Rising Star Woman Reveals Her Success Story In Ice Cream Business

dfcu Bank in partnership Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the Daily Monitor  have been running a program dubbed ‘Rising Woman’ that is aimed at recognizing, celebrating and promoting a culture of mentorship among women in business.

During this year’s Rising Woman initiative, dfcu Bank and its partners held a business proposal writing competition and Linnet Akol  (in featured photo) emerged as the winner.We caught up with her and this is what she had to say.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a mother of three beautiful kids, a wife and an entrepreneur who is passionate about seeing change in people’s lives. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences where I majored in Sociology from Makerere University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Milpak Business School in South Africa. Currently I run my own business called Krystal Ice Limited. I’m enthusiastic about adding value to fruits and also committed to social change in communities.


Why and when did you venture into business?

I think I have always been an ambitious person. I had always wanted to start something of my own but starting out is always hard, there are so many challenges you face when you decide to venture out. As a sole business proprietor, all the wins and losses fall squarely on you. You contemplate leaving the comfortable job you have, air conditioned office and kiss goodbye to getting salary in time. Then you have to go ground zero and start your small thing. The reality sinks in as you won’t be able to pay yourself handsomely like before.


In 2009, the company I was working with ceased operations in Uganda and that’s when I realized it was time to venture into business. Before that, when I was working with the Danish company, I had a side business. Around 2005, I used to package tea leaves and sell to super markets and offices.

It was called Kibuga tea and it was actually doing well. But because I was working somewhere else I delegated people to run the business who messed it up, stole the capital and I kind of gave up on it.


Before I quit work, I had attended a business study tour, an initiative by Professor Balunywa in partnership with Southern University in the United States. I came across an advert calling for people with business ideas, I took a leap of faith and applied, as luck would have it, I made it to the final stage after rigorous interviews. The experience opened my eyes to new ways of doing business. I learnt that to do business, we should embrace social responsibility and it shouldn’t be for selfish reasons.

I decided to venture into the ice business on account of prior exposure. In 2015, while brainstorming with my kids, we came up with the name Fruity ice pops.

I had my doubts on how well the product would be received in the Ugandan market though I’m glad it has been received well so far.


One time I read an article in the papers that was talking about Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) as an incubation Centre. I was excited because I didn’t know we had one in Uganda. Sometimes lack of information can be a setback in business.


I wrote a letter to them and kept pushing till finally they gave me audience. I was allocated a food expert who worked with me till we developed the final product. Production started in 2016 November. I currently employ 8 people and have some part timers.

We produce about 400 to 600 pops daily and supply to super markets such as quality, capital shoppers and a few others.


What has been your biggest challenge in running your business and how have you countered it?

My biggest challenge has been the lack of machines which slows down our production. I need a fully automated production room and cold room for storage. I also didn’t have the help of professionals to consult with on how to take my business forward. But I believe withdfcuBank’s consultation services extended to me, this will be resolved. Operational costs are still high in terms of transport costs and high power tariffs.


One of the other challenges is people don’t appreciate Ugandan products –assuming the quality is poor. Some super markets don’t accept some locally made products limiting our market base. Every day presents its own challenges but as a company we keep pushing through hard work and persistence.


How did you hear about the Rising Woman initiative?

I heard about the Rising Woman competition through a friend on social media. I then went ahead to send in my business proposal and was delighted when I was invited to defend it.


What inspired you to participate in the Rising Woman competition?

I believe in looking for opportunities to make things happen and experience has taught me that in order to make things happens you must put yourself out there. Hearing from other women sharing their stories was eye opening. It was my first time to write a proposal and defend it. For me it was a learning experience which has left a mark along my business journey. The recognition and award was reaffirmation that I’m on the right path.


How did you feel when you were announced as the winner during the awards?

When they read out most of the names and I didn’t hear my name, my heart sunk. When the name of my company appeared on the screen I didn’t even recognize it, not until my name was called out. My heart did a double summersault on hearing my company declared the winner that evening.


How do you intend to use the prize money?

I will invest in more machines to improve my current production. We don’t have a cold room yet which has posed a challenge in terms of storage. I also want to train my employee to improve their skills in business handling.


What are your expectations as you go for the study tour in Nairobi come January 2019?

I’m excited about meeting and interacting with fellow winners.I also look forward to learning from the other entrepreneurs in Kenya. I want to learn all I can from the tour.


How do you strike a balance between family, work and other things that fight for your attention?

One of the main reasons that propelled me to start up my own business was, so that I could have more freedom to do other things that I love, life is not all about work. Being my own boss allows me manage my own time despite its unique challenges.


What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up on your dreams. No one will make them happen for you. Surround yourself with the right people because having a supportive network, helps you make significance progress. I thank dfcu bank and partners for promoting a mentorship program for women in business that I have also benefited from.







Dfcu Bank Receives Shs112bn Boost To Support SMEs

Proparco, the French Development Finance Institution, has extended financing of USD 15m (Shs55.9bn) alongside USD 15m (Shs55.9bn) from FMO (the Dutch Development Bank) to dfcu, a strongly performing commercial bank with robust growth potential in Uganda.

The facility is primarily earmarked for financing of small and medium-size businesses in line with the bank’s SME-oriented strategy.

This facility was announced during a signature ceremony attended by Proparco’s Head of Financial Institutions in Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Haye, who stated that “Proparco is pleased to once again partner with dfcu.This new credit line reflects the commitment of both institutions to support an inclusive and sustainable growth in Uganda.”

Officials from the three parties in a group photo after signing the landmark deal

Proparco and dfcu Bank have had a long-term partnership that has seen Proparco extend a series of facilities to the bank since 2005. The current facility is the 5th transaction with the bank. This testifies to Proparco’s long term commitment to supporting SMEs in developing countries and to the deepening of the financial sector in Uganda.

“The operations of SMEs occupy an admirable position in the Uganda’s economic landscape. Despite being a key driver of economic growth, long term development finance remains a huge challenge. This line of credit will facilitate dfcu in providing a range of financing instruments to SMEs in order to enable them to continue to play their role in growth, innovation and employment. This facility will further strengthen the Bank’s capacity to grow its business and subsequently consolidate our position as a leading provider of long term development finance,” said Mathias Katamba, Incoming Chief Executive Officer, dfcu Bank.


“FMO is proud to partner with dfcu Bank, a bank that supports productive SMEs in Uganda. Supporting local enterprises through trusted partners like dfcu Bank is core to FMO’s mission”, said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer of FMO.

420 Entrepreneurs Graduate From Stanbic’s Business Incubator

Stanbic Bank has today awarded graduation certificates to 420 entrepreneurs from 119 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through its business incubator.

This is the second cohort to graduate since the incubator was launched earlier this year.

Cohort one saw 94 entrepreneurs from 34 businesses graduate; thereforemaking a 2018 total of 153 SME companies and 514 entrepreneurs.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Stanbic Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa said, “This facility is purposed to equip Ugandan SMEs with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding of the requisite standards required to successfully participate in the Oil and Gas sector, and to run their businesses in a sustainable and profitable manner.  It fills me with great pride to see the incubator attract more and more businesses with each in take. Today, 119 SMEs have graduated compared to 34 in May this year. This is a clear indication that we are moving in the right direction towards impacting on business sustainability and ultimately job creation.”

Stanbic Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire noted, “SMEs are key engines of economic growth in this country employing approximately 2.5 million people,contributing 20% of Gross Domestic Product and producing 80% of Uganda’s manufactured output.   They however continue to be plagued with challenges that limit their potential, including lack of financial support and lack of skills including entrepreneurial, management, marketing and financial planning. Stanbic Bank, through this incubator, is nurturing SMEs in order for them to develop and grow by bridging the identified gaps.”

Stanbic CE Patrick Mweheire hands over a graduation certificate to David Kayemba the Precision Energy Proprietor. The second cohort of the Incubator saw 420 entrepreneurs graduate.

The graduating cohort is involved in a wide range of businesses including catering and catering support services, security, medical services, facilities management including cleaning services, fumigation and pest control and grounds management. Equipment logistics, personal transportation and warehousing and logistics support services hotels and accommodation, entertainment, events management and support services, recreation, travel and tour operations.

Richard Ochieng, of the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) said, “One of the biggest challenges facing these SMEs is compliance and governance. These are key aspects for any competitive business to thrive and be able to operate in a high standard environment. I believe the entrepreneurs who graduated today from the Stanbic Business Incubator are well equipped to participate and in the sector as we await first oil.”

Uganda’s first oil is expected in 2021 according to the Ministry of Energy and Stanbic believes this will be ample time to have trained as many SMEs as possible and position them to benefit and make the biggest impact. The bank plans to expand and establish business incubators across the four regions of the country.


INTERVIEW: Dfcu Boss On How Digitalisation Is Transforming Uganda’s Banking Sector

While people will always need banking and other financial services, how they interact with and access these services has changed dramatically with the advent of technology. We spoke to William Sekabembe (in featured photo), Chief of Business and Executive Director at dfcu Bank who gave us key take aways from the digital transformation trends in the banking sector and how dfcu is leveraging these opportunities.

Q: What is the progress of digital transformation in the Ugandan banking sector?

 A: The Ugandan Banking sector is going through a digital transformation and commercial banks are looking to leverage this enabler to maintain the competitive edge in the market. The pace of digital adoption over the past two years has surpassed expectations and this trend is likely to accelerate further. The increasing role of technology has heightened customer expectations and transformed the way customers interact with financial institutions.

Q: How do Banks stand to benefit fromdigitally transforming their operations?

A: Frankly speaking, it’s a matter of remaining relevant.Today’s demand for banking services is ‘anytimeanywhere banking’. Looking at the customer journey from on-boarding to account management, customers no longer want to wait for long hours in the branch and need to access their accounts whenever, wherever.Consequently,Banks in this era require innovative, agile, robust and secure systems; fully optimized and ready to meet the expectations of empowered and tech-savvy customers. Besides meeting customer expectations, digitalization of banking services improves operational efficiency and reduces the cost of intermediation.

Q: How is dfcu Bank responding to these digital trends?

A: One of our strategic prioritiesis to transform into the ‘Next Generation’ Bank, leveraging technology to deliver value to our customers. As such, we are exploiting technology to improve our operations efficiency, increase our customer touch points and further deploy data analytics to roll out products and offer services that respond to the ‘Voice of the Customer’.

Our transformation journey from traditional to digital banking has taken the Omni-Channeldirection; a multichannel approach to customer service where all the alternate business channels are strongly integrated,keeping the customer at the Centre of the integration; offering the same user experience,with transaction security (cyber security) at the core.


Q: What are some of the digital innovations dfcu has rolled out this year?

 A: Earlier in the year we rolled out a new Electronic Banking platform – ‘QuickBanking’, whichis a robust multi-channel (Mobile and Internet) that provides seamless navigation across all channels using the same credentials allowing customers to literally carry out their banking transactions on the go.Most importantly, customers can self-onboard on to this platform remotely without visiting the branch.

We have also simplified school fees payments and collections through the Schoolpay solution. A secure and complete payment solution, School pay allows parents to make school fees/tuition payments online and on mobile using a unique payment registration number.

dfcu Agent Banking is now live and several agents have already been brought on board in several parts of the country, and this will go a long way in transforming banking in Uganda. Agent Banking is driving financial inclusion by reaching out to the underserved and unbanked communties.

Our Agent Banking proposition will be complimented with an instant account opening platform that will facilitate customers to acquire dfcubank accounts in less than three minutes.

We will be launching an Intelligent Branch prototype before the end of this year. The intelligent branch is a fully-fledged self-service branch will open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Q: From a digital perspective, what does the future hold for dfcu Bank?


A: The ever-evolving technological advances mean we must keep in change mode. We will continue to focus on further technological enhancements to meet customer changing needs. In the short-term we shall be rolling out more smart solutions like the Investment Club App and Mobiloans targeting different customer segments.

We will also continue to focus on efficiency byimplementing simpler and leaner processes todeliver financial solutions faster and in a cost-effective way. To this end several of our operational, credit and on boarding processes are being automated with the objective of increasing transaction velocity.

As we integrate into our customers’ digital lifestyles, we are collaborating with leading financial technology partners to continuously deliver exciting new opportunities to our clients across all our business lines.





Dfcu Bank Appoints New Members To Women In Business Advisory Council

dfcu Bank has appointed two new members to join its Women in Business Advisory Council (WBAC) effective October 1st 2018.

The new Council members are Grace Makoko a respected female banker in East Africa and Belinda Namutebi a leading communications expert in Uganda.

As one of the few East African bankers with vast experience in both Corporate Banking and Financial Markets, Grace Makoko who is also a celebrated authority in the area of personal finance and wealth creation brings to the Women’s Council over twenty (20) years of experience in the banking industry from different markets in the region.

Similarly, Belinda Namutebi has fourteen (14) years’ experience in Corporate and Advocacy communication.

An innovator who’s passionate about the power of brands to cause meaningful change; Belinda has a knack for understanding the needs of target audiences and developing innovative campaigns to address challenges and drive change.

Commenting on the new members to the Women in Business Advisory Council, Chief Executive Officer, Juma Kisaame said; “There is no doubt these distinguished women are a great valued addition to the council as they each bring with them unique qualifications, personalities and experiences that will contribute to the advancement of the Women in Business (WiB) program.”

dfcu Bank’s CEO, Juma Kisaame (2nd R) poses for a photograph with some of the bank’s management team and members of its Women in Business Advisory Council

The Bank also reappointed Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, Rosemary Mutyabule and Patricia Karugaba Kyazze as members to the Advisory Council.

In 2012, dfcu bank formed the Women in Business Advisory Council (WBAC) whose composition constitutes five (5) distinguished women, tasked with the responsibility of supporting the Bank’s board and management in effectively implementing its women advancement agenda.

As part of dfcu’s strategic plan to empower women entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential, the WiB program was launched in 2007 to achieve this objective.

The local women entrepreneurs have been very receptive of the program which has seen over 50,000 women enrolled; more than 35,000 benefit from capacity building sessions and over 3,000 access credit facilities since its inception.

According to the WBAC, Chairperson, Dr. Gudula Basaza strategic partners likes Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Uganda Law Society (ULS) and Institute of Certified Public Accounts (ICPAU) have been instrumental in the success of the program.

“In our new term of as the Advisory Council, we will be exploring how to leverage these partnerships more and forge new ones to build on the success of the program,” she added.

Ford Spreads Driving Skills, Knowledge To Gulu

FORD Motor Company, in conjunction with its distributor, the Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC) Uganda Limited has spread its free driving skills to Gulu through its highly-acclaimed Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme.
DSFL was first implemented in Uganda in 2016 in order to improve driving skills and curb accidents on the roads.

The event, held on Saturday at Boma Grounds in Gulu town, saw participants including Ford clients, businessmen, politicians, civil servants and journalists undergo training by a team of car experts.  The participants got the opportunity to learn about the advanced technological features that the Ford Ranger, Wildtrak and Everest offer such as safety, departure angles, brake distance on gravel and anti-lock braking system (ABS) and how to use other four-wheel drive functions such as traction control, locking differential and drive train.

The DSFL training was done by Derek Kirkby, the Director Training Ford Motor Company South Africaand his partner Motebang Mokoena.

Aloysius Kawooya, the Service Manager CMC Uganda trains on Hill Ascent control with the advanced Ford Everest

Drinking and driving was also under the spotlight again, with the use of the drunk-driving goggles. These goggles imitate a drunk driver and simulate how alcohol actually impairs driving skills.

Speaking to the trainees, Derek said that most of the road accidents globally are due to human factors. “Safety is one of the key brand pillars for Ford and it’s a mindset when we build cars.

With DSFL, we aim at sensitizing drivers to make roads safer and this training shows how they too can be safe, responsible and eco-friendly,” Derek said.

Ford trainer Motebang Mokoena equips Gulu drivers with Safety driving skills

Ford launched DSFL in the United States in 2003 and the programme has been improved and adapted to suit local conditions in many other global markets over the years. It was launched in South Africa in 2014, introduced into Angola in 2015 and in 2016 it was rolled out in Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya.

Ford DSFL, is a comprehensive programme aimed at providing new skills and information to newly licensed drivers and improve the defensive driving ability of experienced drivers. The programme also addresses both the inexperience of young drivers as well as issues surrounding distracted driving, thereby, enhancing eco-driving to personal safety and the environment.

Shilling Loses Ground As Demand For Dollars Picks Up

The Uganda shilling lost ground, erasing some of its slight gains of the previous week, as demand for dollars picked up from the energy, telecom and manufacturing sectors coupled with commercial banks covering short positions during the week ending 12th October 2018.

Trading was in the range 3795/3805. In the interbank shilling market, overnight funds traded at 7% while one week traded at 8.5%, with some bit of tightness emerging.

In the fixed income segment of the market, a Treasury bill auction with 195 billion on offer was held. Yields increased across all the tenors, mirroring the upward revision of the Central Bank rate coupled with a relatively larger auction size.

91 day printed at 10.999%, while the 182 and 364 days, turned out at 12.547% and 13.501%. The levels of oversubscriptions were lower than usual as seen in the bid to cover ratios of 0.77, 0.815 and 1.17 respectively.

In the regional currency markets, the Kenya shilling was relatively stable but remained on the edge as the absence of the IMF precautionary facility exposed the shilling to negative investor sentiment that was likely to cause volatility. Other frontier markets also remained under tension as headwinds begin to gather due to rise in US interest rates.

In the international currency markets, the US dollar traded at its lowest this month as US treasury yields declined and big losses on Wall street soured sentiment. The greenback usually seen as safe haven when markets are turbulent was bearish as nervous investors cut back their wagers and drove US stocks to their worst fall in eight months.

“Outlook for the [Uganda] shilling indicates a gradual weakening of the unit on expected surge in demand as seasonal import demand manifests. Midmonth corporate tax payments may slightly offer a respite,” says Stephen Kaboyo, an analyst and Managing Director at Alpha Capital Partners.


MultiChoice, Africa’s Biggest TV Operator, To Be Listed

Naspers, the emerging markets internet and media giant which is the largest public company in Africa, will list its satellite television subsidiary MultiChoice, it has announced.

MultiChoice’s DStv service is the biggest TV operation in Africa, broadcasting to some 50 countries, and was one of the first satellite companies to pioneer the then newly-minted digital broadcasting when it began in 1996.

The spun-off company will be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and will be known as MultiChoice Group. It will include MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa, and Irdeto. Naspers will retain its primary listing on the JSE.

“This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company,” said Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk. “Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top-40 JSE-listed African entertainment company.”

MultiChoice has been part of Naspers’ Video Entertainment division, which had revenue of ZAR47.1-billion ($3.1-billion), a trading profit of R6.1-billion ($401.6-million) and added 1.5-million subscribers in the last financial year, according to Naspers figures. It “is one of the fastest growing pay-TV operators globally. Its multi-platform business entertains 13.5-million households across Africa.. and employs more than 9,000 people in Africa,” it said. A further 20,000 people are employed by its partners and suppliers on the continent.

MultiChoice offers online streaming services called ShowMax (which offers a pure-play service in Poland) and DStv Now.

“The Video Entertainment business is an African success story. This unbundling and listing is expected to deliver value to the South African economy as well as to Naspers and Phuthuma Nathi shareholders. Naspers will continue to invest in South Africa through our interest in e-commerce business such as Takealot, Mr. D Food, PayU, OLX, Property24, and AutoTrader, amongst others,” Van Dijk added.

Phuthuma Nathi is a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scheme in South Africa, BEE is government policy designed to redress the injustices of Apartheid. The unbundling is subject to regulatory approval in various African countries.

“Listing and unbundling MultiChoice Group is intended to create a  leading entertainment business listed on the JSE that is profitable and cash generative. WE offer an unmatched selection of local and original content, as well as a world-class sports offering. Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to take the company forward,” said Video Entertainment chief executive Imtiaz Patel. “There are growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now’s cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360-security suite will provide a unique offering. Our customer focus, international and local content, and pioneering technology places MultiChoice Group at the forefront of African digital transformation.”

Earlier this year Naspers sold a 2% stake in Tencent for nearly $10-billion to fund its internet growth and offloaded its share in Indian e-commerce business Flipkart to Walmart. In mid-2016, Naspers became the first South African company to reach the magical R1-trillion valuation.

For decades MultiChoice was the crown jewel of the Naspers stable, until its internet interest – especially Tencent – became the group’s focus. The first channel, called M-Net, was the brainchild of Koos Bekker, now Naspers chairman, who was studying for an MBA at Columbia University. At the time it launches in 1986 M-Net was one of only two pay-TV channels in the world.

Bekker told me that he had seen the success of HBO during his studies and approached Ton Vosloo, then CEO of Nationale Pers (Naspers), a large newspaper group with Afrikaans-language publications, with his idea. Vosloo was keen to find another revenue stream for Naspers which had been awarded a broadcast license by the South African government to compensate them because significant advertising revenue was being spent with the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

DStv’s first broadcast in October 1986 was the final of a provincial rugby competition, called the Currie Cup, between provinces then known as Western Province and Transvaal.

But, with massive capital investment and huge overheads, within a year it faced severe financial pressures as it struggled to attract customers.

“By Feb [19]87 our viewing audience was so pathetic we had to give make-good ads to advertisers on the basis of one-paid, two-free,” Bekker told me at the 30th anniversary of M-Net in 2016, where a holographic depiction of Trevor Noah reminisced how integral and influential the channel had been to South African culture.

“By March [19]87 our trading results were turnover of half a million Rand, loss of ZAR3,5m for the month. Since our backers were newspaper groups of small to moderate size, they couldn’t bear that sort of bleeding. We were a few weeks away from the end.”

MultiChoice’s strategic advantage was its choice of new technology (well-made decoders) and a clever change in strategy (from selling to apartment complexes and to single homes), something Bekker would prove adept at doing when he bought a one-third stake in 2000 for $30-million in a then unknown Chinese messaging company called Tencent, whose QQ instant messaging service now has over 1-billion customers.

The decoders “sold sweetly, since we now needed to persuade only a single guy and it didn’t matter what his neighbors thought”.

M-Net “scraped through by the skin of our teeth, and by the end of [19]88 were breaking even on a monthly basis” and became profitable in 1990. It was listed a year later and Bekker took over as Naspers CEO in 1996, a decade after his big gamble on the nascent digital television market had become a roaring success.

Bekker is now one of South Africa’s best – and best-known – businessman. His gamble on Tencent has made Naspers the most valued listed company in Africa, after AB InBev bought South African Breweries. It is the most valuable media company outside of the US and China and the seventh largest internet company in the world.

Naspers growth and status, as well as its entrepreneurial culture, is because of Bekker, who also brought “equality to this business right in the beginning, thanks to Koos. He set the pace for how the public company in the new coming South Africa would have to look. No discrimination whatsoever.”

He added: “The outlook of being together and all being equal, and no discrimination, set the pace and the scene like no other public company had done up to that time. So in that sense, M-Net is the great pioneer that led us into the new South Africa.”

Vosloo repeated a mantra that has defined both Naspers’ risk taking and Bekker’s first-name leadership style: “Of course he was known as Koos, and everybody says Koos Says So.”

Credit: Forbes

300 Musicians To Benefit From New Initiative By MTN Nyege Nyege Festival Founders

East African musicians and artists are set to benefit from a regional initiative that will support over 300 youth through a new deal signed by the founders of the MTN Nyege Nyege festival who have launched Hakuna Kulala, a new artists incubation label in East African Community region.

Dr. Kirsten Focken, GIZ Programme Manager said “GIZ and East African Community through the IIDEA project supports citizens especially youth and women to benefit directly as a result of progressive regional integration policies adopted by the EAC, as the region strives for full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, and is a perfect fit to strengthen EAC regional integration. Over USD 1.3 million has been disbursed to support small scale cross border innovative projects in EAC region over the last 3 years”.

Hakuna Kulala, the new artist incubation programme, residency and label of Boutiq Foundation, a community based artist program behind other projects such as MTN Nyege Nyege Festival and Nyege Nyege Tapes, is partnering with the East African Community and GIZ, through the IIDEA project (Incubator for integration and development for East Africa).

The partnership was launched during the MTN Nyege Nyege Festival at the Nile Discovery Resort Beach, in Jinja, east of Uganda’s Capital, Kampala.

Derek Debru, the founder of Nyege Nyege Tapes, explained that the partnership will go a long way to support the growth of grassroots music, taking it to a global stage.

“The partnership shall bring both financial sustainability as well as management expertise to the operations of one of East Africa’s most hyped about new labels. The partnership shall help the project with new state of the art studio space, as well as promotion and touring of its artists worldwide,” Debru explains.

Additional partners include TIDAL, a visual and audio music streaming platform through MTN Uganda. TIDAL was recently launched in Africa – for the first time – through a partnership with MTN. MTN Uganda is the first country in the MTN group where TIDAL has launched.

According to Olivier Prentout (in featured photo), the MTN Uganda CMO, with TIDAL launching, it means local artists can now on-board their music on the platform and get listened to by millions around the world. It will take the music from an East African market to a global platform.



4 Ugandans Announced For MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy

MultiChoice Africa is delighted to reveal the 60 hopefuls who have been chosen to be the first students of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy!

The candidates were chosen after a two-months long process of shortlisting candidates from over 3 000 entries from 13 countries in Africa, this was followed by a rigorous interview and adjudication process by agroup of film and television industry experts and regional Academy Directors.


The 20 future filmmakers from East Africawere selected based on their industry related qualifications and skills, as well as their passion to narrate Africa’s unique stories.

Congratulations to Aaron Tamale, Casey Lugada, Hilda Awori and Cissy Nalumansi, who will represent Uganda at the Kenya-based MTF Academy from 1 October 2018.

MultiChoice Africa will sponsor the students’ tuition, accommodation and stipend for the duration of their training in each regional hub.


The MTF Academy students will be provided with skillsets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.


“We’re exceptionally impressed with the calibre of young Africans chosen to be part of the inaugural MultiChoice Talent Factory. Their applications illustrated their passion for the continent – they talk about making African stories go viral and getting international audiences addicted to high-quality and engaging local content,” says award-winning script writer Njoki Muhoho, who will spearhead the East Africa MTF Academy hub in Kenya.


During the programme, MTF Academy students will produce television and film content that will be aired on our local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platform including Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Zambezi Magic, M-Net and SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms.

Upon graduation from the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy, the MTF student will leave with the knowledge and skills to contribute professionally to Africa’s film and television industry.

As a company that is deeply rooted in Uganda we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skillset to give back to their communities, but may not be financially equipped to do so.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured and their talent developed in order to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry,” said Tina Wamala, Corporate Affairs Manager.