United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, on Thursday, announced that the services of its Chatbot, Leo is now available for customers on Apple Business Chat, where its users can communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on iPhone and iPad.
“As a brand focused on providing excellent customer experience, we are always looking for new ways to serve our customers easily and on time; we are therefore thrilled to support Apple Business Chat, which gives us a powerful and engaging connection with our customers,” said Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director of UBA, who spoke at the launch of the service in the bank’s Head office on Thursday. “Most of our customers prefer iOS, and we always want to exceed their expectations when they experience UBA. Apple Business Chat makes communicating with us as easy as messaging a friend, so we expect it will quickly become our customers’ preferred customer service channel.”
He explained that UBA customers can now use the services of LEO, through the Apple Business Chat to open an account, buy airtime, check account balance, make account transfers and pay bills. With Business Chat, customers can always reach a live person and are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business.
Uzoka said, “Today, we are covering a segment that has been missing for some time. It is our desire to ensure that we put Leo everywhere, and today it is now on the IOS platform as the users approached us that they needed to enjoy the service which Facebook and WhatsApp users had been enjoying from LEO. Consistently, we have been the first in the use of intelligence banking, this is the first time this is happening in Africa. LEO is live in English on the IOS platform, and by the end of October, it will be live in other languages. As you know, LEO is already on WhatsApp and Facebook in English, French, Portuguese and Swahili languages.”
To start Apple Business Chat, customers can click the ‘Chat with Messages’ button on UBA’s website or in mobile banking app, available in the App Store. A conversation with UBA’s agents will open instantly in the Messages app, and users can take their time responding when it’s convenient.
The Group Head, Online, Banking, Austin Abolusoro, who spoke at the event said the bank is always looking for ways to improve upon its services to its teeming customers.
“We are leading financial industry AI in Africa. Our customers have been increasingly asking for mobile services that make their lives easier, and Leo has become a growing choice for his convenience and personal solutions, Over a million customers are already on the LEO platform. Before now, customers can only come to the bank, but today we are on social media as well as on the IOS platform, and the launch of LEO has helped customer to get their complaints resolved without physically visiting the bank. Leo makes use of available data to resolve complaints and where more information is needed, Leo will transfer the customer to human agents.”
“As we continue to advance our work on AI-driven developments, it is important that we listen to our users today and further enhance Leo to align to client feedback in order to better meet and anticipate needs and even continue to give them increased value,” Abolusoro added.
He added that Apple Business Chat is available in beta for users and businesses around the world, and is built into iOS 11.3 and higher. For more information, visit: apple.com/ios/business-chat.
United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touch points. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine.
Standard Chartered Bank arranges a US$ 1.46 billion financing to fund the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project
The Government of Tanzania Ministry of Finance has signed a facility agreement with Standard Chartered (SC.com) Tanzania for a US$ 1.46 billion term loan financing to fund the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora.
Running approximately 550 kilometres long, the SGR project is one of the country’s biggest projects connecting Dodoma to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro and Makutupora. Once complete, the SGR Rail project will provide a safe and reliable means for efficiently transporting people and cargo to and from the existing Dar es Salaam Port.
According to the Tanzania Railways Corporation, it is expected that the railway will address current congestion challenges and decrease freight service charges by 40%, as the railway will be able to haul up to 10,000 tons of freight, equivalent to 500 lorries, per trip. It will also connect Tanzania to Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, thereby playing a key role in enhancing regional trade.
The project has already created more than 8,000 new direct employment opportunities for Tanzanians and has opened up opportunities for the local communities surrounding the project area to access social services such as shelter and food.
Standard Chartered Tanzania acted as Global Co-ordinator, Bookrunner and Mandated Lead Arranger on the facility agreement that is the largest foreign currency financing raised by the Ministry of Finance to date. The biggest component of financing comes from the Export Credit Agency Covered Facility(‘s) from the Export Credit Agencies of Denmark and Sweden.
Speaking at the event to sign off the deal, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango, commended and thanked Standard Chartered Tanzania.
“I am very delighted to sign off on this deal on behalf of the Government of Tanzania and its people. With the help of Standard Chartered and our partners, the project financing will further increase direct employment in Tanzania, and more importantly, enable our local communities the thrive as they will be able to gain access to wider social services such as food and housing.”
Mr. Mpango also commended and thanked the Governments of Sweden and Denmark, which were represented by their Ambassadors in Tanzania, for their confidence in the country’s economic growth. “These two nations, Sweden and Denmark, have shown us their true friendship not only in words but also in action. Please convey our country’s sincere appreciation to the Export Credit Agencies and lenders in your countries that have supported this signature project. As a country we shall honour our commitments as we have always done.” Hon. Dr. Mpango said.
In addition to thanking the Export Credit Agencies and lenders, Hon. Mpango also thanked the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim), for supporting the project in partnership with Export Credit Agencies from Denmark and Sweden.
He added that the funding would enable the project to be completed in good time as per the set plans.
Mr. Sanjay Rughani, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Tanzania, said the deal signified investor confidence in the market and demonstrated Standard Chartered’s international network capabilities and commitment to Tanzania.
“As a leading international Bank for Africa, with over 100 years of being in Tanzania, the African continent remains a key corridor not only for Standard Chartered but also our global clients. We are delighted to have reached this milestone in Tanzania to fund the SGR project that will deliver massive benefits to Tanzania and support the government’s 2025 vision of making Tanzania an industrialised country.” Mr. Rughani said.
Mr. Rughani added that the Bank will continue to leverage its unique network reach, and the credibility it has built over time, to further position Tanzania as the go-to destination for investments.
Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Standard Chartered Africa and the Middle East said the deal signified the benefit of our unrivalled network capabilities into the region. “There is considerable appetite from the global investment community into Africa, with 80 percent of our top Corporate & Institutional clients using our Africa and Middle East network. For Standard Chartered, Africa remains a priority for our business and clients, and we are proud to be able to use our expertise to support the Government of Tanzania with the finance needed for the SGR project.”
The sign off ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Denmark to Tanzania, H.E Mette Norgaard Dissing-Spandet and the Ambassador of Sweden to Tanzania, H.E Anders Sjoberg.
In attendance was also H.E Robert Mengoni, the Ambassador of Italy to Tanzania and Mr. Calumm Mcallum, Country Director, International Trade – for the British High Commission. The Country Manager for the Africa Development Bank Dr. Alex Mubiru and Resident Representative for the IMF in Tanzania, Mr. Jens Reinke also attended the event.
Other key Government Officials included the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Doto James, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Tanzania responsible for Economic and Financial Policies, Dr. Yamungu Kayandabila, and the Director General of the Tanzania Railway Corporation, Mr. Masanja Kadogosa.
CSR: Ikeja Electric donates medical equipment to Ikorodu General Hospital
Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company has donated an ultramodern phototherapy machine and clinical supplies to General Hospital, Ikorodu, as part of its CSR activities towards improvement of healthcare.
At the presentation held at the hospital, Ikeja Electric team comprising staff from the Headquarters in Ikeja and Ikorodu Business Unit presented the items to management of the Hospital in Ikorodu. The company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Mrs. Enobong Ezekiel, expressed the Disco’s unwavering commitment to positively impact on lives and give back to the society.
Mrs. Ezekiel said: “Ikeja Electric is a customer centric organization and it means that we are also committed to ensuring that we make impact on communities where we operate; that is why we are here. Today is significant to us too, as the entire world is celebrating love. For us at Ikeja Electric, our theme this year is ‘Clean Love.’ So, we are celebrating pure love and saying ‘no to drugs’, as well.
“Being here today is motivated by love. And to donate the phototherapy equipment and clinical items to the Paediatric Unit is something significant that will add value to what already exist in the hospital. Ikeja Electric has also come to appreciate the management and staff for providing healthcare services to the neighbourhood and residents of Ikorodu town. We love the fact that you are our customer. And we have come to do our community service.”
While commending Ikeja Electric, Dr. Olufunmilayo Bankole, the Medical Director, General Hospital Ikorodu said: “Ikeja Electric today gave us a donation of a phototherapy machine. As a hospital we are really elated to receive them, we are very happy that we have other organizations who like to partner with government to make healthcare service in Lagos State much better than it is currently”.
“That phototherapy machine given us today is going to serve a lot of children in treating Jaundice. And we believe that if we are able to treat more people, we will be able to have a better health in our population in Lagos State. This phototherapy machine is going to go a long way in making a difference in the lives of these children.
“We want to say congratulations to Ikeja Electric. This is a noble cause. We know if they continue to do this as well as other agencies or individuals, who would like to partner with government to improve healthcare services in Lagos state, we will really welcome them to Ikorodu General Hospital.,” she added.
Speaking on the PCSR initiatives, Felix Ofulue, Head of Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, said: As a business, we are very passionate about giving back to the society in which we operate. A lot of people know us as power distribution company, but beyond that there are many other things we do.
“One of them is CSR, which is predicated on three pillars – education, empowerment and health. This is one of the interventions for us to give back to the society. The selection of today is very deliberate because it is a day when love is expressed all over the world and we felt that this is another way of demonstrating love especially to children in Ikorodu,” he explained.
The presentation of the medical equipment and clinical supplies was done at children’s ward of the hospital.
Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank
Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.
The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursement from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly, and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiaries of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000, to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.
With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing listof global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year“Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.
The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the missionto empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating
billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.
The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.
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