For the first time since the launch of MTN Mobile Money in 2009, individuals and companies can now easily effect payment for licenses, fines, taxes and other fees to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) using a secure and trusted platform.
This follows the signing of a partnership between KCCA and MTN Uganda that will enable members of the public and businesses pay for various City Authority taxes and levies. This service guarantees convenience to the customer and a more effective revenue collection mechanism for KCCA.
Commenting on the partnership, MTN’s General Manager Financial Services Phrase Lubega said,“Prior to the launch the KCCA solution, overall figures indicated that more than 85 percent of mobile bill payment collections in Uganda are made through the MTN Mobile Money platform.”
“Continuing to integrate mobile money into mainstream financial services will therefore further expand the digital financial ecosystem which in turn will facilitate further delivery of financial inclusion for all persons across Uganda,” he added.
Commenting on this partnership, KCCA’s Executive Director Jennifer Musisi said; “Today’s event presents a historic moment for both KCCA and MTN as it seeks to broaden the existing Revenue collection channels by bringing on board mobile money services to facilitate KCCA fees collection.”
This development means MTN Mobile Money subscribers can now simply utilize the Mobile Money menu, via *165#, to effect their payments to KCCA.
How the Service Works
- Dial *165#
- Select Option 9 (Fees and Taxes) on the second screen
- Select Option 2 (KCCA)
- You will be asked to enter the Payment Reference Number which you will have obtained from KCCA based on the nature of your payment.
- Enter Amount (that you wish to pay)
- Enter Mobile Money PIN
The customer will receive a confirmation message after the transaction has been completed.Read More
Research by startup funding platform VC4Africa reveals that African countries have diverse startup scenes, with investments varying widely across the continent.
According to the research South Africa has the highest average startup investment amount, Nigeria has the highest number of startup investments, and Kenya has the highest startup investments in total.
VC4Africa (Venture Capital for Africa) is an online platform for entrepreneurs and investors in Africa with a community of over 20,000 members in 159 countries, including 600 investors.
Co-founder Ben White shared these and other insights at the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, the annual gathering of startup champions, with attendees from over 150 countries, saying that it was the time for investors to start paying to the continent.
“The research shows there are a growing number of businesses that are successfully growing their operations over time and adding much needed jobs to the African marketplace. This is a key message to investors. Now is the time to get involved in this space”, he says.
“It is known that South Africa’s startup scene includes more mature ventures and explains the bigger ticket sizes”
VC4Africa surveyed its community of entrepreneurs and investors, tracking the progress across Africa’s startup funding scenes, the results of which are compiled in the Venture Finance in Africa report.
According to the website, VC4Africa, was able to track 104 investments in startups across Africa listed on its platform, with a total amount of USD 27 million.
Out of the 104 tracked investments, most were in Nigeria (24), followed by Kenya (19), Tanzania (12), South Africa (11), Ghana (10), Uganda (10), Cameroon (9) and Egypt (9).
“Countries like Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana are often named as examples of startup hotspots in Africa. Nigeria, coming out as the continent’s top startup investment destination, recently got more and more attention, for example with new incubators opening and the two most recent DEMO Africa events”, the report says.
On average, of the tracked startup investments in the eight countries mentioned above, the research showed that the largest average investment in South Africa ($250K), followed by Kenya (slightly lower, rounded off $250K as well). Behind this are Uganda ($152K), and – at a distance – Tanzania ($66K), Ghana ($65K), Nigeria ($57K), Egypt ($42K), and Cameroon ($28K).
“It is known that South Africa’s startup scene includes more mature ventures and explains the bigger ticket sizes” the report details.
Some African startups that have raised funding include TopCheck, Tugende, IroFit, Ubongo, Soko, Karibu Solar, Njorku, Kiro’o Games and many others.
Think innovations such as a touch sticker, a platform for social gaming, mobile payment startups, recycling waste for street lamps, edu tech ventures, messaging and other apps, and more.
According to the report, “each venture is scalable, makes smart use of technology, or is disruptive in their application of a business model”.Read More
The proliferation of smart mobile technology in the hands of almost a billion people in Africa is providing the commercial sector a new way of doing business.
The 2015 Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that by the first quarter of 2015 there were more than 910 million mobile subscriptions in Africa. Many of these mobile users were already using smart devises that gave them instant access to apps and information, in turn giving organisations new ways to interact with employees, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Benefits of mobilising enterprise resource planning
Keith Fenner, senior vice-president sales, Sage ERP Africa says mobile workers are able to access important information that can help them react to opportunities and problems more rapidly.
“We’re seeing many organizations mobilise their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Workers and managers are increasingly able to access ERP data on the road to serve customers, speed up decision-making, and save time.”
Fenner gives an example of how a salesperson can now easily check whether a product is in stock, capture customer’s details and initiate the order from a tablet or smartphone without leaving the customer’s premises.
Accounting solutions on the move
Sage Pastel Accounting General Manager, Daryl Blundell says mobile has also had an impact on SMEs’ accounting processes.
“Employees with mobile devices can be productive many more hours a week because they can work from anywhere in the world and can maximise what might otherwise have been wasted time waiting in airports and reception rooms,” he says.
According to Blundell, enterprise mobility can also help achieve a healthy work-life balance since employees do not need to be in the office to catch up with work.
Streamlining HR functions across mobile devices
“Companies can now offer employee self-service (ESS) across mobile devices to streamline HR processes and engage employees more effectively,” says Gerhard Hartman, head of Sage HR and Payroll’s International Division.
“With mobile ESS, companies can enable employees to file leave applications, doctor’s notes when they’re ill, and expense claims – all from their mobile devices,” he adds.
“They can look up their payslips, change their personal details, and more, all without needing to do paperwork or phone the HR department.”Read More
interview. The fishing industry remains one of the key contributors of foreign exchange in Uganda. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative, Alhaji M. Jallow, spoke to Daily Monitor’s Brian Ssenoga about FAO’s new interventions in the fisheries sector.
Give an overview of the Food and Agriculture Organization support to the fishing industry in Uganda?
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency for agricultural issues and food security, including fisheries. In Uganda, the major source of fish is Lake Victoria and so the fisheries sector in the country is important. FAO jointly works with the government of Uganda in conserving fish stocks in the water resources.
The government set up the beach management units to regulate the fishing industry. However, the units have not been as successful as we envisaged in managing the resources and sharing the lake with other regional countries made the protection of resources more difficult. With time, we realized a shortfall in fish stocks, especially in Lake Victoria. Fishermen who caught 200kgs per day are now getting 20kg or less.
What we are addressing currently with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is the aspect of fish farming (aquaculture) to complement catches from the different lakes in the country. We are involving the youth and fish farmers through a $500,000 (more than Shs1.3b) FAO funded project. It is not a lot of money, but we plan to use it effectively.
We recently evaluated the hatchery and pond construction challenges in the country. Fish feed availability is currently being assessed for improvement, especially at the farm level. In order to complement the aquaculture project, the Ministry of Finance has endorsed a $1 million (more than Shs2.6 billion) FAO funded project for the facilitation of youth employment through fish farming.
What is your assessment of the opportunities available in the fishing industry?
As I mentioned earlier, commercial fish farming will be viable in Uganda if we consider the abundant water availability and topography of potential fish farming areas. This will be necessary for the construction of ponds that can hold water and support proper growth of the fish for commercial purposes. Uganda produces up to 15,000 tonnes of fish from aquaculture, including production from small-scale fish farmers, emerging commercial fish farmers and stocked community water reservoirs, and lakes and rivers. There are an estimated 20,000 ponds throughout the country with an average surface area of 500 square metres per pond. With improved market prices for fish, government intervention to increase production and stagnant supply from capture fisheries, aquaculture has begun to attract entrepreneurial farmers seeking to exploit the business opportunity provided by the prevailing high demand for farmed fish.
This expansion in aquaculture has also resulted in the transformation of 20-30 per cent of the smallholder subsistence ponds into profitable small-scale production units through developments in management and production scale. However, fish farming as a business must be done from a professional point of view. There are some fish farmers, but most of them are doing it more for subsistence. Farmed fish has a huge market here and outside the country. Ugandans consume fish in large quantities but production has always been limited.
In terms of large scale investment for export, compared to the neigbouring countries, Uganda is strategically positioned and blessed with all the resources to support the fish industry. There is a huge market for Uganda’s fish and fish products in those countries. Fish exports generate substantial revenue averaging nearly $124 million in the last five years, representing 7-15 per cent of all agricultural exports. What is now lacking is money and commitment to heavily invest in the industry, including in fish farming. The fish value chain must be promoted with deliberate intentions to create jobs and industrialize the sector to effectively contribute to the development of the country.
What do you think are Uganda’s chances of having fish as a major source of nutrition and income?
Many people tend to look at food security as only the availability of food in the house, but, technically, food security involves food for consumption and at the same time to generate income to buy other things to fulfil human needs. It is known that fish is not only nutritious but has medicinal components as well. Yes, the lake volumes are dwindling but the fish farming option is here and we are ready to support it as a source of food and income. We are planning to get involved and work with fishing communities on protecting the resources in the lake and sustaining the livelihhoods of fisher folk in the country.
The World Food Day is in October, what is the theme for this year and how is it linked to fisheries?
Now that the World Food Day is near (October 16), we want Ugandans to know that this year’s theme is; “Family Farming: feeding the world and caring for the earth.” The UN General Assembly has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming and this is to reposition family farming at the centre of agriculture and general policies in the national agenda to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development.
This is to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers.
In Uganda, for example, there are 3.9 million agricultural households and these significantly contribute to food availability and eradicating hunger, promoting food security, nutrition, environmental protection and natural resources management. We can widen that to include the fish farmers and the fisherfolk in the fishing communities.Read More
Low income earners, who have for long been unable to afford insurance covers, are set to benefit from a new product that will enable them to pay their medical bills in case of an accident.
The MyLife mobile personal accident insurance product launched by Liberty Life – a life insurance service provider – and MCash – a mobile money payment service provider – provides cover for accidental disability, loss of life as well as hospital cash back in the event the insured is involved in an accident, upon payment of monthly fees of between Shs2,500 and Shs12,500 depending on the plan.
The product has three plans including silver where a customer pays monthly fees of Shs2,500, gold Shs6,250 for the gold plan and Shs12,500 for the platinum plan.
Upon being hospitalised for more than 72 hours, disability or loss of life, the beneficiary or customer is entitled to a lump sum of Shs1 million, Shs2.5 million and Shs5 million for the silver, gold and platinum covers, respectively.
Speaking at the launch of the product in Kampala yesterday, Mr Joseph Almeida, Liberty Life managing director, said the product was driven by the insurance firm’s commitment to create a range of products and solutions to meet customers’ ever changing financial, investment and lifestyle risk situations. “One will never know when an accident will occur and sometimes the unexpected happens when we least expect. …MyLife will take away the burden of worrying about the financial implication of such an accident,” Mr Almeida said.
He added that the firm has sophisticated software that enables them to track at any stage claim submitted to ensure prompt settlement after receiving all the required documentation.
MyLife product is expected to improve access to insurance, especially among the lower segment of the population which has for long been untapped and grow penetration rates from the current 0.6 per cent, at which it has stagnated for years. The product, however, will be accessible to M-Cash account holders as premiums will only be paid through M-Cash.Read More
Are some of the people you hire costing you lost sales? A few days after the World Cup Final, my friend William a devoted and loyal Nakumatt customer happened to be walking past Nakumatt and decided it would be a good place for him to purchase airtime. At the supermarket entrance, the plain-clothed security officer responsible for scanning everyone as they enter stopped William to let him know that he could not enter the supermarket with his computer bag.
When William innocently asked where he could leave his computer bag, the security officer informed him that he simply would not be allowed to get past that particular point, and that was the end of the story.
Interestingly enough, a uniformed guard who happened to overhear the exchange came to William’s rescue. The guard showed William where he could leave his bag before entering the supermarket and as they headed to that location, William let slip that as a loyal Nakumatt customer, he was completely disappointed by the rude treatment he had received especially since all he wanted was airtime!
The helpful guard then showed William a jewellery shop where he could purchase airtime, without having to leave his bag behind! I shudder to think of the number of customers that have suffered a negative experience at the hands of Nakumatt’s unhelpful security officer, and the resulting amount of lost sales.
What makes that security officer a loser? Ignoring William’s question, having the audacity to rudely turn him away with no solution and more likely than not, treating other Nakumatt customers similarly!
What impression do you have of NSSF and its ability to quickly deliver on promises? My friend Sally recently emigrated from Uganda to the United States. With no plans of ever returning to Uganda, prior to her departure, Sally decided to claim her full NSSF entitlement, including interest. Contrary to the lengthy amount of processing time that both Sally and I imagined such a request would take, the entire exercise from document submission to receipt of funds took just under one month!
The Customer Service Officer (CSO) handling Sally’s request not only sent her weekly e-mail updates, but also took the trouble to follow up with NSSF internal audit personnel (who responded in a timely manner) when Sally sent an e-mail asking if she could submit alternative proof documents supporting her claim. In Sally’s own words, “I received very attentive and quick service – I was amazed!”
What makes NSSF a winner? The two different officers who offered Sally helpful and quick service point to the value NSSF places on delighting its customers.Read More