Monthly Archives: September 2014

9th October 2062

9th October 2062
That evening I will sit in conversation with my grandchildren
I will tell them of the days of my roaring youth
I will tell them of the opportunities I grabbed
I won’t lie; I will tell them of the chances I missed.

I will tell them of the trends of our time
Of rainbow jeans, alien hair and Chinese everything,
Of the age of slight cloth, mini emancipation that is if themselves will be dressed!
I will journey them through the burdens our bodies shouldered
How they ached with all tribes of dance
From Kanda Bongoman to Awilo Longomba to Eddy Kenzo
I will tell them of the evolution of technology
Of the transition through all the K-series;
Kabiriti, Katooki, Katikitiki, katala
How they suffered under the wrath of
Touchism and smartism that ushered in the cellular anatomy
Where small was bad and large was good.

I will tell them of the lexicon of our time
Of the verb – to Kiprotich to Golola and the noun Inzikuru and the phrases “of those ends”
I will tell them of the moments of the age
Of Chogm and the Eclipse
Of Lakwena, Kony or Kibwetere
Oh! And that cold breath of 11th July 2010, that stinks

I will tell them of the over 30 years of solitude
That walked in from the bush
They fled the five years of confusion
Mothered by a one life time President
The army commander to the 9th October 1962 chief
I will tell them of the love that soured
Between His Highness and the Prime Minister
Days after the hoisting of the Uganda Flag

I will tell them of our referral hospitals
That needed referral
Of the technology minister who bought a trap for his computer mouse
I won’t speak of the bills, those would be thousands
And the tax-mountains would be past the snow line
Public smoking, oxygen bill, coughing bills and itching bills
And how oxygen was for free
I will tell them of this day,
And the beauty of this evening,
When my lips shot people’s minds
With the bullets of the word
The pride of my nation thus far
And I will proudly say,
“I saw it all.”

THE JA ACHIEVERS RACE

18th-19th September 2014 Junior Achievers Race.

And the winner is…

If it were to be poetry, then this statement would pass for a rhetoric question. But now that this was the Achievers Race, I lived to witness the winner that Friday evening of 19th September 2014. This was the climax of the inaugural Achievers Race organized by the Junior Achievement (JA) Uganda in partnership with Barclays Bank, Uganda.

The event began way back in June through social media mainly Facebook and Twitter, (at least for me) when I saw a link inviting anyone interested to participate in something that sounded cool, who wants to miss on JA events any way. We all applied and were supposed to prepare our groups to come up for the tasks uphill. The Achievers Race was tailored for university students who are in business and those interested in beginning their own businesses. The Junior Achievement Program came up with this strategy as a means of having university students turn their focus from future employment but rather self employment to cub the rate of unemployment in the country especially among university graduates.

It was a phone call from a one Jonathan who confirmed that I had been enlisted to attend, by the way I never found out who this man is in person. That is what happens when one is so excited. Any way on the very day, I prepared myself for the race. I did not know what to expect.

On arrival at the Lugoogo UMA Show Grounds, I was directed to the hall whose door had been broken by the over-a-thousand-applicants-vying-for-two-slots in the Census program the previous day. I was convinced I was going to the venue where people were showcasing what they have done not the contrary. To my dismay, it was the same venue. Much as it was approaching the intended 9 o’clock, the hall was far from being organized for the same.

A handful of participants made it on time and the rest snaked in one by one later on. A one Moses kept buying time with the microphone till two hours later when the dummy copies of company registration booklets were distributed to the participants and the each group was due to face off with the judges. Susan Rukundo of Barclays along with Peter Paul Basazemajja, a medical practitioner, sat in the white booth at the extreme right hand side of the spacious hall grilling and drilling facts from contestants about their knowledge on company registration, company account registration and employee recruitment. As one of their colleagues, William Kizito of Barclays also confessed in his ending remarks, “The only reason I was harsh with you was to shake the coldness from you.”

Before long, day one was done and Rachael Mwagale, the Program Coordinator at JA did not tire reminding the concerned to turn up the following day to claim their award.
“As JA, we fly with eagles. We don’t do business on a blackboard, we bring you to the real world of business, ” were the take home words from the CEO of Junior Achievement, Josephine Kaleebi to the branded white T-shirt donned audience before welcoming the Head of Corporate Affairs, Barclays Bank, Micheal Kaddu. He cautioned the participants from seeking permission to achieve greatness. He reminded them that good things come to those who wait but better things go to those who go out to get them. He closed with a plea to the Racers to move from book knowledge to applying what they had learned.

The new MD of Barclays Bank, Rackesh Jah, emphasized the strategies of Barclays; honesty, respect and stewardship. “You don’t need to have huge amount of capital to participate, all you need is determination to stand out,” he concluded.

These were said at the climax of the event where SWORD Application walked away with UG Shillings 400,000 emerging the second runners up following Philomera Forum from Mpigi who won UG Shillings 600,000 as the first runners up.

Victoria Mbabazi of Kahwa 2go, a mobile coffee outlet and a fourth year student of software engineering at Makerere University, was the winner of the day with a golden cheque of UG Shillings 1,000,000.
The colorful event ended in energy as every participant walked away with a 2GB flash disk from Barclays Bank and a certificate of participation. Participants came mainly from Makerere, MUBS and Kyambogo Universities.

MTN CLOUD TRAINING

The first time I had of cloud computing was in 2012 while reading a one Ernest Bazanye’s article about Uganda in 2062. Of course I did not know a word and neither did I pick a leaf after a long tree-shaking on a full page of explanation. Don’t say I was raw, you could be among. That was then.
Recently, during the MTN Business Training at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, the MTN Cloud Computing Manager, Lawrence Mutekanga talked about the different services that they offer as a telecom company in terms of ‘Cloud’ like he kept referring to it. Certainly, like before, very few people understood the concept. Is it because we were from having a very heavy lunch? Unlike before, in his conclusion he asked those with interest of expanding the internet presence of their businesses to register for a forthcoming cloud computing training. For those already bitten by the bug of cloud-savviness, like me, we waited for not a second reminder and soon the training was due.
At 1412 hours with my colleague Ritah, we arrived at Nyonyi Gardens in Kololo where the training was to take place. First we were shocked when the lady at the reception said that the training had ended but thanks to Lawrence and Hashim, who had reserved us a second session.
Unlike the former, the latter was attended by only three of us in a spacious blue roller chaired, LED Screen air conditioned sound proof boardroom on the left of the entrance.
Despite a few internet hiccups at the beginning, our facilitators took us through the nitty-gritties of cloud. Cloud is a user problem solver to the thousand challenges that we face at our work places. Cloud computing helps you to keep track of your documents under one domain without having to rely on the hardware. A number of these activities include the customer relations system, the mozy pro backup system, and a customized email system among others. When you have cloud, it means you have reduced on the bureaucracy and made efficiency of work easier. This is what happens; the hustle of stocking hardware drivers of all size and height is controlled as you have to occupy your digital space under the tight security watch of MC Afee, a virus software. The link below will lead you to the rightful explanation of what MTN Cloud is all about talkbusiness@mtn.co.ug.
I was very thrilled by the ballot payment that allows one to make internal payments without necessarily having to queue for cash books and receipting of every document. The concept of cloud, we realized, has something that is needed at least by everyone given that even its internet is far cheaper.
As a company that has a bigger clientele, World of Inspiration is looking forward to adapting the Big Campaign of customer relations system, as we learnt that some of our clients lose out on our products.
The video and audio conferencing that come in handy with touch screen handsets and connectivity numbers of 032, are only an enviable product to look out for. This comes in addition with the Microsoft share point that allows one to have content sharing work mail. I loved cloud. It was such a sweeping workshop full of interaction one on one that it went past the intended 1700 hours. At least we had a chance to learn. We are looking for a point where we meet over coffee and we talk business as MTN Business warmly says. You need to check out on cloud.

MTN BUSINESS TRAINING

Phone rings;
“Hello, my name is Edison from MTN, could you direct me to your office?” these words still ring in my head as I catch up on the memories of the 18th July 2014, business training we had at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
I arrived before 0730 hours as had been asked only to be welcomed in the yellow world. On entrance, Edison (the only one I knew ) and team took us through registration and handed us yellow name tags and yellow kits for the training and warmly ushered us in to the serene yellow conference hall. It has been said numerous times that Ugandans come early to book the back seats and this is exactly what, together with other fellow early birds, did. There was only one gentleman on the second raw on the left who quietly sat fiddling his laptop keyboard. After about 17 minutes of ‘don’t-interrupt-my-business- he invited us to take on the front seats. I was to learn later that he was our main facilitator of the day. Little wonder his outfit said it all. Draped in a navy blue fitting suit, thick lens-narrow strip specs, bold and confident, Mustapha Mugisa took on the podium and the day was ready to roll along with his colleague, Ovon.
Mustapha is the brain behind the Summit Consult and is partners with Ovon, a tax expert. Summit Consults in partnership with MTN Uganda came up to empower the people who are already in business through the Business Forum. This is run around the country and it is an avenue of equipping the business people with such the knowledge that they ought to have.
There are more people in business and giving them such an adequate training can be a backward run up hill. It is because of this that the attendance is by application and verification. We were told that more than 1000 businesses had applied but only 100 were needed to attend the training. We were privileged to be a part of them.
The training does not discriminate as it includes people from all walks of the business world. In our introductions, we were asked to talk about who we are, what we do and our expectations of the day. And behold the responses were pretty amazing. I was the only who came as a publisher.
The training was action packed. It differed from the usual trainings as it involved comprehensive interactions. By the end of the day, my expectations were short over and beyond. The training had various segments including; a case study on internal controls, using the internet to better your business, the tax case in business to mention but a few.
The training received the utmost from the participants as there was room for networking with other people. The segments were well spelt out with interludes of coffee here and there. Speaking of the Food, we had it all. From the heavy breakfast, to the full course lunch-on, the cocktail, and the serving was just on-point.
As if that was not enough of the satisfactory humiliation yet we had to endure it all till the end. The General Manager of MTN handed us certificates which came with a weighty carry home package. A few luckier ones were able to carry home I pads that were given out in the business card draw.
The minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Hon Amelia Kyambadde wound up the event encouraging the participants to implement what they had learnt. The band bid us a farewell dance that raged on till the collapse of the day.

If I am to summarize what transpired at the training, I can say, we met, we learnt and we partied.
Thanks to the organizers of the event and all that made it a success. Till we meet again.