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Riding the Wave and Retaining Stability in the Face of a Changing World



By Ronald K Ssekajja

The banking world like other sectors, has been tried and tested in the global war against a pandemic. Amazingly, the financial world has withstood the shock, using this period to showcase hard-won resilience to preserve support customers and consequently, national economies.

dfcu Bank’s recent financial report exhibits a sound liquidity and profitability. As the new fiscal year commences with a mixture of projection, the Bank’s customers can rest on our 50+ years of stability, transparency and expertise in banking made for Uganda, by Uganda and in the unquestionable stability aware that their banking needs will be met.

Our processes, systems and guiding principles have helped us ride the tough tide of a global pandemic. As the world approaches the next phase, its critical for us all to understand the non-negotiables if success is what you’re looking to attain.

Are you technologically prepared?

dfcu bank is leveraging its technology and digital platforms to act as a primary source of stability; supporting customers in making informed decisions on investments, restructuring credit facilities, delivering safe and secure payments and transaction services, and offering dependable advice in the face of uncertainty.

Locally and globally, the next phase of life will test the financial resilience of individuals, companies and nations! In addition to redefining their business models, Financial institutions will have to review and adjust their operational, organizational and reputational structures if they’re to realize their immediate and future objectives.

The new work culture that includes remote-working, online meetings and physical social distancing challenges traditional operational models while associated risks such as cyber-attacks puts the digital readiness and prowess of all businesses under scrutiny.

One of dfcu Bank’s strategic aspirations is to achieve Bank 4.0 status – to be fully rooted in the lives of customers that they can perform all manner of transactions without physically visiting the bank. Consequently, Bank 4.0 starts within the bank – ensuring that systems and staff are equipped to meet consumer demands and needs.

Is your organization up to speed with the latest, most vital and relevant technology advancements or has the pandemic exposed the cavities in your ship? How are you proactively levelling your tech abilities?

The ‘Human’ in Resources.

In the widely watched television show “Designated Survivor,” the main character, a lower-level cabinet member, Tom Kirkman finds himself in the ultimate seat of power after an attack claims the lives of the country’s Head of State. As the show progresses, Kirkman must govern a nation, manage teams from opposing political sides, maintain a stable home relationship and obviously, stay alive. We learn a lot about being prepared from this fictitious show.

The presence of succession planning processes and business continuity structures has been another indicator of the preparedness of companies for the future; certain or not.  At dfcu Bank, the Human Capital Unit is responsible for all functions of Human Resources Management. Built consistently and over the years, our structural processes ensured that staff were able to continue working with minimal or no interruptions even during a national lockdown.

In the past three months the banks’ interactions with customers has become almost entirely remote, driving customers to utilize online and alternative banking channels and requiring that staff continue to deliver at optimal levels.  The Bank is using our learnings from team collaborations, big data and analytics to improve customer experience and develop seasonally relevant products.

It has become increasingly clear that intentional flexibility to address new realities is prerequisite for immediate and future success. A changing world demands flexible innovators who can reimagine both customer interactions and internal to ensure productivity, customer retention, growth and profitability.

The writer is the Programme Manager, Organizational Change, Change & Innovation Domain dfcu Bank

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Vienna talks: US gives Iran ‘examples’ of sanctions it could lift | Nuclear Energy News




A US official said details on which sanctions could be lifted, and which sanctions are being reviewed, have been shared.

The United States has shared with Iran details of sanctions it is prepared to lift under a return to the 2015 nuclear accord, a senior US official has said, but there will be difficulty in untangling some sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump.

The update comes as the US and Iran completed their second round of indirect talks in Vienna on how to restore a nuclear accord, which Trump withdrew from in 2018. The agreement saw Tehran curtail its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from some sanctions.

Upon walking away from the deal, the Trump administration pursued a campaign of “maximum pressure” sanctions against Iran. Meanwhile, Iran has continued to violate provisions of the agreement, citing Washington’s withdrawal.

“We have provided Iran with a number of examples of the kind of sanctions that we believe we would need to lift in order to come back into compliance and the sanctions that we believe we would not need to lift,” the US official told reporters late on Wednesday.

The official added that the US, through intermediaries, presented Iran with three baskets of sanctions: those it is prepared to lift, those it is not prepared to lift and those that will require further study to determine if they are in fact appropriate for relief under the nuclear deal.

The third category constitutes “difficult cases”, including sanctions the Trump administration appeared to reimpose “purely for the purpose of preventing” Biden from re-entering the deal, the official said.

The 2015 agreement – which also includes the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union – allowed countries to continue to impose sanctions on Iran for non-nuclear reasons, such as “support for terrorism” and human rights abuses.

While many of the sanctions that Trump imposed on Iran were clearly related to the nuclear programme, others imposed on “terrorism” and “human rights” grounds are being reviewed to determine if they were legitimately related to those alleged abuses, or were also punishment for Iran’s nuclear activity, the official said.

The official said there are still “pretty important” disagreements over returning to the deal, adding the talks were expected to be a multi-round process.

‘Open to different kinds of sequencing’

Iran has pressed for the US to lift all sanctions imposed under Trump before it rolls back the steps it has taken away from the deal, however, the US official said Washington and Tehran have not yet gone into detail during the indirect talks on the question of who makes the first move.

“We’re open to different kinds of sequencing which meets our interest – which is to see both sides in full compliance,” the official said.

He declined to confirm a Wall Street Journal report that the Biden administration has voiced a willingness to ease sanctions on the Iranian finance and oil sectors.

The European parties to the agreement had last week expressed “grave concern” over Iran’s move to boost uranium enrichment to 60 percent purity in response to what Tehran says was an attack by Israel against the key nuclear facility of Natanz. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.

The step will bring Iran closer to the 90 percent purity threshold for military use and shorten its potential “breakout time” to build an atomic bomb – a goal Tehran denies.

Nevertheless, Russia’s representative Mikhail Ulyanov said this week after a meeting of the deal’s so-called Joint Commission of senior officials from France, Germany, Britain, China and Iran that they had noted “with satisfaction the progress in negotiations to restore the nuclear deal”.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, for his part, has voiced optimism about the talks, saying that negotiations have made “60-70 percent progress”.

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‘Kuwait is unsafe for women’: Outrage over brutal murder of woman | Women’s Rights News




The Murder of a woman in Kuwait sparks calls for stricter punishment for perpetrators after she was killed by a man released on bail.

The horrific murder of a woman in Kuwait this week has sparked outrage on social media with calls for stricter punishment for perpetrators of violent crime against women in the country.

On Tuesday, Farah Hamza Akbar was killed by a man against whom she had previously filed two cases for harassment which followed her family’s alleged refusal to his marriage proposal.

The perpetrator, arrested and later released on bail, kidnapped the woman and stabbed her to death. Her body was left outside a hospital south of Kuwait City, according to the interior ministry.

Within hours of the murder, to which the man later confessed, the police arrested him, the ministry said in a statement.

A video circulating on social media showed the victim’s sister crying and screaming that she had notified authorities of the threat he posed, but said her pleas were ignored.

“That is what we got, exactly what we said, that he is going to kill her, and he killed my sister. Where is the government? We told the judge. I told you many times he would kill her, and now she’s dead,” she said in the footage.


Within hours, the victim’s name was trending on Twitter in Kuwait as hundreds expressed outrage over the crime.

Kuwaiti fashion blogger Ascia al-Faraj shared the video of the distraught sister, saying that Kuwait was “not safe for women”.

Several social media users held authorities responsible, saying that they should not have released the perpetrator after he had threatened to kill the woman multiple times.

The murder comes two months after Kuwaiti activists launched a nationwide campaign to end sexual harassment and violence against women.

The campaign brought forward dozens of testimonies from women in Kuwait about being stalked, harassed or assaulted, mainly from the Instagram account “Lan Asket”, Arabic for “I will not be silent”.

Al-Faraj, the blogger, released an explosive video at the time of the campaign, saying there was a “problem” in the country.

“Every time I go out, there is someone who harasses me or harasses another woman in the street,” she said in a video after a vehicle sped up to “scare” her while she was walking to her car.

“We have a problem of harassment in this country, and I have had enough.”

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Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs




The Minister for Internal Affairs General Jeje Odongo has dismissed claims that Government is currently not at the best of terms with Non-Governmental Organizations and embarked on policies aimed at suppressing them.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Uganda’s Civil Society’ in Kampala, Odongo noted that while some things might not have moved on well between Government and some NGOs, the former is willing to address these issues so that the two parties can continue operating hand in hand.

“I would like to assure you that Government in the process of regulating this field through the NGO bureau. Government doesn’t have any sinister motives but is focused on improving the sector.”

As the line minister, Odongo vowed to ensure that the relationship between Government and these Organizations is improved to the extent that where there is a need, government will be ready to come in and support them.

The new book, which contains crucial information about these bodies, Odongo said, will be of great importance to various stake holders.

Stephen Okello the head of the NGO Bureau applauded the author and financer of this publication, saying it had come at a time when the country lacks a one stop center as far as operations of NGOs in the country is concerned.

“This book is very important because it’s going to spark off discussions on issues affecting CSOs; therefore, I ask everyone to spare time and read it.”

Joel Senyonyi the spokesperson for National Unity Platform (NUP) asked Government to stop referring to its critiques as enemies of the state or Agents of Europeans because they do all this as a result of love for their nation.

Sarah Bireete the Executive Director for Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG) noted that the Government is more comfortable with them sensitizing people on Sanitation matters than issue of Governance issues.

The post Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs first appeared on ChimpReports.

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