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Mentor Senior Secondary School Win 5th Edition of the Stanbic National Schools Champions for 2020




Mentor Senior Secondary School from Lira district emerged winners of the 5th edition of the Stanbic Bank National Schools Championship after a panel of judges selected their business plan, Edutele an education consultancy service that has been helping students attend virtual classes during the lock down.

The other finalists were Nabisunsa Girls School from Central Uganda, Kyebambe Girls from Western Uganda, Mentor Senior Secondary School from Northern Uganda and Mpumudde Seed Senior School from Eastern Uganda.

Unlike the previous National School Championships, this year brought together all students and schools that have excelled in the championship and continue to nurture the businesses that they started as a result of the championship. The three in one awards ceremony had three categories of winners involving both the students, alumni and existing schools from past years under the categories, – Startup challenge – New business ideas generated, BizGrow challenge – Existing businesses in schools from past four years and AlumGrow challenge – National Schools alumni personal businesses.

Some 600 business ideas were generated during the course of the competition compared to 400 last year. Students were also challenged to take into account the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) and present business plans that were in conformity to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Students of Mentor SS, whose business idea, Edutele an education consultancy service that has been helping students attend virtual classes during the lock down, won the 5th edition of the NSC

Also notable this year, was that most of the activities during the qualifying stages were carried out online due to the pandemic that forced the government to close educational institutions at the end of March. However there was no letup in the enthusiasm among the students.

Barbara Kasekende, Stanbic Bank’s Corporate Social Investments (CSI) Manager speaking during the awards ceremony at Sheraton hotel Kampala said, “I have been amazed by the kind of projects the students came up with. They managed to find gaps in their communities where they live and proposed solutions for these challenges including COVID19. Just over 60% of the business plans entailed the manufacture of hand sanitizers and/or similar sanitation products. At the semi-final stage, the Bank supported each project with UGX500,000 to get things started. The initial impact on their communities has surpassed our expectations. The students displayed an amazing ‘I Can Do it’ attitude which is part and parcel of why this CSI programme remains so popular five years after we started this initiative. We started out with 40 schools. Last year 72 schools took part, but this year we had 100.”

The Stanbic National Schools Championship is the Bank’s flagship CSI programme. Its aim is to enhance skills development through equipping students with entrepreneurship and critical thinking skills that we believe will better prepare them to be job creators in the future.

Apart from business proposals to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, students also presented proposals for reusable sanitary pads, potato processing, flavored ghee, digital services for marketing and learning.

Emma Mugisha, the Stanbic Bank Executive Director and Head of Corporate Investment Banking speaking at the NSC finale

Kasekende said, “The business plans demonstrated creativity, and targeted a local market, with plans for future expansion. This year, we added a third tier to involve the NSC alumni. These are past winners of the Championship who competed for new investment funds in an Alumni Showdown where they showcased the sustainability of their new businesses. It gave them an opportunity to show they are not only bettering their own lives, but the lives of the people in their communities. Listening to their stories, not only inspires other young people to follow suit, but also proves that given a chance these students want to realize their full potential and in turn help sustain the country’s future economic growth.”

Emma Mugisha, the Stanbic Bank Executive Director and Head of Corporate Investment Banking said, “This is in line with the Bank’s purpose of making dreams possible by nurturing this young talent. We recently  unveiled our new brand promise that underpins our aspirations because we believe by supporting these young people to be courageous, innovative, authentic and bold in everything they do, we shall be able to build a better tomorrow for Uganda. ”

In 2016 and, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Championship was launched. Since then, several partners from both the public and private sector have come onboard. Today, the programme has over 12 partners and continues to run with the theme ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’.

The focus is on entrepreneurship and life skills in order to empower young people to relate with the new modern world. Stanbic NSC together with Roofings Limited also resolved to plant fruit trees in all the 100 schools; the minimum being 10 trees up to100 trees. All these tree seedlings are being provided free of charge with a target to plant over 15,000 trees across the country to tackle both climate change and food insecurity.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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