Ahead of nationwide independence celebrations tomorrow, Airtel Uganda on Tuesday morning hosted a breakfast party at its offices in Bugolobi to celebrate the strides made by brave countrymen 57 years ago.
To showcase pride and heritage, staff were all clad in African/traditional wear.
Among those present were; the Board Chairman Hannington Karuhanga, MD VG Somasekhar, Gulu LC5 Chairperson Ojara Martin Mapenduzi and the Guest of Honour Charles Awuk, the Commissioner Telecoms and members from other departments.
In his speech, MD VG Somasekhar recounted Airtel’s journey as a company through the years while contributing greatly to the improvement of the countrymen.
“We are very delighted that this celebration has become our ritual of every calendar year. It has been an eventful stay in Uganda for us as Airtel. We now have coverage in every sub country in Uganda and our current coverage is 99% to the entire population. We are also in over 5000 parishes all over Uganda,” he said.
On some of the milestones in the recent years, the MD says, “We recently rolled out countrywide 4G connection, we remain committed to supporting the national team as well as support for other initiatives like the Kabaka run, Masaza Cup & more. We are now rolling out broadband for home and SMEs and last but not least we are the biggest tax-paying company in Uganda.”
In 2013, Airtel launched Pakalast, a product of value and affordability at only UGX 1,000 and to date it remains at 1000.
“We have remained affordable and committed to our consumers despite inflation and price changes. We have made sure that doing business in Uganda is easy,” the Managing Director said.
The guest of honour Charles Awuk, the Commissioner Telecoms said, “As government, we want to thank Airtel for being a very important, innovative member of the sector. We want to recognize your efforts and investment in this country. The benefits have not been just for the telecom sector but communication which is the pillar around which all economic activities revolve.”
The Telecoms Commissioner further noted that, “We appreciate your commitment in this country and we want to partner with you to implement the broadband policy. Thank you for the 4G connection even in national parks which are a great source of revenue to this country. We wish that you continue leading the way in showcasing these services to the people and we look forward to giving you another license.”
Under the theme digitizing Uganda, Airtel also handed out awards to external players for the job well done in upholding standards and transforming the lives of Ugandans with ICT.
The following received a cash prize of UGX 5 Million each from Airtel.
1. Best ICT in health care- Matibabu Mobile app.
2. ICT in financial inclusion- Akello Banker.
3. ICT in entrepreneurship- Safe Boda Uganda.
In his speech, Board Chairman Hannington Karuhanga said, “I am honoured to be here as we celebrate Uganda’s independence. This celebration has become fairly routine for us as it is a very important day. As part of Airtel and Bharti Group, we’ve had so many achievements but the most important has been how quickly this company has been turned around after over 10 years of volatile performance. We are proud of management and the teams behind this success.”
He added: “This year we were recognized by URA as the largest taxpayer in Uganda. This is no mean achievement. It is something we’re very proud of and would like to continue doing.”