MTN Uganda to float 20% of shares on the bourse

UGANDA – MTN Uganda has announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) and subsequently list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). The move follows the requisite approval by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Uganda Securities Exchange for MTN Group to sell 20% of its shareholding in MTN Uganda to the public, the telco said in a press statement. MTN Group owns 96% of MTN Uganda. According to the telco, the listing is in line with the group’s strategic priority to create shared value, partly through…

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Fintech startup Fin-e Innovations raises US$300,000 to bridge funding gap of African energy SMEs

UGANDA – Fin-e Innovations, a fintech start-up based in Uganda, has closed pre-seed funding of US$300,000 from an undisclosed party in the United States. The company intends to address the glaring financing gap among local energy SMEs in Africa through an innovative platform connecting last-mile distributors (LMDs) directly with investors. This platform offers different advantages such as reducing investment risk, speeding up the investment cycle, and allowing for small ticket size investments and it will now run its pilot in Uganda, home to a buoyant energy SME eco-system, and later…

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Uganda receives US$91.8m from AFD and EU for water and sanitation in Insingiro District

UGANDA – The government of Uganda has received US$91.8 million in funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU). for the implementation of the Isingiro District Water Supply and Sanitation Project. The French Development Agency (AFD) funding of US$83 million is divided into a loan of US$80.6 million and a technical assistance grant worth US$2.3 million. The financing agreement was signed on September 20th, 2021, between the Ugandan Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija and the French Ambassador to Uganda, Jules-Armand Aniambossou. The…

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Startup gnuGrid raises US$612,500 seed round, switches into fintech space

UGANDA – Ugandan startup gnuGrid has increased the size of its seed funding round to US$612,500 as it pivots its product offering to move into the fintech space. Launched in 2019 by David Opio and James Dailey, gnuGrid built Solar Sentra, which aimed to streamline and automate the highly fragmented solar industry in Uganda and beyond by using AI-optimised sensors to monitor solar systems and collect data on power usage which is used by solar companies to tailor service delivery.  gnuGrid bundled this hardware with digital payments, predictive analytics, customer profiling and…

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Africell exits Ugandan market after 7 years

UGANDA – Telecoms company Africell is to exit the Ugandan market, ceasing operations by 7 October 2021 due to what it terms as “long-term commercial outlook.” In a press release, Africell said it had worked closely with the government and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on confirming its decision. The details of this were not disclosed, however, GSMA has been notified of the termination of roaming partner agreements. Africell Uganda’s statement read:  “Africell’s decision to leave Uganda is based on a careful assessment of the long-term commercial outlook for the business…

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I&M cost of acquiring Orient Bank rises to US$37.2m

UGANDA –  I&M Group has spent US$37.2 million to acquire a 90 percent stake in Uganda’s Orient Bank Limited, with the cost rising from the initial estimate of US$32.7 million, reports The East African newspaper. The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed lender says this is after the base price was adjusted to take into account multiple factors. These include an appreciation of the Ugandan shilling against the US dollar, integration support, the short-term financial performance of the subsidiary and the sale of its property. “The cost as of the half-year is US$37.2…

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E-logistics startup Ridelink secures US$150,000 Pre-seed funding to scale up

UGANDA – E-logistics startup Ridelink, has raised US$150,000 in pre-seed funding in a round jointly led by an investment advisory firm Ortus Africa Capital, Omidyar Network, an impact investment firm, and African Leadership Academy’s Young Entrepreneurs Fund, Anzisha. The pre-seed funding which Ridelink has raised brings its total investment to US$250,000, having drawn private investments from Seedstars in 2020. The company looks to drive down the cost of transport for Small and Medium Enterprises by connecting businesses to truck drivers through technology that facilitates the smooth running of business operations…

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Smart Telecom to cease operations in Uganda

UGANDA – Smart Telecom, owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), is closing operations at the end of August 2021 after being in operation for only seven years saying the effects of COVID-19 have forced the decision. “The increase in operational challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic” led to the decision, said the company,” according to the Ecofin news agency. However, the regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), said only in July 2021 that the “sector continues to demonstrate resilience as it weathers the storm driven by…

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Nutreco enters into two joint ventures with Unga Group to expand East African footprint

UGANDA – Dutch producer of animal nutrition, fish feed and processed meat products, Nutreco, has announced that it has formed two joint ventures with the Kenya-based, largest feed miller in East Africa Unga Group Plc to meet the growing demand for high-quality protein within the East African region. The partnership involves open-ended, Nutreco-managed joint ventures with two indirect subsidiaries of Unga Group:  Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited in Kenya and Unga Millers (U) Limited in Uganda) underpinning  Nutreco’s commitment to its purpose of Feeding the Future and will enlarge the…

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OPEC Fund signs US$30m loan to boost productivity for smallholder farmers in Uganda

UGANDA – The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$30 million loan facility agreement with Uganda to help improve food security and incomes for more than 120,000 smallholder households in the northern and north-eastern regions engaged in the production and marketing of oilseeds (groundnuts, sunflower, sesame and soy).   The National Oil Seeds Project is co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Ugandan government. The Ugandan government’s latest Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan highlights oil seeds as part of the four strategic commodities expected to…

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