daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy (aug.2, 2013) | DMCA policy | flipboard magazine

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Continental Forums > Africa > East Africa > Uganda



Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old April 5th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #701
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Makerere placed 8th in Africa
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

COMMON AGENDA (L-R): Prof. Baryamureeba, Dean of Students Cyriaco Kabagambe and Dr Ssembatya address journalists in Makerere yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

By Patience Ahimbisibwe & Annah Nafula (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 5 2011 at 08:55
IN SUMMARY

New ranking states it is the best in Sub-Saharan Africa

A new ranking system that assesses academic performance of higher institutions of learning has placed Makerere University at the top in sub-Saharan Africa.

Makerere, which came eighth in overall ranking on the continent and 736th globally, was beaten to top position by universities from South African, which took the first five positions, while Egyptian institutions were sixth and seventh.

The rankings were done by Turkey-based Informatics Institute of the Middle East Technical University, University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP).

A total of 2,500 universities were surveyed globally for the results released in December 2010.
The URAP ranking looks at publications, citations, cumulative journal impact, research quality, international collaborations and Google scholar results of an institution.

The Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, welcomed the new ranking, saying it was important to keep academic institutions in check over quality and standards.

Good for checks
“All universities need to know where they stand among other universities in the world in order to evaluate their current academic performance and develop strategic plans that can help strengthen and sustain progress,” he said.

Dr Vincent Ssembatya, the Makerere University head of quality assurance, said the good ranking was a reward for the heavy investment in quality.

He, however, added that some innovations were meeting resistance from various stakeholders.
“For us to see such results (ranking) we must have the right people on the ground, students and quality work. We have lots of challenges in quality assurance because when change is introduced many people look at it with suspicion. They want to do things the way they are used to even when they are not achieving the goals,” Dr Ssembatya said.

At the school of ICT, Mr Michael Niyitegeka, an official, said the students have been able to develop a human resource management system now used by the Uganda Police to track down the Force’s records.

“We have automated the human resource component of the Uganda Police. There will be no duplication because they are now able to know how many people are in the force or about to retire,” Mr Niyitegeka said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has submitted the Makerere University’s new collegiate system to the East African Community as a model and centre of excellence in the region. This, according to Prof. Baryamureeba, will enhance training of future skills and innovations in the integration process.

Top 10 varsities in Africa

1. Cape Town (S. Africa)
2. Witwatersrand, (South Africa)
3. Stellenbosch (South Africa)
4. Pretoria (South Africa)
5. KwaZulu Natal (South Africa)
6. Cairo University (Egypt)
7. Ain Shams University (Egypt)
8. Makerere (Uganda)
9. Rhodes (South Africa)
10. Ibadan (Nigeria)




Growth ignites interest in Africa
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

Construction in progress. Misperceptions about Africa have denied the continent investment and growth opportunities.

By Tabu Butagira (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 5 2011 at 00:00
IN SUMMARY

An unpleasant cocktail of graft, infrastructure/energy deficit and exclusion of huge populations from the windfall still places majority Africans on the island of poverty in spite of rapid economic growth. If the continent’s GDP nearly doubles to $2.6 trillion by 2020 as projected and governments play clean politics while spreading benefits of national riches to all citizens, a more prosperous Africa would be roaring, defying vindictive commentators. Writes Business Power’s Tabu Butagira.

On a continent with a Gross Domestic Product of $1.5 trillion, every one of its 1 billion inhabitants should be having at least $1, 000 in their pocket to afford a fairly decent life.

Instead majority Africans wallow in humiliating poverty; die in large numbers due to preventable diseases and conflicts as corrupt regimes torture and steal from them.

More humanitarian organisations crowd the continent’s 53 countries, with South Sudan coming up as the 54th in July, than elsewhere in the world, keeping in job by propagating the worst of Africa’s story – despair and colossal failure.

It is a world of beggars as the Western media prides to portray it.

But is it? Africa presently accounts for about 3% of the world economy, although experts project its wealth could nearly double from $1.5 trillion dollars to $2.6 trillion by 2020. Inflation on the continent has fallen from 27% in past years to an average 8%.

Except for South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria, economies of most African countries were less hurt by the financial turmoil that battered the West, thanks to prudent fiscal and monetary policies pursued by its central banks.

And the International Monetary Fund forecasts Africa’s economy will this year grow by 5.5 per cent, unfortunately 2 per cent less due to infrastructure and energy deficits.

By and large, the tale is now different - Africa is turning the corner from a continent of risk to grand opportunities. For investors, the most risk in not partaking in the opportunities the continent affords.
The middle class is growing and its profligate spending has jump-started swell in banking, telecoms and hospitality sectors; expanding the tax base for governments and creating much needed jobs.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the number of African households earning $5, 000 or more annually will surge from 56 million in 2000 to 106 million in 2014.

“Not only is the reality on ground in Africa different, but the conditions for investments are right,” says Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Tickled by this progress, the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Times of London, one of the world’s most influential and oldest newspaper (it was founded originally as the Universal Daily Register by publisher John Walter in 1785), gathered 100 top African business executives for a summit in London a fortnight ago.

Participants, energised by the young, industrious population; vast mineral endowments and arable land; higher profits margins and a favourable global perception, raised the possibility of Africa eclipsing India by 2050.

The continent now offers much more in opportunities for lucrative businesses even for Western investors and needs to be looked at differently than as a basket morass, according to The Times Editor James Harding.

Mr Kagame told delegates at a pre-summit dinner at Spencer House in London that the continent presents a “prize market that every investor should seriously consider”.
He said: “It is regrettable that in a region where an investor can receive higher returns than anywhere else, only three per cent of global foreign direct investment flows to Africa.”
Investing in Africa, he pointed, is hindered more by negative global publicity and perception in the West disparate to reality on the ground. Courtesy of China’s aggressive economic forays into the continent’s hinterland, the stereotype is now thawing.

The Asian tiger has snapped up a $6 billion resource-for-infrastructure swap deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last week, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and French gas Company, Total, forked out $2.9 billion to buy 67% of Uganda’s 2.5 billion barrel oil fields from British oil firm, Tullow.

“Huge Chinese investment across the continent has altered risk perceptions about Africa, spurring others to join the chase for yield,” writes Mr Nader Mousavizadeh, the chief executive officer for Oxford Analytica, a global analysis and advisory firm, in a customised briefing book produced for The Times CEO Summit Africa.

The West says China has charmed African leaders, many of them charismatic dictators, because it asks no questions about their democratic credentials. It’s such uncritical political look that allows theft of public resources by bureaucrats and impunity to thrive, according to observers.
Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who succeeded his father Omar Bongo who had ruled for 42 years, agreed at the summit that sometimes African leaders have let down their people. But he said the West is judging the continent rather harshly and using “double standards”.

He said the shifting economic allegiances is because Africa is like a “hungry person” at a restaurant to whom the West offers a menu of many nice dishes but places stiff pre-conditions to access the meal while China brings a menu of one delicacy and tells the client; “you can have as much as you like”.

“If there is a void, someone is going to fill it. That is what China is doing,” President Ndimba told delegates at the summit held at the Savoy Hotel.

Ugandan businessman Patrick Bitature, chairman of Simba Telecom, who was a panelist at the summit, drawing from his experiences of investing in five African countries, including big ticket destination – Nigeria, says the deficit of transportation infrastructure compounded by high electricity costs undermine prospects for African entrepreneurs.

Much of the road, rail and water transport infrastructure in Africa is colonial relic. For instance, landlocked Uganda, in spite of being at the forefront of lobbying for the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), has scanty dividends from the favourable US legislation permitting tariff and quota-free exports. Reason: Cost of moving merchandise to Mombasa seaport is prohibitive for most producers.
Mr Bitature told Daily Monitor after the summit that the exposure of African business executives to Western counterparts was “productive” but home governments will require to fix broken infrastructure, build strong institutions; develop skilled labour force and up the game on financial literacy to compete well.

The African Development Bank has announced it is doubling infrastructure funding to $10 billion.
Spreading benefits of the marked economic growth to all citizens remains elusive. The disparity is too wide, likely to fragment societies along class lines, incubating anger sufficient to explode and topple regimes as has happened or is unfolding in much of North Africa. Such unrests make business decisions unpredictable, worse on the backdrop of widening income disparities.
For instance, Africa’s richest man Aliko Dongote, worth $14 billion, lives among a sea of poor Nigerians that have less than a dollar to spend each day.

Oxford Analytica reports that Johannesburg, a city of 4 million people, has 70 large-shopping centres while Lagos, which has a population of almost 11 million inhabitants, hosts only one.
The message is clear: Africa must organise instead of agonising. Reforming the business environment through legislations that protect private property rights and allow for express arbitration will come in handy when African themselves, not foreigners, herald the progress.




EAC seeks capital markets financing
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

Well paved roads are part of the infrastructure that could benefit from capital markets financing.

By Martin Luther Oketch (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 5 2011 at 00:00
The East Community Secretariat has advised that capital markets should be considered for financing of various regional infrastructure projects because they are potential avenues of funds for the various development projects being undertaken in the region.

This advice comes at a time when there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the volume of future development aid inflow to East Africa from developed countries, following the difficult economic situations they are still faced with. The recent global economic and financial crisis had a crippling effect on the donor’s financial base to lend to developing countries.

This to some extent requires least developing countries to generate financial resources locally to drive developments of projects forward for social economic development.

Addressing a joint news conference on the sidelines of an East African Securities Regulatory Authorities (EASRA) consultative meeting on April 1 at Imperial resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Mr Alloys Mutabingwa Deputy Secretary General (Infrastructure and Planning) said there are many regional infrastructure projects in East Africa that needs to be financed using the local currency bonds through cross listing of bonds.

“We need the capital markets to do the financing of the existing regional project under the East African Community to drive developments in the region. There is already a huge market for local currency bonds,” he said.

Mr Mutabingwa explained that among the objectives of infrastructure development is to enhance regional integration, which will in turn create a wider economic space for the movement of goods, services capital and labour without tariff and non-tariff barriers in conformity with the East African Community Common Market protocol. He however, cautioned that for the EAC to become successful in raising project finance in capital markets through project bonds, there should be a harmonized legal and regulatory framework to regulate the capital markets industry in the region in a transparent manner.

Some of the examples of the EAC regional projects in East Africa are East African Hydro Electricity Power Master Plan, East African Transport Master Plan (roads/road networks) linking the EAC countries.

East Africa and Africa at large has traditionally depended on official development assistance to meet its infrastructure needs. Whether or not the region can attract more private foreign currency funding for infrastructure will depend in part on its ability to reduce foreign exchange risks.
Speaking on when the EAC will realize a single capital markets as planned by the regulators and interested parties in the industry, Mr Mutabingwa said if all things go well the realization of a single capital market will be achieved in a three to five year period from now.

Over the past five years the East African Regulatory Authority and East African Stock Exchange Association have been devising initiatives to integrate four capital markets in the region into a single East African Capital Market with the view of widening and deepening the financial markets for domestic savings and infrastructure financing.

The initiative recognizes that pooling resources and expertise will enable governments and institutions to increase lending and investments, promote dialogue, and use a diverse range of instruments to more effectively respond to the crisis and address longer-term structural issues that have traditionally hampered East Africa’s economic growth. EASRA officials say the most striking future on the agenda of resource mobilization is cross listing of local currency bonds in the EAC member states.

Ms Stella Kilonzo the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Markets Authority Kenya said that there is a huge market for both government and corporate bonds in the East African Region which should be harnessed using a regional approach of issuing an East African bond that allows the citizens in the EAC region to participate in the debt market effectively.

Mr Japheth Katto of Uganda Capital Markets Authority said that a number legislations are being harmonized and that all the members of the EASRA and the donor communities are in support of EAC countries to start cross listing of bonds as a tool for mobilizing resources needed for financing development projects in the EAC countries.

Currently there are four stock markets in East Africa with the exception of Burundi, in the spirit of embracing regional integration.

Mr Joseph Bahizi, head of Monetary and Financial Markets Bank of Republic of Burundi said that Burundi is to be admitted into EASRA in August 2011 because they are currently working on forming a capital markets authority in Burundi so that Burundi can also have a stock exchange.




Makerere University ranked eighth in Africa
Monday, 4th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Taddeo Bwambale
and Ruth Nakayima

MAKERERE University’s global ranking has improved, according to recent rankings of top universities.

The university is ranked eighth in Africa by the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), a new system. The system observes universities’ academic progress at global and national levels.

The ranking is based on six academic indicators including the number of articles published, results from the search engine, Google Scholar, number of citations, cumulative impact of journals, quality of research and collaboration with other universities globally.

The survey, which covered the top 2,000 universities worldwide, was developed using information obtained about the universities between 2005 and 2009.

According to the rankings, Makerere is the 736th best university in the world, behind the University of Cape Town (253rd), University of the Witwatersrand (401st), Stellenbosch University (416th), University of Pretoria (470th) and the University of KwaZulu Natal (510th).

Out of over 20 universities in Uganda, Makerere is the only one that made it to the top 10 in Africa. The vice-chancellor, Prof. Venancius Baryamureeba, said the rankings indicate that Makerere is the best in sub-Saharan Africa.

Last year, Makerere was ranked 15th best institution of higher learning in Africa by Webometrics, an organisation that monitors university performance worldwide.

Baryamureeba attributed the improvement to the ongoing reforms at the university.




Uganda gateway for Pakistan’s exports
Amanullah Khan

Karachi —Diversification of product range the bilateral trade between Pakistan & Uganda can enhanced trade volume besides using Uganda as a gateway to Pakistan’s exports since Uganda is centrally located and has great trade opportunities. Cheaper land is available in abundance and can be purchased on ownership basis without much bureaucratic hurdles. Their investment is safe and they can do business for unlimited period without any fear. Under the new government the Uganda is progressing very fast and the businessmen from all over the world is coming and investing in different fields of their choice.

In order to the facilitate access to Pakistan’s products, Uganda has planned to establish a warehouse at Kampala which would open a gateway for Pakistani exporters and also enhanced trade ties between Pakistan and Uganda, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Kisuule, Ambassador of Uganda in Pakistan made these remarks during his meeting with the Chairman Abdul Wahab Lakhani and Senior Vice Chairman Mr. Asad Nisar Barkhurdaria and other members of the SITE Association of Industry on Saturday (2.4.2011). The Ambassador said that trade must be the corner stone of the diplomatic relations and real potential of bilateral trade has to be explored. Uganda would host SITE Association trade delegation for exploring business opportunities. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Kisuule, on his part, told the meeting that his country needs cooperation not assistance, there was a great potential for enhancing trade ties in the fields of Light Engineering goods, Pharmaceuticals, Agricultural machinery tractors and textiles.

Pakistan should take notice of those Pakistani products which were being sold with Indian Tags, he said. He invited the businessmen to visit Uganda and capture the market which is presently being dominated by the Indian businessmen.

In his welcome address, Abdul Wahab Lakhani, Chairman, SITE Association of Industry said that Pakistan considers Uganda as a close friend despite the geographical distance. Pakistan businessmen should also focus the other landlocked African markets through Uganda as transit hub, . Wahab Lakhani said that Pakistan has added new products to its export basket so it should also capture new export markets. This is the right time to focus African markets and measures are required to be taken for improving relations between Pakistan and the African region, he stressed. He said that the existing trade volume did not reflect the true potential between the two countries. Direct trade links between Pakistan and Uganda are lacking due to inadequate opportunities of interaction between the business communities of the two countries, he added.




Japan funds Jinja bridge construction
Monday, 4th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Sylvia Nankya

CONSTRUCTION of the new bridge on River Nile in Jinja will officially start in August 2012, works and transport minister Eng. John Nasasira has said.

The bridge, estimated to cost $135m, will replace the current one at Nalubaale Dam (formerly known as Owen Falls Dam) which has cracked.

Nasasira said the work would be completed within four years.

The Japanese government is providing $102m through the Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance Programme as a soft loan and Uganda will raise the remaining $33m, Nasasira added.
Nasasira was yesterday afternoon meeting the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Keiichi Kato.

Kato has just completed his tenure of service in Uganda for over three years.
Nasasira said the project tenders will be called before the end of this year.

“Nalubaale Bridge, completed in the 1954, has exceeded its lifespan. We need an urgent replacement because it is a main gateway for traders in the region,” Nasasira said.

According to the project design, the new bridge will be 525 metres long, with a dual lane and three span cables, making it the largest in the country.

Nasasira said the bridge, once completed, will boost trade between Uganda and its neighbours since it serves as the major trade link through eastern Uganda.

“A country like Uganda can only increase foreign direct investments through improving its general infrastructure,” Kato said.

For the last 25 years, Japan has supported projects in Uganda in road construction, improvement of traffic flow, improvement of trunk roads and resettlement of internally displaced persons.




Govt launches sh72b cassava project
Monday, 4th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Pascal Kwesiga

THE Government has launched a $30m (sh72b) project to promote food security through sustainable cassava production in the country.

The project is also aimed at improving peoples’ incomes and promoting commercial farming.

The project coordinator, George Lukwago, said Uganda would lead regional research in cassava through the regional centre of excellence.
“Uganda is providing leadership in cassava research that will take the East African countries to the levels of world class success stories,” Lukwago said.

The five-year project will be implemented by the National Agricultural Advisory and Research Organisation (NARO) through the agriculture ministry.

Funded through a World Bank loan, the project will also be implemented under the Eastern Africa agricultural productivity programme (EAAPP).

Under the EAAPP project, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have received $30m each to promote cassava, dairy, rice and wheat growing on a commercial scale.

The cassava centre of excellence, one of the components of the project, was recently launched by the agriculture minister, Hope Mwesigye, at the national crops resources research instituite at Namulonge in Kampala.

“This is the time to increase local production and safeguard our communities from hunger and unproductive livelihoods,” Mwesigye said.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
 
Old April 5th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #702
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

posta re brand new buses


Posta splashes Shs3bn on new buses
Published on April 4, 2011 by The Razor Newspaper · View Comments
Your Ad Here
If you thought Posta Uganda had gone to the dogs, then you’d better think again. Yesterday, the company launched a fleet of 10 buses.

NEW LOOK: The new Posta buses in Kampala yesterday. (PHOTO BY ESTHER NAMIRIMU)
Introduced in 1994, the 17-year-old bus service of Posta Uganda has made huge strides, even at a time when the company was facing challenges that greatly affected its reputation. In 2004, 30 capacity passenger buses were introduced to the Ugandan market.
These were followed by two 55-capacity and 60-capacity semi-luxurious buses in 2006 and now 10 new semi-luxurious coaches to traverse the entire country. Each of the new buses cost the company Shs300 million.

The managing director of Posta Uganda, James Arinaitwe, said the buses will be used to provide passenger transportation, deliver mail, and other logistical services. The buses will operate on the Kampala-Kasese via Fort Portal route, Kampala-Hoima via Masindi route and Kampala-Lira via Tororo-Mbala-Soroti route.

Arinaitwe also hinted at the restructuring process that is aimed at improving the hitherto fading and dodgy reputation of Posta Uganda. “The company is going through transformation for better service delivery. The restructuring process is still on course. Before the end of this year, the process (restructuring) will be complete. We want to re-cultivate the trust people had in Posta back in the 1970s and 1980s,” he said.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #703
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Govt pays Basajja sh24b for city markets
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Nakasero Market in Kampala for which government compensated Basajjabalaba
By Mary Karugaba

THE Government has paid sh24b to Haba Group of companies owned by businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba as compensation after the termination of the city markets contracts, the latest Auditor General’s report to Parliament has stated.

The Auditor General, John Muwanga, said Bassajjabalaba was still claiming a balance of sh118b.

Nakesero, Owino markets
Basajjabalaba’s Haba Group of Companies, through four of its subsidiary companies; Sheila Investments, Yudaya International, Victoria International and First Merchant International Trading company, entered into lease agreements and management contracts with the Government for four properties namely; Nakasero market, Shauriyako market, Constitutional Square and Owino market during the year. All the agreements were later terminated by the Government after the market vendors opposed the move.

“Government initially offered sh54b as compensation for the loss suffered but the figure was subsequently revised to sh96b following an appeal by Haba. At the time of audit, the claimable amount had been raised to sh142b,” the report read.

The Auditor General said the money was paid in disregard of a notice by Uganda Revenue Authority to pay taxes.

The report was handed over to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, last week.

Kisekka Market
The report also revealed that the Government was to pay sh15b to Rhino Investments owned by retired Col. John Mugyenyi for loss of Kisekka Market. Government entered into partnership with Rhino Investments to develop Kisekka market into a modern market.

Violent protests ensued, forcing the Government to terminate the partnership. Rhino demanded sh23b for the loss but the Government valuer assessed the loss at only sh6.8b.

“This figure was objected and after several interventions, an additional sh8.1b was agreed upon, bringing the total compensation to sh14.9b. At the time of writing this report, no taxes had been assessed by URA,” the report revealed.

Old Taxi Park
In the Old Taxi Park plot deal, the report revealed that Government agreed to pay sh17.2b as compensation to a number of individuals and companies that had entered into agreement with KCC to develop the area.

Later, KCC altered the policies and offered the plots to tenants. The group sued the Government for compensation.

Losses by Government ministries and departments
During the year, the auditors discovered that government losses in relation to cash and property by ministries and departments increased by 25.8 % from sh1.3b to sh1.7b.

The Ministry of Works reported the biggest loss of sh932m followed by National Agriculture Research Organisation with sh193m.

The Auditor General said the losses should be investigated to their logical conclusion and properly dealt with in accordance with the Public finance and Accounting Act, 2003 and the attendant regulations.

Loans by BOU to Government
The Auditor General also noted that advances and loans to Government by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) increased during the 2009/2010 financial year by 25.8% from sh2.5 trillion to sh3.1 trillion.

Advances totalling to sh449b was advanced to government under classified items without Parliament’s approval.

“However, these loans had not been approved by Parliament by the time of issue of this report as required by the regulations, nor were they recognised in the GoU consolidated financial statements, hence understating the liabilities and cash or expenditure for the year,” Muwanga reported.

While meeting NRM MPs at State House, it was revealed that the Government this financial year borrowed sh1.7 trillion from BOU to purchase fighter jets and tanks without Parliament’s approval.

The Minister of Finance, Syda Bbumba, is yet to present the budget to Parliament for retrospective authority.

The report indicated that despite numerous complaints raised over the recovery of sh422b Government loan to private enterprises, little has been done.

“There is still uncertainty on the recoverability of On- Lent Loans to Private Enterprises totalling to sh422b. Efforts by the Treasury to effect recovery have been futile,” the Auditor General said.

It was also revealed that delays by government to correct an error in the Exercise Tariff Amendment Act resulted into a total of sh50b collected in taxes by URA refundable to the tax payers. However, URA has been given the authority to retain the money and refund it to the respective individuals.

The report revealed that during the year, the Government signed 13 new foreign loans worth US$. 664m before Parliament’s approval. The auditors feared that this could result into committing the Government to ventures which may eventually be rejected by Parliament.

According to Article 159 of the Constitution, Government shall not borrow, guarantee, or raise a loan, except as authorised by or under an Act of Parliament.

The auditor also noted that sh97b is still lying idle on Escrow Accounts maintained by Ministry of Energy in Bank of Uganda and that the amount was not recognised in the government’s financial statements.

The report indicates that Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) overpaid sh33.5b to contractors due to erroneous computation of variation of price (VOP) under the Price Adjustment Clause in the various road construction contracts.

The over payment were also due to wrong measurements and inclusion of unexecuted works in the interim payment certificates by the supervising consultants.

Jinja-Bugiri road
The Government has also paid sh36b to Basil Engineering for loss suffered in the Bugiri-Jinja road deal

According to the report, in 2004, the Government signed an agreement with Basil Engineering for the rehabilitation of Jinja-Bugiri road (72.8 km). The contract was financed through a grant from the European Development Fund.

Ten months later, in December, 2004, the contractor sued Government for delay to pay VAT amounts that were due, failing to make timely decision regarding modification of material specifications and failing to provide compensation for change in the VAT law, among others. Government later reached a negotiated settlement of Euro13m. A total of sh36b was paid.

Dura Cement
It was also revealed that out of sh38b that Government is scheduled to pay Dura Cement for termination of the contract to mine minerals in Kamwenge district, a total of sh18b has already been paid.

The deal was terminated and the contract given to Hima Cement.



Uganda to get $430m from Tullow oil deal
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Onek (left) and Katikamu North MP Eng. Abraham Byandala leaving Parliament yesterday
By Cyprian Musoke
and Joyce Namutebi

UGANDA expects to receive up to $430m (about sh1 trillion) from the first transaction of Tullow’s acquisition of Heritage assets, Parliament heard yesterday.

Energy and mineral development minister Hillary Onek said the country would also get up to $475m on the second transaction of TOTAL and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) acquisition of part of Tullow’s assets.

This was contained in a statement Onek read to Parliament yesterday on the sale of Heritage Oil and Gas Uganda’s interest to Tullow Oil and Tullow’s subsequent partial sale to TOTAL and CNOOC.

The Government, he added, had consented to the conclusion of the commercial and business transactions related to the sales and that Uganda Revenue Authority and the finance ministry were handling the tax aspects on these sales.

Onek also said the Government had agreed to Tullow’s buying of the entire interest which Heritage had in exploration areas 1 and 3A of the Albertine Graben. Heritage had a 50% share in each of these two exploration areas, he said.

He added that the Government had also consented to Tullow’s subsequent sale of 66.6% of its interests in exploration areas 1, 2 and 3A to TOTAL and CNOOC, after acquisition of Heritage’s interests.

“The result of these sales is that Tullow, TOTAL and CNOOC will be joint partners in the three exploration areas and they will each have 33.3% share in each of these areas,” he noted of the complex sales that confused many MPs, prompting a barrage of questions. Onek said exploration area 4B and 5 remained licensed to Dominion Petroleum and Neptune Petroleum as sole licensees respectively.

Completion of the sale, he noted, had enabled the country to attract more companies in the oil and gas sector. He, however, said the sales were not for the actual oil and gas resources, which had been discovered, but were sales of the companies’ interests in the licenses they have in the country.

Onek further noted that the costs of these acquisitions would not be paid back when the production of oil starts.

“The costs which are to be recovered are only those which the companies are spending on the actual work like drilling of wells,” he said.

MPs complained of tax disputes between the companies that were reportedly before London courts, in which they feared government would lose huge sums of money from its natural resources.

However, Onek assured the MPs that the agreements had been renegotiated and every case would be arbitrated in Uganda.




100 SMEs benefit from professional training
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

MTN’s Isaac Nsereko (left), hands over a prize to Meleth Kikabi and Fredrick Kikabi of Footsteps Furniture Company during the training award gala held in Kampala last week
By Samuel Sanya

THE first batch of the proprietors of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) have completed 12 months of intensive training and scrutiny aimed at professionalising their activities.

Up to 100 SMEs were selected from a total of 619 applicants for a business skills training clinic by telecoms giant MTN and audit firm, KPMG.

The best firms in each category were recognised during the maiden SME training award ceremony at the Kampala Serena Hotel last week.

SMEs that had existed for more than three years with an annual turnover of more than sh25m were the initial beneficiaries.

“What you have received is a miniature master of business administration training. We expect you to turn all that knowledge into value,” said Edgar Isingoma, the KPMG Uganda managing partner.

Charles Mbiire, the MTN board chairman, urged the participants to maintain a good reputation as it is fundamental to sound business.

“You are the people who create a multiplier-effect in the economy. Maintain close contact and move into more complex business,” he said.

U5 Kampala Academy took top honours, while Super Clean, Corporate Investment Brokers, The Depot, Footsteps Furniture, Namirembe Guest House and Nyakatonzi Cooperative Growers Union were also recognised.

Jimmy Sonko, the Super Clean managing director, said the training had enabled his company to plan strategically, manage inventory and motivate personnel.

“After the training, we have been able to snatch big clients like Vision Group from competitors, earning us an addition sh12m per month,” he said.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #704
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Govt pays Basajja sh24b for city markets
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Nakasero Market in Kampala for which government compensated Basajjabalaba
By Mary Karugaba

THE Government has paid sh24b to Haba Group of companies owned by businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba as compensation after the termination of the city markets contracts, the latest Auditor General’s report to Parliament has stated.

The Auditor General, John Muwanga, said Bassajjabalaba was still claiming a balance of sh118b.

Nakesero, Owino markets
Basajjabalaba’s Haba Group of Companies, through four of its subsidiary companies; Sheila Investments, Yudaya International, Victoria International and First Merchant International Trading company, entered into lease agreements and management contracts with the Government for four properties namely; Nakasero market, Shauriyako market, Constitutional Square and Owino market during the year. All the agreements were later terminated by the Government after the market vendors opposed the move.

“Government initially offered sh54b as compensation for the loss suffered but the figure was subsequently revised to sh96b following an appeal by Haba. At the time of audit, the claimable amount had been raised to sh142b,” the report read.

The Auditor General said the money was paid in disregard of a notice by Uganda Revenue Authority to pay taxes.

The report was handed over to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, last week.

Kisekka Market
The report also revealed that the Government was to pay sh15b to Rhino Investments owned by retired Col. John Mugyenyi for loss of Kisekka Market. Government entered into partnership with Rhino Investments to develop Kisekka market into a modern market.

Violent protests ensued, forcing the Government to terminate the partnership. Rhino demanded sh23b for the loss but the Government valuer assessed the loss at only sh6.8b.

“This figure was objected and after several interventions, an additional sh8.1b was agreed upon, bringing the total compensation to sh14.9b. At the time of writing this report, no taxes had been assessed by URA,” the report revealed.

Old Taxi Park
In the Old Taxi Park plot deal, the report revealed that Government agreed to pay sh17.2b as compensation to a number of individuals and companies that had entered into agreement with KCC to develop the area.

Later, KCC altered the policies and offered the plots to tenants. The group sued the Government for compensation.

Losses by Government ministries and departments
During the year, the auditors discovered that government losses in relation to cash and property by ministries and departments increased by 25.8 % from sh1.3b to sh1.7b.

The Ministry of Works reported the biggest loss of sh932m followed by National Agriculture Research Organisation with sh193m.

The Auditor General said the losses should be investigated to their logical conclusion and properly dealt with in accordance with the Public finance and Accounting Act, 2003 and the attendant regulations.

Loans by BOU to Government
The Auditor General also noted that advances and loans to Government by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) increased during the 2009/2010 financial year by 25.8% from sh2.5 trillion to sh3.1 trillion.

Advances totalling to sh449b was advanced to government under classified items without Parliament’s approval.

“However, these loans had not been approved by Parliament by the time of issue of this report as required by the regulations, nor were they recognised in the GoU consolidated financial statements, hence understating the liabilities and cash or expenditure for the year,” Muwanga reported.

While meeting NRM MPs at State House, it was revealed that the Government this financial year borrowed sh1.7 trillion from BOU to purchase fighter jets and tanks without Parliament’s approval.

The Minister of Finance, Syda Bbumba, is yet to present the budget to Parliament for retrospective authority.

The report indicated that despite numerous complaints raised over the recovery of sh422b Government loan to private enterprises, little has been done.

“There is still uncertainty on the recoverability of On- Lent Loans to Private Enterprises totalling to sh422b. Efforts by the Treasury to effect recovery have been futile,” the Auditor General said.

It was also revealed that delays by government to correct an error in the Exercise Tariff Amendment Act resulted into a total of sh50b collected in taxes by URA refundable to the tax payers. However, URA has been given the authority to retain the money and refund it to the respective individuals.

The report revealed that during the year, the Government signed 13 new foreign loans worth US$. 664m before Parliament’s approval. The auditors feared that this could result into committing the Government to ventures which may eventually be rejected by Parliament.

According to Article 159 of the Constitution, Government shall not borrow, guarantee, or raise a loan, except as authorised by or under an Act of Parliament.

The auditor also noted that sh97b is still lying idle on Escrow Accounts maintained by Ministry of Energy in Bank of Uganda and that the amount was not recognised in the government’s financial statements.

The report indicates that Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) overpaid sh33.5b to contractors due to erroneous computation of variation of price (VOP) under the Price Adjustment Clause in the various road construction contracts.

The over payment were also due to wrong measurements and inclusion of unexecuted works in the interim payment certificates by the supervising consultants.

Jinja-Bugiri road
The Government has also paid sh36b to Basil Engineering for loss suffered in the Bugiri-Jinja road deal

According to the report, in 2004, the Government signed an agreement with Basil Engineering for the rehabilitation of Jinja-Bugiri road (72.8 km). The contract was financed through a grant from the European Development Fund.

Ten months later, in December, 2004, the contractor sued Government for delay to pay VAT amounts that were due, failing to make timely decision regarding modification of material specifications and failing to provide compensation for change in the VAT law, among others. Government later reached a negotiated settlement of Euro13m. A total of sh36b was paid.

Dura Cement
It was also revealed that out of sh38b that Government is scheduled to pay Dura Cement for termination of the contract to mine minerals in Kamwenge district, a total of sh18b has already been paid.

The deal was terminated and the contract given to Hima Cement.



Uganda to get $430m from Tullow oil deal
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Onek (left) and Katikamu North MP Eng. Abraham Byandala leaving Parliament yesterday
By Cyprian Musoke
and Joyce Namutebi

UGANDA expects to receive up to $430m (about sh1 trillion) from the first transaction of Tullow’s acquisition of Heritage assets, Parliament heard yesterday.

Energy and mineral development minister Hillary Onek said the country would also get up to $475m on the second transaction of TOTAL and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) acquisition of part of Tullow’s assets.

This was contained in a statement Onek read to Parliament yesterday on the sale of Heritage Oil and Gas Uganda’s interest to Tullow Oil and Tullow’s subsequent partial sale to TOTAL and CNOOC.

The Government, he added, had consented to the conclusion of the commercial and business transactions related to the sales and that Uganda Revenue Authority and the finance ministry were handling the tax aspects on these sales.

Onek also said the Government had agreed to Tullow’s buying of the entire interest which Heritage had in exploration areas 1 and 3A of the Albertine Graben. Heritage had a 50% share in each of these two exploration areas, he said.

He added that the Government had also consented to Tullow’s subsequent sale of 66.6% of its interests in exploration areas 1, 2 and 3A to TOTAL and CNOOC, after acquisition of Heritage’s interests.

“The result of these sales is that Tullow, TOTAL and CNOOC will be joint partners in the three exploration areas and they will each have 33.3% share in each of these areas,” he noted of the complex sales that confused many MPs, prompting a barrage of questions. Onek said exploration area 4B and 5 remained licensed to Dominion Petroleum and Neptune Petroleum as sole licensees respectively.

Completion of the sale, he noted, had enabled the country to attract more companies in the oil and gas sector. He, however, said the sales were not for the actual oil and gas resources, which had been discovered, but were sales of the companies’ interests in the licenses they have in the country.

Onek further noted that the costs of these acquisitions would not be paid back when the production of oil starts.

“The costs which are to be recovered are only those which the companies are spending on the actual work like drilling of wells,” he said.

MPs complained of tax disputes between the companies that were reportedly before London courts, in which they feared government would lose huge sums of money from its natural resources.

However, Onek assured the MPs that the agreements had been renegotiated and every case would be arbitrated in Uganda.




100 SMEs benefit from professional training
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

MTN’s Isaac Nsereko (left), hands over a prize to Meleth Kikabi and Fredrick Kikabi of Footsteps Furniture Company during the training award gala held in Kampala last week
By Samuel Sanya

THE first batch of the proprietors of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) have completed 12 months of intensive training and scrutiny aimed at professionalising their activities.

Up to 100 SMEs were selected from a total of 619 applicants for a business skills training clinic by telecoms giant MTN and audit firm, KPMG.

The best firms in each category were recognised during the maiden SME training award ceremony at the Kampala Serena Hotel last week.

SMEs that had existed for more than three years with an annual turnover of more than sh25m were the initial beneficiaries.

“What you have received is a miniature master of business administration training. We expect you to turn all that knowledge into value,” said Edgar Isingoma, the KPMG Uganda managing partner.

Charles Mbiire, the MTN board chairman, urged the participants to maintain a good reputation as it is fundamental to sound business.

“You are the people who create a multiplier-effect in the economy. Maintain close contact and move into more complex business,” he said.

U5 Kampala Academy took top honours, while Super Clean, Corporate Investment Brokers, The Depot, Footsteps Furniture, Namirembe Guest House and Nyakatonzi Cooperative Growers Union were also recognised.

Jimmy Sonko, the Super Clean managing director, said the training had enabled his company to plan strategically, manage inventory and motivate personnel.

“After the training, we have been able to snatch big clients like Vision Group from competitors, earning us an addition sh12m per month,” he said.


Lake Victoria management boosted by $108
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Isaac Khisa (email the author)


Posted Wednesday, April 6 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

Water supply and sanitation in East Africa is likely to improve after the bloc signed a grant agreement worth $108 million (about Shs258 billion). The agreement signed between the EAC and the African Development Fund in Nairobi on Monday is expected to contribute towards the improvement of livelihoods and health in the region.

Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Mr James Opio-Omoding, the In-charge of the AfDB-Kenya said the five year-project- the second phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation programme, is likely to push for an 85 per cent water supply coverage and 80 per cent coverage for sanitation.

It is also expected to facilitate in the reduction of water pollution through improvements in water supply and sanitation infrastructure in 15 selected towns in the region, through hygiene and environmental sanitation, urban drainage improvement, capacity building, and project management. “The project will reduce on the waste entering into Lake Victoria and hence improve the lake’s ecosystem and people’s welfare,” Mr Omoding said.


East Africa prepares for regional bonds
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Walter Wafula (email the author)


Posted Wednesday, April 6 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

In an effort to deepen and integrate capital markets in East Africa, regulators of the various regional markets have moved to promote the issuance of regional bonds. The regulators, including the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in Uganda have adopted proposed procedures for issuers to issue bonds in the EAC markets.

The guidelines affect the eligibility for corporations to issue bonds, the minimum size of bond issues, and disclosure requirements to help regulators assess the financial position of issuers. Bonds are debt papers that the government and corporations like; Standard Chartered Bank issue through stock markets, to raise money for financing costly projects or boost customer lending.

The five governments through their central banks also issue bonds to reduce the amount of money in supply so as to tame inflation. Mr Robert Mathu, the executive director of the Capital Markets Advisory Council of Rwanda, said the issuance of regional bonds is key to creating a chance for issuers to tap into the regional debt capital market.

Proposed requirements
He was speaking at the 33rd East African Securities Regulatory Authorities consultative meeting in Entebbe recently according to Ms Charlotte Kukunda, the Acting public education officer at the Capital Markets Authority.

The next step, Mr Mathu said, is to take the proposed requirements for regional bond issues through respective country level consultation and approval processes for the proposed regulations to ensure input from all stakeholders and sensitization.

Mr Mathu who doubles as the EASRA Chairman said free movement of capital in the region is expected to significantly boost trade and investments, thereby making the region more productive.



SMEs expected to benefit from financial literacy training
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Justus Lyatuu & Viola Nabimanya (email the author)


Posted Wednesday, April 6 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

Over 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises will beginning tomorrow to September get financial literacy training in order to strengthen their financial skills. The progrmme, to be bankrolled by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda and Centenary Bank, seeks to improve the management of small business.

Addressing the press in Kampala yesterday, Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of PSFU, said financial literacy is one of the many challenges affecting SMEs especially those that are Agro-based. He said the training that is expected to cost over Shs100 million will tomorrow kick off in Lira but will spread to Mbale, Mbarara, Arua and Kampala.

According to Mr Badagawa, the project will be multifaceted, with face to face training and broadcast through radio and television. SMEs in Uganda struggle to access financing due to lack of collateral to secure loans and a proper understanding of financial systems.

Usually, because of the lack of comprehensive understanding of financial systems banks consider them high risk debtors. Mr Fabian Kasi, the managing director, Centenary Bank said the number of the unbanked population is still high but innovations like this one are expected to boost the banking industry.

EU funds East Africa fisheries
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)


Posted Wednesday, April 6 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The European Union has disbursed 3 million euros (about Shs10 billion) for a four-year Lake Victoria fisheries management programme that seeks to identify, formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate fisheries projects in the region.

The funds are part of the 30 million euros from European Union under the ninth European development fund aimed at strengthening fisheries management in African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The Lake Victoria project funded under the ACP II aims at enhancing the target countries role to better manage their fishery resources. It was launched in June 2009 and will be implemented until November 2013. The countries in the East African region facilitation unit include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan.

Fisheries is one of the highest foreign exchange earner in most of these countries but it is still confronted with numerous constraints including weak and ineffective institutional and legal frameworks. In 2008, the fisheries sector fetched Shs290 billion ($124 million) for Uganda in export revenue according to Uganda Investment Authority.

Mr Koanne Mindjibika, ACP II regional manager for Eastern Africa told stakeholders at the third regional ACP-Fish II meeting in Kisumu, Kenya recently that the programme will contribute to the sustainable and equitable management of the fisheries industry to alleviate poverty and improve food security in the region.

Other challenges facing the sector are limited control and enforcement capabilities in terms of monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities, weak scientific research strategies and lack of reliable, relevant and timely information.

u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #705
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Uganda Coffee Exports Climbed by 1.6% in March, Development Authority Says
By Fred Ojambo - Apr 5, 2011 11:30 AM GMT

inShare
More Print Email
Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the beans, climbed 1.6 percent in March, according to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

Shipments rose to 223,099 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags from 219,684 bags a year earlier, the agency said in an e-mailed report today. Exports were 15 percent higher than in February and beat the board’s forecast of 180,000 bags, it said.

Coffee shipments in the 12 months through September are expected to climb 16 percent to 3.1 million bags, the authority said on Sept. 20. Uganda plans to increase output to 4.5 million a season by 2015 through a replanting program. Production has fallen from 4.4 million bags in 1996-97 because of coffee wilt disease, the authority said.

East Africa’s third-largest economy experienced a dry spell since December which has curbed coffee production. More than 95 percent of Uganda’s crop is grown by small-scale farmers whose crop is predominantly rain-fed, according to the agency.

Robusta accounts for about 85 percent of Uganda’s annual production.


20,000 jobs created in 3 months

Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

By RONALD KATO

New investments worth US $ 604m were licensed in the first quarter of this year, from which about 21,841 jobs are expected.

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) chairman, Patrick Bitature, said that 78 projects were licensed compared to US $210m in the same quarter last year.

“This year has started off on a good note. We are quite impressed with the new investment that we have seen in Uganda in just a short time, despite the interruptions during the election period in February,” Bitature told a news conference in Kampala on Wednesday.

He said the highest source of the planned investments recorded is in the financial, insurance and real estate, which accounts for 38% of the total investment in the period under review.

Ugandan based investors have the highest number of the projects licensed. United Kingdom investors come second, followed by Norwegians and Kenyans.



Uganda says planned investments surged in Q1 2011
Wed Apr 6, 2011 5:56pm GMT Print | Single Page [-] Text [+]
By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's planned investments surged to $604 million in the first quarter of this year from $210 million in the same quarter a year ago, its investment authority said on Wednesday.

Analysts say the east African country is on the cusp of an economic transformation following the discovery of commercial hydrocarbon deposits in its west in 2006.

"Given the trend we have seen so far, we predict that 2011 will see us double the investments we have been receiving in the last couple of years," the statement from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) said.

It gave no specific reasons for the huge year-on-year rise in planned investment during the first quarter, but it said rising inflation is a challenge.

Last month, the authority said the presidential elections held in February, which went off peacefully, had helped cement the country's image of stability and possibly boosted investor confidence.

Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni won the poll with 68 percent while his main opposition rival, Kizza Besigye, garnered 26 percent.

Finance and insurance accounted for the largest portion of planned investments, with projects amounting to $231 million, followed by manufacturing which registered investments worth $172 million.

Ugandans generated the biggest portion of new investment capital, totaling $265 million during the period, while Britain emerged as the country's top source of foreign investors followed by Norway.

UIA said it registered 78 planned projects in the quarter and between them are expected to add 21,800 jobs to the economy.

"On the local business scene, however, we are getting more concerned with the increasing rate of inflation," UIA said.

"With the rise in food and fuel prices, and the weak Ugandan shilling, both the ordinary Ugandan consumer and the manufacturers importing raw materials for their factories are beginning to feel the pinch."

Last week, Uganda said annual headline inflation had leapt to 11.1 percent in March from 6.4 percent for the year ended February.

The spike in inflation was attributed to dwindling food supplies, soaring
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #706
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Bujagali power project to spur growth - government
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Martin Luther Oketch (email the author)


Posted Thursday, April 7 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The government is optimistic that the commissioning of the Bujagali hydro power project in October this year will improve power availability, reduce cost and increase economic activity in Uganda.

The power deficit, continues to cripple Uganda’s economic development due to low electricity coverage and supply with consumers constantly faced with severe and prolonged power outage.

Speaking to Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Monday, Mr Fred Kaliisa Kabagambe, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy, said that the operationalisation of the first phase of the Bujagali hydropower station will lead to adequate energy supply, which will effectively reduce on the widespread load shedding, that has negatively impacted on various economic activities.

He said: “By increasing the availability of electricity, the Bujagali power project will not only support the government’s economic growth and poverty alleviation efforts, but will also facilitate the conditions for private sector development.
As the government casts serious focus on industrialisation, it is important that there is enough energy supply to power new and old investments.

The recent African Infrastructure Diagnostic Study conducted by the World Bank indicates that load shedding and emergency generator costs are extremely expensive while at the same time inadequate electricity supply cuts economic growth by 2 per cent annually. Mr Kabagambe, said in 2005 and 2006 due to electricity shortage, the rate of economic growth in Uganda reduced from 7 per cent to 5 per cent.

Recently, the project contractors said the process of diverting River Nile, which marks the start of the final phase of the construction of the 250MW power project had kicked off with partial flooding of the western channel to allow the river flow through the newly constructed concrete spillway.


Government wants Shs1.5t for roads
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Sheila Naturinda (email the author)


Posted Thursday, April 7 2011 at 00:00
The government wants an endorsement from Parliament to enable it secure a loan of Shs1.5 trillion for the construction of new roads and a new bridge on River Nile in Jinja.
The request was yesterday tabled before a committee of Parliament amid skepticism from opposition legislators.

If approved by Parliament, part of the money would be used to facilitate the construction of a second highway to Entebbe. Parliament heard that another loan facility will finance the Kampala Water Lake Victoria Watsan Project.

At least Shs805 billion is needed to build the Entebbe highway to solve traffic jam problems. A breakdown of the request indicates that at least Shs236.4 billion is also needed for the bridge and another Shs505.4 billion for the water project.

Sources of loan
Parliament was told the Jinja bridge loan facility is coming from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the water project from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the new Entebbe Road money is coming from the Export – Import Bank of China, this newspaper learnt.

The loan requests, tabled by junior Finance Minister Aston Kajara were sent to the Committee on National Economy for scrutiny before the House takes a decision on the matter.

However, even before the committee makes the report, opposition MPs expressed concerns about the money needed with allegations that the contract had already been awarded. Ms Alice Alaso (FDC, Soroti) said a Chinese company had already been given a contract to build the Entebbe Road, even before procurement procedures are followed.

Justification
Justifying the expenditure, Mr Kajara said: “The bridge (Nalubaale Bridge, formerly Owen Falls) has developed defects and can’t perform its duties anymore. We therefore need a second bridge.”

Speaker Edward Ssekandi now wants the process expedited. “The committee should report as soon as possible because we need [a new] bridge,” he said.

Responding to MPs, who were questioning the loan requests, Works and Transport Minister John Nasasira said: “Borrowing is always for investment and the more government borrows, the more the economy improved”.



90 schools get funds for expansion
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By CONAN BUSINGYE
and RUTH NAKAYIMA

THE Government has released sh7b for the construction of structures in 90 secondary schools in the country.

The funds are part of the funding from the World Bank, and the release is for the first batch under phase one.

In this phase, 217 schools are to benefit under the World Bank support, meant for Universal Post Primary Education and Training Project.

The implementation of this programme requires construction of facilities including classrooms, libraries, multipurpose science rooms, teachers’ houses as well as sanitation and hygiene facilities.

The released monies will cater for 50% of the contract sum allocated to each school in the first batch.

The remaining 50% shall be released after accountability for at least 75% of the first instalment release, according to the ministry of education.

The funds, according to the project’s communications officer, Fortunate Ahimbisibwe, have already been channelled directly by the ministry to Universal Secondary Education School Bank Accounts.
“The construction of facilities is expected to commence immediately,” he added.

More releases for the beneficiary schools shall be dispatched upon receipt of duly signed contracts approved by the Solicitor General.

“The schools’ authorities are urged to make necessary arrangements to ensure that the construction commences smoothly according to the issued Plan for construction of School Facilities, drawings and School Layout Plans and Bills of Quantities,” he added.
The construction is part of a 10-year project jointly funded by the World Bank and the Government of Uganda.

The first phase of the project will cost US$150m over a three-year period ending in 2012.

The World Bank has also provided sh287b for the second phase and sh230b for the third phase ending in 2018.

Under the project, a total of 4,297 new classrooms, 41 administrative blocks, 144 libraries, 405 science rooms, 71 teachers’ houses, and 2,296 five-stance latrines will be constructed.

A total of 1,864 incomplete classrooms will be completed.
The construction of facilities is to be managed through a decentralised school based approach.

Under this approach, the responsibility for procurement of works and goods is delegated to School Boards of Governors with technical support from the education ministry.

The School level Management Committees were trained in August 2010 on how to handle school based procurements of works.

The project is part of the strategic development plan to support Universal Post Primary Education and Training in the country.

It is aimed at increasing access, improving quality and enhancing efficiency of post primary education in the country.



Govt launches food security project
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By PASCAL KWESIGA

THE Government has launched a $30m (about sh72b) project to promote food security through sustainable cassava production in the country.

The five-year project is also aimed at improving people’s incomes and promoting commercial farming.

It will be implemented by the National Agricultural Research Organisation through the agriculture ministry. Funded through a World Bank loan, the project will also be implemented under the eastern African agricultural productivity programme.

Under the programme, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have received $30m each to promote cassava, dairy farming, rice and wheat growing on a commercial scale.

Uganda chose cassava as her priority crop because it boosts food security, is used as animal feed and has good quality starch for industrial use.

Cassava is also a staple crop for over 200 million people and is the second most important crop in Africa after maize.

The cassava centre of excellence, one of the components of the project, was recently launched by agriculture minister Hope Mwesigye at the national crops resources research institute at Namulonge in Kampala.

Mwesigye said the project comes a time when global food stocks are falling and food prices are increasing hence the need to strengthen and expand agricultural production.

The project coordinator, George Lukwago, said Uganda would lead research in cassava through the regional centre of excellence.

He added that Uganda would also participate in adaptive research on wheat and rice whose centres of excellence are in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya



Nokia hires Makerere to develop software
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By RUTH NAKAYIMA
and TADDEO BWAMBALE

MAKERERE University is developing over 30 software applications for mobile phone giant, Nokia.

The project, which started last month at the College of Computing and Information Science, involves training 100 students in software development.

Michael Niyitegeka, the college’s head of corporate relations, said the applications would be published on the Nokia OVI Store, the firm’s applications store.

Applications developed so far and approved by Nokia for further development include mobile doctor, an application that allows health specialists to record diseases or injuries they can treat.

It also helps the specialists know the people involved in an accident to get a precise listing of places where they might get treatment.

Others are News Aggregator, Call Me Later, M-Reporter and Kwepena, a replica of a traditional game for children.

Once the software have been successfully developed and approved, the developers will retain the copyright and Nokia will launch and market them, Niyitegeka explained.

According to Niyitegeka, the average cost of a given software ranges between $1,500 (about sh3.5m) and $2,000 (about sh4.8m) on the international market.

The initiative is part of efforts to strengthen the relationship between the college and Nokia, which helped establish a mobile computing lab at the campus.

The college has also developed an electronic system to help the police computerise its human resource records.

“They will be able to know how many people are on the force, where they are serving, or who is about to retire,” Niyitegeka explained.

With the new application, the force has saved about sh1.2b ($500,000).

The programme will be commissioned in May.
As part of the programme, over 300 police officers have undergone computer training at the college.


East Africa gets sh248b for water, sanitation
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By VISION REPORTER

THE East African Community has received funds to finance the second phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Programme.

The programme is funded by the African Development Fund under a $108m (about 248b) grant protocol signed on Monday in Nairobi, Kenya. The five partner states will contribute $13m (about 29b).

The East African Secretariat said the project is aimed at improving the livelihood of communities through sustainable water supply, sanitation and infrastructure.
A total of 15 towns in the Lake Victoria basin will benefit from the programme.

Uganda’s beneficiaries are Mayuge, Ntungamo and the Buwama-Kayabwe-Bukakata, while Kenya’s list includes Muyinga, Kayanza and Ngozi. In Burundi, Kericho, Keroka and Isebania-Sirari will benefit from the project.

Others are Nyagatare, Kayonza and Nyanza in Rwanda and Geita, Sengerema and Nansio in Tanzania.



Top construction firms delay Kampala-Mityana road works
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Men at work on the Kampala-Mityana road. Works are said to be behind schedule
By Samuel Balagadde

THE construction works for the Kampala-Mityana road are behind schedule, a top official said this week.

The works for the 56km road were expected to be ready last year, but are still ongoing, Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Roads Authority spokesperson, said.

He explained that although the works, which commenced in July, 2009 were progressing, they were expected to last only one year.

The construction is being undertaken by DOT Services, Spencon Services and Sterling.

Alinange disclosed that everything was being done to ensure that the construction works are completed in the possible shortest period.

Meanwhile, Spencon has started mobilising equipment on site for the sh7b Nalubale Bridge rehabilitation works in Jinja.

The works will be done at night to allow for smooth traffic flow Alinange, said.

He said repairs on the 50- year-old bridge will include strengthening the existing deck slabs, replacement of the deck drainage and ancillary bridge parts.

It will also involve resurfacing the deck with asphalt concrete and the underwater repairs to be reinforced with concrete pillars, Alinange noted.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2011, 10:27 PM   #707
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164





u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #708
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

UDB gets sh75b to fund businesses
Thursday, 7th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By David Mugabe

UGANDA Development Bank (UDB) has invited Ugandans with viable running projects and businesses that need expansion to apply for part of the sh75.6b it has secured from multinational institutions.

A senior official, who declined to be named, explained that the money will be lent out at between 10% to 17%, which is lower than the commercial banks’ average lending rates.

Large projects with a minimum capital base of at least sh200m and small-and-medium sized enterprises with small capital are legible to apply for the funding.
“Smaller projects will access funding through microfinance institutions affiliated to the Microfinance Support Centre.

“UDB will participate in supervising microfinance institutions to ensure that small projects also get the funding and at agreed interest rates,” said the official.

About sh10b of the credit grant will specifically target small-and-medium sized enterprises and will be accessible at less than 10% interest rate.

The money has been acquired from different international financial institutions including Islam Development Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

“To qualify for funding from the Arab Bank line of credit, the applicant’s ownership must be at least 51% Ugandan and funding is for the foreign component of the project or business only,” UDB said in a press notice.

The maximum amount of funding that a business can access is $2m payable within a maximum period of nine years.

“But where an applicant requires more than $2m, we will do syndication and get money from more than one bank,” said the UDB official.

UDB is targeting to fund projects in sectors like agriculture, agro-processing, industry, tourism, health, transport, housing and commerce.

UDB, the first development finance institution in Uganda, was established under a Decree of 1972.

Since its establishment, the institution has been wholly owned by the Government.

The main objective of the bank is to promote and finance development in various sectors of the economy with particular emphasis on agriculture, industry, tourism, housing and commerce.

In order to achieve its objective, UDB is empowered, by its statute, to provide financial assistance in the form of loans and by way of equity participation.

To enable it to finance the various projects, UDB is empowered to borrow funds from local and foreign sources, within the borrowing limit determined by the finance ministry and the Government.

Of recent, the bank has invested in a highly specialised form of agriculture, namely, floriculture aimed at producing high/grade cut flowers for export to Europe.


UDB gets sh75b to fund businesses
Thursday, 7th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By David Mugabe

UGANDA Development Bank (UDB) has invited Ugandans with viable running projects and businesses that need expansion to apply for part of the sh75.6b it has secured from multinational institutions.

A senior official, who declined to be named, explained that the money will be lent out at between 10% to 17%, which is lower than the commercial banks’ average lending rates.

Large projects with a minimum capital base of at least sh200m and small-and-medium sized enterprises with small capital are legible to apply for the funding.
“Smaller projects will access funding through microfinance institutions affiliated to the Microfinance Support Centre.

“UDB will participate in supervising microfinance institutions to ensure that small projects also get the funding and at agreed interest rates,” said the official.

About sh10b of the credit grant will specifically target small-and-medium sized enterprises and will be accessible at less than 10% interest rate.

The money has been acquired from different international financial institutions including Islam Development Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

“To qualify for funding from the Arab Bank line of credit, the applicant’s ownership must be at least 51% Ugandan and funding is for the foreign component of the project or business only,” UDB said in a press notice.

The maximum amount of funding that a business can access is $2m payable within a maximum period of nine years.

“But where an applicant requires more than $2m, we will do syndication and get money from more than one bank,” said the UDB official.

UDB is targeting to fund projects in sectors like agriculture, agro-processing, industry, tourism, health, transport, housing and commerce.

UDB, the first development finance institution in Uganda, was established under a Decree of 1972.

Since its establishment, the institution has been wholly owned by the Government.

The main objective of the bank is to promote and finance development in various sectors of the economy with particular emphasis on agriculture, industry, tourism, housing and commerce.

In order to achieve its objective, UDB is empowered, by its statute, to provide financial assistance in the form of loans and by way of equity participation.

To enable it to finance the various projects, UDB is empowered to borrow funds from local and foreign sources, within the borrowing limit determined by the finance ministry and the Government.

Of recent, the bank has invested in a highly specialised form of agriculture, namely, floriculture aimed at producing high/grade cut flowers for export to Europe.


Easy Bus suspends city service
Thursday, 7th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Passengers board a Pioneer bus in Kampala. The firm has halted operations for three months
By Samuel Sanya

PIONEER Easy Bus has temporarily suspended its bus services pending the importation of new buses from China.

This follows the signing of a five-year contract with Kampala City Council on Tuesday.

The joint venture between Pioneer Motor Company Zimbabwe and Easy Bus Uganda currently runs 13 buses on the Kampala – Mukono- Luzira routes.

“We have suspended operations for the next three to four months as we await the arrival of the 522 buses from China,” David Baingana, the Pioneer Easy Bus director, said yesterday.

He explained that three of the 13 buses were being fitted with an automated ticketing system, while the rest were being used to test the ability of new drivers who needed to have upgraded their driving permits to drive the buses from China.

Baingana said his firm had secured a credit agreement with Chinese firm Yutong to supply the buses at $50m.

He said the agreement provided for the training of some 50 technicians in China.

This, he added, would be done during the next three months. “The first batch of 100 buses shall be delivered within the next 120 days. Thereafter, we will expect three subsequent batches of 100 buses at 45-day intervals and a final batch of 122 buses,” Baingana said.

The development is bound to send ripples down the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) who currently command 70% of the traffic on all major routes in Kampala city.

Pioneer Easy Bus has been operating on a pilot scheme for the past 40 months before the signing of the contract with Kampala City Council that gave them exclusive rights over the eastern and western routes of the Greater Kampala Metropolitan areas.

The Bus Company is to construct bus terminals in Mukono, Luzira, Bweyogerere, Ntinda, Naalya, Kasubi, Bulenga, kyengera and Ndeeba.

Officials from UTODA could not be reached for a comment.



EAC plot for joint commodity trading
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Ibrahim Kasita

UGANDA, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi need a unified currency and commodity exchange to offer local platforms for investors worldwide eyeing East Africa’s wealth.

Soft commodities like coffee, cotton and tea may also be traded in the same single platform.

Analysts said the new exchange aims at bringing in farmers, producers, processors, traders, wholesalers, retailers, buyers, sellers, and transporters in the financial system.

This will broaden and deepen the EAC stock markets “in a manner that will attract serious participation from global funds focused on the African continent.”

“For the regional commodity producers, it is a platform for true discovery of their commodities and they will be able to ‘make’ a price for their produce rather than ‘take’ a price,” Joseph Bosco, the Global Board of Trade, managing director, said.

“Commodity derivatives for the region allow the local producers to plan their finances according to their expected production.”

Although agriculture is critical to economic growth in the EAC region, farmers have remained the poorest and the reason is that sensitivity of agriculture production towards season vagaries and fragmented trading and marketing structure.

Farmers get on a fraction of true value of the produce while large part is pocketed by middlemen and traders.

Bosco explained that commodities derivatives provide investors an opportunity to trade global commodities and ability to diversify their portfolio.

He said the currency derivatives would offer currency risk mitigation capability for foreign capital interested to access local equities.

“Useful tool for EAC exchanges to cross list companies on mutual basis and strongly support the proposition for foreign equity players focused on emerging Africa,” Bosco said.

“It is a platform for regional importers, exporters, goods and service providers to safeguard against volatile currency fluctuations.”

New regional capital market laws needed

But to achieve the multi-asset exchange, there needs a law as part of the measures to expand a common capital market.

“We first need to come up with a regional legal framework, which should be given priority because capital markets pay a significant role in establishing a single market,” Robert Mathu, the East African Securities Regulatory Authority (EASRA), noted.

“This calls for harmonisation of regional regulatory framework and creating a common trading platform.”

Regional integration of exchanges diversify risks in a wider market, more efficient and competitive market, lower costs, higher returns and increased cross-border capital flows, Mathew said.

This would attract more investors to agriculture and provide incentives to large scale farmers because of guaranteed ready market and prices.

Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have established warehouse receipt systems and commodities exchanges to enable farmers receive loans and assure the quality of their produce. But inefficiencies, ineffectiveness, quality and transparency issues continue to dog the operationalisation.

“We are not taking over the work of warehouse receipt system but we want a proper, transparent and efficient commodities exchange,” Japheth Katto, the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda head, said.

“The way the receipt system is done now shows that there is no price discovery and farmers are left out.”

He said that the commodities exchange will have a trading platform that will organise dealers and sellers and ensure efficient and effective settlement and clearance procedures are in place.

Dr Fratern Mboya, the Capital markets and Securities Authority of Tanzania head, said that farmers have benefited little.

“East Africa is endowed with a lot of agriculture commodity and most of our people depend on agriculture. Warehouse receipt system has not really benefited the farmer and there is a need for effective and efficient marketing system,” he noted.

$16m boost to support EAC common Agenda

To move forward, the World Bank has agreed to give $16m to fund the EAC financial sector development and regionalisation project.

It has six components including financial inclusion and strengthening market participants, harmonisation of financial laws and regulations and mutual recognition of supervisory agencies.

Other components are integration of financial market infrastructure, development of a regional bond market and capacity building.

The project to be implemented in two phases over a nine year period will support EAC efforts towards building a single financial services market for the region.

The agenda includes harmonisation of regional regulatory framework, creation of a common trading platform, seamless clearing and settlement infrastructure, presence of sophisticated capital market participants and capital market education and investor awareness.

Alloys Mutabingwa, the EAC deputy secretary general for infrastructure and planning, said investing in financial infrastructure services will link the region to the global market.

“When we have got the required financial infrastructure, then the regional capital market integration process starts,” he said.“We need to ct together to build a strong financial service sector.

Mutabingwa said EAC must work on towards the integration plan as access to global market products is essential to deepen the markets and build critical mass required for foreign capital inflows.

Twaha Kaawaase, the chairman Capital Markets Authority Uganda, said the recent crisis underscores the need for nations to work together in tackling the challenges that financial markets face.

“Regulatory arbitrage, unscrupulous market players, financial sector infrastructure integration, enforcement or laws, investor protection, dissimilarities in our markets, new and sophisticated products, limited regulatory capacities and the different levels of development are some of the challenges,” he observed.


Ugandan art and crafts get market abroad on internet
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Jeniffer Ayat displays some of their products they sell to UK and US on internet
By John Odyek

A GROUP of women who have been chiseling rocks at the Kireka stone quarry, Kampala for the last two decades have become soldiers of fortune.

Their fortunes have changed as they have been tasked to make art and craft products such necklaces, ear rings, bangles and bracelets for export through the Internet to USA, Canada and UK. The women join other groups from Rwanda and Kenya using online marketing to sell art and crafts materials to USA and Europe to end poverty through trade.

Angela Awoch, a member of Women of Kireka says she has been working at the quarry for the last 20 years. “It affected our chest, gave us respiratory problems, we had pain because the work was physical,” she narrates.

Awoch says her group consists of widows who fled from the 20 year LRA war in Northern Uganda. She says during the war they couldn’t go to school and they lost all their livestock and properties. Awoch says she has eight children four of her own and four from a relative who passed away.

Jeniffer Ayat, secretary Women of Kireka says in 2008 Sienna Anstis who came from the US asked them to set up a group to start making crafts for sale. Anstis introduced them to the US based Project Diaspora. Ayat says they now have an alternative livelihood because the stone quarrying was a hazardous work with little pay. “We had problems of school fees and rent while working in the stone quarrying. But now we can pay school fees and rent”.

She says the project pays school fees for their children and they get a monthly salary of sh100,000. Ayat regrets that the fore finger of her young daughter was ripped off while she was carrying stones in the quarry. She narrates that one time a child died when a big rock rolled over her and such tragedies continue happening to those still there. Most of the women work in the quarry because they do not have other jobs to do. She reveals that some of the women were raped by rebels and says the project has given them hope.

Fisheries sector gets sh11.5b for 11 projects in the East African region
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By David Mugabe

ABOUT sh11.5b (three million euros) has been allocated to implement 32 national and regional fisheries projects in the East Africa region.

The money disbursed under the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of states (ACP) countries fish II projects will extend support to 11 projects that should be completed within 2011. ACP fish II is a demand driven programme financed under the 9th European Development Fund. The programme has been developed to contribute to the sustainable and equitable management of the fisheries industry that is facing serious risks of fish stock depletion and sustainable progress of the sector that is a major foreign exchange earner for countries like Uganda.

Of the original 200 fish species, only five are currently visible, including the Nile Perch and tilapia. There is a fear that cat fish, lung fish and mud fish will soon become extinct. Others that are fast disappearing include enkejje.

Exports rose from about sh784m in 1998 to over sh284b annually in 2008 according to reports. A growth in the fish exports to regional markets also jumped from sh196m in 1998 to sh88b over the same period.

The aim of the programme is to improve fisheries management in ACP countries so as to ensure that fisheries resources occurring in the waters under the jurisdiction of these countries are exploited in a sustainable manner. The ACP fish II programme is a 4.5-year programme.

A recent meeting in Kisumu, Kenya involving fisheries administrators and regional organisations under the 3rd Regional ACP-fish II programme workshop reviewed the progress of project implementation to date and plan for future tasks for the Eastern Africa region. Uganda is currently receiving support from the programme.

products

Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

A Makerere University student displays products made by Nutreal Limited
By John Kasozi

THE department of food science and technology at Makerere University has developed new food products.

The products are smart marinated tofu meat made out of soybean, Tonto beer, Mulondo liqueur and canned hard corn.

Others are syrups from cassava and maize, brisk natural pineapple, banana juice and ready to use vegetables and jam.

Dr. Yusuf Byaruhanga, a senior lecture in-charge of Strap for Small and Medium Enterprises, said this year’s exhibition, which will take place at the department, will showcase new fortified foods.

“This is the second time we shall be exhibiting to the public. The show will run from April 14 to 16,” he said.

Byaruhanga said the exhibitors will include firms from the private sector.

He added that service providers such as packaging companies, labelling and processing firms, Equity Bank, Ecobank and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards will take part in the exhibition.

Byaruhanga said the university’s food parlour offers products such as beef sausages, smoked beef, banana juice, pineapple products, soy yoghurt, which is lactose and cholesterol free, and tap water filtered and packaged.

Nutreal Limited, the newly established food processing enterprise under the food science department, produces cookies that contain whole peanuts and simsim (sesame), and amaranth bars, which contain amaranth grains, peanuts and honey. The foods are high in proteins, vitamins and minerals, Byaruhanga said.

Amaranth flour offers high protein, and is balanced in amino acids and lysine.

It has more essential vitamins and minerals than other cereals, and contains unsaturated fats with cholesterol lowering effects, he explained.

Nutreal Limited specialises in the production of nutritious products to contribute to the fight against diet related imbalances such as obesity and overweight.

It recently obtained the Uganda National Bureau of Standards standard mark for its nutrient enhanced cookies.

In February 2011, the firm saw five of its products hit the shelves of Kampala supermarkets.

“The domination of Uganda supermarkets with imported products needs to be stopped. Our farmers should benefit from providing raw materials for value added products. It is high time Ugandans proudly buy Uganda products,” Byaruhanga said.

Turning Uganda’s music industry into a goldmine
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Michael Kanaabi

IN an industry where you can come from being a nobody to a star overnight, the stakes are getting high.This is because many young people are flocking the music industry with fresh talent everyday.

Uganda’s music industry came from being a preserve for a few uneducated kadongo kamu (local pop) artistes with a massive following among the same class of people in the 1990s, to an all encompassing one, creating room for much bigger revenue, recognition and stakes over the past 10 years.

With a new crop of big names like Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine, Bebe Cool and Juliana Kanyomozi, the stakes have gone up, and many more want a piece of the increasing money being generated by the industry.

Businessmen have joined the industry as promoters, managers, events organisers, video producers and music distributors.

The industry’s growth
The redefining of Ugandan music, through the creation of a new dominant genre that we call Afro-pop, played a key role in developing Uganda’s music industry.

According to Mariam Ndagire, a local musicians, the biggest factor behind the boom of the local music industry is that artistes have struck a chord with all audiences, especially the youth, who were left out by the kadongo kamu music, which dominated the 1990s.

Joseph Masembe, an events organiser, says foreign influence and exposure has played a major role in developing the music industry.

He explains that many music studio owners like Steve Jean, Peter Sematimba and big artistes like Chameleone have lived abroad, which gave them an opportunity to pick up tips to change the industry and push themselves to the top.

“Corporate firms have also come on board, seeking brand mileage from the popular artistes, which has brought lots of money into the industry,” Masembe says.

Concerts and album launches have been bought for equally big money, with Juliana’s Kibaluma being bought by MTN for sh80m, Bebe Cool’s Bogolako album was bought for sh70m by Uganda Breweries in 2009 and Bobi Wine’s Carolina was bought by Nile Breweries for sh60m.

The emergence of a new showbiz entrepreneurship class that includes promoters and event organisers, who offer one-stop solutions for concerts and create events that make money for the artistes and other stakeholders, has also played a key role in the industry’s growth.

Promoters and artistes’ managers such as Steve Jean, Ali Alibhai, the head of Talent 256, and Emma Mulondo of Xscape Entertainment have also spurred the growth of the industry.

“From scouting talent, identity creation, career planning, damage control, artiste management and negotiations of contracts, we do it all,” says Mulondo.

According to Mulondo, the growth of the media and emergence of new media has also contributed to the success of Uganda’s music industry.

“There are many FM radio stations that play the music, making it popular in areas which were hard to reach a few years ago. New televisions that focus on local content like Star and Bukedde have also emerged and give music a lot of airplay,” he says.

Mulondo adds that digital media like U-tube and video streaming sites on the Internet have also helped local music become popular.

Making money from music
The first people to make money off this chain of business are the music producers.

Their fees range from sh80,000 to sh400,000 to record one song.

For a full album recording, one parts with about sh1m. This could be more in the top studios.

When the recording is done, the video shooting takes centre stage.

It begins with writing a script, which is usually handled by the director and the singer.

The video producers usually charge between sh500,000 and sh1.5m, depending on the expertise of the producer.

When the song gets a lot of airplay on radio and television, and the artiste gets invited to shows, the payment for performances ranges from sh500,000 to sh2m, depending on the popularity of the musician and the negotiating power.

As one grows in fame, so do they in commercial viability. This is when promoters consider one big enough to pull off a major show.

Depending on the promoters’ expectations, shows are bought off from as low as sh5m to sh100m.

The difference is created by the artiste’s power to attract sponsors and crowds.

At this level, the musicians start to make money from other avenues like endorsement deals for products in addition to civil and public health campaigns.

Existing Opportunities in the industry
Ndagire believes that there are still lots of opportunities for new artistes in the music industry.

“For those bringing some thing new and fresh to the industry, there is always room for their new styles and ideas of music,” she says.

Ndagire says there is also still room for professional managers to invest in young talent. She, however, adds that the producers must have a long-term outlook because results take a long time to manifest.

The future of the industry
Ndagire says the industry is doomed if young artistes continue trying to be like the already established ones.

She, however, adds that the industry still has a lot of potential if creativity, talent and good management of artistes are well matched.

From a manager and stakeholder’s perspective, Mulondo is positive and sees an industry that is yet to reach its peak.

“The music industry is going to continue growing fast in the next five to 10 years until it reaches its peak,” he says.



DFCU dominated the trading
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By David Mugabe

DFCU bank sold 103,110 shares fetching a total of sh102.6m in turnover on a day of slightly improved volumes and value.

DFCU’s comparative trading session last Tuesday had realised turnover of sh92.7m.

DFCU’s total turnover of sh102m was 68% of the total turnover of sh150m.

Stanbic Bank traded value dropped to sh29m from sh88.9m at a weighted average price of sh275 per share.

There was, however, a bid for 1.6 million Stanbic shares on Tuesday.

Overall traded volumes also dipped to 274,118 from 386,081.

New Vision had a much improved session with the counter’s trading price rising to an average sh597 per share. NVL picked sh17.4m in turnover from 29,205 traded shares. In the past session, NVL realised sh171, 000 from 300 shares in turnover.

The local share index rose to 363.54 from 360.15 while the all share index also rose to 1,153 from 1,117 points.

National Insurance Corporation had unfulfilled bids for 1.3 million shares at the average share price of sh70. Last week, NIC sold sh2.1m in turnover from 30,000 shares.

Uganda Clays had a slight improvement in turnover from sh1.45m to sh1.6m. Shares traded also rose 35,855 from 32, 282. Top management of the clay maker however say UCL will return to profitability soon after two years of loses and no dividend pay outs.



Online car trading taking new shape
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

A prospective buyer searches for car online
By David Ssempijja

PRIOR to year 2000, it would be harder convincing prospective car buyers into engaging in online transactions because of lack of confidence in e-commerce.

However, for a decade now, online car buying has been gaining ground in Uganda’s marketing systems because of the benefits that accrue from the internet aided transactions.

Consequently, Uganda has stood out as one of the countries where for example some of the biggest Japanese online car sellers are focusing to create a huge market niche.

Because of the fast growing competition where firms seek to scramble for clients, the idea of firms remaining in the comfort of their offices in manufacturing countries is fading away, they have started devising means of improved customer care systems in countries of product destination.

The latest development in the local dealership is the establishment of the first local customer care service centre by the Japan-based Trust Company, one of the oldest and biggest online car selling firms trading under the brand name of JapaneseVehicles.com.

According to the company country manager Denis Tugume, the local customer service centre was set up to respond to the customer care needs of the modern business world.

“Trust Company took note that it wasn’t enough just sending vehicles to local customers, that’s why it considered suitable setting up this service office to offer free additional logistical support,” he told journalist at his office located on KAS House 6th street industrial area.

He said that his office helps in providing regular updates to customers from the first step as far as ordering cars online is concerned to the stage of handing over the ignition keys to the owners at no extra costs.

The facilitation to customers involves provision of information about the payment systems, transit status of the vehicle (s), professionally driving cars from the Mombasa port to various local destinations, tax clearance, registration and verifications to ensure that the imported vehicles have the real specifications.

“We have noted that having a local service centre also builds customer confidence because in case of any queries during the whole transaction, the point of reference is in his/her country,” he said.

Tugume says that the firm currently has been importing atleast 100 vehicles every three month, but with enhanced customer service trends, they forecast to sell over 1000 vehicles every quarter of the year with in the next five years to come.

How does one benefit from buying online?
David Kalema, a local private expert on international trade says that ordering online helps in avoiding middlemen, this means that all the extra money a person would pay in a local bond to first of all cover the costs of the importer and his profits is saved.

“Online purchases get you directly to bulk sellers, exactly from whom local bond operators buy for re-sale,

However, this system is suitable for people who are not in a rush to have vehicles, for one must wait an online-ordered vehicle for a minimum of 30 days,” he says.

Kalema advises that online buyers ought to avoid losing money to cyber criminals, this can be achieved through dealing with only bigger and popular firms for the same business.

“Bigger firms normally don’t delay in delivery systems and have an edge over small ones in that they negotiate for low a shipping cost which eventually lowers the final costs of the vehicles,” he notes.



Fuel marking technology to spur sector
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By David Ssempijja

THERE is a ray of hope as far as improving Uganda’s petroleum sector is concerned; following the Government’s effort in the implementation of the new fuel marking and quality monitoring programme (FMP).

The programme managed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), seeks to control and monitor the quality of petroleum products in the entire local supply chain.

Fuel marking is the introduction of a marker into the petroleum product (doping of the marker into the product) at a point of taxation (customs entry points) before clearance for entry into the country.

The programme is run using petro-mark, a fuel marking technology provided by United Kingdom’s Global Fluids International.

The monitoring process cuts across analysing and verifying fuel chemical components, density, quantities.

According to the UNBS executive director Dr. Terry Kahuma, the programme whose positive results are already evident, intends to create a fair competition among dealers in petroleum products.

“Since FMP also deals with detecting and curtailing adulterations and dilution of fuel and forestalling the entry of unmarked (smuggled or dumped) fuel into the market,

Whipping the market of such unacceptable practices will go a long way in protecting trade rules and regulations abiding dealers, final consumers and government revenue for the good of the economy,” he said.

He was delivering opening remarks of one day national consultative meeting for the public and private petroleum industry players, it was held last week at Imperial Royale Hotel.

The commissioner petroleum supplies department Rev. Frank Tukwasibwe said the programme is one of the numerous cardinal interventions government intends to undertake to streamline the booming petroleum sector.

How the exercise is executed
If it is about checking imports, products are received in road tankers and rail wagons at customs entry points through Busia, Malaba and Mutukula from where they are inspected for conformity with set standards, according to the programme’s senior petroleum officer and head of operations, Spero Byokunda.

Preliminary field tests are consequently conducted to verify key particulars like appearance, volume, temperature and density. Samples of the products are picked and forwarded to Kampala for a comprehensive laboratory analysis.

The programme is supported by fuel testing laboratories comprising a stationary laboratory in Kampala and a mobile unit capable of sampling and carrying out both preliminary and detailed tests.

Byokunda also explained that surveillance continues to retail outlets and depots where spot tests are conducted

Products that conform to the required standards are cleared for use and market distribution. Whereas those that fails to measure up to the required standards are quarantined and if need be, culprits may be penalised in tandem with the Petroleum Supplies Act 2003 and the 2009 Petroleum Marking and Quality Control regulation.

Project sustainability
Currently, the project is supported by funds that accrue from the sh5 per marked litre levy charged from private dealers, penalties and laboratory analysis fees.

The programme budgeted to run on a 2010/11 budget revenue of sh6.8b and from July-December last year, sh3.4b was realised.

Over sh6.4b is expected from fuel marking fees, sh114m from laboratory analysis fees, sh300m from penalties.

During the same financial year, the programme expects to spend over sh2.6b on buying marker chemicals, the cost accounts for 38% of the total expenditure budget.

According to Davis Ampwera, the finance and administration manager at the UNBS, the programme’s financial report portrays a deficit of over sh290m. In response, Government is considering increasing the fuel marking fees.

Programme challenges
The main challenge facing the FMP is mainly the rising cost of living and the depreciation of the shilling against the dollar coupled with reduced volumes marked resulting into reduced revenue. This affects monthly remittances to GFI and thus variation from the payment plan.



Coffee industry to benefit from online marketing
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Participants discussing coffee issues
By David Ssempijja

EFFORTS are underway to help Uganda’s coffee industry players integrate modern information communication systems to widen their scope of marketing.

Local coffee producers and traders now have the opportunity of marketing their fine coffee online using the new Q system web portal developed by the London based Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).

The dynamic, engaging and customisable portal allows users to showcase their coffee samples and connect with potential buyers around the globe.

According to Teddy Lingle, a coffee quality expert from CQI, the samples are evaluated and professionally accredited by cuppers in the country of origin against international standards before they accepted to be displayed on the web portal.

Coffees that meet various standards for green, roasted and cup quality are certified and licensed to feature on the web facility.

The web fosters global linkages between buyers and sellers, helps them becoming part of the global marketplace which enhances economic viability for general development of the industry. Uganda is among the few countries in Africa accredited to benefit from the portal.

Benefiting from the system, one registers as a user and creates a personal profile. The user submits coffee samples to certified R graders and CQI collaborating partner for evaluation and once samples are certified.

The user gets a new profile on the market linkage paper where more information including photos about the coffee can be added which eventually enables communication among dealers.

With the need to guarantee quality of locally produced coffee, over sixteen people have undergone training and graduated in Robusta coffee professional grading (R-Graders) and cupping, this brings the number of local certified graders to 24 in total.

The training that involved theoretical and practical sessions were held in Uganda Manufacturers Association show ground and the graduation ceremony was organized at Serena Hotel.

The move is supported by USAID’s Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development (LEAD), QCI and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

According to the USAID/LEAD Chief of party Susan Corning, her body was intensifying efforts to ensure that quality is observed at every point in the production chain.

“Because of the need to ensure quality in agriculture, LEAD has been supporting especially smallholder farmers not only to increase volumes of their produce but also observe quality in the production process,” she told guests at the graduation ceremony.

She said that apart from the need to increase harvest volumes, quality compliance is another strong marketing tool through which Uganda can attain more economic benefits from farming.

By the end of last year, LEAD had supported 11,552 producer organisations, Through the project the 247,272 households have seen an average increased income of 36%.

The project has provided over 498,000 farmers with agricultural sector productivity training and considers 247,272 households (some of which include more than one farmer) to be project beneficiaries.

Over the two years of operation, LEAD-supported farmers have produced 703,519 tons of targeted agricultural commodities valued at $144m.


East African Common market at crossroads: what is the way forward?
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Denis Obua

THE signing of the East African Common Market Protocol on July 1, last year, received overwhelming support across the five partner states.

Its operationalisation was expected to offer free market of goods, services, labour and capital across regional borders.

The protocol also provides means through which the nationals of the five member states would be allowed to exercise the right to establish and reside in any of the five member countries.

With the regional bloc having expanded to include Rwanda and Burundi, analysts were swift to point out the edge the bloc would present as a consuming population.

The overall objective of the East African Community Common Market Protocol has been stated as widening and deepening cooperation amongst the partner states.

This is to be realised through the augmentation of the four freedoms: free movement of persons, labour, goods and services, as well as granting the right of establishment and residence.

Reading through the protocol, one realises that it is among the best regional agreements, having profoundly borrowed from the flourishing regional blocs like the European Common Market.

Furthermore, any international treaty does not end at signing or ratification. The fruits of the agreement can only be realised when it is domesticated by the member states. Domestication of the treaty obliges the partner states to have in place enabling legislation that will serve to accord the treaty the force of law within their respective territories.

Therefore, the domestication would also enable the Community organs, institutions and laws to take precedence over similar national ones on matters pertaining to the truce.

For example Article 12 (1) of the Treaty obliges partner states to harmonise their labour policies, national laws and programmes to smoothen the progress of the free movement of labour within the community.

Furthermore, the partner states ought to either enact new laws or amend existing ones in line with the provisions of the protocol.

However, it should be noted that, all the gains to be enjoyed from the protocol will only be accomplished if there is the political will by the partner states to put into operation this protocol.

A number of partner countries have taken steps to bring into line the local laws within the protocol. For instance in Rwanda, the department of immigration through Parliament has amended the law to enable the East African Community citizens acquire “visit visas” to work and settle in Rwanda for the period of two years on renewable permits-a positive step towards allowing free labour movement.

On the other hand, a lot is yet to be done by majority of the member states in the area of legislative adoption of the protocol in order for the agreement to have a force of law.

Article 32 of the East African Common Market Protocol on harmonisation of Tax policies and laws stipulates that “The partner states undertake to progressively harmonise their tax policies and laws and remove tax distortions in order to facilitate free movement of goods, services and capital to promote investment within the community”.

This was in line with the partner states’ agreement to eliminate tariff, non-tariff and technical barriers of trade. These are some of the critical and decisive areas in which none of the partner states appear enthusiastic and passionate to put into operation and practice.

There is also bubbling suspicion and distrust among the partner states, with those having weak and pathetic economies and frail manufacturing sector feeling that the protocol is possible to be used as a tool by the bigger economies to exploit and make use of them.

This is fundamentally the explanation behind the unwillingness and reluctance by some countries to enact the necessary and required domestic laws.

Unless such uncertainties are addressed, the vision of an East African Common Market shall remain a fantasy or mere processes. Indeed, the real work is yet to be done in order to enable member states domesticate many of the provisions of the treaty.

The writer is the Youth Member of Parliament, Northern Region



Extension workers tipped on matooke value addition
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

A product development officer displaying a packet of banana flour
By Ronald Kalyango

JOLLY Gonahasa is a matooke expert, having started a cookery institute at Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb. She has mastered the art of preparing matooke, and has passed on the skills to her students.

“Although many of us like devouring a meal of matooke, only a few understand what an elaborate exercise it is to prepare a good matooke meal,” Gonahasa says.
Perhaps that explains why many hotels and restaurants in Kampala often come short of preparing a good traditional matooke dish.
Cooking traditional food requires tact, which big hotels do not have the time, patience or knack for.
This is why the less affluent restaurants in the suburbs still have a good number of clients, despite the bad locations.
Recently, extension workers from the central region were sensitised in preparing different nutritious banana meals.
The extension workers drawn from Luwero, Kayunga, Mukono, Buikwe, Wakiso and Mpigi districts were equipped with skills of making matooke products such as purees, juice, flour, jam, powder, vinegar and confectionary jelly.
“Matooke has a short shelf life, which is why we invented several ways of preserving it,” says Gonahasa, who is also a product development officer at the Presidential Initiative for Banana and Industrial Development.
The initiative seeks to add value to matooke. The initiative has a factory in Bushenyi district, which produces instant tooke flour.
“We have machinery which produces and packages tooke flour for export,” says Gonahasa.
She added that the initiative had acquired bigger machinery, which they will use to produce flour for both local and export markets.
The senior agricultural officer at the agriculture ministry, Daisy Eresu, said the trained extension workers were expected to create a core team of staff to promote and follow up banana initiatives in their districts.

Preparation of banana products?
Banana puree
Bananas for puree production should be harvested at a point of maturity.

Ripened bananas are selected and washed thoroughly to remove dirt and any chemical residue.

The bananas are then blanched with either food grade steam or boiling water until a centre temperature of 93oC is reached.

The puree is then obtained by passing the peeled bleached bananas in a communition machine.

The puree has an attractive colour, fine texture and retains its fruity flavour.

Banana puree must be further treated to ensure preservation.

The puree can be frozen, canned or aseptically packed. It is then used by the beverage industry in baby foods, snack foods, jam and sauces.

Banana powder
Banana powder has high sugar and low starch content and can be used as a substitute for fresh banana in making traditional cakes.
Good quality powder is produced from the bananas of right variety and degree of ripeness. Immature or overripe fruits are excluded from the process.

Banana flour
Banana flour is obtained by drying and grinding unripe bananas. This product is rich in starch, but has no gluten.

Banana flour can be used as flour in the processing of snack foods and confectionery products with the addition of other flavourings.

Banana jam
Bananas with a fine flavour and texture can be processed into jam.
The processing of the product is similar to that of other fruit jams.

Before the training, many of the participants believed that matooke is primarily made up of water.
Their arguments were supported by a Kampala-based food scientist, Umar Mutuya.

In his publications, Mutuya says matooke have very little proteins.
He says to have a balanced meal, matooke should be eaten with a food rich in proteins.


Works on new River Nile bridge kickoff
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
THE Government of Uganda has embarked on the design works of the 120-year dual carriageway bridge.

Speaking to the Business Vision recently, Eng. Peter Ssebanakitta, executive director, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) confirmed that all land has been secured and compensation requirements effected. “About sh19b ($8m) has been spent on the compensation to 340 project affected persons and 41structures are affected.”

The second bridge over the River Nile at Njeru in Jinja will secure communication on the northern corridor route which is a life-line link for Uganda and its Central African neighbours to the sea.

Ssebanakitta said the project is to relieve traffic loading from the old deteriorated Nalubaale Bridge.

“The project’s construction works including compensation is estimated to cost $135.4m. Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA) will avail under its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) a loan amounting to sh238b ($100million) and GOU will provide sh85b ($35.4m) for the project,” he explained.

Construction works are to take four-years beginning August 2012 and ending August 2016.

“Right now the detailed design period is on-going. It started in December 2010 and is to last until December 2011 while the tendering for construction is to begin June, 2011 and end June, 2012,” said Ssebanakitta. So far some of the key achievements have been pre-feasibility study that was completed in 2006 under funding by the World Bank. Then a feasibility study of the bridge began in 2008 and completed in October 2009 with funding from JICA.

“The bridge will carry a class 1(b) dual-carriage that is seven metres each carriageway with additional two metres segregated wide walk ways on either side for pedestrians and cyclists will be provided,” said David Ssali Luyimbazi, UNRA director of planning. It will be 525m long dual-lane, three-three span single plane cable stay bridge with main span of 290m. The bridge structure shall bear an iconic presence at Uganda’s Gateway at Jinja.

The last census count of vehicles crossing Nalubaale Bridge in Decemaber 2008 showed 9,412 per day.

Owen Falls Dam) commissioned in 1954 will also be rehabilitated and opened to pedestrians, cyclist and motor-cyclists. Local traffic to the dam and offices in the locality will be permitted to use the old bridge. Otherwise, all commercial traffic will exclusively use the new bridge.

Last edited by u.g boy; April 7th, 2011 at 11:27 PM.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #709
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Airtel upgrades network
FRIDAY, 08 APRIL 2011 10:18 BY THE INDEPENDENT TEAM

Mobile telecommunications provider Airtel commissioned its 124th site last week, in a bid to cope with fast-growing traffic, ease congestion and maintain the quality of its network. “In just six months the traffic has increased by more than 300 percent so Airtel is scaling up and investing for future growth,’’ Airtel Managing Director V.G. Somasekhar said at the site’s launch at Hot Springs Villas in Ndejje off Entebbe Road. ‘’We have now rolled out 124 sites and are gunning for another 300 sites before July 2011, to enable our customers to enjoy a high capacity network. The 124th site was installed to get a clearer signal and make communication available to rural people,” said Somasekhar, who said his network was the fastest growing in Uganda.

Presiding at the launch, UIA Executive Director, Prof. Maggie Kigozi, said that the Airtel brand has positively impacted Uganda’s telecom industry by providing access to affordable communication.



MTN extends CNN deal

Following the success of the its ‘2010 South Africa World Cup Updates’, MTN has extended its commercial partnership with CNN International by launching a new cross-platform advertising campaign built around the network’s flagship Africa-focused business programme, CNN Marketplace Africa. This proximity offers MTN - Africa’s leading telecom company - a high profile platform to showcase its support of African and emerging market commerce.

“MTN started the expansion into the rest of Africa expansion with Uganda as the first country of call. The results of the expansion thus far have been extremely encouraging for many business ventures in different fields, and we are happy to have exhibited leadership in this regard,” said MTN Uganda CEO Themba Khumalo. “Africa is a patchwork of exciting economies, with half its population under 35 of age. Its young and aspirational middle class is hungry for world-class goods and services, which translates into a huge market for local and global brands with ambitious growth aspirations.



Sugar companies to invest

Uganda’s three main raw sugar producers are planning to invest $195m over the next two years to expand cane processing and power generation capacity at their plants, an industry report has showed.
East Africa’s third-largest economy produced 350,000 tonnes of raw sugar last year, 10% up from 292,051 tonnes in 2009, boosted by a rise in cane supply and increased milling capacity according to the 2010 sector performance report by the Uganda Sugar Cane Technologists’ Association (USCTA).

“The Ugandan Sugar Industry is continuing to invest in expansion and diversification,” said the report, signed by USCTA chairman, Richard Orr. USCTA said Kakira’s investments will aim at “expansion and further diversification,” to increase annual milling capacity to two million tonnes of cane and sugar production to 180,000 tonnes.

The plant also expects to boost power co-generation output to 50 MW by June 2012. from 20MW now.

“The cost will be in excess of $100m,” the report said.

Last year’s output was 8.2% below the year’s forecast of 318,000 tonnes, mainly undermined by technical glitches at Kakira Sugar Works, the country’s biggest producer, and lower than expected sales for all three companies.



Insurance brokers’ earnings a boost

The insurance premium contributed by brokers grew by Shs 9 billion to Shs 78b last year, from Shs 69 billion the previous year.
“This is a good step forward, but more work still needs to be done to improve insurance brokers’ contribution to the revenue from the insurance industry. Contribution from brokers currently stands at 38% of the industry’s total collection of Shs 310 billion,” said Latima Mukasa, chairman of the Uganda Association of Insurance Brokers.
Speaking at the annual insurance awards dinner last week where Chartis Uganda was recognised as the Insurer of the Year 2010, Mukasa said that while insurance brokers play important roles ranging from product development to advising clients
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #710
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Uganda’s economy growing at 9% - IMF
Sunday, 10th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Barbara Among

UGANDA’s economy has been growing at 9% in the first half of this financial year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. The growth will, however, be affected by the rising price of food and fuel, coupled with growing inflation and exchange rate depreciation.

“Uganda’s economic performance continues to be strong, with growth of 9% in the first half of the fiscal year, but there will be significant policy challenges in the coming months,” said IMF mission chief and senior resident representative for Uganda, Thomas Richardson.

The Fund noted that Uganda has strong prospects for economic growth in the coming years, particularly if the authorities can successfully manage the macroeconomic challenges associated with Uganda’s planned acceleration in infrastructure spending.

The Ugandan economy grew by 5.8% in the 2009/10 financial year, which was 1.4% less than the 7.2% growth rate achieved in 2008/2009.

The country’s economic growth has been supported by growth in the construction, manufacturing and service sector.

The IMF chief, however, noted that expansionary fiscal spending has increased the importance of rebuilding of cushions in fiscal balances and international reserves.

An expansionary fiscal policy is when government spending is higher than the taxes.

Richardson made the remarks during a visit of the IMF mission two weeks ago.

The team met finance minister Syda Bbumba, Bank of Uganda governor Tumusiime Mutebile, and other senior officials. They also met representatives of Parliament, the private sector, civil society and development partners.

The discussions focused on measures to enhance domestic revenues in order to create resources for public investment in infrastructure, which is critically important for enhancing growth.

IMF noted that Uganda’s tax revenues, at about 12½% of gross domestic product (GDP), are low by regional standards and insufficient to permit the infrastructure investment needed to boost growth.

“Thus, measures to broaden tax bases, particularly by eliminating exemptions, are urgently needed,” said Richardson.

The Fund also cautioned government on its excessive spending, especially above the approved budget, saying it would negatively affect the Central Bank’s effort to bring inflation down.

By January 2011 (in a space of six months), government had spent 85% of its budget.

Inflation has increased in recent months from a single figure to11.4%.

IMF called on the Government to tighten its budgetary spending in the coming financial year.

“It will be important to reinforce the Government’s expenditure commitment control system going forward, and to ensure that budgets are executed as approved to prevent the accumulation of expenditure arrears,” Richardson cautioned. The two-week visit, which ended on March 31, agreed that the Government focuses on laying a foundation for continued macroeconomic stability, while providing the fiscal space to expand needed infrastructure investment.

“In particular, the agreed stance of fiscal policies will aim at bringing the budget back in line with the Policy Support Instrument (PSI). On the basis of this understanding, we expect to bring the papers on the second review of Uganda’s programme supported by the PSI for consideration by the IMF executive board before the end of June.”

The executive board decided in February not to complete the first review of the programme due to a supplementary budget passed in early January, which put programme objectives at risk.

IMF said in a statement that government agreed that revenues related to oil exploration and external borrowing on commercial terms would be reserved for financing large infrastructure projects with high returns to growth.

“The oil revenues are to be handled transparently, subject to parliamentary approval as part of the formal budget process. At the same time, steps are to be taken to improve the management of public finances in order to reduce the risk of accumulating government expenditure arrears,’ Richardson said.



Govt to revamp railways
Sunday, 10th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Conan Businge

THE Government is to revamp railway transport in the country.

The move is aimed at easing the transportation of commodities in and out of the country by reducing traffic congestion, costs and time taken to get goods to desired destinations.

The high cost of maintaining roads also raised the need to invest in railways.

A report released on Friday by consultants working on the project showed the need for passenger services. Among these will be the revival of the Kampala-Kasese line.

“There will also be slow trains serving small stations along the line and commuter services into and out of Kampala,” explains the report compiled by MR Technofin Consultants and the International Development Consultants (IDC).

The interim report’s assessment is based on several potential mineral bulk flows suitable for rail and a rapid expansion in recent years of traffic between Kenya and the surrounding landlocked countries.

Potential mineral flows which can be transported are cement from Hima to Kampala, limestone from Dura River to Hima, copper from Kasese to Kampala, and kaolin from Kasese to Kampala.

The report also showed that Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo could generate future traffic from the railway.

The import transit traffic through Mombasa totalled 4.6 million tonnes in 2009 and has grown in the recent years, the report said. Most of this was destined for Uganda.

“A portion of these flows could be railed from Mombasa or Nairobi to Kasese before being taken by road to their final destinations,” Prof. Sam Turya-muhika, IDC’s chief, said.



Museveni asks Karimojong to accept investors
Sunday, 10th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

President Museveni and the First Lady, Janet Museveni, greeting Amudat district chairperson Paulina Isura in Rwakitura
By Mary Karugaba

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has urged the people of Karamoja to allow foreign investors to open up commercial farms in their region.

Museveni said this would not only act as model farms but would also provide employment to the people of Karamoja.

“I would prefer only two sites to be given out to investors to act as a stimulus to the people in the area. I want the Karimojong to do the farming themselves. External input in Karamoja sub-region should be a demonstration,” he said.

The President and his wife Mrs. Janet Museveni, who is also the Karamoja affairs state minister, were on Saturday hosting a delegation of leaders from Karamoja sub-region at their country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district.

According to the statement issued by State House, President Museveni was reacting to the concerns raised by the people of Karamoja over the designating of productive land for wildlife and environment conservation.

The delegation was concerned that designating land for wildlife had pushed the Karimojong to unproductive areas.

They were also concerned about interests by a South African group and that of Israel to open up commercial farms in Karamoja.

Citing the Madhvanis in Busoga region and BIDCO in Kalangala, President Museveni explained the necessity of having a limited number of foreign agricultural farms in Karamoja, saying they would only help the people of the area to learn modern methods of commercial agriculture.

“Madhvani was the only sugarcane grower in Busoga. But if you now go to the area, outgrowers are very many. In Kalangala, BIDCO is now competing with the outgrowers and people are now wealthy, creating traffic jam at the landing site going to the island,” he said.

On the conservation of the environment, Museveni said tourism had become one of the sectors generating a lot of revenue for the Government.

According to Museveni, tourism brings in over $800m annually, more than double the total earnings of coffee, which is only $300m.

Mrs. Museveni challenged the leaders to lead by example and engage in modern farming.

Minerals state minister Peter Lokeris, on behalf of the people of Karamoja, said President Museveni’s victory was a recognition of his visionary leadership that had, among other things, reduced Uganda’s dependency on donor aid.

Lokeris called on the people of Karamoja to continue with the disarmament exercise that has so far brought some significant peace in the area.


Arua gets 9 bridges
Sunday, 10th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Richard Adrama

NINE bridges, mainly box culverts, have been completed in Arua district.According to Lawrence Pariyo, the district engineer, the bridges cost about sh2.3b.

Four of the bridges were constructed on new roads where only footpaths existed.

Speaking to New Vision recently, Pariyo said: “Previously, the mode of transport along these routes was by foot, meaning that people had to wade through water to cross over.”

Flood made the roads impassable, especially for cyclists, he added.

The bridges included two over River Enyau on the Luluwiri-Okambi road, one on the Lokiragodo-Katrini road, Agoi bridge in Logiri sub-county, Dassala and Yengi bridges.

Others were Esi in Adumi and Imvio on the Alijoda-U llepi road.

Citing Esi, which is located between Arua and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pariyo said some of the bridges shortened distances by half.

He added that the development had begun transforming lives of the agricultural communities.

“It is evident with the rapid change in settlement patterns and mode of economic activities,” he said.

Richard Andama, the outgoing district chairperson, said the completion of the bridges was key to development.

“Considering the terrain of our district, bridges will greatly help link resourceful areas, like agricultural areas and water sources, to commercial areas,” he said.

Andama cited hard-to-reach areas like lower Ayivu, Riki, Aya and Ogoko, which are hard hit by water scarcity.


Centum Investments Limited to dispose off more shares
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Walter Wafula (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 11 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

Ugandans who are keen on acquiring a stake in Centum Investments Limited can expect to access shares of the company in the near future, according to a top executive UAP Financial services.

A key shareholder of the Kenya-based investment company has agreed to off load a sizeable stake on the Uganda Securities Exchange to give Ugandans an opportunity to buy into the firm. “This particular block comes from a shareholder of Centum. It is not different from the original float of four million shares which were provided by existing shareholders who had their shares in the Nairobi Stock Exchange,” Mr Kenneth Muchina, the chief executive officer UAP Financial Services told Daily Monitor last week.

The investor, whose name couldn’t be disclosed to protect his or her privacy, agreed to sell part of his block after UAP Financial Services approached him to make some shares available to local investors.

Mr Muchina said, the request was made on the back of “great interest by investors in Uganda,” to the first batch of Centum shares at the USE. The amount of shares to be supplied by the shareholder will depend on the available demand at the USE.
Centum became the 7th foreign firm to trade its shares on the USE from Kenya’s NSE on February 10, after it put up 605 million shares. To boost liquidity at its counter at USE, a batch of shares were offered to local investors. In the past two months, the firm has been one of top performers at the Exchange with 55 transactions compared to nothing at some cross-listed counters.


Uganda Revenue Authority signs capacity development pact with Southern Sudan
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 11 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The Uganda Revenue Authority has signed an agreement with the Central Equatoria State Revenue Authority of Southern Sudan (CES-RA) to support the latter on development of administration capacity.

The MoU which was signed recently aims to further the existing ties of cooperation between the two countries. URA said in a statement to Daily Monitor that it would share her success story on the reforms and modernisation of the tax administration with CES-RA.

“Regular consultation among parties and other international partners in support of various reforms is key in avoiding duplication of efforts and promote efficiencies,” the statement read in part.

According to the statement, URA will carry out an environmental assessment of CES-RA with a view to understanding the business situation, principle challenges and gather specific requirements related to the memorandum, which will form the basis of all the recommended capacity building approaches.

The areas to be considered for improvement include reviewing and providing recommendations to improve the legal framework for tax administration, development of policies and procedures and human resource capacity and personal skills development, among others aspects.


African diaspora remittances rise to $40 billions
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Isaac Khisa (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 11 2011 at 00:00
Nairobi

African immigrants sent home over $40 billion last year, according to a new joint report by the World Bank and African Development Bank.

The figure, however, is down from $41 billion in 2008 and just over $38 million in 2009. The report, which cover remittances from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development comprising Eastern and Western Europe, advanced Asian and South American economies and transfers from other African countries such as South Africa, also shows the pattern of disbursement of these transfer of funds.

Productive investments
"Data from household surveys reveal that households receiving international remittances from OECD countries have been making productive investments in land, housing, businesses, farm improvements, agricultural equipment,” the report says. It says many migrants transferred funds to households in the origin countries for the purpose of investment.

The remmitances increased by 36 per cent in Burkina Faso, 55 per cent in Kenya, 57 per cent in Nigeria, 15 per cent in Senegal, and 20 per cent in Uganda.

Barclays Bank Uganda grows by Shs9 billion
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Othman Semakula (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 11 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

Strategic investments in network expansion and technology, prudent risk and cost management as well as a collection of new products, have put Barclays Bank Uganda back on the track to recovery.

According to results released last week, the bank reported an increase in net income of 9.7 billion for the period ending December 31, 2010 against Shs4.6 billion registered in the same period last year.

The bank said it was able to realise profits in 2010 after it cut expenses boosted by increased customer deposits. The growth comes on the back of consolidated investment that was kicked off in 2007 with the acquisition of Nile Bank. Assets grew by Shs146.9 billion to Shs1.1 trillion in 2010 against Shs996.9 billion in 2010.

Operating income grew to Shs129.7 in 2010 against Shs115.9 billion in 2009 whereas operating expenses reduced to Shs97.8 billion in 2010 up from Shs117.7 registered in the same period last year.

Mr Charles Ongwea, the Barclays managing director, said the bank’s growth agenda is on track and is well positioned to better customer services through an enhanced countrywide branch network.

The bank has grown its branch network to 65 boosted by a link of over 70 ATMs across the country. The bank recently announced that beginning May 1, 2011, it would suspend all charges related to ATM withdrawals.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #711
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Roads remain Uganda’s priority
MONDAY, 11 APRIL 2011 09:21 JOSEPH OLANYO
Kampala, Uganda -While addressing the National Budget conference in Kampala recently, Finance Minister Ms Syda Bbumba, said government will give priority to public interventions that will stimulate growth and create jobs to reduce unemployment among the youth.
Citing the transport sector as one of the interventions crucial to Uganda's ultimate goal of attaining middle-income status, Bbumba said the government will maintain similar budgetary allocation the sector has been enjoying over the last two financial years.
Within the last two financial years, the government allocated Shs2 trillion ($2bi) to the road sector.
But as the 2011/12 financial year draws near, government has lined up a number of projects for implementation. Key among the overriding objectives of the budget, are the interstate roads.
Some of the major infrastructure projects that will be undertaken during the year include; the construction of highways between Kampala and Entebbe, Jinja and Mpigi Districts and construction of key bridges across the country including the new Nile Bridge in Jinja.
According to Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), a body responsible for the management, operation development and maintenance of the country's National classified road network, construction works have started on the Entebbe highway.
UNRA's Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Dan Alinange, says the new 51 km Entebbe highway will have four lanes and six lanes in some busy areas.
"It will also have about 4km of bridges around the mash lands of Lake Victoria and four major interchanges," Alinange said.
The total cost of the road is estimated at $300m financed by the Exim Bank of China. Uganda government is seeking for an endorsement from Parliament to enable it secure a loan of Shs1.5 trillion for the construction of new roads and a new bridge on River Nile in Jinja.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #712
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Gov't told to reign on spending
Monday, 11th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Ibrahim Kasita

THE Treasury is under pressure to cut spending and raise domestic revenues to sustain price and economic stability.

This has called for tighter fiscal and monetary stance to keep control on the runaway inflation and the growing public finance deficit.

Year-on-year inflation rate leapt into double digits in March, driven by increasing food costs, putting pressure on policymakers to curb the rising prices.

Food prices jumped 11.9% month-on-month to push the headline inflation rate up a revised 6.4% in February.

“That is a worrying sign. Expansionary fiscal policy and relatively rapid private sector credit growth may also have contributed to high inflation,” Thomas Richardson, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Uganda senior representative, said.

“There is a clear understanding of a need for fiscal soundness and tight stance is way forward and we expect them (Uganda) to maintain that.”

The Minister of Finance, Syda Bbumba, has indicated that public spending will be limited to roads, power and energy investments “accelerating economic growth and sustainable poverty reduction.”

“The limited expansion of the resource envelope will be decisively dealt with beginning next fiscal year (July) because we cannot afford to stall our public sector investments,” she said last month.

“In the public sector, investment in top priority infrastructure projects will not only contribute to increased growth in the medium term but also create employment directly and also indirectly.”

The Bank of Uganda is restricting lenders’ ability to extend credit.

“The biggest problem right now is that Uganda cannot afford to be lax about inflation risks,” the Central Bank noted in its March Economic and Financial report.

“That likely will mean more monetary tightening, which could slightly slowdown growth.

Bank of Uganda will keep monetary conditions relatively tight, while at the same time trying to moderate the exchange rate depreciation.”

This means that consumers will be left with less money to spend.

Investments will be hard as they will have to borrow at high interest curtailing their potential of expanding and creating jobs.

The call for financial discipline follows Parliament’s approval of $2.5b supplementary budget, where $750m went to State House for purchasing jet fighters.

The IMF pointed out that the issue of supplementary budget was ‘problematic’ and there was need to find a way to finance the additional spending.

“If Parliament wants to pass supplementary budgets, a sensible way of doing it is to go back and find the tax exemptions that need to be eliminated to raise revenues to pay for the extra spending they want,” Richardson advised.

“One of the key things that need to be addressed is the exemptions under the tax system. Eliminating exemptions will boost government’s ability to raise revenues it needs to deliver services to the public.”

Uganda’s tax revenues – at about 12.5% of goods and services produced in a particular year (gross domestic product) – are low compared to regional standards and insufficient to permit the infrastructure investment needs to boost growth.

“To reduce donor dependence it means Ugandans have to pay taxes, Richardson pointed out. Money does not grow on trees. That is an important point.”


Bujagali hydro power works on track
Monday, 11th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

WORKERS breaching the up-stream coffer dam to allow River Nile to revert to its original western channel and flow through the powerhouse and the newly-constructed concrete spillway. The coffer dam was removed at 3am on Sunday.



E-tax needs urgent action to improve efficiency - report
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 11 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

Taxpayers using the electronic tax system of filing returns and entries are dissatisfied with its inefficiencies, a survey report released last week shows.

The Uganda Revenue Authority Feedback survey on service delivery conducted by AH Consults indicates that although the platform was introduced to ease tax payment, it has not delivered to this objective and recommended urgent action to improve its efficiency.

Mr Cuthbert Kagabo, the chief executive officer AH Consulting said respondents noted that the system is always unavailable towards the end of the month, the time they are required to file returns.

Mr Kagabo was speaking at the launch of the report at URA Headquarters yesterday. URA launched the e-tax system last year to facilitate easy registration, filing of returns, payments, objections and appeals, refunds, audits and assessments, customs services and domestic tax services.

URA public and corporate affairs manager, Mr Paul Kyeyune, said the inefficiency of the system is due to limited capacity of the server which gets overloaded towards month end, thus the breakdown. “Most people tend to wait to file returns between 13 and 15 and this overloads the server,” he noted. He, however, said that URA has procured new servers which will be running in the next two months and are expected to increase the platform’s efficiency.

Determine perception
The survey conducted countrywide between July and November 2010 sought to determine the perception of the public about URA’s service offering and satisfaction of taxpayers with services provided.

It also aimed to determine the progress the revenue body has made since the last comprehensive Client survey in 2006.
Findings, however, indicate that 68 per cent of respondents believe there are improvements in service delivery while 29 per cent think there is no improvement at all.

Those who believe service delivery has improved cite increased efficiency in service delivery, fairness in tax assessment and improved customer care services.



Global food prices dropping, says FAO
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Isaac Khisa & Agencies (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 12 2011 at 00:00
The food price index has dropped for the first time in March, following eight months of continuous price spikes, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization announced last week.

The index averaged 230 points in March, down 2.9% from its peak in February, but still 37% above March of last year.
“The decrease in the overall index this month brings some welcome respite from the steady increases seen over the past eight months,” Dr David Hallam, director of FAO’s trade and market division, said.

“But it would be premature to conclude that this is a reversal of the upward trend.”

“We need to see the information on new plantings over the next few weeks to get an idea of future production levels. But low stock levels, the implications for oil prices of events in the Middle East and north Africa, and the effects of the destruction in Japan, all make for continuing uncertainty and price volatility over the coming months,” Dr Hallam said.

International prices of oils and sugar dropped the most, followed by cereals. By contrast, dairy and meat prices were up, although only marginally in the case of meat.

The cereal price index averaged 252 points in March, down 2.6% from February, but still 60% higher than in March 2010.
The agency said March was extremely volatile for grains, with international quotations first plunging sharply, driven largely by outside market developments such as the increased economic uncertainties accompanying the turmoil in north Africa and parts of the Near East as well as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, before regaining most of their losses. Rice prices also fell as a result of abundant supply in exporting countries and sluggish import demand.

The FAO oils/fats price index fell 19 points, or 7%, in March, interrupting nine months of consecutive increases. The FAO sugar price index averaged 372 points in March, down as much as 10% from the highs of January and February.

The FAO dairy price index averaged 234 points in March, up 1.9% from February and 37% above its level in March 2010. The FAO meat price index averaged 169 points in March, little changed from February.

World production of cereals fell in 2010, resulting in falling stocks, while total cereal utilisation was expected to reach a record level in 2010-11.

While most indications pointed to increased cereal production in 2011, the projected growth might not be sufficient to replenish inventories, in which case prices could remain firm throughout 2011-12 as well, the agency said.
Ugandans have been in the recent days spending more money on basic food items and fuel as the cost of commodities rose beyond their normal budgets.



Uganda makes advances in optical network technology set up
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

Ugandan is making great strides in using optical network technology.

By Ephraim Kasozi (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 12 2011 at 00:00
Recent developments in optical network technology, plus the extension of well-known Local Area Network (LAN)/( Wide Area Networks- WAN) architecture from the desktop to the neighbourhood and beyond, are allowing the deployment of very low-cost and high bandwidth optical networks for the carriage of internet traffic.

It is these global developments like the National Backbone Infrastructure in Uganda that will gradually permit schools, municipal authorities, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporate organizations to deploy and manage their own high speed optical network en masse instead of relying on the service-based offers from traditional carriers like large telecoms or cable firms.
With the growth of the internet into a global network of networks. It is obvious that the Internet is a central infrastructure supporting the global information economy.

In Africa at present, majority of economies are striving to improve broadband provision as a National Policy/Economic Strategy.

Originally as a world standard, the internet infrastructure was formally running on the telecommunications infrastructure and the connections were under close control of traditional carriers.

The emerging deployment of fibre optic technology has yielded several advantages in comparison to traditional metal communication lines.

Fibre optical cables have much greater bandwidth than metal cables for they carry or have immense capacity to carry data in comparison to metallic cables. A single fibre can carry over 600,000 plus voice circuits compared to a telephone line pair which can carry 2 voice circuits.

Fibre optic cables are not prone or susceptible to interference and conduct no electricity.

This means ground faults are not an issue. They can be run through storm trains, the sea etc. with no effect.
They however can be susceptible to damage via negligent incision.

Fibre optic cables are thinner and tighter than metal wire cables.

Fibre optic data is transmitted digitally through zeros and ones; the natural form for computer data transmission rather than analogically.

There is a possibility that almost all future communication will employ fibre optics. These cables have a long life expectancy of 20-50 years.

The fibre optic technology deployed in National Backbones is fundamental in enabling the provision of broadband services that run key huge economies like Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore and USA among others. Gradually most economies in Africa including Uganda and the regional economies of Kenya, Tanzania Burundi Rwanda and Southern Sudan will have National backbones linked to international gateways- Courtesy of the new fibre Optics network technology.

Benefits that the government will create with an efficiently utilized National Backbone Infrastructure include improved services and convenience to citizens, improved productivity.

Other benefits are; transparency and a corruption free system, empower the public to conveniently access and submit information, improve quality of life for disadvantaged communities while reducing the digital divide, and strengthen good governance.


Nile diverted through Bujagali powerhouse
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

An aerial view of the Bujagali project and the Nile. INSET: Board members of Bujagali Energy Limited led by the chairman Mr Nazir Juma (L), touring. It will open in April 2012, not 2013 as erroneously reported yesterday. COURTESY PHOTOS

By Daily Monitor Reporter (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 12 2011 at 00:00
As the final countdown to the completion of the Bujagali Hydropower Project gathers pace, engineers diverted the River Nile to flow in its original left channel and through the gated spillway which is part of the newly constructed powerhouse super structure.

The significant milestone, which paves way for the completion of the final civil structure for the 250MW power project, an earth dam connecting and the eastern bank of the river, was achieved earlier today when Salini and BEL engineers supervised the breaching of the upstream coffer dam that previously diverted the river entirely to the eastern channel to allow the powerhouse structure and central dam to be constructed.

The left channel had been dewatered since September 2007 to allow for the construction of the powerhouse, gated spillway and the west and central embankment dams. The powerhouse superstructure comprises of the powerhouse has five units each capable of producing 50MW, control room, gates and other mechanical plant, among other plant and equipment.

Speaking while on a recent tour of the project, Bujagali Energy Limited Board Chairman Mr. Nizar Juma marveled at the splendour of the Bujagali structures and indicated that the project sponsors were highly impressed by the progress of the project which was on schedule to allow Uganda and the region to start enjoying the benefits of adequate, reliable and affordable electricity.

“I would also like to commend the Government of Uganda and in particular the Ministry of Energy and Mineral for the support it has accorded the project”. This aptly demonstrates the potential to a country’s economic development that well managed private public partnerships can indeed contribute” he said, and further observed that upon commissioning of Bujagali the era of load-shedding would be consigned to history.

Works on eastern embankment, which will connect the central dam and the eastern bank of the river, are 30% complete and will be concluded by August 2011, thereby paving the way for the filling of the created reservoir and subsequently commissioning of the first unit generation of 50MW in October of this year. The full commissioning of the 250MW is scheduled for April 2012.

Mr. Bruce Wrobel Sithe Global’s President/CEO and a director of BEL was delighted that his company was proud to be part of a project that would transform the lives of millions of Ugandans by providing them affordable electricity that would allow them to exploit their potential to the fullest. “Bujagali will not only support industrial development but will also ensure that rural households have access to affordable electricity and many other services that depend on power”.

Noting that the project’s civil works are now 95% percent complete, the Project Director, Mr. Glenn Gaydar, indicated that focus has now shifted to installation, testing and commissioning of electro-mechanical equipment, with the inauguration of the first 50MW unit in October as the priority target.

He also appreciated UETCL and Eskom support that had facilitated the seamless achievement of today’s milestone, i.e. diversion of the river through the gates in the powerhouse structure.. Bujagali will provide much needed generation capacity to meet the Uganda’s electricity needs including, releasing suppressed demand in the system, cater for organic growth in power demand, replace expensive thermal generation and overcome on-going load-shedding.

Bujagali will therefore restore the competitiveness of the Uganda economy by creating jobs, reducing poverty and improving the quality of life. In so doing Bujagali will become an integral part of the country’s social and economic development.

About Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL)
BEL is a special purpose company, co-owned by the Industrial Promotion Services (K) (“IPS”), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (“AKFED”), Sithe Global Power, LLC (“Sithe”) an affiliate of the Blackstone Group and the Government of Uganda.

BEL will own and operate the US$860m Bujagali Hydroelectric Power plant for the 30 year concession period before eventually transferring the plant to the Government of Uganda for US$1.00.

Lenders to the project comprise the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), DEG & Germany’s development bank (KfW), Proparco & the development bank of France (AFD) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).

Barclays/ABSA Capital and Standard Chartered Bank are providing commercial debt finance under IDA Partial Risk Guarantee while MIGA is providing insurance guarantee cover to the Sithe Global equity.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #713
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Makerere top in Sub Saharan Africa
MONDAY, 11 APRIL 2011 09:25 ERIOSI NANTABA
Kampala, Uganda-The latest ranking has placed Makerere University at the top in the sub-Saharan region. The ranking that was based on six indicators including the number of articles published, results from the search engine, Google scholar, number of citations, cumulative impact of journals, quality of research and collaboration with other universities globally.
Makerere which came eighth in the overall ranking on the continent was failed to making it to he top by South African and Egyptian institutions.
The ranking by the Informatics Institute of the Middle East technical university in turkey shows that a total of 2500 universities were surveyed globally. According to the rankings, no other university in Uganda apart from Makerere made it to the top ten.
The university's vice chancellor Prof Venancious Baryamureeba attributed the improvement to the quality standards set in the ongoing reforms.
Cape Town is top followed by Witwatersrand, Stellen Borsch, Pretoria and Kwazulu Natal all from South African and Nigeria's Ibadan taking the 10th position.
Students of the university are delighted by the great improvement in the standards after a long struggle to improve quality.
"The ranking of the 8th position will help refute claims among the public that the university's standards declined," said Shamim Nassuna, a third year journalism and communication student at the university. Nassuna said that some parents had decided to take their children to other universities claiming a drop in standards.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 11:11 PM   #714
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Diamond Trust profits up
Tuesday, 12th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Thambi announcing the annual results
By David Ssempijja

DIAMOND Trust Bank Uganda pre-tax profits increased 432% to sh6b in 2010, up from sh1.1b the previous year.

The bank’s market share and assets also surged due to support from loyal customers, Varghese Thambi, the chief executive officer, said.

Customer deposits rose 38% to sh242b in 2010, up from sh176b registered in 2009, while loans grew 36% to sh162b.

Assets grew to sh292b from sh208b, while total income rose sh26.2b from sh17.7b in 2009.

“The sustained customer base growth is underpinned by our branch expansion strategy and the extended banking hours,” said Thambi.

He mentioned other technology-based services including ATMs, Visa debit and credit card and the Western Union Money Transfer services as reasons for the good results.

Diamond Trust Bank Uganda has a branch network of 18 spread across the country.

The bank is a subsidiary of the Diamond Trust Bank Group, which has commercial banking interests in Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.


Marketers tipped on ethics
Tuesday, 12th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
MARKETERS have been advised to adopt minimum ethical standards to stay afloat.

Lamin Manjang, the Standard Chartered Bank managing director, who was a key speaker at the recent Tusker Malt Lager Marketers Night in Kampala, argued that despite a tough operating environment, ethical marketing had short-and-long term dividends for businesses.

“Business leaders ought to put in place ethical codes to guide marketing professionals in making decisions,” Manjang said at the Tusker Malt Lager and Vision Group-sponsored event, which attracted over 400 marketing and advertising executives. He said companies that had instilled ethical conduct would gain in the long-run.

“Consumer attitudes have evolved over the years to favour companies with good ethical standards. We are dealing with people. When health is lost, a great deal is lost, but when character is lost, all is lost.”

Marion Muyobo, the marketing director at the East African Breweries, said the rising costs of living should not be cause for the breach of ethics.

“As a business, there are minimum standards on what we can or can’t do,” she said.


70 companies to exhibit at annual banking expo at UMA tomorrow
Tuesday, 12th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Ssempala, the organiser
By David Ssempijja

AT least 70 firms will exhibit during the third annual banking and insurance expo that opens at the Uganda Manufacturers Association Main Exhibition Hall tomorrow.

The three-day fair is organised by Royal Way Media with support from Vision Group, G4 Security Group and UAP Insurance.

It seeks to provide a much-needed platform to enhance public financial capabilities, David Sempala, the Royal Way Media chief executive officer, said.

The event explores what is required to generate knowledge, understanding, attitudes and the behaviours that consumers need to display in order to manage their money, adapt to new financial circumstances and take advantage of financial opportunities.

Dr. Louis Kasekende, the Central Bank deputy governor, will officiate at the opening.

There will also be presentations by motivational speakers from the financial sector to keep the expo in tandem with the year’s theme of exploring technology to deliver customised financial services.

“The expo serves as a significant contribution towards the Government’s efforts in closing the population’s skills gaps in using financial services,” Ssempala explained yesterday.



Makerere University students to pay online
Tuesday, 12th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

BERNARD Mogaka (right), the head of e-business at the dfcu Bank demonstrates to the Makerere University students how to make an online school fees payment transaction during the launch of the bank’s online product dubbed “Click Banking.” The service allows foreign students to pay tuition online from anywhere in the world with Internet connection.


Tullow clears $469m disputed tax
Tuesday, 12th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Ibrahim Kasita

TULLOW Oil has paid $469m into Bank of Uganda as capital gains tax from the sale of petroleum assets in blocks 1 and 3A in Lake Albert Basin.

Capital gains tax is levied on profit made from an asset sale. The money is from the sale of the blocks by Heritage Oil to Tullow.

“It is a done deal,” Aston Kajara, the state minister for finance in charge of investment, said yesterday.

“The money was wired to Bank of Uganda on Friday, but you can confirm with them (Central Bank) for details.”

Elliot Mwebya, the Central Bank’s director of communications, confirmed receipt of the money. “The money came in last week.”

The payment marks the end of a protracted tax dispute created by Tullow and Heritage last year after the two exploration firms sealed a $1.5b deal without approval.

But the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) demanded Tullow to pay the capital gains tax liability left behind by Heritage when it disposed off its interests last year.

Heritage disputes the tax assessment, but deposited $121m to Bank of Uganda’s account and the balance was deposited in an escrow account in London, pending resolution in the International Court of Arbitration.

This means that Tullow can go ahead and sell 66.6% of its interest to China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and France’s Total for $2.9b.

This transaction is also subject to a $472.7m capital gains tax, which Tullow has promised to pay in five weeks when CNOOC and Total deal is complete.

Honey Malinga, the assistant commissioner in the petroleum exploration and mineral development, said yesterday his department had issued an extension licence for blocks 1 and 3A to compensate for time lost.

“We have granted them an interim operatorship for six months, considering the much needed capitalisation and investments. This is a huge achievement in the development of the oil and gas sector.”

The International Monetary Fund has welcomed Uganda’s plan to handle petroleum revenues, saying it is ‘sensible’ and promotes transparency and accountability.

Making a case for streamlining the advertising industry
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING

The advertising industry is growing almost seven times as fast as the entire economy.

By Walter Wafula (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 12 2011 at 00:00
IN SUMMARY

The first casualty of the financial indiscipline in the industry is ZK Advertising Uganda, which has been in operation since May 2004...

It is a Shs400 billion creative industry, well organised but with veiled problems of financial mischief among some its members.
The industry has just lost its best player to a financial squeeze that could send other players out of business if they don’t reshape their operations. Yet, the lucrative service industry is growing almost seven times as fast as the entire economy.
The first casualty of the financial indiscipline in the industry is ZK Advertising Uganda, which has been in operation since May 2004. The company is part of the ZK Group operating in 15 markets in Africa under the ownership of Mr Zadoc Koola.

ZK was recently thrown out of its rented premises after it was brought to its knees by the exit of mobile operator Airtel Uganda, from its clients’ list.

Airtel, which contributed 40 per cent of ZK’s revenue, handed over its advertising and public relations business to Moringa Ogilvy last year. This followed the acquisition of some of Zain Africa’s telecommunication subsidiaries by India’s Bharti Airtel for $10.7 billion in June last year.

Uncertainty surrounds the future of the company in Uganda although Mr Anthony Wanyoto, the firm’s managing director insists the company is still in business.

He said the company has only suspended operations because it is broke and has shifted its address to A1, its sister company’s offices in Muyenga. “We suspended operations in February because we didn’t have money for operations including; rent, staff salaries, and to service our suppliers,” Mr Wanyoto told Business Power on Friday.

The firm’s closure came as a surprise to many. The firm has been in control of billions of shillings in advertising spending from Zain, for the last seven years. One would expect that ZK amassed a robust operating capital base from the relationship over the last decade.

Besides, ZK had just been crowned the best public relations firm in the country, during the 2010 Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) Excellence Awards in August last year. It also scooped the best Media Management Award.

ZK’s success at the awards obviously drew envy from its strong peers including; Scanad, Moringa Ogilvy, Media Age, Fireworks Advertising and Saatchi and Saatchi. But its management style has certainly been envied by none. These marketing firms control advertising budgets in billion of shillings that end up with various media houses including; newspapers publishers, production houses, radio and televisions stations.

In 2010, advertising and public relations firms channeled up to Shs395 billion to media houses in Uganda, up from Shs269 billion in 2009, according to a new report on advertising spend by Steadman Synovate, a research firm in Kampala.

The report indicates that telecommunication firms are the top five spenders on advertising. ZK’s ex-client Airtel (formerly Zain) is identified as the leading spender. For example, from October to December last year, the firm received advertising exposure worth Shs6.8 billion, MTN Uganda followed with Shs6.1 billion, Orange Telecom earned Shs5 billion while Uganda Telecom received Shs4.5 billion worth of advertising space.

The figures don’t necessarily mean that the firms spent that money because the deals come with discounts while Steadman Synovate values the space provided by the different media houses. However, it provides an indication on who spends more.
From every deal sealed between media houses, and clients of the advertising agencies, the latter receive a commission of 18 per cent. The agencies are then used to channel the payments from their clients to the media houses upon providing advertising space for marketing promotions.

Business Power can reveal that agencies like ZK are utilising their clients’ resources to pay up debts of other clients before approaching the final credit days on the new deals. This is a common practice among local furniture and metal craftsmen across the country. ZK has debts to the tune of $700,000 (about Shs1.7 billion). The money is due to its suppliers including; several media houses, outdoor advertising companies and staff salaries. Some of these like Africa Broadcasting Limited, which is owed up to Shs95 million for running the Uganda Health Marketing Group promotions, have filed cases at the Commercial Court to recover their money.

Secondly, some agencies are not paying the six per cent Withholding Tax due to the Uganda Revenue Authority from their income. Unluckily for them, URA does not recognise that the payments they receive from their clients but are due to the media houses, are not theirs. In an interview on Friday, Mr Wanyoto partly attributed ZK’s collapse to cash flow problems related to the withholding tax that it has paid to URA. “A supplier bills you 100 per cent, the client pays you less 6 per cent, so you cannot be able to pay all suppliers 100 per cent because there’s a shortfall. So the debt goes on accumulating,” he explained.
According to the executive, URA is holding up to $800,000 (Shs1.9 billion) that should return to ZK as tax refunds for being a “good corporate” citizen over the last two years.

URA makes tax refunds to companies based on their commitment to paying tax as required by the law, as a reward. It also slaps fines and drags to court those that fail to pay any taxes due to it. Since inception, ZK had avoided filling tax returns to URA leaving it to accumulate many debts.

Following its restructuring in 2009, the firm’s management realised the burden it was piling up for its shareholders and started paying up the taxes. Last year, URA exempted ZK from paying Withholding Tax for the period between July and December 2010. Mr Wanyoto said the exemption should result into URA paying ZK up to $800,000, which he described as “good news” for the ailing firm. The company hopes to use the refund to pay up its suppliers and staff. While Mr Wanyoto insists ZK’s woes are related to taxes, people familiar with the company argue that its collapse is largely related to its weak management.
It’s directors where slow at looking for solutions when the firm lost Airtel.

“Instead of downsizing, they kept amassing costs and retained their staff,” a source in the industry said. Besides losing its biggest account in the market, ZK also lost some of its key staff to Moringa.

The firm is also criticised for it’s over dependence on one client in a market for quite a long time when it had the opportunity to bring new clients on board. At one time Zain contributed 100 per cent of the firm’s revenue before firms like UHMG, East African Breweries Limited, International Hospital Kampala, Stanbic Bank and Woolworth were brought on board.

The collapse of ZK is seen as a wakeup call to many other firms to review their business practices and strategies. In an interview, Mr Muhereza Kyamutetera, the PR Director at Fireworks Advertising said; “It is important for people to realise that we can no longer do things the way we used to do them otherwise you will end up getting stuck.” He also called for the regulation of the industry in order to lock out companies that continue to undercut their peers in search of lucrative business.

A regulator would be very important for the industry, and to protect the clients,” Mr Kyamutetera said. Uganda’s advertising industry, he added, needs to borrow a leaf from Kenya’s which is more organised. For instance, before advertising agencies pitch for jobs from clients, the latter have to pay a fee to the agencies since they are at risk of losing their ideas. In Uganda, the corporations invite agencies to pitch for work but end up not picking the agencies but utilising the ideas.

Mr Wanyoto equally agrees that strong regulations are required for the advertising and PR industry to be more relevant and disciplined while in business. “It’s not locking out small players but we need to know who is in the industry,” he said.

To make the business more profitable, the players also want withholding tax to be scrapped from the money channeled through them to the media houses. “The only money that the agencies earn is the retainer. My appeal is that should be the only money subjected to withholding tax if you are not exempted,” Mr Wanyoto said.

Ms Gigi Mulira, a PR consultant, added that for these firms to thrive there is need for them to build stronger international ties. “You need to merge with international companies because they bring in more business,” she said. Some companies including; Fireworks Advertising and Tell-Em Public Relations have already signed contracts with international companies like; United StatesFleishman-Hillard International Communications and Arcay Communications in South Africa.

Tell-Em with operations in both Uganda and Kenya, teamed up with Fleishman in 2008, to boost their operational scale and improve their level of services in Africa. The deal was later followed by several affiliations in Kenya and Uganda including the one between Fireworks and Arcay. International affiliations help local companies to widen their customer base and improve their profitability.



Banks shift competition to cross-border transactions
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Wednesday, April 13 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The growing competition in Uganda’s banking sector is forcing bankers to look for new ways through which they can stay ahead.

In a new move, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda yesterday launched a borderless banking facility that will enable regular travellers and businessmen make over-the-counter transactions across borders as if they were in their home branch.

Transactions include withdraws of up to $10,000 per day, deposits, balance enquiry and statement request at no extra cost. Standard Chartered bank is the third bank in the region, after Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity to offer such a service. Banks extended their banking hours late last year to gain an edge over competition and attract new customers, retain existing ones and improve profitability.

Standard Chartered Bank Head of Consumer Banking, Mr Herman Kasekende, said that though the service is initially between Kenya and Uganda, it will spread to Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates later on. He said there are still a few regulatory issues to do with foreign exchange controls to be sorted out.

The bank’s managing director, Mr Lamin Manjag, said the facility will eliminate foreign exchange inconveniences associated with transacting across borders and consolidate the economic front thus building the Common Market. The common market protocol was launched mid-last year to remove trade barriers and facilitate free movement of goods and services across the region.

Customer requirements
Customers will be required to present a cheque book and an identification document to transact over-the-counter. Mrs Justine Bagyenda, the executive director of supervision, at Bank of Uganda, urged the bank to put in place strong control systems to avoid loopholes that might be exploited by fraud and money launderers.

Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda Geoffrey Okanga called upon other sectors such as insurance, Airlines, education and fisheries among others to follow suite so as to ease cross-border movement of people and trade.

Standard Chartered also plans to launch a Renminbi (RMB) cross border trade settlement facility with China, which is Uganda’s biggest trade partner to facilitate trade activities between the two countries. The move will eliminate the tedious and costly process of exchanging the Uganda shilling to the dollar and then to the Chinese Yuan before any transaction can be done.


DTB profits increase to Shs6 billion
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Wednesday, April 13 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The year 2010 seems to have been a pretty good one for the banking sector as all institutions have reported impressive profit growth.

Barclays, Standard Chartered, Crane, Dfcu and KCB among others have all registered profit growth. Also on the list is Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, which has reported a whopping 432 per cent increase in profits, for the period ending December 31, 2010. The bank’s financial statement released early this week indicates that the institution’s 2010 profits before tax rose to Shs6 billion, from Shs1.1 billion in 2009.

DTB’s chief executive officer, Mr Varghese Thambi said while announcing the bank’s annual results that the institution increased its market share in assets, liabilities and profitability, due to consistent support from loyal customers. The bank’s deposits rose by 38 per cent from Shs176 billion in 2009 to Shs242 billion in 2010. Its loan book rose by 36 per cent, to Shs162 billion whereas the asset base grew from Shs208 billion to Shs292 billion.

Mr Thambi said the bank’s sustained growth was a result of branch expansion, extended banking hours and advancement in technological services such as ATMs, Visa debit and credit cards and Western Union Money Transfer services.

The bank has 18 branches countrywide while six of its branches offer extended banking hours up to 8 pm, seven days a week. DTB Uganda is part of the DTB group which also has interests in Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #715
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

City to get new water plant
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Cecilia Okoth

THE National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) is planning to construct another water treatment plant at Katosi in Kampala.

The plant will address the increasing demand for water within Kampala city and neighbouring areas.

The demand is a result of the rapid urbanisation within the country, particularly

Kampala, where the population growth rate is estimated at about 4.8% per annum.

Currently, the daily production capacity of water in Kampala is at only 160,000m3 compared to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam which have a daily production

capacity of 400,000m3 and 500,000m3, respectively.

Speaking at a sensitisation workshop of the Kampala Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Project, Maria Mutagamba, the water minister,

said the plant would serve 2.4 million people by 2025 through additional production capacity of 120,000m3 per day.

Mutagamba said given the rapid population growth rate, there was need for a long-term plan that would solve problems of water supply in Kampala up to 2035.

“An increase in production capacity is necessary as the problem of water supply and sanitation is not only in Kampala, but almost in all towns,” said Mutagamba.

William Muhairwe, the NWSC managing director, said Katosi would cater for all Kampala suburbs like Nansana, Kagiri, Kawempe, Makerere and the neighbouring districts of Buikwe, Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi.

“When districts like Mukono and Wakiso get water from the Ggaba water complex, it reduces the pressure of water in Kampala.

That is why Kampala suffers from water shortage all the time,” Muhairwe said.
According to Muhairwe, the work will commence in 2012 after approval from Parliament and end in 2015. Katosi was chosen because the water there meets the standards of mineral water, which will require simple treatment to make it purer,” said Muhairwe.
The project, estimated to cost about 212m euros (sh722b), will involve constructing a water plant at Katosi and upgrading the Ggaba complex.



Govt gives NUSAF sh396b
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Olandason Wanyama

THE Government has given about sh396b to the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) II programme.

The money will be used to improve pastoralism in Kara¬moja for the next five years.

The fund is the initiative of the Karamoja affairs state minister, Janet Museveni, to introduce new animal rearing practices.

Speaking to politicians at a sensitisation workshop in Mo¬roto district on Monday, Dr. Robert Limlim, the NUSAF di¬rector, said the fund was criti¬cal. “This time you should be honest,” he said, adding that corrupt tendencies would be addressed.

He said the release of funds to Karamoja had been delayed due to failure to account for earlier funds.

Limlim added that NUSAF I failed due to insecurity and mismanagement of funds.

He said the Inspectorate of Government and the Police had been included in the pro¬gramme to make sure it is a success.

“Now that insecurity is his¬tory in Karamoja, we need to ensure that locals benefit from the programme,” Limlim said.

He said a village system of initiating programmes had been introduced to avoid a repetition of the mistakes made in the first phase.

“We need to ensure that only activities approved effectively to serve agro-pastoral and pastoral communities are fi¬nanced,” Limlim emphasised.

He implored the elite group in the sub-region not to use resources from the Govern¬ment for their selfish benefit, but for the entire community.


Nwoya, Oyam districts get sh1b water project
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Patrick Okino

THE Government has connected water and installed water reservoirs in the newly-created districts of Nwoya and in Kamdini township in Oyam district.

The sh1.1b project aimed at establishing a water system in small towns, was launched by the water ministry in 2010 and commissioned on Monday at the Nwoya district headquarters.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the commissioner for urban water supply and sewerage services, Engineer Dominic Kavutse, said the project would increase access to safe water in the communities.

He said the project involved the construction of water sources, building toilets, private water installations and installing power generators to enable people access electricity.

Kavutse said the new water system in Nwoya town council would supply 72,000 litres per hour, while the reservoir tank had the capacity of 100,000 litres.

He said the Government had launched the water supply systems in 46 small towns and rehabilitated 76 in northern Uganda.

Kavutse said the safe water project would be completed in 2015.

He added that six water projects had been completed and the communities had started benefitting from them.

The Nwoya district LC5 chairman, Patrick Oryema, hailed the Government for the project but urged the authorities to consider rural dwellers who had just returned from internally displaced people’s camps.

He said the water coverage in the district was still low and many people were still using unsafe water, which had exposed them to water-borne diseases.

The resident district commissioner, Semie Okwir, who commissioned the project, urged the respective communities to use the water sparingly.


Kafumbe Mukasa road works delay
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Obyero (left), speaks during the belated commissioning of the works in Kisenyi
By Samuel Balagadde

WITH only two months to the completion of works on the Kafumbe-Mukasa and Kisenyi roads, little is on the ground to show that the June deadline will be met.

The reconstruction of the sh6.4b roads was commissioned in February, following a presidential directive.

This was after the President observed the sorry state of the roads during the tour of the area last year.

He noted that the poor road was an impediment to development of the small-and-medium businesses. The works were awarded to Stirling Civil Engineering at a cost of sh5b. Dotts Company bagged sh1.4b to reconstruct a sewer line on Kafumbe Mukasa Road.

Stephen Kinyera, the Kampala City Council engineer, disclosed that 90% of city roads were in bad condition, but that there was no money to repair them.

He said KCC needed a trillion shilling to reconstruct and upgrade all city roads. The city has a road network of 1,100 Kilo metres to tarmac.

But Mugisha Obyero, the acting chief mechanical engineer, at the works ministry, explained that since city roads were taken over by the central government, KCC should not worry over funds.


KCB to invest Shs31b in Uganda

SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Walter Wafula (email the author)

Posted Thursday, April 14 2011 at 00:00
Kenya Commercial Bank Group plans to invest about Shs31 billion in its Uganda operations to boost the entity’s profitability and growth.

The Uganda subsidiary is among the three operations in the East Africa that will receive up to Shs53.2 billion for their expansion this year, according to Mr Peter Muthoka, the KCB Group chairman.

The Tanzania and Rwanda subsidiaries will also receive; Shs15.6 billion and Shs6.3 billion, respectively.
“The board has approved a further capital injection into the subsidiaries in 2011 to support their growth,” Mr Muthoka said in the group’s 2010 annual report released early this week in Nairobi.

The capital investments will closely follow the acquisition of up to Shs350 billion from investors in Kenya last year. The money was raised through the sale of extra shares at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

The Nairobi-headquartered bank has subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
In 2010, the group’s smaller firms reported mixed fortunes in their performance due to varying market conditions and levels of development.

The new report indicates that KCB Sudan performed better than anticipated, returning a profit t before tax of about Shs16.3 billion, Uganda’s operations posted a loss of Shs11.4 billion.

Rwanda and Tanzania also recorded losses amounting to Shs8.9 billion and Shs3.1 billion respectively.
However, the chairman noted that the performance of the subsidiaries has improved because the aggregate losses posted by the young businesses were cut back.

The financial results indicate that last year, the subsidiaries posted net losses amounting to Shs7.2 billion compared to about Shs22 billion in 2009.


Uganda to launch tourism master plan this year
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Thursday, April 14 2011 at 00:00
The ministry of Tourism will this year launch a tourism master plan to chart a direction for the industry in order to give the sector the much needed momentum in realising its potential.

Trade permanent secretary, Ambassador Julius Onen, told journalists in Kampala recently that the master plan will take into consideration tourism product development, marketing and human resource capacity development among others.

Developing skills
“We need to develop skills of the tour operators and other people in the industry because the quality of service in the industry is still lacking,” he said.


Last year, Uganda fetched over Shs1.5 trillion ($660 million) from travel and tourism. The 2011 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum ranked the country in 115th position out of 139 countries worldwide.

Not a priority sector
According to the report, the failure to prioritise the sector by government, inadequate promotion and marketing, poor transport infrastructure and insufficiently protected property rights were responsible for the poor performance.

Inadequate promotion and marketing is a result of limited funds to the sector. For instance, in the 2010/2011 budget, the sector was allocated about Shs2.1 billion ($900,000), which is not adequate for conducting effective promotional campaigns.

Entebbe finally wakes up to growth
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

State House is one of the places that has uplifted Entebbe's image
By THOMAS PERE

ENTEBBE is prominently asserting its superiority among urban centers in the country. Besides the majestic State House on Nsamizi hill, plush residential units are being developed, numerous monetary institutions have opened branches and firms in the catering industry are in a rat race to provide services.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), a window into a menu of Uganda’s tourism has been revamped from the former zoo to provide multiple services. Its two beaches have been expanded.

Joseph Kibowa the Entebbe Municipality Town Clerk says, “The growth of tourist facilities is something we also noticed in the past few years. We attribute it mainly to the growth of the local tourism industry where Entebbe is one of leading destinations.”

“Another thing we have noticed is that, established restaurants from Kampala have also joined this trend, a number of them have already set up branches here. We are expecting many others to come in, since this is just the beginning,” says Kibowa.

Secondly Entebbe having been approved as the United Nations operation base for the region, he says they suspect it to have triggered this sudden swift in investing in hotel facilities.

Another likely reason is that hotel meals tend to be expensive compared to that of external restaurants.
The town clerk says besides the increase of flight and passenger traffic at the airport, many organisations also hold seminars here.

Lately this has been boosted up by the return of the State House, which brings a lot of visitors.

Derek Coggon a retired UN worker and Director of 25 Degree Developments says, “I opened Nicky’s Pizza because I wanted to bring a flare of Europe to Entebbe. But not because of the United Nations operations base being here.”

“We started with mainly international clients’ but now have created our own base of local clientele,” says Coggon.

Kibowa says, “Although it is a big industry, its direct contribution in terms of taxes and revenue to the municipality is not big, but indirect contribution in terms of employment is big. It has created a multiplier effect and also provides a huge market for the existing services and products.”

He says unfortunately the industry is facing challenges like lack of land for new developments. Landlords are now changing their residences into business premises.

The Town Clerk says, “the fact is the prospect of this industry is good here, what is happening now is just the beginning. Presently the council is doing some developments in areas where development is coming fast. We have started with repair of roads which is costing us sh600m this financial year.”

Kibowa says the security of Entebbe is relatively good. We have submitted our requirements to the Government for street lighting.

Baguma Cuthbert Balinda the Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board says, “Tourism is an opportunity industry and Entebbe has what these businesses need. It has got unique attractions of water, botanical gardens, historical sites, the zoo and it is an access point for the islands like Gamba.”

He says these attractions coupled with its serene nature, good panoramic view, up graded golf course and water sports have made it to be attractive for relaxation and leisure seekers.

All these facilities are coming up to meet these demands which have been boosted by the increased flights at the Airport.
“However, the Hotels and services providers need to improve their customer service and the locals too need to be sensitised about regional and local tourism.

This will make them appreciate the importance of visitors who get attracted by the beauty of the area,” says Baguma.

He says there is every reason to promote tourism since it generates revenue and creates employment at various levels. The share of tourism in GDP has grown from 1.1% in 1988 to 7.4% in 2010, and the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2010 was $1,389m and is expected to grow to $3,155m in 2020.

Baguma says the non-resident tourism expenditure increased from $133m in 2000 to $590m in 2008, an increase of 422%, these earnings are expected to increase further as the world economy recovers.

Earnings from tourism in2009 of $564m, was more than the total earnings from the four traditional crops (coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco) which brought in about $420m.

According Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Entebbe is growing very fast with a projected population of 65,200 in 2010. It is for this reason the 7th Parliament passed a resolution in 2006 for it to be given a city status in not more than 10 years.


Khartoum embraces EAC market
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
NORTHERN Sudan has assembled a number of goods deemed suitable for export into the huge East African community and the wider Great Lakes Region (GLR) markets.

The development follows Khartoum’s recent appointment of an envoy to the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The envoy, Abdelbagi Kabeir is also Sudan’s Ambassador to Tanzania.

Among the goods are human and animal drugs, animal products and agricultural implements. Others are electronics and their accessories.


Barley farmers get new prices
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
BARLEY farmers are to earn more from their produce following an increment in the buying price for barley, being offered by Nile Breweries Limited (NBL).

George Mbogo, the NBL's sourcing manager said the new rates represent a 20% increase on its farm gate prices for barley.

Barley is a key ingredient in the making of beers.

“Nile Breweries is now offering sh650 and sh700 per kilogramme, up from sh550 and sh630 to small farmers and large scale farmers respectively,” says Mbogo.

“The new rates are to be effected this season.”


African Investment Forum in Dar
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
THE 2011 African Investment Forum (AIF) schedule to take place in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania April 17-19 will focus on the theme “Accelerating African investment”, linking, the East African Community, Africa and the World.

The forum sponsored by the Commonwealth Business Council will provide a platform to bring investors and projects together to showcase new opportunities, enhance African trade and investment, and to build new business partnerships.

The focus will be on promoting linkages between African economic clusters. A special feature will be the participation of African investment promotion agencies.

The issues to be discussed will be investment flows, post global financial crisis, strengthening infrastructure, supporting SME growth, promoting “Green Growth” and sustainable development.



I took a loan after retiring and now I have a cotton factory...
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Amos Mugisha at his cotton processing factory
By FRANK MUGABI

LIFE after retirement can be a challenge. The task of determining what to do with the rest of your life is often daunting.But the retirement could be relished, if you have a well laid out plan.

Amos Mugisha, who, in 2000, retired from public service, has managed to turnaround his life as he contributes to health service delivery in Uganda.

Mugisha established a plant that will soon start producing surgical cotton wool and cutback the country’s dependency on its importation.

The plant, based in the new district of Luuka, curved out of Iganga, is expected to start production in one month.

“A team of Chinese engineers are already installing the machinery and once they are done, production will start,” Mugisha says. He adds that the entire venture has so far cost him about $1.8m.

Mugisha says he had to acquire a loan from the Uganda Development Bank to meet the costs.

Before he retired, Mugisha served in the East African Customs and Excise department, Uganda Customs and later at the Uganda Revenue Authority. Armed with his benefits, Mugisha went to Luuka, where a cotton ginnery had been abandoned and turned into a secondary school.

He took over the facilities in 2005 with determination to revamp the ginnery.

Today, the factory that buzzes with activity has brought life to an upcoming rural urban area, and is also a source of livelihood to 213 people.

They gin cotton, produce vegetable cooking oil and animal feeds.
Farmers are also celebrating the coming of ready market for their produce.

It has been more exciting this year as the price per kilogramme of cotton shot up to sh2,500, the highest ever recorded in the country.
Busoga is still largely a cotton growing area and this was one of the factors that attracted Mugisha to start up his enterprise in Luuka.

He has also taken the call for value addition seriously as the cotton that gets into his stores only leaves the factory in consumable forms.
Since 1903 when colonialists introduced the crop in the region, it has majorly been exported in raw form.

Cotton is a one season crop and during harvest periods, Mutuma gins about 60 bales per day and produces 2,400 litres of cooking oil.

The oil highly demanded by bakeries including the big names on the Ugandan market.
“Clients travel all the way from Kampala and Jinja town to collect the oil,” Mugisha says.

His feeds have also come in handy for the growing number of poultry farmers, especially those under the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme.

Mugisha’s surgical cotton plant will supply 40% of the country’s needs. Thousands of farmers who have hitherto been struggling to find market for their produce will be looking at him as a lifeline.

Mugisha, however, says he needs support from the Government to get the entire factory fully functional.
He says he attempted to produce soap but abandoned the idea due to lack of equipment.

The incessant power cuts have also been a setback to his efforts.
“Sometimes power is off for as long as three days and this affects my production,” he says.

FACTFILE

Name: Surgical Cotton Plant
Locality: Luuka
Enterprise: Manufacture of cotton wool
Investment: $1.8m


Farmers to improve fruit post-harvest handling
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By John Kasozi

ABOUT 50% of fruits and vegetables delivered to Ssemwanga Fresh Logistics (SFL), a produce collection centre, are damaged, Dr. Peter Sseruwagi, the head of the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge, has said.

He was speaking to farmers during the handover of the crates and weighting scales at SFL. The deputy ambassador of Netherlands, Marielle Geaedts, officiated over the ceremony.

Sseruwagi said farmers deliver vegetables and fruits in paper boxes and sacks, which are not favourable to some commodities like matooke.

Farmers from the central region were receiving platform weighing scales and field crates to improve post-harvest handling of fresh produce.

“The plastic crates cannot compress the commodities when they are carried on the bicycle,” Sseruwagi said.

Each of the seven horticulture bulk collecting centres in Mpigi, Wakiso, Mukono, Rakai, and Mityana received a weighing scale and 220 field crates.

“By using crates, we are now converting from volume to weight. Each crate can carry about 34kgs of hot pepper (scotch bonnet), 25-30kg of matooke, 50kg of fresh cow peas and beans, 20kg of pineapples, 40kg of avocado and 34kg of okra. The crates have a shelf life of three years if handled well.” Sseruwagi said.

He, however, lamented that the crates were too expensive, adding the amount of money used to buy one crate would have bought two in Kenya.

“The tax imposed on the crates by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) was too high. Each crate cost sh16,800 ($7), yet we brought in 2,100 crates. Each weighing scale cost sh2.5m.”

Dr. James Ssemwanga, a crop marketing researcher said with the field crates, produce will reach the Airport safely.

He, however, added that the Government had failed to support the horticulture sector.
“Exporters continue to look for their own source of funding and market. Organising and funding farmers is government’s responsibility.

In Europe, people are interested in new vegetables, but the Government has not intervened,” he said. Geraedts said to access the EU market, exporter should keep proper hygiene, have quality produce and keep the produce under the right temperature.

“Ssemwanga Centre meets the criteria. The 2006 fruit and vegetable project aims at seeing high quality commodities penetrating international market,” he said. The horticulture project, which is soon winding up, has been part of a three-year World Summit on Sustainable Development project funded by the Netherlands embassy. Located at Bwebajja on the Kampala–Entebbe road, Ssemwanga Fresh Logistics started operation in 2005.

The centre offers to fresh food retailers, exporters and consumers cheap and convenient post harvest handling alternatives.

It collects, sorts, grades, packs, stores and distributes fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the Eastern African region.


10 years of AGOA: Anything to show?
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By DAVID SSEMPIJJA

UGANDA, like many other Sub-Saharan countries welcomed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), because of its highly anticipated benefits related to industrial growth, agricultural development as well as increased employment opportunities.

AGOA is a United States Trade Act aimed at enabling 39 Sub-Saharan African countries access American market as of year 2000.

The programme extends duty-free access to the US market for over 100 eligible items such as petroleum products, apparel (garments and fabrics), footwear, wine, a variety of agricultural products and chemicals.

AGOA flashback in Uganda
Though, many items were allowed a duty free entry into the US market, emphasis was placed on apparel and petroleum products.

Consequently, Uganda decided to take advantage of exporting garments and fabric made out of organic cotton to attain a firm ground to capture opportunities under the AGOA market.

As one of the strategic interventions, Government identified garments manufacturing firms like Southern Range-Nyanza and Phenix Logistics to export garments made out of organic cotton to the US market.

In addition, Government aided the establishment of Apparel Tri-Star, registered in 2002, to serve as a strategic player in the American market.

However, by 2006, the company had accumulated massive losses that led to its eventual collapse, leaving the country with a big gap.

Subsequently, Uganda’s garment exports to the US under the AGOA have dropped by over $3m since 2005 despite Government’s $10m investment undertaken to upscale the sector’s performance.

Initially, according to the Parliament report, Apparel Tri-Star exported garments to the US market at a rate of $0.75m per week, and by September 2003, the firm’s weekly exports were worth $1.2m.

Uganda’s export trade performance under AGOA
Data from Uganda-US bilateral trade profile shows that between 2007 and 2010, Uganda’s apparel and textiles exports to the US stood at $1.1m in 2007, slowed to $0.4m in 2008, $0.1m recorded in 2009 and $ 0.09m the first half of last year.
US total exports of similar products to Uganda dwindled from $2.4m to $1.9m between 2007 and 2010. Uganda’s total agricultural exports to the US grew from $14.8m to $16.6m in 2007, hitting $25.7m in 2008 but declined to $12.1 in 2009 and rose to $21.9m in the first half of last year.

US total exports to Uganda under the same category declined from $30.9m to $6.3m in the period under review.
In 2007, Uganda exported $0.16m worth of forest products to the US. The value rose to $0.23m in 2008, $0.1m, $0.07m and $0.01 were realised in 2009 and 2010.

Uganda never exported anything in the energy related category to the US but performed relatively better in the mineral exports though their value went down to $0.6m in the first half of last year from $7.9m as recorded in 2007.

The way forward
Susan K. Muhwezi, the Presidential Assistant on AGOA and Trade advises that focusing on building the production and export capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should be a remedy.

“We take note that there are many AGOA opportunities that can be exploited by our local SMEs, we only need to address their operational constraints like lack of compliance with standards, disabling them from being internationally competitive,” she said.

“We need to rededicate our energies towards supporting the private sector through financing especially in those areas like value addition on cotton, coffee, organic fresh and dry fruits, sesame, fish, flowers, and handcrafts where Uganda has a competitive advantage,” she says.

She adds that her office needs to forge a strong working partnership with line ministries like Trade, Finance and Agriculture together with the Uganda Export Promotions Board for a strategy.

Hopes still alive
Muhwezi says Uganda’s oil will help bring in huge AGOA revenues because petroleum products are among those catered for under the Act.

“We still believe that Uganda has a competitive advantage in agriculture but our chances are limited by gaps of supply to the US consistently. This is precipitated by failure to attain US sanitary and phytosanitary standards,” Muhwezi said.

AGOA tangible achievements in Uganda
The AGOA country office has supported the Bee-Natural factory in Arua. “It should be remembered that Tri-Star quickly emerged as a success for one fifth of all Ugandan exports came from this company and Uganda’s apparel to the US tripled from $1.6m to $4.8m between 2002 and 2004.

We have also supported a sizeable number of SMEs in searching for international markets through participating in global exhibitions which has widened their exposure before customers,” says Muhwezi.
The fish sector has improved under AGOA where exports to the US increased by 163%, cotton brings in $19.6m annually through value addition, in 2003 exports of vanilla and its related products reached $21m.

Initially, AGOA was set to expire in 2008. In 2004, the United States Congress passed the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, which extended the legislation to 2015. The Act’s apparel special provision, which permits lesser-developed countries to use foreign fabric for their garment exports, was to expire in September 2007.

However, legislation passed by Congress in December 2006 extended it through 2012.

However, the 9th AGOA forum held in Washington August last year, African states resolved to lobby the US government to refrain from extensions, but instead make the Act permanent, for most of African countries still sailed through constraints that could not allow them to fully exploit the market.
Making AGOA opportunities permanent will culminate into long term local and foreign direct investments into Africa.

Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, are among the largest exporters under AGOA. South Africa’s exports have been the most diverse and unlike the former are not mainly concentrated in the energy sector.

The US government is providing technical assistance to AGOA eligible countries to help them benefit from the legislation, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies.


Uganda set to increase wheat, barley production
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Combine harvester being tested for handover over to farmers in Kapchorwa
By RONALD KALYANGO

UGANDA’S top beer producers require about 100,000 metric tonnes of barley but because of its inadequate supply, they (beer producers) had resorted to other alternatives like Epuripur sorghum.

Cheborion Herric, a board member of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme from Sebei sub-region revealed this recently during a field tour of the region.

Uganda’s wheat production has stagnated at a mere 20,000 metric tonnes and yet the country’s demand is estimated to be 150,000 metric tonnes.

“Uganda has the capacity to produce barley but farmers have been limited with access to hi-tech machinery to enable them in land preparation, planting and harvesting,” says Cheborion.

Kenya’s barley growing area is estimated to be 85,000 hectares. However only 20,000 hectares is under barley production, leaving 65,000 hectares unutilised.

Cheborion was however optimistic that this was set to change following the acquisition of hi-tech machinery from the government.

The machinery which was pledged by President Yoweri Museveni during his prosperity for all campaigns in the regions was delivered by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) secretariat officials recently.

According to the NAADS executive director, Dr. Silim Nahdy, the machinery which included two combine harvesters, tractors and tipping trailers cost the programme a total of sh1.2bn.

Nahdy together with Cheborion handed over the equipment to the management of Sebei Cooperative Union officials led by Capt. Juma Seiko.

“I am confident that wheat and barley production in the region is set to increase following the acquisition of the machinery,” said Seiko, the cooperative’s chairperson.

He said barley was increasingly becoming a cash crop to reckon with in Uganda as more farmers in the region had started to rush into its production.

Seiko said barley production in Uganda was started in 1991 under the wheat and barley project in collaboration with the government-owned Uganda Development Corporation and Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL).

However, the project was suspended but revamped later in 2003 by UBL.
Production was on a 52-acreage pilot plot and farmers were provided with barley seeds, fertilisers and pesticides on an interest free arrangement to plant equatorial barley.

In 2008, Nile Breweries Limited came on board with an intensive barley growing initiative with the main objective of developing capacity in barley cultivation and setting up a malting plant.

Under the NBL initiative, barley is being grown in the districts of Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Kanungu, Kisoro, Kabale, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Zombo and Kitgum.

To-date, NBL has a network of over 3,000 farmers who supply the factory close to 6,000 tonnes per year and they expect this to more than triple in the next two-years to about 20,000 tonnes to meet the requirements of the malting plant.

Barley is used in the brewing industry mainly as malt, which is the main beer ingredient.

In its raw form, un malted barley is used as an adjunct and in the food/ flour sector, it is used to make several products like confectioneries. Barley grows in a period of three months.
At the moment, it is grown only for local consumption but in the future, if production surpasses the producers’ requirements, then export to other markets will be considered.

Statistics from the production department in Kapchorwa indicates that the region’s barley production is on the increase comparable to that produced by the major players in the world.

It is projected that the country could soon join the world’s chief exporters of the product-the European Union, Australia and Canada.

According to a barley farmer in Kapchorwa, David Chepkwurui, production of barley in the region has been on the rise even as neighbouring countries record a drop in production due to erratic rains.

Uganda now stands to be the biggest beneficiary of the second scramble for East Africa’s ‘tropical barley,’ with demand projected to appreciate as beer consumption increases.

Statistics show that world beer and barley industry is growing rapidly especially in the developed countries. Analysts say the growth has been driven by technology advancement, improved quality and globalisation of markets.

On his part however Nahdy informed farmers that during the second phase of NAADS implementation, each district will be tasked to identify commercial farmers to be supported by the program.

He noted that support to commercializing model farmers at the sub-county will be initiated next financial year. Nucleus farmers on the other hand will be selected at the district and national levels.

“All the farmers that will be considered for selection should of necessity have access to land and be practicing farmers,” Nahdy explained.


SMEs need investment clubs to grow business
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By PROSSY NANDUDU

SMALL and medium enterprises should form investment clubs in order to keep their businesses growing. Because investment clubs encourage savings which can be used as security or collateral while borrowing money from a bank for re investment.

“Most SME’s are facing problems of access to finance largely due to lack of security that can be presented to bank, for them to acquire loans,” said Damalie Mukiibi, head of SME banking and Women businesses at DFCU bank.

Also Investment clubs offer cheap source of capital because you can borrow from within the club that securing a loan from banks whose interest rates could be higher.

“Investment club teach how to save. As an SME, what you put aside may not be enough for the growing business, so you need additional growth capital,” says Mukiibi.

Mukiibi disclosed that most SME’s lack growth capital which is essential for any growing business, an element that either pushes them out of business or fails the progress of the business.

She said that our neighbors in Kenya have already embraced investment clubs which has increased the country’s private capital.

“In Kenya, two out three people are in an investment club that is why they have enough private sector growth. Government doesn’t have to depend entirely on foreign direct investments. They can instead borrow from the existing investment clubs,” she added.

Mukiibi said there was need for SME to form investment clubs for easy access to working capital.
She was officiating at the quarterly meeting of investment clubs. The meetings are aimed at equipping members with managerial skills of running the clubs and check on their progress.

She, however, adds that there are challenges like lack of a law that can govern such clubs.

“We are planning to engage the ministry of finance such that a law can be put in place to govern and regulate activities of investment clubs because there is a growing a interest,” Mukiibi said.

Currently the clubs are operated under a constitution and regulations set up by the founders.

Other challenges include indiscipline among members, loss of interest along the way, investing in non profitable ventures, leading to the collapse of the clubs.

To form an investment club, members with a common goal pool resources together and then plan on how to invest their money.

Cleaner production technology in Uganda
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By DAVID SSEMPIJJA

CLEANER production technology, a concept that involves industrial production processes that minimise financial and environmental costs is taking hold in Uganda .

Cleaner Production refers to the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase eco-efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.

The main characteristics of CP include pollution prevention, water conservation, waste minimisation, energy efficiency, ecological and economic benefits and cost savings to organisations that practice the strategy.

Cleaner Production has been part of the regulatory framework of the country since 1999 in Regulation 5 of the National Environment (waste management) regulations.

Owing to benefits of this technology, the Uganda Government, with support from United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme established the Uganda Cleaner Production Centre (UCPC), based in Nakawa Industrial Area and occupying similar premises with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute.

Since 2002, UCPC has caused a significant transformation through integrating the eco-benefits programme among many local companies leaving them with enhanced financial savings and mitigated damage to the environment during the production process.

According to the UCPC’s eco-benefits programme document, the body carries out awareness raising, technical assistance including cleaner production in-plant assessments, training, cleaner production investment promotion, information dissemination, and policy advice on matters related to the technology.

Enterprises are for example taught how to minimise energy costs through adjusting their roofing by using transparent sheets to allow more use of natural light, this would reduce the number of switched on electric lights.

Other areas include; instilling techniques of reducing costs through improved management of water, waste health and safety standards.

UCPC is playing a key role in supplementing the efforts of the National Environment Management Authority and is implementing similar programmes for the Rwanda government.

Cleaner also production eliminates pollution throughout the entire production process. It is a way of reducing pollution damage to both the environment and the human population by increasing the efficiency of resource use decreasing pollution discharge by improving management and technology.

Uganda continues to appreciate the roles of cleaner production to the extent that Makerere University department of chemistry now offers a post graduate diploma in cleaner production, the course has attracted workers from many enterprises especially those involved in manufacturing businesses.

The implementation of cleaner production requires careful organisation by factory management before actual implementation is begun.

The implementation of cleaner production is an exercise in systems engineering and requires good management.

Makerere’s Food Science to release bean flour
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Makerere’s new packed bean flour product
By JOHN KASOZI

THE Nutreal Limited private company based at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University is to release pure bean flour this month that will greatly reduce gas (flatulence) problem.

“We have received complaints about flatulence. Because of the increased demand we have come up with pre-cooked and processed bean flour to reduce gas.

Locally, these processed beans are called magera in Luganda, firinda in Rutoro, machila in Gishu,” said Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe, senior lecturer, Department of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University.

She noted that flatulence can put an end to eating beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) well known as the “musical fruit” because of intestinal gas.

“Flatulence results from eating beans. Some people do not have the particular enzymes in their digestive tracts needed to break down certain complex bean sugars, the non-absorbable carbohydrates (oligosaccharides). Beans contain large amounts of raffinose, a complex sugar found in lesser quantities in other gas-prone vegetables,” Nakimbugwe added.

Nakimbugwe said that in end result, flatulence which is the excessive noxious gas builds up in the stomach and intestinal tract causing distension of the organs and in some cases mild to moderate pain.

Oligosaccharides are not easily digested.

Banks target e-business to attract new clients
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

Charles Ajaegbu (left) and Dr. William Muhairwe at the launch of the e-water payment system
By MARK OWOR

THE recent decision by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to close its cash offices and launch an e-water payment system is part of a renewed effort by the big banks to attract new customers amidst a shrinking market.

There are indicators that the banks are now targeting utility firms, to ensure payments through their branches and are said to show interest in the new product on the market.

According to the NWSC managing director Dr William Muhairwe who was recently launching the service at Global Trust Bank said the move would save the corporation over sh1bn in expenses per annum.

“We won’t have to hire bullion vans to collect cash from our offices or take out insurance on this kind of work. We will instead invest that money elsewhere”, Muhairwe disclosed.

He said the system included paying bills through bank, direct debit, mobile banking, mobile money, scratch cards and payments at points of sale such as supermarkets and fuel stations.

“The e-water payment system is a simplified payment method in which a customer is able to access their water account online. Upon payment, a customer receives a receipt and an instant SMS on their phone,” Muhairwe said.

Muhairwe said that NWSC will spread the payment plan to 16 of the 22 banks in the market. Under the e-water system, a customer goes to a participating bank and presents his NWSC account number or name, to which the money is credited.

He added that the bank will print out a receipt for the customer, with NWSC simultaneously acknowledging the new balance with an SMS message on the customer’s cell phone number.

Charles Ajaegbu the Ag Managing Director Global Trust Bank said the service is open to both clients and non-clients of Global Trust bank.

Uganda’s financial market in optimism
Wednesday, 13th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By DAVID MUGABE

THERE is growing optimism in the financial market as institutions approach the end of April deadline for publishing their 2010 year end results.

This week, Baroda is expected to unveil its year end results while Barclays bank published its results over a week ago showing profits for the first time after several years.

Total market traded value and volume, however, dropped to sh57m and 316, 972 respectively from sh150m and 274,118 in the past Tuesday.

DFCU’s sold 2,052 shares from 103,110 collecting sh2m in turnover from a high of sh102.6m.

Stanbic Bank registered improved value from sh46 million from sh29m sold at a weighted average price of sh275 per share.

Again there remained unfulfilled demand for 1.3 million Stanbic shares.

National Insurance Corporation sold shares worth sh7m at an unchanged average price of sh70 after a day of inactivity in the previous comparative session. 100,000 NIC shares were sold although again there was unmet demand for over 1 million NIC shares.

New Vision did not trade on Tuesday. The trading price however rose to an average sh608 per share. The previous session, NVL had picked sh17.4 million in turnover from 29,205 traded shares.

The local share index fell to 362.51 from 363.54 while the all share index also rose to 1.189 from 1,153.

Uganda Clays hovered around the less than sh2 million turnover for a third comparative trading session after the clay maker moved 46,820 shares at an average sh40.

Turnover was sh1.9m.

URA’s public perception improves

Business
Written by Sulaiman Kakaire
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 20:03

Happy indeed: URA boss, Allen Kagina

The public’s perception of Uganda Revenue Authority to deliver a good service has improved, with close to seven out of ten people saying they have faith in the tax body.

Up to 68% of the respondents, according to a URA-commissioned client satisfaction survey by AH Consulting, appreciated URA’s work, while the rest still had issues with the tax body’s penalties and fines, which they deem ‘harsh.’

The performance is an improvement from the 58% that the tax body recorded four years ago.

The respondents pointed to a wide of range of reasons why they think URA has improved. “The respondents that believe service has improved indicate the reasons for this as efficiency in service delivery (46%), fairness in tax assessment (27%), improved customer care services (13%) and the new initiatives that URA has pursued (10%),” notes the statement.

Those that are still aggrieved feel URA’s service leaves a lot to be desired. “The respondents that believe service has not improved indicate the reasons for this as inefficiency in service delivery (28%), no change in current high tax rates (26%), unfair and inconsiderate tax assessments (11%) and perceived corruption (10%),” reads the report.

At least 1,421 respondents participated in the survey, with interviews conducted face to face. Perhaps what will come as a good scorecard for URA is the level of perception of corruption – a vice that for long had eaten every department at the tax body. At least 82% believe there is minimal corruption.

Others believe there is no corruption while 14% say there remains corruption in URA. What will hurt URA, though, is the public’s assessment of e-tax – a service that URA has vigorously promoted to boost its tax revenues. Many respondents claimed dissatisfaction with the service, which is normally down when it’s needed most.

Paul Kyeyune, the URA Public and Corporate Affairs Manager, says the inefficiency of the system is caused by inability of the server to accommodate applications that supersede its capacity during this period.

“There are always breakdowns towards the end of the month because of the late applications but we are getting good servers to solve the problem,” he said.



Onek dishes out energy contract to Egyptians
Business
Written by Jeff Mbanga
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 20:07

In the spotlight again, Hillary Onek

Sector players question the process

The minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hilary Onek, has stripped the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited of the role to spearhead the development of a hydropower site in Kabarole district, and allocated the project to an Egyptian firm, The Observer can reveal.

Onek allocated the Muzizi hydropower site to Egyptian firm, United Engineering and Trading Company, without following the usual bidding processes, according to information we have gathered from different industry sources.

The Muzizi site, which has a capacity of close to 30MW, appears to be a reward to the Egyptians after Hassan Younis, Egypt’s minister of Electricity and Energy – and one of the few that retained their jobs after the recent fall of Hosni Mubarak’s government – led a team of about 20 investors to Uganda early December to scout for opportunities in the energy sector.

Earlier in October, Younis and Onek signed a memorandum of understanding over Egyptian investment in Uganda. In his letter to Ashraf Reda, chairman of the United Engineering and Trading Company – a copy of which The Observer has seen – Onek calls on the Electricity Regulation Authority and the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (EGCL) to quickly help the Egyptians acquire a licence. He also invokes the name of President Museveni.

“Following a high powered Egyptian delegation led by H.E Hassan Younis … on 6th and 7th December, 2010, and thereafter bilateral discussions between the Egyptian investors and Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development… and a later meeting with H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda, it was agreed that Musizi [sic!] Hydropower site in Kibaale/Kabarole districts be allocated to United Engineering and Trading Company, an Egyptian multinational company,” Onek wrote in the letter, dated March 24.

“My ministry is, therefore, confirming and has no objection to the allocation of Musizi [sic!] Hydropower site to United Engineering Trading Company (UNENTA) for development,” he added.

The allocation of the site to the Egyptians has raised eyebrows in the sector, with some players pointing out that a minister is only supposed to offer policy directive, not engage in the tendering processes or allocation of energy sites, according to the law.

However, that would not be the first time that Onek is being accused of meddling in technical matters under his ministry. His push for Albatros Energy, which plans to build a 230MW plant in Tororo, was challenged by the recently sacked heads of ERA, Dr Frank Sebbowa, and Johnson Kwesigabo.

Also, the allocation of the Muzizi site to the Egyptians comes just over a month after the UEGCL, together with KfW, the German financiers of the project, set a February 18, 2011 deadline to receive bids for consultancy services for a feasibility study and transaction advice.

“UEGCL and KfW have jointly identified Muzizi Hydropower Project (preliminary studies indicate 26MW) as one of the first sites to be developed under this initiative.

The purpose (scope of work) of these consulting services is twofold: First, to conduct a technical feasibility study for the Muzizi Hydropower Project. And second, to provide transaction advice and prepare the tendering of private sector participation for the Muzizi Hydropower Project,” reads a public notice that UEGCL issued early December 2010.

John Mugyenzi, the managing director at UEGCL, refused to comment, giving the rather odd reason that since he did not commission this journalist to pursue the story, he did not want to be involved.

The Observer also failed to reach Onek, whose known telephone number was off throughout the period we tried to contact him. The feasibility study that UEGCL and KfW advertised was never conducted, according to a highly placed energy official, who declined to be named. “The Germans might walk away from this place,” the source said.

In his letter, Onek calls on UEGCL and ERA “to coordinate on licensing and provision of information to United Engineering and Trading Company to enable the company develop the site at the earliest possible time”.

Industry observers, however, say that KfW could pull out from the project if it’s not satisfied with the process through which the developer was identified.

Our sources, who requested not to be named due to their association to the energy sector, say the leadership at ERA was against Onek’s directive. ERA, however, is not expected to contest the entry of the Egyptians.

Last edited by u.g boy; April 14th, 2011 at 12:17 AM.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #716
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Tourism boosts transport sector
Published on April 14, 2011 by The Razor Newspaper
Ugandans are now lost for choice over which bus to use when travelling within or visiting neighbouring countries. A big fleet of these buses originate from Kampala, an emerging regional commercial centre and tourist destination. Information from ministry of works indicates that there are 1,003 buses registered in the country. And, at least 339 of these buses are what transport experts call interstate buses. They cross borders.


REGIONAL TRANSPORTERS: Buses set off from Uganda to Rwanda. (PHOTO BY PATRICK KAGENDA)
These interstate buses leave parts of Uganda for Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sothern Sudan and Tanzania daily.
Ambassador Julius Onen, the permanent secretary ministry of Tourism, told the press recently that the many buses are signs of a booming tourism sector.
For Onen, “a tourist is any person who spends 24 hours away from his home and many East Africans are doing that”. Realising the growing potential in the industry, government plans to identify more attractions and sell them to tourist. The ministry also plans to use different media and stakeholders in the campaign.

“For tourism to succeed, it has to be owned by the people. We are designing a Kampala package where tourists will go and visit people in busy areas like Kikuubo. There are many foreign tourists who want that and even to live in communities,” he stressed.
About 880,000 tourists visited Uganda last year according to the Uganda Tourism Board.

This showed an increment of 360,000 tourists over those recorded in 2009. Uganda in 2009 received around 844,000 tourists and the country targets one million this year. In the region, Kenya recently announced they recorded one million tourists last year, following a quick recovery from the post election violence that hit the country. The violence scared away tourists, opting for other destinations like Uganda with almost similar attractions. Tourism employs 380,000 people in Uganda.




Govt seeks Shs350 billion loan for municipalities
Published on April 14, 2011 by The Razor Newspaper
The government is once again on its knees begging the World Bank for a US$150 million (about Shs350 billion) loan to bail out cash-strapped urban areas. The money is needed to overhaul impassable urban roads, provide clean water and improve sanitation.
Should government get the money through the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Project, some urban areas such as Kampala might finally have the roads fixed and see an end to flooding.


WANTING: Slums like Katanga in Kampala do not have clean water. (PHOTO BY BRUNO BIRAKWATE)
The government hopes to use the money to improve municipal management and delivery of urban services as well as “enhance financing and management capacity in pilot municipalities to address service gaps,” according to an official document. Samuel Mabala, commissioner urban planning in the ministry of lands, confirmed the government had asked for funding from the World Bank in August last year. He said that the project will be reviewed next year. If approved, the money will be in government coffers by July. “Apparently the project has not yet been approved. We are still in the process of formulating the project before it can be considered for approval,” Mabala said in an email to The Razor.
Asked which towns will benefit from the loan, Mabala said: “It would be advisable to wait until the project is finally approved, then you can publicise it. Otherwise it may raise a lot of expectations, questions and debate about why one town has been chosen and not another.”

According to documents on the World Bank website, the money will be used to provide “support for the training of municipal leaders, staff, and beneficiary communities for improved urban management.” Although the project plan was done in 2010, it describes the Ministry of Lands as a young and incapable entity. “There is weak institutional, policy, and legal framework for urban development. The ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is a new ministry with inadequate capacity to coordinate urban development and management,” the project papers state.

“Although urban development planning and management is a decentralised function, many local governments lack physical planners for preparing physical development plans and guiding developers. Both the Ministry and local governments lack the capacity to enforce compliance to plans, standards and regulations,” the papers add. Of the US$150m, US$130m will be spent on infrastructure. The balance will be given to the participating municipalities and the ministry.

“The component will cover development and improvement of urban infrastructure services such as roads, drainage, street lighting, sewerage, water, solid waste management and economic investments,” the project papers say.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #717
xJamaax
Registered User
 
xJamaax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 15,181

KCB to invest Shs31b in Uganda
Kenya Commercial Bank Group plans to invest about Shs31 billion in its Uganda operations to boost the entity’s profitability and growth.

The Uganda subsidiary is among the three operations in the East Africa that will receive up to Shs53.2 billion for their expansion this year, according to Mr Peter Muthoka, the KCB Group chairman.

The Tanzania and Rwanda subsidiaries will also receive; Shs15.6 billion and Shs6.3 billion, respectively.
“The board has approved a further capital injection into the subsidiaries in 2011 to support their growth,” Mr Muthoka said in the group’s 2010 annual report released early this week in Nairobi.

The capital investments will closely follow the acquisition of up to Shs350 billion from investors in Kenya last year. The money was raised through the sale of extra shares at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

The Nairobi-headquartered bank has subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
In 2010, the group’s smaller firms reported mixed fortunes in their performance due to varying market conditions and levels of development.

The new report indicates that KCB Sudan performed better than anticipated, returning a profit t before tax of about Shs16.3 billion, Uganda’s operations posted a loss of Shs11.4 billion.

Rwanda and Tanzania also recorded losses amounting to Shs8.9 billion and Shs3.1 billion respectively.
However, the chairman noted that the performance of the subsidiaries has improved because the aggregate losses posted by the young businesses were cut back.

The financial results indicate that last year, the subsidiaries posted net losses amounting to Shs7.2 billion compared to about Shs22 billion in 2009.

The Monitor
xJamaax no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 16th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #718
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Uganda cotton farmers bag sh132b

Ibrahim Kasiita

COTTON farmers have reaped sh132.2b from the current global commodity prices raising their household income and improving Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings.

Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings increased to $85.24m up from $72m registered last year. Cotton seed earnings fetched sh33.6b for both oil millers and the ginners.
“This money has had positive impact on the farmers. The cash has helped them buy food, pay their children’s fees and domestic needs,” Jolly Sabune, the Cotton Development Organisation boss, told Sunday Vision.

“This year we have seen an unprecedented rise in prices. Prices have been the best ever, which has helped our farmers see increased income.”

Sabune disclosed that despite out of the season production rose to 144,000 bales, up from 70,000 bales registered last year. A bale weighs 185 kilogrammes.

Cotton prices have hit a record high, jumpting to sh1,700, from sh900 per kg a year ago as the world cotton stocks diminished due to low supply and a robust demand.

Recent climate change disasters have wrought havoc in the leading cotton producing nations: the US, China and Pakistan. India, the world’s second largest cotton growing nation, has stopped lint exports to stimulate local consumer demand and strengthen its textile industry.

The development comes at a time when many businesses are suffering. These price increases have never been seen since the American Civil War (1861–1865) prevented shipments of the crop, according to experts.

Uganda’s cotton industry is stabilising, especially after the restoration of peace to northern Uganda, a traditional cotton growing region.

The cotton regulatory body has intervened to support farmers by supplying high-quality seeds and pesticides at affordable prices. This strategy has enhanced cotton production to improve household income and reduce poverty.

“Prices will not drastically fall this year. They will remain higher than they were previously as the global economy struggles to regain its balance.”

But Sabune called for the development of a vibrant spinning and textile industry to absorb the raw cotton, arguing that value-addition would ensure better returns to farmers.

“The high farm-gate prices are discouraging millers from buying cotton from the farmers,” she warned, adding that there was a need to build small ginneries up-country.

“It is great that the market price is high because this will boost farmers’ morale to grow more cotton.”

Meanwhile, Ephraim Kamuntu, the acting finance minister, said the Government has continued to implement household food security programmes throughout the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) that ensures households have enough food for themselves throughout the year.

Households have been constituted to provide increased food production to guarantee national food security, while enabling them to move subsistence to market oriented farming.

This is turn will lead to increased food production to be made available to all Ugandans and the regional market as well.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 16th, 2011, 11:30 PM   #719
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Immigration hotspot: Uganda becoming popular with Indian professionals and companies


With many companies seeking a foothold in East Africa, new opportunities are emerging for Indian professionals in Uganda. And unlike most Western countries, Indians can go to Uganda on a tourist visa and then look for a job. "It is easy for Indians to settle down in Uganda. Besides the Gujarati business community, which has been there for many years, young professionals too are moving to Uganda. There are new immigrants from Punjab and health-care workers from Kerala," says Nimisha J Madhvani , Uganda's High Commissioner to India who is herself from one of the prominent Indian business families.

During the dictatorship of Idi Amin in the early '70s, more than 75,000 Asians were forced to flee the country. While many of them moved to the West, during the process of rehabilitation, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni encouraged Indians to return. Today, Uganda has a liberal and open capital account and a robust financial services sector. It also offers a safe and secure environment.

"I'm a third-generation Ugandan and returnee. I consider this my home," says Sanjiv Patel who runs his family-business Tomil Agricultural Ltd. "With many companies setting up shop in Africa, Indian professionals are coming here and settling down," he adds. The Indian Association of Uganda , of which Patel is an active member, is a bridge between Indians and locals.

Indians in Uganda play a vital role in the economy. Murtuza Dalal , a chartered accountant, has been living in Kampala since 1993. "I am very comfortable professionally and head one of the large audit firms. I have been
instrumental in the development of the accounting profession here," says Dalal.


Work Permits:
Applications for foreign workers can be sought from Immigrant Control Board for a specific period. Renewable work permits are given for one year. A work permit for an expat employee is based on the minimum qualifying investment of $100,000.

Workers & technocrats have to pay a bond equivalent to the price of a one-way ticket to their country. Foreign investors need a minimum investment of $100,000 to get a licence from the Uganda Investment Authority . They need to register a company in Uganda at the registrar general's office. The next step is an investment licence from the UIA. Normal processing time is 2-5 days.


Prominent Indian business families in Uganda:

1 The Thakrars of Tilda Rice, UK, are expanding operations in Uganda
2 The Madhvani Group has a presence in a range of products and services
3 The Mehta Group is an MNC running diversified businesses
4 Sudhir Ruparelia owns hotels and banks
5 Karim Hirji owns a string of hotels
6 Harshad Barot is at the helm of Tirupati Development , one of the largest civil construction companies
7 Other prominent Gujarati business families include the Jobanputras and the Shahs of Bidco Oil
8 Ketan Morjaria is one of the founders of Orient Bank
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #720
u.g boy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,649
Likes (Received): 164

Health centres get sh7b beds
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Juliet Waiswa
and Violet Nabatanzi

MINISTRY of Health has distributed hospital beds and mattress worth sh7b to lower level health facilities, which were constructed during the implementation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan I and II.

This is one of the strategies of beefing lower level health facilities to enable them offer better services to the people.

This was after the Government realised that lower level health facilities lacked essential equipment hence hindering them from delivering the basic health services to people.

“Lower health centres handle many cases since they are the first line of treatment,” Stephen Malinga, the health minister said while flagging off the consignment at the Wabigalo health stores.

He said over the last three years districts have been allocated specific amount of funds for procurement of medical equipment they considered required for health centres II, III and IV adding that now facilities are procured and delivered to the centres.

“Some of the complaints as the President was going around the country during campaigns were lack of equipments like beds,” Malinga said.

He said all the beds would be delivered at the districts and later given to the health centres.

The first bunch of hospital beds that have been flagged off will go to the districts of Lira 134, Kanungu 10, Kamwenge 20, Maracha –Terego 60, Budaka 4, Kayunga 3 and Koboko 21 respectively.

The Assistant Commissioner in charge of clinical services Dr. Jacinto Amandua said in two years time Mulago National Referral hospital would be offered enough beds and mattresses.


UBA group registers Shs167 billion in profits
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Othman Semakula & Agencies (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 18 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

United Bank for Africa, last week released the group’s results for the year ended December 31, 2010 and Q1 2011, posting Shs167 billion in gross and net earnings. In the results, the bank said it registered growth in customer deposits and loans disbursements across the group’s 18 African operations.

Full year results show gross earnings of Shs2.8 trillion in 2010. Profits before tax and exceptional items grew by 45 per cent (Shs167.3 billion in 2009 to Shs291.7 billion in 2010). Loans and advances stood at Shs9.6 trillion, total assets grew to Shs24.9 trillion while balance sheet size improved to Shs34.9 trillion.

Results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011 also show a continued growth trend, with net profits of Shs60 billion, up by 150 per cent from Shs24.6 billion recorded in the same period in 2010. On the balance sheet side, loans stood at Shs9.6 trillion, deposits rose to Shs20.1 trillion, total assets rose to Shs26.1 trillion during the first quarter of 2011.



Personal finance to be taught in schools
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Faridah Kulabako (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 18 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

In a move to increase financial literacy, the Education Ministry and the National Curriculum Development Centre are working in partnership with the Central Bank to incorporate personal finance into the school curricula.

Speaking during a workshop for the development of a national financial literacy strategy in Kampala last week, Dr Louis Kasekende, the deputy governor at Bank of Uganda, said teaching financial literacy in schools will ensure that young people acquire competences and confidence to manage their finances well. He said integrating financial education in schools would help young people live a prudent personal financial management life.

No data on financial literacy
Although there is no official figure of financial literacy rate in the country, it is said that the figure is insignificant and teaching financial management skills right from childhood will grow the number. Incorporating financial education in the school curricula is contained in a GIZ and BoU March 2011 report, ‘Towards an effective framework for financial literacy and financial consumer protection in Uganda”, which recommended the development of a National Strategy for financial literacy for Uganda.

The strategy, according to the report that was launched at the same event, will strengthen financial literacy and financial consumer protection in the country. Strengthening people’s financial literacy improves their understanding of how to manage personal finances, increase the level of people accessing financial services, know which products meet their needs, manage risks and increase savings.

Larger market
A more financially literate Uganda creates a larger market for the financial institutions, with better informed clients and stimulates national growth. BoU will lead the development and implementation of a national strategy for financial literacy to provide focus, momentum, effective coordination and help avoid unnecessary duplications.

For successful implementation of the project in schools, Mrs Grace Baguma, the deputy director National Curriculum Development Centre said, there is need to empower curriculum developers with capacity to develop the right content so as to produce the intended benefits.

She added that teachers also need to be trained if the project is to be sustained. Dr Kasekende noted that guidelines will be issued to financial and microfinance deposit-taking institutions regulated by BoU to ensure that consumers of financial products and services are fairly treated.


Oil prices to rise further - US agency
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Isaac Khisa (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 18 2011 at 00:00
Nairobi

Ugandans should prepare for tougher times following the announcement by a United States agency that oil markets are expected to further tighten over the next two years, due to slowed supply of oil products.

The Energy Information Administration, a statistical and analytical agency in the US, said the current conditions result from an expected draw down of global petroleum stocks from non-Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (non-OPEC).

The cost of living is expected to rise further even as civil unrest breaks out over high food prices sparked by oil price increases in the country. According to the agency, crude oil currently imported at $112 a barrel in March from $95 in February, is expected to rise to $120 in December followed by a subsequent increase next year.

The total world oil consumption is expected to grow by an annual average of 1.5 million per barrel a day in 2011 and 2012, whereas supply from non-OPEC countries will grow at an average of about 0.4 million barrel per day annually through 2012.

Last year, world crude oil and liquid fuels consumption grew by an estimated 2.3 million barrels per day in 2010 to a record-high level of 86.7 million barrels. In order to meet the projected increase in demand, EIA says the market should rely on both a drawdown of inventories and significant increases in the production of crude oil and non-crude liquids in OPEC member countries at a time due to disruption of crude oil exports from Libya and continuing.


Tullow taxes will fund Karuma Dam - government
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Walter Wafula (email the author)

Posted Monday, April 18 2011 at 00:00
Kampala

The planned Karuma Hydro Power Dam will be the first recipient of the Shs1.1 trillion that accrued from the sale of Uganda’s oil fields by Tullow Oil. Mr Keith Muhakanizi the deputy secretary to the treasury at the ministry of Finance said the money will be used to construct the planned 700 megawatt electricity dam. “The money is to be used for the Karuma dam construction until that policy changes,” Mr Muhakanizi told journalists on Friday in Kampala.

Tullow Oil paid up to $469 million (Shs1.1 trillion) as capital gains tax accruing from the sale of 66.7 per cent of its assets in Uganda to its new partners; French oil company Total and the China National Offshore Oil Company. The payment for Tullow’s interests in oil blocks 1, 2 and 3a in western Uganda was received by the Bank of Uganda two weeks ago.

Tullow will earn up to $2.93 billion (Shs7 trillion) from the transaction that was delayed over the Heritage Oil tax dispute. The payment to the government followed the signing of two share purchase agreements between Tullow, Total and CNOOC at the end of last month.

The Karuma dam in northern Uganda is expected to cost between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion (Shs3.6 trillion), Mr Simon D’ujang the state minister for energy told the press last week. Mr Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa the permanent secretary ministry of energy said the final cost will be known at the end of the current international bidding process for the construction of the dam.

Last three years
He said the construction of the dam is expected to last three years from the time works kick off. Extra financing for the dam is expected to come from the $300 million Energy fund. Last month, the Minister of finance Ms Syda Bbumba said the government will embark on the construction the power dam and an oil refinery in the new financial year that starts in June this year. Karuma will be the largest and most expensive power project to be undertaken in Uganda.

The 250 megawatt Bujagali Hydro Power project that is under construction is so far the most expensive dam to have been established in Uganda. The first 50 megawatts from the dam are scheduled to come on stream in October this year.
The development is further expected to cut back the frequency of the current power blackouts and cost of energy in Uganda.


KQ signs deal to buy Boeing planes
SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING
By Daily Monitor Correspondent (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 19 2011 at 00:00
Kenya Airways has reached an agreement to buy nine Boeing planes to boost its expansion targeting African routes.
The national carrier on Thursday signed the deal that will see Boeing deliver the 787-8 Dreamliners by the fourth quarter of 2013, with an opening to buy four more aircraft.

The new plans will support Kenya Airways plans to connect more African cities to the rest of the world through its Nairobi hub. The African routes generate 48 per cent of KQ’s profit.

“We can only achieve our expansion strategy with the right equipment and we are particularly pleased with Boeing that despite the delay experienced in the 787 programme, they have committed to the timelines that we have now signed on,” said Mr Titus Naikuni, the CEO of Kenya Airways.

The deal will add fresh impetus to the ongoing battle for African travellers pitting Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airlines and South African Airlines.

It will also renew debate over the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus, which Kenya Airways was planning to turn to following delay in the delivery of the Boeing planes commonly known as Dreamliners.

Originally expected in the country in October last year, the orders for the nine planes have been delayed continuously with the first delivery expected in 2013.

Dreamliners consume 20 per cent less fuel than other planes of comparable size and also offers 45 per cent more cargo capacity.

This will come in handy at a time sky-high fuel prices are hurting profitability of airlines while the extra cargo capacity will fit in well with the airline’s diversification plans of cutting reliance on passengers—which account for more than 90 per cent of its sales.

KQ is planning to raise up to $250 million (KSh20 billion) this year, according to Kestrel Capital, to fund the acquisitions.
The airline has been facing major delays that have seen disgruntled customers threaten to sue the airline, in Rwanda, and the new planes will help sort out this challenge.

The management has attributed this to major factors like the state of airports in some of the destinations it flies to, mechanical and international concerns that have seen planes grounded for days.

Africa has remained Kenya Airways’ key market with growth during the third quarter increasing by 4.2 per cent to 439,555 passengers during the period on increased frequencies to West Africa and entry to new markets such as Juba.

“The 787 Dreamliner fits well with our expansion strategy, giving us an opportunity to expand our markets beyond the current offering,” said Mr Naikuni.

Profit increased 66 per cent to Sh1.4 billion in the six months to September on revenues of Sh41.21 billion.




ERA, Onek disagree on power site
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Ibrahim Kasita

ELECTRICITY Regulatory Authority (ERA) has rejected a directive to give Muzizi hydropower site to Egyptian investors.

The 10 to 20 mega watt site is located at the border of Kibaale and Kabarole districts, with an estimated investment of $50m.

The energy minister, Hilary Onek, directed ERA and the Uganda Electricity Generation Company (UEGCL) in a March 24 letter to coordinate on licensing and provision of information “to enable the investors develop the site at the earliest possible time.”

“I have no objection to the allocation of the Muzizi Hydro Power site to the United Engineering Trading Company for development,” the letter indicated.

However, Benon Mutambi, the ERA acting chief executive officer, in an April 4 response, pointed out that it was not possible to give the site to the Egyptian investors.

He stated that in the interest of accelerating the development of the hydropower resources, UEGCL with the support from KfW, a German development agency, applied for and was granted a permit to undertake feasibility studies on the site.

“The permit was issued to KfW on January 1, 2011,” Mutambi said. “Based on this, it is therefore not possible to allocate the said site to United Engineering Trading Company.”

Efforts to get a comment from the minister were futile as he did not respond to message sent to him on his official mobile phone.

ERA explained that the Egyptian investors would be notified for any vacant hydropower sites in accordance with the electricity laws.

“In accordance with the Electricity Act, we cannot allocate a site to any developer before he/she has submitted an application which will then be advertised and subsequently reviewed to assess the technical and financial competency as well as the legal status of the applicant,” Mutambi wrote.

This is not the first time the minister is accused of interfering with the affairs of the regulator.

Onek has been in the spotlight after it emerged that he appointed his business partner, Richard Santos Apire, to head the regulator’s board contrary to the laws.

Onek and the new ERA board chairman are directors in the Packwach Power Plant, an entity interested in power business.

Onek is the chairman and Apire is the financial controller at the firm.

The minister’s interference is also raising concerns over his method of work


Tullow Oil sues Heritage over $313m tax paid to govt
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
TULLOW Oil has dragged Heritage to court to recover the $313.45m paid to Uganda as capital gains tax on the pre-production oil assets on blocks 1 and 3A, sparking-off a rift between the two former partners.

The tax dispute first started when Heritage disposed its interest to Tullow last year in a $1.5b deal without paying the tax liability amounting to $404.5m, forcing Uganda to reject the transaction.

Although Heritage disputed the tax assessment, it deposited $121m in the Bank of Uganda account and the remainder in London, pending the resolution in the International Court of Arbitration.

But Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) demanded Tullow to pay the tax on Heritage’s behalf, which Tullow paid up on April 7.

In a dramatic twist, Tullow has turned the heat on Heritage in what it termed as “breach of contract.”

However, Heritage yesterday said it will “vigorously and robustly defend” itself against the claim.

“Heritage believes the claim is misguided (because) the decision to pay the URA $313.447,500 was made without Heritage’s knowledge or consent, contrary to the very clear provision under the sales and purchase agreement,” Heritage said.

“The payment was not made in compliance with the Ugandan tax provisions relating to agency notices, even if the agency notices are assumed to be valid, which Heritage does not accept.”

Heritage said Tullow explained the commercial rationale for making the payment to URA in a letter dated March 17, which stated that, “if Tullow were to refuse to pay… the Government would not permit the farm-down to proceed.”

Heritage is also pursuing the release of $283.45m plus interest from an escrow account at Standard Chartered Bank following Tullow’s admission that it paid the tax liability.

Regional entrepreneurial reality TV series here
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
By Samuel Sanya

UGANDA is set to play host to an East African entrepreneurial reality television series code named Inspire Africa, as the region turns to the youth for answers to unemployment.

A university of Dar-es-salaam report titled the employment of youth in East Africa put the rate of unemployment among youth aged between 15 and 30 in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania at an average of 4.7 % from 1995 to 2005.

The East African population has grown to 300 million with the inclusion of Rwanda and Burundi.

“We shall train 50,000 youth from the five East African countries in our first season in Kampala,” said Nelson Tugume, the Inspire Africa chief executive.

He said applicants, who can express their business idea in less than 100 words, would be short listed for the televised six-month training.

Tugume added that the show would rotate between Kigali, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Bujumbura. The individual with the best entrepreneurial mind after a series of eliminations will receive mentorship from a successful business person.

Mike Mukula, the Soroti Municipality MP-elect and former health minister, urged the youth to embrace the entrepreneurship drive, saying it would reduce ignorance that is fuelling unemployment in the African region.

“I urge the youth to learn how to save. Knowing how to save and invest is important for a successful business,” he said.

The show is scheduled to run from the second week of July to December.


Nigeria firm to improve Bankom services
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article
INTERSWITCH Nigeria has acquired a 60% stake in Bankom Uganda, a move aimed at accelerating the firm’s market penetration and improving service delivery, the company business development manager, has said.

Kanduho Baguma said the acquisition was timely because Bankom is looking to expand its electronic payment services in Uganda.

He said Interswitch commands 100% of the Nigerian interbank switch transactions, with a wealth of experience in the utility payments sector.

Interbank switch services enable a customer of one bank to perform transactions on the ATM of another bank, making ATM banking more convenient.

Cairo International Bank, Global Trust Bank, UBA, Fina Bank, Finance Trust, Orient Bank and dfcu Bank are currently using Bankom interbank switch service. This means that if a customer is a member of any of the banks, they can use the ATM services of any other Bankom member bank.

Baguma said Bankom currently operates 77 ATMs in Uganda through its member banks. It also operates its own Smartpoint ATMs.

“Although Bankom is not a bank, it provides the technological infrastructure that allows electronic financial transaction between banks, utility companies and individuals,” Baguma said.

He added that Bankom was looking to expand technological innovations like mobile banking, Internet banking and prepaid credit and debit cards.




Nakawa/Naguru contractor ready for work
Monday, 18th April, 2011
E-mail article Print article

A cross-section of the proposed redevelopment of the Nakawa/Naguru estates in Kampala
By Darious Magara

THE Comer Homes Group Company, the contractor for the proposed Nakawa/Naguru modern estates, is ready to start work once the Government hands over the site, a top official said last week.

Mohammed Mulindwa, the Opec Prime Properties chief operations officer, noted that the construction works had been delayed by the Government failure to hand over the two sites.

The Government in 2007 signed a $300m deal with Opec Prime Properties of the UK to turn the two dilapidated estates into satellite cities under a public-private partnership.

The developer is expected to build 1,747 flats to resettle the sitting tenants. Mulindwa said they were ready to implement the project, which will be the first of its kind in the region.

He said they will initially construct 3,500 housing units.

“These units are still a drop in the ocean for Kampala’s huge housing deficit. Phase one starts with the 1,747 flats for the registered tenants,” Mulindwa said.

He said 60% of the project will be residential and 40% commercial.

The entire project is expected to be complete in 10 years.

Kashaka said the Government would separately build executive apartments, commercial blocks and institutional facilities like schools, clinics, and places of worship.
u.g boy no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
uganda

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.5 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu