, a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, is one of the most respected legal professionals in Rwanda having served in various executive and advisory roles in the country’s public and private sector. He is also a member of the Rwanda Bar Association and the East African Law Society.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Christian de Faria, CEO Airtel Africa, said, “We are privileged as a business to be joined by such a dynamic business leader to help drive our brand in Rwanda. This is an important chapter for Airtel Rwanda, our youngest market in Africa, where the telecoms landscape is also evolving quickly. On behalf of the Airtel Africa leadership fraternity, I want to pledge full our support to Mr. Mugisha to steer the Airtel business to even greater heights.”

A seasoned legal professional, Mr. Mugisha is currently the Managing Partner at Trust Law Chambers, a leading law firm which he founded in 2004. Amongst other previous roles, he has served as Chairman of Business Law Reform Commission between 2005 and 2007 and as a member of the country’s National Committee on Regional Integration between 2005 and 2009.

Mr. De Faria said his contribution and counsel will be invaluable for Airtel Rwanda, given the potential and dynamism of the country’s telecoms market.

“The technology revolution in Rwanda is evolving, thanks to ambitious government and private sector initiatives aimed at developing the country’s ICT sector, coupled with a youthful market keen to easily adapt to new technology trends. The country’s economy is also one of the fastest growing in the world, averaging 8.1 per cent annually between 2001 and 2012, according to the World Bank,”Mr. De Faria added.

Also commenting on the appointment, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Teddy Bhullar said, “We are honored to have Mr. Mugisha as the latest addition to the Airtel family. His expertise and knowledge of the Rwandan business environment will pave way for Airtel Rwanda to soar to greater heights.”

Airtel to divest telecoms tower assets in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS.

Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa [through its subsidiary company Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (“Airtel”)], and IHS Holding Limited (“IHS”), the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, today announced an agreement under which IHS will acquire over 1100 telecoms towers across 2 countries.

Agreed terms

Airtel to sell and lease back over 1100 towers from IHS in Zambia and Rwanda under a 10-year renewable contract.

IHS expands its Africa tower footprint to over 21,000 towers across 5 countries.

Will help drive cost efficiencies throughout the industry via the use of shared passive infrastructure.

The agreements will allow Airtel to focus on its core business and customers, enable it to deleverage through debt reduction, and will significantly reduce its on-going capital expenditure on passive infrastructure in these African markets.

For IHS, the acquisition is another major step towards the scale needed to provide shared telecoms infrastructure solutions in Africa.  IHS customers, the mobile network operators, will benefit from lower operating costs, expanded network coverage and accelerated network roll out times, higher network capacity and improved quality of service.  The consequences for the mobile subscribers will be more stable networks, higher network uptimes in which to make calls and a more ubiquitous service across the country.

The agreements are subject to statutory and regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the development, Christian de Faria, MD & CEO – Africa, Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to partner with IHS, which has a proven track record in passive infrastructure management in Africa and look forward to working with them. This agreement will accelerate infrastructure sharing amongst operators and benefit customers in form of affordable tariffs and wider network coverage.”

Issam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO of IHS, commented, “We have been working with Airtel for many years. And we are very pleased to have signed our first Buy and Lease Back transaction with Airtel.  The opportunity to expand our East African business bringing IHS’ market leading energy and infrastructure management practices to a wider market is an excellent opportunity.  We are very excited that following this deal more mobile phone users will benefit from the efficiencies and increased network uptimes that will result.”

Airtel Rwanda in Christmas celebrations with Children.

Christmas is known as a season of gifts, giving and enriching lives. People feel a greater urge to give back to the community during this period. In the same giving spirit, airtel Rwanda held a Christmas party for children at the Kigali University Teaching Hospital.

Hosted by Prof. Muganga Narcisse, who represented the hospital staff, the party was meant to bring out the Christmas joy in the kids. At the colourful and fun filled event, airtel Rwanda staff members treated the children to a festive experience they would remember for times to come. The airtel staff served food, danced, sang Christmas Carols, played games and gave out Christmas gifts to the little ones. Some of the gifts the children were given included school starter packs in form of scholastic materials.

Asked about why airtel Rwanda had chosen to hold a Christmas party for the children, CSR & Corporate Communications manager Denise Umunyana said: “Christmas is a period of giving back and sharing with one another and it is this time when we try to bring joy into each other’s lives by hosting them to a party such as this. Airtel Rwanda wants to celebrate Christmas with everyone. We want Rwandans to have the best.”

Emirates, a global connector of places, people and their passions scored a hat-trick last week as the airline launched three new A380 destinations in three days. Hitting the high notes first was the San Francisco flight, where Emirates has been flying since 2008. The Bay City is home to the renowned San Francisco Symphony, which Emirates first started sponsoring in 2011. 

Second was Milan, home of AC Milan, the world famous football team which Emirates has sponsored since 2007. Since Emirates launched flights to the city in 2000, the airline has flown 3.1 million people on the route, that number is enough to fill the San Siro stadium 38 times.

Emirates launched its daily service to Houston in 2007, and since then has flown over 1.2 million people on the route. Known as the “Energy Capital of the World” Houston was the last of the trio to take off that week. Between them, the three flights will have travelled 61,784 kilometres to and from Emirates’ A380 hub in Dubai.

With these three up-gauges Emirates’ A380 route network now totals 33 destinations, spanning from Auckland in the East to Los Angeles in the West.

“Emirates now has 55 A380s in its fleet, one third of all A380s currently in the skies. Having the ability to launch three new A380 destinations in three days is no small feat. It requires careful planning, multi-department coordination, airport preparedness and above all the tenacity to make it happen,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations West. “The logistics of launching three new A380 destinations would be, for many, an insurmountable task – but it is challenges likes this that the team at Emirates relish. Ultimately it is about serving our customers, whom we know are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to experience our A380 based on the demand that we’ve seen on all our A380 routes to date.”

It’s been a busy year for the Emirates A380 program with 11 of these new double-decked aircraft joining the fleet. The airline has also launched nine new A380 destinations in the past 12 months, including Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas and Kuwait.  Glasgow, Manila, Tehran and Vienna have also seen the Emirates A380 touchdown on their tarmac for a one off showcase in 2014.

Over 32 million passengers have now enjoyed the Emirates A380 experience and many of these are repeat customers, thanks to the airline’s unique on-board product. Emirates A380 features its signature First Class Suites, 14 luxurious private cabins, giving passengers the most exclusive inflight experience which includes access to the world’s only onboard  ShowerSpas. Another world first on the Emirates A380 is the On-Board Lounge where First Class and Business Class passengers can socialize at 40,000 feet. In addition all Emirates A380s offer Wi-Fi throughout and the largest selection of movies in the sky, with ice Digital Widescreen screening 500 films – that’s nearly one film per passenger.

Emirates’ San Francisco service operates daily as EK225 departing Dubai at 0850hrs arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 1250hrs the same day. The return flight, EK226 departs San Francisco at 1530hrs and arrives in Dubai the following day at 1925hrs.

Emirates flight EK91 leaves Dubai at 1540hrs and lands at Milan Malpensa Airport at 1935hrs. The return flight EK92 departs Milan at 2120hrs and arrives back at Concourse A, the home of the Emirates A380 and the world’s first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International Airport at 0625hrs the following day.

Emirates’ daily flight EK211 to Houston departs Dubai at 0930hrs and arrives at 1605hrs. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 1825hrs and lands in Dubai at 1905hrs the next day.

Airtel Uganda adopts Sseke Primary School.

Approximately 36km out of Masaka District, Sseke Primary School is located in Lwengo District and was the luck addition to Airtel’s school collection.  The announcement was made at a colorful event graced by the Lwengo District, District Education Officer, Mrs. Ankunda Doreen, who was the chief guest, officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Airtel Uganda directors and staff members, local community leaders, Sseke Primary school staff members and residents of Lwengo district.

Airtel’s Adopt-A-School initiative is an initiative practiced in all Airtel Africa countries where the company, with the guidance of the Ministry of Education, chooses a school, adopts it and starts refurbishing it. This program ensures access to quality education for all children, in particular the underprivileged ones from disadvantaged and marginalized communities, so as to realize immense significance for overall development of the country. At present, this program, across Africa and India, exists in over 300 schools.

Speaking at the ground breaking event, Mrs. Charity R. Bukenya, the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Airtel Uganda said: “Airtel believes that quality education is not only the most important tool for social –economic development of Uganda but also a vital weapon in the fight against poverty. By adopting a school we are not only providing children with an opportunity that they may not have had before, but are also igniting their curiosity and fueling their learning.”

Airtel Uganda Supply Chain Director, Mr. Patrice Namisano, agreed with Bukenya; “We adopt a school every year in Uganda. This move illustrates the strong commitment we have towards development of this country, not only through provision of excellent telecommunications products and services but also through investment in education, to teach Ugandans necessary skills to improve their livelihoods,” he said.

Sseke Primary School is the fourth school to be adopted by Airtel Uganda and permanently remains a member of the Airtel Uganda family.

Other schools that have been adopted by Airtel Uganda – Ndeeba Church of Uganda Primary School in Kayunga, St. Ponsiano Kyamula Primary in Makindye and Nanfugaki Primary school in Jinja- have undergone extensive work to renovate and help improve the conditions of their student body.

Some of the improvements made have included;

  • Renovation and extension of new classrooms that were in bad condition
  • Painting of all the classrooms
  • Installation of water tanks to allow children access to clean water
  • Repair of broken windows
  • Provision of students’ desks and work materials

Buruuli Rules CNOOC Bunyoro Amasaza Cup 2014.

The 2014 edition of the Bunyoro Amasaza Cup, sponsored by CNOOC Uganda, officially came to an end today with Buruuli beating Buyanja 4 – 3 in penalty shootouts.

The month-long tournament attracted five districts in the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom including Kiryandongo, Bulliisa, Hoima, Masindi and Kibaale.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at CNOOC Uganda Limited, Mr. Zack Lubega said CNOOC Uganda was honored to be part of the Amasaza Cup for the third year. “Since 2012, when we came to Hoima to start oil exploration activities in the region, the residents here have continued to be receptive, helpful and understanding whenever we approach them,” he said.

Emphasizing CNOOC’s dedication to various efforts, Lubega noted that the Company has supported the education and health sectors both in Hoima and the rest of the country.

“I would like to commend CNOOC Uganda for not only sponsoring sports in our region but also providing opportunities in form of education scholarships, vocational training opportunities and of course jobs at the oil field,” commented His Royal Majesty the King of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru.

“All of this has been geared towards ensuring that there is tangible development in our area. For this, we are grateful,” he added.

ACCA Concludes the Eastern Africa Members Convention.

Themed “Eastern Africa – the next growth frontier”, the convention, which acted as a major professional networking and learning event for ACCA members and the business leaders in this wide geographical region, started off with addresses from different speakers including ACCA Council Member Mr. Japheth Katto, ACCA Director for Sub-Sahara Africa Jamil Ampomah, ACCA Global president Mr. Anthony Harbinson as well as the Guest of Honor and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Uganda, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka.

“In Uganda we have 1,345 ACCA member who are employed in both the private and public sector. These accountants are the medical doctors in the financial sector of the world,” said Hon. Kiwanuka.

“I would like to further appreciate ACCA for acknowledging the East African Community as the next growth frontier and bringing together great minds to discuss the role that the accountancy profession is playing in realizing economic opportunities and the growth of capital markets in the region. Let me confidently state that the accountancy profession is very valuable not only to the Ugandan economy but also to the economies of our East African counterparts,” she added.

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During the different sessions, many different regional sectorial growth drivers such as entrepreneurship, the growth of capital markets, regional integration issues, technology as an enhancer of business, ethical business, the future of the Accountancy profession and Oil and Gas were discussed.

The two-day convention ended with a poolside farewell dinner where new ACCA members were recognized and awarded.

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