Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Winners Of MTN Women In Business Awards Set For South Africa Tour

Four winners of the 2016 MTN Women in Business Awards will, this weekend, be heading to South Africa for a week-long learning trip to learn, share experiences and tour similar SME businesses in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The revelation was made at a breakfast event hosted by MTN at the home of MTN Business at Nyonyi Gardens in Kololo, Kampala and attended by the winners.

The all-expenses paid trip is part of the prizes promised by MTN prior to the announcement of the winners earlier this year. MTN Business is fulfilling this obligation as the company continues to celebrate the spirit of excellence and perseverance that continues to empower women to be the drivers of positive change in our community.

“Through the MTN Women in Business Platform, MTN celebrates the spirit of excellence that is demonstrated by those outstanding women that have harnessed technology/ICT and talent to grow their businesses and we’re delighted to further empower this year’s winners as they travel to engage with entrepreneurs driving change in a different environment,” noted MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer Mapula Bodibe.

MTN Business General Manager Reginald Kafeero commended the winners for their hard work and perseverance that made them winners in the first place, and challenged them to utilize the linkages from the trip to the benefit of their businesses and society.

“The fact that you won these awards means you are outstanding business leaders. It is our hope that linkage and exposure will further empower you and enable you to grow your businesses further to the benefit of your communities,” Kafeero said.

MTN Uganda has been at the forefront of supporting Business communities in Uganda particularly through its MTN Business training programs for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) aimed at providing them with the right expertise to not only start up new business ventures but to also grow and sustain their current business to ensure optimum output and profitability. This program has over the years extended to Women in Business (WiB) as well.

“In addition to providing all the necessary solutions and tools to support businesses, MTN delights itself in the power to further impact society by helping business leaders grow to reach new heights. We are excited to be facilitating the winners as they go to this trip and hope it will be a productive one,” said MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte, speaking at the flagging off event.

In honour of Women and specifically Women in Business, MTN joins the rest of the world in celebrations in the month of March. For the last 4 years MTN Uganda has hosted 400 women to a dinner and combined it with a themed special Women’s Day Panel Discussion, the themes have varied each year depending on the hot topics and recommendations from previous events. WiB event is the most sought after in the calendar of both professional and Women entrepreneurs and its audiences.

TRAVELING WINNERS

  1. Susan Ajok, Managing Director, Straight Talk Foundation – MTN Women In Business 2016: Excellence in ICT
  2. Jacqueline Birigwa Nuwamanya, Managing Director, Rural Communications Limited – MTN Women In Business 2016: Excellence in Financial Services
  3. Alice Karugaba, MD & Founder, Nina Interiors Limited – SME CEO of the year 2016
  4. Barbara Ofwono Buyondo, Principal, Victorious Education Services – SME CEO of the year 2015

A Wonder To Behold: Lake Bunyonyi

There are places you travel to in this world that were made to take our breath away, places that leave you marveling at the wonders of nature and when you reach there you feel like you never want to leave. Such places were created to bring out the zen lost within you, the moment you behold them you feel all the peace in the world descend onto you.  

Lake Bunyonyi is one of those places; tucked away in the hills of Kabale and Kisoro in the South West of Uganda bordering Rwanda, the lake has one of the most beautiful views that are worth five hours from Kampala.

The lake is estimated to be 25 km long and 7 km wide and an altitude of 6,437 ft,  and is surrounded by hills that are 7,218 to 8,130 ft high. These hills are quite beautiful when viewed from an aerial point due to the farming activities done by the people who live in the area. Although not fully verified, Lake Bunyonyi is rumored to be the second deepest lake in Africa estimated at 44m to 900m deep.  

The biggest population of people in the area are Bakiga and Batwa people who having been living in the areas for centuries and live off of farming, fishing and cattle rearing. The area has wonderful weather throughout the year with rain and mildly hot days coming through the months and is very suitable for farming and best of all vacationing for tourists. As is all over Uganda, the residents around Lake Bunyonyi are very friendly meaning your stay there will be warmly welcomed.

There are enough hotels and lodges such as Arcadia Lodges plus campsites where one can find good accommodation for their stay whilst taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi.  

Over the lake, there are 29 islands that can be seen almost floating and in the morning before the sun comes in, there will be mist slightly rising off the surface of the lake hiding the islands. The islands are what makes the lake look magical, when you see them from a distance it is easy to think you are somewhere in the maldives without the coral of the ocean. One of the best locations to view them throughout the day is up at the hills, you take a day from dawn to dusk and watch how they always seem to emerge from the shadows of the morning and glow throughout the day and gaze at the reflections of the stars in the sky dancing over the lake at night.

Birding
In direct translation, Lake Bunyonyi literally means “Place of many little birds” and true to its name, you find so many different bird species that call the islands and the shores home; some of them are indigenous to the area and others migrate in. There are over 200 bird species that can be found in the area meaning any birding enthusiast would be amazed about what they would find there. Species ranging from shoebills, wobblers to the ever beautiful crested cranes and of course the “little birds” can be easily sighted on the birding experience.  

Canoeing

The islands are so massive you just have to take a day off and have a tour of the ones closest to the mainland, see nature’s little wonders with beautiful views of the lake. Take a canoe ride with a professional guide on Lake Bunyonyi or set sails on a boat and have a romantic picnic while at it. 

Nature Walks and Hikes

Most of the shores and neighboring areas around Lake Bunyonyi are hilly and covered in forestry land that make for good nature walks. You can enjoy a day communing with nature or hike up one of the hills especially in the morning or evening when the weather is cool and breezy.  

Kibale National Park

A little distance from the lake, you will find Kibale National Park where you can go for Chimpanzee trekking through the thick forests that cover most of the park and learn something new about the other animals that live in that area.

 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

Clean Energy Training Starts At Victoria University

The consortium of the Supporting African Municipalities in Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) researchers are convening at Victoria University in Kampala to promote the responsible use and access to clean energy.

The Meeting which started Monday 7 November till Friday 11 November, 2016 is offering a practitioner’s insight into urban energy planning, implementation and management. It was officially opened by Chris Baryomunsi, state minister for housing on Tuesday morning.

The first day, Monday, saw members attending the course go for a field trip to acquaint themselves with the scope of urban energy. The five day training will see participants share with stakeholder’s findings, strategies and case studies from the research. Concepts from these sessions are geared towards supporting initiatives for energy transitions in various arena in the urban environment, an official document explained.

On Day 3 and 5, there will be parallel sessions offering tutorials for the Long-range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) tool. LEAP is widely regarded as a useful integrated modelling tool to account for the energy usage and transformation throughout a defined economy, and also importantly the energy and nonenergy sector Green House Gas (GHG) emissions resulting from a range of consumption patterns at urban scale.

The project, according to the organizers, is cognizant of the fact that social or socio-economic engagement in as far as they influence attitudes toward sustainable energy transitions are key drivers. Participants are undergoing through in-depth presentations to familiarize themselves with the subject matter.

The training which is also in partnership with Uganda Martyrs University and under The Center For Urban Governance & Development has attracted participants who include environment practitioners ranging from government departments, development partners, architects, engineers, planners, building control officers, energy managers, contractors, housing associations, developers, clients, students, academics and researchers.

At the core of the SAMSET project is promoting responsible use of and access to clean energy. The role of national policy and regulatory frameworks and how these have since evolved to link government and governance on the one hand and academia, finance, investment and community on the other, in developing instruments that promote and facilitate energy transitions is interrogated in this project.

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Dynamic Policies Driving Renewable Energy Growth In Latin America

Buoyed by rapid technology cost reductions and the consolidation of renewable energy policies, Latin America hosts some of the world’s most dynamic renewable energy markets, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America finds that the region – endowed with some of the world’s best renewable resources – has an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the uptake of renewables across all sectors.

“The proven business case of renewables, combined with the imperative to decarbonise the energy sector, provides a compelling rationale for Latin American countries to continue deploying more renewables, including solar and wind,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Policymakers also increasingly recognise renewables as a catalyst for job creation, GDP growth, development of local industries, and energy access. Add the environmental benefits – and the fact that nearly 2 million people are employed by renewables in the region – and the case for renewables is even more compelling.”

In 2015, Brazil, Chile and Mexico ranked among the top ten markets in terms of renewable energy investment. Latin America holds some of the most cost-competitive hydropower, solar and wind resources globally and today, more than a quarter of the region’s total primary energy comes from renewables, twice the global average.

Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive review of the status and trends in the region’s renewable energy development that are enabling this success. It compiles the region’s wealth of knowledge, draws key lessons from its experience, and outlines key findings that can support the continued regional expansion of renewables across all sectors. These include: catalysing public and private finance, adapting policies to dynamic market conditions, adopting a system-level approach in the power sector, harnessing complementarities across technologies, unlocking the potential for renewable sources in end-use sectors, and fully recognising the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment.

“The good news is that the success achieved in Latin America, and the benefits realised, can be even further enhanced with the right policies being established,” added Mr. Amin. “Latin America’s advanced renewable energy policies and financing schemes also offer valuable insights for other energy markets around the world, especially as countries seek to scale up renewables to achieve emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement.”

The report will be launched today in the opening session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean VII Regional Policy Dialogue on Energy Efficiency, which focuses on sustainable energy in the context of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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