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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #861
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Uganda Financial & Market News

Please post news regarding the Uganda Securities Exchange, Bank of Uganda, prices of commodities, Uganda's banking sector, inflation, Ugandan Shilling, etc. in this thread.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:22 PM   #862
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Shilling is third worst performing currency

The Uganda Shilling is one of the world’s worst-performing currencies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, a news agency. The local unit is in third position coming after the Suriname dollar and the Maldives rufiyaa.

Since January the Shilling has depreciated by about 12 per cent touching an all-time low of Shs2,700 in more than a decade. The unit was by close of last week set for a weekly decline against the dollar amid increased demand for the greenback from local domestic banks.

It fell by 0.6 per cent to Shs2,600 per dollar bringing its decline so far this week to 1.9 per cent, according to Bloomberg’s data. Last week it closed at Shs2,585. A local foreign exchange dealer, Mr Benon Okwenje, said last week: “The Shilling weakened slightly because of demand in the interbank market.” However, the local unit has also seen pressure from both corporate demand and the manufacturing sector.

Businesses are pensive about the local unit’s trend, thus have been forced to increase stock capacity fearing for the worst. The Shilling has since the beginning of this year heavily depreciated against major currencies on the back of rising inflation, high fuel prices, power outages and international market volatilities.

In May, inflation rose to 16.1 per cent - a 17-year high, before slowing to 15.8 per cent in June. However, the central bank has stepped up measures that aim to stabilise the unit.

Apart from a regular market interventions, the central bank recently increased interbank interest rates from 11 per cent to 13 per cent. The move is part of the lager plan that seeks to mop up excess liquidity from the money market so as to curb the runaway inflation.

The government is also optimistic that the Shilling will soon be lifted as the petrol dollars begin to flow in. Uganda has an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil, with about 1 billion in proven reserves, according to Tullow. It is expected that by 2012 the country would have started pumping oil for commercial purposes.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #863
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Tomato prices reduce amid increased supply
The continued improvement in the supply of tomatoes is causing prices to fall in markets around Kampala and those beyond.

This has made farmers and vendors in most markets to register a drop in profits and a general increase in the volume of sales.

A tin of tomatoes that used to cost Shs15,000 a few months ago is now going for just Shs3,500.

Vendors have now been forced to cut prices and also increase the size of the tomato heaps in order to attract customers. Supply has outwitted demand thus causing tomatoes to rot in the gardens.

Mr Japheth Kato, a tomato vendor in Owino, told Saturday Monitor that improved market supply has now thwarted the previously high prices and prices are back to normal though at a low end.

However, as a result this has caused farmers to register loses since they have not been able to achieve what they put in during the planting seasons.

Mr Kato said he bought spraying chemicals at Shs15,000, however, he does not see any chance of recovering the money that he spent on about six tins of the chemical.

In the past few weeks, three tomatoes were being sold at about Shs1,000 in most of Kampala market, but this has changed with a about 10 tomatoes costing the same amount.

According to vendors, the business is no longer profitable since they fear risking to stock large amounts without sufficient demand.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #864
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source: Daily Monitor

Thailand seeks investment opportunities in Uganda

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A 13-man delegation from Thailand is in the country to seek investment and trade opportunities in the agriculture, tourism, information technology and real estate sectors.

The Thai team held a business-match session with 39 local businessmen in Kampala yesterday to explore investment and trading opportunities in both Uganda and Thailand.

Speaking at a business-match forum, the Consul General of the Thai Consulate in Uganda, Mr James Mulwana, said the bi-lateral relationship would develop closer ties with a focus on expanding trade between the two countries.

The head of the Thai delegation, Mr Suebsak Dangboonrueng, said they will use their rich technology and expertise in agricultural value addition to enable Uganda export value-added agricultural products to boost export revenues.
“We have had a balance of trade problem because we import more than we export but when Thai investors set up industries here, we shall export more and import less,” Mr Mulwana said.

Uganda imports about 40.5 per cent of the goods consumed in country, contributed to the depreciation of the Shilling and the poor performance of the Ugandan economy.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:31 PM   #865
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Online trade, taking shape in Uganda
source: Daily Monitor

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It is a significant turnaround in activity indicating that Small and Medium Enterprises are seeking cheaper options of doing business in today’s Uganda which is characterised by high operational costs.

Recently, Kampala Money Mart launched an online portal www.kampalamart.com, a platform aimed at linking buyers and sellers.

It is a market where sellers can freely display their merchandise to attract clientele. The goods on display range from cars, electronics, clothing, and other house items.

According to Mr Roger M. Shillingi, the Public Relations Officer of Kampala Mart, online trading helps in times of economic crisis as it reduces on the day-to-day business expenses. It is free and it eliminates middlemen who usually take a percentage on money paid.

“Even when you are hit by the economic crisis, you can display your goods on this online portal. Such trading keeps going on provided you can still access internet,” he says.

“In Uganda, we have a big number of small and midsized business operators. These people have businesses but many cannot afford mainstream advertising. With this website, such people can advertise their goods for free.

The procedure is simple; sign in as a member, upload details about your goods and you will be viewed by the growing number of online visitors. There is no limitation on what commodity to advertise.”

He says this platform always links buyers and sellers and after getting the connections, they can link up to proceed with business transactions with no destruction from middlemen.
[...continued]
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Old July 30th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #866
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Lightbulb Earning a living from shampoo, liquid soap


After losing his job in Kenya, Geoffrey Odong was left staring at a bleak future.

For someone who was just returning from a life-threatening diagnosis of mucoid plaque (when small intestines curl themselves up), losing a job was the last thing he wished for. With few options in Kenya, Odong returned home.

He opted for Gulu given the vibe on how the district was growing steadily after a two-decade interruption by war.

Venturing into transport services looked like a brilliant idea. So, with Shs 6m saved from his job in Kenya, he bought a car. The purpose: to transport people on the Gulu-Pader route. In the meantime, he enrolled at Gulu University and studied a diploma in business. Odong had worked out everything: the money from the transport business would help him take care of the university before helping him launch into another venture.

That plan, however, was cut short when the car was involved in an accident. He turned to Plan B. With Shs 300,000 that the car had fetched, Odong started producing liquid soap. “I started in 2009 and all I had was a 25-litre drum and chemicals that I used for producing 50 litres of liquid soap and only five litres of shampoo,” he said.


But like many businesses that start small, Odong’s is gradually picking up. He now has two 250-litre capacity drums, where he produces 500 litres of liquid soap and 50 litres of shampoo every day. The prices of the liquid soap range from Shs 750 to Shs 25,000. He packs his soap in mineral water bottles and jerrycans of one, five, 10 and 20 litres. The shampoo has a standard price of Shs 2, 000 per bottle.

The money has started coming in. “On average, I earn Shs 500,000 per month and during bad months, I make about Shs 300,000,” Odong says. He employs two men who help with the distribution of the products.

Odong starts his work early in the morning at 7am. To produce the soap and shampoo, he first mixes sulphuric acid, water, salt and caustic soda in proportionate quantities. The caustic soda, he says, helps in burning the harmful bacteria and in effect preserves the soap.

After nine years, his product is ready for separation. He says at this stage, he extracts shampoo that some prefer calling ‘colourless liquid soap’ before he adds urea, lemon perfume and colour to make liquid soap. Nevertheless, Odong faces challenges. “My greatest challenge is the expensive chemicals that are purchased from Kampala. I spend over Shs 100,000 on that and transport,” he says.

Usually, he is forced to borrow to purchase the products. On top of the rent and looking after his five children, Odong, however, says he has no choice but to persevere. He plans to set up a salon one day where he could use his shampoo to treat hair.

Source:Observer
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Old July 31st, 2011, 09:53 PM   #867
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Furniture giant opens Uganda branch
SUNDAY, 31 JULY 2011 15:38 ZOSTINE KIONGOZI

KAMPALA, UGANDA - Despite the weak shilling and general rise in prices of goods and services now estimated at over 18%, Kampala is still the most preferred investment area in the East region.

In an Interview with East African Business Week, the Chinese Furniture giant Lifemate Furniture, Uganda branch Director Mr. Robert Liang said their group has set up a furniture factory and showroom in Kampala to supply high quality and fair priced furniture across the region.

Mr. Liang said the group's key focus is not only about making profits, but to make people's lives better through job creation, partnering with government and other agencies in community efforts like the fight against treatable diseases like malaria and change the negative perception on China products.

Generally public perceives Chinese goods into Africa to be counterfeits, however this is not the case with the 15 year old Lifemate Furniture manufacturer, the second factory in Uganda after Korean Hwan Sung both coming in the right time to supplement the booming real estate - construction Industry across the region.



13 Thai firms seek Uganda linkages
Wednesday, 27th July, 2011
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By David Mugabe

BUSINESSMAN James Mulwana has asked Ugandan businesses to embrace trade opportunities in Thailand and the wider Asian market by partnering with the more developed Thais.

Mulwana also the consul general of Thailand to Uganda said many developed states are rushing to Africa because of the several positive changes in Africa and its time for Ugandans to take advantage.

East Africa and Uganda especially is emerging as a hot investment hot spot because of its central location, abundant natural resources and a huge market.

Mulwana said Ugandans stand to gain from the export skills of the Thais and the fact that both are tropical countries with similar climates.

“These people are wondering why we are poor because we have everything,” said Mulwana.

Mulwana said the Thai embassy in Uganda issues over 300 visas every month mostly to small and medium sized enterprises

The 13 visiting Thai companies are from the textile, cosmetics, real estates and construction material and agriculture machinery sectors.



Katwe transforms as modernity invades

Wednesday, 27th July, 2011
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By Titus Kakembo

BANKS are flooded by greasy fingered clients depositing huge sums of cash.

Monetary institutions are joining Equity and Centenary Banks in a stiff competition with loan sharks to offer services there. Food vendors with steaming pots of coffee and plates of food keep appetites whetted all day. In store, on the verandahs, are coffins, furniture, cutlery, toys -just name it- it is there. This is Katwe, a busy hive, carelessly sitting astride Kampala/Entebbe highway.

“It is very comfortable,” a popular attendant Simeo Ssembu assures a buyer. “You do not feel squeezed. Their prices range between sh200, 000-sh800, 000.” There are tales of some dealers offering “a test drive” (demonstrates) by hopping into a coffin and lying in it to feel the comfort or prove the dead can fit in it. In store are second hand coffins which make some buyers suspicious of Katwe having grave robbers in their midst.

“There are Muslims who die abroad. But they are returned in caskets for burial here. When they are buried we treat the caskets they were transported in and sell them off. The finishing is superb…” explains a commission agent Serugo. A tour of Katwe’s numerous miniature workshops is a revelation of creativity at its peak. There are self-taught carpenters, technicians, electricians, cobblers, plumbers, blacksmiths, marketers and visual artists perfecting their craft. Each goes about their trade with the concentration, most surgeons preserve for a patient on the operation table.

In these nooks is the sparkle of welding rods here. Then the bang! Bang! noise of hammers beating red hot metals into shape. Tongues in riot mood preach the qualities of a given ware as artists wearing creased foreheads and brows punctuated with sweat beads finish a given job.

As an after sale service, loaders ferry bought items to the trucks parked in the little space available in the hive. There are commission agents here; transporters and raw materials suppliers are making fat fortunes.

“Nkuwe yo ki” (Can I be of help) Kityo an attendant of a used refrigerators asks a potential customer.

“Better buy now before URA kicks us out of business. They do not know the strength of a Germany or English machine,” continues the rapport. Before getting a response he adds, “Pocket friendliest price. You are guaranteed good performance. Warranty of six month – discount assured…”

For sh200,000 to sh800,000 one can buy a fridge or a deep freezer in Katwe. Verandahs and pavements are still flooded with used Zanussi and Philips units.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 11:08 PM   #868
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Maize growth gets $170m boost amid huge scarcity
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A maize plantation at the Kawanda Research Centre. The scarcity of maize in parts of Africa has resulted into food shortage and famine. FILE PHOTO.

By Martin Luther Oketch (email the author)

Posted Friday, July 29 2011 at 00:00
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The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has approved a $170 million (about Shs443.7 billion) global programme to expand maize research in developing countries.

The donation comes in handy especially now when there is general scarcity of maize in East Africa. In Uganda, the scarcity of the commodity is attributed to lucrative regional market in East Africa with traders claiming that maize is exported to South Sudan and other countries on the cob.

According to CGIAR maize is the preferred staple for more than 900 million people in 94 developing countries, including one third of the world’s malnourished children.

“This programme aims to double the productivity of maize farms, while also making those farms more resilient to climate change,” said Mr Carlos Perez del Castillo, the CGIAR board chairman.

“As a result, farmers’ incomes are expected to rise and their livelihood opportunities to increase contributing to rural poverty reduction in developing countries,”

Ms Inger Andersen, the vice president of sustainable development at the World Bank, said the first target group to benefit from the enhanced maize research programme would be smallholder farmers who live in environments prone to stress and who have poor access to markets.

Ensure wellbeing
“Small holder farmers are among the most vulnerable people in developing countries. They should be among the first we seek to help. Enabling these people to produce more and better maize quickly and reliably will help to ensure their wellbeing,” she said.

The programme is expected to provide enough maize to meet the annual food demands of an additional 135 million consumers by 2020 and 600 million by 2030.
It will be implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), and the International Institute of Tropic Agriculture.

Studies carried out by CIMMYT show that the demand for maize in the developing world is expected to double between now and 2050. “This is a highly ambitious project to address world hunger,” said Mr Thomas Lumpkin, director general of CIMMYT.

“Millions of lives depend on our ability to develop sustainable solutions to feed more people with fewer resources than ever before.”

The CGIAR applies cutting-edge science to foster sustainable agricultural growth that benefits the poor. The new crop varieties, knowledge and other products resulting from the CGIAR’s collaborative research are made widely available, at no cost, to individuals and organisations working for sustainable agricultural development throughout the world.


Rift Valley Railways posts improved quarterly performance
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A RVR train carriage. Export growth in East Africa has boosted the firm’s performance. FILE PHOTO.

By Monitor Reporter (email the author)

Posted Friday, July 29 2011 at 00:00
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Rift Valley Railways has recorded improved performance in freight and passenger volumes. In its 2011 fourth quarter, the operators of the Uganda-Kenya railway network posted an 8.6 per cent and 8.5 per cent increase in freight business in Kenya and Uganda respectively, compared to the same period last year.

“Uganda has recorded a 4.3 per cent increase in net-tonne kilometres in the quarter under review,” a statement from the company reads in part. “The transported tonnage recorded in Kenya increased by 12 per cent to 394,375 tonnes, up from 366,788 tonnes while the net-tonne kilometres, increased by 8.6 per cent.”

Mr Brown Ondego, RVR chief executive officer, attributed the positive results to growth in import volumes coupled with improved operational performance and safe cargo handling.

He said: “We are currently operating in a very fickle economy with first time double digit inflation rates and a lukewarm economic growth rate.” “The transport index rose by 4.29 per cent in June, mainly due to increased cost of petrol and diesel pushing up freight charges.”

Recently, the African Development Bank approved a $40 million loan to RVR to support the rehabilitation of the railway. “The improved fourth quarter performance comes at a very strategic time when RVR is preparing to sign the capital financing deal with leading Development Financing Institutions,” Mr Ondego said.

Norway boosts rural electrification with $20m
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By Martin Luther Oketch (email the author)

Posted Monday, August 1 2011 at 00:00
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The Norwegian government has given Uganda a $20 million (Shs52 billion) grant to assist in the promotion of the country’s rural electrification that currently stands below 1 per cent.

The government is targeting to achieve a 10 per cent rural connection by at least 2020. Norway is one of Uganda’s crucial development partners in the areas of energy, oil and gas industry sector.

Speaking in Kampala last week, Mr Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, said: “The agreement seeks to support three rural electrification projects, worth $20 million.”

These projects are estimated to connect about 15,000 households, which is likely to transform lives of over 100,000 peoples. Mr Gaustadsaether, whereas electrifying rural areas is expensive, there is need to extend power to such areas to boost economic transformation and stimulate growth in terms of value addition.

Uganda expects to have more power supply with the commissioning of the Bujagali Power station at the end of this year. However, new power stations including Karuma, need to be worked on so as the country can have sufficient power supply.

Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the deputy secretary to the Treasury said: “The Norwegian government has commitment to support Uganda’s growth through budget support and other related projects.”

Insufficient energy supply has continued to affect Uganda’s economic development as the energy deficits cuts the country’s economic growth by 2 per cent per annum.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 09:36 PM   #869
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Kenya-Uganda Railway Receives $164M Capital Boost

RVR

The operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway received a $164 million long term loan financing on Tuesday from six international financiers in a potential boost to hopes high transport costs and delays in the region might finally be tackled.

The investment, which is one of the largest in east Africa rail, is aimed at refurbishing the track, buying new wagons and locomotives and replacing information technology systems.

The six financiers in the project include International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW of Germany and Equity Bank — Kenya’s biggest bank in customer terms, a statement from IFC said.

Rehabilitation of the rail network between Kenya and Uganda is viewed as critical to expanding trade across the east African region and is estimated it could reduce transport costs by up to a third.

“An efficient rail network has the capacity to reduce East African transport costs by as much as a third due to the operational and fuel efficiency of rail shipment,” IFC in a press statement.

More than 90 percent of the cargo arriving in Kenya Mombasa port that is destined for Uganda, south Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi is transported by dilapidated roads, leading to delays.

Egypt based investment firm Citadel Capital, that has a 51 percent holding in the Kenya-Uganda rail operator Rift Valley Railways Ltd (RVR), said in February that it was to raise $287 million for a five-year upgrading project.
Karim Sadek, Citadel’s managing director, said an additional $80 million will be raised from shareholders and the rest from internally generated funds.
Other shareholder in RVR include Kenyan based infrastructure investment company TransCentury with a 34 percent stake and Bomi Holdings of Uganda with 15 percent.

“This financing package is the backbone for an ambitious five-year rehabilitation program that will see Rift Valley Railways International make a quantum leap in operating standards,” said Sadek in the statement.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 11:11 PM   #870
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Makerere admits 20,000 students
Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011
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By Francis Kagolo

MAKERERE University has released the list of students admitted under the private sponsorship programme.

The list shows that the university has this year admitted over 20,000 students on the private scheme in addition to the 2,000 who are sponsored by the Government.

Three quarters of the students have been admitted through the direct entry scheme for A’level leavers, while 1,329 are diploma holders.

Of those admitted, about 1,500 students have been posted to the business school (MUBS) in Nakawa, while upcountry campuses in Jinja and Fort-Portal have taken about 1,000 students each.

Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering were the most competitive courses, with cut-off points of 42.2 and 44.1, respectively.

Only 22 students were admitted for medicine and 34 for mechanical engineering.

Other courses with high cut-off marks included surveying and geomatics, nursing and electrical engineering.

Releasing the list yesterday, Charles Ssentongo, the university admissions boss, advised students to pick admission letters starting on August 8, from their respective colleges and schools.

First-year students are to report on August 13 for the orientation week, while lectures will kick off on August 22.
Ssentongo urged the students to register within the first three weeks in order to become bona fide students.

“Registration is a mandatory requirement of the university and will commence on August 17,” he said.

Students ought to submit admission letters, academic and birth certificates and seven copies of passport-size photographs in order to register.

Other requirements include an identity card of one’s previous school and copies of receipts of the university’s functional fees.

The university Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, allayed fears of students posted to MUBS, saying they would undertake Makerere’s courses even when MUBS becomes an independent university.

Makerere designs low-cost helmet
Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011
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Ntege Gonzaga, one of the designers of the helmet, addressing journalists
By FRANCIS KAGOLO


MAKERERE University has developed a new brand of low-cost helmets for boda-boda cyclists.

The move is aimed at curbing deaths arising from motorcycle accidents.
Named “B Pro”, the helmets were designed by a group of lecturers and students at the college of technology and engineering under a research initiative funded by President Yoweri Museveni.

Dr. Bernard Buhwezi, the project lead researcher, said the helmets were made out of fiber glass, which is imported from South Africa.

Addressing journalists at the university yesterday, Buhwezi said the fiber was durable enough for the helmets to last over five years if handled well.

The helmets’ internal components, including style foam and sponge cushions, were imported from China.

The researchers measured sizes of heads of over 100 boda-boda riders in Kampala to get the average sizes for the helmets.

Buhwezi said the helmets would be on sale at Makerere at sh20,000 each starting next month. Most durable imported helmets cost about sh35,000 each.

“The “B Pro” helmet has been designed to fit the east African climate, and fit within the local production capabilities,” said Buhwezi.

He said the commercial production and testing of the helmet would commence on September 1.

Makerere’s invention comes at a time when the country is grappling with the increasing number of boda boda accidents.

Statistics from the Police indicate that an average of 10 people perish daily in road accidents in Uganda.

Former road safety Police commissioner Steven Kasiima said over 40,000 riders in Kampala were responsible for about 50% of the road accidents in the city last year.
It is estimated that about 70% of fatal accidents in the country are caused by motorcyclists.

Rugunda woos ICT investors
Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011
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By Brian Mayanja

Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the ICT minister, has urged Ugandans to invest in the sector, because information has become one of the new factors of production in the modern knowledge economy.

He said the use of ICT has changed business and governance practices. “It has become an entity in all aspects of life. ICT sector in Uganda has also continued to experience significant growth in terms of GDP, investment, employment and tax revenue,” Rugunda said last week.

This was during the launch of Learnit Institute of Business and Technology at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala. The UK-based institute offers diploma programmes in international business and international computer studies. It operates in 50 countries.

In a speech read by Dr. David Turahi, a director at the ICT ministry, Rugunda said the Government was committed to developing the sector by putting in place appropriate infrastructure, institutions, laws and policies to boost it.

He pointed out that there were a number factors impeding the wholesale uptake of ICT in all sectors.

“Lack of enough funds to support the purchase of technology equipment, recruiting more teachers who can adopt ICT as teaching tools and employees are not motivated,” he added.

Dr. Emurwon Olupot, an official National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), advised Learnit Institute management to recruit Ugandan teachers. He also urged them to focus on producing quality graduates, who will be able to compete in the job market.

Harish Bhatt, the managing director of Learnit Institute, said they started training 100 Police officers in ICT programmes.


Kawempe-Kafu road works to cost sh90b
Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011
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Workers laying an asphalt surface on the Kawempe-Kafu highway at Katuugo near Nakasongola. The asphalt overlay is expected to help strengthen the newly-reconstructed road, given the ever increasing traffic on the highway. Kampala-Gulu highway is the main gateway to northern Uganda, eastern DR Congo and South Sudan. The sh90b works, being implemented by Energo Projekt, a Serbia firm, are expected to end next year
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 02:20 PM   #871
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Office Exodus: Offices Being Pushed To Kampala Suburbs
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Social and economic factors pushing business offices to Kampala suburbs.

By Gideon Munaabi and Risdel Kasasira
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First published: January 4, 2006



As Kampala City grows tall and buildings like Workers House, Crested Towers, Communications House, Crane Chambers, IPS Building (Jubilee Insurance Center) give the city magnificent and fascinating places to do business in, many people/organizations are increasingly turning their eyes to the city suburbs. This trend is leaving a lot of office space in the city center.
According to a research conducted by Bageine and Company (an estates management firm) in 2001, over 250,000 square meters of office space in the buildings located in the city center was found to be unoccupied even at that time.

Sabiti Bageine, the firms Marketing Manager estimates that by the end of 2005, there could be around 300,000 square meters unoccupied. This means that the space is enough to accommodate over 10,000 offices of about 25 Sq meters each.

This beats the once strongly held belief by many people that the city center or the Central Business District is better suited for business, including housing offices, due to its easy accessibility to suppliers and users of goods and services, among other reasons.

Today, City suburbs like Ntinda, Kamwokya, Muyenga and Kololo have become the home of offices for many organizations and businesses, some of which (as our survey found out) are occupying the newly built or renovated residential-like premises for offices or sharing rent with other organizations.

As all this is happening, property moguls like Mukwano have chosen to invest their money in constructing shopping malls instead of building sky kissing towers to accommodate offices for the ever increasing business community. Instead his buildings are designed as shopping malls (he put two in 2005).

Related to this, some investors in the building industry are only reserving the top floors of their storied buildings for offices while the first floors are occupied by the growing boutique and other shop businesses.

For example in well known buildings that have office space like Kirumira Towers and Kizito Towers, one has to negotiate through the shopping malls to get to his or her office on the higher floors. This is not desirable to some business people intending to set up offices as directing clients to such offices is difficult.

Some down town streets like Nasser road and Nkrumah road, which would provide an alternative, have been painted with ugly pictures of criminal acts particularly forgery.

When you tell some people that your office is located on Nkrumah road, they have to think twice before giving you business. People think you may be involved in forgery, says Moses, a business consultant running his office on Kanjokya Street in Kamwokya.

Other business people with offices in the City center say that they are in the center because most of their clients are in the city but are quick to add that the environment in the Central Business District is not conducive for their business. Some say that in addition to being expensive, the city center lacks enough parking spaces and has a lot of noise. Property consultants Ultimate Media talked to agree.

For example, the rent for the office space in Class A and B buildings is between $10 (Sh. 20, 000) and $18 (Sh. 36, 000) per square meter per month within the city center, says an official from Knight Frank international Property Company, who did not want her name published.

Class A buildings include Workers House, Crested Towers, Communications House while class B buildings include Udyam House, Crusader House, Jumbo Plaza and Dewinton Road Offices, Crown Office, Commercial Plaza, Conrad Plaza among others.

Consequently, a tenant would be required to pay between $250 (Sh. 500, 000) and $450 (Sh. 900,000) per month for a space of 25 square Meter to have an office in these Class A and Class B buildings.

Getting office space at a place like Hotel Equatorial of about 4 square meters could cost you around $400 (about 800,000) per month, says Bernard Bigombe, the Marketing Manager, Jomayi Property Consultants.

Such prices may be too high for an average Ugandan intending to start or run a profitable business, when compared to the office space in buildings located in the City Suburbs where one can pay between $100 (Sh. 200,000) and $200 (Sh. 400,000) for the same size of space.

This may look small as compared to what is paid in the city center but landlords in the suburbs are turning their otherwise residential premises into rent able office space to meet the increasing demand and reap from the new exodus. Bigger houses have fallen suit.

For example the office space that includes a sitting room, dinning room and two (bed) rooms in Bugolobi, Muyenga, Mbuya or Naguru is between 1.1 and 1.3 million shillings per month (between $550 and $650), says Bigombe.

He says that the same house could be got at $250 (Sh. 500,000) in Ntinda, Mengo, Rubaga, Kibuli and Kamwokya when you want to use it as a residential house. He however says people end up turning them into offices.

Also, some landlords and property managers who prefer to charge the rent in US dollars worsen the high rates in the City. Just recently, traders were protesting the paying of rent in Dollars, saying it was making their businesses dwindle. But the Property managers say that it is a trend worldwide to charge in an international and stable currency and is not easy to change.

Worldwide, people like paying and being paid in stable and international currencies like the US dollar. The Uganda shilling keeps fluctuating. Expatriates and other foreigners also like paying in dollars because some of them operate dollar currency accounts, said the Knight Frank official.

She also says that although most of the offices in the City center are expensive and lack parking space, they do not require you to hire security and cleaning services. In the City center there is more security than that of offices in Kololo, Nakasero, Muyenga, Kamokya and Ntinda where a tenant needs to hire a guard and a cleaner, she says, adding that a landlord will in most cases provide the two services in the city center.

But what really should guide one in choosing whether to be in the city or suburbs?

The Choice is made by different individuals and depending on their clientele, she adds. Property experts also say that whether many organizations are relocating their offices to the suburbs, the issue of closeness or access to the City center remains the desire for many.

Offices in Kamyokya and Ntinda are on high demand because of their proximity to the City center. They are also big enough and the tenant pays less or the same amount they would have spent renting in the city center. This explains why many NGOs have their offices in these areas to benefit from the social-economic advantages of big space, less noise and closeness to the center, says Bigombe.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 02:29 PM   #872
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Cineplex Cinema Launches at Nakumatt Oasis Mall

by ak on 15-July-2011

Movie goers will be thrilled with the movie options that they will now have on a single weekend as Cineplex expands to the HUB at the Nakumatt Oasis Mall. Launching today Friday 15 July with the Monster hit movies Harry Porter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Green Lantern and Fast Five, Cineplex adds on an additional three screens


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to its movie experience. Movie lovers such as myself have always wanted a broader selection of movies i can choose from and with Cine: 5, 6 and 7 opening there doors at Oasis this weekend, a more customised movie experience is now possible.

Seven titles being shown at the same time, including at the Garden City Complex which is carrying titles such as the hit movie Transformers, Jumping the Broom, KungFu Panda2 and The Hangover 2 choice does not come any better.

And with the growing number of movie goers steadily rising, it will not be a surprise if more screens were added in the not to so distant future again highlighting the growing local entertainment industry. See you at the Movies
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 09:51 PM   #873
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Uganda's first white politician speaks out
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
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Dr. Ian Clarke the Makindye Municipality mayor. AFP Photo.
It was Uganda's ubiquitous potholes that first made Ian Clarke want to stand to become the country's first ever elected white politician.

Now, after winning a landslide victory to become the mayor of one of the capital city's five sprawling districts, they are the first thing that the Irish doctor is planning to fix.

"The potholes are a metaphor for Uganda and for the state of Kampala," Clarke told AFP, pointing at a group of labourers that had started work filling in one of the city’s rutted roads. AFP

"If we can demonstrate that we can overcome the potholes and keep our streets clean then we can show that things can change," he added.

He may not speak Kampala’s predominant language -- Luganda -- but that does not mean that Clarke, 58, is not at home in the capital of the East African nation.

Originally from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, Clarke first arrived in Uganda over two decades ago in the wake of the country’s brutal civil war.

Since then the wiry Irish physician has founded Uganda’s leading private hospital and started writing a weekly column for the New Vision.

He is also in the process of gaining Ugandan citizenship and has been given a local name, Busuulwa.

Just over two months after starting his new job Clarke admits that while winning the election might have been difficult, negotiating the bureaucratic minefield of Kampala’s political system is proving equally tough.

"The election wasn’t easy, in that it was long and there were a lot of campaigns and rallies -- and there was the language problem," Clarke said.

"This now is frustrating -- but every little bit is at least something that wasn’t done before," he added.

As Clarke makes his way through the Kampala's Namuwongo slum area to inspect a new latrine that is being built, some of the roughly 400,000 residents that he represents are clearly pleased with the progress that is already being made.

"Everything is good and things are changing -- the doctor is changing everything," said Andrew Muyonji, a local community worker.

"The sanitation, the roads...they have started to improve," Muyonji added.

But while those he represents might welcome the change after years of neglect, Clarke says that his no-nonsense approach has already begun to rock the boat among the capital’s political establishment.

During the election campaign some of his opponents said that seeing a white man running for power was a bitter reminder of Uganda’s colonial past.

Now that he is in power there are suggestions that his skin colour has seen him get special treatment from the central Government.

For now, his counterparts around the city put any disagreements down to Clarke’s inexperience, and say that he still has a lot to learn about how politics functions in Uganda.

"The rest of us we are seasoned politicians, and we know how things are supposed to operate here," said Benjamin Kalumba, the mayor of one of Kampala’s other districts.

Clarke has high ambitions. While he is starting with fixing potholes, clearing the streets of garbage and unblocking the drains, he says he hopes in future to make Ugandan politics more accountable.

"I’ve been in office for a short while and there has already been a measurable difference in terms of the physical changes," he said.

"So over five years, we definitely have to see that there is a cultural change as well," he added.

But a more immediate problem will be managing expectations of the people who voted him in.

As Clarke wanders past the ramshackle shacks and piles of garbage, a passerby stops to express gratitude for the work being done.

"Thank you so much for the good work in filling in the potholes," the man said to the smiling Clarke.

"Now all we need is for you to set up the streetlights and keep them working," the man shouted over his shoulder.



Uganda's first white politician plans progress

Ian Clarke (R), mayor of Makindye, one of the five districts of Kampala, is pictured as he visits the site of a road improvement project near Namuwongo market in the Ugandan capital. It was Uganda's ubiquitous potholes that first made Clarke want to stand to become the country's first ever elected white politician.


Ian Clarke (C), mayor of Makindye, one of the five districts of Kampala, seen here making his way to visit the public hospital in Namuwongo, a neighbourhood in the Ugandan capital. It was Uganda's ubiquitous potholes that first made Clarke want to stand to become the country's first ever elected white politician.


Ian Clarke (R), mayor of Makindye, one of the five districts of Kampala, is pictured overseeing a road improvement project near Namuwongo market in the Ugandan capital. It was Uganda's ubiquitous potholes that first made Clarke want to stand to become the country's first ever elected white politician.
AFP - It was Uganda's ubiquitous potholes that first made Ian Clarke want to stand to become the country's first ever elected white politician.


Now, after winning a landslide victory to become the mayor of one of the capital city's five sprawling districts, they are the first thing that the Irish doctor is planning to fix.

"The potholes are a metaphor for Uganda and for the state of Kampala," Clarke told AFP, pointing at a group of labourers that had started work filling in one of the city?s rutted roads.

"If we can demonstrate that we can overcome the potholes and keep our streets clean then we can show that things can change," he added.

He may not speak Kampala?s predominant language -- Luganda -- but that does not mean that Clarke, 58, is not at home in the capital of the East African nation.

Originally from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, Clarke first arrived in Uganda over two decades ago in the wake of the country?s brutal civil war.

Since then the wiry Irish physician has founded Uganda?s leading private hospital and started writing a weekly column for a national newspaper.

He is also in the process of gaining Ugandan citizenship and has been given a local name, Busuulwa.

Just over two months after starting his new job Clarke admits that while winning the election might have been difficult, negotiating the bureaucratic minefield of Kampala?s political system is proving equally tough.

"The election wasn?t easy, in that it was long and there were a lot of campaigns and rallies -- and there was the language problem," Clarke said.

"This now is frustrating -- but every little bit is at least something that wasn?t done before," he added.

As Clarke makes his way through the Kampala's Namuwongo slum area to inspect a new latrine that is being built, some of the roughly 400,000 residents that he represents are clearly pleased with the progress that is already being made.

"Everything is good and things are changing -- the doctor is changing everything," said Andrew Muyonji, a local community worker.

"The sanitation, the roads...they have started to improve," Muyonji added.

But while those he represents might welcome the change after years of neglect, Clarke says that his no-nonsense approach has already begun to rock the boat among the capital?s political establishment.

During the election campaign some of his opponents said that seeing a white man running for power was a bitter reminder of Uganda?s colonial past.

Now that he is in power there are suggestions that his skin colour has seen him get special treatment from the central government.

For now, his counterparts around the city put any disagreements down to Clarke?s inexperience, and say that he still has a lot to learn about how politics functions in Uganda.

"The rest of us we are seasoned politicians, and we know how things are supposed to operate here," said Benjamin Kalumba, the mayor of one of Kampala?s other districts.

Clarke has high ambitions. While he is starting with fixing potholes, clearing the streets of garbage and unblocking the drains, he says he hopes in future to make Ugandan politics more accountable.

"I?ve been in office for a short while and there has already been a measurable difference in terms of the physical changes," he said.

"So over five years, we definitely have to see that there is a cultural change as well," he added.

But a more immediate problem will be managing expectations of the people who voted him in.

As Clarke wanders past the ramshackle shacks and piles of garbage, a passerby stops to express gratitude for the work being done.

"Thank you so much for the good work in filling in the potholes," the man said to the smiling Clarke.

"Now all we need is for you to set up the streetlights and keep them working," the man shouted over his shoulder.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:17 PM   #874
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MTN pays Shs 7.8bn
FRIDAY, 29 JULY 2011 12:16 BY JULIUS BUSINGE

MTN pays Shs 7.8bn

MTN Uganda has paid 1% of its 2010 revenue (Shs 7.83 billion) to the Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF) as required by the Communications Act (1997). “The commission [uses the fund to] leverage investment in technologies in rural areas where they are socially desirable but not economically viable,” said UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi while receiving the payment on July 19.



“A large part of our communities in Africa are in rural areas and it is important that they are not left out of this crucial aspect of development,” said MTN Chief Executive Officer, Themba M. Khumalo. The scheme has been used to acquire ICT laboratories for over 500 government-aided secondary schools.

Thai seek Uganda partners

Thai investors are seeking local business partners in a broad range of sectors including palm tree planting (to produce palm oil and bio-diesel), information technology, beverages, construction and real estate, cosmetics, restaurants, spas, tours and travel, among others.

“The bi-lateral relationship will foster the setting up of a Thai-Uganda Business council to provide leadership,” said Thabit Saleh, director Uganda Gas and Merchandise Company Ltd, who led the delegation of 13 business people, at a meeting at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) on July 21.

This is a good opportunity for Ugandan business to exploit our natural resources, said Luzze Andrew Kaggwa, UMA’s manager of policy research.

A matching session for interested partners was planned on July 26 at Serena Hotel.

Rwenzori waters school sports

Rwenzori Bottling Company Limited, Uganda‘s leading water producer, will provide drinking water at school sporting events, following a promotion recently launched at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK).

“Rwenzori Bottling Company is donating 100 cartons of Rwenzori Water to support sports activities at SMACK,” Managing Director Kirowi Suma said. SMACK is the fourth school to benefit from Rwenzori’s initiative, following Uganda Martyrs’ S.S. Namugongo, Gayaza High school, Namilyango College and Kings College Budo.

Rwenzori is a sister company of Nile Breweries Limited (NBL), both subsidiaries of SABMiller plc, the second largest beverage in the world.

Nile Breweries Limited early this year, entered a partnership with the 10 top performing schools in Uganda - including St. Mary’s College Kisubi - to sponsor academically gifted but poor students from rural areas.

NDA gets new boss

National Drug Authority has appointed a new Executive Secretary/ Registrar, Gordon Sematiko, who was confirmed on July 14 at the head office in Kampala.

Sematiko replaces Apollo Muhairwe who leaves the authority at the end of his contract, according to Fredrick Ssekyana, the Public Relations Officer.

Sematiko brings 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, local and international, having worked as a pharmacist, administrator and international consultant.

He holds a Masters degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Russia), Masters in Business Administration, post graduate training in Health Management, Supervisory Management, Management of Drug Dependence, Health Services Management and Administration, Pharmaceutical Technology (Belgium), and Hospital Pharmacy Management (Japan).

RVR starts turn-around

Rift Valley Railways Investments (RVRI) has reported US$ 674,000 in EBITDA for the month of June 2011, even as the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a loan for the company’s rehabilitation. This is the first time RVRI recorded a positive EBITDA since Citadel Capital purchased a stake in the company in December 2009.

RVRI CEO, Brown Ondego, attributed the positive earnings to dedication of his team and the support of shareholders. “This is a significant start to RVRI’s turnaround process” Ondego said.

AfDB last week approved a US$ 40 million loan, part of a bigger debt package to support rehabilitation of Rift Valley Railways, which has been declared a top development priority for both Uganda and Kenya.

Ondego said over the last two quarters, RVRI had witnessed significant improvements in efficiency.

Following a shareholder restructuring in mid-2010, Citadel currently owns 51% of RVRI via its Platform Company in the Africa railways sector, Africa Railways.

RVRI has a 25-year concession to operate a century-old rail line with some 2,352 kilometers of track
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RVR gets sh434b to repair railway
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
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Nairobi-IFC, a member of the World Bank, and six leading international finance institutions have extended $164m (about sh434b) to Rift Valley Railways (RVR) to rehabilitate the Kenya-Uganda railway.

The railway line is a vital transport network for East Africa, whose rehabilitation will encourage cross-border trade and investment.

The package backs a $287m capital expenditure programme to improve the operating company’s infrastructure and rolling stock.

IFC is the largest financier to Rift Valley Railways, providing $42m (about sh111.3b). This involves a $32m loan, of which $10m is already disbursed, and an additional $10m in equity to be committed.

RVR is a portfolio company of Citadel Capital, an Egyptian private equity firm.

Other shareholders are TransCentury and Bomi, which are Kenyan and Ugandan companies, respectively.

The Kenya-Uganda railway line has a track length of 2,350 kilometres. It uses 219 locomotives and 7,500 railroad cars.

“This financing package is the backbone for an ambitious five-year rehabilitation programme that will see us make a huge leap in operating standards as we address safety issues and complete maintenance to improve reliability and hauling capacity of the line. We will also be able to enhance service to passengers and capture long-term gains through investments in information technology,” said Karim Sadek, the Citadel Capital managing director.

IFC has played a critical role in encouraging private investment in the Kenya-Uganda railway since the inception of the project in 2005.

Following the departure of the project’s initial sponsor, IFC led the restructuring of the shareholder group that resulted in the entry of new sponsors and investors.

“The rehabilitation programme has already delivered impressive results,” said Brown Ondego, the RVR group chief executive officer.

“Net tonne kilometres rose by 9% in the first-half of 2011, compared with the same period last year. Turn-around times - a key measure of asset utilisation - on the strategic Mombasa-Kampala route dropped 27% in the same period. We have also seen a 30% drop in accidents per train kilometre.”

Other institutions funding the project include: the African Development Bank, $40, Germany’s KfW Bankengruppe, $32m, Dutch Development Bank FMO, $20m, Kenya’s Equity Bank, $20m, Cordiant’s Infrastructure Crisis Fund, $20m and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, $10m.

The balance of the funding for the $287m capital expenditure programme is being contributed by shareholders and generated through operations.

“IFC has dedicated significant resources to encourage the turn-around of the Kenya-Uganda rail project,” said Jean Philippe Prosper, the IFC director for East Africa.

“We are committed to the success of this railway as part of a broader effort to encourage private investment in infrastructure that promotes regional integration and social and economic development in Kenya, Uganda and the surrounding region.”

Transport prices in East Africa are among the highest in the world, largely due to heavy reliance on trucking.

A lack of operating capacity has resulted in rail capturing less than 10% of East Africa’s transport market.
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94.8 Xfm to be launched today
Friday, 5th August, 2011
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By Joseph Kizza

VISION Group will launch another thrilling radio station, 94.8 Xfm this evening at Garden City’s Roof Top in Kampala.

Just a week on the airwaves and Uganda’s newest radio station Xfm, has rippled its presence across the vastly competitive Kampala radio market. Trendy and sassy music, coupled with a host of celebrated on-air personalities, clearly define this vibrant entrant.

The station airs a cocktail of the hottest local and international R&B, dance, Afro-pop, rock and Hip-Hop to suit the needs of today’s ever-dynamic youth.

Vision Group’s head of radio, Bill Tibingana says Xfm is an entertainment station broadcasting in and around Kampala.

Contrary to what has been mistakably perceived as a revamp of Vision Voice, Xfm is a whole new existence with a different kind of programming and content tailored to match with the 18 to 28 year-old English-speaking youth.

Considering the demographics of today’s Uganda and Kampala in particular, where the youth are increasingly becoming more influential than in the past, the decision by Vision Group’s management to target a younger audience with Xfm is spot-on.

The station also delivers fun, intelligent and relevant content guaranteeing the listener irresistible fun and entertainment 24/7, a potential forum for advertisers to tap the massive young market.

On top of music, Xfm delivers a package-full of reliable and precise news bulletins every hour, covering politics, health, entertainment and health.¬¬¬

There are also innovative on-air games and giveaways including a chance to win one million Uganda Shillings every morning, another to win a house-party every week, quiz games, contests and request shows.

For the start, the radio’s signal is covering a 90-120km radius around Kampala, reaching Wakiso, Entebbe, Mukono, Luweero, Mpigi, parts of Mubende, Jinja and Kiboga. The reach is expected to expand with time.

On-air hosts include celebrated personalities like Bush Baby, Ryan Seacrest, Siima, Rudende, Yvonne Koreta, K.K., Keko Town and Sophie Aniku.


Museveni to address nation
Friday, 5th August, 2011
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By Joseph Kizza

Vision Group’s Bukedde TV and Bukedde FM will today host President Museveni for a nation address at 5pm.

Museveni’s highly-anticipated speech comes at a time of a speculative economic atmosphere in the country.

Among the issues Museveni is expected to address include inflated prices of commodities, political disparities within Kampala and the depreciation of the Ugandan shilling.

Currently, Uganda’s inflation rate is at the 18% mark, and has sparked off an air of controversy among the different stakeholders.

The cost of living for Ugandans is very high with ever-soaring prices of fuel, sugar, basic commodities and food stuffs.

Many businesses have also been affected due to increased load-shedding of electricity. Proprietors of the affected enterprises have had to proportionately inflate their product prices so as to manage the high costs.

More specifically, the prices of sugar in the different parts of the country have exploded in the last one month.

With a more than a 100% increase in the price of sugar, the Cabinet recently resolved to scrap taxes on sugar imports so as to deal with the current sugar crisis.

Just a week ago, a section of the business community in Kampala lost property worth billions of shillings in a fire that consumed the Owino Parkyard market leaving many with nothing.

From the president’s address, the affected traders expect to hear what the government has in stock for them even with the one billion shilling it has already granted them.


Airtel group registers 38 per cent growth
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By Nicholas Kalungi (email the author)

Posted Friday, August 5 2011 at 00:00
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Airtel International has registered a 38.6 per cent growth in revenue for the first quarter ended June 30. In a press statement released on Wednesday, the telecommunications firm’s said its revenue increased from $2.62 billion to $3.79 billion as of June 30, 2011. “The above figures represent total revenue generated from 19 countries from Africa and Asia where the telecom has operations,” read the statement in part.

Africa’s contribution
Africa’s total revenue increased by 6 per cent with the continent generating $979 million as of June 30, 2011 compared with $924 million in June last year. However, net profits dropped by 28 per cent in the period under review, registering $272 million down from $361 million.

The drop in net revenue is attributed to increased tax charges and the many investments undertaken by the telecom firm in India and Africa. Mr Sunil Mittal, the Airtel international chairman and managing director, said the firm is hopeful that the good start to the fiscal year will be maintained.


Prau Nite launch set for tonight
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By Monitor Reporter (email the author)

Posted Friday, August 5 2011 at 00:00
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The public Relations Association of Uganda will today launch the PRAU NITE, a forum that will nurture professional, excellent quality and ethical practice of public relations in Uganda.

The President of the Public Relations Association of Uganda, Ms Goretti Masadde said the forum will give public relations practitioners an avenue for networking and enable practicing communicators and PR personnel to continuously acquire knowledge.

The forum is also expected to create an entertainment platform where high profile individuals develop into various topical issues, themes and debates with the ultimate aim of informing the audience, create a strong PR fraternity and fostering professional growth.

“The forum will be one of the avenues in which members get continuous professional development points to enable them progress through their membership accreditation to the Accredited Public Relations Practitioner,” Ms Masadde said.

Monitor Publications Managing Director, Dr Gitahi Githinji, will be the Guest Speaker at the inaugural PRAU NITE.
He will among others tackle issues of increasing PR relevance in an increasingly scientific and rapidly changing business environment.

Monitor launches interactive forum
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Ms Charity Byarugaba, the MPL Newspaper in Education manager, and Mr Strickland, display a dummy ticket during the launch of the forum in Kampala on Thursday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE.

By Nicolas Kostov (email the author)

Posted Friday, August 5 2011 at 00:00
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Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) will on November 16, hold the inaugural Thought Leaders Forum, with a focus on cropping leading business and corporate brains to share experiences and skills with decision makers.

While launching the forum in Kampala yesterday, Dr Gitahi Githinji, the MPL managing director, said the initiative will provide an added dimension to move from simply giving news to creating a forum for knowledge exchange.
The first speaker to address the forum will be Mr Don Strickland who has been a top executive at Apple and Kodac as well as chief executive officer at PictureWorks and IPIX.

Mr Strickland has built businesses internationally for both large public firms and private startups. He has a reputation for combining new technologies and business models to enhance company value. During the launch, the management guru will address senior and middle level executives on issues of business management and operational approaches.

Each session, as determined by the organisers, will be priced at Shs350,000 and Shs1 million for individual and group respectively. Brussels Airlines is partly sponsoring the event, through the provision of a first class return ticket from London for Mr Strickman worth $5,000, the guest speaker.
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Rail investors pledge efficiency
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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Kiwanuka and Amos Kimunya, the Kenya transporter minister, seal the mega railway deal last week
By Ibrahim Kasita


THE securing of $164m (about sh440b) to revamp the aging Uganda-Kenya railway line underscores investors’ confidence in the East African Community and opens the doors wide for increased trade.

Last week, a consortium of lenders agreed to grant the money, which will be used to repair 1,000 locomotives, 3,500 wagons and the rail track in efforts to make rail the most preferred mode of transport for heavy cargo.

The Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the investor, has the mandate to operate the railway services on the 2,000km rail network, linking Uganda to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa in Kenya.

“Overall, this will reduce the freight costs of Ugandan exports and imports. It will in turn reduce the cost of doing business,” Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, explained.

“Transport and logistics underpin the ability of our business communities to trade and do business efficiently and competitively locally, regionally and internationally.”

Indeed, the cost of doing business in East Africa remains the highest, with the transport and logistics expenditure eating up the largest chunk of operational costs, according to a recent report by TradeMark East Africa, an agency, which promotes trade in the region.

“As much as 75% of the value of exports can be in transport costs,” states the report.

This is higher than in the EU bloc or the US.

Poor roads, unreliable railway transport, different axle road measurements and myriads of unnecessary roadblocks, manned by corrupt police officers, all add up to the burden on transporters.

Out of the five East African member states, it is only Kenya and Tanzania that have direct access to the sea through Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mombasa and Malindi harbours, while the rest –Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are landlocked.

Studies indicate that transport to Uganda from Kenya sometimes costs $0.13 (about sh350) per tonne/km due to in large part the heavy reliance on trucking.

Brown Ondego, the RVR chief executive officer, explained that moving goods and people by rail will free up the congested roads, offer more cost-effective transport solutions, protect the environment and save hundreds of millions in shillings in repairing roads eroded by overloaded trucks.

The East African region has attracted increased investor interest with the optimism linked to the tapping of multi-billion oil projects in Uganda and the new nation, South Sudan and the formation of the East Africa common market.

RVR intends to invest in the building of a new railway line between Uganda and South Sudan in a bid to capture the expected huge flow of goods between Africa’s newest state and the East Africa region.

The new investment is being discussed by the two governments of Uganda and Kenya, but Egypt’s Citadel Capital—which has a 51% stake in RVR— said it would consider financing the project as an alternative corridor tapping opportunities in Sudan.

“We may consider financing the construction of a new railway between Tororo and Juba to open up South Sudan to the rest of the region,” Ahmed Heikal, the Citadel Capital chairman said.

South Sudan, which broke away from Khartoum, has stated its intentions to find new trade routes for its oil as well as goods and services to cut its reliance on northern facilities as a gateway to international markets.

“It would be more viable to build a shorter railway that would be operational in a few years and spur trade in the region than go for an extensive one that requires many years to complete,” Heikal said.

The planned rail line from Tororo in eastern Uganda to Juba—the capital of South Sudan—is estimated at almost half the distance of the 1,200-kilometre Lamu-Sudan line.

An efficient rail network could, in time, bring East African transport costs down by as much as 35% due to the operational and fuel efficiency of shipping by rail.




National Insurance 2010 profits decline
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By David Mugabe

NATIONAL Insurance Corporation (NIC) finally released its full 2010 year results indicating a decline in profits from sh3.3b in 2009 to sh2.02b, the previous year.

The accounts were audited by Deloitte & Touché.

The insurer, which has suffered negative reports for failure to release the results in time as well as its disputes with the Makerere University staff over pension funds, also registered a drop in earnings per share from sh8 to sh5. Net premium earnings also fell from sh10.9b to sh8.2b.

Total equities and liabilities increased to sh73.3b from sh66.5b, while investment incomes also lowered to sh13.4b from sh14.2b in 2010.

In its September 28 annual general meeting notice, NIC has put forward a proposal to raise additional capital either through the secondary market or “as directors may deem fit.”

NIC is owned by Nigeria’s Industrial and General Insurance. No dividend was also declared

The board of the Uganda Securities Exchange was last week scheduled to meet to consider the reinstatement of NIC to trade on the stock exchange after the insurer was suspended for failure to publish audited year end results.


Ugandans acquire full rights of Smart TV
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By Prossy Nandudu

DIGITAL Broadcasting Uganda, a local company, has bought Smart TV, an officials announced.

Smart TV chief executive officer Martin Abuya last week said Ugandans will now be fully in charge of the company.

“This is good for Ugandan producers because we now have enough space for local content,” Abuya said.

He pointed out that the former joint venture between Next Generation Broadcasting and Digital Broadcasting Uganda will continue operating as Smart TV Uganda.

“To effect the changes, we have already commissioned two transmitters. Our signal can now be accessed within a radius of over 80km,” Abuya said.

Abuya said the $2m transmitters are aimed at improving the quality of pictures, carry more channels, as well as increase the TV’s out reach.

He said Smart TV would continue providing affordable and relevant digital pay television services to all its subscribers.

“The good times for the industry are coming and Smart TV is happy to lead the way,” Abuya said.



Insurers tip on Owino Market
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By Vision Reporter

THE future redevelopment of the burnt St. Balikuddembe Parkyard Market should not be rushed, the Uganda Insurers Association (UIA), advised last week.

Miriam Magala, the UIA chief, said rushed redevelopment of the market risked a repeat of mistakes of the past.

UIA is the insurers’ umbrella body. Magala instead suggested that the redevelopment be done in a planned manner, reflecting the lessons learnt from the past and the urgent need for business continuity.

“We wish to extend our sincere sympathies to the traders over their loss.

However, we also take this opportunity to urge all the stakeholders to ensure that future development and all other public premises, be made in strict observation of fire safety and all occupation standards,” Magala said in a statement.



URA owes NSSF sh13b
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By Mary Karugaba
and Siki Kigongo

UGANDA Revenue Authority (URA) has not remitted workers’ contribution to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) amounting to over sh10.5b, MPs have heard.

Appearing before the finance committee recently, URA commissioner general Allen Kagina told MPs that the money had accumulated over the years, accruing interest of over sh3b.

She explained that the money accumulated because “the earlier URA did not meet its pay-as-you-earn tax obligations.”

“We have made a commitment to pay sh1b annually, but I am afraid the interest will soon overtake the principle,” Kagina said.

The Auditor General, in his 2010 report to Parliament, noted that NSSF conducted an audit of URA payroll records for March to June 2001 and established that the tax body had not met its tax obligations.

The report indicated that the arrears had been increasing over the years, and sh3.5b had accumulated as interest since 2005.

“Consequently, management agreed to make an annual payment of sh1b for seven years,” the report said.

However, the Auditors General noted that clearing the bill was not prioritised because management had been reallocating funds earmarked for the purpose.

“For example, sh345m was reallocated from NSSF employer‘s contribution to other expenditures. Delayed settlement of NSSF arrears will result into increased penalties and interest,” the report added.

Defending URA’s budget estimates for the 2011/12 financial, Kagina asked MPs to approve sh3b to start settling the arrears.

“We have been remitting every year but the interest keeps accumulating,” she explained.

MPs advised the tax body to settle the arrears to avoid legal suits from staff.

The MPs also learnt that URA was seeking sh2.5b per year for lease of vehicles.

This was rejected by MPs Geoffrey Ekanya, Frank Tumwebaze and Rose Akol, who argued that URA should instead buy its own vehicles.

The URA commissioner of corporate services, Michael Otonga, explained that the vehicles would be leased for five years and later purchased.

The Government has banned purchase of new vehicles to cut costs.



Bank to write off sh450m Owino debt
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By David Ssemijja

FINCA, a local microfinance institution, plans to write off over sh450m worth of loans advanced to clients, whose merchandise was destroyed by fire that recently razed St. Balikuddembe (Owino) market.

The development will mitigate the loss magnitude and enable traders get back into business.

The institution’s chief executive officer, Julius Omoding, said over 250 clients suffered losses, prompting the ongoing negotiations with insurance companies to have the victims compensated.

“We regret the losses you incurred because of the fire accident. However, all loans we advanced to you will be paid by the insurance company,” he said.

He was addressing traders during a meeting last week at FINCA’s head office on Ben Kiwanuka Street.

Officials from CHARTIS, an insurance company providing FINCA with loan insurance, attended.

“Affected clients are advised to consult our branches around the country for detailed information on how to qualify for the compensation,” Omoding said.

John Bosco Kalema, the CHARTIS manager in charge of production and accidents, said genuine claims would be settled within the shortest time possible.

“We are working out modalities to enable you offset some of the losses. We ask you to be patient as we take the necessary steps to settle your claims,” he said.

Kalema told journalists that in 2009, CHARTIS paid over sh1.25b worth of claims from over 10 financial institutions, whose clients lost merchandise during a fire in the same market.



Baroda continues dominance
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
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By David Mugabe

TOTAL market turnover rose to sh934.5m from sh168.2m, buoyed by major deals on the Bank of Baroda and Uganda Clays (UCL) counters.

Volumes also shot up to 3.2 million from 683,722, again boosted mainly by Baroda and UCL.

For the second week running, Baroda posted major gains, generating 98% of the market activity. It traded at an average price of sh291.

Uganda Clays sold 221,029 shares, picking sh11m in turnover, a rise from last week’s sh2.4m turnover. The firm’s average price was unchanged at sh50.

Activity on the Stanbic Bank Uganda counter slowed to a turnover of sh2.1m, from sh19m of the previous week.

The bank’s volumes also fell to 15,000 from 133,544. There were, however, unfulfilled offers of 442,892 shares.

dfcu Bank was back to activity on Tuesday, earning sh2.7m in turnover after selling 2,700 shares

BATU shares sold dropped to 200 from 900 shares, earning sh250,000 turnover from sh1.1m last week.

Supply on the UCL counter remained high at 448,201 with little marching demand of 42,473 shares.

The All Share Index further dropped to 1,024.32 from 1,030.52, while the locally-quoted share index also fell to 215.97 from 219.05.



Kenya-Uganda railway will spark both economies
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
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UGANDA and Kenya scored a major infrastructure breakthrough on Tuesday with the signing of a $164m lender funding. Below, David Ssebabi, the director of Privatisation Unit, which oversaw the restructuring of the railway concession spoke to David Mugabe about the impending impact of the railway

Q:What was achieved in Nairobi on Tuesday regarding the Kenya-Uganda railway?
A:What was achieved was a financial closure of a process which began three and half years ago in an effort to restructure the railways concession. The shareholders who are the lead investor in the railways concession have finally negotiated a financial package between themselves and the lenders. Typically under this kind of arrangement which is a Public Private Partnership, you have the private sector and a special purpose vehicle in this case the Kenya and Uganda Railways Holdings Limited negotiate with financial institutions. They agreed on how they are going to be funded. The list of funding institutions include the African Development Bank-$40m, Equity Bank-$20m, Dutch Development Bank-$20m, Infrastructure Crisis Fund-$30m, International Finance Corporation-$22m, KfW Bankengruppe-$32M. These lenders have agreed and the drawdown is going to begin.

What is a drawdown?
It is to go to the banks which have committed this money and say please give us this money so that we start investing. Obviously, they cannot get the money in one lot, they do it in bits and pieces based on agreed terms. It is not only the lenders who are going to finance. For every $2 that will be drawn down from this facility, the equity investors will put in $1. So it will be 2 for 1. The total of this is about $164m. The shareholders are going to inject their own money upto $82m in the next five years.

When do actual works
begin?The work has already begun; it has taken them about 12 months to negotiate but the private sector has been injecting their own equity funds. This business has been surviving on equity injection from the shareholders. The three entities are Ambience Rail, Ambience Ventures, Safari Rail and Bomi Holdings. Already they have registered some improvements in efficiencies.

What impact do you envisage the revamped railway will have on Uganda’s competitiveness?
Tremendous. This has been one of the biggest contributors to the cost of doing business in this country. If you look at the figures, transport costs from the UK, Asia to Mombasa are about $1,000. But from Mombasa to Kampala it is about four times. So if you reduce the cost from Mombasa to Kampala you are making a big contribution in terms of competiveness. We shall shift the hitherto heavy traffic from the roads to the rail and be able to make savings from the roads maintenance. About 90-95% of the cargo is by road.

Once the railway is complete how much cargo will be moved by rail and at what speed?
In my view, in the first five years if we can shift upto about 20-25% by rail and 70-75% by road, then we are on our way to achieving our objectives. It depends on the timeline. Ideally you would want much more cargo to be held by rail than by road. But it cannot be 100% because some cargo has to arrive much faster.

Is there a passenger component?
In Kenya yes, there is passenger agreement between RVR and the Kenyan government. In Uganda yes. We are exploring the possibility of entering a passenger concession agreement with an operator based on viability and safety standards. There are still issues that we have to deal with.

What stretch of the railway line within Uganda is being worked on?
The railway line from Malaba to Tororo to Packwach, which is under refurbishment. The only operable stretch currently under URC, is from Malaba to Kampala. The Kasese line was closed.

Will the volume of goods and speed of delivery from Mombasa rise after the completion of works?
Under the concession agreement, there are performance tonnage agreements. I am aware that they have ordered for new locomotives. We have about 7,000 wagons and we expect that they will refurbish the ones that they can refurbish.

So in the next few years, we should be able to see them invest these funds and we should be able to see the impact of these investments. Tariffs should go down. We should be able to see that it is more affordable for our people to get their products from Mombasa to Kampala.

Do we expect that thorough due diligence has been done on the new investors compared to the past?
Yes, we have done a thorough due diligence. Given the history of the concession we could not afford to be laxed. Previously, there was a sense that under Sheltam, perhaps governments may not have done a thorough due diligence. Unlike that time, the two governments have done a thorough due diligence including the technical partner, America Latina Logistica, the Brazilian railway company which managed to turn around the Brazilian railway which was facing similar challenges.

The other aspect is when lenders are coming in, you expect that lenders do a more thorough due diligence on the private sector parties because the private sector companies are the ones going to generate the revenue to pay back the loans.

When will the works be completed?
We are looking at a period of five years for this money to be absorbed.

There is a difficulty of absorption which is very critical because for instance if you are making an order for new locomotives, typically it will take you more than a year because they are not off the shelf. So these are the kinds of issues that determine the absorption rate.




Council to govern UAE-Uganda trade
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011
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By Yasin Kakande in Dubai

A new Uganda Business Council has been launched in Dubai under the Ugandan Embassy.

The council is expected to promote business ventures between the UAE and Uganda. It will also act as a reference for information on investment in Uganda, said Ssemakula Kiwanuka, the Ugandan ambassador to the UAE. He was addressing a group of Ugandans at the launch at the Versailles Hotel in Dubai last week.

“There is a lot of business potential that both Uganda and the UAE can exploit working together,” he said. “This council is a reference for business opportunities between Uganda and our UAE brothers.”

The UAE is one of the top five business import destination for Ugandans. The business council will also work to find a market for Ugandan goods in the UAE.

Since the opening of the embassy in Abu Dhabi, a number of high profile business opportunities have been shared between the two countries, the most recent being the take over of the Uganda National Bank of Commerce, said Fred Tushabe, the embassy first secretary.

Yousef Manafa was appointed first chairman of the council. He said he had already found a good market for Ugandan agricultural products, especially fruits, in the UAE.

“We should start where we have a competitive advantage and our fruits are one of that,” he said.
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Coffee exports to increase
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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KAMPALA-Uganda lifted its coffee export forecast to 2.8 million 60kg bags for 2010/2011 on expectations for good harvests, just months after scaling down its estimate owing to a drought.

Exports of the beans rose in July compared with the same month last year after good harvests in the southwestern part of the country, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said on Friday.

“The crop from southwestern Uganda has been excellent, and we evaluated the forecast that we gave in April again. “We now think we will be able to export about 2.8 million bags this year,” said David Kiwanuka, a spokesman for UCDA.

The UCDA had in April cut the forecast to 2.67 million 60kg bags for October 2010 -September 2011 from a previous estimate of 3.1 million bags, citing the drought ravaging parts of the east and Horn of Africa region.

Uganda exported 375,843 60kg bags of coffee in July, up from 266,245 bags in the same month last year.



EAC countries agree on uniform food processing standards
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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Mukono district principal health inspector Kazimoto Yossa (right) showing a water bottle to Khemabhai Patel, the Mukono Industries production manager at the function
By Pascal Kwesiga and Bashir Kibuuka

-Uganda loses sh737b due to malnutrition
-EAC discussing draft
The East African Community (EAC) member countries will harmonise food fortification standards to reduce the increasing nutritional deficiencies among the population across the region.


Food fortification involves adding of nutrients to foodstuffs, especially essential vitamins and minerals, during processing.

Uganda loses about sh737.8b worth of productivity annually due to the effects of stunted growth in children, iodine and iron deficiency disorders, according to a recent report by the Uganda National Academy of Science.

The report also said the country loses 4% of its gross domestic product each year because of malnutrition.

It noted that harmonising food fortification standards would boost free trade in fortified food products like maize and wheat flour, edible oil, sugar and salt across the EAC five member countries.

Uganda started fortifying staple foods, mainly cooking oil, maize and wheat flour with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and minerals, iron and zinc, in 2003.

The region will start using uniform fortified foods standards after adopting the proposed EAC draft standards that were suggested by the five countries.

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and the health ministry recently met with local food processors in Kampala to study the proposed draft standards.

Similar discussions on the regional draft standards are underway in all the EAC states.

UNBS executive director Dr. Terry Kahuma said applying uniform standards on fortified foods would reduce malnutrition in the region.

Patricia Ejalu, the UNBS standards manager, urged the food processors to adhere to the local standards as they wait for the regional standards to be enacted.


Tour operators get skills in SA
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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By Jimmy Adriko in S. Africa

SIX Ugandan tour operators have acquired tourism marketing skills. The six are presently on 10-day educational and familiarisation tour of four cities in South Africa.

The team, led by Milcah Kubinga, has visited tourist and leisure facilities in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Sun City.

“The trip will make their work easy as they will sell what they have experienced and seen,” said Kubinga.

Nina Kembabazi of Simba Travel Care said the trip broadened her mind. “I can now sell South Africa confidently.”

The team was sponsored by the South African Airways and Southern Sun, which runs a chain of hotels in South Africa and a tour firm, Legend Tours




Kakande, on the brink of a ‘Nobel Representing Uganda abroad: Prize’ for communications
Monday, 8th August, 2011
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Potential: Kakande has potential of winning the Marconi Prize
By David Mugabe


It is the lifelong fascination with the world of technology that has driven Joseph Kakande to the brink of a global technological breakthrough and recognition. The Ugandan researcher, who is about to receive his PhD in optoelectronic engineering from the University of Southampton, is one of three students worldwide to be honoured by the prestigious Marconi Society.

Kakande was selected a Marconi Young Scholar for trying to make communications faster using optical fibres.

“Advancing the use of optical fibres is not an ordinary thing in the eyes of everyday folks. Look at it this way, though intricate and often theoretical, the research aims to make communications faster and more efficient, giving people everyday benefits. These range from better video-on-demand service to improved MRI scans that yield medical images in a quicker and more comfortable way,” he explained.

So, people requiring medical scans for suspected internal body defects will be able to do this faster and more cheaply.

Scope of achievement
According to available information, all three of this year’s Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award recipients are completing their doctorates while making vital contributions to the world’s “need for speed” – our increasing imperative to be able to send and receive data as quickly and economically as possible.

As Marconi Society chairman Emeritus Robert Lucky noted, the scholars’ selection committee “looks for candidates who show the potential to win the Marconi Prize - the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in communications science.

Kakande’s university co-supervisor at the Optoelectronics Research Centre deputy director David Richardson, said: “I think he’s got all the capabilities to become a real research superstar.”

Kakande’s research aims to use light to control optical signals on ultra-fast time scales by using optical components – flexible pure glass fibres roughly the size of a human hair that are capable of transferring information from one end to the other over longer distances.

“Electronics is really great for processing, but it can only work so fast. The advantage is speed. Optical techniques easily process more than 10 billion bits a second – about 10 times faster than the fastest conventional computer,” Kakande said.

Early drive
“As a child, I had a fascination with electronics and I always wanted to work at Intel,” said Kakande.

Named Best Student at national level in Uganda where he was a student at St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Kakande attained first-class honours in electronic engineering from the University of Hull in the UK.

His research has been published in several top journals, including the Nature Group, and has led to three patent filings, with more in the pipeline.

Dream
Kakande would like to work for a large corporation in its research and development department.

Contribution to the developing world
Kakande has a particular interest in exploring how optical communications, which have recently revolutionised technology in the developed world, can be deployed in the Third World to empower its most deprived people.

The Marconi Young Scholar Awards are named in honour of Baran, a Marconi Fellow famous for helping devise the technical inner-workings of the Arpanet, the government-sponsored precursor to the Internet.

This marks the fourth year that Young Scholars Awards have been granted by the Marconi Society, which is best known for its annual $100,000 Marconi Award and Fellowship given to living scientists, whose scope of work and influence emulate the principle of “creativity in service to humanity”.

The Young Scholar Awards include a financial stipend and an invitation and travel funds to attend the annual Marconi Award Dinner, to be held in September in San Diego in the US.



Japan interested in Bushenyi bananas
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By Paul Aruho (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, August 9 2011 at 00:00
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Bushenyi

As the construction of a banana processing factory in Bushenyi District comes to completion, the Japanese government has already shown interest in its products.

A delegation from Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on Friday visited the factory premises at Nyaruzinga to assess the progress and inspect the soon-to-start facility. The pilot study and construction of the factory under the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID), was launched in 2005.

Great step
PIBID director Florence Muranga said the coming in of Japanese government is a great step in the marketing of their products on the world market. She called upon district leadership in Bushenyi to make people take commercial growing of bananas a serious venture since it has been a subsistence crop for a long time.

The director JETRO Nairobi office, Mr Hiroki Nagamine, said their mission in Uganda is to promote exportation of products to overseas. “This is a great product that can have good market in Japan. Many Japanese have interest in matooke flour and through this, I hope we could deepen our relationship with Uganda,” Mr Nagamine said. He said during the exhibition in Japan early this year, PIBID was among the best exhibitors.

An official from JETRO Japan, Ms Fumiko Uno, said Japan is interested in raw material from Africa. She said Japan bakeries will need over 20 metric tonnes of banana flour per month. Dr Muranga assured Japan of a quality product such that they can stay afloat in the world market.



RVR eyes Uganda-Sudan railway line
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By Allan Odhiambo (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, August 9 2011 at 00:00
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Rift Valley Railways (RVR) says it could invest in the building of a new railway line between Uganda and South Sudan in a bid to capture the expected huge flow of goods between Africa’s newest state and the East Africa region.

The new investment is being discussed by the two governments but Egypt’s Citadel Capital—which has a 51 per cent stake in RVR—says it would consider financing the project as an alternative corridor tapping opportunities in Sudan.

“We may consider financing the construction of a new railway between Tororo and Juba to open up South Sudan to the rest of the region,” Ahmed Heikal, Citadel Capital chairman told our sister newspaper Business Daily in an interview.

South Sudan, which broke from the north, has stated its intentions to find new trade routes for its oil as well as goods and services to cut its reliance on northern facilities such as its refineries and the only port as a gateway to international markets, opening a market for logistic firms such as RVR.

“It would be more viable to build a shorter railway that would be operational in a few years and spur trade in the region than go for an extensive one that requires many years to complete.”

The planned rail line from Tororo, eastern Uganda to Juba—the capital of South Sudan—is estimated at almost half the distance of the 1,200-kilometre Lamu-Sudan line.

The Kenya Government plans to implement an infrastructure project that could see the construction of a railway line connecting Juba through Lokichogio to the planned Lamu Port to serve the South Sudan market.

However, Citadel said the decision to link the Uganda line to Sudan will be reached in consultation with its partners in RVR—TransCentury and Uganda’s Investment firm Bomi Holdings.

The announcement comes days after the rail firm secured $164 from a consortium of lenders to modernise the Kenya-Uganda railway, which RVR won a 25-year concession to run in 2006.
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