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News Archive 1

News Archive 1
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All new Umeme connections will be pre-paid, says board chairman
All new domestic and small commercial power users will effective be connected to the pre-paid metering system, commonly known as ‘Yaka’, as Umeme moves to curb power theft and improve service delivery.Speaking at the fifth annual chief executive officers summit in Kampala, Umeme board chairman Patrick Bitature said the move that seeks to improve efficiency, will save the company costs related to conversion of old customers from the post-paid to the pre-paid system.Since the system eliminates people contact, especially meter readers and those that disconnect customers who have not settled their bills, it is also expected to lower operational costs on top of increasing efficiency. Read more
CEOs to parliament: Stop politicking and address country’s economic concerns
Chief executives of leading industries have called for a structured engagement with government especially parliament to ensure the legislature focuses on the country’s economic needs.In an animated debate themed around the “Role of energy in championing social and economic transformation,” the CEOs who represent some of the most capitalized institutions in the country like Tullow, Total and several top banks were tasked by the moderator, Dr Sam Sejjaka why they are quiet on the state of affairs in the economy and country.“You the captains of industry are not asking enough questions on how your resources are being used,” asked Sejjaka to a fully packed 5th annual CEO Summit at the Kampala Serena .Then Dr William Kalema, private consultant and member of several public and private boards picked up from here with a straight barb at parliament noting that if the legislature is not engaged with information, the country faces doom if the fundamentals are not right. Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Finance regrets lack of support to innovators
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has regretted that young innovators have been left to fend for themselves many times lacking the opportunity to interface with venture capitalists and possible financiers for their brilliant ideas.“Let us help them make viable business plans, there is no reason why we should not have a Silicon Valley, Savannah Valley or a Mabira Valley,” noted Kiwanuka. Presiding over the 5th CEO summit at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Kiwanuka said the time is now to turn these ideas and potential into actual value.Ugandan innovators especially in ICT have stormed the world with brilliant health, education and service delivery solutions. But most of these innovations have had little success in the market place and getting commercialized. Innovators lamented over the lack of coordination and support from institutions like NITA and UCC or even the ministry of ICT. Some of the recent global award winning solutions include Project 1 and AfriGal Tech an all-girl team that were chosen to represent Uganda at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Semifinals. AfriGal Tech from Makerere University developed an application called mDex, a smart phone-based sickle cell diagnosis alternative.Read more
IFC, Airtel Uganda in Three-Year Advisory Services Deal Worth U.S. $ 3.9 Million
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an advisory services agreement, valued at US $3.9 million, with Airtel Uganda to expand access to mobile financial services to strengthen financial inclusion.In Uganda, just over half of the adult population has access to formal financial services, leaving the other half no choice but to rely only on cash and informal practices for transactions, savings and credit, which is costly and risky.The aim of the project is to assist Airtel Money Uganda in strengthening its mobile money operation to increase the number of its active customers. These customers will include rural and underserved communities and women. IFC will provide advisory services on agent network management and product development, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Read more
UDC: Museveni to launch Soroti Fruit Processing Factory
President Yoweri Museveni will launch the proposed fruit-processing factory in the Eastern region, which Government expects to boost employment figures and also create a viable market for the fruits, especially mangoes and oranges of Teso farmers.The factory will be development under a public-private-partnership. Government will own 40%, South Korea 20% and the people of Teso 40%.Government contributed $2.2m towards the infrastructure development such as roads, electricity, piped water, waste management and land.On the other hand, the South Korea Government provided $7.4m towards the equipment, specialized machinery and training of Ugandans, who will be directly employed by the factory. Museveni is expected to break the ground to give way for the final- construction stages of the multi-million factory by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).According to the Uganda Development Cooperation (UDC) officials, the factory would be refining 120 tons of fruits, a development that will rectify the plight of farmers in the region, whose fruits, due to large quantities, go to waste or rot because residents cannot consume them all.Read more
TradeMark Uganda: Uganda Edges Closer to Electronic Trade Clearance System
Uganda is set to attain a one stop electronic trade clearance computerised system which will enhance its competitiveness in regional trade as a result of a partnership between the Royal Danish Embassy, Uganda and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).The two development partners signed A Bilateral Agreement  to support implementation of the National Electronic Single Window (NSEW) in Uganda.Officials said once complete, NESW will lead to enhanced availability and ease in accessing and handling of international trade documents and information leading to reduced transaction delays and costs related to document handling for imports and exports.Speaking during the signing ceremony, Danish Ambassador, Dan E. Frederiksen on behalf of the Royal Danish Embassy said his Government will provide TMEA with a Grant of USD 5 million in support of TMEA’s efforts to reach the agreed objectives and outputs of implementing the NESW. Read more
UIA: Insurance Players Unite to Build Sustainable Local Market
Uganda Insurance Association and the Insurance Institute of Uganda have teamed up to create awareness amongst the population through a festival that seeks to bring together different insurance service providers in the country and the general public.Speaking to Chimpreports, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Insurance Association, Miriam Magala said the public forum is aimed at creating awareness and enhance public knowledge on suitable insurance products on the market.“Face to face meeting and showcasing our work enables us to interact and develop better products for the economic market,” she said.Uganda’s Commissioner for Investment and Private Sector Development, Stephen Kasagaki, while representing the, Minister of State for Finance, Planning & Economic Development (Investment), Eng. Ajedra Gabriel Aridru (pHD) at the launch of the campaign at Centenary Park said insurance business has been in a stagnated state.Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Parliament set to scrap taxes on agricultural inputs
The House is poised to adopt a finance committee report that recommended that the proposed 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural inputs and equipment be scrapped.While readingthe budget, finance minister Maria Kiwanuka proposed an 18% VAT on agricultural supplies such as hoes, fertilisers, seedlings and tractors in order to generate sh30.4b, about 0.2% of the entire budget.However, the committee, chaired by the Kyadondo North MP, Kasule Sebunya  presented its report saying the proposed taxes would kill the agricultural sector that is struggling with a meagre growth of 1.5% to increase the use of agro-chemicals, improved seeds and fertilisers.“Application of VAT on agricultural supplies will make the situation worse, especially in rural areas and hinder the mechanisation of agriculture in the country,”Sebunya told the plenary session presided over by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. Oulanyah adjourned the debate on the committee report, but this was after allowing the shadow finance minister and Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya to also present his minority report rejecting VAT on salt. Read more
UNICEF: Private Sector to implement child-friendly business principles
The Ugandan business community has signed up to the implementation of international principles to respect children’s rights, eliminate child labour, provide young workers, and ensure safety of children.The children’s rights and business principles in Uganda took place at Serena Hotel in Kampala under the theme: “Invest in Ugandan children: Realise Uganda’s Vision .”It was organized by the UN children’s agency UNICEF, Global Compact Network in Uganda, Save the Children and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda. Present were the minister of gender, labour and social development, Mary Karoro Okurut and minister of health, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. According to Aida Girma the UNICEF country representative, Uganda becomes the 41st country to commit to implement the children’s rights and business principles. Read more
The finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Parliament passes Tax Procedures Bill
Parliament  passed the Tax Procedures Bill which is meant to harmonize, consolidate and streamline tax procedures into a single law in order to simplify tax administration. The finance committee chairman Robert Kasule Ssebunya said, “This Bill will promote tax compliance as it streamlines tax administration.” The finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said the law would empower URA to effectively enforce taxation and therefore generate more revenue for the country. Clause 41 of the Bill provides for access to premises, records and data storage devices to avoid the common problem of under declaration by companies which pay fewer taxes than what they should be paying. Clauses 48 to 53 of the Bill provide for penal tax for default in furnishing a tax return, late payment of tax, failing to maintain proper records, making false or misleading statements, understating provisional tax estimates and failing to apply for registration.Read more
Tullow: Uganda to Invest U.S.$20 Billion Into Oil
Oil industry top officials believe that Uganda must look for between $15 billion to $20 billion if it wants to become an oil producing country.Jimmy Mugerwa the Tullow Uganda Country Manager said the total investments required for Uganda's oil to come out of the soil is approximately $20 billion, which is almost the country's GDP."We have now concluded the exploration phase. We expect this development phase to take another three years that's if the production licenses are issued fast enough. We expect the total investments required for the entire oil sector to be around $15 billion to $20 billion," Mugerwa said, while addressing the 19th Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) Annual Seminar at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe. He said the investments will include among others, the setting up of an oil refinery, building of the world's longest continuously heated and insulated 24 inch crude oil export pipeline, land acquisitions, the oil project will require more than 250MW of power when in full operations to heat the over 1400KM crude oil pipeline and over 1200 heavy duty trucks to transport over 800,000 tons of steel, pipes and other logistics.Read more
Food Vendor Wins MTN Kaja shs 10 M Jackpot
Agnes Kasso, resident of Nabweru, an outskirt of Kampala is one happy woman. She has emerged as the first jack pot winner of 10 million shillings in the on-going MTN lottery game named ‘MTN Kaja’. Kasso, who received her cheque from MTN officials at the Clock Tower MTN Service Centre, expressed surprise and happiness at her luck. Overwhelmed with joy and happiness, Kasso said; “Thank you MTN, Thank you MTN, I thank you wholeheartedly. You have turned my life around. See how God has used MTN to change my life. I now believe that MTN is serious about changing our living conditions.” Kasso, a single mother of two said. Kasso operates a small restaurant in Nabweru Trading center. She said she tried the MTN Kaja game, a decision that may now change her life for good. Read more
UEPB: Tea exporters urged to exploit new market opportunities, experts say
Analysts have advised Uganda’s tea exporters to directly export the commodity to emerging markets globally to increase revenue. About 97 per cent of all the tea produced in Uganda is exported and sold through the Mombasa tea auction and branded as Kenyan.Experts say this has stifled Uganda as the second biggest producer of tea in Eastern Africa but also at the auction, the country loses out on the prime prices. In an interview with Prosper magazine, UEPB’s export promotion officer, Mr Moses Mabala, shares: “We are seeing emerging markets for Ugandan tea from countries like Russia, Pakistan and the Middle East.”A proxy take on price as a basis for export potential shows that countries such as Belarus, Qatar, Hong Kong, Canada, and France offer better prices for the same unit of tea exported to Kenya. Read more
EAC: EU trade deal to be sealed this month, says official
After talks, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), will be concluded, East African Community (EAC) secretary general Richard Sezibera has said.The main objective of the EPA is to open up the regional market to unlimited European products, except arms. The EPA was conceived and the talks were supposed to have been closed. This did not happen because the targeted segment (least developed countries) needed time to develop capacities to trade on equal terms with the European Union (EU).Speaking at a news conference in Entebbe ahead of the 3rd EAC Secretary General’s Forum, Mr Sezibera said the EAC partner states, negotiating as a bloc, need not to rush before securing their interests in the deal. Read more
Ipsos MediaCT: New products give Uganda’s advertising spend slight lift
Globally, advertising expenditure is estimated to grow at 5.7 per cent, more than twice the rate based on new figures from eMarketer. It is also projected that a total of $545.4billion will be spent, up from $526.2 billion given the specific events such as the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Common wealth games, not excluding the general trend for increased digital Adspend as more people spend more time on digital devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets.According to Ipsos MediaCT, majority of the traditional media share of advertising revenues was affected by budget cuts to13 but radio remains a key touch point for the advertiser registering an average Adspend of about 60 per cent of the overall spend. With its powerful reach, higher accessibility figures and engagement levels, radio will reign supreme in Uganda and East Africa for more years to come. Read more
Local firms should invest in extractive sector - EADB
The East African Development Bank (EADB), has advised local companies in the region to develop capacities and invest in extractive industries following the discoveries of oil and other minerals in East Africa.Developments in the extractive industry show that local companies in East Africa have not invested big in the extractive industries despite the region having vast natural resources.In a statement issued, the EABD director general Vivienne Yeda said: “It is a continuing puzzle and challenge to all of us that there is a negligible number of African owned companies in the natural resources sector. Resources such as gold and diamonds were discovered.”Ms Yeda, however, said with this new discovery of more minerals, there is hope that indigenous companies will begin to emerge and to develop capacity to invest and develop large scale projects in the sector. Read more
EAC boss decries non-tariff barriers within Community
The EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera said that despite the coming into force of the common markets protocol, challenges still persist in trade facilitation and movement of people, goods, capital and labour across the EAC partner states.According to Sezibera, this is not made better by the poor state of infrastructure, the slow pace of harmonization of work permits, who called for more efforts from regional governments, private sector, and civil society. Sezibera was speaking at the third annual Secretary General’s consultative forum at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe. The forum aims to provide a platform for dialogue between the private sector, civil society and other interest groups with the EAC Secretary General on how to improve the regional integration process.Read more
Rt. Hon. Fiona: Uganda's 6% economic growth an 'enviable success'
Speaking at a high profile business breakfast meeting held at Serena Hotel, Rt. Hon. Fiona Woolf said she would engage the Uganda Government and the private sector players in “valuable” discussions so that the UK government and other stakeholders can tap into this great economic growth.“Uganda offers significant opportunities. The economic growth of 6% is enviably high in the region. The topic we shall interest you in is infrastructure and how to get more of it. It is a huge topic across the globe,” she said. UK’s economic growth is at 3.2%.Woolf, who said she was “delighted” to come to Uganda at such an “exciting” moment, told Government officials that: “With so much interest, I have brought one of the largest business delegations with me that I have ever had during my visits overseas.”The Lord Mayor, a lawyer, also urged the Government to continue with its emphasis on infrastructure development, especially roads and electricity. Read more
ICPAU: Accountants’ body to start new course with MUK
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) is in advanced stages of starting a public finance management course in conjunction with Makerere University. ICPAU president Patrick Kagolo made the announcement at the institute’s 19th Annual Seminar that opened in Entebbe.“It is progress, it has already been drafted. We have to look at the set-up structures, the financing. There will be a lot of research to be done once it is set up,” he told New Vision on the sidelines of the event.“This course will improve accountability and help on doing more research, for example, we have the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC). We need to improve accountability.”He said the objective of the course will be to strengthen public financial management in Uganda.The programme +will be designed by ICPAU and Makerere University will provide the training and will kick start when the two parties sign a memorandum of understanding. Read more
BOA: Bank of Africa launches bank on wheels
Kampala folks were surprised during the launch of Bank on wheels launch at Bank of Africa (BOA) headquarters.Gasps for breath were audible when guests were told the truck was bullet proofed and had tires that could inflate themselves when punctured or shot at by thugs.“For a start it is going to serve in Lira district,” announced BOA general manager, Claver Serumaga. “After that, the service will roll out to other parts of the country. This is as good as two of our branches. Except this one does not wait for clients to come but goes to them.”The governor Bank of Uganda, Mathew Mutebile hailed BOA for revolutionizing banking in Uganda by rolling out new products.“This is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to introduce a customer focused banking solution by taking services closer to the clients,” said Mutebile in a speech read for him by Benedict Ssekabira.“BOA is toeing the Uganda Financial Inclusion Agenda – we appreciate.” Read more
MOWT: Transporters warned on cargo weight
The Ministry of Works and Transport has warned cargo transporters against abusing roads by overloading vehicles, leading to breakdown of roads. The warning follows complaints from cargo transport operators that the Entebbe expressway under construction was so low, which could inconvenience transporters where the flyover crosses existing roads.Some cargo transporters using Kampala-Masaka road complained that the height of the expressway was insufficient to accommodate their vehicles. The 51km expressway is meant to ease traffic on the Kampala-Entebbe stretch although users will be expected to pay road toll. According to the ministry, the newly-constructed bridges on the express highway can accommodate any permissible load on any cargo truck.Eng. Dennis Sabiiti, the commissioner for transport regulations in the Ministry of Works, said the maximum overall height of any motor vehicle on Ugandan roads is four metres from the road surface. Read more
MOWT: Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road to be completed  — UNRA
 Eng. Abraham Byandala, the works and transport minister, said during a recent visit that the road was constructed in order to provide an enabling investment environment. “It will connect Hoima town to the Albertine region, where there is oil drilling and exploration as well as to the proposed oil refinery at Kabaale in Buseruka subcounty, Hoima district,” he said. He said the contractor was finalising parts of Kaiso-Tonya road and the 5km stretch from Hoima town to Karongo. “It was supposed to be completed, but given the delays in the compensation process, it dragged,” Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) publicist, explained. “We are putting the wearing course (the upper layer in roadway), we hope it will be handed over. The bridges have all been completed,” Alinange said. Fred Kakoraki, the district vice-chairman, said the road has boosted business along that route, given the number of multi-national companies and individuals who have acquired land to establish businesses in the area. Read more
BOU Calls Claims From Global Trust Bank Creditors
The central bank has urged people whom Global Trust bank owed money or anything else to submit their claims.In a statement, BOU said all claims should be specific in nature and value, and supported by documentary evidence. This call, however, does not cover Global's depositors, whose accounts are active in dfcu bank."Any claim not received by the liquidator before the expiry from the date of the publication of this notice, shall not be treated as a claim eligible for payment under liquidation, but shall be treated as an ordinary debt due from Global Trust Bank (U) Ltd," said the statement. The central bank closed Global Trust after it posted losses for five consecutive years. BOU said the bank had shown no signs of being profitable. Announcing the bank's closure, BOU Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said he was protecting depositors' interests. Read more
NWSC: National Water Reports Good Progress On Sh276 Billion Projects
National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) management has declared itself pleased with the progress of projects intended to end 'dry zones' in the city. NWSC Managing Director Silver Mugisha led a team of the utility firm's senior managers to inspect construction and upgrading works on the donor-funded projects at NWSC's Bugolobi sewage plant, Ggaba water treatment complex and the water storage reservoirs at Namasuba. The progress was impressive, Mugisha said. The projects are funded by the European Union (EU) at Euros 82 million (Shs 276bn)."I'm happy work is on schedule and once completed, dry zones will be history in Kampala," Mugisha said.The contractors, who include Roko (sewage plant) and French firm Sogea-Satom (for the Ggaba and Namasuba projects), have assured NWSC that all the facilities will be ready for operation. Read more
CMA to discuss funding options at oil and minerals meet
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) will make a key presentation on the opportunities for raising financing through the capital markets for the oil and gas industry.Keith Kalyegira, the chief executive officer of CMA will talk to members of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) during their annual general meeting at the Kampala Sheraton. The chamber is the top lobby group for the private sector in the oil, gas and minerals industry. Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum chief executive Irene Nakalyango announced that a top official from the petroleum and exploration department will also discuss the state of the oil and gas sector in Uganda at the AGM. The AGM comes exactly ahead of the annual mineral wealth conference. Read more
TLB: Hoima Transporters Panic As Giants Step in
Competition in Hoima's transportation market has intensified, as big firms stake their claim.Traffic to and from Hoima, at the heart of Bunyoro sub-region, has increased dramatically since the discovery of oil there. With more people now travelling to the Albertine sub-region, bus companies have started paying attention to a route previously ignored . Kasamba coach and Link bus transporters have joined the Hoima-Kampala route, breaking the monopoly long enjoyed by Hoima coach.Hajji Ahmed Bintu, the manager of Hoima coach, told The Observer that the situation was challenging because the Transporters Licensing Board (TLB) in Kampala was not bothered by who joined the route as long they paid the required fee.Read more
UCC set to commission digital migration project next month
Uganda Communications Commission will officially launch the digital migration project to mark the start of the country’s long awaited switch from analogue to digital broadcasting as the deadline looms.The Commission’s executive director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, who acknowledged that the project has suffered numerous challenges told Daily Monitor that all digital equipment has been procured and is ready for the switch.The project will first be rolled out in Greater Kampala (Kampala city and the surrounding districts of Entebbe, Mukono, Bombo, Mityana) while the rest of the country will be switched to digital broadcasting this year.“We are behind schedule; time is running out. Read more
UCMP: Mineral conference to focus on partnerships
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the chief guest at the Uganda Mineral Wealth Conference.According to a statement by the organisers the focus at the conference will be on creating partnerships between international exploration companies and local companies to better exploit and manage the country’s mineral wealth.The conference will also be used as a forum to highlight the investment opportunities in Uganda’s mining sector to both local and international companies interested in investing in the industry according to a statement released by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.This event that is now, attracts business leaders, policy makers, bankers, decision makers from governments, key players and service providers in the mining sector from Uganda, the East African region and the world at large.Read more
Nokia Unleashes Windows 8.1 Phone in Uganda
Nokia, in conjunction with Microsoft has unveiled three new models of phones onto the Ugandan market, the Nokia Lumia 630which is the first Windows 8.1 smartphone on the world market, the other brands being Lumia 930 and Lumia 530.At the unveiling ceremony held at Kampala Serena Hotel , Gitahi Kingori Microsoft Regional Mobile Device product manager revealed that the phones have been manufactured after thorough research by their experienced team on ground to determine how to build better smartphones suitable to African conditions.Read more
MFPED: Accounting officers get guidelines for due diligence on contracts
The action by the regulator of public procurement follows a circular released by the Permanent Secretary of the finance ministry, Keith Muhakanizi directing all Accounting Officers to perform due diligence on bidders and their securities during the procurement process to avoid gross financial loss.“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic that accounting officers are committing the government under high value contracts with bidders without following the requisite procedure for due diligence under the PPDA Act and Regulations,” Muhakanizi said in the statement.“As a result, a number of contracts have been signed with non-performing bidders and funds have been disbursed on the basis of forged and unauthentic documents including securities from financial institutions.”Read more
UFPEA: Govt’s failure to impose fishing regulations hurts industry
Delay by government to regulate the fish industry is not only threatening the country’s export revenues but also the livelihood of hundreds of people.Already the increasing catching of immature fish has seen six factories close shop and the remaining 12 factories are operating under capacity, something players say is killing one of the country’s leading non-traditional export earners.In an interview with Prosper magazine, the chairman Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (Ufpea), Mr Phillip Borel, said: “We are losing a lot of fish revenue and close to 1. 5 million people whose lives entirely depend on fish are at risk”.He said in the previous two budgets, government through Uganda Revenue Authority, has been collecting a tax levy imposed on those involved in the exportation of fish and the sole aim was to inject this money in regulating the industry.Read more
CPS: Energy ministry revokes Fuelex licence
The Ministry of Energy closed down Fuelex filling stations, following revocation of the company’s operating license.According to Rev. Frank Tukwasibwe, the commissioner for petroleum supply, the proprietors were selling fuel whose origin was not known. All officially imported fuel bears the required markers of certification which Fuelex feul did not have.“We warned them several times, but they refused to heed to our warnings. We do not know how they were bringing in the fuel,” Tukwasibwe said. Dunstan Luwaga, a URA officer attached to the electronic cargo trucking system unit, told the New Vision that the fuel could have been smuggled in with help from some energy ministry and customs border officials.He added that the Government loses a lot in taxes because such fuel does not go through the channels stipulated in the law.The assistant commissioner for petroleum supply, John, said evading taxes creates imbalances in the market as the cheating company is able to lower its retail market rate.Read more
CityBlue Hotel: New hotelier to boost tourism sector
Another hotel player has entered the hospitality industry to boost tourism sector in the country. CityBlue Hotel opened its doors to customers in Kampala promising tourists and other clients quality service at affordable cost.With investment worth $5m (about sh12.5b) in Uganda and Rwanda CityBlue Hotels brings in new age of hospitality attuned to the modern day traveler whose key comforts are free WIFI.“We shall provide hospitality for holiday makers, gorilla-trekkers, corporates, non-governmental organization staff and business people at reasonable prices compared to 5 star hotels,” Jameel Verjee, the founder and chief executive officer of CityBlue Hotels said.CityBlue Hotels located in Nakasero, Kampala has swimming pool, poolside specious bedrooms with flat-screen TV sets and a gym room for those who want to work-out.Read more
Azam Tv: High taxes, expensive local content hurting pay TV industry, says player
Azam Tv management has asked government to waive taxes on equipment used in relaying pay-tv services, saying high taxes have stifled penetration and are a threat to meeting the digital migration deadline.Speaking on the sidelines at the official launch of Azam TV in Kampala, the firm’s general manager, Mr Simon Arineitwe, said the industry pays 49 per cent of revenue in taxes that include 25 per cent import duty on dishes, 6 per cent withholding tax and 18 per cent Value Added Tax.This is in addition to the 0.5 per cent Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) levy and the railway contribution levy, which they consider as deterrent for more people to afford pay-tv services since they (taxes) are all passed on to the final consumer in form of high prices. Read more
MOE: Govt to close stations selling adulterated fuel, says official
Government will close stations involved in selling adulterated fuel, a Ministry of Energy official has said.Rev Frank Tukwasibwe, the Commissioner of Petroleum Supply Department, said such a measure together with sensitisation of customers on quality fuel will help reduce adulteration levels in country.“We are planning to publicise names of fuel stations and if a certain station is named consistently, then we will be compelled to close it,” he said while closing the quality fuel campaign in Kampala.He said the Energy ministry and Uganda National Bureau of Standard (UNBS) will first publicise the names of those fuel stations, give them a grace period to sort themselves out and if they do not comply with quality standards, they will be closed. Read more
INGM: Sugar bill in the offing
Cabinet has approved principles for a proposed new sugar control law, intended to regulate the industry that has been riddled with controversy. The information and national guidance minister, Rosemary Namayanja, told journalists that the number of sugar industries had spiralled out of control to over 23, with some only importing and repackaging for re-export. She said the trade ministry had been tasked to draft the Bill for tabling before Parliament soon. The Minister of State for Trade, James Mutende, said the proposed law will ensure safety of consumers and harmonise activities in the industry to meet the emerging domestic and regional sugar requirements. It is also intended to ensure greater accountability to the Government in terms of quality and production standards. Read more
MOWT: China Endorses CHEC To Construct Uganda Railway
The Chinese Transport Ministry has written to Ministry of Works and Transport of Uganda endorsing China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) as a company with strong capability and international operation experience to implement the railway project in Uganda, Chimp Corps report.According to the agreement, CHEC will work closely with the UPDF Engineering Brigade and also construct a polytechnic school in Uganda for continuous training of army officers in technical and engineering skills.A statement issued by CHEC’s representatives also expressed commitment to the above MoU singling out that the Government of South Sudan has also selected the company to upgrade her railway line. Chimpreports understands government preferred working with CHEC because of their commitment to train UPDF according to the Chinese model to manage strategic infrastructure.Read more
UPS: Privatization in Uganda
The success of both the Private and Public Sector depends on Government. In the era when the Public Sector-dominated the economy, the Private Sector Players used to cry foul that ‘’the Government was interfering too much in the business of doing business of which it [GOU] was a poor owner and Manager.”They accused Government, not only of inefficiency and ineffectiveness but also of corruption.Then the era of liberalization, privatization, decentralization, democratization, economic integration and globalization came, courtesy the Bretton Wood Institutions and the Private Sector. Given that scenario, then, why should the Private Sector blame the Government, anymore, for economic inefficiency? Read more
Uganda Clays to raise Shs12b for boosting production line
Uganda Clays Limited (UCL) plans to raise about Shs12.8 billion ($5 million) for the Kajjansi and Kamonkoli factories as the company looks to turn around its business.Talking to Daily Monitor, the firm’s finance manager, Ms Jacqueline Kiwanuka, said the planned Shs12.8 billion will be utilised for automating the Kajjansi factory and reducing firing costs at the Kamonkoli factory by introducing gasification (producing gas from biomass).This is in line with the company’s medium term plans to reduce production losses and improve efficiency. Drying of products is done naturally while firing especially at the Kamonkoli factory is costly due to the furnace fuel which increases production costs.Read more
SEACOM looks to offer low cost Internet
Submarine cable operator, SEACOM, has launched operations in Uganda with direct deployment of two Points of Presence (PoPs) to provide fast and affordable internet connection to the global network. PoP infrastructure enables available networks to access the internet through an interconnection point with long-distance carriers of high speed bandwidth.Speaking at the launch, the company’s chief commercial officer, Mr Byron Clatterbuck, said they had brought a wide range of expertise to champion a dramatic internet revolution in Uganda.He said: “Our licence allows us to own and operate our network all the way between Kampala and our international network of more than 20 countries across continents.” Read more
Govt receives Shs955b for agriculture, roads and power
Government has received $367 million (about Shs955 billion) from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which will be spent in productive segment of the economy, State minister for Finance (General Duties) Fred Omach, has said.Talking to Daily Monitor, the deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Patrick Ocailap, said the $367 million is part of the external budget support which is already streamlined into the Budget. He also said it will be spent in productive areas of the Budget because that is the condition of the contributions.According to Mr Ocailap, OIC member countries, especially those with experience in oil and gas business, are keen to consider partnering with Uganda to exploit its nascent oil and gas sector.While hosting the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mr Iyad Ameen Madani in Kampala, Mr Omach said the $367 million will boost the productive sector of the economy because that is where the priority of the government lies.Read more
UNICEF, private sector form partnership to promote children rights
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) have launched a partnership to boost the Invest in UG children campaign to contribute to government’s efforts to produce a human resource capable to deliver the Vision. The PSFU and UNICEF launched the partnership Wednesday to raise and complain for increased government funding to child development and protection programs and encourage businesses to integrate child protection and nurturing interventions in their corporate social responsibility programs.Gideon Bagadawa, the PSFU executive director, noted that Uganda cannot achieve Vision  without investing in children’s development and pursuing policies that will promote better health care, nutrition, education, combat violence and abuse against children and proper child upbringing. Read more
Toa Electronics: Sound Equipment Giant Enters Uganda Market
Toa Electronics, a Japanese manufacturer and distributor of high-end audio and video equipment, has partnered a local firm to distribute its products in Uganda, it was announced.The company manufactures speakers, projectors, video equipment, microphones, cables, and bathroom accessories, among others. Technet, a local technology firm based in Bugolobi, will be their main distributor in Uganda. Technet will, in turn, partner with local electronic retailers to sell the products.Ralph Singer, Toa's sales and marketing manager for Southern Africa, said they saw a gap in the country for genuine products. Plus, Singer said, there was increasing investment in modern buildings, including shopping centres and malls in the country, which require specialised products in terms of wiring for communication and clear sound."There are so much of inferior products on the market," Singer said. "The average man on the street is being ripped off. Ugandans just work with what is available, but we want to change that." Read more
UPC calls for Heavier Taxes on Cars
Opposition Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) has called upon government to increase taxes on all vehicles in the country so as to combat the increasing traffic congestion and jam in the country especially in the city.UPC party Spokesperson Okello Lucima told journalists in a press briefing at Uganda House that it was time to tax the middle income earners who own cars for the several services that they utilize from the government.Lucima noted that taxes would curb congestion and exhaust fumes which lead to air and environmental pollution.Read more
IMF and EAC team up to develop finance data
The East African Community (EAC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have come together to help regional states in compiling finance statistics for their different governments.Once done, the initiative will assist the EAC partner states meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East Africa Monetary Union (EAMU) Protocol.Speaking about the initiative, the EAC deputy secretary in charge of planning and infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku, said: “The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of the regional monetary Union and transition to EAC single currency ”. Mr Bukuku noted that GFS will be compiled in accordance with internationally agreed methodological standards, would not only provide the region with an important framework for comparing, analysing and evaluating fiscal policy, but also an opportunity to improve government and public sector performance.Read more
NIC applies for bonus issue to raise capital, improve liquidity
National Insurance Corporation, an Insurance and risk management services provider, has applied for regulatory approval to get a bonus issue as it moves to beat the minimum paid-up capital requirements set by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).A bonus issue refers to an offer of free additional shares to existing shareholders. Subject to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Uganda Securities Exchange approvals, the firm intends to issue 819,661,942 new ordinary shares of Shs5 each instead of a cash dividend to recapitalise its earnings.The insurer’s managing director Mr Folayan Bayo, in a media statement said if approved, the bonus issues will increase the company’s issued and fully paid up capital from Shs2.98 billion to Shs7.07 billion thereby strengthening the company’s capital base, improve liquidity of NIC shares at the USE and ensure the company’s continued compliance with regulatory requirements.Read more
MJP: Improve your image to attract more tourists
Members of Japanese Parliament have pledged to promote Uganda as a tourism and investment destination but asked the government to work on its image which has been tainted by the two-decade northern Uganda insurgency The MPs, Mr Asahiko Mihara and Mr Daishiro Yamagiwa, while touring the country, are quoted in a press statement issued by the Ministry of Trade as saying they were amazed by the potential and opportunities Uganda has.In a meeting with State minister for Industry James Shinyabulo Mutende in Kampala, the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Mr Junzo Fujita and the two MPs are further quoted as having said Uganda’s potential lies in tourism and agribusiness, specifically in value addition. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni's: Gov’t to enact law against SACCOs money theft
Government is in the process of enacting a law that that will punish those found guilty of stealing people’s savings through the Savings and Credit Schemes (SACCOS).The warning was contained in the President Yoweri Museveni's speech read by the minister of state for Industry and Technology, James Shinyabulo Mutende, at the opening of Buyanja SACCO in Rukungiri district. “I have been informed of corrupt individuals who are taking advantage of such a good thought-out Government programme to defraud the population of their savings, something that bears a negative effect on the development of the country,” said Museveni. Museveni said that once the new law is put in place, it will make it impossible for anybody or group of people to defraud people of their money through SACCOs without being intercepted.“Apart from providing credit to the people engaged in commercial production projects, SACCOs are useful in building a savings culture among the population, which is a strong component in the social- economic development of any society,” said Museveni. Read more
UBA: New Excise Hikes Uganda Bank Charges
The 10% excise duty levy on bank charges and transfer fees that was making banking expensive and giving cause for customers to re-think their options.Commercial banks have hiked their banking charges and in the process many business people are beginning to feel the pinch.Emmanuel Kikoni , the Executive Director of Uganda Bankers Association said the banks had no choice but to comply with the law.He said the duty to collect tax places a heavy responsibility on banks which increases their operational costs which have to be covered. Kikoni said while the 10% Excise Duty is collected by banks as agents of the government, the tax should be paid by the consumers of bank services. Kikoni said the objective of attracting deposits in banks may be defeated despite their efforts to carry out financial literacy to create awareness throughout the country.So, banks will collect the tax from the customers and remit it to URA every 15th of the month. URA granted a dispensation to banks to make the first remittance. Read more
UBOS: Inflation Drops to 2.8 Percent
Uganda's annual headline inflation for the year declined to 2.8% from 4.3% that was recorded for the year , the Uganda Bureau of Statistics UBOS announced.The decline was largely attributed to a reduction in annual food crops inflation that decreased to 1.5% from the 12.9%.However, there was an increase in annual EFU inflation of 2.5%  compared to the 0.3% .Similarly, the annual core inflation increased slightly to 3.1%  compared to the 3.0%. Read more
Police close illegal micro finance; over sh20m in savings lost
Police in Njeru Town Council has closed an illegal micro finance bank over defrauding unsuspecting members of the public of over sh20m. Led by the Njeru division Police Commander Chris Katumba who was accompanied by the Njeru Police boss Julius Tugume, Police stormed Vision Finance Fund, a micro finance bank along Kayunga road in Njeru town council in Buikwe district and closed it. Katumba said they received several complaints from the public demanding the authenticity of the microfinance in which they have been saving their money.  He said they made investigations and found out that the microfinance was operating illegally without a security guard at the gate and had no genuine bank account where people deposited their money. “In our investigations, we found out that money that was being saved by members was being deposited on a mobile money account number 0786966505 owned by Brian Mwebaze who is also the proprietor of the illegal microfinance,” Katumba said. Read more 
UMA: Pending commercial Bills stifle manufacturing sector - players
The delay to conclude the enactment of several commercial Bills into active laws is subjecting Uganda’s manufacturing sector to unfair competition within the region.At the moment, there are a number of commercial Bills pending but the most needed are the Anti-Counterfeiting Goods Bill No.  and the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Bill.The other bill, which manufacturers want to be enacted, is the Competition Bill and these bills are being handled by the ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. If not passed soon possess a big threat to Uganda’s quality manufactured goods thus cripple the industry Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the executive director Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Mr Ssengendo Ssebagala, said: “Conclusively enacting these Bills into laws will save the country’s growing manufacturing industry which has created so many jobs but also seen the country reduce on the import bill.” .Read more
SMAI: Farmers fail to use Shs500b credit facility
The State Minister for Animal Industry, Maj Bright Rwamirama, has said the Ministry of Finance has embarked on mechanisms through which farmers can start benefiting from a Shs500 billion credit facility to improve farm production.While addressing the National Farmers Council assembly, Maj Rwamirama, said his ministry is disappointed with the low absorption of the Shs500 billion facility which Bank of Uganda created for 15 commercial banks to disburse to farmers so as to mechanise their farms.“Government has been putting aside Shs60 billion for commercial banks so that farmers can buy tractors, milk pumps, post-harvest handling equipment and ox-ploughs for farm power but unfortunately the absorption rate has been only 40 per cent, because farmers cannot write bankable projects,” he said.Read more
BATU cedes leaf operations to new tobacco company
British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) will stop growing tobacco leaf in Uganda, the company has announced.In a message to its shareholders and the public, the tobacco company said: “The Board of Directors has considered and approved a proposal to discontinue its leaf growing and export business in Uganda.”The development means that thousands of farmers who are contracted by BATU across the tobacco growing regions in the country will have to renegotiate a fresh deal with Alliance One International, the new company that is taking over the leaf growing operations from BATU or else supply another tobacco company with the cash crop.Read more
Loan recoveries push Stanbic profits up to Shs68 billion
Improved loan recoveries and pick up in deposits has helped Stanbic Bank Uganda register profit after tax of Shs68.34 billion, representing a growth rate of 19.23 per cent.The bank registered profit after tax of Shs57.3 billion due to hard economic conditions that had hit the country’s economy.The bank’s financial results also indicate total assets increased by 15.72 per cent to Shs3.41 trillion from Shs2.95 trillion. Loans and advances to customers rose by 15.83 per cent to Shs1.58 trillion, while net interest income appreciated by 14.24 per cent to Shs135.86 billion.The results also show cash flows from operating activities were also up 16.62 per cent to Shs90.53 billion.Presenting the financial results, the bank’s chief executive officer, Mr Philip Odera, described the new development as business coming back to normality. Read more
Museveni assures tea farmers, processors about price stability
President Yoweri Museveni has assured tea farmers and processors of access to market and price stability.Speaking at the opening of the $2 million (about Shs5.2 billion) Kyamuhunga Tea Factory , the President blamed the fall in prices of tea to the political turmoil that has been experienced in North African countries of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya as well as in the Middle East.He, however, urged the farmers and the processors not to give up saying he would consider helping them to access the market. “Egypt had the most consumers. The political conflict there is the reason prices are poor in Mombasa. When people are dying and there is no peace, no one can buy. I will go there, maybe I will take you (processors) there and see if we can get the market,” he said.The President’s remarks came after Eng Sotti Bomukama, the factory’s managing director, decried the fall in prices of processed tea in Mombasa. He said while they expected to sell a kilogramme at $2.6 (about Shs6,786) when they did market research, they started by selling at $1.9 (about Shs4,959) per kilogramme. Read more
MTN, Centenary Bank partner on mobile money ATM cash out service
MTN Uganda the leading Mobile Money network has partnered with Centenary Bank Uganda to advance their ATM Cash out footprint by allowing customers to cash out at all Centenary bank ATMs across the country.“At MTN we listen to our customers’ needs and wants and with this background we continuously strive to exploit opportunities that make the life of our customers smooth and simplified, and our partnership with Centenary back is absolutely another opportunity to reach out to customers all over the country with this new proposition,” said MTN’s acting Chief Marketing Officer Kenneth Kiddu. Centenary bank’s 147 ATMs that are strategically located at all the 62 branches in the country will be utilized by millions of customers from centenary bank and MTN Mobile Money.“We are constantly looking for opportunities to simplify banking; and continuously employing the latest and best technology available to make banking more convenient. In MTN Mobile Money, we have found a strong, reputable and reliable partner we can work with to deliver our promise to our customers and improve their experience,’’ commented Fabian Kasi the managing director Centenary Bank. Read more
EU: Shs78b equity fund launched to boost agriculture production
The European Union (EU) has announced a trial equity fund of $30 million (about Shs78 billion) meant to finance small and medium sized farmers and boost food production and household incomes.Announcing the fund in Kampala, the head of the EU delegation in Uganda, Mr Kristian Schmidt, said the support was in response to limitations faced by small and medium agribusinesses owners in accessing capital that is needed to boost their businesses despite the sector contributing to 24 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.“In Uganda, agriculture is a strategic sector….accounting for over 47 per cent of export revenues and employing 73 per cent of the population. Much of the industrial activity is agro-based…accounting to 40 per cent of total manufacturing,” Mr Schmidt said. Read more
Finance, UCC Fight Over Telecom Cash
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executives have cried foul over a proposed move by the Finance ministry to divert half of the billions that the regulator collects from telecom firms to the Consolidated Fund.In an interview with The Observer, Engineer Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of UCC, described the proposal by the Finance ministry as "not only wrong but constitutionally untenable.""This is a special fund that can only be utilised within the ICT sector," he said. "This money is utilised for universal access to communication. We use it to set up the infrastructure that is required for the development of rural information and communication technology development."The disagreement between Finance and UCC started when the ministry introduced the Finance bill, 2014 in Parliament. Sections of the Bill seek to amend the Uganda Communications Act to compel UCC to remit half of the levy on the annual revenue of communications firms to the consolidated fund.Read more
MOF: Barclays ready to fund Uganda's infrastructure
Barclays group has said it has piles of cash to finance some of the biggest infrastructural projects in Uganda.At a meeting at Kampala Serena hotel with the minister of Finance, Maria Kiwanuka, the bank officials presented cases of projects in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia 
and South Africa, which they had financed. Rajih Shah, the head of Barclays' East Africa Investments, said: "We are open to fund government projects. In Kenya, when they decided to issue a Eurobond, we were so much involved. We were their lead arrangers [technical advisers]," Shah said."Being involved does not mean just providing money only; we can do other things including advisory services."Kenya issued a sovereign bond, where it managed to raise $2bn from the international markets. It used the money to pay off some debts and fund infrastructural projects. Shah said there was growing appetite among investors for investments in the East African region, and that they want to be at the forefront of striking some of the biggest deals in the region. Read more
Underground fuel tanks can contaminate fuel - UNBS
The Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UNBS) has asked consumers and dealers to be cautious with the fuel they buy or sell to avoid contaminated fuel on the market.Launching the fuel quality and quantity awareness campaign at Shell petrol station, Lugogo, Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said water can easily slip into the tanks and cause fuel contamination."So far, water is the biggest challenge that leads to contamination. Most cases are areas with a lot of rainfall so it is the responsibility of the station owners to check for that. UNBS encourages the use of dipstick and water guide," he said.He also explained that there is a lot of water underground and any station is supposed to have a water guide, which detects water in the fuel, and this should be done on a regular basis.He said: "I urge fuel retailers and consumers to be vigilant whenever you are fuelling vehicles. Ensure that fuel does not contain any water because the water 
mixed with petrol wears out engines quickly." Read more
BOU: Weak exports push Uganda’s trade account deficit to Shs613 trillion
Weak commodity exports amid increased importation of goods and services into the country have worsened Uganda’s trade balance.The Central Bank State of the Economy report for  states that Uganda’s trade balance continues to deteriorate on account of stagnant exports and high import requirements. This implies that Uganda’s trade position with the rest of the world is not favourable and the country is spending more on imports than it is earning from exports. According to the report, Uganda’s trade deficit fell by 11.4 per cent, implying that total trade deficit stood at $2.123 billion (about Shs550.918 trillion). The deficit rose to $2.365 billion (about Shs613.717 trillion). The executive director of research, Bank of Uganda, Dr Adam Mugume, said, private consumption imports decreased by $6.9 million (about Shs17.905 billion) to $352.5 million (about Shs914.737 billion). Read more
UIA: Govt to secure Shs390b for industrial park development
Government is set to secure $150 million (about Shs389 billion) from the Government of India for long overdue development of the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, the State minister for Investment, Mr Gabriel Ajedra, has said. According to Mr Ajedra, if the deal with the Export-Import Bank of India goes through, the park will be installed with power, water and roads. Talking to Daily Monitor in Kampala, Mr AJedra said: “I was in India and I can confirm to you that, we will be getting $150 million from the Government of India to develop the Namanve infrastructure—fix power, water and roads.”He continued: “At the moment, we are engaging a consultant who will give us an update on the revise costs of what is needed to be fixed. And when this is done, then we can sign an agreement.” Read more
MOT: Tourism bodies combine to grow sector
The tourism fraternity is in honeymoon mood after Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) liaised to make Uganda the tourism Mecca of Africa.  This was revealed during a cocktail celebrating the launch a Strategic Plan at Serena Hotel Kampala which comes at a time when the tourist arrivals logged were; Kenya 1470,000, Tanzania 754,000 and Uganda 946,000.  These figures have changed lately, following cancelations of bookings in Kenya after a spate of terrorism attacks and threats there. “We are pleased to have partnered with UTA to develop a strategic plan as a road map for greater coordination and engagement in the sector,” said the UNDP Country Director Almaz Gebru.  “We expect that as you embark on implementing it, you will use it as a basis for decision making on priorities and actions required to accelerate tourism.” “And its contribution to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental preservation,” stressed Gebru. Read more
URA re-opens Mateos, Nandos after Agreement
Uganda Revenue Authority has shut down two renowned food joints in Kampala  over nonpayment of tax arrears. The closed joints are Mateos and Nandos, both located on Parliamentary Avenue.According to one of the workers who preferred anonymity, the tax body officers, together with Police and UPDF, swung into action and ordered workers and customers out before they closed the premises.“They told us to vacate the place because of tax arrears that the restaurant owes and that it could not be reopened until our bosses cleared with URA,” explained another worker as he pointed at a notice on one of the entrances at Nandos. Read more
KIWOI: Recycling straws for business
Benedicta Nanyonga paints a picture of a friendly, strong, determined woman as she welcomes you to her craft stall at a trade expo.At first glance, the items in her stall may pass off as ordinary tie and craft items but close scrutiny reveals they are made out of plastic straws. Nanyonga, the director and founder of Kinawataka Women Initiative (KIWOI) located on plot 11 Robert Mugabe Road in Nakawa, has found her niche in picking straws and recycling them into unique products that appeal to both the Ugandan and international markets. The 65-year-old has overcome challenges which would have discouraged the average innovative business minded people to become the brain behind the million shilling recycling enterprise.Read more
Prosper Magazine: Global prospects good for soybean farmers
Ugandan soybean farmers stand a chance to cash in on the increasing global demand for the commodity only if they improve their crop varieties.Although the country’s soybean export volumes have dropped by 25 per cent from 2,751 tonnes to 2,056 tonnes, there is growing demand for the commodity globally. World soy bean imports have reached $62.4 billion (Shs162.2 trillion), indicating a 15 per cent trend when it stood at $36.3 billion (Shs94.3 trillion). China is the biggest importer of this commodity, importing soybeans worth $37.9 billion (Shs98.5 trillion) according to global statistics.Germany and Mexico follow the import queue at $2.09 billion (Shs5.4 trillion) and Mexico $2.06 billion, (Shs5.3 trillion) respectively.In an interview with Prosper magazine, Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB) export officer, Mr Moses Mabala, shares: “China’s performance as the largest and fastest growing import market of soybean. Read more
EAC: High transportation costs push regional traders to Dar es Salaam port
The high cost of moving cargo through Kenya is pushing most East African traders to Dar es Salaam despite reforms that have significantly raised efficiency at the port of Mombasa.Traders based in Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma pay less to move goods from the port of Dar through Tanzania’s Central Corridor than from Mombasa Port through Kenya’s Northern Corridor, a new survey shows.It costs Shs12 million ($4,800) to transport a standard 40 foot container cargo through the Northern Corridor to Kigali, Shs16.9 million ($6,500) to Bujumbura and Shs18 million ($7,000) to Goma from Mombasa Port .The same container transported through Dar would cost Shs11 million ($4,300) to Kigali, Shs11.7 million ($4,500) to Bujumbura and Shs12 million ($4,700) to Goma, a survey conducted by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa indicates. Read more
UMEME: 100,000 Ugandans to convert to Yaka 
About 110,000 Ugandans are projected to convert to the Yaka prepaid billing system, Umeme has said.The power distribution company head of communications, Mr Henry Rugamba, said currently, 95, 000 people have transformed to the system implying that 15,000 are targeted.“The 95,000 are in the districts of Kampala, and Masaka,” he said. “We planned to spend $18 million to actualise our target. Of that amount, $ 8.5 million has been spent so far.”Banda, Kintintale and Nateete are some of the suburbs in Kampala District, where the project is underway. A total of $11.8 million (about Shs46 billion) has been invested in the three suburbs alone.Mr Rugamba says the preference of one district over another is guided by the objective to reduce both technical and commercial losses in the given district, the capacity of a given district to run and maintain the prepayment system, that is, the business readiness, and customer service improvement. Read more
Tata Comunications: New fibre cable to spur competition
Internet penetration has stalled at 12.5% but is set to shoot up as competition rages. State investment minister, Gabriel Ajedra noted that the partnership is timely as government moves to boost internet access. James Walker, the Tata communications Vice President, managed network services noted that the move into Uganda is part of their strategy to capitalize on growth opportunities in African markets. “The partnership with Roke Telkom is designed to enable us to merge the best international technology delivery with the strongest local technology implementers,” he said in a statement. Roger Sekaziga, the Roke Telkom boss noted that the new deal is similar to an international airliner offering its services to Uganda. He added that it’s now up to Ugandans to utilize the additional internet capacity.Read more
MOT: Uncoordinated data hampering tourism growth, says minister
The absence of standard information about the tourism industry in Uganda is frustrating progress, the Minister for Tourism has said.Ms Maria Mutagamba stated in Kampala, that the different stakeholders in the industry publish contradicting information about the status of the sector consequently hampering efforts for effective planning.Uganda Tourism Association role
“Not everyone should publish data about the number of tourists coming into the country or the amount earned annually. We will end up with lies,” she said.“There is need for the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) to come up with a research desk which should be the sole source of information about state of the country’s tourism industry,” she added. Read more
AREA: Construction industry wants rates reduced to build affordable houses
Construction Industry players are engaging the Central Bank over the possibility of offering reduced interest rates for developers investing in residential properties, a real estate official has said.Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by Stanbic Bank home loan department in Kampala, the president Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA), Mr Andrew Mukiibi, said: “Bank of Uganda is willing to give industry players who are members of AREA a tailor-made interest rate as it is the case with agricultural loans.”He continued: “We are in negotiation with the central bank over that because if we don’t address this issue (interest rate matter) then it will be impossible for us to provide the low-end housing units because we cannot afford it as it will be very expensive for us and even the end users.” Read more
URA: Tax proposals in Budget will be rigorously enforced, says govt
Numerous tax proposals and exemptions that were announced in the Budget speech will be enforced irrespective of civil society and business association leaders’ complaints, government officials have said. There are efforts underway to have some of the tax proposals, especially the one on agricultural inputs, fuel, water, computers and bank charges, suspended as discussion around it takes shape.Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre,the Uganda Revenue Authority acting commissioner domestic taxes, Mr John Mayanja, said: “In the region, we (Uganda) are yet to collect as much taxes as our neighbours and to do that, we must increase our tax base (sources of more revenue collection).”He continued: “This means that we have to do away with exemptions and have sectors like agriculture and education, among other sectors, to also contribute in terms of taxes. “This means that we will ensure that all areas that have been exempted or zero rated pay its taxes just like the other areas.” Read more
BOU: Interest rate declines to 21.7 per cent
The effect of high interest rates on the borrowing public has slightly eased following a 6.3 per cent reduction  to 21.7 per cent.The reduction in the commercial lending rate has been attributed to the low Central Bank Rate and the improvement in Uganda economic environment. Due to a difficult economic environment and a high Central Bank Rate, the average commercial lending rate had been hovering at a height of 28 per cent.However, there has been a remarkable reduction in the lending rate, which in some has relieved the public from the burden of high cost of credit from commercial banks for enterprise expansion. The director research Bank of Uganda, Dr Adam Mugume, said the average lending rate on shilling denominated loans remained relatively stable averaging 21.7 per cent . Read more
Nakumatt plans to list on regional stock markets
Nakumatt Supermarket has announced plans to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and neighbouring stock markets, offering investors a chance to own a piece of the region’s biggest retailer valued at $400 million (Shs1 trillion).The retail chain has also said it will sell a 25 per cent stake  to fund growth. Nakumatt had announced suspension of talks with strategic investors following the Westgate Mall attack that destroyed its most lucrative branch, but now says it has re-opened negotiations to sell part of the business.“It is instructive to note that given that we are now considering to sell an equity stake (and not strategic investment), the stake in consideration will be significantly less than 25 per cent,” Nakumatt managing director Atul Shah said in a statement. Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Finance mineral development to propel agribusiness 
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked the private sector to fund natural resource development activities.This, she said will enable the country get money to invest in Information and Communications Technology, irrigation, roads, innovations and electricity to attain inclusive growth in a youth dominated country.Ms Kiwanuka said the discovered oil, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels alone, cannot provide inclusive and sustainable development but can be used to put in place an enabling environment for the agricultural sector to grow.“We have oil but we look up to you (private sector) to make sure that the resource is financed properly to propel sustainable inclusive economic development. Invest in the resources below the ground to translate into sustainable resource above ground,” Ms Kiwanuka said.Read more
Stanbic’s USE suspension will not hurt stock, analysts say
The temporary suspension of Stanbic Bank Uganda from the financial market will not affect the operation of the stock market, industry analysts have said.According to the African Alliance research analyst, Mr Arthur Nsiko, the voluntary suspension is a normal occurrence, saying this one was done with a view to pay off the listed bond ahead of its maturity. “There is a premium (money that will be paid on face value) that goes with paying off the bond and therefore no matter how you look at it, it is not a bad thing both for the industry and the players involved,” Mr Nsiko said when contacted. Stanbic  issued a statement announcing voluntary suspension of its trading note on the Uganda Securities Exchange so as to pay off its listed bond before it matures. Read more
Standard Chartered fined $300m over laundering controls
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) said the British bank's internal compliance systems had failed to detect or act on a large number of "potentially high-risk transactions" mostly originating from Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.The new punishment came two years after the bank paid US regulators $667 million to settle charges it violated US sanctions by handling thousands of money transactions involving Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Sudan.A DFS monitor appointed to keep an eye on the bank discovered that it had not detected the allegedly high-risk transactions from Hong Kong and the UAE or reported them as it should have, the department said."If a bank fails to live up to its commitments, there should be consequences. That is particularly true in an area as serious as anti-money-laundering compliance, which is vital to helping prevent terrorism and vile human rights abuses," said DFS head Benjamin Lawsky.The department gave no information on the nature of the transactions, or whether or not they proved to involve laundering.Read more
MOFPED: Finance mineral development to propel agribusiness - minister
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked the private sector to fund natural resource development activities.This, she said will enable the country get money to invest in Information and Communications Technology, irrigation, roads, innovations and electricity to attain inclusive growth in a youth dominated country.Ms Kiwanuka said the discovered oil, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels alone, cannot provide inclusive and sustainable development but can be used to put in place an enabling environment for the agricultural sector to grow.“We have oil but we look up to you (private sector) to make sure that the resource is financed properly to propel sustainable inclusive economic development. Invest in the resources below the ground to translate into sustainable resource above ground,” Ms Kiwanuka said. Read more
Extortionists delayed fertilizer project - Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni has said unscrupulous people he described as  “extortionists” have delayed the construction of the $620m (sh1.6 trillion) Uganda Sukulu Phosphate Comprehensive Industrial Development Project in Tororo district.Museveni warned that extorting money from investors creates a bad image for the country and undermines development.The President made the statement during the breaking-of-the-ground ceremony for the project in Sukulu, Tororo.The project covering 26.5 square kilometres in Sukulu and Rubongi subcounties will manufacture key products such as phosphate fertilisers, steel products, sulphuric acid, rare earth minerals and generate electricity.Read more
Select Garments Bounces Back Into Business
The proprietor of Select Garments, Robert Ahimbisibwe has come out to refute the reports that his fashionline, Select Garments was crumbling due to his indebtedness.The closure of the Select Garments main branch at Forest Mall recently due to lack of rent sent tongues wagging and made people come to the conclusion that the Select Garments Empire was crumbling.According to Mr. Stanley Isiagi, the Managing Director of Old Stanely Hotel, which manages the mall, Select Garments owed them over $200,000 (about Shs520m) in rent arrears and this forced the mall’s management to close them down.In a statement, Ahimbisibwe announced that the Forest Mall shop was now open and ready for business. Read more
USE: Sectors that could make for good stocks
Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) recorded one of its best performances since inception our outlook remains positive for the short six months to the end of this year and early next year. The stock market recorded a total turnover of Shs141 billion in the first half compared to a turnover of Shs72 billion, reflecting good performance. The stock market recorded a turnover of only Shs19.5 billion and Shs20.4 billion, respectively.The performance is due to the corporate actions among which was the listing of Umeme on the USE, increased foreign investor participation in the market and recovery of economies locally, regionally and globally.Read more
How Samona grew into a multimillion business
When Ssalongo’s children suffered an itchy skin problem, the last thing on his mind was finding a solution that would later turn in profits. According to Ssalongo Micheal Kasawuli Mukasa, the proprietor and chief executive officer of Samona products Ltd, while living in Nateete  where he operated a number of businesses including a cosmetics shop, his children developed an itchy skin condition—scabies.Their torment was ended when Ssalongo’s auntie asked him to try out herbal medicine which, to his surprise, cured the ailment and has since inspired a successful business. Read more
Citadel: Egypt’s Qalaa pumps Shs63 billion in Rift Valley Railways
The investment company formerly known as Citadel is putting more cash in Rift Valley Railways.
Citadel – which has almost $10 billion under management – announced it was getting out of the private equity business.It said that it was transforming itself into an investment company, focusing its major acquisitions in energy, cement, agribusiness, logistics and mines.At that time, chairman and founder Ahmed Heikal announced a new capital increase and said the company would be exiting non-core investments to focus on what it knows best, like the refinery under construction that will process about 50 per cent of the diesel that Egypt currently imports.The “economic fallout from the Arab Spring has generally depressed asset values and put liquidity at a premium, making this an opportune moment to increase our holding in core investments,” Heikal explained. Read more
Roofings wants government to impose 25% Tariff on imported bars
Government has been urged to institute a 25 per cent Common External Tariff on importation of reinforced bars (iron bars).The proposal was put forward by East Africa’s steel and iron manufacturing giant Roofings Group, saying this will protect local industries from cheap and substandard imports.The tariff proposal was made during a tour by Parliament’s committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry at the group’s plant located at the business park in Namanve. The 25 per cent tariff will match that already imposed by Kenya in its budget after her steel mills had started closing shop due to unfair competition from cheaper imported iron and steel products.“It is our request that Parliament addresses this concern with urgency as we are facing increased deterioration of the market which may see the plant downsize further or closed. Read more
UEPB: Uganda, Egypt trade ties to increase as stability returns
Uganda’s ties with Egypt, one of its main export markets in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) region, are still slow despite the return of relative political stability.However, experts are optimistic that trade between the two countries will resume though it will take a bit of time.Uganda was exporting goods worth $5.8 million (Shs15.1 billion) to Egypt before the political revolts that saw hundreds of people die and businesses paralysed. Statistics also show that, Uganda’s exports to the North African state fell to $780,000 (Shs2 billion), the figure further dropped to $168,000 (Shs440 million).Talking to Daily Monitor, Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) trade officer Moses Mabala said: “We have seen the demand for imports by Egypt from Uganda drop because of the instabilities. Read more
MAAF: ‘VAT on inputs will chase farmers out of business’
The ministry of agriculture has warned that re-instating the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural inputs and cereals will reduce farmers’ profits and chase many out of production. Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira, the state minister for agriculture, said this will hamper efforts to mechanise and commercialise farming to boost food security.The budget reinstated VAT on the supply of poultry and livestock feeds, agricultural and machinery like tractors, as well as specialised vehicles and plants.Other inputs on which VAT was imposed include seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and hand hoes. The supply of cereals grown, milled or produced in the country, which has always been VAT-free, will also start attracting the tax.Consequently, the price for a brand new tractor is to increase by more than sh10m, from sh55m and sh80m, to sh65m-sh94m. A hand hoe which has been costing a farmer sh7000 will now go for about sh8500.Yet, Nyiira explained that Uganda’s agricultural sector is made up of mainly smallholder farmers who cannot set prices for their products and as such cannot wash out VAT like other businesses. Read more
DTB Uganda, Tanzania units lift half-year profit
Strong performance by DTB subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania lifted Diamond Trust bank’s net profit by 10 per cent to Sh2.94 billion.The bank reported a 48 per cent jump in the net earnings from its subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi to Sh770 million, which group managing director Nasim Devji attributed to a strong performance from Small and Medium sized eEnterprise (SMEs) lending across the region.The subsidiaries in these three countries now account for 33 per cent of the lender’s balance sheet, compared to 30.9 per cent. DTB’s loan book went up by 27 per cent to Sh120 billion, resulting in an increase of 26 per cent in the interest income to Sh8.3 billion.“Across the East Africa region we play in the SMEs market. It is they who were mainly taking up the loans, in sectors such as trade, construction and transport,” said Ms Devji. Read more
AH Consulting: Private sector calls for tax scrap on new computers
The ICT fraternity is calling for the removal of VAT on imported new computers and computer software as a way of discouraging the importation of used computers.“Most of the people are hesitant to cough the 18%, I see people going back to the second hand,” said a private ICT entrepreneur from PC World company.The recommendation on the removal of the 18% VAT imposed on these equipment are part of a finding done to assess the impact of the declaration to ban used computers imports by government.The other recommendation is that government should uphold the ban while NITA-U, the technology authority and standards body should expedite computer standards to distinguishing new from old, refurbished and cloned.James Saaka, the NITA chief the efforts in streamlining ICT activities are to propel Uganda into a knowledge based economy. Read more
Roofing Group:Steel manufacturer says power surges caused Shs3b losses
Steel manufacturer, Roofings Group, has said it has lost equipment worth of $1.2 million (Shs3.1 billion) over the last 10 months due to power surges.The Group technical director, Mr Sheikh Arif, said he believes the surges were caused by lightning strikes to electrical sub-stations, which distribute power to businesses and homes, as well as old equipment at the sub stations.Another likely cause of the unstable power, according to the manufacturer, may be the erratic use of electricity, such as turning large motors on and off abruptly by neighbouring factories in the Namanve Industrial Area, he said.“It is not power cuts, it is the power spikes,” Mr Arif said, clarifying the alleged source of his company’s losses to reporters and parliamentarians at the Namanve factory.Read more
Utilise EA integration to grow local businesses - Kiwanuka
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has told local companies to utilise the opportunities accruing from the East African integration to expand their businesses in the region like Tanzanian and Kenyan companies are doing.Ms Kiwanuka said although the integration is real, many Ugandan companies are limiting their horizons to only Ugandan borders thus missing out on business expansion advantages of selling to a wider audience which results into more business profitability, attracting of professionals and sustainability.“Emulate other companies (Kenyans and Tanzanian) and do not limit yourselves to Ugandan borders. The East African integration is real get on board,” Ms Kiwanuka said. Read more
KPA advises importers on Port information
Ugandan importers have been advised to always seek and make use of information before starting their transactions.This, according to Kenya Ports Authority Country Representative in Uganda Muhamad Jezan, will help the importers avoid delays and have their goods delivered on time.He said: “Information is always available at our country office but few importers make use of it”.Mr Jezan said the KPA Uganda office has been organising several trainings, workshops and as well as annually exhibiting at the Uganda Manufacturers Association but again they continue to see importers’ cargo delayed because of accumulated demurrage or later auctioned. KPA’s advice comes at a time when more than 1,600 Ugandan-bound containerised goods are stuck at the Mombasa Port and if not cleared importers will have to pay demurrage or lose them through auction. Read more
MOFPED: Govt will support investment
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has said the Government will help many local companies to grow, pay taxes and in turn create employment, by providing a conducive environment.“The Government is committed to improving the lives of its people through providing a condusive environment for companies to grow. In turn, these companies will create employment for our people and manufacture goods for export to neighbouring markets. This will earn us more foreign exchange,” Kiwanuka explained. The minister made the remarks, as Uganda Baati Limited celebrated doing business in Uganda. The function was held at the company’s head office in Kampala. Kiwanuka assured the business community that the Government values its partnership with the private sector. “We have, become attentive listeners to your suggestions because we are determined to make you the real shakers and movers of our economy,” she said. Addressing Baati, Kiwanuka said the Government was proud to associate itself with the company’s activities. “From what I have been seeing on the market, the company is growing even stronger and bigger. I wish to thank you for introducing steel products to the Ugandan market and for sustaining the business for so many years,” she explained. Read more
UCC: MTN named Uganda’s leading network operator
The independent Quality of Service (QOS) assessment that was carried out by the Uganda Communications Commission and published in the leading daily newspapers indicated MTN Uganda as the leading network operator for the period.  The report covered a number of parameters which include among others Successful Call rate, Blocked call rate and Dropped call rate. MTN Uganda’s focus on Network Quality, the rollout of innovative Products and Services, improvement of Customer Experience and wide distribution network which have consolidated our leadership in quality service and delivery.Read more
UNBS Rises Against Fuel Adulteration
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) in conjunction with the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives has launched the fuel quantity and quality of fuel Awareness, an activity that is part of UNBS’ public engagements as they celebrate.Speaking to journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, UNBS Public Relations Officer, Maggie Lukowe noted that the government of Uganda started the Fuel Marking and Monitoring Programme (FMP) in a bid to curb the vice of fuel adulteration that was threatening fuel consumers in the country.“Under this arrangement, all fuel products destined for the Ugandan market have to be marked with a specialized color at the customs point of entry into the country to distinguish it as meeting the fuel standards required,” Lukowe explained. Read more
MTN Uganda celebrates 10 Million subscribers landmark-gives back to customers
As part of its celebration of the landmark achievement of 10 million subscribers, MTN Uganda has accorded the success to the loyalty and commitment of its customers and hence announced a give-back of 10 million minutes of free MTN airtime and 100million MB of data. This means that each customer automatically gets one MTN to MTN minutes and 10 MB of data.“I cannot emphasize the importance of this milestone to us, it is clear from our research that network quality and investment remains one of the key reasons for customers trust and loyalty to MTN and we are grateful to our customers who have been loyal and very supportive to this achievement. I affirm that our key focus remains the expansion of the infrastructure to enhance network quality for both voice and data across the region”. MTN Uganda’s Acting Chief Marketing Officer Kenneth Kiddu said. Read more
MOFED: Financial Intelligence Authority formed
The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), a new body to combat money laundering, has been formed. The former director legal services in the Inspectorate of Government, Sydney Asubo was appointed the interim executive director pending ratification by the FIA board and approval by Parliament. However, the FIA board is still being constituted.“I hereby assign you additional responsibility as the interim executive director of FIA on secondment ,” the letter from finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, copied to the finance permanent secretary and secretary to the Treasury, read. The Anti-money Laundering Act requires the minister to appoint an executive director on recommendation of the board. Money laundering is the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of proceeds of criminal activities by making such proceeds appear to have been derived from a legitimate source. Read more
EAC advised on economic deals with EU
The East African Community (EAC) has been asked to focus on development priorities while negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU).Ms Jane Nalunga, the country director Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute (SEATINI) Uganda, made the call at a media briefing in Kampala.She said for any EPA to be concluded by the EAC, it should be coherent with its development priorities, support its structural transformation and sustainable development. Some of the EAC’s development priorities include; helping member countries to increase their production capacities, encouraging diversification, increasing food security, providing quality employment and moving the region from being largely raw natural resource exporters to being producers of more sophisticated products.“EAC should not compromise the development of other sectors that will be affected once the current EPA is concluded for the sake of protecting the flowers industry from attracting tariffs in the EU market,” she advised. Read more
IRA: Insurance industry looks to informal sector for growth
With progress in the insurance industry as demonstrated by the 31 per cent growth registered, the industry regulator has said its problem has since shifted from stimulating the growth to sustaining it. The Insurance market report indicates that the gross insurance premium written rose to Shs463 billion from Shs351 billion, representing a remarkable 31 per cent growth in the industry.“Realising 31 per cent growth in gross written premium is not a mean achievement. However, sustaining is even harder,” Mr Gaudioso Kabondo Tindamanyire, the board chairman of Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda, said in the report.In an interview with the industry players, it emerged the sustainability that the regulator is talking about can be triggered by innovations that target people in the informal sector, a substantial number of whom are low income earner.Read more
UIA: Actual investments grow by sh9 trillion
Continued improvement in the macroeconomic environment enabled a 15% improvement in growth of actual capital investments. The growth, which was mostly driven by a boom in finance, insurance and real estate, accounted for 44% of actual investments, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has said. Addressing journalists in Kampala, the executive director of UIA, Dr. Frank Ssebowa, said the authority registered an 8% growth in actual investments to $46.8m, compared to $43m recorded. He added that the business service sector recorded the highest investment to the tune of $17m, while agriculture recorded $10m and the manufacturing sector followed with $9.1m.“Investment performance continues to do considerably well in spite of an 11% decline in the number of licensed projects,” he said. The authority also said the value of investments licensed led to a reduction in planned investments by 69% to $310m, compared to the planned $1b. India remained the largest source of foreign direct investment projects, accounting for 20% of projects, with planned value of investment amounting to $12.5m. Read more
UBOS: Uganda Inflation Falls
Annual inflation in the country  dropped to 4.3% from the 5% registered.The decline according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) is attributed to the increased food production in the country which has caused food prices to decline in most parts of the country.According to a press statement from the Bureau, food inflation dropped from 6.5% to about 5.6% while that of non-food items also dropped to 3.7% from 3.8%. However, despite the reduction in food prices, the country registered an increase in core inflation Prices of fresh food related items in most parts of the country have gone down because of the harvesting seasons in most parts of the country. Food items whose prices have been affected by the harvesting season include maize flour , fresh maize, beans and vegetables like greens tomatoes in some parts of the country.Core inflation which excluded food, fuel and other utilities prices increased to 3.0% for the year from 2.8%. Read more
UEPB: Growing demand drives vanilla prices up
Farmers who remained in vanilla growing bust are now smiling their way to the banks as prices go up.A kilogramme of green vanilla beans now goes for Shs25,000 at the farm gate price, up from the Shs15,000 it sold.Years ago, the price of vanilla which had reached Shs100,000 for a kilogramme of green beans nose dived to almost Shs1,000.This left farmers who had invested in the commodity frustrated as hundreds were forced to abandon the crop.However, the drift is gradually changing for those who stayed in the business as prices have continued to go up.Players in the industry attribute the price rise to increasing demand for the commodity both at the local and international markets. In an interview with Prosper magazine Uganda Export Promotion Board trade officer, Mr Moses Mabala, shares: “We are seeing international demand for vanilla picking up from the United States of America, German and Japan.” Read more
YAFU: Akampa nurturing innovative ideas to fight unemployment
 University student that Johnson “Tanbull” Akampa is, one would expect him to be solely concerned with his studies and posturing to live life on the fantasy lane.Instead, he is more passionate about promoting innovation among the youths as a way to overcoming the cancer of unemployment.“The youths should bring about the change they desire, if the government is taking long,” he says. “If the government is not creating jobs, then the youth should brainstorm how to create jobs for themselves.”The 25-year-old is not only talking the talk; but he has also walked the talk. He is the founder of Youth Advocacy Foundation Uganda (YAFU), an organisation that brings together youths to nurture and facilitate the growth of different skills and innovative ideas. The urge to set up YAFU was conceived at the end of the National Skills Development expo held at Nakasero Primary School in Kampala. Read more
URA starts clearing global cargo through single customs system
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will start a pilot project of clearing of bulk international cargo through the Single Customs Territory (SCT).The SCT involves removal of internal border customs controls on goods moving between partner states with an ultimate realization of free circulation of goods.According to the URA commissioner customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the trial project will involve overseas cargo bound for Uganda through the port of Mombasa.“The bulk cargo on the list includes Clinker- a raw material used in the manufacturing of cement, edible oils and wheat grain,” Mr Kamajugo said.The revenue body says the project will, before all international containerised cargo brought on board.Read more
BOU: Central Bank to address inequality, accountability at public lecture
As lack of accountability and transparency, and inequitable distribution of resources continue to cripple Uganda’s finance management, a public lecture has been organised with the view of enlightening people on the issue. A public lecture that seeks to solve these challenges will be held at the Kampala Serena Hotel.Dubbed “Creating a Vibrant and Fair Society: Issues of Accountability and Transparency”, the lecture will be presented by former World Bank managing director and South Africa political activist, Dr Mamphela Aletta Ramphele, Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture.The late Joseph Mubiru was the first governor Bank of Uganda, Bank of Uganda has held an annual memorial in his honour to spur public knowledge policy formulation and economic policy development. Read more
MOEMD: Govt starts free power connections in villages
Goverment has started paying power connection fees for rural households to encourage use of electricity by the rural folks, energy minister, Irene Muloni, has disclosed. “All households near the power lines (within 15 metres range) are being connected. ‘‘We only request the premise owners to contact certified electricians to wire their premises and inform any power distribution company near them. Their premises will be connected for free,” Muloni said. She was speaking during a workshop organised by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature Uganda at Protea Hotel in Kampala. Presenting a keynote address on universal energy access in Uganda, Muloni revealed that the free power connections are targeting 1.28 million new service connections in the short and medium term. “To increase the number of connections, we are implementing the output based aid programme, which provides a subsidy to enable electricity connections in the rural areas. This will help those who are unable to pay connection fees,” she noted. The minister urged power distribution service providers and development partners to buy into this strategy for both increasing the financial basket and vigilance in connections. Read more
EABL net profit grows to Shs203b
Uganda and Tanzania came second and third respectively at 18 per cent and 11 per cent as East African Breweries Ltd’s (EABL) after-tax profit for the year, grew 5 per cent to KSh6.85 billion (about Shs203 billion) riding on improved performance by most of its products. Kenya remained the group’s biggest market, contributing 64 per cent of the total sales.Announcing the results, group managing director Charles Ireland said profitability was weighed down by the introduction of new taxes on Senator Keg and political instability in South Sudan where it opened a depot in in the first quarter. “We are generally happy with the results but we believe we could have done better. All our products posted positive growth except Senator Keg,” said Mr Ireland. Senator sales dropped by 75 per cent during the review period. Sales went up by 4 per cent to Sh61.2 billion (about Shs1.8 trillion) during the year. Read more
PSF: Uganda cargo at Mombasa increases by 14.4 per cent
Uganda’s cargo handled by the port of Mombasa has increased by 14.4 per cent, a half-year- Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) report has said.The report on general clearing of cargo showed the transit traffic recorded an impressive 9.6 per cent growth to stand at 3.53 million tonnes up from 3.22 million. KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua said: “Uganda, our biggest transit market, has continued to increase its usage of the port. In the first six months of this year, Uganda cargo handled at the port increased by 14.4 per cent to 2.72 million tonnes compared to 2.38 million tonnes.”Responding to this performance, Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director Gideon Badagawa said seeing Uganda’s bound cargo increase is as a result of the reforms being done at Mombasa and traders gaining confidence in the port. Read more
Uchumi to cross-list on Dar stock exchange
Following its successful cross-listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), where it has subsidiaries, and on the Rwanda bourse, Uchumi supermarkets is set to cross list on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange.Tanzania’s Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) has approved Uchumi Supermarkets to cross-list shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.CMSA is a government agency that regulates trading of securities. Uchumi chief executive Jonathan Ciano said in an interview the go-ahead was granted last month but the cross-listing could not have been undertaken as it occurred in the month of Ramadhan.The Kenyan based retailer, which already has four branches in Tanzania, said it will cross-list on the Dar es Salaam bourse.The listing is expected to increase Uchumi’s market visibility and boost its rights issue plans. Read more
UIA: Employment levels declining despite increased investment
Despite increased growth in actual investment experienced, there was decline in both employment levels and number of planned investments, Uganda Investment authority data has shown.The 4th quarter also witnessed 38 percent decline in planned jobs, which translate to 8,650 jobs from 13,850 anticipated jobs. “During the quarter under review, actual investment grew by 8 percent translating to $46.8 million (about Shs117billion) compared to $43 million (about Shs108billion) recorded,” Mr Frank Sebbowa, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) executive director, said in a midweek news conference in Kampala. Read more
BOU: Registered mobile money users reach 17 million mark
Since its establishment in Uganda, the penetration of mobile payment has grown fast with the number of registered mobile account holders standing at 17.6 million.The current trend reiterates the continued influence of mobile money transactions in Uganda’s financial services and the country’s economy.Mobile money transfer services entered the Ugandan non-bank financial market and, there are six providers namely; MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Orange, M-cash and Eeezy Money.The trend in mobile payment in terms of registered use has surpassed the number of people holding accounts in the financial institutions that are supervised by Bank of Uganda, which includes commercial banks, Credit Institutions (CIs) and Microfinance –Depositing Taking Institutions (MDIs). Read more
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde: NTB reporting system launched
THE Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives has commissioned the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) Reporting System, a mobile phone and email-based system that will ease reporting to impediments to trade.Through the system, the private sector will report NTBs and the ministry will coordinate with several government agencies to respond to the concerns.While launching the facility in Kampala, Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde noted that NTBs are slowing down the growth of regional business.“Data from the EAC Secretariat shows that intra-EAC trade grew to $5.5 billion, even as the five member states hesitated on the elimination of non-trade barriers (NTBs),” she said.“EAC intra-trade at the moment stands at about 13 per cent of the total trade volume, against the 87 per cent of trade that goes to the rest of the world”Allen Asiimwe, TradeMark East Africa’s country director said inconsistent information and dialogue mechanisms, coupled with slow response times to complaints reported have been thwarting efforts to scale down on the NTBs.Read more
Obama's speech at US-Africa Business Forum
This summit reflects a perspective that has guided my approach to Africa as President. Even as Africa continues to face enormous challenges, even as too many Africans still endure poverty and conflict, hunger and disease, even as we work together to meet those challenges, we cannot lose sight of the new Africa that’s emerging.We all know what makes Africa such an extraordinary opportunity. Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. A growing middle class. Expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail. One of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world. More governments are reforming, attracting a record level of foreign investment. It is the youngest and fastest-growing continent, with young people that are full of dreams and ambition. South Africa, in Soweto, I held a town hall with young men and women from across the continent, including some who joined us by video from Uganda. And one young Ugandan woman spoke for many Africans when she said to me, “We are looking to the world for equal business partners and commitments, and not necessarily aid. Read more
Uchumi may ditch Uganda landlord over sales traffic
Regional retailer Uchumi Supermarkets has issued one of its landlords in Kampala, Uganda a notice to move following low business volumes in an upmarket mall, which it blames on poor customer traffic. Uchumi which is an anchor tenant at the Freedom City mall located off Kampala-Entebbe Highway, said the tenancy mix at the shopping centre is a challenge that was affecting its business."The landlord has declined to engage professional agents. The tenancy lease was wanting and the landlord appears unable to attract tenancy that attracts customers," said Uchumi CEO Jonathan Ciano."We are still operating there, although we have given them a notice that we may not be able to continue there," added Ciano. A rich tenancy mix, he said, entails outlets that are popular to clientele in an area a mall is located, hence attracting a higher customer traffic and boosting sales. Read more
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka: 10% tax on bank fees draws mixed response from players
Banks have started collecting the 10 per cent Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) excise taxes with charges on some huge withdrawals, ledger fees, bulk transactions and other periodic charges set to increase.During the Budget reading, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said the Excise Tariff Amendments mandates all banks to collect and remit 10 per cent fees, which will help URA collect a projected Shs22 billion.The 10 per cent tax on banking services which took effect is one of the initiatives that URA has deployed in an effort to plug the Budget deficit created by donor aid cuts. DFCU managing director Juma Kisaame said, banks are responding individually to the tax and it is upon a given bank to either increase charges such that the consumer bears the final cost or peg them on the banks which would then foot the bill on behalf of the customers, something he said is hard because banks are in business to make money. Read more
CAA: Rwanda, Ethiopia airlines to fill Air Uganda gap
New RwandAir and Ethiopian Airlines operations at Entebbe will help fill the gap created by the absence of Air Uganda which is under suspension, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.Government granted the two airlines fifth freedom rights to fly the Entebbe-Nairobi and Entebbe-Juba routes. Fifth freedom is the right to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country and from that country to a third country. RwandAir started new operations between Entebbe and Juba in South Sudan. Ethiopian Airlines is expected to start new operations between Entebbe-Nairobi routes soon, the CAA spokesperson, Ignie Igundura said. CAA revoked the air operators’ certificates for three carriers including Air Uganda, Uganda Air Cargo and Trans-Afrik (U) Ltd, citing their failure to meet standards for operations.Their suspension of business followed an audit of the policies and procedures of CAA by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Some carriers were forced to hike ticket prices after the suspension of Air Uganda which was the main airline plying the routes. Read more
US-Africa Leaders Summit: US, African leaders turn to business at summit
The first of the historic US-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest such meeting ever held in Washington, saw American officials chidng their guests over democratic reform and civil rights.But now President Barack Obama and titans of US commerce and industry will try to convince their counterparts that American is as determined to take part in Africa's growth story as China or Europe.Talk of promoting civil rights, dealing with the surging threat of Ebola in West Africa and specific challenges like fighting global warming and trade in protected wildlife.The program confronts the reality that China has brushed all such issues aside to establish itself as Africa's fastest growing partner and that the European Union is quickly fashioning free-trade agreements with regional African blocs.Secretary of State John Kerry was straightforward on Washington's aims."I say unabashedly: We want and we will work hard to get more American companies to invest in Africa. We also want more African companies to invest here in the United States, and there's no reason that they shouldn't," he said. Read more
Kakira Sugar Works plans to produce Ethanol fuel 
Kakira Sugar Works Ltd., Uganda’s biggest processor of the sweetener, plans to build an ethanol plant after it spent $75 million (Shs197 billion) expanding cane-crushing and power operations.The ethanol from the facility that will have capacity to produce 20 million liters (5.3 million gallons) annually will be distilled from 85,000 metric tons of molasses, the result of processing 2 million tons of cane, Kenneth Musinga Barungi, an assistant to the company’s general manager, said. “Directors are discussing the design, possible equipment suppliers and costs, with plans for production to start,” he said. Officials visited India and China for advice on feasibility studies, Barungi said. Kakira and other producers sell molasses cheaply to distillers of a local gin. Read more
UEPB: Uganda’s bean exports grow as markets expand
Beans exports to different destinations have experienced a tremendous growth of 148 per cent, a scenario projected to boost local production according to experts.Revenue collected from the beans exports to the DRC according to market information from the Uganda Export Promotion Board earned the country $1.15 million (Shs3 billion) out of the total $1.42 million (Shs3.7 billion) exports.“This performance saw DRC Congo take the lion’s share of about 75.6 per cent of the country’s exports,” Mr Moses Mabala, the trade promotion officer at UEPB noted.Mr Mabala attributes this performance to a number of reasons mainly DR Congo’s proximity to Uganda and less restriction as they consume the species mainly grown in Uganda like kidney beans. Read more
Museveni: Commercial agriculture will transform Busoga
President Yoweri Museveni has asked the people in Busoga region to practice commercial agriculture so as to realize financial stability in the area.He was addressing a delegation of NRM Women’s League from Busoga sub-region who called on him at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district.The team was led by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and included MPs from Busoga, leaders and mobilizers.“The commercialization of agriculture is what Busoga needs to attain financial stability,” Museveni said. “However, crops such as maize and sugarcane can yield highly only if done on a large scale.”He went on to advise the women to adopt the seven-acre method of agriculture in order to ensure better and higher profits from their varied activities even for those who have small pieces of land.The NRM leader cited projects such as piggery, poultry, dairy cows, pasture/fodder, fruits, colonal coffee and food crops like matooke (bananas) and cassava that can be grown together on the same piece of land.With this move, he said, each homestead can be sure to earn at least sh50m annually. Read more
USMA: Ugandan sugar blocked entry into Kenya
Despite authorities from Uganda and Kenya striking a deal to allow sugar exports from the former into the latter, some trucks are still blocked from entering East Africa’s biggest economy.The chairman of the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA), Jim Kabeho, said some trucks are being allowed into Kenya while others are not.“We have started sugar exports, although we still have a few problems,” he said on the sidelines on the sidelines of the commissioning the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) Reporting System.A truck was still hold up at the border Uganda-Kenya border.Asked why Kenyan authorities are still blocking some of the Ugandan sugar into their market, Kabeho bluntly said: “Non-Tariff Barrier. They give you one reason on a particular day, then they tell you to come back the following day. When you do, they give you another reason”.Kabeho, who is also the director of the East African Business Council Uganda, was visibly upset by the blocking of entry of Ugandan exports. Read more
Digital marketing: the future of business
With the markets increasingly getting competitive, running a business without advertising complicates the situation. To survive, most entrepreneurs have tried to go the extra mile to make sure their businesses get known to almost every person in a desperate bid to increase sales.This, for a long time has been done through the traditional mainstream media including newspapers, television, radio, outdoor billboards and websites among others. It is a move that has benefited many entrepreneurs, but, only those that can spend huge sums of their business earnings on advertising.Considering the wave of improved technology and communication that has swept across the globe, it is pertinent that every entrepreneur desirous of staying afloat in business embraces the marketing mechanisms that utilise these technologies. This is what many refer to as digital marketing.It is the medium of marketing that makes use of electronic devices such as personal computers, smartphones, cell phones and tablets among other devices to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing involves technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps, short message services (SMS) and social networks. Read more
NBL: Beverage industry players seek to attract low end consumers
Beer industry players are seeking to invest in local raw materials in the manufacturing of products in an attempt to lure the traditional brew drinkers into formal beer drinking segment.Industry statistics show that Ugandans are still average drinkers, consuming about 10 litres annually compared to South Africans’ 80 litres and Czechoslovakia leading with 100 litres per person annually, making them the highest alcohol consumers in the world.To raise the numbers, the industry market leader, Nile Breweries Limited (NBL), is targeting the informal drinkers, (those who drink local brew). “We are looking at getting informal markets into consuming our products and growing our markets as well,” the new managing director NBL , Mr Greg Metcalf, said in his first news conference in Kampala.“We will be using more of the local raw materials to make affordable products that are appealing so that we can move people from informal drinking,” he added. According to him, his company will be investing more in production of local barley, including employing the services of experts to help farmers here enhance their yields—both in terms of quality and quantity. Read more
MOTI: NTB reporting system to be commissioned 
Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde will commission the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) Reporting System, a mobile phone and email-based system for reporting barriers to trade. To access the system, one will have to dial a USSB code; *201#. Upon dialing this code, eight categories of NTBs; weighbridges, standards inspect, customs, immigrations, Police road blocks, EAC Affairs, Business registration and license, plant and animal inspection appear on the complainant’s phone screen menu.Sam Watasa, the Lead Advisor of the National Response Strategy for the Elimination of NTBs Project says the system delivers complaints simultaneously depending on the complaint.“For example, if the complaint is about standards, it will be sent to the ministry and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, if it is about customs, it will be registered by the ministry and the Uganda Revenue Authority,” he explains.Stakeholders hope that the system will make it possible to report and respond to NTBs in real time. It is expected to lead to significant improvement in the way NTBs are reported, documented, monitored and resolved. “If you are a transporter, and your truck is stuck on the road because of any of these barriers, and you think it is not fair to you, send the information instantly. Read more
Motorcycle owners appeal to URA over quack dealers
OWNERS and operators of motorcycles have appealed to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to protect them from unscrupulous dealers who are fleecing them with fake log books and number plates.“We buy motorcycles from dealers without knowing that some of them are quacks and end up losing a lot of money,” said Living Bingi a Boda boda cyclist in Kagadi town.Bingi said that the motorcycle dealers do not mind about them so long as they make their profits and appealed to URA to screen those dealing in motorcycles and weed out the fake ones.Yuda Kisakye told the URA team that they buy motorcycles with number plates and are given log books but they are surprised to be told that they are not genuine number plates and even the log books are also forged. Read more
UniBRAIN: Lack of mentorship killing businesses
Absence of mentoring programmes for businesses is the reason why many have failed to break even. This is because people start without the help of mentors experienced in those areas to teach and guide them in basics to consider for the success of a particular business.The observation was made by Alex Ariho, the coordinator of Universities, Businesses and Research in Agriculture Innovation (UniBRAIN), while presenting a paper titled fostering mentorship in Agribusiness innovations.This was at a consultative mentorship workshop organized by the Pan African Agribusiness and Agro forestry Consortium (PanAAC) and UniBRAIN at Imperial Royal Golf Hotel in Entebbe.During the mentorship process, a business owner is able to understand how to package his products, market, the relevance, alternative sources of capital to keep the business running, effective management among others, added Ariho’s presentation. Read more
Comesa policy to spur Uganda’s leather industry potential
Uganda is one of the Common market for Eastern and Southern African (Comesa) member countries with low value added produce, according to government. This has seen the bloc lose out on opportunities on the international trade.In order to address this, Comesa is developing an industrial policy that will encourage countries to enhance their manufacturing sector and to add value to their primary produce.While at the 4th Fourth Biennial Conference of stakeholders in agriculture and Network of Universities (RUFORUM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Comesa Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said: “Africa’s supply of raw materials and semi-processed leather products was a low yield earner with minimum profits.”In order to advance Africa’s potential to become competitive in the leather and leather products sector, Mr Ngwenya advocated for involvement of the local universities in enhancing research and technology to add value to the region’s agro-based commodities. Read more
MOLHUD: Govt to introduce guidelines to control property prices
In an attempt to shield the unsuspecting clients from being cheated by some crafty property agents, government will develop guidelines that industry players will refer to in determining prices of properties, a senior government official has disclosed. The Director of Housing ministry of Lands, Ms Agnes Kadama Kalibala, told Daily Monitor that the guidelines will arrest the ‘senseless’ prices that most properties are being sold at.She said: “We are trying to have the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA) empowered so that together we can come up with guidelines that will ensure that properties are sold at reasonable prices.”
She continued: “As we speak now there is no control on the property prices, that is why you hear of those cases—exaggerated prices for properties.”At a breakfast meeting organised by Standard Chartered Bank with the AREA members , it emerged that clients are being ripped off by unscrupulous real estate agents who increase the prices of properties by over 70 per cent on the basis of speculation. Read more
Low tax on cement hits home producers
Local cement producers are facing competition from low-cost Asian rivals after the East African ministers excluded the commodity from a list of protected items and retained a lower duty on imports.The decision is set to hurt producers even as it promises the consumer low prices for the commodity.“It has been our prayer that the import duty is increased to at least 35 per cent so that we are cushioned from the imports. It is our view that we promote local businesses before allowing in cheap imports into the market,” said Narendra Raval, chairman of Devki Group that manufactures the National Cement brand.Producers in the region have been lobbying for inclusion of cement in the list of sensitive products following a biting shortage of the commodity. The list contains items which are protected by high import tariffs because the region has the capacity to produce them. Read more
USE registers expansion with Shs800 billion turnover
Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) has registered the highest turnover (revenue) to Shs816,629,836 realised from trading of 243,879,916,645 shares.This upward growth in USE’s turnover signifies that Uganda’s stock market is expanding and at the same time the investors are also benefiting from their investments in the stock exchange. This is the first time in USE’s of existence to register this impressive turnover in a single quarter and on an annual basis. The volume of shares traded at the exchange was 158,108,93, which saw USE registering a turnover of Shs16,876,649,182. USE trade manager Andrew Mwima told the Daily Monitor that of the total turnover, 97.16 per cent arose from the Umeme counter; Stanbic Bank Uganda, British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU), Dfcu and Bank of Baroda Uganda (BOBU) counters each contributed 1.44 per cent, 0.82 per cent, 0.46 per cent and 0.09 per cent respectively of the total turnover . Read more
WPF: 900 farmers in Rwenzori region to profit from Shs800m grain deal
The World Food Programme (WPF), a United Nations agency and SNV, a Netherlands’ development organisation have contributed Shs800 million to boost grain production in the Rwenzori sub region.Under the project, Purchase For Progress, the two organisations are targeting 900 farmers grouped in 31 clusters to increase quality and quantity maize and bean production to sustain local and WFP markets. The money, according to Mr George William Oroma, the SNV agriculture advisor, will be channelled into skills development to help farmers produce more and set up satellite collection centres where harvests can be stored for use during dry seasons. Read more
BOU: Central Bank begins financial literacy campaign in schools
Bank of Uganda has started a campaign to boost people’s understanding of economic issues affecting them so that they can identify opportunities to exploit.The move, according to the Central Bank’s head of corporate affairs, Edward Tenywa, was prompted by the realisation that many Ugandans have no grasp of economic issues, which affects their economic participation.“Without the right financial knowledge and of the workings of the Central Bank, individual players in the economy will be in the dark about key indicators such as inflation and how they affect price levels and productivity,” Tenywa added.Key factors such as the Central Bank Rates (CBR) directly affect interest rates on loans and deposits and commercial banks automatically adjust rates whenever the Central Bank sets a new rate.Bank customers could also get a raw deal when they miss out on Central Bank information releases, Tenywa explained. Read more
MTN Subscribers to Shop Online Using Mobile Money
MTN Uganda announced the launch of an online payment system using the Mobile Money service, adding to a wide range of innovative products attached to the service including payment of utility bills, School Fees, Life Insurance, among others.In a statement, MTN Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Kenneth Kiddu explained the steps which he described as quite easy, quick and simple, “ A customer simply needs to log on to any online selling site then select MTN Mobile Money as the payment option.”“A customer will then be required to enter their Mobile Money number, and will receive a notification on their phone prompting them to confirm payment by punching in their Mobile Money PIN, added Kenneth”“On successful completion of the transaction, an SMS notification with a transaction ID will be sent to the customer’s phone. The customer will then get a call from the merchant on how and where to deliver the items purchased,” he explained. Read more
BATU declares no dividends as exorbitant taxes erode profits
Exorbitant taxes are not only taking a toll on British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU), a legally licensed tobacco firm, but are also among the reasons why the company’s shareholders will not be entitled to interim dividends.According to unaudited results the company registered a revenue decrease of six per cent, a dip attributed to among others, taxes on tobacco. Equally affected are the profits from operations, which decreased by 50 per cent, as reflected in the BATU unaudited accounts.According to BATU, the drop in revenue by six per cent is mainly as a result of timing in export leaf shipments while the decrease in operations profits by 50 percent primarily due to the impact of higher cigarette excise duties following the 43 per cent weighted average rate increase coupled with the imposition of import duties. Read more
Uganda to start getting ADB loans with interest
Unlike in the past where it used to access loans at zero interest rate, Uganda will begin borrowing at higher cost from the African Development Bank (ADB).This follows the country’s graduation to access loans from the bank’s window which attracts interest rate.Uganda has always borrowed accessed loans from the bank’s window which offers interest-free loans. The development bank has been involved in supporting development efforts of Uganda and has approved loans and grants amounting to $3.24 billion (about Shs85.212 trillion) for 123 operations.Borrowing from the ADB window attracts interest rates of about 6 to 8 per cent because it is the bank’s commercial window which gives out loans on a commercial basis given the prevailing market interest rate. Read more
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde: Uganda turns to DRC as alternative market to troubled South Sudan
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has disclosed that the government is preparing to negotiate with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the possibility of the two neighbouring countries furthering their trade ties.According to Ms Kyambadde, the talks are intended to pave way for more penetration of Uganda’s exports into the large DRC market, thereby reducing reliance on the troubled South Sudan.Speaking during the opening of the Trade Facilitation Expo, Ms Kyambadde said the talks will be held so that traders and manufacturers, especially those affected by the South Sudan civil war can take refuge in the large DRC market as the situation in South Sudan stabilises. Read more
ICRA: Uganda’s S&P credit rating up
International credit rating agency, Standard & Poors (S&P) affirmed Uganda’s credit rating at B/B with a stable outlook from B negative based on high GDP (Gross domestic Product) growth rates and continued investments.Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P) is a US financial services company, part of McGraw Hill financial which produces financial research and analysis of stocks and bonds.Despite aid cuts, Uganda’s economy grew by 5.8% from 3.2% before as the economy rebounded from high inflation.S&P’s highest rating is AAA which is enjoyed by a few countries especially the Nordic region.The review implies that Uganda is less risky for international investment and is a shot of confidence is Uganda’s economic prospects. Reacting to the development, Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the governor Bank of Uganda said that; “Standard and Poors’ affirmation of Uganda’s B/B Credit rating is yet further proof of international confidence in Uganda’s future economic growth prospects and the management of its economy.”“It sends a clear signal that the Ugandan economy provides attractive opportunities for private investment,” Mutebile added. Read more
Health, agriculture key to Africa's development: Bill Gates
Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia."By getting things right in these two areas, the gains can be exceptional," Gates said, calling health and agriculture "enabling factors for all the other things that need to be done." But Gates warned that progress could be undone by instability, pointing to northern Nigeria, where attacks by Boko Haram extremists have derailed efforts to eradicate polio."This Boko Haram disruption is the one real cloud on the horizon, where it means there are groups of children that we're not able to get to," he told reporters after receiving his award.Gates -- the world's richest man -- and his wife are the co-founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which tackles health and poverty in Africa. Read more
MOF: Uganda loses Shs1 trillion in capital outflows annually
Although Uganda is attracting a lot of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), it loses $400 million (about Shs1.05 trillion) in capital outflows in form of dividend payments to the shareholders, the Ministry of Finance has revealed.Owing to economic liberalisation, there are many multinational companies operating in Uganda in the energy, agriculture, oil, and manufacturing, among others.Speaking at the launch of African Development Bank Economic Outlook for Africa in Kampala, the acting commissioner macroeconomic ministry of Finance, Mr Robert Okudi, said Uganda witnesses capital inflows as well as out inflows.“There is an annual out flow of $400 million in dividend payments to shareholders of companies operating in Uganda,” he said. Discussing how the revenue required for investment in Uganda can be generated, he said: “We have the opportunity in the capital markets; vibrant capital markets will enhance revenue mobilisation and domestic savings in this country.” Read more
Tax holidays hurting URA performance, says Kagina
Tax holidays and exemptions have had a negative impact on revenue collections, Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Allen Kagina has said.Speaking at a news conference in Kampala where she enumerated the agency’s performance, Ms Kagina said although the need for exemption was meant to enhance trade and investment, revenue collection became the victim in the process, explaining why the policy is now being reversed. She said: “The government has over time introduced different tax policies which impact on revenue collection. Although it had benefited some, we think without it our collection and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio would have been much better.”According to her, the country has been providing tax incentives which were meant to mainly attract investments and support productive sectors to take off with the major exemptions residing in the VAT and income tax regimes to support construction, agriculture, health and education sectors. Read more
UNBS: AGOA failure blamed on private sector
Ugandan traders’ failure to exploit the huge American market under AGOA agreement is due to the private sector’s failure to produce enough and good quality products, an official has said.Ms Susan Muhwezi, the presidential adviser on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Trade, said that right from its inception, the well-intended programme was messed up by its initiators who failed to provide production and transport linkages that would enable the country sustain production to feed the readily available market.“This programme was very good but there are no backward linkages. How many farmers are adding value to products, what is the transport like and the budget to this office (AGOA)? Do you want traders to transport in briefcases? Ms Muhwezi asked.Ms Muhwezi’ made the remarks at the launch of the African Women Entrepreneurship programme (AWEP) meant to provide mentorship, business linkages, encourage intra-Africa trade and also bring on board Uganda National Bureau of Standard for quality assurance.Read more
BOU: Govt role key in liberalised market, says Kasekende
Deputy Central Bank governor Louis Kasekende has weighed in on the liberalisation debate, saying free markets are good, if governments are involved.“Market failures exist, but the role of governments is critical as evidenced in the West,” he noted.Appearing as a panelist at the launch of the African Development Bank (AfDB) African Economic Outlook, Kasekende warned of the possibility of another crisis and the need to rebuild the fiscal space as well as reduce the fiscal deficit.The deputy speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, kicked off the debate, saying the flurry of private foreign companies and banks seems not to be serving the country’s interests, especially with borrowing rates spiraling out of reach of the average Ugandan and the huge profit repatriation by foreign firms.Commenting on the outlook, Kasekende noted that the continent is on a recovery trend having overcome the 2009/2010 financial slide.“One clear message is that countries need peace and security. We must invest in peace,” he noted. Read more
URA to collect tax on rented houses, properties
Uganda Revenue Authority has revealed that it will soon begin collecting tax on all rental houses and properties within urban areas as part of its new initiatives to generate more tax revenue to implement government programmes. The revelation came in Parliament while the URA commissioners were appearing before the finance committee to explain their plans.The committee chairman, Robert Kasule, who is also the Kyadondo North MP, asked the commissioners to assure the nation whether URA would be able to fill the gap created by the withdrawal of donor funds.Responding to Kasule and Kioga MP Anthony Okello on the new initiatives that will generate more revenue, URA’s commissioner for domestic revenue, Henry Saka, said they would enforce and widen the scope of rental taxation to include all urban centres in the country.On the percentage of rent which URA will take, Saka said: “We shall tax every property or house which is rented. If it is owned by an individual it will be taxed 20% and if it is a company, it will be 30%.” Read more
Involve us in Namanve land allocation, UMA asks govt
Officials from Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) have asked government to involve them in the allocation of land in Namanve Industrial Park to avoid being hoodwinked by fake investors who cannot develop it.They made the call while appearing before the parliamentary committee on trade and industry over the new taxes in the budget pending Parliamentary approval.“Land is being allocated to people who are not real investors, but are carrying empty briefcases to deceive government. We should give land to potential investors who are able to develop it,” the director corporate affairs of Southern Range Nyanza Ltd, Richard Mubiru, argued on behalf of the association.The committee took exception to reports that more than 120 investors had surveyed their plots at the park that is about 14km East of Kampala city while 127 had not surveyed.“I’m shocked that land in Namanve is being allocated to those who can’t develop it,” the Lyantonde Woman MP and committee vice-chairperson, Grace Namara, said.Investment state minister Gabriel Ajedra said a new criterion drawn by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) had already been approved by Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority to start giving free land to investors. Read more
UNRA: Gov’t risks losing billions through advances to foreign companies
A new wave of ethical and professional misconduct has hit Uganda’s construction industry, exposing government to risks of losing billions of funds as contractors connive with employees of banks and insurance companies to obtain fake bid securities and financial guarantees.Roads sub-sector vulnerable With the government’s continued prioritisation of roads transport infrastructure development, resulting in a growth in budgetary allocation from sh2.4 trillion to over sh2.5 trillion, about sh2.3 trillion is available under the development budget, rendering the roads sub-sector a prime target.Even in the face of continuous due-diligence on bidders, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), the biggest employer in the local construction industry has, on many occasions, been exposed when unscrupulous contractors tender forged documents.This, experts say, exposes government to fleecing in the event that these companies disappear.And, whilst this unprofessionalism was, in the past, associated with local contractors, their international counterparts seem to have learnt from them.“We continue to receive forged bid securities from State-wide Insurance and fake financial securities from Housing Finance Bank,” says a source. Read more
Shilling continues to depreciate as BoU intervenes
The Ugandan Shilling has exhibited its weakest stance, a situation experts predict will continue.By close of business, Bank of Uganda (BoU) quoted the Shilling at 2,650 buying and 2,660 selling against the US dollar, down from 2,646/2,656 and 2,600/2,610 it traded.Talking to the Daily Monitor about the reason behind this depreciation, the BoU director of research, Dr Adam Mugume, said the Shilling has lost ground, depreciating by about 1.7 per cent compared to 1.4 per cent, adding that the movement should be of great concern if it exceeded 5 per cent in either direction. “The reasons for depreciation include seasonal factors and also the dividend payments by large corporations like MTN. In addition, demand for imports is on the increase in part; as oil prices edge up, the demand for dollars to import the same volume of fuel increases,” he said. Read more
NIC intends to cross list shares on Nairobi Stock Exchange
National Insurance Corporation Limited (NIC) plans to float its shares at the Nairobi Securities exchange for the first time as a means of improving the value of individual shares. NIC will become the second Ugandan firm to cross-list on the Nairobi bourse after UMEME, a power utility, was cross-listed. The move to cross-list on the Nairobi bourse was announced by the board of directors during the 13th General Meeting of shareholders held in Kampala.“We are going to start on the approval process of the various bodies in Uganda and Kenya, said Mr Bayo Folayan, the managing director of Nic. Mr Bayo said the insurance company will widen that market for its shares thus increased demand. Read more
UEPB: Business challenges affect global appeal for Uganda’s exports
Uganda’s exports to the regional countries grew by eight per cent, according to Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) statistics.The UEPB data further indicates that by close, Uganda’s total exports to the East African Community (EAC) stood at $633 million compared to $581.4 million, translating into a growth of eight per cent.This is a shift that has been happening, implying that Uganda can do more business with its regional neighbours than lucrative markets such as the European Union nations.As a result of the surge in volume of trade between Uganda and its neighbours, total export to EU took a slight tumble. According to UEPB statistics, the country’s total export to Europe hit $613 million (about Shs1.6 trillion) although it minimally dropped by two per cent by close.Meanwhile, the country’s exports to China continue to gain momentum with the figures reaching $65.3 million (about Shs171 billion) by close. Exports to US hover at $37 million (about Shs97 billion).Read more
Kenya shilling appreciation raises USE shares value
The development in the foreign exchange market, which led to appreciation of the Kenyan shilling has positively contributed to the increase in market capitalisation at Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).Market capitalisation is market value of a company’s outstanding shares or an indication of how much that company is worth on the open market. At the close of the trading session, USE total market capitalisation closed at Shs24.012.84 billion, the highest since the year began.This means there has been increase of Shs2.460.84 billion. USE closed at Shs21.552 billion,the pick-up in USE is also linked to price appreciation of some locally listed company shares due to high demand for their shares. Read more
CMA: Local SMEs set to benefit from Shs130b equity fund
“Ascent will invest in 8 to 12 companies across the region. The investment size will be between $1million (about Shs2.6 billion) and $9 million (about Shs27 billion),” reads the press statement issued by the private equity player, Ascent.In an interview, Capital Market Authority chief executive officer Keith Kalyegira said: “ Anything thing that helps SMEs become better is welcome. And anyone that can help SMEs with patient capital (long term capital) is even far better.”He continued: “Private and public equity are good avenues that SMEs can take advantage of. However, the only challenge is that most of our SMEs have bad governance structures and do not pay attention to important operational details of their companies.” Mr Edgar Mutebi, a trade analyst, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that funds provided by the private equity will help SMEs that are trying to list (raise money through capital markets) but are short of the required threshold. He said: “SMEs can take advantage of the equity funds and then two years down the road they can hit the stock market for more funds.” Read more
UIA partners with UNRA to develop roads in industrial parks
Since opting for the private sector-led growth strategy to spearhead the attainment of Uganda’s growth and development aspirations, the government has, beyond its traditional policy and regulatory role, invested sufficient resources in creating a conducive environment that attracts investments, both local and foreign. Privatisation and liberalisation are some of the policies Uganda adopted through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) led Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) whose real implementation kicked-off, with a fair share of criticism and successes. These policies have been central to the realisation of a 6.5% average real economic growth Uganda has enjoyed, and will be further critical to transforming Uganda from a peasantry to a modern and prosperous country as enshrined in the Uganda Vision, the country’s strong growth and development blue –print, but requiring raising annual economic growth rate to 8.2%. Read more
NITA: Businesses cautioned on cyber- crime rise in Uganda
Prevention of unauthorized disclosure of information ensures confidentiality, avoiding alteration achieves integrity and protecting against destruction or disruption ensures that the information and associated systems are available whenever required.Cyber security is information security without borders. Considering that sensitive information in Uganda is now frequently stored on computers that are attached to the Internet, this can be emails, confidential information about individuals, businesses and organizations, extra efforts have to be made to ensure such information is secure from leaking, alteration and destruction.Role of NITA in Cyber Security National Information Technology Authority’s role is to regulate information technology and to provide leadership, organisational structures and processes at the national level that safeguard information against accidental or unauthorised modification, destruction, or disclosure. Read more
AMPION’s Rowan Emslie: Entrepreneurs’ bus comes to Uganda and East Africa
The venture bus brings together budding young African entrepreneurs and tech experts from all over the world whose aim is to turn business ideas into real projects.During a five-day competition and road trip, the groups have shots at creating start-ups and developing innovative solutions to local challenges.The inaugural bus journey went through Zimbabwe and South Africa. From that trip, three standout start-ups successfully launched their operations:, an e-learning system; Workforce, a platform through which job seekers and potential employers interface and Bribed, an application designed to battle corruption via crowd-sourcing.AMPION’s Rowan Emslie urged young Ugandans to use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to spur their entrepreneurial dreams.Read more
Airtel Uganda Markets New Web Packages
Telecoms service provider, Airtel Uganda, introduced new internet-based products to cater for the growing market in data usage.Through their Switch On campaign, customers of Airtel can now borrow data using Internet Beerako, use Data Me 2 U to share data and load data using a Data Voucher scratch card to directly load the pin number of any data bundle directly.Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Arindam Chakrabarty, is confident the products are going to be received positively on the market because of the convenience being offered."Uganda is one of the top 10 countries on the continent when it comes to internet usage and at Airtel we realize that as these statistics grow so do the needs of the millions of Uganda internet users. This is why we take pride in anticipating the needs of our customers and then take the necessary steps to meet them," Chakrabarty said. Read more
EAC: Uganda Lags Behind in Currency
Uganda is lagging behind in ratifying the East African Monetary Union Protocol.Edward Ssebina, the Assistant Commissioner Production and Social Services in the East African Affairs ministry said, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda had said they were in the process of ratifying it, but no specific dates have been given.Briefing the media in Kampala, Ssebina said the country had initiated the process to ratify the protocol, but since the regime needs a constitutional amendment, it would have to be considered by several state institutions."This particular ratification calls for a constitutional amendment as it will require the Central Bank to cede its powers to the proposed East African Central Bank," he said.He said areas that needed fast tracking included the harmonisation of laws so that for example Uganda laws can conform to those of the other EAC countries.He said "Uganda has identified seven laws and these include those relating to investment, immigration, external trade, surveyors among other that need to conform with the Common Market Protocol. Read more
MOFPED:Why Public Employees Deserve High Salaries
While delivering the Budget Speech (In accordance with Article 155(1) of Constitution of Uganda), the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED), Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, announced that Shs 450 billion was allocated to enhance the salary of all Public Servants. This includes provisions for the teachers' pay increase in line with Government's agreement with the Uganda National Teachers' Union (UNATU). The salary of the lowest paid Teacher will therefore increase by between 15% and 25%. Other Public Servants' salaries will also be adjusted within the available resources. This is good for the economy- going forward.You know, there is a tendency to think that improved salaries/wages for public and private workers constrain economic performance of countries. Those who argue against higher pay for workers in both public and private sectors look at salaries through the prism of burdensome recurrent cost stream that should be at minimal if farms and firms are to be efficient. Yet, better pay has potential to expand fortunes of companies and governments through its ability to stimulate productivity of the workforce. Of course the other credible argument is that improved salaries are only desirable if they are matched by improvement in performance of the workforce. But there is more to this dominant narrative.Read more
CAA: Air Uganda Counts Shs13bn Loss After Closure
Air Uganda has officially announced an indefinite closure of its operations pending issuance of fresh operating instructions from the national regulators. It is also set to return all its aircraft obtained on lease to the owners for as long as it remains out of business, according to company executives.The Airline company blames its closure on incapacities discovered within the National Regulator, Civil Aviation Authority [CAA], which compelled the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] to withdraw the AOCs [(Air Operator Certificates) of] all the airlines registered in Uganda.In a statement released announcing the closure, Air Uganda noted that the Audit was conducted by International regulator [ICAO] based in Montreal, with the aim of assessing CAA’s capacities.“It is now apparent that the audit revealed shortcomings in the CAA’s oversight and regulatory capacities, consequently impacting its ability to award air Operators Certificates.” Read more
KCCA to buy Usafi Market at sh37bn
Mystery shrouds the sale of Usafi Market in Kampala after details emerged that the market was leased out at sh110m.The lease holder, Omar Nasoro ssekamatte, now wants to sell it at sh43b. According to sources, the lease was transferred to him from an individual only identified as ssesimba, with the consent of Kampala district land board. But there are conflicting figures about the market’s going price.Whereas Ssekamatte asked for sh43b, impeccable sources have revealed that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is planning to pay sh37.9b.According to a ministerial policy statement, the chief government valuer put the market value at sh33.8b.The parliamentary budget committee chairperson, Amos Lugolobi, confirmed to the Vision that ssekamatte’s asking price was sh43b.They (KCCA and Ssekamatte) had not yet agreed on the price. But our advice is that the purchase price should not exceed the government valuer’s price,” Lugolobi stated.The ministerial policy statement, however, shows that the purchase of Usafi Market was among KCCA’s unfunded priorities at sh28.9b.The statement said KCCA wants to turn the market into a modern business centre. Read more
MOT: UNIDO earmarks $1m for renewable energy
Jean Bakole, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) representative to the Africa Union and the Director of Regional office said UNIDO had earmarked funds to support Uganda start renewable energy for production.“We have a $1m (sh2.5b). We are not here to invent a new will but to support the existing activities and to develop new activities to support the existing ones,” said Bakole. He said UNIDO was in talks with Austria, Japan, India and China to raise funds for poverty reduction through productive activities.He was speaking at a donor round table meeting with government and the private sector held in Kampala.Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde attended the meeting. Bakole said UNIDO will support Uganda to develop the energy sector. “It is only through energy provision that poverty can be addressed. If we don’t support people, they will continue cutting trees and hurt the environment,” he said. He said a section of the funds estimated to shoot to over $5m will also help in the utilisation of waste as a source of energy. Kyambadde hailed UNIDO for the support and urged them to work with the private sector to see reality. Read more
NEPAD: Comesa earmarks Shs190 billion for Kampala-Jinja highway expansion
The Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa has identified 75 km of the Kampala-Jinja highway as one of the six infrastructure projects to be developed by the bloc.The six projects, identified by the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), are meant to be implemented. The projects were selected during a Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure that took place in Dakar, Senegal.The objective of the Summit was to mobilise key stakeholders around the ongoing efforts by the African Union including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Programme, to accelerate the implementation of priority regional economic infrastructure projects. Read more
Business community to benefit from cross regional initiative
The business community in Uganda will be among the beneficiaries of a tripartite Act in the offing that will facilitate free movement in the East and Southern African region.A group of experts from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have begun working towards facilitating this provision.While addressing delegates at the annual International Freight Forwards Association (FIATA) conference in Zimbabwe recently, Ms Helen Kenani, a Comesa trade expert, said: “The movement of business persons has remained a major hindrance to free flow of inter/ intra regional trade.”Free movement of business people is also a key provision in the negotiations for a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The conference was hosted by the Shipping and Forwarding Agents of Zimbabwe, and the Regional African and the Middle East (RAME), who invited Comesa to brief the delegates on the Regional Economic Communities’ (RECs) initiatives to address Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations. Read more
Morocco, South Korea new markets for Uganda’s exports
Morocco and South Korea are the emerging export destinations for the country’s major cash crops, the Uganda Export Promotion Board records, have shown. Speaking in an interview, Mr Moses Mabala, the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) trade promotion officer, said the rate at which the North African country (Morocco) values Uganda’s agricultural export, is comparable to none at the moment.Similarly, South Korea’s demand for Uganda’s export is growing at an overwhelming rate—much faster than the traditional export destination such as the United Kingdom, US and China. He said: “At the moment, Morocco and South Korea are our fastest growing export markets. This is an indication of growing demand for Uganda’s exports to the two countries.” Read more
Industry, service sectors key to prosperity, says Museveni
The industry and service sectors are the only drivers that will deliver the country to economic prosperity, President Museveni has said.While commissioning the Tian Tang’s Shs80 billion plant, the President said not even agriculture, where the majority of Ugandans derive livelihood from, can propel the population to economic prosperity. He said: “This man (Mr Paul Zhang, the Group chairman) bought 33 acres of land this year and it will generate him more than $55million (about Shs145 billion) of wealth by close of the same year.” He continued: “If he had planted potatoes on this land, how much would he get? I know we need potatoes and the Ankole cows but industries are much more important and rewarding than our potatoes and yams.”Speaking about Tian Tang Group, one of the largest steel and mattress manufacturers in East Africa, the President said beside their contribution to job creation (currently employing more than 1,000 with 95 per cent being Ugandans) and tax contribution, which is in a range of nearly Shs5 billion, he referred to them as teachers who Ugandans should learn from.Read more
URA wins multimillion dollar Tullow Oil case
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has won multimillion dollar case in which it was sued by Tullow Oil, protesting payment of over US$ 472 million as income tax. Tullow Uganda Limited and Tullow operations PTY Ltd (applicants) filed an application before the Tax Appeals Tribunal challenging initial assessments of income tax of US$472,748,128((Shs1, 229,145,132,800) by the respondent (URA) in respect of a transfer of their interests in Exploration Areas EA1, EA2 and EA3 to CNOOC and Total for the consideration of US$ 2,933,330,400. The said assessments were eventually revised by URA to US$ 467,271,971 being capital gains tax. The applicants being aggrieved by the said assessments appealed to the Tribunal. Read more
EAC resumes negotiations to allow S. Sudan into bloc
The Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Dr Richard Sezibera, is in South Sudan to oversee negotiations to allow the new state to join the bloc.The meeting, which started in Juba, is meant to help the EAC secretariat gain a better understanding of South Sudan’s preparations as well as provide government officials with valuable guidance on the way forward as regards the negotiations.In a communication issued to the Daily Monitor, Dr Sezibera, said: “The purpose of the mission is to share with government officials what needs to be done as the country (South Sudan) prepares to start the negotiation to join the EAC.” South Sudan had negotiations halted because of the instabilities that broke out in this country. South Sudan joining the EAC is destined to widen the regional market by 11 million to the current 140 from the current five member states. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni: French Companies’ Investments in Uganda Hit 6.2 Trillion
President Yoweri Museveni has called on French firms to invest in Uganda, Chimp Corps report.He made the call at the French Embassy, in Nakasero, Kampala during celebrations marking the 225th anniversary of the French national Day. “The French and European companies should have been the first ones to invest in Africa because they are near. There is a strong linkage between the African continent and Europe because of the European languages that are widely used,” said Museveni. He invited more French and European companies to invest in Africa and Uganda in particular. President Museveni said that we have the opportunity to solve the past mistakes. He said that trade would create good relations on the international scene. Read more
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi: China Invests US$620m in Tororo Mining Project
Uganda's Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has noted that government is encouraging foreign direct investments after discovering several commercial quantities of mineral, oil and gas deposits to enable the country attain middle-income status. “We have induced an environment that is fully supportive of Foreign Direct Investment and we feel we are valued partners because Africa’s voice is beginning to be heard internationally in the quest for our development,” Mbabazi said. He was meeting a delegation from the China-Africa Development Fund, the largest Chinese private equity that focuses on stimulating and facilitating Chinese investments in Africa, at his office. The Fund will finance the proposed US$620m mining project in Osukuru hills in Tororo district, undertaken by a Chinese company, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group which is prospecting for base metals, phosphates and uranium on 26sqkm covering 14 villages. Read more
Museveni advises the public to support industrialists
President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to all leaders and citizens of Uganda to give the necessary support and incentives to industrialists who come to invest in Uganda noting that the country’s future lies in industrialisation  and a vibrant service sector.He made the remarks while commissioning a newly built multi-million dollar industrial complex, Tian Tang indusrial complex belonging to Tian Tang Group of Industries from the People’s Republic of China. The industrial complex, located on a 33 acre land, is located in Mbalala in Mukono district and is involved in the production of steel and steel products, wood, and leather products as well as mattresses. It employs more than 1,000 people directly and thousands indirectly. Read more
MOTI: Local manufacturers advised on quality products
The Trade, Industry and Cooperatives minister Ms Amelia Kyambadde, has advised local suppliers and manufacturers to produce and maintain high quality goods in order to win both local and international contracts.Speaking at the  Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) Quality Awards gala, at the Uganda Manufacturers Association grounds in Lugogo, Ms Kyambadde said supplying high quality products will enable suppliers to earn good reputation from procuring entities and consumers.She said it is through production of quality goods with the recognised standard mark that locally manufactured goods can attract the regional and international market. This can as well help suppliers win international contracts that are more lucrative. Read more
UCC faces off with telecoms over subscribers
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) whose mandate is to protect both consumers and service providers seems stuck in the middle of a rock and hard surface on who should be first priority.The consumers at the receiving end continuously decry intermittent network quality, dropped call services, poor network access, unwarranted billing, mobile money complaints, poor Internet services and unsolicited texts.The service providers cum investors at the giving end are decrying network infrastructure vandalism that triggers the poor services, drop in revenues, unreliable power supply and what they describe as ‘unreasonable taxes.’ Read more
Museveni Cautions on Investment Red Tapes
President Museveni has commissioned a newly built multi-million dollar industrial complex belonging to Tian Tang Group of Industries from the People’s Republic of China.He appealed to all leaders and citizens of Uganda to give the necessary support and incentives to industrialists who come to invest in Uganda, noting that the country’s future lies in industrialization and a vibrant service sector.   The industrial complex, located on a 33 acre land, is located in Mbalala in Mukono district and is involved in the production of steel and steel products, wood, and leather products as well as mattresses. It employs more than 1,000 people directly and thousands indirectly.   President Museveni, who was accompanied to the inauguration ceremony by his wife and Karamoja Minister Mrs. Janet Museveni, asked all Ugandans to give support to investors who come to Uganda. Read more
NSSF Earns Shs 3.3bn in Umeme Dividends
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has received a dividend payment of more than Shs 3.3 bn against its shares in Umeme Limited. NSSF is the third largest institutional investor in the utility distribution company, after purchasing an additional 100 million shares in the company, which increased its stake to 231,722,771 shares, an equivalent of 14.27 percent. The development comes amidst a Parliamentary hearing with MPs expressing concerns that the Umeme investment was “irregular.” Acting Managing Director, Geraldine Ssali said the decision to invest in Umeme Limited was not ill advised since “the Fund carried out due diligence, secured all necessary approvals, and followed relevant procedures.” She further pointed out that the “dividend earnings are a result of the Fund’s overall aggressive but prudent investment strategy that has led to revenue growth of more 200 percent and payment of a return above inflation to members, over the last 3 years.” Read more
African Tea Brokers Ltd: Regional tea auction suffers sales, price dip
According to report from the African Tea Brokers Ltd in the just concluded auction held. A total of 9.2 million kilogrammes were offered, this was below the 9.7 million kilogrammes offered the same period-thus indicating a 5.4 per cent decline.“All together a total of 9.2 million was offered and 8.2 million was sold in this auction,” the report noted.Of these, Kenya the leading producer offered 6.4 million kilogrammes but was able to sell off a total of 5.8 million kilogrammes. Uganda the second producer on this auction market offered a total of 1.5 million Kilogramme and sold off 1.2 million kilogrammes. In the third position was Rwanda which offered a total of 420,000 kilogrammes and was able to sell of 390,000 kilogrammes, Tanzania followed Rwanda in the fourth position with a 405,000 kilogramme offer and sold off 336,000 kilogrammes. Read more
Hariss International Limited: Uganda Beverage Industry Witnesses Growth
Ugandan promising market demand for beverages has seen Hariss International Limited, the leading African producer of mineral water and soft drinks and its partner Sidel, global provider of liquid packaging solution introduce two new complete PET lines in the market."High levels of quality and consistency are the keys to success in the beverage industry," said Andrews Ruben, Managing Director of Hariss International Ltd. adding that, Sidel's extensive knowledge and support on bottles, preform designing and optimization will allow its set product quality and to stand out as lead player in the Ugandan beverage market.Harris international products deemed with a commitment to quenching Ugandan thirst with quality and affordable soft drinks, will roll out the two products by the respectively.A projection the company believes is likely to reduce on the cost of production as the markets widens. Read more
Ethiopian Investors Eye Uganda Garments Industry
President Museveni has received a delegation of Ethiopian investors led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Edget Yarn and Sewing Threads Company, Princess Mulunes.The businessmen called on Museveni  at his country ranch in Kisozi, Gomba district.Princess Mulunesh expressed her company’s interest in establishing a garments factory in Uganda.President Museveni warmly welcomed the investors to Uganda and assured them that Uganda grows the best quality cotton.He pledged government’s support to their venture.Read more
Interpol Seizes Dangerous Fake Goods in Uganda
Goods worthy USD 5.6 million have been seized during an INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting organized crime groups trading in fake and illicit products across Eastern and Southern Africa. In a notice issued  by Interpol, operation 'wipe out' was conducted across seven African countries of Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda which resulted in some 644,000 goods including, baby food, cosmetics, television sets, mobile phones and toys seized and more than 260 people arrested or placed under investigation.The interventions involved abrupt visit in shops, warehouses, distribution hubs, seaports, highways and streets during a three month extensive operations also targeting various criminal networks operating in the regions.In Uganda, the Bureau of Standards, authorities teamed up with other law enforcement, regulatory bodies and private sector actors on products posing a particular danger to the public’s health and safety. Read more
More telecom mergers expected,says outgoing MTN boss
Outgoing MTN Uganda chief, Mazen Mroue, has called on the private sector to invest in rural areas as a way of boosting mobile phone penetration. Mroue who has served at the helm of MTN Uganda noted that mobile phone penetration which increased greatly a few years ago, has since stalled, adding that the idea of having many players to increase penetration is not working.“We have low penetration, yet we have a lot of players. Some of the new players are not investing outside the capital city,” Mroue told New Vision in an interview.Although mobile phone penetration is still about 45%, if the Government scales up infrastructure, it will enhance overall penetration growth, according to Mroue. He also expressed concern about the several tax levies on the telecom sector such as excise on airtime and phone devices, and the recently introduced nine cent per minute levy on international incoming traffic. Read more
Shilling continues to depreciate as BoU intervenes
The Ugandan Shilling has exhibited its weakest stance, a situation experts predict will continue.By close of business, Bank of Uganda (BoU) quoted the Shilling at 2,650 buying and 2,660 selling against the US dollar, down from 2,646/2,656 and 2,600/2,610 it traded.Talking to the Daily Monitor about the reason behind this depreciation, the BoU director of research, Dr Adam Mugume, said the Shilling has lost ground, depreciating by about 1.7 per cent so far   compared by 1.4 per cent on annual basis, adding that the movement should be of great concern if it exceeded 5 per cent in either direction. “The reasons for depreciation include seasonal factors and also the dividend payments by large corporations like MTN. In addition, demand for imports is on the increase in part; as oil prices edge up, the demand for dollars to import the same volume of fuel increases,” he said. Read more
BOU: Kenyan imports decline as locally made products gain popularity
Uganda’s imports from her once biggest trading partner Kenya have continued to decline as local manufacturers gain market share, Bank of Uganda, has said.Imports from Kenya constitute about 11 per cent of the total import bill worth $55 million (about Shs145.7 billion). This has come down from about 25 per cent.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, the director research Bank of Uganda, Dr Adam Mugume, confirmed: “Imports from Kenya have been on decline compared to the total import values.”Dr Mugume attributes the decline to several factors among which is the fact that Ugandan products have gradually become more competitive compared to Kenyan products.According to media reports from the Business Daily, Kenya earned a total of KSh19.8 billion (Shs594 billion) from exports to Uganda, indicating a 15.4 per cent drop from the KSh23.4 billion (Shs702 billion) earned. Read more
MTN: Telecoms call for tough laws to protect network infrastructures
Telecommunication companies are calling for tough laws to prevent the theft and vandalism of network infrastructure, which affects the quality of service.The call comes after numerous complaints from the public over poor services, namely dropped calls, erratic internet access, constant network failures, which has seen revenues for the players drop.The MTN Chief technical officer, Mr Rami Farah, in a statement, said persistent fiber damages put both the business and customer quality at risk.He added “we have seen some areas for instance, experiencing a total blackout for both voice calls and data services if both the protection and working routes are damaged and as a result, the network has also suffered high congestion levels due to a lack of coverage resulting in very poor call experience and dropped calls.” Read more
IATA: Uganda missing out on aviation industry opportunities - report
Government delay to implement the Yamoussoukro Decision is denying Uganda the opportunity to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ease unemployment, a report has shown.Yamoussoukro Decision is an agreement that encourages African nations to open their aviation markets to each other.According to the report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 18,600 jobs and a contribution of $77.6 million (about Shs205 billion) to GDP slip away from Uganda as a result of delaying the liberalisation of the of intra-African air market. The report points out that the said employment and economic growth accrue from an increase in the activities of airlines, airports, air navigation and other businesses that support the aviation sector. Read more
UNAFFE asks govt to revise taxes on farm inputs
The president of the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNAFFE) Charles Ogang has requested government to revise taxes on agricultural inputs. Ogang made the request through State Minister for Fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa at the official opening of the National Agricultural and Trade Show in Jinja.Alhaji .M. Jallow, the Country representative of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Uganda was guest of honour and officially opened the show.“There are some issues which we farmers believe must be addressed by government; whereas it has given priority to agriculture we feel there are some issues that need to be revisited,” Ogang said.He said: “taxing agricultural inputs is actually hurting the small scale farmers and the burden will be more on them than commercial farmers. We are saying government is trying to discourage people who are already in the field or in the sector of agriculture and will run a way from it.” Read more
Megha Industries: Court blocks manufacture of Comfoam mattresses over counterfeit.
 Industrialists are hoping that efforts by the courts, regulators and stringent laws will help curb the rampant counterfeiting that is hurting their sales. The Commercial Court in Kampala blocked Comfoam Industries Limited from manufacturing a brand of mattresses on the prompting of a complaint raised by Megha Industries Limited over imitating its product.Megha Industries lawyers from the firm Owen Murangira and Company Advocates, extracted an order signed by the court’s registrar Thadeus Opesen.The order is in effect, pending the determination of the main case scheduled for hearing on August 25 in court presided by Justice Flavia Senoga Anglin.“An interim order doth issue against the respondent (Comfoam), its agents, and or whosoever from continuing to manufacture, sell and pass off its mattresses as being those of the applicant till the hearing,” the order states in part.The contention is over the cover design used by Comfoam on its mattresses. Megha contends that its rival cover design has a striking resemblance with its own.Court had convened to hear the case. Megha Industries legal team comprising Owen Murangira,Eric Sabiiti, and Nicholas Mwasame, informed court that they were ready to proceed.Read more
Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon. Rebecca Kadaga: Uganda, India Strengthen Trade Ties
The new Indian High Commissioner to Uganda Dr Ramesh Chandra has reaffirmed the commitment of the government of India to ensuring a better life for several communities in Uganda. The High Commissioner, who paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon. Rebecca Kadaga at her Parliament Chambers on Tuesday noted that the historic political relations between Uganda and India would be enriched with better economic ties.“The Government of India is committed to investing in crucial sectors that will boost Uganda’s economy. Plans are underway to setup a food processing plant that will also double as a training center,” he added, according to a brief from Parliament.The two countries have for decades enjoyed strong ties due to a large number of Indian nationals living in Uganda.The High Commissioner said the recently elected government and Parliament of India will work together with Uganda to ensure peace in the region.“Uganda has a significant role to play in stabilizing its neighbours in Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Djibouti,” he said.The Rt. Hon. Speaker in her response welcomed the Indian envoy to Kampala and warmly recalled the close and historic political ties between Uganda and India.Read more
MAAF: Government moves to curb fake agro-inputs
Government has set up a department in the agriculture ministry as one of the measures to counter the rampant sale of fake seeds and agro-inputs in the market.Joseph Bazaale, the commissioner for crop protection in the ministry of agriculture said that the new department of crop inspection and certification will assist in fighting agro-input counterfeits.Government is also developing and will soon launch a system to label and tag certified seed bags with a tamper-proof seals as another measure to fight counterfeit seeds on the market. Bazaale said counterfeit seeds and agro-inputs remain a challenge on the local Ugandan market, some of which are imported from neighbouring countries of Kenya, and Tanzania.Read more
UAE Exchange offers Western Union services in Uganda
UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance and foreign exchange brand joins hands with Western Union, the leading instant money transfer service to add more convenience to its customers. Now customers can walk in to any of the UAE Exchange branches in the country and send money to their loved ones via Western Union to over 500,000 locations in more than 200 countries.UAE Exchange in Uganda also offers a wide array of services including Bank Transfers, Instant Money Transfers, Instant Bank Transfers, Associate Branch Transfers and Forex. The remittance major also has a strong tie up with Xpress Money and Money Gram for Instant Money Transfers. Read more
MOFA: Uganda, Qatar Strengthen Business Ties
Uganda and Qatar are set to strengthen relations to enable business flourish in the two countries, This was revealed during a meeting between Qatar State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah and Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa at a meeting in Kampala .The duo held a joint Press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kampala.Hon Kutesa welcomed his colleague and his delegation to Uganda, saying they held a fruitful meeting, during which they discussed issues of bilateral, regional and international interest to both countries.He said that they agreed to enhance their cooperation on international issues of interest to both countries, especially as both Members of the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).He also observed that Qatar has played an important role in matters of regional peace and security, especially the Darfur Peace Process. As a Member of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Uganda supports Qatar's efforts in this regard, and will play a positive role towards finding peace in the entire region.Read more
KACITA: Ugandan traders move to cut back on Mombasa Port losses
In a bid to cut back on the losses incurred through demurrage and  auctioning of cargo due to delays, Ugandan traders are organising an on-site assessment at the Mombasa Port.According to Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) chairman Everest Kayondo, the traders will travel to Mombasa.“Our traders go through a lot of challenges while clearing goods at the port of Mombasa as a result of the new measures introduced. So we think this on-site assessment will give us a clear picture,” Mr Kayondo said. The new cargo clearing changes have left many Ugandan traders in distress because many still lack adequate information. Because of that, they have delayed to clear their goods thus accumulating demurrage, a charge paid as compensation for the delay of cargo, which has made the cost of doing business high.Read more
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi: Govt promises to invest more in research, talent retention
Government will invest more in research and young talent retention in order to control brain drain.This was revealed by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi while launching Africa One, a web application developer, in Kampala.Mr Mbabazi was reacting to suggestions by the chief executive officer Africa One, Mr Yusuf Kayiwa, that young, talented and skillful Ugandan technologists are fleeing the country in search of greener pasture in Rwanda, Kenya as well as western countries.Mr Kayiwa told the Prime Minister, who was the chief guest, that there is need to create an ICT agency that will nurture and retain talents that are capable of creating ground-breaking innovations.“We need a partnership with government. And that can be done through creating a platform or an entity whose mandate will strictly be helping young people with talent to grow and shine in the area of ICT,” he said. Read more
Report errant accountants to us—ICPAU urges employers
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) is encouraging all employers to report to them the cases of misconduct by employees who are members of the accountants’ body.“We can only learn whether we are improving or not by handling cases. We believe there are cases out there, but we do not know where to get them from. We cannot fish them out unless they are reported,” Derrick Nkajja, ICPAU’s CEO said after the Public Accountants Examinations Board released the examination results. Nkajja said fraud by accountants in the service industries are only dealt with by employers internally.“If you dismiss, you should let us know why you dismissed the person. If it is a professional misconduct, we should be able to handle it.”He added: “If a dismissed employee goes back to the pool of accountants looking for jobs, you are sending the problem to the next employer.” Read more
EA countries, S. Sudan root for single call rate system
Subscribers to telecom networks within Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan are set to enjoy cross-border calls at the same rates under the “One-Network-Area.”The four countries have announced plans to adopt a regional telecommunications framework.The communications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in a statement issued  and signed by ICT Minister John Nasasira, said operationalising the framework is part of the resolutions made by the heads of state at the 5th Summit for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.“The regional framework applies to telephone calls originating and terminating within the region,” the statement reads in part. The statement was also signed by the Rwandan ICT minister, Mr Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Permanent Secretary-ICT ministry of South Sudan, Mr Stephen Lugga, and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the ICT ministry, Dr Fred Matiang’i. Read more
UIA: 18% VAT likely to hurt Uganda’s insurance growth
The government’s move to scrap tax exemption is viewed by the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Insurers Association, Ms Miriam Magala, as a move that will cripple the sector’s growth since insurance product buyers are already burdened with taxes introduced in the financial year.“As you will appreciate, the increment in stamp duty from Shs5,000 to Shs35,000 significantly increased the cost of insurance and negatively affected the uptake of insurance services. The quick imposition of VAT will further increase the final cost borne by a consumer who is still grappling with the significantly increased cost to begin with,” Ms Magala said. However, finance spokesperson Jim Mugunga, in an e-mail to Prosper magazine, said government scrapped tax exemptions across sectors and insurance is not exceptional.“The government removed tax exemptions across sectors and not necessarily targeted at only insurance. This policy, unless revoked, remains operational because we believe that exemptions had served the purpose for which they were initially allowed but it was also intended to curtail associated abuse,” Mr Mugunga said. Read more
UBC: Ugandan importers fail to clear in time at Mombasa
The lack of knowledge about import procedures by traders and importers is increasing the cost of doing business on the part of Ugandan businessmen at the Kenyan port of Mombasa and within the East African Community (EAC) at large.This observation was made by the representative of Ugandan business community in Mombasa, William Lusabya Kidima on the sidelines of the launch of the Mombasa community charter in Mombasa.As a result, Ugandan businessmen fail to clear their goods in time, attracting penalties which further reduces the scale of would-be profits from any given consignment or container.Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta attended the launch, during which he called on implementing agencies to ensure that the charter is put to use.Kenyatta also called for closer monitoring of projects under the charter electronically for proper accountability.“This is the only way we shall hold responsible implementing agencies accountable when objectives of the charter are not met to prevent cases where nice documents are shelved, claiming there is no money for implementing and yet East African Economies depend on the efficiency of this port through the charter for improved cost of doing business,” he said. Read more
PPDA: Bidders advised on administrative review process
During procurement process, competition is always stiff among the contesting bidders as they are all competing for one contract where only one contractor or supplier is needed.When a contract is finally awarded, some bidders always remain unsatisfied with how the deal was awarded while others keep on wondering why they did not get that particular contract. “If a bidder feels that there was breach of Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) laws during the procuring process, he or she should file for an administrative review of the process through the accounting officer of the procuring entity,” Mr Kirungi said.He said this must be done within five working days after all bidders have been notified about the winner and the reasons for their failure to win the given contract. Read more
ThoughtWorks: App developers eye SMEs with smart solutions
The surge in demand for IT ingenuity is what the firm wants to tap into by helping clients get powerful ideas to the market fast.“We discover and deliver disruptive new offerings and integrate new digital experiences with core systems,” says Stephen Magero, the company’s project manager.The first office was set upin the US, Chicago with the aim of attracting knowledge in the world and building a community based on attitude and aptitude, but in Uganda, Thought Works is gaining ground for knowledge transfer by tapping innovations and currently operates in 19 countries across the globe.The firm deals in building and upgrading web-based applications for financial systems like banks, software sustainability for business and innovations. Read more
'Civil Society Weak on EAC Integration'
Building institutional capacity for Private Sector and Civil Society will improve business competitiveness in the EAC region, TradeMark East Africa officials said. The organisation’s Country Director, Allen Asiimwe said Private Sector Organisations have a key role to play in contributing to policy dialogue, providing information and monitoring policy making and programming for regional integration. Asiimwe further said the private sector aims to influence Government and the EAC through apex bodies. Civil society participation and engagement in EAC integration processes has been very limited and there is inadequate appreciation of the key issues and of the impact of EAC integration amongst civil society organizations (CSOs) in Uganda. There are concerns that EAC integration, if not managed properly, will lead to further marginalization and disempowerment of vulnerable groups. Read more
CURAD: Sh250m up for grabs in agricultural value chain competition
Entrepreneurs involved in agricultural value chain systems stand to be beneficiaries of a sh250m bounty, courtesy of the Agribusiness Innovations Challenge spearheaded by the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD). According to the body managing director Appolo Segawa, the challenge presents opportunities to contenders to present their business cases for investment support in commercialising or expanding businesses to promote the growth of food processing and exports. “This challenge will provide winning businesses with incubation support and start-up or expansion capital to enable entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector to thrive and benefit the Ugandan people and economy,”.The challenge was launched by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) director for Capacity Strengthening, Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong, during an event held at CURAD’s head office at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute, Kabanyolo. Read more
President Museveni: UK Investors urged to Invest in Food Processing
President Museveni has called on the UK-based Hinduja Group to undertake investments in fruit and maize processing in Uganda through establishing fruit processing factory and maize mills in order to process what farmers are producing. He also called on the Group to provide market for the famers to sell what they have harvested.“I encouraged my people to grow fruits and maize that need processing and marketing which is my big pressure”, he said.The President was meeting with a delegation from the Hinduja Group who called on him at State House, Entebbe. The visitors were led by the Company President Mr. Rakeshh Gupta. Mr. Museveni told his guests that Uganda grows a variety of fruits such as pineapples, mangoes and oranges, among others that require immediate processing.He also called on Hinduja Group to also establish iron processing factories in the country to manufacture high quality steel and participate in the manufacture of cement. Read more
Barclays: Shilling likely to continue depreciating, analysts say
Currency analysts predict that the Uganda Shilling might continue to depreciate against the US dollar for some time due to increased demand for the Greenback.With the dollar demand staying high amidst reduced inflows, the Uganda shilling is expected to trade in the range of Shs2590 buying and Shs2,630 selling per US dollar.The shilling opened trading at 2,609.29 buying and s2,619.14 selling per US dollar. By midday, it was trading at 2,615.08 buying and 2,624.7 selling per US dollar.The head of market making Barclays Bank Uganda, Mr Faisal Bukenya, told the Daily Monitor that currently, the demand for the US dollar is higher than inflows.Mr Bukenya said the high demand for US dollars is coming from two major sectors of the economy; manufacturing and energy. Read more
MOE: Vivo unveils Shs5b fuel reserves
Ministry of Energy officials have said they learnt lessons from the political and economic upheavals in neighbouring Kenya and are supporting measures to boost the country’s fuel reserves. The head of Petroleum Quality Assurance in the ministry, Mr Spero Byokunda, said they have finished refurbishing the Nakasongola fuel reserves and distributors can now take over their usage.Speaking at the commissioning of the 10 million-litre capacity tanks for Vivo Energy in Kampala, Mr Byokunda, revealed that they have commissioned the process for a contractor to revamp the Nakasongola reserves which have remained unutilised for a long time.“The fuel market is growing at 7 per cent, and the importance of petrol has doubled requiring more storage space,” Mr Byokunda said. Read more
MOTI: Uganda needs more vehicle importing firms - govt official
Investment opportunities in import and clearing industry are yet to be fully exploited, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Trade has said. Mr Julius Onen, while speaking about the entry of a new car importing and clearing company - Lagoon Holdings , said it is good news for both the consumers and the import and clearing industry. He said this is because it will heighten competition which could result into reduction of prices and better services.According to him, the economy is still wide open for massive investments in the import and clearing industry irrespective of the claim that the industry is saturated already with foreign car importers. “We welcome the new company (Lagoon Holdings whose brand name is CarPassport) because there is no such thing as saturation in this industry. This is a free market and we are not about to start regulating investment in this area,” Mr Onen said. Read more
PSFU: Govt linkage gap stunting businesses
THE Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has blamed the narrow government linkages with the European markets for shrinking trading opportunities for the local business community.PSFU executive director Gideon Badagawa said there is need for Uganda to enhance its competitiveness through strengthening government linkages to penetrate the global market.Addressing journalists at the PSFU offices in Nakasero, Badagawa said the Government should create a conducive environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable them access the global market.This, he added, can be done through accessing loans at a lower interest rate from government institutions and training industrial labourers.“It  is easy for SMEs to access markets but entry into the global market becomes difficult due to poor enterprising standards and failure to produce quality products,” he added. Badagawa also blamed the Government for failing to pass the Investment, Counterfeit and Public Partnership Bill, thereby retarding the business sector. Read more
MTN raises mobile money charges
Telecom operator MTN has announced an increment in mobile money withdrawal charges.“Due to a 10% Excise tax raised by government on Mobile Money withdrawal fees, we are adjusting our rates,” MTN said in a statement to its customers. Finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka announced a 10% increase in mobile money while presenting the financial year budget. She said the increase on withdrawals was to help government to meet the revenue target that was not met after a similar increment on mobile money deposits the previous year. The finance ministry expects to generate about sh16 billion from the increase in mobile money fees.14 million people made transactions using mobile money platform, with transaction value of sh18.6 trillion. The emergence of new mobile telephone technology and agency banking has been a key driver of the services sector. Read more
TJNA: Regional integrated tax systems needed to curb illicit financial flows
African states have the capacity to fully finance their budgets, if they can tame the illicit financial flows which cripple the continent’s economic development, experts have advised.Africa’s leading economists and trade analysts noted that the rampant ‘illicit financial flows’ was paying a heavy toll in draining and crippling of the African economies.“Illicit financial flow” is the secret and illegal movement or transfer of money from one jurisdiction to another. The term also refers to money that leaves the continent instead of being used to finance development.Such monies may be proceeds from corruption, smuggling, organized crime, tax evasion, money laundering, and international trade manipulations.“Every single dollar that leaves the continent is a dollar lost to investment opportunities in education, agriculture and health,” said John Ochola a Tax and Extractive Sector in Africa expert. Read more
MOES: Mukono reaps from mushrooming industries
Leaders in Mukono district have appealed to the youth to take up training in vocational and technical skills that will offer them automatic employment in the mushrooming factories and businesses in the area.The leaders say Mukono, also  strategically located along the Kampala-Jinja highway and near an Industrial Park in Namanve had already attracted over 30 upcoming big and medium factories that are projected to give thousands of jobs to the youth.The district council speaker,James Kunobwa, said that the district had welcomed with open hands the setting up of a technical and vocational institute at Namataba industrial area that will train many youth to acquire jobs. Kunobwa made the comments  while meeting officials from the ministry of education and sports who toured the construction site for Namataba Technical Institute constructed with aid from the government worth shs6.2billion. The institute that is slated to open will offer seven courses but three have been selected for the start when it opens. They include building and concrete practice, welding and metal fabrication and motor vehicle mechanics. Read more
UBOS: Food harvest season brings down June inflation
Inflation declined to 4.9 per cent down from 5.4 per cent, as the harvest season of various food commodities started.According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the inflation drop was influenced by the annual food inflation that decreased to 7.1 per cent, down from 8 per cent. Matooke, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes tomatoes and onions, beans groundnuts, rice and milk were cheaper and accessible in various parts of the country.“We usually have seasonal harvesting of food crops that is why inflation has gone down,” said Mr Vincent Nsubuga Musoke, a principal statistician at UBOS, during the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).Further more, the prices of other non-food commodities also went down in most centres, namely clothing, foot wear, charcoal, Kerosene and petrol. Read more
President Kenyatta: Clearing of goods at Mombasa eased as new charter is signed
Clearing of goods at Mombasa port is expected to be much quicker as public ports agencies commit to improving efficiency of the facility.The agencies that operate within the port, signed a Charter that was endorsed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, aimed at completely eliminating cargo delays.For the initiative to work, the port of Mombasa will be operating for 24 hours and be subjected to a monitoring electronic dashboard which will benchmark the efficiency of the commitment made by the agencies. President Kenyatta said: “This port if run effectively and efficiently will be seen as an engine of growth, source of employment and new opportunities not only for Kenyans but also transform the East African region.” Mr Kenyatta expressed his government’s support for the initiative and urged the agencies to live up to their commitment and the private sector served by the port to play their role too. Read more
EAC: Regional integrated tax systems needed to curb illicit financial flows
African states have the capacity to fully finance their budgets, if they can tame the illicit financial flows which cripple the continent’s economic development, experts have advised.Africa’s leading economists and trade analysts noted that the rampant ‘illicit financial flows’ was paying a heavy toll in draining and crippling of the African economies.“Illicit financial flow” is the secret and illegal movement or transfer of money from one jurisdiction to another. The term also refers to money that leaves the continent instead of being used to finance development.Such monies may be proceeds from corruption, smuggling, organized crime, tax evasion, money laundering, and international trade manipulations.“Every single dollar that leaves the continent is a dollar lost to investment opportunities in education, agriculture and health,” said John Ochola a Tax and Extractive Sector in Africa expert. Ochola said East African countries have the capacity to finance their own budgets and stop relying on donor aid. “Years back we never used to import second hand clothes because we had functional and vibrant textile industries coupled with a vibrant cotton growing communities,” he said.According to statistics, African economies have in just three decades lost between $597 billion and $1.4 trillion in illicit financial flows. Read more
Private sector credit capacity still not strong enough - IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned that private sector credit in Uganda is still constrained despite policy actions by the government aimed at revamping the economy.This largely means that commercial banks’ lending to the private sector to support high scale activities in the economy is not strong enough to help Uganda economy to grow at its potential level of 7 per cent per annum. The conclusion was reached recently after the IMF executive board had completed the second review of Uganda’s economic performance under the programme supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) in Washington DC.The board in their assessment said Uganda’s recent economic performance has been largely satisfactory with robust growth, low inflation and strong international reserves. Read more
UBA to spend Shs250 million on financial literacy
Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) will invest up to Shs250 million in promoting financial literacy, the chairperson, Mr Chinedu Ikwudinma, has said.“This is an on-going programme, and reflects the commitment of the UBA to financial management culture, to support our national ambitions for strong economic growth and eradication of poverty,” he said. The bankers’ body has also advised the public to make the right choices in order to access low interest rate loans from commercial banks.The advice comes as high interest rates continue to be a big problem in Uganda’s financial market, which in a way has crippled the development of small/medium enterprise as well as access to financial services to the large population. Read more
MOFPED: Good pay for public servants will help boost our economy
While delivering the Budget speech, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Maria Kiwanuka, announced that Shs450 billion was allocated to enhance the salary of all public servants. This includes provisions for the teachers’ pay increase in line with government’s agreement with the Uganda National Teachers’ Union. The salary of the lowest paid teacher will, therefore, increase by between 15 per cent and 25 per cent. Other public servants’ salaries will also be adjusted within the available resources. This is good for the economy- going forward. You know, there is a tendency to think that improved salaries/wages for public and private workers constrain economic performance of countries. Those who argue against higher pay for workers in both public and private sectors look at salaries through the prism of burdensome recurrent cost stream that should be at minimal if farms and firms are to be efficient. Yet, better pay has potential to expand fortunes of companies and governments through its ability to stimulate productivity of the workforce. Of course the other credible argument is that improved salaries are only desirable if they are matched by improvement in performance of the workforce. But there is more to this dominant narrative. Read more
aBi Trust 5,000 coffee farmers to access funding through mobile money
A new agriculture funding line will exploit the mobile money platform to reach 5,000 coffee farmers again showing the impact mobile commerce is having in boosting financial inclusion.3,000 farmers will initially be reached in the aBi trust-Opportunity bank partnership in the districts of Mubende, Mityana and Masaka which are major coffee growing areas. According to aBi Trust, a collaboration between Denmark and the Ugandan government with funding from several agencies, the programme kicks off immediately. aBi Trust’s partnership with Opportunity Bank will exploit the bank’s relationship with MTN and Airtel which enables farmers make deposits and withdrawals through their mobile phones without having to physically come to the bank’s networks. Read more
SACCOs in joint venture with Cooperative Insurance Company
The Uganda Savings and Credit Union Limited (UCSCU), an umbrella body of over 1,000 savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) has teamed up with a Kenyan insurance company to set up a jointly owned Insurance venture in Uganda to cover their businesses against risks.The proposed joint venture, the Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) Africa, Uganda”, will be owned by the Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) Kenya which will contribute share capital of 51% will UCSCU jointly with the Cooperative sector will be contributing 49% This was revealed at a consultative workshop for SACCOs from the Central region at the UCSCU head office at Maganjo near Kampala. The idea to start a cooperative insurance in Uganda was adopted at the 37th Annual general meeting when members resolved to partner with the Cooperative Company of Kenya to incorporate a limited Liability Company in Uganda, CIC Africa (Uganda) Ltd to develop suitable insurance product for the cooperative sector. Read more
How illegal timber finds its way to the market
Yustus Ndyoyire has for years harvested timber in a number of forest reserves in Kyenjojo District. However, he ran out of luck and was arrested by rangers from National Forests Authority assisted by police.He is being held at Fort Portal Police Station in Kabarole District where he will be aligned before court to answer to charges of illegal logging for gazzetted forest reserves. But Ndyoyire dismisses claims of illegal logging, urging that people who obtain permits to cut trees in private forests assign him to sell the timber on their behalf. “I only charge them for the timber Shs2,000 per piece. I don’t know how they get it out of the forest,” he says Usually, according to Ndyoyire, dealers pay casual labourers at least Shs1,000 for every piece to be ferried to trucks after obtaining permits from District Forest Officers. The state of environment report conducted by National Environment Management Authority indicates that Uganda’s forest cover continues to decline due to illegal logging. Read more
NIC intends to cross list shares on Nairobi Stock Exchange
National Insurance Corporation Limited (NIC) plans to float its shares at the Nairobi Securities exchange for the first time as a means of improving the value of individual shares. NIC will become the second Ugandan firm to cross-list on the Nairobi bourse after UMEME, a power utility, was cross-listed. The move to cross-list on the Nairobi bourse was announced by the board of directors during the 13th Annual General Meeting of shareholders held in Kampala.“We are going to start on the approval process of the various bodies in Uganda and Kenya, said Mr Bayo  Folayan, the managing director of Nic. Mr Bayo said the insurance company will widen that market for its shares thus increased demand. Read more
BOU: Central Bank forecasts rise in inflation
Bank of Uganda has warned that inflationary pressures are beginning to mount on the annual core rate of inflation which had been kept under control at a minimum low of 3.3 per cent.While commissioning Standard Chartered Bank’s Acacia Mall Branch , Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile warned that core inflation is expected to double because inflationary pressures are expected to be stronger.In macro-economics, core inflation measures the inflation that excludes consumer goods and services like energy and food which often face volatile prices. It is sometimes viewed as an indicator of underlying long-term inflation. Read more
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde: Substandard, counterfeit imports down by 10 per cent , says govt
Imported substandard and counterfeit products are slowly declining as the government continues to enforce the policy that bans importation of goods that are shipped into the country without being inspected for quality.According to Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde, the policy called the Pre-Verification for Conformity programme (PVoC), is slowly but steadily tackling the problems of substandard and counterfeit goods that had appeared to be a permanent fixture in the local market.She said: “Despite challenges faced at the onset of the Pre-Verification for Conformity programme (PVoC), the programme is performing well. Our main challenge now is attitude change amongst the traders. Once they completely embrace the programme, we shall have fewer sub-standard goods being offered for trade at the source.” Read more
AIMPER: Govt asked to invest in skills development
As Uganda readies for oil production, government has been advised to invest in practical skills development such as oil drilling as opposed to acquiring theoretic knowledge. Former energy minister for energy Richard Kaijuka said most of the attention has been on acquiring knowledge on oil and gas management without thinking about practical skills which he says are equally important.“Let us use these training institutions to acquire practical skills than degrees in Geology. Ever since we discovered oil I am hearing people acquiring degrees in this and that without thinking about the gap being created in skills development,” said Kaijuka.Kaijuka made the remarks at Protea Hotel Kampala while officiating at the training workshop organized by the Africa institute for minerals petroleum and energy resources and the center for energy petroleum mineral law and policy of university of Dundee for officials from different government departments on revenue management. Read more
Dfcu shareholders get dividends despite difficult business times
Dfcu bank shareholders will get dividends despite the hard economic times the financial industry has endured. The bank board has recommended a dividend of Shs17.8 per share for shareholders. In addition to the cash dividends, upon regulatory approval, the shareholders will also get bonus shares in the proportion of one new bonus share for every one share  owned. Bonus shares are additional shares given to the shareholders without any additional cost, based on the number of shares that a shareholder owns. These are company’s accumulated earnings which are not given out in form of dividends, but are converted into free shares. Speaking at the annual general meeting, dfcu bank managing director Juma Kisaame, said the bank had to fulfill its promise to shareholders despite bad economic times, resulting from the global recession, that has hit financial institutions hardest. Read more
Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi: Gov't Secures Shs7tn before Budget Approval
After failing to get Parliament’s support to approve the requested Vote-on-Account of UShs7tn on grounds that amount of money contained in the requisition was far above the legally required 33.33 percent or one third of the total, the State Finance Minister in charge of privatization Aston Kajara who was representing his superior Maria Kiwanuka bounced back. Asking for the same amount which still falls short of meeting the legal requirement, Kajara only edited some of allocations of Shs7tn and the same Parliament which had rejected the move, made a u-turn. Despite stiff resistance from opposition members, the NRM-dominated Parliament eventually carried the day. Backed by the leader of government business and Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, Kajara told lawmakers that government wanted Shs2.2 trillion for immediate development spending, Shs1.9 trillion for recurrent spending and an additional Shs2.5 trillion for statutory spending.Read more
MTN sues shipping company Threeways over $4m
Telecom Company MTN has again dragged Threeways Shipping Service to court with fresh charges of defrauding it of $4m in fictitious claims. The fresh charges follow MTN’s loss in court of an earlier suit against Threeways regarding the alleged fraud. The loss in court was due to a technicality which court said it could not endorse by hearing the case.The MTN is also suing two of its former employees it accuses of conniving with Threeways in the said shady deal. The employees are John Paul Basabose and Naphtali Were. Threeways allegedly made fictitious claims to MTN on over 130 invoices with collusion of the two MTN employees and were paid the colossal sums.The Commercial Court has since issued notice to Threeways Shipping Services to file its defence filing of the MTN case. If it fails, the court could decide the case in its absence.The telecommunications company is seeking to recover the money with compounded interest payment in full plus damages. Read more
MOEMD:Govt selects two final bidders for oil refinery
Two consortia from Russia and South Korea have emerged as the final bidders of Uganda's $2.5 billion refinery after two others from China and Japan were knocked out of the bidding process, the Ministry of Energy said.The ministry said in statement that a consortium led by South Korea's SK Energy Co. and another led by Russia's RT-Global Resources had been selected to proceed to the final phase of the bidding process.Uganda wants to add value to its crude output to maximise earnings from its hydrocarbon reserves in the Albertine Basin in Western Uganda.Government geologists estimate reserves at 3.5 billion barrels with 1.7 m barrels recoverable. The refinery is expected to be set up in Hoima district.The two companies together with China's state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) and Japan's Marubeni Corporation were invited to submit bids from an initial shortlist of six firms. Read more
BOU: Central Bank changes CBR release plan
In an effort to strengthen the monetary policy framework, Bank of Uganda (BoU) will be releasing the Central Bank Rate (CBR).In a communication issued to the Daily Monitor, the Governor Bank of Uganda, Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime  Mutebile, said: “The monetary policy framework will be held. This is to allow more time for incorporating economic data into the analysis which informs the interest rate decision.”The CBR, which was introduced on the basis of inflation targeting lite (ITL) monetary framework, is intended to guide the setting of other interest rates in the economy. Read more
Uganda Convention-UK: We have convinced our people to invest back home – UK convention boss
As the Ugandan community in the United Kingdom (UK) prepares to get together for the annual Uganda Convention-UK, Sebidde Kiryowa speaks to Willy Mutenza, the chairman and founder of the Convention about the expectations, benefits for Uganda, challenges and way forward for the convention that is now in its fourth year.What is the Uganda-UK Convention?The primary objective of the Convention was to create a platform for the Ugandans in the Diaspora, the government, various kingdoms, and the private sector to open doors on opportunities, and also to meet, network and build mutually beneficial business relations with each other. The secondary objective is to harness the tremendous skills and expertise, as well as the financial, socio-political and cultural capital of the Ugandan Diaspora with a view to promote economic and infrastructural development back in Uganda. Read more
Police Bust Counterfeit Racket in Kampala
Kampala Police have arrested three men at Stella, Najjanankumbi on Entebbe  Road with counterfeit home-use products including ‘Omo’, ‘Royco’, ‘Harpic’, ‘Mekako’, ‘Vim’, ‘Nescafe’, ‘Cocoderm’ and ‘Peau Claire’ brands. The suspects were identified as Abdul Ssemwogerere, a 21-year-old Ugandan, Abdul Muyanja, 18, and Kennedy Chacha Wambu, a Kenyan national. While parading the suspects at CIID Headquarters in Kibuli, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that the confiscated products were just a small part of the counterfeit goods on the market in Kampala which are currently on the increase especially in residential suburban areas like Nansana and Najjanankumbi. “Police has been carrying out operations on counterfeiters faking reputable and certified brands of genuine manufacturers and in the due course endangering the health of the consumer and hurting the reputation of the brands due to the poor quality of the their products,” said Enanga. Read more
BOU: Uganda Shilling records weakest stand this year
The Uganda Shilling opened the week at its weakest standing since the beginning of the year with experts predicting a further depreciation.At the opening of business, the local unit was trading in the range of 2614/2624 against the US dollar, up from the 2605/2615 it traded. The depreciation for the last one month has seen the Shilling lose ground by more than 3 per cent from 2530/2540 it traded around the same time in May to the current 2614/2624.Although some have attributed Shilling’s decline to the recent United States aid suspension to Uganda, Bank of Uganda (BoU) director research Adam Mugume has said: “The weakness is associated with the anxiety associated with the recently presented 2014/15 Budget.” Read more
NSSF battles with reforming workers’ social security
Despite social security being the best retirement savings vehicle world over, majority of Ugandans do not have social protection plan to provide a revenue stream during old age. Uganda’s working population is estimated to be 14 million. But only about five per cent are covered by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the public service pension scheme and a few voluntary schemes.A few Ugandan savers are estimated to put away less than two per cent of their annual income for a rainy day in future. This is not because Ugandans do not have enough money to save for their retirement, but due to lack of trusted saving vehicles that would ensure safety of their savings.NSSF, the only statutory provident fund that collects the 15 per cent compulsory monthly contributions from firms that employ five and more people, has in the past suffered from erosion of public trust and confidence due to several incidents of mismanagement of contributors’ savings. Read more
Centenary Bank: Students loan scheme to attract 7% interest
Students to pay 7 per cent interest on loans Programme. Government has earmarked Shs5b for the student loan scheme.By KAMPALA.University students applying to get loans under the higher education students’ loan scheme will pay an interest of seven per cent at the time of repaying loans, a top ministry official has said. Mr Wanyama said they had reached an agreement with Centenary Bank to give out loans as well as collecting filled out application forms from applicants across the country.“We want to experiment and see how effective they can do the work, but with time we shall bring other banks on board,” he said. He added that students will also be required to pay a loan processing fee of Shs20,000.Applying for loans began. Government has put aside Shs5b to kick-start the scheme which is intended to enable students from poor background to access higher education. Read more
CSBAG: Civil society wants tough budget accountability law
Civil society organisations are calling for tougher budget controls, saying if enforced, they could control budget leakages and indiscipline. According to the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), the Public Finance Bill, in Parliament, should not be passed without provisions that demand for budget accountability and transparency from public institutions that collect and spend public resources.The Public Finance Bill, 2012, is a proposed legislation seeking for effective, fair and equitable management of public finances for the benefits of Ugandans. In a report presented in Kampala, CSBAG cited among others, the need for the Bill to regulate classified expenditures, mainly security related expenditure, that is not revealed or discussed in public. It also pointed out the need for the Bill to ensure equity, accountability and transparency in revenue collection and expenditure, in addition to closing the gaps that could render the national Budget useless. Read more
Umeme boosts market liquidity
Stanbic posted huge profits despite a reduction from last year. There were also 21 million Stanbic shares on offer that were not taken up that analysts say is largely because of a price mismatch with investors price offer hovering at around sh20 per share.Power distributor Umeme that has just concluded a process in which major shareholder Actis let go of more of its stake sold 647,464 shares.Umeme’s overall traded value was sh233.1m - the highest of the day. Umeme closed the Tuesday session trading at an average of sh360 per share. Read more
Shell Customers to Win Free Fuel
Shell FuelSave has launched a countrywide promotion that will give consumers a chance to win free unleaded petrol and diesel for up to one year. The promotion is intended to appreciate and reward customers for their loyalty and support in purchasing Shell branded fuels and lubricants as well as to give consumers the opportunity to experience the benefits of Shell FuelSave. Shell FuelSave is specially formulated to lubricate where engine oils are less effective and this helps the engine to turn more freely giving the customer smoother running on the road. The fuel economy benefit is experienced at the very first tank fill. Speaking during the promotion launch, Hans Paulsen, Managing Director Vivo Energy Uganda – the company that distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants, thanked customers for trying the product since it was launched in November 2013. Read more
President Museveni in Busoga Poverty Eradication Campaign
President Yoweri Museveni has said the pre-occupation of every Ugandan should be on how to boost household income, better their earnings and get out poverty and that household poverty was the main challenge facing Ugandans and overcoming it called for every one’s input. The President who is on a poverty eradication campaign in Busoga sub-region made the remarks while addressing a public rally at Budaya sub-county headquarters in Bukooli central Bugiri district. The President said that he was not ready to engage in politics that have no solutions to the needs of Ugandans especially income generation or even continue to engage in the continuous demand for the provision of development infrastructure by the politicians yet where these infrastructure have been and are available are surrounded by a poverty stricken population. He said that poverty in Uganda is largely a result of lack of attitude change as the population has failed to adhere to the message of adopting modern commercial oriented farming as a way of overcoming poverty. Read more
UIA: Envoy pleased with increase of SA investments in Uganda
The volume of South African Investments in Uganda has more than tripled in the last four years, outgoing South African Ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane has said. South African firms had invested more than $500m (Shs860b) in Uganda. They included telecommunication (MTN Uganda), breweries (SAB Millers), finance (Stanbic Bank), wholesale and retail (Shoprite, Metro Cash and Carry, Woolworths, Game), poultry (Bokomo), Sanlam Insurance, energy (Eskom) and many others. Asked about the magnitude of investment, Uganda Investment Authority executive director Frank Ssebowa acknowledged that the trade had grown. “I know that MTN doubled its investment while upgrading their network. Stanbic Bank also did a network upgrade and one of the Supermarkets also increased its network but I do not have the statistics,” he said. Read more.
DIAA: Digital innovators to be awarded in new initiative
Digital innovators in Uganda and Africa are set to reap big from the recently launched awards by and Cyber plc Limited.The Digital Impact Awards Africa ((DIAA) are aimed at promoting and rewarding the best innovation and practices for mobile, web, social, digital finance and cyber security applications.They will, among other things, entail a conference to enable key stakeholders to discuss opportunities and challenges of cyber security, e-services, digital financial services, social media, big data and Internet issues. The project also hopes to conduct research on Internet connected digital innovations in the Africa. Read more
Trade ministry pokes holes in Tobacco Bill
The Ministry Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has called for a balance between health and economic interests within the proposed Tobacco Control Bill  before it is passed into law.The ministry noted that the tobacco industry greatly contributes to the economy with approximately Shs56 billion going directly to farmers’ pockets annually.Mr Oule Epyanu, the senior commercial officer at the ministry, said the Bill is biased on the consumption of tobacco and its health risks and does not provide any guidelines for the financial implications on the tobacco industry, thus calling for a total ban on the industry.“Certainly, there is a need for control and regulation of the sector. It should, however, be done in a way which strikes consensus between health and trade concerns”, Mr Epyanu said, while addressing a focus group meeting organised by Uganda Human Rights Commission in Kampala. Read more
Flight Disruptions as CAA Suspends Air Uganda Operations
Air Uganda has spoken out on circumstances under which they have closed operations, saying Uganda Civil Aviation denied them a licence. CAA spokesperson Ignie Igundura says Air Uganda did not fully comply with required safety standards thus putting lives of passengers at risk. He said CAA has suspended Air Uganda’s licence until further notice. CEO Air Uganda, Cornwell Muleya, said in a statement that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concluded a review of Uganda Civil Aviation systems, structures and operations . “After this review, the airlines registered in Uganda received notification from the Civil Aviation Authority that all Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) for International Operations had been withdrawn and a new recertification process will be undertaken,” said Muleya. Read more
UCC Orders Media on Live Coverage of National Events 
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is to raise a flag upon all Radio and TV stations that have continued to violate the licensing conditions that In a statement issued by UCC, the commission has warned that every electronic media that will not adhere to the set conditions will be closely monitored and be penalized in accordance with the law. “The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) wishes to remind all proprietors and managers of all radio and television stations in Uganda of the Licensing Conditions issued by the Commission, whereby all broadcast stations are expected to provide live coverage of major national events and addresses by the President issued to the Nation in his or her capacity as Head of State or at national celebrations,” reads part the statement signed by UCC boss, Godfrey Mutabazi. The events include pronouncement of national emergency or disaster; security threats or any event of national character that necessitates the entire public to have simultaneous access to the information. Read more
UFPEA: Uganda challenged to tap into growing global tilapia demand
Ugandan farmers have been challenged to take advantage of the increasing global tilapia fish demand by boosting production.Reports from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO Globefish) released, indicate that the international tilapia trade has grown due to demand from the United States and many non-traditional emerging markets.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (UFPEA) vice chaiperson Phillip Borel said: “The global demand for tilapia is good for Ugandan farmers who should use it to their advantage by producing more fish.”Mr Borel, who is also a renown fish exporter under Green Fields (U) Ltd, said Uganda is still a small producer of farm fish but has the potential to grow. Read more
URA To Issue Travel Ban for Tax Defaulters
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has introduced tough measures including travel bans against tax defaulters in a bid to enhance compliance and boost tax revenues. Having registered a shortfall of sh331b, URA released the Shame List naming 178 clients with a total liability of Shs25.8bn force them comply.In the Public Notice, defaulters were given days to clear up their outstanding tax liabilities after all other engagements and reminders to them had not yielded success.Officials told Chimpreports that URA has now taken full enforcement steps including issuance of travel bans against persons that guaranteed the companies published in the notice.“This effectively bars one from travelling out of the country. URA under the existing Tax Laws is mandated to request Immigrations to bar any person from travelling out of the country before he or she fully pays the outstanding tax in full or provides a financial bond guaranteeing payment of the tax due or makes payment of tax in full. Read more
Actis Sells further 6. 7% of Umeme
Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, has announced the successful conclusion of a two-part transaction that has seen the firm, through its subsidiary, Umeme Holdings Ltd (“UHL”), sell a total 45.7percent of Ugandan electricity distribution company, Umeme Ltd (“Umeme”) for $98m. The sale of shares totalling 6.7percent of the company and worth US$13m to Ugandan retail investors and Umeme management and directors was the final step in the transaction, which was led by Stanbic as Lead Transaction Advisor and Stanbic and Rencap as Joint Bookrunners.The retail and management tranche follows the $85m institutional tranche, which was heavily oversubscribed by more than 20 institutional investors.The institutional tranche represented 39 percent of the company. Following this tranche, Actis remains the second largest shareholder in Umeme, with a 14.3percent residual shareholding. Read more
Finance Minister: Domestic debt could affect the shilling — experts
Jared Osoro, an economist, notes that this may affect the exchange rate. “When the fiscal deficit grows faster than the Gross Domestic Product growth, there is a depreciation bias on the shilling. At the moment, it is hard to differentiate between fiscal and monetary policy in Uganda as both are pulling in the same direction,’’ he noted.“A very accommodative monetary policy may boost economic growth, but fail to anchor inflation,” Osoro added, while speaking at the Deloitte past budget breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel. The exchange rate was relatively stable, with a marginal appreciation of the shilling by about 2% against the US dollar on the back of strong foreign direct investment. Maria Kiwanuka, the  finance minister, explained in the budget speech that the net domestic financing will include a draw down of the energy fund to finance the Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects. Read more
URA: Kenyan exports to Uganda to be cleared under SCT system
“All exports from Kenya to Uganda shall be cleared under SCT clearance procedures. Under SCT clearance procedures, customs declarations are made electronically and are processed and released by URA prior to loading of such goods for export from Kenya,” reads the public notice signed by the commissioner for customs URA, Mr Richard Kamajugo. Uganda Manufacturers Association advocacy and policy analyst Godfrey Ssali, said in an interview, that the manufacturers are backing the move to have goods cleared under the SCT. He said: “This is a move in a right direction. We hope that this initiative will further reduce dumping and smuggling and quicken movement of goods across the border and increase revenue collections for the country.” Read more
Museveni, Kagame To Woo Global Investors at UK Summit 
Government is in final preparations to showcase her vast investment opportunities during the Global African Investment Summit which will take place in October in London. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda alongside his counterparts, the Presidents of Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania have already confirmed their participation at the event expected to host over 400 private sector investors seeking public and private partnership investment opportunities in Africa.   As part of the preparations, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi received Mr. Paul Sinclair the Events Coordinator and Amanda Basi the Events manager, to discuss the preparedness of Government and the key investment opportunities in the areas of energy, oil and gas, agriculture and infrastructure development. Read more
MOEMD: China Bank Moves to Save Karuma Dam
Chinese government owned Exim Bank, the main financiers of the ongoing 600 MW Karuma Dam project, has finally signed the much-awaited advance payment guarantee for the funding of the project. According to a document titled ‘Advance payment Guarantee No. BKD2014LG00120’ issued and addressed to Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni, and signed by Zhang Dajin on behalf of Exim Bank Head office, the bank agrees to cover Sinohydro Corporation, Karuma Dam contractors with a guarantee. Sinohydro Corporation has already committed its own funds for the ongoing construction works at the project site ahead of the release of funding by the government of Uganda. The Chairman and President of Exim Bank of China Mr. Li Ruogu was in Uganda to meet President to confirm and present details of the project funding. Read more
Bumpy ride as Uganda races to beat digital migration deadline
The clock to the digital switch off is ticking away fast, notwithstanding, a pile-up of technical and operational hiccups in Uganda’s voyage to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting is based on the use of digital transmission technologies such as Digital Video Broadcasting -Terrestrial decoders (DVB-T) video and audio compression technologies such as MPEG 2/4. The internationally ascribed deadline according to the agreement of 196 member nations of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), signed  in Geneva, Switzerland.Several countries, however, committed themselves to different dates below the global date and serious concerns are being raised by experts if the deadline will be metLack of mass awareness, technical hiccups, the poor quality of pay-TV content and poor technology distributed by some players and the costly technology, leaves a lot to be desired for Uganda and casting doubt whether the deadline can be met. Read more 
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde: Local industries under fire for not using homegrown supplies
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has criticised local industries that shun homegrown raw material in favour of imported ones.She said the tendency does not only discourage local suppliers from large scale production but also hurts the economy.Singling out Britania Industries, Ms Kyambadde said the industry is doing the country and the producers a disservice, given that local suppliers put in a lot of time and resources only to have their produces ignored in favour of imported raw materials.According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade, Ms Kyambadde while touring Britania Industries, expressed discontent over the industry’s rejection of the local fruits in the production of its juice. Ms Kyambadde, together with the managing director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Dr Ben Manyindo, were taken around the factory recently, where they discovered that the collection centre for fresh fruits had been dormant for quite some time, yet this is a season for fruits in the country. Read more
World Bank calls for pension reforms
The World Bank has advised government to undertake urgent reforms in the pensions sector so as to accommodate workers in the informal sector and avert social distress which can arise out of social insecurity.While launching the fourth World Bank Uganda economic update on pensions reforms, Mr Phillippe Dongier, the World Bank Country director, observed that despite the strides Uganda has made towards achieving economic stability, growth and poverty reduction, there is need for government to undertake immediate reforms in the pensions sector so as to avert instability arising from exclusion of some sections of the population from the accelerated development.“As the public service grows in size, public service pension expenditure is expected to grow rapidly as has been witnessed in other countries. Uganda may want to reform the pension scheme soon, when the cost is still manageable instead of waiting until it becomes much more expensive,” he said. Read more
Prof Maggie Kigozi: Govt advised to tap into ‘briefcase’ businesses
The former executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority, Prof Maggie Kigozi, has advised government to consider tapping into “briefcase” businesses, because their numbers are growing big and they hold a sizable amount of the economy’s cash flow.She said: “Government needs to find a way of taxing middlemen or call them briefcase businesses. The only challenge is that they are neither regulated nor established, but it’s a good idea to explore than straining the education sector,” said Ms Kigozi.Prof Kigozi said taxing private schools was “not a good idea” because the burden will be shifted onto parents.She made the remarks last week in an interview with Daily Monitor at Kabojja International School’s graduation function in Kampala where 83 students were passed out with Cambridge University of London certificates. Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, in her Budget speech last week, proposed new taxes on educational materials and profits from schools in a bid to broaden the tax base. Read more
Truck Drivers Swear to Block KCCA Relocation Plans
Regional Lorry Drivers and Transporters Association (RIDTA) have vowed to stage a deadly strike if Kampala capital City Authority insists on evicting them from the city center. About two months ago, the KCCA team led by the Executive Director Jenifer Musisi Semakula presented a proposal to the local government committee of parliament to be tabled on the floor for debate aimed at evicting heavy trucks around the city center. Byron Kinene, the Chairman of the association noted in an exclusive interview that the move in the name of decongestion is not fair but aimed at kicking them out of business since the procedures being used are not clearly streamlined. Kinene said on the proposal to always off-load at night, KCCA should continue to make further inquiries on how effective and impactful it will be both truck drivers and URA. “The biggest problem KCCA has is implementing proposals without further inquiries; saying that big trucks should be off loaded at night is going to impact negatively on business because it involves at lot of costs like paying the night security guards to watch over during off load, paying over time for URA officials who would be removing the seals and also inconveniencing the businessman.” Read more
President Museveni: Aquatic micro-crops cultivation to promote animal feed production
The first aquatic micro-crops technology in Africa is to produce 1.5 tonnes of feeds every hour and is to create an essential component of a rich new, local, large scale source of protein for animal and human feeds and renewable fuel feedstock located in at Entebbe.The world’s food supply can feed approximately 7 billion people and in the next 40 years this will increase to 9 billion, according to the United Nations estimates.This means that 30% more food will have to be grown to ensure the rising population maintains the current average level of nutrition per person.Add to this, the multiplier effect of creating life sustaining diet for all, global food needs are expected to be approximately 45% greater. President Museveni, in his goal to modernise agriculture, he went ahead and launched the Aquatic Micro-crops cultivation for Animal feed Production Technologies through Lemna and Azolla growing and processing in Africa.Read more
QUT: 'Super' banana to face first human trial
A super-enriched banana genetically engineered to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa will soon have its first human trial, which will test its effect on vitamin A levels, Australian researchers said.The project plans to have the special banana varieties -- enriched with alpha and beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A -- growing in Uganda.The bananas are now being sent to the United States, and it is expected that the trial measuring how well they lift vitamin A levels in humans will begin soon."Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food," said project leader Professor James Dale.The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) project, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hopes to see conclusive results. Read more
CSABMG: MPs reject tax on private schools
MPs supposed to have a final say on the proposed taxes in the Budget have announced they will reject a proposal by government to tax private schools, saying the measure would burden parents and add pressure on the already crowded universal institutions.The lawmakers and civil society activists under the Civil Society Advocacy Budget Monitoring Group (CSABMG), said by taxing private schools which are supplementing government efforts, Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka was trying to “bite” more than she can “chew”.“It is ludicrous that the government is proposing to cannibalise the same private schools that are helping to close the gaps in the education sector,” Mr Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) said.Read more
USE wants incentives to grow market
The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) wants government to offer a series of incentives to grow the capital markets that has somewhat stagnated with the listing of mainly government firms.Innocent Dankaine, the acting chief executive officer of Uganda Securities Exchange, says a favourable tax regime would help boost the industry attracting private sector that have largely shied away from listing.“We want incentives. If you compare with Kenya, which is at 10% withholding tax on dividend income, we are at 5%. Also for corporation tax for companies listing, in Kenya, they have tax holiday where they pay 20% instead of 30%. It would stimulate more companies to list,” says Dankaine. In Uganda corporation tax is 30%.“The idea is to facilitate the market. We also hope transactions can be exempt from capital gains tax,” noted Dankaine ahead of the budget reading.It remains to be seen on whether the Government would consider such proposals, although it appears late for inclusion in the budget if it is already not there. 
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AFDB: Domestic markets central to Africa’s growth sustainability – Kaberuka
African Development Bank president, Donald Kaberuka has underscored the importance of developing strong domestic markets if African economies are to sustain and increase the robust growth that the continent is enjoying.Africa has enjoyed a 5 per cent average economic growth, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world.However Mr Kaberuka noted that formidable domestic markets are needed to shield and sustain the continent’s economic gains.“There are many things we should do towards not simply growth, but transformation to consolidate our achievements, to minimize our vulnerability to external shocks,” said Mr Kaberuka who was delivering a key note speech at 49th AfDB meetings in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Mr Kaberuka singled out the need for Africans to be free to move freely within the continent to do business as this would be a step towards bolstering the continent’s domestic markets. Read more
URA closes sports betting company
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has closed the head offices of Gaming International, a sports betting company, on Nalubwama Arcade over tax arrears. The arrears had accumulated to sh360m of which the directors only deposited sh100m and failed to adhere to the memorandum of understating with URA to meet the payments. Abdu Salaam Waiswa, URA’s manager for debt collection, while closing the company said its directors have not been paying taxes despite several reminders and negotiations. He said tax arrears arose from income tax and Pay As You Earn deductions for the employees from the company’s 113 branches across the country.“We will take further action against this company, if they fail to respond in time. We have only closed its head in Kampala, but its branches also risk closure, if they do not respond in time,” Waiswa warned. URA also closed several companies belonging to city tycoon, Haji Habib Kajimu, with offices on Martin Road in Kampala for tax arrears worth sh360. Read more
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka: Economic growth will reduce budget deficit
According to the Budget Framework Paper, the fiscal deficit, excluding grants is projected at -9.1 per cent.This is an increase of more than 60 per cent of the -5.6 per cent fiscal deficit. A budget or fiscal deficit is the gap between what the government spends and what it gets in income, mainly from taxes. When the government spends more than it collects from tax it has to borrow money to make up the difference.This is the situation the Uganda government is facing. This deficit is funded by borrowing mainly from the domestic market.This borrowing is necessary in order to provide fiscal support, following the aid suspension, as well as the lower than expected revenue collections. Read more
UETCL, investors in land rows
Power Transmission Company, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) is involved in land wrangles with investors over development of land earmarked for power lines reserves/way leaves.The land reserve for the Nalubaale-Lugogo 132 Kilovolts (Kv) line between Banda and Kyambogo has been developed into mostly car bonds and warehouses, which officials says has become sporadic and is a health hazard. UETCL project implementations manager William Nkemba told journalists last week that encroachments have become “excessive” and investors have under-looked all cautions.“Our hands are tied here and we are losing all way leaves,” Mr Nkemba said. Read more
UMEME's Suspension on Shares Trading lifted
The Uganda Securities Exchange [USE] has lifted the suspension of trading of Umeme shares on the bourse, after the company confirmed that the negotiations with new shareholders were complete. This follows the company’s majority shareholder Umeme Holdings Limited (UHL) revelation, that it was contemplating a sale of a substantial block [60 percent) of its shares to another investor. The company subsequently through the National security exchange body, applied for suspension of trading of its shares pending completion of the transaction. While signalizing the commencement of the trading at USE offices in Kampala, Umeme Chairman Patrick Bitature described the development as a signal of great successes in regard to expansion of Uganda’s foreign investment attraction potentials.Read more
BOU targets commercial banks over high interest rates
Commercial banks in Uganda are not heeding to Bank of Uganda’s call to reduce interest rates and lend more to the private sector. High interest rates have put off many borrowers in Uganda.Bank of Uganda reports state that there has been only a modest increase in the stock of private sector credit. It said the level of private sector credit was sh8.62 trillion, which is about 8% higher.The ministry of finance states that in spite of a reduction in both inflation and the Bank of Uganda policy rate, lending rates charged by commercial banks continue to be prohibitively high and are keeping borrowers away from the credit markets.“We will continue to work with financial institutions to reduce the cost of loanable funds, by reducing the cost of doing business. There are a number of reforms that are expected to have a positive impact on financial sector,” finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said. Read more
EA Single Tourist Visa Promoted at S.A. Travel Show
Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are making giant strides in promoting the single East Africa single joint visa in a bid to boost tourism revenues, Chimp Corps report.The tourist cross-border visa between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda costs USD $100.This website understands that Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda Ministers, High Commissioners, Heads of Tourism Boards, Tour operators and other private sector tourism stakeholders officially graced the launch of the new cross-border visa during Indaba Fair, the Top Africa’s Travel Show that is held in Durban-South Africa.The single tourist visa resulted from a joint initiative and decision made by the Heads of State of the respective countries.Before the establishment of the single entry visa for Kenya was USD $50 (approximately £30), for Uganda was USD $50 (approximately £30) and Rwanda was USD $30 (approximately £18).Kenya’s Minister for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Mrs Phyllis Kandie applauded the joint tourist move: Read more
USAID: SMEs Decry Escalating Costs of Doing Business
Small and Medium Entrepreneurs from the districts of Mityana and Mubende have complained about the cost of doing business in Uganda which they claim continues to rise and in the process affecting profit margins and causing one of the highest mortality rate of business start-ups in the world. This disclosure was made at a strategic inception workshop organised by Agency for Transformation (AFT) in a project sponsored by USAID/Governance Accountability Performance and Participation (GAPP) aimed at strengthening oversight role of private sector to improve budget integrity and reduce cost of doing business in Mityana and Mubende Districts. Private sector actors, as key tax payers boldly discussed governance issues. This was rare, because businesses are rarely concerned about public and governance issues. They are usually keen on individual interests and struggling how to get by. In the workshop that attracted a wide range of traders drawn from membership of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry branches and Uganda Small Scale Industries Association. Read more
LGM Adolf Mwesige: Electricity, tourism, roads boost business in Kabarole
While investors are storming Kabarole district to put up hotels, camp sites and identify new attractions, government is putting in place an enabling environment. This was revealed by local government minister, Adolf Mwesige, who told residents of Kasanganyanja village to accommodate investors because they trigger development and utilize facilities like connecting electricity, piped water and roads.“Government is determined to deliver all that it promised in its manifesto,” Mwesigye told a Church Of Uganda congregation. “In the past running water, electricity, good health services and transport could only be talked about by those who had travelled. But now Kasanganyanja is having electricity, running water and is hours away by road from Kampala City," the minister said.During the occasion, the Kabarole woman MP, Victoria Isoke, said attracting investors will create jobs and market for agricultural produce.Read more
CBU: Banks write off bad debts as defaulters increase
Ugandan commercial banks stepped up efforts to clean up their books by writing off bad loans, highlighting the growing debt risks in the market.The quality of loans in Uganda’s banking industry has been deteriorating, following a rise in lending rates to more than 30 per cent as the Central Bank tightened the monetary policy stance to curb inflation which peaked to 30.4 per cent.The turbulent economic environment made it challenging for those who had taken loans to repay the loans as their income streams were negatively impacted by subdued demand and constrained growth in the market. As a result, many commercial banks are now being forced to write-off huge amounts of unpaid loans Read more
Cooperative Bank to be revived
Members of the cooperative unions in Uganda have a reason to smile as government is scheduled to revive the collapsed Cooperative Bank.Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka will announce in the June budget funding and measures to re-launch the bank which was shut down by Bank of Uganda due to insolvency almost a decade ago.“We’ll undertake a study that will guide Government on the best way to enhance the development finance products and services previously offered by institutions such as Uganda Co-operative Bank. It will seek to use existing structures including restoring Uganda Co-operative Bank to consolidate and enhance all the available development funds,” said the budget framework paper.Read more
Madhvani Foundation Injects Shs 600m in Campus Bursaries 
The start of yet another decade when Madhvani Foundation offers university scholarships worth Shs 650m. The fund that has supported over 1,480 Ugandan students in both science and technical University courses, celebrated.The earmarked science and technical disciplines for sponsorship include Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Actuarial Science, Architecture, Veterinary Medicine, Commerce, Hotel Management, Pharmacy, Nursing, Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Information Technology, Environment, and Medicine.The students legible for the scholarship are undergraduate students, who have completed first year of studies at a Ugandan University; and graduate applicants who have been either admitted and/or registered for graduate programmes.Read more
Umeme still not trading on Stock Exchange
Umeme is still suspended from trading at the Uganda Securities Exchange. Retail traders expecting to be a part of this secondary deal, will have to wait, according to information from the market . Read more
BOU targets commercial banks over high interest rates
Commercial banks in Uganda are not heeding to Bank of Uganda’s call to reduce interest rates and lend more to the private sector. High interest rates have put off many borrowers in Uganda.Bank of Uganda reports state that there has been only a modest increase in the stock of private sector credit. It said the level of private sector credit was sh8.62 trillion, which is about 8% higher.The ministry of finance states that in spite of a reduction in both inflation and the Bank of Uganda policy rate, lending rates charged by commercial banks continue to be prohibitively high and are keeping borrowers away from the credit markets.“We will continue to work with financial institutions to reduce the cost of loanable funds, by reducing the cost of doing business. There are a number of reforms that are expected to have a positive impact on financial sector,” finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said. Read more
Museveni Charms Indians to Invest In Dairy Industry 
President Yoweri Museveni said he is aiming at achieving 20 billion litres of milk  for the local, regional and international market, clarifying that Uganda's problem has been processing The President was meeting Amos Dairy Investors led by their Chairman, Dewan C. Pruthi, and co-chairmen Punit Pruthi and Surinder  Chawla at State House Entebbe. The investors will officially open their milk plant at Akageti, in Kiruhura district which will process over two million litres of milk, according to Sarah Kagingo, the President’s Special Assistant for Communications. Another new plant in Mbarara, Pearl Dairies is already producing over 200 litres of processed milk per day. "On the issue of farm improvement, am going to talk to the farmers to handle this. In the past, there was no demand for milk or beef but now with the demand going up, we shall have to improve our farms. We did not have processors before but once we have these, it is easy to work backwards," he said. Read more
MENA Awards: UTL Shareholder Wins 'Growth Story of the Year' Award 
LAP GreenN, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio and majority shareholder for Uganda Telecom Limited, won ‘Growth Story’ at TMT Finance and Investment MENA Awards.LAP GreenN’s CEO, Wafik Al Shater and COO, Dimitris Lioulias were both present at the dinner to accept the award. Wafik was also shortlisted in the category of ‘Outstanding CEO’ joining the likes of CEO’s from Ooredoo Group, Etisalat Group, STC and Zain Group. LAP GreenN has shown a tremendous turnaround resulting in reductions in EBITDA losses, engaging in settlement agreements, improving corporate governance, and making debt reduction a main priority. Prior to the new executive team that took over, majority of the operating companies under LAP GreenN were found to be in a dire state and on the brink of collapse, due to the revolution in Libya, UN, US and EU sanctions, and severe funding restrictions. Read more
EAC, IFAD Meet To Boost Agricultural Production in Dry Lands
The East African Community Secretariat has called for support from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in improving and developing the dry lands of the region and re- orientation of investment in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors to support market driven systems. This was during a roundtable discussion with IFAD officials on the topic: “Regional Trade in East Africa” held in Arusha. The roundtable  discussion was aimed at exploring how IFAD can engage with EAC and its Partners to, among others, support food trade within the East African Common Market under the EAC Food Security Action Plan; develop agriculture value chain and cross border trade, as well as accelerate expansion of processing and value addition especially of perishable products in the region. The roundtable discussion saw Senior Officers from the EAC Secretariat make exhaustive presentations in areas of Trade and Customs, and EAC Food Security Action Plan. Read more
URA: Uganda's 13% Gov't Revenues Lost in Fraudulent Trade Transactions 
Uganda lost $2.443bn in form of tax revenues due to trade misinvoicing, thus hampering the country’s economic growth. According to a new report published by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advocacy organization, “Tax revenue loss from trade misinvoicing potentially totalled US$2.43 billion, averaging US$243 million.” The loss roughly equalled 12.7 percent of Uganda’s total government revenue. Upon the release of the damning report, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said on its Twitter handle that it is “establishing an International Taxation Unit with trained staff and requisite tools” to arrest the situation. While URA claims it has a “strategy to reduce on such revenue leakage” and that regulations have been passed too, an official agreed “the vice seems worse than we thought.” Read more
CBCMAC: Centenary Bank Earmarks Shs150bn for Sunflower Growing 
Centenary Bank has earmarked shs150b in a bid to boost the agriculture sector through value chain financing.Under this arrangement, the financial institution will finance production of major crops and working capital for their purchase from farmers at harvest time. With this, officials said, the farmers will be assured of good pre-determined prices and timely payments for their produce. The Bank will be financing crops that include coffee, sunflower, cotton, maize, barley, shear beans, candlenuts used for bio-diesel production, rice as well as dairy products. According to the Bank’s Chief Manager Agricultural Credit, Evans Nakhokho, the initiative will begin with financing of sunflower production in Northern Uganda in partnership with A.K Oils and Fats Limited, a subsidiary of Mukwano Group of Companies. Read more
Constant budget cuts for UBOS irk MPs
The finance committee of parliament has expressed anger at the way the non-wage recurrent budget for Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has been cut, saying it has continued to affect the execution of its mandate.This was during a discussion of their report on the macroeconomic plan and indicative budget framework with the budget committee.This was during a discussion of their report on the macroeconomic plan and indicative budget framework with the budget committee.It is from parliamentary committee reports such as that of finance that the budget committee prepares a comprehensive report on budget proposals for the President.“We observe that the re-allocation resulted into numerous challenges for the Bureau to collect the necessary data and compile social-economic indicators like inflation rates, gross domestic product estimates index of production among other indicators,” the Kyaddondo North MP and finance committee chairperson Robert Ssebunya explained.Read more
RVR steel saddle innovation taking 300 trucks off the road per month
RVR the company that operates the Kenya Uganda Railway have developed a special wagon-fitted saddle that has enabled the transportation of heavy steel coils by train, taking 300 truckloads of steel off the roads to Uganda per month.Announcing the development at a press event, Maryanne Wachira, head of RVR’s steel division said, “these innovations, developed in partnership with Roofings Rolling Mills, a major regional steel manufacturer, significantly increases our capacity to meet their needs a single train delivers in one shipment to their Kampala factory what it would take 50 trucks carrying 20-tonne coils to delivery intermittently”.“We have transported over 40,000 tons of steel for Roofings (equivalent to 2,000 truckloads) since we started using the new saddles, this is a remarkable achievement we were transporting no steel at all”, she stated. Ms Wachira said the boom in the construction industry in Uganda and other parts of East Africa has seen a surge in the quantity of steel imports. “This calls for fresh, rail-based transportation solutions given its advantages of safety and large volumes which allows customers to plan their production more predictably. Read more
Crown Beverages Unveils Pocket-size Bottle
Crown Beverages Limited, the holder of the Pepsi franchise in Uganda, has introduced a new pocket-size bottle for soda consumers.“Crown Beverages is pleased to respond to its consumers’ needs by providing them with yet another way to enjoy its world-class sodas in a new and affordable on-the-go pack. This demonstrates why our sodas continue to be the most preferred beverages not only in Uganda but also in East Africa,” said Mr Innocent Tibayeita, the head of marketing at Crown Beverages. “Our 330ml bottles offer consumers a handy, pocket-size Mirinda or Mountain Dew to refresh themselves at great value. The new packs will sit alongside our current PET portfolio including; the 500ml, 1 Litre and 2 Litre packs. This is to ensure that those consumers who prefer our other bottle sizes are still able to choose their preferred refreshment option at any given time,” Mr Tibayeita added. He said the introduction of the new pack size followed research that found people wanted another option alongside the current PET bottle sizes. “Research has shown that soda consumers not only wanted more choice, but clearly had a desire for a pack that will be convenient for them as they go about with their day-to-day business,” he said. Read more
Orient Bank raises war on cybercrime
Orient Bank has enhanced security for its electronic and other online banking transactions after the Bank of Uganda (BoU) and the police warned industry players against risingg levels of cyber crime and electronic fraud.To keep ahead of competition and fraud-free, the bank launched enhanced debit visa chip and pin cards–innovations that will enable customers use the cards for on-line transactions and making payments at various merchant locations across the world with no worry of fraud. Read more


Museveni bans collateral on SACCO loans
President Yoweri Museveni has directed Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) managers to stop asking for collateral from people borrowing loans in SACCOs.The President emphasized that government started SACCOs to help ordinary people who do not have security to get loans and develop themselves.The directive followed a complaint by Sheema district Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro that people were not benefiting from SACCO loans because of being asked for collateral security as a condition.“When we started SACCOs they were meant to be security-free for the ordinary person to access the loan and develop themselves because collateral securities were failing people to get loans in commercial banks,” said Museveni. Read more


Constant budget cuts for UBOS irk MPs
Parliament finance committee is concerned that Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) budget is reduced which affects the execution of its mandate.“We observe that the re-allocation resulted into numerous challenges for the Bureau to collect the necessary data and compile social-economic indicators of inflation rates, gross domestic product estimates and index of production among other indicators,” the Kyaddondo North MP who is also finance committee chairperson, Robert Ssebunya explained.The Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya said the provision on the non-wage category largely caters for overhead cost yet the principal mandate of the Bureau involve collecting data in the country side. Read more

Private sector asks government to allocate budget resources to vital sectors 
The private sector has demanded that government cuts down on its consumption expenditure in the forthcoming national budget and instead allocate the resources equitably in key development sectors like infrastructure.Speaking at a media launch of the East African Business Summit in Kampala, Mr Francis Kamulegeya, country senior partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Uganda said tough measures should be undertaken to ensure fiscal discipline and reduce public spending in unproductive sectors. Read more


Museveni: tourism creates incomes, provide jobs
President Museveni has reiterated his call to the people of Buyende  district in general and Kagulu sub-county in particular to make Kagulu hill an attractive tourist site for both adventure and leisure that will in turn provide them with the opportunities to become service providers who will create a lot of wealth.“A service sector like tourism creates opportunities for service providers like those who sell food and drinks, transporters and later accommodation for tourists,” he noted.The President was the guest of honor at a tourism promotion drive led by Busoga Tourism Initiative at a ceremony marred by heavy rain at Kagulu hill in Buyende district.Kagulu hill is one of the tourist attractions in Busoga sub-region that is to be transformed into one of the countrys’ modern sites. Read more
'Youth unemployment is a venue for instability'
“Unemployed young men without a future are fertile recruiting ground for radical ideas. There is instability not far away where we stand,” he told fellow ambassadors, government officials and the minister of finance Maria Kiwanuka. The EU official said both Europe and Africa need a youth who believes in the future and who dares to take chances without fearing of losing the family’s savings and health.He said the country needs youth who are not corrupt but those who have hope and trust in government’s institutions.Schmidt was speaking during the Europe Day celebrations at his residence in Kololo, Kampala. He called for social cohesion and peace as the country approaches the elections.“Social cohesion, peace and hope for the future are essential values as Uganda prepares for the general elections,” he said.He appealed to government to conclude negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement with the East African Community to foster economic growth.Read more
MOW: Gov't to build sh100bn dam in Tororo
The Nyabanja irrigation development and watershed management project to be constructed in Kirewa Sub-county is being implemented under the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi river basin management project which was identified by the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.It was identified as part of the Track I portfolio of the 12 Nile Equatorial subsidiary action program [NELSAP] projects identified for preparation.Richard Cong, the commissioner for water production, said the main objective of the project is to contribute to poverty alleviation in the project area by transforming the existing subsistence farming into large-scale commercial farming of irrigated lands producing principally rice.Cong represented the state minister for water Betty Bigombe during a community dialogue held at Nyabanja  primary school.He said the project will include construction of an eight-kilometer long and 12-meter deep water reservoir.The reservoir will contain some 11.8 million cubic millilitres of  water which will be diverted from the wet season flow into river Dumbu, main canals as well as secondary and tertiary irrigation scheme to serve 5,531 hectares of irrigation land including mobilizing the beneficiary community to benefit 3,000 people.Read more
Museveni, EXIM Bank chief meet over infrastructure development
President Yoweri Museveni met and held talks with the chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM), Mr. Li Ruogu, who paid a courtesy call on him at State House Entebbe . The President and his guest, discussed details of the financing arrangement for 600 MW Karuma Hydropower dam. They also talked about the 188 MW Isimba Hydropower Dam and other issues of mutual interest.Construction of Karuma is expected to cost US$2b with EXIM bank meeting 85% of the funding while Uganda will commit 15% of the cost.The loan will be repaid.Mr. Li Ruogu has been in Uganda for a visit during which he held talks with officials from various ministries and also visited cites of projects financially supported by EXIM Bank of China.Read more
Kampala-Entebbe highway on track, Chinese want to build railway line
China Communications Construction Group, who are building the Entebbe-Kampala Highway, are also interested in supporting Uganda boost cement production in Karamoja and rebuild the railway lines.President Yoweri Museveni met the Chairman and President of China Communications Construction Group Chen Fenjian. The firm is responsible for the construction of the Entebbe-Kampala Highway which will link the town of Entebbe in Wakiso District to the city of Kampala.Chen Fenjian assured Museveni that the project, will be completed on time. He revealed that his group is also interested in cement production in Karamoja sub-region, the construction of the railway lines in Uganda and the building of Kampala to Jinja high way.President Museveni said in order for investors to compete favourably on the market, government has prioritized infrastructure development such as electricity, construction of roads, railway lines and ICT that greatly impact on the cost of doing business.Read more
Airtel Uganda, Total unveil new partnership
Airtel Uganda and Total have unveiled their new partnership that allows customers to pay for any Total products/services using Airtel Money in their 45 stations across Uganda. The service will be rolled out across the entire 125 stations countrywide. Airtel has been at the harbinger in innovating to make mobile money platform a significant tool for the customer’s convenience. Through their together we can campaign they have partnered with many companies like Total Uganda to give their customers convenient and affordable access to products and services.True convenience is being able to pay for your fuel and other services from your mobile phone and Airtel customers will now be able to pay for the fuel and other services directly through their mobile devices. The new solution offers motorists unbeatable convenience as customers simply use Airtel Money to access all the products and services available at Total stations, a first of its kind technological innovation to improve the customer experience.This new payment option will only not bring convenience in the stations purchasing process for the customers but will also save the company distribution costs as every customer will have access at their fingertips. Read more
URA to track goods electronically
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will start the use of a new electronic tracking system that monitors goods imported to or transiting through Uganda from Mombasa port.The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) device, it is said, will enable the importers get knowledge about the transiting of their goods, reduce on the transit time and also reduce the cost of doing business.According to Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner Customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the system will see importers save up to $1.179 million (about Shs3 billion) per year.The system has an interface that enables cargo owners and agents know the status of their cargo and Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) deployed along the transit routes to respond to any alert from the system. Read more
Orient Bank raises war on cybercrime
Orient Bank has enhanced security for its electronic and other online banking transactions after the Bank of Uganda (BoU) and the police warned industry players against risingg levels  of cyber crime and electronic fraud.To keep ahead of competition and fraud-free, the bank launched enhanced debit visa chip and pin cards–innovations that will enable customers use the cards for on-line transactions and making payments at various merchant locations across the world with no worry of fraud.According to Deloitte East Africa Financial Crimes Survey, banks and to some extent, telecommunication companies that provide mobile money services, lose between $1million (about Shs2.5billion) to $10billion (about Shs25billion) to electronic fraud and cyber crime every year. Read more
Private sector asks government to allocate budget resources to vital sectors
The private sector has demanded that government cuts down on its consumption expenditure in the forthcoming national budget and instead allocate the resources equitably in key development sectors like infrastructure.Speaking at a media launch of the East African Business Summit in Kampala, Mr Francis Kamulegeya, country senior partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Uganda said tough measures should be undertaken to ensure fiscal discipline and reduce public spending in unproductive sectors.“We know the government has limited resources but the most important thing is to exercise fiscal discipline and ensure that the limited resources are allocated in an equitable manner,” he said. He added: “The private sector is keen on seeing government spending public funds on key infrastructure projects and critical sectors that will help unlock the potential of the country.” Read more
Gov’t Seeks Shs360bn to Better Albertine Roads
Government is finalising efforts to acquire a Shs 365bn loan to improve infrastructure and social services in the oil-rich Albertine region. Cabinet gave green light to Minister of Finance, Hon Maria Kiwanuka, to borrow the amount from World Bank's International Association. The Minister will soon be tabling the proposal to Parliament to get the final approval as required by Article 159 of the constitution. Information Minister, Hon Rose Namayanja, told press that the money is intended to improve on the region's infrastructure projects like the road network which according to a study by oil firms in Uganda, is still critically lagging behind.  As exploration of oil and gas comes to a close in the districts of Hoima, Buliisa and Nwoya, business has been expanding. Read more
MTN Internet Expo Opens In Style
As part of efforts to showcase the innovations to customers, MTN has launched their  expo in Kampala at a function held at Ham Towers in Makerere. Speaking at the function, the head of innovations department at the ICT faculty at Makerere University, Dr. Julianne Sanga Otim, who was the guest of honour, applauded the telecommunication giants for their contribution and investment towards the ICT industry in the country which she said has led to rapid development of the sector. “For decades the ICT sector has been revolving around telecommunication services industry with a phenomenon growth rate and it has become an important part of the economy while it plays a big role in employment, job creation and delivery of quality and efficient services to other sectors,” Dr. Sanga stressed. She further noted that a dynamic ICT sector contributes to the overall development of the nation.Read more
Relocate to Namanve, MPs tell Investment Authority
“HOMELESS” after selling their property in Kampala City, Members of Parliament are now telling Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to relocate to Namanve along Jinja road, instead of renting.In a meeting with UIA officials at Parliament Buildings the MPs questioned why the authority sold their building along Kampala Road and then decided to rent in another part of the city.“You should account for the money you got from the sale of that building,” Nandala Mafabi told the UIA officials. Present was state minister for investment, Gabriel Ajedra. “Why don’t you shift staff to Namanve other than continuing to rent?” Nandala asked. UIA is renting on Twed Plaza, Lumumba Avenue, Kampala.The UIA team had appeared to defend their budget. The MPs also demanded to know what happened to the US$72m that was given to UIA to develop Namanve as an industrial park.Without a board in place to superintend the organisation, the MPs wondered how they were going to appropriate money for it.They were equally concerned by the delay to put in place a one stop centre to ease processes for investors. Read more
PSAC: Uganda, Indian Tycoons Pen Investment MoU
Government of Uganda has signed a memorandum of understanding with London based Hindura Group of Companies on a number of areas of cooperation.Uganda's strategic relationship with the group will initially explore cooperation in the automotive sector with a focus on commercial vehicles and facilitation of investment in agriculture and farm products, according to the Presidential Special Assistant for Communications Ms, Sarah Kagingo. While launching the Higher Education Students' Loan Scheme at Kyambogo University, President Yoweri Museveni, assured scientists that apart from Government's funding of Research and Innovation teams of scientists would be funded to convert their knowledge into commercial enterprises. Read more
Gov't to Investors: Tap Cotton, Milk Opportunities
Now that the government has extended hydropower and the road network to places like Bundibugyo and Nakaseke, investors have been challenged to go to tap into resources like cocoa and milk that are produced in the districts respectively.The call was made by Information Minister, Rose Namayanja Nsereko, after a tour of the two districts.“The government has extended power and roads to these far-to-reach areas in order for investors to benefit from the local resources. The residents in these areas should be able to preserve their produce for longer periods before the buyers can take them away,” Ms Namayanja said. Bundibugyo was connected to the national grid. About 100km of tarmac road was also constructed that joins Uganda through the Busunga border to the DR Congo. The district is well known for cocoa production although no processing plant has been set up in the area despite the availability of power. “Investors should think of setting up factories that produce chocolate and sweets. Why should we export raw cocoa when we can use our resources to add value or even get finished products?” the Minister asked. Read more
ACODE: Finance, civil society push for better use of budget money
The partnership between the finance ministry and civil society spearheaded by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) is borne from the shortcomings manifested in the poor quality of various services without tangible action taken against those responsible for providing the services.“Most of the money was coming back to the centre, civil awareness is poor,” said Dr. Arthur Bainomugisha, the executive director ACODE. Bainomugisha explained that through a short message (sms), they are now able to notify budget champions about the disbursement of funds.“Then people can demand for services. We are building on the demand side so the Government can supply,” said Bainomugisha.Uganda spent sh13 trillion in the budget. Of this, education and infrastructure projects took the largest share. For education, a continuous outcry on money pillaged through ghost teachers and uncompleted works shows that the citizenry are shortchanged on quality education. Mugambe said the ministry is limiting cash transactions, as well as operating the Treasury single account, where all accounts are consolidated and government agencies submit invoices and the Treasury pays directly to service provider. Read more
Museveni Woos British Investors at UK Business Forum 
President Museveni, who is on a working visit to the United Kingdom, has today opened the UK-Uganda Business Conference at Lancaster House in London. The President who arrived in the country is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa, Energy Minister, Irene Muloni, Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka, Works Engineer Byandala, Lands Migereko, Minister of Trade and Industry, Amelia Kyambadde, the Deputy Governor of Uganda, Dr. Kasekende, Honourables Fred Mwesigye and Stella Lamoe. The conference was jointly organised by the Uganda Investment Authority and the Commonwealth Business Council, according to the Presidential Special Assistant for Communications, Ms Sarah Kagingo. Delivering a Keynote address to the conference this morning, President Museveni explained that Uganda needs only investors with money. Read more
URA cancels 2,000 VAT accounts
More than 1,000 dormant VAT registered tax persons have been scrapped off the revenue list after failing to comply with registration requirements, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said .URA spokesperson Sarah Banage Birungi, who confirmed the development to the Daily Monitor, said that the action to cancel the 1070 persons off the VAT tax registers was done with a view to get rid of dormant tax payers people who are not transacting business.She said: “This is a normal administrative action to get rid of people who are bloating our register yet they are not active doing business.”She continued: “We do this routinely as a cleaning exercise. Most of those who have been deregistered have either been dormant or registered for a purpose of a one off deal/business and have since gone silent not transacting business.”Read more
UNBS to inspect imported vehicles
USED vehicles in transit to Uganda and those within the country are to be inspected by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) after paying inspection fees but a penalty will not apply. The agreement was reached at in a meeting between car importers and the ministry of trade, according to the UNBS’s executive director, Dr. Ben Manyindo. However pre-inspection continues for those vehicles that don’t fall under any of the above time frames, and becomes mandatory effective, explained Manyindo. “Our inspectors will be at border to verify the necessary documents such that the agreement is not breached such that effective, where it will be mandatory to have all goods pre-inspected at the point of origin,” explained Manyindo. Manyindo revealed this while meeting the Indian business community under the Indian Association of Uganda in Wandegeya. Read more
BOU: Average lending rate rises to 21.9%
The average lending rate on Shilling denominated loans rose to 21.9 per cent from 20.7 per cent, a development which indicates that the cost of loans is getting expensive once again.Average/commercial lending rates are those charged by banks on the loans that they lend out to the general public. These are different from the Central Bank Rate which is a policy rate set by the Bank for loans lent out to commercial banks.Similarly, the new development in Uganda’s credit market shows that the time deposit rate on shilling loans also rose from 11.1 per cent to 12.4 per cent. On the contrary though, the rate on foreign currency denominated loans, remained relatively stable, declining only marginally to 9.4 per cent from 9.7 per cent. Read more
PLUL: Phoenix Logistics’ future hangs in balance
Given the requirement that Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) should be a profit making body, UDC is to undertake a due diligence of Phoenix Logistics Uganda Ltd (PLUL) after it made accumulated losses of over sh21b since its inception, the state minister for Trade and Industry, David Wakikona, has said.Appearing before the trade and industry committee of parliament over his ministerial budget framework paper, the minister said the due diligence report would be able to make objective recommendations concerning the future of PLUL.“Cabinet directed that all enterprises where Government has interests should be transferred to UDC. This, however, awaits the passing of the law establishing UDC after the UDC Act was repealed,” Wakikona further told the committee chaired by Lyantonde Woman MP, Grace Namara. Read more
China Exim Bank to fund more projects in Uganda
The President of the Export-Import Bank of China, Li Ruogu will discuss funding for more infrastructure projects in Uganda, the state minister for finance in charge of general duties, Jachan Omach disclosed .Ruogu, who is on a visit to Uganda, arrived in Uganda  for discussions on the financing of Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects.Speaking to journalists shortly after the arrival of Exim Bank officials at Entebbe Airport, Omach said Ruogu would also discuss funding for other infrastructure projects. Ruogu was  scheduled to meet the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi and the minister of finance, Maria Kiwanuka .Read more 
CURAD: Makerere Agribusiness program brings SMEs on board
The Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD), a program initiated to boost agriculture students’ and graduates’ roles in broadening agribusiness entrepreneurship and job creation is expanding to benefit the private Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).According to Joseph Nkandu, an agribusiness social entrepreneur and the program founding director, the initiative is rich with entrepreneurial skills that ought to be acquired by the rest of non-student agribusiness young men and women especially those involved in agricultural value chain. CURAD was instituted at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo to reform the curricula to nurture agriculture students into a skilled workforce with more roles in the field of agribusiness entrepreneurship, a step towards enabling beneficiaries with entrepreneurial skills to start their own agribusinesses and also be more competitive in the job market. Read more
MOE: Projected power deficit threatens economy
Industrialists have re-echoed concerns that current electricity supply cannot support business and that tough times lie ahead if government does not develop an immediate plan.So, what next as the country waits for the Karuma and Ayago power projects?State minister for Energy Simon D’Ujanga told Prosper magazine that government plans to revamp old lines and double the length of the current power grid as listed projects get underway.In giving context to this plan, the Uganda Electricity Transmissions Company Limited’s head of communications, Kenneth Otim, in an e-mail exchange noted that works on the plan are already ongoing.“The company has managed to rehabilitate the transmission lines (Mutundwe-Kabulasoke 132 Kilo Volt restringing), refurbished and expanded substations (17 sub-stations) as well as increased transformer capacity (all of them increasing the capacity from 10/15MVA to 30/40MVA),” he said. “This is to improve on the quality and reliability of power supply.” Read more
Improve accountability for donor funded projects
The success of programme implementation relies heavily on the ability of the grantees and sub-grantees to undertake the planned activities and report accurate results to the relevant body, including the funding entities, government authorities, etc. During this period, a financial management specialist should sit with the team and go through the key financial controls and procedures with the aim of providing on-the-job coaching as well as demonstrating the required performance. Such exercises could be clustered around key processes at the end of every month.These processes include (a) monthly reconciliations, analyses and reporting of financial performance, (b) budget versus actual variance analysis, and (d) linkage of financial performance and programmatic achievement.This approach facilitates risk management through targeted assistance to the grantees or sub-grantees that have weak financial management systems. Such assistance can either be provided through a “pull” system where the grantee or sub-grantee requests for it or through a “push” system where the donor, fully aware of the weaknesses in financial management at the grantee or sub-grantee, proactively provides assistance. Read more
ApiExpo: Honey producers shun EU over stringent conditions
Ugandan honey producers have shunned the European market opportunity and opted for the local market which they describe as ‘less stringent.’It has been about nine years since the European Union listed Uganda among other countries that would export honey to this region but little or no consignment has been flagged off. Following the listing, Uganda was given an opportunity to export 200 tonnes of honey annually but this volume has never been realised despite being verified in numerous tests and certification procedures done countrywide and verified in German.Experts say this opportunity if utilised, would have promoted Uganda as one of the producers of organic honey.In an interview with Prosper magazine, ApiExpo Coordinator Bosco Okello said: “We have no problem in regard to complying with the European regulations but our challenge is raising the volume for this market.” Read more
KACITA creates global partnership
The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) is set to extend its footprint to 51 countries across the globe, following a new partnership with the Fast Forwarders; a transportation company operating in 52 countries across the globe. While launching the partnership in Kampala, KACITA’s chairman Everest Kayondo said the partnership comes at a time when many Ugandans trading from Asia, Europe and North America are facing insurmountable challenges and need KACITA’s presence to expand beyond Uganda’s borders. “Our traders have got many problems and if we just sit here and don’t help, we shall be defeating KACITA’s objectives. Ugandans trading from America, Asia and Europe have for long asked us to open our doors there, but now this partnership will go a long way in addressing that,” he said. Under the agreement, the fast forwarder’s offices, in all the 51 countries from which it operates, will be accessed by KACITA traders for any help or business relating to KACITA, including soft loans offered at a 2% interest rate. Read more
Museveni in London for business forum
President Yoweri Museveni has left for London, UK to address UK-Uganda business forum at Lancaster House. The President is leading over 40 senior business leaders and a ministerial team to update prospective investors on Uganda’s economic outlook and opportunities available for investment including in the booming natural resources sector, housing and construction, tourism, health, transport, education and various other infrastructure.The President who is accompanied by the First Lady and minister for Karamoja affairs Janet Kataha Museveni was seen off at Entebbe International Airport by the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, minister for Presidency Frank Tumwebaze, Head of Civil Service John Mitala, Commissioner General of Prisons Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and the Deputy CDF Gen. Charles Angina among others. Read more
URA: Uchumi denies not remitting taxes
Uchumi has dismissed allegations that it has been collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) on behalf of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and not remitting it.Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the Uchumi Supermarkets (U) Ltd country manager, Mr Jeff Nchaga, denies any non-compliance, saying the mentioned matter is not in any way related to Uchumi (U) Ltd. “Uchumi Supermarkets is law abiding and a tax compliant company that cannot dodge remitting VAT,” Mr Nchaga said.The Uganda Revenue Authority published a list of 901 firms, whose VAT registration was cancelled, saying they had been collecting the tax on its behalf and not remitting it to the tax body.URA also went ahead and warned the public against accepting VAT invoices from the published companies. Read more
IGG advises NSSF managers on funds
The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has advised National Social Security Fund (NSSF) managers to take caution on every investment the Fund indulges in. This follows The IGG report on NSSF’s decision to invest in Umeme shares.“The decision by NSSF management and the board to invest in the Umeme IPO was in the interest of NSSF. The decision by NSSF Managers and the board to invest in Umeme was made in consultation with stakeholders. Notwithstanding that the investment was made contrary to Article 119; it generated revenue for the Fund to the tune of Shs1.9 billion in dividends,” Irene Mulyagonja the IGG said.Umeme market share value on the Uganda Securities Exchange also appreciated from the initial price, giving NSSF potential for capital gains in case of sales of shares.According to the report, NSSF’s management has been vigilant when investing in member funds.Read more
Nile Special exports stoke beer war to Kenyan market
SABMiller, Nile breweries Limited’s parent company, has raised the competition bar with the introduction of Nile Special, one of Uganda’s most popular beers, in the Kenyan market.The move is set to revive rivalry between SABMiller and East African Breweries Limited (EABL); the two dominant beer makers in the region. SABMiller has been exporting Nile Special from Uganda, pricing the drink up to Shs871.5 lower than Tusker, EABL’s flagship beer.“When Nile Special was introduced in Western Kenya, it quickly became apparent that the brand had wide acceptance across a diverse consumer group,” said Crown Beverages Kenya managing director Gareth Jones in an interview.“Following this success, we decided to expand the brand’s footprint and make it available nationally,” he added. Read more
NIC seeks to cross list on Nairobi Stock Exchange
National Insurance Corporation (NIC) is seeking to cross list on the Nairobi stock market. This is one of the recommendations to be decided by the share - holders during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in  Kampala. The company is seeking that the directors be allowed to initiate the cross listing process. If successful, the local insurer will be among the few Ugandan entities that have moved across borders. Power distributor Umeme has also cross listed on the Nairobi stock exchange. Cross-listing would allow for more involvement of other potential investors from the more liquid stock market in Kenya. Andrew Muhimbise, an investor, believes it is a good move and more local entities seek movement across borders. Listed companies rushed to file their results as mandatory. NIC and Uganda Clays (UCL) posted their results, showing a mixed bag of fortunes. Generally, all listed sectors have posted a reduction in profits from banking, insurance and media. NIC posted lower profits of sh2b after tax from the sh3.5b earned. Read more
BOU: Shilling weakens, pressured by growth forecast cut
The Ugandan shilling fell, sapped by demand from energy and manufacturing firms and on reduced growth expectations after the central bank cut its forecast for economic output.Commercial banks quoted the currency at 2,525/2,535 down from close of 2,515/2,525. Ugandan markets were closed for Labour Day. "The market is receiving a lot of demand from the manufacturing and energy sectors," said Shahzad Kamaluddin, a trader at Crane Bank.Also, "the central bank's new forecast for growth signals the economy isn't doing very well... that's not good news for the shilling."  Bank of Uganda cut its growth forecast to 5.7 percent from 6 percent while holding the benchmark interest rate at 11.5 percent.David Bagambe, a trader at Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, said the shilling was also being undermined by market expectations of a slowdown in hard currency flows from offshore investors.Read more
USE: Uganda’s first reinsurance company launched
Uganda’s first reinsurance company has been launched amidst plans to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). All 22 licensed insurance companies are required to cede at least 15% of their reinsurance business to a local re-insurance firm according to the insurance (amendment) Act. Samson Muwanguzi, the Uganda Reinsurance (Uganda Re) chairman says the company intends to raise its paid share capital to sh10b and to list on the stock exchange in the immediate future. Read more
NWSC injects Shs1.5b into pre-paid meter installation
National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has announced that it is enforcing the government directive to have pre-paid meters installed in all ministries by July.In a meeting attended by accounting and procurement officers of various government departments at the NWSC training centre in Bugolobi , Mr George Okol, the manager commercial and customer care services, said the corporation has imported pre-paid meters worth $0.6m (about Shs1.5 billion) which are ready to be installed in the ministries. This, he said, will minimise recurrent arrears, help with budgeting as well planning the consumption of water.“This initiative comes with a lot of benefits. It means you are going to take full control of the water you consume and each one has to play their part because many people have been sceptical about the bills we have been sending out,” he told the officials. Read more
President Museveni : Shs300b Budaka factory fails to open
Business is yet to commence at the Mugiti cement factory, after it was commissioned.The Shs300 billion establishment, located in Namamba village, Mugiti Sub-county, was commissioned by President Museveni.A visit to the site, approximately 2km off Mbale-Tirinyi Road, shows that there is no construction despite the colourful ground-breaking by President Museveni that drew thousands of people. The investment under DAO Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of the Kuwait-based DAO Group, is seated on 25 acres of land.DAO-Africa Cement factory was expected to be the third cement factory after Tororo and Hima factories, and offer about 10,000 jobs to the youth in the area. Read more
KCC: Buying from Kampala vendors could land you in prison
Fifteen people have been arrested for allegedly buying merchandise from street vendors, who were outlawed from the streets.The city dwellers whose identifies could not be verified, were arrested in different spots in the city buying different items like fresh fruits, foods and handkerchiefs among other items from city vendors, an act which KCCA terms as supporting illegal vendors.According to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the crackdown on vendors started, and the affected were encouraged to occupy spaces in city markets.The KCCA assistant spokesperson Robert Kalumba explained that KCCA will jointly prosecute the street vendors and those who purchase from them for aiding and abetting illegal trade. The fifteen are to appear before the KCCA court.KCCA executive director, Jennifer Musisi, recently told The New Vision that there is a provision in the law which provides for penalty for illegal trade activities. Read more
Lobby Parliament to fast-track Islamic banking - Finance minister
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked groups pushing for the establishment of Islamic Banking in the country to lobby legislators if the Shariah-based banking is to be realised soon.“We realised the need for this bank and as cabinet, we drafted the Bill and sent it to Parliament. You must lobby members of Parliament,” Ms Kiwanuka said at a seminar organised by Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kampala aimed at creating awareness on how the bank works.The basis for Islamic banking, according to Ms Rahma Hassan Hersi, an Islamic finance lawyer, lies in the principles of the Sharia laws drawn from the Quran.“Interests are forbidden. Wealth can only be generated through legitimate trade and investment in assets….both parties take risks and share profits,” Ms Hersi said. Read more
UBOS: April inflation eases to 6.7 % with increased food supply
Uganda’s annual headline inflation eased slightly by 0.4 percentage points on the back of a slowdown in food inflation due to increased food production and supply to markets.The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the official measure of inflation released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos), indicates the annual headline inflation rate declined to 6.7 per cent, from 7.1 per cent recorded.Data from the bureau shows food crop inflation decreased to 25.4 per cent from 28.3 per cent while food inflation eased to 12.2 per cent from 12.7 per cent.The director macroeconomic statistics Ubos, Mr Chris Ndatira Mukiza, attributed the slowdown in inflation to increased food supplies to markets and decreases in prices of some manufactured products including sugar, cement and iron sheets. Read more

BOU: Less demand for the Dollar keeps Shilling strong
Less demand for the dollar has kept the Uganda Shilling strong; a situation experts say is good for the economy which is largely dependent on imports.According to the Bank of Uganda’s daily report, by close, the shilling was trading in the ranges of 2,514/2,524 against the 2,517/27.Explaining this performance, Standard Chartered Bank’s Head of Financial Markets James Mutuku said: “The strengthening of the shilling from 2,570 to the current levels of 2,520 is an indication that it will remain in the 2,500-2,550 range in the medium term”.Adding that the 2,500 region presents a very strong support and it’s highly unlikely that the current environment will strengthen beyond that level. Read more
UNRA: Uganda to enforce axle load control
The Uganda National Police has created a special road traffic unit that will be working with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to ensure that trucks traversing Ugandan roads adhere to the axle load rules.While addressing journalists at East African Community (EAC) non-tariffs barriers communication strategy meeting, Dr Steven Kasiima, the director traffic and road safety at Uganda National Police said, overloaded trucks are the major causes of accidents on highways because they breakdown around black spots.He added that the abnormal loads especially cement, also damage the roads, weigh bridges and bridges yet it is hard to tow them away because of the load. Read more
MTN honors High Value Customers in Mbarara
MTN Uganda has attributed their astronomical success especially on the Mobile Money platform to the loyalty and dedication of its customers and Agents spread across the country. MTN General Manager-Mobile Money Services Mr. Phrase Lubega made the remarks recently in Mbarara where MTN hosted hundreds of its high value customers in Western Region to dinner which also served as a platform for interaction between the company and the customers. Lubeega underlined MTN’s commitment to continue utilizing such forums to interact with its customers with the sole aim of identifying huddles that hinder smooth business operation and collectively finding means of minimizing them.Another MTN Manager, Mr Stephen Mutana said since its launch, MTN Mobile Money remains the fastest growing product in Uganda with more than 5.2 million registered users each transacting on average.The popularity and growth of MTN Mobile Money supported by a large agent network exceeded 27,000 agents and significantly increased financial inclusion of the unbanked public. Read more
UCDA: Uganda posts improved coffee export earnings
Uganda has registered an increase in both volume and value of coffee exports indicating a good trend for the country’s leading export commodity.The report from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority shows that, coffee exports for the period totalled 3.77 million bags up from the 3.02 million bags exported.The report adds: “ the country earned $415 million (Shs1.045 trillion) compared to $396 million (Shs997 billion)”. This, according to the report shows that there was a 24.83 per cent and 4.80 per cent increase in volume and value respectively.Coffee exports amounted to 348,423-kilo bags worth $38.87 million (Shs97 billion). This comprised of 268,204 bags of Robusta coffee fetching $27.65 million (Shs69 billion) and 80,219 bags of Arabica coffee bringing in$11.22 million (Shs28.2 billion). Read more
President commissions multibillion Mbale market complex
A sh26.9b market was  commissioned with an assurance to the vendors that the sitting tenants will be given first priority in the allocation of stalls.While commissioning the market complex President Museveni assured Ugandans that inspite of the lies spread by some people the truth always come to light."You have been hearing that the NRM promises air, this is the NRM that promised to fight Amin and UPC and it has done it.The lie gets up very early to travel but the truth always finds it there. There is no way NRM can promise air, he said.”The President gave the assurance while commissioning Mbale Central Market in Mbale town which is one of the seven markets government has built under the Markets and agricultural Trade Improvement Programme – MATIP. Read more
EMC: Entebbe, Estonian agency to construct tourism centre
Entebbe Municipal Council, in partnership with the Estonian foreign ministry, has started drafting plans of setting up a tourism information centre to market Entebbe and Uganda as key tourism destinations.Mr Kalle Sepp, a board member of Tallin Development and training Centre in Estonia, said Uganda is such a beautiful country but people still keep its beauty a ‘secret’.“Uganda gets $1.6million (about Shs3.02 billion) from tourism while Estonia earns $2.6million (about Shs4.03 billion) yet we do not have the beautiful amenities that Uganda has,” he said.He added that tourists coming to Uganda find it a problem because there are no clear websites describing Uganda. Read more
IMF warns Uganda on economic risks
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Uganda/ sub-Saharan African countries that their economies are facing downside risks from both domestic and external environment, which are likely to impact negatively in health of economies despite high growth that has been projected.In its Regional Economic Outlook report for sub-Saharan released in Kampala, the IMF say the risks sub-Saharan Africa is facing is that the favourable factors that have supported growth in the region have started to weaken.In particular, the IMF says risks facing Uganda/sub-Saharan countries from external environment are slower economic growth in large emerging market economies, lower prices for key commodities for the region in global market and tighter global financial conditions which have also raised the cost of financing for many countries. Read more
HRAAU: More banks register decline in profits
More commercial banks have continued to register a decline in profits with others posting losses as the after effects of the turbulent economic challenges, suffered, take a toll on the industry.Due to lag effects characterised by weak demand and slow private sector investment, a number of borrowers are unable to repay their loans, resulting into huge impairment losses which have eaten into the banks’ profits.So far, the biggest number of banks which have released their results posted either profit declines or losses with a few managing to sail through the lag effects to post growth in profits. Crane Bank, Housing Finance and Tropical Bank are the latest to join the list of banks whose profits declined last year, with Crane’s net profit declining to Shs47.2 billion from Shs80.3 billion that was posted. Read more
Dangerous cosmetics flood market, UNBS warns
The obsession with fair skin among several women may put them at risk of irreversible skin damages, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has warned. UNBS has warned consumers against buying and using cosmetic products with hydroquinone ingredient, saying it does not only damage the skin, but also causes cancer among other severe irreversible complications.In a meeting between Indian companies and UNBS, organised by the Indian Association in Uganda, several complaints, among them influx of dangerous cosmetics in the market, was brought to the attention of the standards body. Members of the association, some of whom are dealers or makers of cosmetics, say they are unable to break even given the influx of the cheap products in the market, particularly in downtown markets of Kikuubo, Owino and Shauri Yako, among others. Read more
Exploit land to eradicate poverty, says Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni has urged the people of Ntungamo district to maximally exploit their land by practicing modern commercial farming in order to effectively eradicate poverty at house hold level. “How can one fruitfully utilize say four acres of land? One acre should be for clonal coffee, the other for fruit trees, the third for elephant grass and the fourth for banana plantation. At the back yard add poultry, apiary and piggery among others. I have come to re-ignite among you the fight against poverty. Every family must work hard and create wealth, we want to eradicate poverty,” he said.The President, who was accompanied by the First lady who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mrs. Janet Museveni, the area MP, made the remarks while addressing residents’ of Kikoni Model Parish at Mutanoga Primary school grounds, after assessing the progress made by farmers now practicing modern agriculture in the area. Read more
UFEA: High energy cost affects flower export earnings
High energy costs, especially of electricity and diesel, have made the flower industry uncompetitive in the region.Experts in the industry fear that if authorities do not come to their rescue, the industry is doomed for a setback yet it had recovered since the global economic crisis.Ms Julie Musoke, the executive director of Uganda Flowers Exporters Association (Ufea), notes: “We are still using generators for more than 40 per cent of the time – at a cost of Shs15 million to Shs30 million a month.”The cost of diesel has increased by more than 55 per cent in the last five years. The prevailing price fluctuations, she said, have seen them incur high electricity bills, spending an average amount of between Shs20 million to Shs25 million monthly. Read more
Price war among soft drinks manufacturers hurts profits
The days of wild growth and huge profits for Uganda’s carbonated soft drink manufacturers could be over as competition pressures, which have resulted in a price war, continue to intensify.This follows the entry of three new players; Riham, Fizzy and Azam soda manufacturers early last year, which broke the duopoly of Century Bottling Company (commonly known as Coca-Cola) and Crown Beverages (Pepsi).Although Coca-Cola and Pepsi had underestimated the impact the new entrants (Riham, Fizzy and Azam) would have on their sales, they were later forced to discount their prices to appear cheaper than the competition so as to appeal to price sensitive consumers, a market that was getting more competitive. Read more
MAAF: US$147m earmarked for vegetable oil
The Government through the ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries has earmarked $147m to boost the production of Vegetable oil seeds like simsim, sunflower, soy beans and groundnuts in the country. This development was disclosed by the oil seeds coordinator in the agriculture ministry Dr. John Bananuka while addressing participants who attended a two-day workshop at Masaba House in Mbale town. The participants from over 20 districts in the eastern region took part. They included district production officers, oil millers, traders, farmers, input dealers, distributors and processors. Bananuka said that it is a five year project that is funded by the Government, International Fund for Agricultural products and the private sector. He added that it is aimed at reducing on the importation of edible oil and soap products. “Sixty to seventy percent of the edible oil and soap needs in Uganda are met by imports from Kenya, Malaysia and other countries. Our plan is to reduce on importation of these products by between 30-40%,” Bananuka said. Read more
Hima to trap cement dust at Kasese plant
Hima Cement installed a $3.2m (sh8b) bag filter technology to trap cement dust at Kasese plant after public outcry that the company was polluting the air. The dust would escape because an electronic precipitator broke down as a result of power fluctuations. Daniel Pettersson, the Hima Cement general manager said at a media breakfast at the Serena Hotel that the new dust filter was installed and a tour of the facilities was organised to area residents. Hima cement produces up to 830,000 metric tonnes of cement annually after a $108m (sh270b) upgrade. Before, the firm produced 350,000 metric tonnes the years before. Read more
BOA: Mobile money competition stiffer as bank unveils related platform
Bank of Africa has unveiled a mobile banking platform in a bid to tap into the increasing use of mobile money services as a transaction medium.Dubbed Mobile Wallet, the product will enable Bank of Africa (BOA) account and non-account holders to transact/send and receive money using their mobile phones and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), respectively.Unlike banks like Crane which partnered with MTN mobile money to allow its customers withdraw cash from their mobile money accounts using the bank’s ATMs, the BOA platform, which also allows for card-free ATM withdrawals, is entirely independent of any telecommunication networks’ mobile money platforms, despite using mobile phones to send and receive transaction messages. Read more
Gen. Saleh blasts banks over credit access
Commercial banks have not done enough to help alleviate poverty among the rural people, Senior Presidential advisor on security Gen. Caleb Ankandwanaho aka. Salim Saleh has said.Saleh lashed out at Post Bank, the only bank that he said government had spared to help address poverty among the rural poor.“It is so sad that banks are not doing what they are supposed to do to help the rural poor address poverty through easy affordable credit services,” said Saleh.Saleh who was officiating at the handover of a house constructed for Getrude Namukwaya, who supported the NRA liberation war in Kawumu village Makulubita in Luweero said the government was monitoring banks that do not support poverty eradication.“I was a minister for Finance (Micro Finance) and I do recall as government was liberalizing the banking sector, I and then Finance minister Dr. Ezra Suruma stood and said Post Bank should remain, but only on condition that it supports the rural poor access credit. I am unhappy that Post Bank is not doing this,” said Saleh. Read more
 MOWT: Hoima-Tonya road to be ready 
Government has been assured that the Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road, the first major road project in the oil region to support the oil production process, will be complete and ready for hand-over.According to EMr Abraham Byandala, the Transport minister, the Shs360 billion-road is a unique project and the first major road project being implemented with full financing from government of Uganda to enable oil production in the country.“This road is important to us in two aspects; it is opening the Albertine region for production of oil. Secondly, it is fully funded by government of Uganda and it is going to stimulate economic activity in this region,” Mr Byandala told journalists.He added that with the quality of the works, the road is expected to have a minimum lifespan like the rest of the national roads. The Uganda National Roads Authority is enforcing the axle load control for trucks to safeguard investment on roads to prolong their life span, the minister said. Read more
Auditor General faults UCC over delay on digital switch
As the international deadline for transition from analog to digital broadcasting draws nearer, the Auditor General (AG) has faulted communication regulator - Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for moving very slow on the process.With a set deadline, to switch off all television viewers using analogue technology, the AG John Muwanga in the audit report of UCC said, a review of the progress revealed that the entity was unable to complete the tasks.“The migration process to digital broadcasting was planned and the national broadcasting digital signal coverage would be covering 50 per cent of the population, 80 per cent of the population and close to 100 per cent at which stage the analogue signal would be switched off.” 
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Museveni woos Turkish investors
President Yoweri Museveni has called on Turkish entrepreneurs to tap the abundant opportunities that Uganda has in value addition of agro-products and minerals. He specifically urged them to work out projects in relation to value addition to the maize crop that Uganda produces, leather and minerals such as cement and iron ore. He also concurred with the proposal to build hotels to cater for the budding tourism industry.The President was meeting a delegation from Kolin Construction, Tourism, Industry and Trading Company which is incorporated in Turkey. Read more
Vision Group: Sponsors visit nominees for best farmers award
With the use of simple innovations, one can practise farming in the smallest of spaces. This was the general consensus after the sponsors of the national best farmer’s competition visited two of the farmers in the contest. The visitors included Alphons Hennekens, the Netherland’s ambassador to Uganda, Paul Van Apeldoom, the dfcu Bank executive director, as well as John Kakande, the New Vision editor and his deputy, Catherine Mwesigwa. The team had visited two of the farmers profiled under the best farmers’ competition, ran by Vision Group.The competition is supported by the Netherlands Embassy, dfcu Bank and KLM Airlines. The competition started and over 1,500 farmers have been nominated countrywide. Of these, over 100 farmers have had their stories published across Vision Group platforms. Nominations are still ongoing.10 winners – one from each of the 10 sub-regions – will be selected for a tour of the Netherland, while the top three out of the 10 will share a sh150m prize. Read more
BATU: Tobacco industry cautions on new legislation
The tobacco industry leaders in Uganda have expressed concern about the new legislation to regulate the industry saying it might suffocate tobacco farming and investments in the country.Representatives of the industry have said they support the proposed Tobacco Control Bill but warn that it produces an unintended effect of banning tobacco growing instead of regulating the industry and consumption of cigarettes.They therefore want sections of the bill reviewed before it is passed by Parliament. The industry leaders made the call during a meeting with Members of Parliament. It was held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Present were nervous tobacco farmers other stakeholders.Tax contributions from the tobacco sector amounted to sh105b and leaf exports earned over sh200b. Over sh81b is paid to farmers in crop purchase and transporters get over sh20b. Jonathan D’Souza, managing director British American Tobacco Uganda said Clause 49 of the Bill seeks to abolish the Tobacco (Control & Marketing) Act without replacing it with any law. Read more
Kyambadde Tips Businessmen on Strategic Branding
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde has asked Local producers to brand them with local names. She said this while launching the first Trade and Agricultural show in Bushenyi."Branding using local names attracts both local and foreign markets," said Kyambadde.She appealed to producers of a single commodity to start Joint Associations to boost their marketing and sales potential. Kyambadde said most local producers still face a problem of limited packaging material due to the tax levied on companies that produce such materials.“Our Ministry is trying hard to remove that Tax. We cannot keep on favouring foreign investors at the expense of the local ones," she noted. Read more
UNDATA: Raw milk dealers call off strike
Dealers in raw milk have called off their strike protesting the government plan to ban the sale of raw milk directly to consumers.According to the spokesperson of Uganda National Dairy Traders Association (UNDATA), Mr Edward Butera, the decision to call off the strike was reached in a meeting with the industry regulator in Kampala.“We have called of the strike with immediate effect after the Dairy Development Authority executive director, Ms Jolly Kemirembe Zaribwende, said there is no need to worry about this matter (the planned ban) as the government is looking into our concerns,” Mr Butera said in an interview  .Read more

MGLSD: Committee recommends renaming of retirement Bill
A 13-member committee that was formed to make consultations on the Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalisation Bill, has recommended that the Bill be renamed the “Retirement Benefits Sector Reform Bill.The technical committee that was tasked to carry out consultations and make recommendations on the clauses of the Bill which stakeholders had concerns about, said the it is broader and seeks to introduce reforms in the sector but not mere liberalisation. “The Bill as presented, offers more than liberalisation, and more importantly introduces reforms within the sector. It is broader than just introducing competition,” a committee chaired by Mr Pius Bigirimana, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development noted in its recommendations. Read more
UIRI: MPs want more money for research and innovation
The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) boss Prof. Charles Kwesiga has appealed to the executive and parliament to allocate his agency a one off additional sh28b to enable it execute its mandate of catalyzing industrialization, value addition and entrepreneurship in the country.Appearing before the parliament committee on tourism, trade and industry, Kwesiga explained that his institute needs an additional funding of sh28b to fund its infrastructure, manpower and technology requirements.“That money will enable us set up a robust institution which can fully execute our mandate,” Prof. Kwesiga said.The institute was allocated sh13b in the budget and the same amount has been proposed in the budget framework paper for the financial year.If their request is granted, it means government will have to give the institute a total of sh41b in the next budget. Read more
AON: Uganda least risky for business in East Africa, says global report 
The ongoing legal and regulatory reforms mostly in the oil and financial sectors are making it less risky to do business in Uganda, drawing investors’ attention to the country, according to a global risk survey released recently by global risk management Firm, AON. The Political Risk Map shows Uganda has a lower risk rating of ‘Medium’, compared to neighbours Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda all rated at ‘Medium-High risk’ and South Sudan rated at ‘Very High risk’.AON measures political risk in 163 countries to assess the risks associated with exchange transfer, sovereign non-payment, political interference, supply chain disruption, legal and regulatory regimes, political violence, ease of doing business, banking sector vulnerability and governments’ capability to provide fiscal stimulus. Read more
Centenary: More local banks record profits despite increase in bad loans
Despite posting increase in the impairment losses on loans and advances, Centenary and Equity banks have joined a list of local banks that have so far reported profit growth. According to the published financial statements, Centenary’s net profit rose to Shs58 billion  from Shs54.9 billion while Equity’s net profit increased from Shs2.1 billion to Shs6.6 billion.However, Centenary’s impairment losses on loans and advances went up from Shs6.4 billion to Shs9.5 billion while that of Equity Bank increased to Shs3.5 billion from Shs2.6 billion. Read more
Reinsurer eyes acquisitions in East Africa
Continental Reinsurance, also known as Continental Re, is considering acquisitions in East Africa as it eyes a larger share of the African reinsurance market through regional expansion, establishing new regional subsidiaries, and acquisitions Reinsurance is insurance that is purchased by an insurance company from one or more other insurance companies as a means of risk management.Continental Re already has a presence in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire and writes business across 43 African countries.Additional offices will be opened in Tunisia this month and Botswana in May, the group managing director and Chief executive officer, Dr Olufemi Oyetunji has said.“We believe that Africa must have strong and large insurance institutions so that we can keep African premiums in Africa,” he said. Read more
Apple splitting stock as iPhone sales soar
Apple courted investors with stock split plans as hot iPhone sales pushed up profits while underscoring pressure for the company to unveil "the next big thing."Apple shares jumped more than seven percent to $566.15 in after-market trade following the release earnings figures showing profit of $10.2 billion on $45.6 billion in revenue.The earnings report came with Apple chief Tim Cook hinting that new products are on the way from the maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers."We're very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services," Cook said in a press release."We're eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market." Read more
USE registers decline in first quarter equity performance
Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) registered a decline of Shs2.5 billion in turnover in the first quarter, blamed on lack of major corporate activities like new listings on the stock exchange.The decline was also attributed to investors’ activity which in a way slowed down activities in the stock exchange as most investors decided to wait and see whether listed companies made profits. Statistics at USE indicate, the volume of shares traded in the period stood at 158,108,931, which resulted into a total turnover of Shs16.8 billion.Read more
NAADS: Gov’t Injects Shs400m In Tea Growing
About three thousand and three hundred (3,300) tea farmers in Kyenjojo district have received 700,000 improved variety of Clonal tea seedlings worth Shs 400m.Patrick Muhenda Agaba, the NAADS Coordinator Kyenjojo, said the district has taken to tea and coffee production as the major enterprises for people to participate in and achieve prosperity.“We got the Shs 400m support from the NAADS secretariat to purchase plants that grows quickly. We are encouraging our farmers to plant tea and increase on their household income,” Muhenda said.Mr. Muhenda said 10 sub counties and town councils had benefited including; Kyenjojo town council, Butunduzi, Bufunjo, Katooke, Kigarale and Nyankwanzi and the sub counties such as Bugaki, Kyarusozi, Nyantungo, Kihura, Nyabuharwa sub county. Read more
Investors fault UIA over missing facilities at city industrial park
A section of investors have challenged Uganda Investment Authority’s (UIA) condition that they establish themselves at the Kampala Industrial Park before utilities such as water, power and roads are fixed by the government. UIA executive director Frank Sebbowa, said the government is willing to provide services to companies that are already operating at the Industrial park rather than those that are watching from the sidelines. “Start operations there (at the Industrial Park) and we will reciprocate,” Mr Sebbowa said.Mr Varun Sood, the Works Manager Uganda Baati, who was earlier told by Mr Sebbowa to either establish his business at the park or face eviction, said in a separate interview with the Daily Monitor that it would be good if the park is developed before investors establish themselves there.“We are going to have a meeting with Mr Sebbowa, but our concern is like for all other investors—let them develop the place—install power, fix roads and connect water,” Mr Varun said.Read more
Museveni Assures Indians’ safety
President Yoweri Museveni has assured the Indian community in Uganda that Uganda is their home and that they are safe. “I want to assure Indians in Uganda that this is your home. The indigenous should not tease you that you are not Ugandans. Africa has been able to develop because of the contributions from migrant tribes”, he said.The President observed that Idi Amin was wrong theoretically, philosophically, historically and technically when he told Indians living in Uganda to leave the country.The President was speaking at the wedding reception of Mr. Altaf Lalani and his bride Ms. Sukhvinder Kaur, sister of Hon. Katongole Singh Marwaha which was held on Monday evening at Kati Kati Restaurant Lugogo by-pass in Kampala. Read more
UTODA, consultant in sh157m row
A row has erupted between Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) and a consultant who is demanding sh157m as unpaid fees. The consultant JAC International Limited filed a suit at the Commercial Court in Kampala, contending that it managed UTODA’s technical and administrative activities.In the suit, the defendant is recorded as UTODA Awakula Ennume Transport Cooperative Society Limited.Through Tumusiime, Kabega and Company Advocates, the consultant asserts that UTODA admitted indebtedness, having made part payment of sh73m. The company purportedly ignored several reminders to settle the debt.“The defendant is truly indebted to the plaintiff and has no defence at all to this suit. Notice of intention to sue was served on the defendant but was ignored,” the plaint reads in part. Read more
Kisuule’s cooperative turns to profit-making investments
When Danstan Kisuule resigned from his job to concentrate on growing a savers’ cooperative, his colleagues were worried about how he would manage to keep afloat.The Young Savers Association for Ventures and Entrepreneurship (Y Save cooperative) he started has since grown from the original 15 members to now close to 4,000.Y Save cooperative, a savings and investment scheme, considered as one of the biggest in the country, has seen its savings grow to more than Shs3 billion, while the share capital and reserves have also grown to more than Shs3 billion. The cooperative has assets worth more than Shs7 billion at cost value. Read more
New exchange looks to offer unique products to Ugandans
Word going around is that the second Exchange is going to replace the Uganda Securities Exchange. What is your take on this? That is false. The two exchanges will operate concurrently and they will be dealing in different products. USE deals in securities and bonds while ALTX will deal in other asset classes including hosting order books of companies listed on other exchanges to give local and foreign investors access to international markets and also offer currencies, commodity and interest rate derivatives, among others. These are unique products which we did not have in the market. Commodity derivatives will help guarantee prices for agricultural products to be produced in the future. This will help create stability for future prices to guarantee production. Read more
NBC: Nzeyi explains decisions in Commerce bank case
Prominent businessman Amos Nzeyi made his long-anticipated testimony in the case where he alongside other business partners purportedly changed the name of Kigezi bank to National Bank of Commerce.He gave his testimony at the Commercial Court in Kampala presided by Justice David Wangutusi.The case arose, when former Supreme Court Justice, George Kanyeihamba, together with 320 other minority shareholders, petitioned court.They are querying the bank’s legality, claiming that it was wrongfully reconstituted. Kanyeihamba claims the bank’s name was changed without his authorisation and that of the 320 other shareholders. The bank was founded to provide banking services and soft loans to people in Kigezi. Read more
IRA: Insurance competition remains minimal despite 30% growth
Despite the insurance industry growing by 30.08 per cent, competition among industry players remains minimal, with huge disparities visible in terms of written premiums.Statistics from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) indicate that more than 60 per cent of the non-life insurance market – the biggest sub-section in Uganda’s insurance industry – is still controlled by only three players; Jubilee, UAP and AIG.Despite being highly concentrated, with 20 insurance companies, Jubilee Insurance, which accounts for 23.75 per cent of the total market, underwrote (realised) Shs83.4 billion out of the industry’s gross written premiums of Shs456.86 billion. Read more
NUTIP: Ugandan investors secure deals in Holland
Nineteen Ugandan investors have secured partnership deals with Dutch companies while on a trade mission in the Netherlands, the vice chairman of the Netherlands-Uganda Trade and Investment Platform (NUTIP), Dr Stephen Birungi, has said. “Deals were made and signed. Out of the 19 companies that went, 10 got partners and the rest got funding deals for their businesses,” Mr Birungi said in an interview with the Daily Monitor upon their return .He continued: “Two of our members remained in the Netherlands to conclude their deals and will return.”The local companies were from across the economic sector spectrum namely; agribusiness and agro-processing, energy, tourism, ICT and export, particularly for flowers. Read more
BATU: Arua MP calls for revision of disputed tobacco Bill 
The debate on tobacco consumption and sale in Uganda has taken another twist as the MP for Vurra County in Arua, Dr Sam Okuonzi, called for the amendment of the Tobacco Control Bill (TCB) to allow Uganda continue reaping from the crop.“Tobacco is a health hazard but it is also an economic crop. We need to balance the economy with health to make sure that we get the best out of the two worlds. Tobacco has a big market not just in Uganda but even abroad. There are at least a billion people in the world who are looking and hungering for tobacco,” Mr Okuonzi said while attending the Parliamentary Committee on Health. According to the WHO, more than one billion people worldwide will still use tobacco products by, while an estimated 800,000 Ugandan adults currently use it. Read more
President Museveni says skilled Ugandans will help generate wealth
President Yoweri Museveni has said that despite Uganda and the African continent being endowed with abundant natural resources, the continent is the least developed because of lack of the necessary skills to tap the resources and put them to good use for her people."Although something has been done in intellectual awakening of the population, more needs to be done especially in skilling the population to be able generate wealth, multiply it and preserve it for future generations," he said.The President was speaking during the Ntare school old boys annual re-union during which occasion the school also cerebrated 58 years of her existence. The President is an alumnae of Ntare school and the patron of Ntare School old boys association. Read more
ICT to drive insurance penetration
The insurance sector is adapting to the needs of the average Ugandan by introducing low cost micro-insurance policies, cutting red tape on compensations and opening a complaints bureau for aggrieved clients. Kaddunabi Lubega, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) executive director, notes that collaborations with other sectors, especially, with the information and communications technology sector, will bridge the gap between the sector and the public. Edith Kutesa, the M-Cash chief, said collaboration between Liberty Life Assurance and M-Cash has benefited from the use of biometric technology to verify the identity of clients to cut fraud. Read more
KCC: Traders make losses
Due to change of location, high costs and the financial wellbeing of potential buyers, art and craft traders who annually sell in Uganda have made losses. The traders were shifted from the Railway Grounds to Centenary Park by the Kampala City Council Authority. “We pay taxes and the owners of Centenary Park also ask for a lot of money for us to display our products. This is made worse by the turn up being low,” said Edith Kyeswa, the co-ordinator of the expo. Kyeswa said that buyers are also complaining that their products are expensive but they have nothing to do because they are also charged heavily so they have to make sure that they bring back profits. “Most of the traders are from Tanzania and Kenya and need to pay for accommodation and feeding. The only way they make a profit, however small, is by expensively pricing their products” she said. However, a female Kenyan trader who makes a variety of African Jewelry and always comes to Uganda for the expo says, she has made losses because the organisers of the expo did not advertise. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni: Construction at Karuma hydro power project starts
The Karuma hydro-power project, worth about Sh.4.3 trillion ($1.7billion) has commenced with the construction of two big underground access tunnels and access roads at the site.The construction of the 600 megawatts dam was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni, who said 85% of the funding will be procured by Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, a Chinese firm with a soft loan from Exim bank and the Uganda government will cater for the 15%.The two access tunnels which are to measure 1400 metres from upper stream to down stream are to be for transporting materials to the power house, according to the deputy project manager, Liu Jianguo. Jianguo said another diversion tunnel for water which be 607 metres will be constructed later on the northern side of River Nile after the completion of the two tunnels and power house on the southern side. Read more
UNABCEC: Contractors to be graded on ability
Keeping small contractors off big projects not only will this classification promote the growth of local contractors by making small projects their reserve but big multinationals will also stick and have some sort of exclusivity to big projects such as highways and flyovers.“The even bigger problem is giving small contractors very big jobs,” reasons Wanzira. Many small contractors that are awarded big projects struggle to deliver because of challenges, chief among them, financial arrangements.When a contractor is awarded a tender, in many instances, the firm is asked for a performance bond, which is usually 10%.Then the contractor is also required to make an advance payment guarantee to allow the job owner to advance you some money, which is 20%.To get these bank guarantees, one must have the equivalent of the loan facility must be secured by collateral. Read more
Uganda not aware of deal on cross-border call rates - UCC
Despite reports that Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda had agreed to lower roaming charges, Uganda’s telecommunications regulator and players alike say they are not aware of the development.Speaking to the Daily Monitor in a telephone interview, the Uganda Communications Commission executive director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi said: “It’s our wish that roaming charges reduce but I am not aware if any resolution has been reached to that effect.”MTN’s general manager in charge of corporate services Anthony Katamba also said: We are unaware of that development as MTN but if true, it’s good news for the industry because customers will now be able to call across the border at affordable rates. This will increase traffic and translate into more revenue for the industry.” Read more
ISO to recall certificates over decline in standards
The international organisation for standardisation (ISO) is to recall certificates of organisations and companies in Uganda that fail to sustain international standards.Dr. Sundar Kataria, the chairman and managing director of the international certification services, said Uganda has over 100 local companies and organisation that have been certified but there is fear that some of them might decline in standards.Speaking after certifying Uganda Clays Ltd., Kataria warned that being certified by ISO, an international body, means maintaining the standard or losing the certificate.“We want companies and organisations to comply with the standards so that they can continue to enjoy the international market whose requirement is majorly based on quality standard and good management,” he said.He observed that many Ugandan firms have started adapting to international standards, meaning that local products are accepted on the international market. Read more
Competition in pay Tv market to stiffen as new player joins
Competition among pay television (Tv) service providers is set to stiffen ahead of the digital migration deadline, following the entrance of a new player – Azam Tv.The market, which had about four operators including Dstv, GOtv, Zuku and StarTimes, has attracted Tanzanian-based Azam Tv , a subsidiary of Bakkhressa Group of Companies, that launched in Uganda.With a number of pay Tv subscribers estimated at about 90,000, Dstv, Zuku and StarTimes have been fiercely competing by offering price cuts among other incentives to retain old customers and attract new ones.The competition is expected to be even stiffer as companies struggle to attract Tv owners that are still using analogue technology.The low penetration of pay Tv services is attributed to the high installation and Set Top Boxes (decoders) costs, which are deterrent, especially for the poor communities. Read more
Nile Breweries managing director to retire
Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has announced the retirement of the managing director (MD), Mr Nick Jenkinson, effective.Mr Jenkison has served in the company incorporated as SABMiller in various capacities in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Swaziland and later Uganda.He became NBL’s managing director.Mr Mark Bownan, the MD SABMiller Africa, described him as an “exceptional, very knowledgeable and well respected leader in the business.”Mr Jenkinson oversaw the expansion of the Nile Breweries plant in Jinja to double capacity and also steered the acquisition of Rwenzori Beverages Limited.He also revolutionised  the beer industry by making NBL maintain the biggest 55/56 percent market share in an unstable economic environment, and also expanded the use of local sorghum, barley and maize to make beer, with enormous benefits to farmers across the country. Read more
GOV: What the budget offers to farmers
The Government has demarcated the country into various agricultural zones to promote particular agricultural products for commercial purposes to boost household incomes.This is contained in the proposed budget, which indicates that allocations to the agriculture sector will increase from sh382.7b (2.9%) to sh440.7b (3.1%).It also indicated that the Government will implement a $120m  World Bank project to promote food security.Among the cash crops targeted is coffee, where 100 million seedlings will be distributed to farmers in coffee-growing areas.Coffee seedling nurseries are to be established using contract farmers at sub-county levels in 79 districts across the country where coffee grows best.In addition, the Government will undertake tea development interventions to ensure production of 65,000 metric tonnes of tea, with about 63,000 tonnes for export.Read more

Uganda's aviation business is booming - CAA
The volume of flights, passengers and cargo, according to data from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Entebbe International Airport are on a steady increase. Statistics show that there were 1.23 million international arrivals compared with 1.08 million passengers.This shows an increase of 15 percent in cargo volumes, with 55,908 tonnes handled. CAA spokesperson, Ignie Igunduura, attributes the increase in passenger and cargo traffic at Entebbe to improved economic performance, political stability, the discovery of oil and gas in the country.“Aviation will never be the same as more investors seek business opportunities in the country due to macro economic stability,” asserted Igundura. This comes in the wake of Uganda’s average annual inflation rate slowing down to 14 percent compared with 18.7 percent, according to the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics. Read more
MAAIF: Uganda’s fish exports drop 
There are increasing worries among fisheries’ stakeholders about the future of Uganda’s fish industry, following statistics showing exports went down. According to the figures from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and fisheries, Uganda exported 18,558.07 tonnes of fish  worth $113,933.23 (about Shs273 million), lower than 20,562 tonnes worth $115,508.71 (about Shs277 million) exported. The figures were, however, slightly higher than 17,332 tonnes worth $91447 (about Shs219 million) Uganda exported.“The decline has been attributed to poor fishing methods and poor land practices along the lake shores,” according to Mr Henry Nabongo, a senior Fisheries inspector and Deputy Spokesperson of the Fisheries department, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.Read more
UTB: Embrace domestic tourism - minister
When Kampalans were told to exploit domestic tourism by minister of tourism Maria Mutagamba at Speke Resort Munyonyo, men craned their necks to take second glances at curvy ladies dressed in flowing saris and tight fitting Jeans trousers.“I mean go to the museums, have nature walks, watch the birds and visit our national parks,” corrected Mutagamba. “There is so much out there. It may be reptiles, the people or the huge animals.”This was at Speke Resort Munyonyo, while marking the World Tourism Day in style.Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) chairman James Tumusiime said Uganda has a variety of attractions that will excite the most sophisticated guest.“We have the culture, geographical bodies, the animals, reptiles and most of all the people,” said Tumusiime. “UTB has a task to keep Uganda in the eyes of international travellers.”In a nut shell, in the Munyonyo was popular after Idi Amin baptized it Cape of Good Hope and bought the resident Afrigo Band equipment. There was a beer there when beverages were scarce in the shops. It  got into focus for hosting the maiden CHOGM symposium held in Africa and the dramatic annual goat’s race. Read more
UIA: Slow infrastructure development frustrates Namanve investors
Investors are agitated by the lack of coordination between government agencies and the slow progress of fixing the wanting infrastructure in gazetted industrial parks.During a breakfast session at the Kampala Serena, investors including those that have been awarded prime land at Namanve Industrial park demanded to know whether there is a timeline to when the park will have water, electricity and tarmac road.Dino Bianchi, Toyota Uganda managing director echoed what he considers a very slow process at road, water and power works that would make it attractive for investors with land to start developing their sites. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) chief, Dr Frank Ssebowa said he had on many occasions met the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) team but no one gives a concrete answer based on timelines on when they would work on the infrastructure projects. Read more
COMESA: Imported footwear threatens leather industry development
The country’s leather industry has the potential to generate $5billion (about Shs12 trillion) into the economy, an amount of money that is nearly an equivalent of what the government needs to finance its national budget.However, for more than a decade now, the industry has been generating not more than $45million (about Shs113billion), thanks to the influx of synthetic and leather products in the market, particularly second hand footwear.This is according to Mr Nicholas Mudungwe, a regional development expert with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). Read more
Stanbic bank blames reduced profits on high operating costs
High operating costs coupled with the lag effects of the turbulent economic challenges suffered, are still evident in Uganda’s banking industry, as banks continue posting mixed  financial results.Although three banks including Kenya Commercial Bank (Uganda), Diamond Trust Bank and Dfcu, have so far reported profit growth, Stanbic (the largest bank by assets) and Imperial Bank have reported a profit decline and loss, respectively.According to Stanbic’s audited financial, the bank posted a 22.1 per cent decline in net profit to Shs101.8 billion compared to Shs130.8 billion posted. Read more
MOTI: Uganda’s Cotton exports to increase, thanks to WTO
Cotton exports from Uganda are set to increase once the recommendations by trade ministers in the Bali 9th ministerial conference are implemented.One of the recommendations was to help revive the cotton sector through funding to increase production to benefit from the market from List Developed Countries (LDC) who are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).This was revealed by the minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde in a brainstorming meeting about the conference at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.Kyambadde said that there have been restrictions in the cotton sector when it comes to exporting as result of decline in quality and production.“In this meeting ministers agreed that since sector in Uganda would be supported if possible with a fund to improve the production capacity and quality controls to gain a guaranteed market among LDC members and beyond,’ said Kyambadde.She said that Uganda was the lead exporter of quality cotton, but this has since dropped. Read more
Ugandans To Count Losses as TelexFREE Files for Bankruptcy
Thousands of Ugandans who recently invested their hard-earned money in the controversial TelexFREE, a pyramid scheme said to be dishing out huge profits to its members, should fasten their belts for a huge shock after it emerged that the international telecommunications and multi-level marketing company has filed for bankruptcy. To be members of the company, one is obliged to “invest” $400, $1,525 or $16,225. The member is then asked to post adverts daily obtained from the firm to a Telex free website and the returns are given depending on the individual's initial investment.Those invest much more, say $16,225 earn $1100. Research carried out by Chimpreports shows a good number of Ugandans had embraced the project for quick returns. Read more
OAG: Report on recoverable oil costs coming out, says government
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has said a second audit process of recoverable oil expenditures is ongoing and a report will be tabled soon in Parliament for discussion.The audit in works covers among others, oil fields-Blocks 1 and 3 A (operated by Tullow).It is being conducted by both the OAG and two private audit consultancy firms, PriceWaterHouse Coopers and Ernst & Young.The director of audit-Central Government 2, Mr Joseph Hirya, revealed that the process is intended to recover monies claimed in activities by the International Oil Companies and to probe their operations.“This is a value-for-money audit,” Mr Hirya, said at a workshop organised by Makerere University, Global Rights Alert and Pay What You Publish-Norway. Read more
New laboratory to increase milk exports
Speaking at the awards giving ceremony, the minister of state for investment, Aston Kajara said the sector has grown due to innovations.Kajara said that a total of over 1.86 billion litres of milk are produced annually which has also increased the number of the processors to more than 45 plants.He also said that milk exports increased from 13 million dollars to 20 million dollars this year adding that the government is now focusing on value addition to expand the market.Uganda’s milk products are now demanded by East African countries, India, Mautritius and Middle East among others. Read more
Museveni roots for more investors
President Yoweri Museveni has emphasised the importance of devising means through which more investors can be attracted to come and do business in Uganda.Museveni was addressing the opening session of the two-day fourth phase of the Presidential Investors’ Round Table at State House Entebbe.He said the seemingly productive activities of the economy are only transport and restaurants, but not the manufacturing sector.Museveni said the inability to manufacture our own goods leads directly to the challenge of job creation.The President commended Uganda’s development partners and consultants for their contribution to the development of the economy over the years. Read more
Centenary Bank Boosts Youth Entrepreneurship
Centenary Bank and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have partnered with the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD) to provide financial literacy to youth in agriculture. CURAD is one of the six agribusiness incubators in Africa and is aimed at producing innovative young entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders to champion productivity and profitability of the agricultural enterprises in the country. According to Apollo Ssegawa, the Managing Director of CURAD, the initiative will boost sustainability of the businesses nurtured at the centre. “As new entrepreneurs, the youths must know how to handle money as well as keep records if they are to stay in business. This partnership will help us reach our goal of promoting successful agribusiness enterprises in the country.” Read more
KCCA: Real Disaster As Taxis Relocate to Old Taxi Park
Taxi drivers in Kampala have relocated to Old Taxi Park with the aim of proving to Kampala Capital City Authority that the directive given was uncalled for. “We have decided to push inside all cars that have been operating outside the park. The move has tripled traffic jam since cars can’t fit within the designated park,” said Willy Ssemande, a taxi driver at Ntinda stage. Ssemande said they have agreed to follow the KCCA directives of ensuring that all cars in Kampala city get into the park but with the aim of portraying to the authority that the request is uncalled for since there are very many cars that have been operating outside the park and can’t all fit in such a small space. “See now how vehicles can’t move even an inch! We told KCCA that instead of forcing us all into the Old Taxi Park, they should find us another stage,” Ssemanda told Chimpreports at Arua Park in Kampala. Read more
CBG, Emmanuel Tumusiime: Uganda’s first female bank MD bows out
Ms Edigold, the only Ugandan woman to have risen to the position of a managing director (MD) of a top pan-African bank has resigned after serving the banking industry for about two decades.Ms Mondaywho believes that she has left the industry at a time her expertise is handy.“Under Ms Monday’s leadership, Bank of Africa strengthened its financial position with total assets growing by 91 per cent, deposits by 85 per cent, and loans and advances by 74 per cent.The bank also expanded its branch network from 16 branches  to 33 branches—all well spread across the country,” Mr Mutebile said at the farewell dinner hosted in her honour in Kampala. Read more
AU calls for investment in agric
Lack of modern technology for agricultural practice is to blame for the low production of food on the African continent.The observation was made by the commissioner for Agriculture and rural economy, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, while officiating at the 10th meeting on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme meeting at the International conference center in Durban.“The absence of the technology has led to continued production of food at subsistence level which cannot produce enough food for both home consumption and sale,” said Tumusiime. According to Tumusiime, farmers are still using traditional tools like the hand how to cultivate small pieces of land.“If government can spare some money and provide simple but effective agriculture tools like the hand held tractors, ploughs ,improved seeds and fertilizers, agriculture production would increase by 50% in the next five years,” she said. Read more
MTIC, Kyambadde: Nonconforming Imported Cars Will Be Destroyed 
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon Amelia Kyambadde, has ordered destruction of used vehicles whose importers don't follow the agreed guidelines under the Pre-Importation Verification of Conformity (PIVoC) arrangement. A number of guidelines were agreed upon in a meeting of the Minister, UNBS officials with car importers, following their strike in opposition of PIVoC costs. Under their umbrella association, Used Motorcar Importers Association, they closed down their warehouses protesting what they termed as 'exorbitant costs' being incurred under the arrangement.  They also complained of a few number of PIVoC Service Providers making the service  less competitive; and also demanded that inspection of used cars be carried out in Uganda. Read more
MOA: Gov’t Moves to Boost Horticulture Sector
The Minister of Agriculture, Tress Bucyanayandi, has promised to do whatever it takes to ensure that Horticulture farming is improved in Uganda. While presiding over the grand opening of the 2nd East Africa Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables Expo held at UMA grounds Lugogo, the minister appreciated the rate at which horticulture is developing in the country.The Minister of Agriculture, Tress Bucyanayandi received a token of appreciation from Mairye Estates exhibitors as the chief organiser Job Mwesigwa (R). The Expo was held at UMA grounds Lugogo While presiding over the grand opening of the 2nd East Africa Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables Expo held at UMA grounds Lugogo, the minister appreciated the rate at which horticulture is developing in the country. Read more
IRA: More insurance mergers expected as separation of business deadline nears
As the deadline for the separation of general and life insurance business nears, more mergers and acquisitions have been predicted as companies that are unable to run them as separate business, opt to let them go.Speaking on the sidelines of an SSP (insurance underwriters’ software) conference in Kampala, the Lion Assurance managing director, Mr Newton Jazire, said although some companies with composite insurers have started separating the businesses, small ones that are unable to run them as separate entities will have no choice but to merge or be acquired.“There is no point for a company to struggle to raise the required Shs4 billion minimum capital to underwrite Shs500 million,”  he said.The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) requires all insurance companies that offer both life and non-life insurance as a composite business to separate and run them as independent entities. Read more
Africa must back entrepreneurs - Omidyar Network
Entrepreneurs are central to bridging Africa's widening inequality gap but most governments on the continent are not doing enough to help them, the regional head of billionaire Pierre Omidyar's philanthropic arm said.The Omidyar Network, set up by the founder of eBay and his wife, works through grants and equity investments to maximise the social impact of organisations in sectors like technology, entrepreneurship and government transparency.It opened an office in Africa and has spent $50 million on the continent, a figure that will rise by $15-20 million, said Malik Fal, managing director of the network in Africa.Africa's poor were failing to reap the benefits of an economic growth rate of around 5 percent, Fal said. Read more
URA to tax government at source
Teachers and nurses laid down tools demanding higher pay. Each time this happened, the Government was quick to point to lack of resources. However, it turns out that government departments have a lot to do with the lack of funds.When James Tweheyo, the general secretary of the Uganda National Teachers Union, led a nationwide teacher strike for a 20% pay rise, government ministries, departments and agencies were unlawfully holding sh131b in unpaid taxes.This represents 77% of all unpaid taxes and close to 1.3% of the total amount of taxes that the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is meant to collect for the national coffers.The Auditor General’s report notes that the amount of unpaid taxes by government departments was sh31b.The eventual sh131b was a result of 13 government ministries not remitting Value Added Taxes, Pay-As-You-Earn and Withholding tax. At the time, the National ID project alone, under the internal affairs ministries, was holding sh40b in unpaid taxes. Read more
Samsung looks to life beyond the smartphone
After years of record profit growth, tech giant Samsung Electronics looks to be at a commercial crossroads as it searches for a new growth driver to counter slowing sales of its phenomenally successful smartphones.Alarm bells have been sounding for a while over Samsung's reliance on smartphone sales in increasingly mature markets such as Europe and the United States, and increasingly competitive emerging markets like China.The world's largest smartphone maker has a diverse product line ranging from memory chips to home appliances, but more than half its profits are generated by mobile devices. Samsung said it was on track for a second consecutive profit decline, and its stock price fell nearly 10 percent.The global roll-out of the latest version of the flagship Galaxy series smartphone, the S5, whose performance will be closely watched. Read more
MOWT: Govt authorises new ferry to ply Entebbe -Kalangala route
Ministry of Works and Transport authorised a second private company -Safe Havens Uganda Limited, to use the Nakiwogo route in Entebbe to Lutoboka, Buggala Islands in Kalangala District ferry people and property as MV Kalangala remains grounded undergoing repairs in Mwanza, Tanzania.The company manager, Mr David Maseli, told the Daily Monitor that the ministry gave them a go ahead to bring FB Mugendi ferry to work hand in hand with MV Amani and to keep alternating until MV Kalangala returns.“Earthwise has been doing well but people with vehicles and heavy cargo have been suffering and we have come to bridge the gap,” he said in an interview with the Daily Monitor. Read more
Barclays: Shilling strengthens as banks cut dollar positions
The Ugandan shilling firmed, boosted by banks cutting their dollar positions in the interbank market as demand from importers declined.Commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's largest coffee exporter at 2,520/2,530, stronger than the close of 2,528/2,530."Demand from importers is largely absent, which is forcing most banks to cut back on their dollar positions," said Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank. "I am expecting it (the shilling) to keep an appreciation bias going forward, because I don't anticipate a rebound in corporate demand soon."The local currency is largely stable, underpinned by soft greenback appetite, liquidity mop-ups by the central bank and hard-currency inflows from offshore investors buying into Ugandan debt. Read more
Ugandan companies ready for AGOA market - Muhwezi
Ugandan companies using locally sourced materials are now ready for the United States (US) market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) market initiative, Presidential Advisor on AGOA and Trade Suzan Muhwezi, has said.While touring AWAKA, Textile Development Agency (TEXDA) and Sseko designs factories that manufacture furniture, textiles and leather sandals respectively, Ms Muhwezi said AGOA is an initiative given to sub-Saharan African countries to export more than 8,500 products duty free and quota free hence accessing the huge US market.She urged ministries responsible for production and private sector to produce products that are exportable targeting the already available markets.“AGOA is an initiative for the private sector to take advantage of. AGOA response office does not export, but it assists the private sector and private companies by giving them information, cutting through bureaucracies for investors, sensitisation and marketing,” Ms Muhwezi said. Read more
MOIA: Verifying subscriber information a challenge, telecom players say
Despite completing SIM card registration, telecommunication companies have said they are facing challenges verifying the registered subscribers’ data due to lack of proper identification documents.Speaking during a meeting between the internal Affairs Ministry and telecommunication companies’ executive directors recently, MTN general manager corporate services Anthony Katamba said: “Some subscribers don’t have any legal identification documents and that forced us to rely on letters from Local Councils which are not accurate enough. At times names of individuals are wrongly spelt yet we don’t have any other legal document to crosscheck with.”Disguising identity This means that if a person has ill intentions, he can decide to spell his name differently or even use different names to disguise his true identity.It is also alleged that some subscribers submitted forged documents like identity cards, whose numbers could not be verified while others registered SIM cards on behalf of others, meaning that the registration agent didn’t see the applicant physically to verify whether the attached photograph is for the applican, in order to prove the identity of the applicant. Read more
BOU: Forex reserves increase by Shs584b
Uganda’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by $230 million (about Shs584 billion).This, according to Bank of Uganda (BoU), is an equivalent of 4.4 months of future imports of goods and services.This is the highest level in terms of volume of foreign exchange reserves in import cover. “The stock of Uganda’s foreign exchange reserves at the end amounted to $3.276 billion, which is an increase from $2.046 billion at end,” the executive director of research BoU, Dr Adam Mugume, told the Daily Monitor in an interview.Bank of Uganda uses the foreign exchange reserve to intervene in the domestic money market to bring about stability when there are volatilities in the foreign exchange market, which can either be the appreciation or depreciation of the Uganda shilling against the United States (US) dollar.Uganda calculates and keeps all her foreign exchange reserves in US dollars. Read more
Mbabazi woos agricultural goods investors
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has invited Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a leading global merchandizer of commodities and processor of agricultural goods to consolidate their position in Uganda and the entire East African region. Mbabazi welcomed the investors to the country, describing Uganda as one of the best investment destinations in the world.He said the Government was ready to offer them all the necessary support they require to establish themselves in the country.The Premier made the remarks, while receiving Ciro Echesortu, the Chief Executive Officer, Louis Dreyfus commodities, the third largest global integrated commodities group in the world in revenue terms.The investors from Louis Dreyfus who wish to establish a regional hub in Uganda were accompanied by Alykan Mukwano of the Mukwano Group.Louis Dreyfus Commodities operates a network of assets around the world and their activities include merchandizing of agricultural products and metals in addition to production, sourcing, storage, transport and distribution. Read more
WB: Africa’s economy resilient - World Bank
Economic activity in Sub- Saharan Africa remained robust, highlighting a significant increase in capital inflows and net direct foreign investment (FDI) inflows, the World Bank said in a report .In its latest Africa's Pulse report highlighting the continent’s economic prospects, the World Bank said the growth was essentially supported by the rising investment in natural resources, infrastructure and a robust private consumption.“Economic growth continued to rise from 4.7 % to a forecasted 5.2 %, capital inflows also reached an estimate 5.3 % of regional GDP while net FDI investment in the region expanded more than 30- fold, boosted by new oil discoveries in many African countries including Angola and Mozambique,” said the report.The report however noted that although a number of African countries are expected to remain stronger than many other developing countries worldwide, a sharper decline in commodity prices, political uncertainty and poor physical investment will continue to inhibit the continent’s growth potential. Read more
UNRA: Gov’t to lose sh130m per day in road deal
The Government will lose over Sh130m to the contractor if the construction of Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road is stopped, Court has heard.The road project manager, Khalil Odongo, in his affidavit in support of an application by Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) seeking to overturn a recent interim order that stopped the constructions works said, government will have to pay over sh130 to the constructor if the order is maintained. UNRA’s  lawyers Alex Kibandama and William Tumwine pleaded with the deputy High Court registrar (Land Division), Michael Otto Gulamali, to set aside an earlier order he issued halting construction works saying completion of tarmacking of the 92kms road on time is key for the planned Oil and Gas production. The government plans to start producing Oil and Gas.The government commissioned the tarmacking of the road two years ago to link the country to the vast oil reserves in the Albertine Graben  and Kabaale – a proposed site for the 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery in Hoima district. Read more
KPA: Ports authority postpones operation of new tariffs
A new implementation date of the proposed tariffs will be announced. KPA clarified that contrary to some media reports, the amended tariffs are not yet in force.“No customer has been subjected to the proposed minor adjustments,” the communication added.This announcement of the proposed adjustments drew attention from both the business community in Uganda and Kenya, saying they were not consulted Ms Jennifer Mwijukye, the Managing Director of Unifreight,-a cargo handling and freight-forwarding company, who was earlier startled about the changes when contacted by the Daily Monitor about the postponement welcomed the idea. Read more
MAAIF: Dairy  revenues surge to Shs51b
Earnings from dairy exports have now reached Shs50 billion, a feat the government largely attributes to its liberalisation policies.According to the Minister of agriculture in charge of animal industry, Mr Bright Rwamirama, the spirit in the dairy sector is running high, signifying the beginning of more fortunes to be harvested in the lucrative sector.“Our dairy export is now in the range of $20 billion (about Shs51 billion) from $13 million (about Shs33 billion) , and we are looking to surpass that figure,” Mr Rwamirama told the Daily Monitor in an interview. The earnings were standing at Shs30 billion up from nearly Shs9 billion before.The surge in export earnings according to industry players and sector analysts is due to the expanded markets in the gulf (Middle East) countries, and the extended regional markets which now include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member states.Read more
9,000 farmers to benefit from WFP warehouse partnership
Under the arrangement, the farmers will also benefit from training from the company on good agricultural practices and how to reduce post-harvest losses.Ms Martin-Daihirou said while WFP played an important role as a catalyst in rehabilitating the Gulu infrastructure, the agency is confident that Afgri-Gulu Ltd has the capacity to further develop the grain market in Uganda to stimulate growth and provide better returns for the farmers and others involved in the trade.Commenting about the partnership, acting manager Uganda Commodities Exchange Deborah Mwesigye said the idea will see farmers benefit immensely.“To Uganda Commodities Exchange this a good venture because farmers will access market for their produce through the WRS,” Ms Mwesigye added.pended as we jointly agree on how to deal with this issue once and for all,” Mr Imran said.In an interview, UNBS executive director Ben Manyindo wondered: “Why should the inspection be done here and not in the country of origin?” Read more
Pride Microfinance Limited: Kamwokya market vendors tipped on savings
In a bid to raise and create awareness about the importance of savings, Pride Microfinance Limited (MDI) took the initiative to engage Kamwokya market vendors.Over 5,000 Kamwokya market vendors who deal mainly from petty trade, like selling of tomatoes and vegetables are set to benefit from the grass-root roll out initiated by Pride Microfinance. Deo Kateizi the Head of Corporate Affairs at Pride told New Vision that the roll out that started with a clean-up exercise is intended to sensitize the traders on need to save. “In business, you can only invest through saving. People must have the culture of saving. But just as we save and do business, there is also need to keep in a clean environment,” said Kateizi. He said that currently Pride has a loan portfolio of Shs95b and over 70,000 active borrowers have provided financial solutions for the social and economic growth of entrepreneurs in Uganda.Read more
NWSC Revenues Grow to Shs168bn
The NWSC is a public utility mandated to provide water and sewerage services in areas entrusted to it on a sound and commercial and viable basis. The corporation operates with 34 urban centres, with the addition of towns of Wobulenzi, Luwero, Wakiso, Apach, Aduku and Paidha to the National Water and Sewerage Corporation service areas and likely to include other areas this quarter making 42 towns under NWSC. A five year strategic direction aimed at highlighting the corporation’s contribution towards the national vision of transforming Uganda from a peasantry to a self-sustaining economy as outlined in the national development plan (NDP) key among the aspirations of the strategic outlook are 100% coverage of water and the improvement of sewerage services in the urban areas. Read more
UAIB: Insurance brokers struggling to stay relevant
The local insurance industry is struggling to attain significant penetration levels partly because the public has not yet appreciated the relevance of brokers in the industry, players have said.According to the chairman Uganda Association of Insurance Brokers (UAIB) Maurice Amogola, despite the essential role insurance brokers play in driving the industry, the biggest section of the insured public connect directly with insurance companies.“The insurance brokerage industry has a significant role to play in boosting performance of the industry, but there is limited public knowledge about its existence and the services it offers.This in turn becomes detrimental to the whole sector,” he said on the sidelines of the UAIB Annual General Meeting and awards gala held at Protea Hotel last week.He revealed that in Uganda, only 40% of insurance policies are bought through brokers compared to the 75% in Kenya and 80% in Tanzania.Uganda’s insurance industry is worth sh300b with a penetration rate of merely 0.65%, compared with Rwanda at 2.3%, Kenya 2.76% while Tanzania commands a 2.2% penetration rate. Penetration rate indicates the sector’s percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Read more
BOU: Mutebile tips banks on cost barriers
Central bank governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, has tipped commercial banks in Uganda on financial inclusion efforts.“Extending financial services will only be possible on a large scale if banks can overcome the cost barriers which are a major obstacle to the wider provision of financial services,” he said. Mutebile was at the launch of Orient bank’s latest branch at Acacia mall in Kampala.He also bemoaned banks’ high operating costs as a share of total assets is too high.  “One of the ways in which costs can be lowered is through the introduction of new technologies for delivering financial services, such as information technology,” he advised.He also reiterated the central bank's commitment to ensuring price stability and a sound financial system. “We shall continue to conduct vigorous financial sector regulation and supervision to ensure that all banks are well capitalized and that they have robust risk management frameworks.” Read more
UNBS, trade ministry promote quality goods
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives in collaboration with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has started implementing the quality infrastructure and standards programme.The five-year programme  is designed to promote the use of quality infrastructure and standards to improve the competitiveness of Uganda’s products, processes and service delivery systems in domestic, regional and international markets.The state minister of trade, James Mutende, said the programme has enabled the ministry and UNBS to improve the quality and standards of infrastructure in country.“Through this programme, we are trying to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework, capacity building and institutional collaboration in order to tackle the challenges of low competitiveness for Uganda products and menace of substandard goods on our market,” Mutende said. Read more
UIA: Drop in Local Uganda Investors
The number of licensed local investors with new projects in Uganda has dropped, according to the Uganda Investment abstract.The abstract shows that the investments have gone down because local companies/investors are not obliged to obtain an investment license before starting their business or project."The domestic owned projects accounted for only 17.8% a drastic decline compared to the 39.4% registered. The decline in the number of licensed domestic projects calls for more promotional efforts to urge domestic investors to acquire licenses since the value of domestic investment has since outstripped that of foreign investments," Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Uganda Investment Authority Executive Director, said last week.However the abstract that was released recently, shows an increase in the number of foreign owned and jointly owned companies."Foreign owned enterprises continue to dominate in numbers accounting for 74.5% of the total projects licensed from 40%," he said. Read more
AG cautions CSOs against criticising Gov’t
The Accountant General, Lawrence Semakula has cautioned civil society organizations against criticizing government without offering alternative measures.The Accountant General welcomed the initiative of CSBAG and said public engagement is important in budget process to ensure transparency and promoting social accountability.“Accountability sector working group recognises the importance of public engagement in budgeting, strengthens transparency and openness of public budgets and helps to promote social accountability that enables citizens to become more engaged and in the process learn more about the budget and fiscal policy concerns,” he said.Julius Mukunda the coordinator of CSBAG assured the accountant general that the budget advocacy group acts as a watch dog on how government’s money is spent in providing service delivery to the citizenry. Mukunda informed the officials in the accountant general office that civil society group has budget track mechanism up to the grassroots level and therefore, can monitor and evaluate government programmes. Read more
URA: Uganda Tax Agency to Widen Net
 In a move aimed at growing the tax register and ultimately increasing the country's tax to GDP ratio, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) plans to cast its tax net further using its Tax Payer registration Expansion Project (TREP).A recent report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) places the informal sector as the fastest growing sector in Uganda, accounting for 43.1% of Uganda's total economy.Additionally, there is a widening gap between the economic growth and the contributions to government revenue, as evidenced by our tax-to-GDP ratio that still stands at 12.7%, the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa whose average is 17%.The emergence of a dominant informal sector has been named as a major factor in this disparity. The informal sector refers to all economic activities and income derived that would otherwise escape government regulation, taxation or observation. It is mostly hidden and its operations unreported or unknown.During the reading of the national budget, the Maria Kiwanuka, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development proposed that in order to identify tax payers and collect taxes from small businesses that are usually hard to reach, URA should collaborate with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the local governments. Read more
UMEME: Bitature advises on SACCOs
The chairman of Umeme, Patrick Bitature has said Savings Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) have led to economic development in the country.He said the growth of SACCOS across the country have contributed to investments in different sectors which in turn have led to the economic growth. Bitature said this while addressing members of Australia Alumni Association of Uganda (A3-U), during their annual general meeting at Protea Hotel in Kampala. Bitature who is a patron of the association encouraged its members to start savings credit scheme as this will create business development opportunities.“This is an opportunity for you to put together your resources as a group and do a significant investment,” Bitature told the alumnis of Australia.He cited the Indian association of Uganda that has connected its members to business links and as a result their enterprises have prospered. He pointed out that Australia association should help its members to share business ideas to foster business entrepreneurship.Read more
Consumer Rights Body Backs PVOC On Imported Cars
The Uganda Consumers' Protection Association (UCPA) has urged the standards agency to stand firm in the face of "blackmail" by used car dealers to fail imports verification tax procedures.Many importers of used cars in Kampala closed their depots to protest "unfair fees" under the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVOC) arrangement. PVOC, enforced by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), verifies the conformity of all regulated products and enforces their standards to protect consumers from dangerous and substandard goods.Compliance to PVOC requirements is applicable, in addition to any existing import processes. Every consignment of regulated products exported to Uganda requires a certificate of conformity. UNBS introduced PVOC on imported used motor vehicles to have them tested for quality and road worthiness before being shipped into the country. Read more
UETCL: Power tariffs to increase
Just before the dust settles on Parliament’s demand for government to cancel the contracts of Umeme and Eskom, the Uganda electricity transmission company Limited (UETCL) has announced that power tariffs will be increased.Kenneth Otim, the public relations officer of UETCL, says the increment will be in line with the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA)’s proposal to implement the Automatic Tariff Adjustment (ATA). ATA is a system that factors in movements in the exchange rate, fluctuations in oil prices on the international market as well as local inflation levels.By increasing the tariffs, Otim said, the transmission company would get revenue to pay thermal generation firms Jacobsen and Electromax, to avoid load shedding.“The cost of load shedding is more than that of thermal generation,” says Otim. The cost of production and consumption for thermal power is more expensive than that of hydro electricity but cheaper than the cost of load shedding. When the demand for power supersedes the total generation, the distributor has no choice other than to load-shed. This was the case faced by Uganda as a result of a long drought with little power generation. Read more
KACITA Unveils Quality Awards
Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has unveiled Quality Awards preparations, an annual event that seeks to recognise businesses that have excelled in quality maintenance of goods and services. The process will involve a holistic study of all member business entities that will tassel for the prestigious award  at Hotel Africana in Kampala. KACITA vice chairperson, Ms Hope Atwiine, said, a research firm (Research Hub) will carry out the study to determine the best performers. "They will be going round visiting companies to determine whether quality management practices and controls are in place," she said. The winner, she added, will be largely determined on consumer preference grounds (40% of the mark). Other areas under consideration will include environmental sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, market outreach, distribution, NSSF and URA tax compliance. Read more
UACU: Car Business Resumes After UNBS Deal
Importers of used cars in the country have agreed to resume normal business following extensive discussions with officials from Uganda National Bureau of Standards [UNBS] and Ministry of Trade, over implementation of Pre- Importation Verification of Conformity [PIVOC] programme.The traders  went on rampage and closed down their warehouses in protest of what they termed as exorbitant charges by the three companies contracted by UNBS to test the quality of the cars before being shipped to Uganda. The companies are Japan East Africa Automobile, a Japanese firm, Kilimanjaro based in the United Arab Emirates and Javic; whose work is to test the road worthiness of cars imported in Uganda. The traders under their umbrella union Used Car Association of Uganda (UACU) told press that they were paying at least $140 on inspection fees in Japan for each vehicle and as much as 15 percent of the total cost of the car, insurance and freight with UNBS inspectors. The traders  were invited to dialogue with the Ministry and Bureau officials at UNBS offices, to devise the way forward. Read more
EABC decries non-tariff barriers
The continued imposing of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by the East African Community (EAC) member states is limiting the growth of the private sector and slowing down integration, experts have said.The East African Business Council (EABC) urged EAC member states to accept to open up and work as one entity if the region is to develop and overcome challenges of unemployment. The EABC chairman, Vimal Shah, said the spirit of individualism among member states not only hampers foreign direct investments, but also disables the growth of businesses in the region.“We have a population of 130 million people in east Africa with a GDP of $90b. We need to create more jobs to increase our GDP to more than $100b,” Shah said.“Nothing is stopping us from reaching there apart from ourselves and our mistrust. The private sector is becoming impatient in terms of implementing EAC agreements.” Read more
MOT: Uganda embassy in Washington DC boosts tourism
Uganda’s Embassy in Washington DC has partnered with National Tour Association (NTA) in North America to boost tourism in Uganda.“Uganda’s share of North American tourism market is set to expand following the partnership with the National Tour Association (NTA), a leading player in the travel industry in North America,” Oliver Wonekha, Uganda’s Ambassador to the United States, and Stephen B. Reacher, NTA’s Public Affairs Advocate at Uganda Embassy, Washington, D.C said. Wonekha noted that although Uganda has some of Africa’s best tourist attractions, the number of tourists from North America visiting the country hasn’t matched this potential, a recent statement issued by the Embassy said.She, however, noted that after emerging from a difficult past, Uganda has seen increased investment in tourism infrastructure such as hotels in cities and game parks, access roads, boosting security in and around the tourist attractions.She said the Embassy is working together with the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities; Uganda Tourism Board (UTB); Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) to increase the country’s visibility as a unique tourist destination.Read more
URA: Electronic tracking of goods 
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is in the final stages of piloting the electronic tracking of goods to streamline tax compliance.While addressing close to 200 clearing agents who were graduating after completing the East African Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC), URA Commissioner for customs, Richard Kamajugo said the new tracking system will be launched.“You will have access to the system and be able to track your goods. This means that the risks to your goods will even be reduced further,” he said. Kamajugo also revealed that the authority will embrace online application of agents. He said the training, aimed at professionalizing the industry, will change the face of clearing.Read more
Central Bank governor reassures on economy
Central bank governor Tumusiime Mutebile has reassured investors of a stable macroeconomic environment backed by predictable information flow to enable them decide on where and when to invest in Uganda.In a key note presentation at the Uganda Investment Summit at the Speke Resort Munyonyo  Mutebile said the country is undergoing rapid transformation in it financial sector with 25 banks most of which are integrated in the global market. Thus he said has elevated the Ugandan economy to the status of a “frontier market.”“The Bank of Uganda makes public its forecast for inflation one year ahead, we believe that the better the public and the markets understand our monetary policy, the more effective it will be,” noted Mutebile. Inflation, a core macroeconomic factor is critical to investors because high and unstable  inflation wipes away the value of investments which may scare away investors.Current inflation has fallen to 7.1% from a high of over 30% over two years ago. Speaking to a hall packed with global and local investors, Mutebile pointed out that the loan to deposit ratio has risen from 54% to 78%. Read more
Enterprise Uganda commended for Entrepreneurship development
Enterprise Uganda has been commended for initiating the Global Entrepreneurship Workshops (GEW) which has led to the development of credible business men and women in Uganda.Fred Ruhindi, Justice and Constitutional Affairs state minister made the remarks while opening the entrepreneurship conference sponsored by European Union, under the theme; “Exploring New Approaches to Business Financing” at Imperial Royal Hotel, Kampala.Ruhindi said the workshops and activities carried out by the organization have highlighted the affirmative efforts they have put to develop credible entrepreneurs whose lives have changed and they are building the economy.“I want to appreciate the organization and its global entrepreneurship partners for the activities they organize which have changed and improved the lives, human welfare and built economies of the country,” the minister observed.He said GEW activities and workshops have helped develop entrepreneurs’ knowledge, skills and networks which inspires them to start and grow sustainable enterprises. Ruhindi added, “The net outcome is a positive impact on participants’ lives, families, communities and the country at large.” Read more
Governments challenged to cut costs of sending money
The cost of money in Africa and the attendant risk factors have seen the use of diaspora quickly become a viable financing option for economic development as was underscored by finance experts at a recent remittances forum in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.With close to 250million migrants around the world sending home about $400billion, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka called for increased transparency of prices and service features as these would allow consumers to make informed decisions. This would subsequently foster more competitive and safe market for remittances.Besides finding solutions on how to leverage the remittance opportunity, financial experts also grappled the challenge of finding solutions to the high cost of sending money. Read more
IRA: Mergers, acquisitions take shape in insurance
Just as predicted by market analysts, Uganda’s insurance sector appears set for consolidation as the market begins to witness mergers and acquisitions.Sanlam Emerging Markets (pty) Limited’s acquisition of 50.3 per cent stake in Niko Insurance Uganda.The move follows the sale of 49 per cent stake of Niko Group’s General Insurance Business in Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia to Sanlam Emerging Markets (pty) Limited, a subsidiary of South African based Sanlam Group, according to a press statement.The transaction also saw Sanlam acquire 51 per cent stake in Niko General Insurance Company Malawi, 51 per cent shareholding in Niko Insurance Zambia and 34 per cent stake in Niko Insurance Tanzania at an undisclosed amount.Analysts including African Alliance chief executive officer Kenneth Kitariko and insurance company chiefs predicted last year that Uganda’s financial services industry that includes banks and insurance companies would witness mergers and acquisitions due to changing regulatory frameworks and requirements. Read more
Citadel Capital gains more RVR stake
TransCentury Limited, a Nairobi Securities Exchange listed infrastructure company, has announced the sale of its 34 per cent equity stake in the Kenya–Uganda rail concessionaire Rift Valley Railways (RVR), to Egypt’s Citadel Capital.Citadel, a private equity firm, said it bought the shares for $37.8m (about Shs96 trillion), raising its stake to 85 per cent up from 51 per cent in Africa Railways which runs RVR together with Bomi Holdings, which owns a 15 per cent stake. Bomi Holdings is run by Ugandan business mogul Charles Mbiire. However, Mr Mbiire was not readily available to comment on developments.Citadel Capital founder and chairman Ahmed Heikal, on why the firm sought the deal in railway business, said, they are honoured to continue working with their partners in Africa Railways on RVR’s turnaround story.The latest happenings are likely to translate more efficient development of the Kenya-Uganda railway given the reduced bureaucratic hurdle that comes as a result of TransCentury’s exit. Read more
Deloite: Regional Players Jet In To Discuss Escalating Banking Fraud
East African Regional players in the Banking and ICT sectors are this month converging in Kampala to forge a way out of the worryingly escalating cases of fraud and insecurity in the sectors. The debate is slated to take place at the 3rd East African Banking and ICT summit to be held in Kampala on April 25.Cyber Security Africa which is organizing the conference said he discussion will centre on key security issues on banking systems, software, mobile banking, cards and payments, fraud and risk management solutions.It will also explore solutions to banking fraud, IT security threats, risk and regulatory issues affecting financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations.The event follows last month's study report by Delloitte indicating that Uganda leads the rest of the countries in the region in Cheque-related fraud cases.The country also come number one, in cases of fraud related with accounting, mortgages and financial statements. Read more
Corporate Companies Not Making Profits - BoU
A huge chunk of Ugandan corporate business companies are no longer remitting taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) simply because they are not making profits, said Bank of Uganda. The Central Bank’s Research Director, Dr Adam Mugume, said the “biggest shortfall in tax revenue came from corporate taxes; from institutions making no profit- so they can't pay or remit taxes.” Mugume’s revelations underscore the uneasy climate condition within which businesses are operating in Uganda. His statement also comes against the backdrop of media reports of several leading tycoons losing vast multi-billion properties to commercial institutions due to an unprofitable business atmosphere. Mugume made the remarks at the Central Bank during the release of the monthly monetary policy by Governor Tumusiime Mutebile. The Director of Banking, Ben Ssekabira also noted that the ratio of bad loans to total credit currently stands at 6.9 percent from 4.9 percent, implying many borrowers were not able to service their loans.  Read more
Investors Meet Museveni on Boosting Dairy Production
President Yoweri Museveni, who is now in Brussels, Belgium for the 4th European Union (EU) – African Heads of State and Summit, has held a meeting with Prof. Dr. Xavier Gellynck from the University of Ghent’s faculty of Bio-Science Engineering. Prof Gellynck presented to President Museveni a proposal to introduce the growing of artemia, a type of food that is used to feed fish fries. The don said the feeds help in playing a major role in steady increase of fish numbers in water bodies. The academic also presented another proposal centred on the improvement of the dairy sector in Uganda in as far as production, processing and marketing of milk and milk products, is concerned. President Museveni also received a delegation of potential investors from a firm known as Packo Inox NV, Belgium, led by the Managing Director, Mr. Johan Ameel. The President and his guests discussed possibilities of the Belgian-based firm contributing to the improvement of the dairy value chain in Uganda using and preserving natural resources. Read more
Farmers to lose Shs3b as BAT suspends operations in Kigezi
More than 709 farming households will be without a steady household income worth about Shs2.7 billion after British American Tobacco Uganda (Batu) announced that they are suspending tobacco growing operations in North Kigezi Area.In a letter addressed to the Resident District Commissioner Kanungu and copied to the district tobacco inspector and Chief Africulture Officer, Batu managing director Jonathan D’Souza said the decision was mainly driven by higher costs of production.“Due to higher costs of production, tobacco growing has become increasingly less economically viable. This is primarily driven by the increasing cost of wood fuel,” said Mr D’Souza.“We would normally start contacting farmers in the area, however due to the economics of this operation, compounded by uncertainty around the sector..., we regret to inform you that we will not be contracting farmers in Kihihi for the season,” he added. Read more
UBL ups focus on high-end market
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has started a drive to lure the high-end market segment into consumption of some of its most exclusive brands.This, the brewer says, partly explains its restructuring that will see some posts rendered redundant as other people make it into the company to fill the vacant positions.According to UBL, known in Uganda for brands such as Bell, Guinness and Tusker, the initiative to popularise its range of expensive spirits like the Single Malt whiskies, arises from the growing middle class demands for a finer and exclusive lifestyle. Read more
UBOS: High food prices raise March inflation
Uganda’s consumer prices rose by 0.3 percentage points  due to a rise in food prices.The Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) shows inflation rose to 7.1 per cent  from a revised 6.8 per cent a month earlier.Food prices rose 12.7 per cent  compared with 11 per cent in the previous month, driven by the rising cost of several fruits and vegetables.Presenting the CPI at Ubos offices, Mr Chris Ndatira Mukiza, the director Macro economic Statistics Ubos, attributed the increase in prices to decreased supplies of agricultural products to markets, owing to a prolonged dry spell experienced in most parts of the country.The rise in inflation therefore means that people’s purchasing power is being eroded, thus one needs more money to pay for a similar basket of goods and services. Read more
MOT: Future tourism destined to eastern Uganda
Talk about tourism in Uganda triggers thoughts about gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kidepo Valley National Park in North Eastern Uganda and the snowcapped Rwenzori Mountains. But the ministry of tourism is determined to change this perception by identifying and promoting a variety of products in Eastern Uganda.“We have accommodation facilities of different classes to cater for the tourists,” said the traditional leader Omukuka Wamimbi. “The good weather, a variety of organic foods, mountain climbing, birds and most of all, our culture can make any one have something of interest.” Read more
UDCA: Coffee exports inch up in volume, value
Uganda’s coffee exports to the global market have increased in both volume and value, a stance if maintained, is destined to improve farmers’ yields.Latest information from Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) - a total of 3.73 million bags were exported up from the 2.91 bags exported the same period previously.The UCDA report further indicates that in this same period, coffee exported earned the country a total of Shs1 trillion ($414 million) up from Shs977.7 billion ($388 million) the country earned the previous year.“This performance indicated a 28.27 per cent and 6.68 per cent increase in volume and value respectively,” UCD report mentioned.Read more
Museveni Meets Tororo Phosphates Project Investors
A group of Chinese energy development officials have met and held discussions with President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Nakasero. The team that was led by the President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group, Mr. Lv Weidong, discussed with the President issues pertaining to the economic development of Sukhulu Phosphates project in Tororo district where the group is planning to extract phosphate and also establish a fertilizers factory. President Museveni and his guests agreed on the importune of the project geared towards the economic transformation of Uganda. Mr. Lv Weidong assured the President that his group will deliver because they are committed to assisting Uganda in her quest for economic transformation. Read more
URA seizes 270 cartons of smuggled Chinese batteries
Uganda Revenue Authority law enforcement officers on Monday raided shops in Kikuubo and seized goods smuggled into the county. According to URA law enforcement officer Moses Oguttu, one wholesale shop owned by Ms Joan Kyomuhendo had the 273 cartons, each containing 100 dozens of China batteries.“We got intelligence reports that china batteries had been smuggled into the country through Mutukula boarder post with Tanzania. A follow up was done until this morning  when it was offloaded. We have got 273 cartons concealed in plain boxes but we believe many more are still hidden that is why the owner took off when we arrived,” Mr Oguttu said.Speaking to Kikuubo traders during the operation, Mr Oguttu said the batteries worth Shs70 million will be destroyed because they are prohibited on the local market. Read more
HIMA: Cement prices set to increase
Despite increased production of cement, some of which was meant for the troubled South Sudan market, industry players say they forecast increase in the prices of the key building material. Manufacturers claim that the lower the prices of a commodity like cement, the more the consumers hold back on consumption. For that, they say they will not mind if the retail prices for a 50kg bag of cement stabilise at Shs30,000, currently trading at between Shs26,500, 000 to Shs28,000 or slightly more.A 50kg bag of cement was retailing at between Shs30,000 - Shs33,000 in several stores around the country, before dropping by a difference of about Shs6,000 late last year. Read more
MTN Awards Women In Business
Ugandan women, like their counterparts in the rest of the world are increasingly rising up to beat the odds in the male dominated job and enterprise arena to take their places in history books as achievers in various categories. These women entrepreneurs represent the spectrum of micro to high growth business, from supporting life to creating wealth. They include the professional women, hair salon owners, high tech visionaries, policy makers among others, all making critical economic contributions. In recognition of Ugandan Women, MTN on Friday March 21, 2014, held a special Women’s Day Panel discussion under the theme ‘Work life balance- Getting more Women into the real economy’. This year’s panel was moderated by the Managing Director for NTV Uganda, Mrs. Aggie Konde. Read more
AFT: Mubende, Mityana farmers demand NAADS accountability
Farmers in Mityana and Mubende under their umbrella group Mityana-Mubende District Farmers Association (MMUDFA) have tasked NAADS coordinators to account for all the programs including the sh900million quarterly money they get to run the services in the two districts. This was during a meeting that was organised by Agency for Transformation (AFT), a USAID/GAP funded project on the  in Mityana district. The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the oversight role of farmers and private sector to deepen transparency and accountability. Read more
Umeme Posts Strong Profit
Shareholders in Umeme limited are set to be richer, after the company announced a solid profit for the year.The company's net profits grew by 12 per cent, from Shs 57bn the year before to Shs 87bn. Announcing the results at Kampala Serena hotel, Managing Director Charles Chapman said the profit was driven by a massive reduction in power losses and increased efficiency.Power losses dropped from 38 per cent five years ago to 23 per cent. Chapman promised that in the next five years, the company would cut power losses to 14 per cent. Umeme has recommended a dividend payout of Shs 16.8 per share. Umeme's assets grew by 18 per cent to Shs 889bn last year.Chapman said the company was still stuck with the old network, a challenge for the business. Read more
Car importers' strike won't Affect Revenue Collections - URA
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials have said the slow down on the car importing business will not have a far-reaching impact in the revenue collection by the tax body. Car importers closed down their warehouses and locked their offices in protest against the Pre-Export Verification (PVoC) program by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).They protested what they termed as 'unfair fees’ being charged by the three companies contracted by UNBS to test the quality of the cars before being shipped to Uganda.The companies are Japan East Africa Automobile, a Japanese firm, Kilimanjaro based in the United Arab Emirates and Javic; whose work is to test the road worthiness of cars imported in Uganda. Read more
CBL: Women Urged to Prepare for Business Opportunities
Women have been urged to prepare themselves for business opportunities by getting market information to compete for the same jobs with men.According to a leading entrepreneur, in a country where the formal workplace retains a largely male face, women must understand what 51 per cent of the population requires for business."Plan for it, get skills and use opportunities to start businesses in the private sector," said Maggie Kigozi, a former executive director of Uganda Investment Authority, recently. Kigozi was speaking at an MTN-sponsored event on how to promote businesses owned by women. A director in Crown Beverages Limited, Kigozi advised women to always start businesses that they are passionate about. Several women shared experiences on how they had managed to succeed in life. Read more
BOU: Weak Shilling pushes fuel prices up
Tough times are ahead as the depreciating Shilling pushes up the price of fuel, something that analysts say will see the cost of living go up.Bank of Uganda opening market  placed the dollar at 2560/2570, indicating a more than Shs70 increase compared to what it traded.Experts in the market have attributed the depreciation of the local unit to the speculations following the donors’ announcement to suspend aid after the enactment of the Anti-Homosexual Act.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, the Bank of Uganda Director Research, Dr Adam Mugume, said: “It is true the Shilling has lost ground largely because of speculative reasons and also the overshooting behaviour of the exchange rate once the market experiences a slight disruption.” Read more
BOU: Reduce lending rates, Mutebile tells banks
Banks across the country have been asked to align their lending rates with the Central Bank rate (CBR).The call by Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusime Mutebile, was made during the official launch of Guaranty Trust Bank (Uganda) Ltd.Currently, the CBR at which commercial banks borrow money from the Central Bank stands at 11.5 per cent. The weighted average lending rate in the commercial banks currently stands at above 22 per cent.“Bank of Uganda is committed to forcing price stability and ensuring sound financing system. I therefore ask banks to align charges in lending rates to the Central Bank Rate (CBR). These rates are still high and they must come down,” Mr Mutebile said. Read more
Nakawa fish vendors demand ice plant
Fish storage is one the major challenges denying the country endowed by nature to enjoy its main aquatic food. Given the perishable and seasonal nature of fish, its storage and preservation still remains a challenge to vendors in the markets. They have appealed to the Government to put up an ice plant where they can buy affordable ice to use in their coolers. Nakawa market fish vendors say they resort to using improvised coolers to preserve their fish because they cannot afford to buy refrigerators. Read more
UNBS: Car dealers protest inspection fee
Dealers in used cars have protested the amount of money that Uganda National Bureau Standards (UNBS) wants  them to pay as a fee for inspecting vehicles before being shipped here.According to the used car importers, the minimum of $300 (Shs769,000) for each inspection was not only unilaterally arrived at but its enforcement will see the cost of doing business increase.The importers are required to pay the fee to Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center (JEVIC), a company contracted by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, to do the pre-inspection. This, according to the used car dealers, means the cost of a vehicle will increase by a minimum of Shs 1 million and in some cases more, making it difficult for a consumer to afford and for them to keep in business. Read more
MFPED: UBA scoops Shs45b govt fuel deal
United Bank for Africa (UBA) has entered a deal with government to manage fuel consumption and expenditure of state ministries, departments and agencies.UBA was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development after Standard Chartered, also known as Stanchart withdrew from the deal.It is believed that the deal which will compel all government ministries, departments and agencies to use fuel cards issued and managed by UBA, will see the bank collect a cheque from the government every quarter ranging between Shs25billion to Shs45 billion, depending on consumption. Read more
Tullow paid sh59b to government
Tullow oil paid a total of sh59 billion ($23 million) to government figures released yesterday as part of upcoming new legislation pushing for industry transparency indicate.The payment disclosures makes the London listed firm the first company to take this step ahead of the revised EU accounting directive which is expected to be in place in the UK.“We are also making voluntary disclosures of other taxes (e.g. VAT, Withholding Taxes, PAYE, NI and others) that we pay but are not covered by the revised EU Accounting Directive,” said George Cazenove, Tullow Group media relations manager.In Uganda, Tullow has a one-third interest in each of four licenses in the Lake Albert Rift Basin shared with Total and Chinese firm, CNOOC. Uganda has about 1.7bn barrels of recoverable oil resources in the Lake Albert Rift Basin.The $23m paid to Ugandan government was slightly higher than the $22 million paid in taxes to the Kenyan government. Read more
UNBS: Used car importers protest PVoC fees
Used car importers have closed their businesses and locked their offices protesting against sections of the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) program by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).Under the PVoC scheme that came into effect late last year, imported used motor vehicles are supposed to be tested by any of the three contracted quality assessment firms. UNBS contracted the services of Japan East Africa Automobile, a Japanese firm, Jabal Kilimanjaro based in the United Arab Emirates and Javic to test the road worthiness of cars imported in Uganda.There was tension on Monday at almost all car depots within the Kyambogo closed business and offices and rejected buyers, condemning UNBS for what they referred to as ‘unfair’ fees. Read more
BB: Shilling edges up as dollar demand eases
The Ugandan shilling edged up slightly on Tuesday as dollar demand from banks eased and confidence in the local currency rose in anticipation of inflows from offshore traders seeking to buy government debt.At 0846 GMT commercial banks in Kampala quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,562/2,572, a touch stronger than Monday's close of 2,565/2,575."The huge appetite that the market has been having from banks has declined and that has given support to the shilling," said Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank.Banks have shown enormous demand for the dollar in recent days as some prepare to pay dividends for 2013 to shareholders based offshore. Read more▪
Private Sector Lists Demands Ahead of June Budget
The sector last year influenced up to about 80 percent of the 2013/14 budget, which largely prioritized infrastructural development, according to Finance Minister Hon Maria Kiwanuka.Private Sector Foundation Uganda boss Mr Gideon Badagawa said they hope to take the lion's share, in terms of enhancement of value addition of agricultural output through infrastructural development"Uganda is still exporting raw agricultural produce even when we realize that the global market today appreciates more of finished products," he said.Read more
CB: Shilling weakens on dividend flows
The Ugandan shilling weakened on Monday as foreign-owned commercial banks stocked up greenbacks in preparation to make dividend payments abroad, but a scheduled Treasury auction this week was seen limiting the local currency's losses.At 1127 GMT commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,570/2,580, weaker than Friday's close of 2,555/2,565."We've had a lot of (dollar) appetite from banks which I think is being driven by preparations for dividend payments," said Ali Abbas, trader at Crane Bank.Money market analysts say the local currency's medium-term outlook is weak, undermined by concerns over the potential economic impact of aid cuts by western donors. Read more
MTIC: Uganda moves to open electronic single window for trade 
Government is taking the steps necessary to launching a one stop electronic trade clearance system, a computerised scheme that saves time, shoe leather and money. Through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), a High Level Task Force (HLTF) has been constituted composed of Ministers, Leaders of key institutions and private sector players involved in the facilitation of trade, to agree on national governance and institutional arrangements for adoption and implementation of the electronic single window system (E-SW) in Uganda and consider the proposed roadmap for its implementation.   The private sector said it fully supports the implementation of the E-SW and recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Uganda through MTIC. Read more
Umeme 2013 pretax profits nearly double
Ugandan power distributor Umeme Ltd. nearly doubled pretax profits last year, boosted by a surge in sales and new capital investments, the firm reported on Monday.The firm, which is partly owned by emerging markets private equity investor Actis, said pretax profits rose 89 percent to 115.2 billion shillings ($45 million) on revenue up 12.3 percent at 965 billion shillings.Earnings rose to 52 shillings a share from 42 shillings in 2012.The company, which is listed on both Kenyan and Ugandan stock exchanges, said it would pay 16.8 shillings per share in dividends, compared to 15 shillings the previous year. Read More
KACITA to open own bank
Kampala traders under their umbrella organization, the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) are looking forward to starting their own bank after commercial banks hiked interest rates last year to a level that pushed some of them out of business.Everest Kayondo, the chairman of the association told traders at their annual general meeting (AGM) on March 20, that the organization is finalizing plans to officially launch the bank any time soon.“We intend to open a commercial bank very soon that will cater for KACITA’S growing needs for investment as well as provide loans to traders at low interest rates in an effort to mitigate pressure from commercial banks that lend at exorbitant interest rates and push our colleagues out of business,” he said. Under the law, the KACITA traders will be required to raise the minimum capital requirement by the central bank of Sh25bn intended to ensure that banks are in a better position to safeguard depositors’ money in bad economic times before launching their venture in to the banking sector. Read more
UCC: Shs43b at stake as procurement delays
Delays in the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) tendering process could cost the government Shs43 billion it had anticipated to get from the international call levy, Daily Monitor has learnt.Although government tasked UCC to get a firm to provide technical solutions using the quality and revenue assurance system, a source who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject told this newspaper that that is yet to happen, barely three months to the end of the 2013/14 financial year.The quality and revenue assurance monitors and accurately bills telecoms’ international call earnings to ensure that they (telecoms) pay the correct taxes.International call levyGovernment introduced a levy on all international incoming calls in the 2013/14 national budget where it hoped to raise about Shs43 billion in a move to raise more revenues to meet the tight resource envelope, currently at Shs13.1 trillion. Read more
UECCC: Private sector taps into renewable energy
Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC) has intensified support for increased consumption of renewable energy especially in the private sector. The support comes after the energy credit company recently invested funds to finance solar as the alternative form of electricity to Ugandans. According to UECCC managing director Specioza Kimera Ndagire, it is important that the private sector and stakeholders come together to support tapping into Uganda’s vastly endowed renewable energy. Ms Ndagire said UECCC will work with selected financial institutions to finance renewable energy projects and guarantee solar loans to the business fraternity. “We need to empower the private sector including small and medium businesses (SME’s) with skills of harnessing the consumption of the renewable energy resource,” she said. Read more
President Museveni meets Turkish investors
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni received a group of Turkish investors who called on him at State House Nakasero.During the meeting, Rusan Dundar, who is the board chairman of Toscano Company, said he was interested in manufacturing agricultural machinery in Uganda.He said he would boost mechanized farming in the country.The chairman told Museveni of his readiness to engage in massive production of maize and adding value to the product.The group was accompanied by the minister of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, Tress Buchanayandi. Part of the team was the chairman of Uganda Global Business Association, Alper Bayazit, and the Association’s secretary Lokman Cinar. Read more
PSFU: Local Companies Told to List on Stock Exchange
Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) is currently preoccupied with efforts to have more local companies list on the national principle stock exchange. The commitment was resounded by PSFU Executive Director Mr Gideon Badagawa while speaking to media at Hotel African.He noted with concern that despite a number of local companies having been in the market for decades, only about thirteen are listed on the Uganda Security Exchange (USE).Among these, Umeme and other subsidiaries like Uchumi, KCB, Equity Bank, EA Breweries are cross-listed on the Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam Stock Exchanges.Mr Badagawa said that enhancing local companies to get them listed was even more needed now that the country braced for the oncoming EAC bourse. Read more
MFPED: Harmonise money supply and expenditure, Kiwanuka says
The minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Ms Maria Kiwanuka, has called for the harmonisation of monetary and fiscal policies, saying the two complement each other in economic development. Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money while fiscal policy is the use of government revenue to influence the economy.Her call comes at a time when central banks are moving away from monetary-targeting policy frameworks which aim at the amount of money supply in the economy to control inflation to inflation target monetary policy frameworks, which look at inflation forecast, low interest rates and stable exchange rates. Read more
BOU: Revenue deficits push up rates on government securities
Increased issuance of treasury bills/bonds and the participation of foreign investors in Uganda’s domestic financial market have caused rates on government securities to rise marginally. Bank of Uganda explains the rise as largely a result of the need for increased domestic financing to accommodate the shortfall in revenue and increased government expenditure.The interest rate on the 91 day treasury bill went up from 8.82 per cent to 9.41 per cent while the 182-day treasury day rates went up from 11.58 per cent to 11.97 per cent. The two-year treasury bonds rate went up from 13.4 per cent to 13.72 per cent, while the treasury bond rates went up from 15.15 to 15.25 per cent.Bank of Uganda perspective In an interview with the Daily Monitor, the Director Domestic Financial Market Bank of Uganda, Mr Stephen Mulema, said: “I can attribute the increase in yields to the increase in issuance volumes given that the rising trend began when we increased the issuance amounts.” Read more
Increased loan uptake, foreign exchange spur bank revenues
Commercial banks in Uganda have started picking up steam with the economy, posting strong profits last year.Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Dfcu, the two institutions which have so far released the audited financial statements, indicate strong financial performance, mainly driven by growth in loans to customers and a surge in foreign exchange income.KCB’s audited financial results published yesterday indicate that the institution’s net profit grew sixfold to Shs6.7 billion, up from Shs1.1 billion recorded for the same period the previous year.KCB managing director Albert Odongo attributed the surge in the institution’s profit to growth in the loan book, which increased from Shs162 billion to Shs187 billion, resulting in an increase in interest income from Shs17.7 billion to Shs24.4 billion. Read more
Cement, tobacco first to be cleared under EAC tax deal
Cement and cigarettes will be the first goods to be cleared under a new trade deal allowing for joint collection of customs taxes by Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.Under the deal, expected to take effect, clearing agents have been granted access rights to relocate and carry out their duties in any of the partner states under the single customs territory (SCT) system, raising hope for improved flow of goods and curbing dumping.In an interview with the Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner for Customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the extension of single custom territory (SCT) to other products followed successful clearance of fuel imports into Uganda from Kenya (Mombasa port).He said: “The items being brought onboard are neutral  spirit, cigarettes and cement traded between Kenya and Uganda.” Read more
UNBS Extols Shell Over Quality Assurance
The Executive Director of National Bureau of Standards, Dr Ben Manyindo, has praised Vivo Energy, the company that distributes and markets Shell fuels and lubricants, for its proactive approach to quality assurance. The revelation was made during the launch of Uganda’s first mobile fuel testing laboratory at Shell Lugogo by Vivo Energy.“The mobile fuel testing laboratory greatly enhances the work that Vivo Energy is already doing and provides additional support to the work UNBS is also doing with our mobile vans,” said Manyindo.“Vivo Energy  works in partnership with us to offer support; they have also opened up their laboratory for us to conduct further tests whenever the need arises. Apart from the UNBS lab, Vivo Energy is the only oil company with a modern fuel testing lab in the country,” he noted. Read more
Kisekka market traders divided on relocation plan
A section of traders in Kisekka Market have threatened to put up strong resistance against the market redevelopment project if their leaders fail to find a sizeable place for relocation.According to the redevelopment plan, traders will be relocated to Namayiba Bus Terminal, which currently serves as a temporary taxi park. Namayiba park has been fitted with more than 50 containers, which will be occupied by some traders as a temporary working place since the project is expected to kick off next month.Mr Mubarak Kalungi, the publicity secretary Kisekka Market Vendors Limited, said yesterday they need more than 200 containers if they are to accommodate at least half of the population of traders in the market. Read more
AFDB: Africa Business Leaders Discuss Growth Strategies in Geneva 
The Africa CEO Forum 2014, one of the most important gatherings of African business leaders opened in Geneva, Switzerland. Organised by the Groupe Jeune Afrique in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the second AFRICA CEO FORUM welcomed "680 participants, speakers and journalists from more than 38 countries". This level of participation is already a measure of the success of this year's AFRICA CEO FORUM, whose mission is to bring together economic actors from French and English speaking Africa to strengthen regional ties, promote public-private sector dialogue with the goal of building an environment conducive to new business development. It further stimulates African entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. Read more
AKFED: Uganda Gets Cheapest Call Rates In Smart Telecom
Ugandans who have in recent years grappled with high call rates have reason to smile after Smart Telecom launched its operations in the country and promised a shs74 per call. The move is likely to kick off a price war in the telecom industry as the old guard moves swiftly yo safeguard its market from the new competitor. Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), announced it is to enter the East African telecommunications market, under the company name, SMART, which was chosen as the name by the people of East Africa in an innovative voting campaign. The launch will enable AKFED to expand its unique and proven social enterprise business model into Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda with a focus on innovation and customer service. Read more
Cabinet to discuss traders’ fate as S. Sudan delays Shs126b payment
Ugandan traders, who claim nonpayment of nearly $50 million (about Shs126 billion) by the South Sudan government, have called off a planned strike after assurance by the police that they will be paid.The traders, who say they supplied merchandise to the neighbouring country for over five years, were told by police chief Kale Kayihura their matter is being handled at the ‘highest level possible’.According to the police, the agitation by the traders is turning into a security issue, which must quickly be resolved before it degenerates into chaos. It is also understood the matter is among the issues lined up for Cabinet discussion after several efforts, including President Museveni’s involvement to have the traders paid, appeared to be falling on deaf ears Senior officials at the ministry of Trade confirmed the development, saying this is not the first time the Cabinet is considering the matter, only that this time round the cabinet is bound to zero in on more definite resolutions. “We are doing all we can to have the traders get paid. And as government we are discussing with them (government of South Sudan) and we have a joint commission which is looking at these issues,” Assistant Commissioner for external trade Cyprian Batala told journalist attending Uganda National Bureau of Standards training in Mukono District. Read more
ASUGAS: Ugandans abroad discuss top jobs with Kadaga
Ugandans living and working in Switzerland have asked the speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to ask government to back them for top international positions and jobs.Sharing several issues with the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, the group said that despite the challenges they have encountered coordinating projects that affect Uganda, they are still committed to ensuring the best for the country. The group under the umbrella body ASUGAS (Association of Ugandans living in Switzerland) is a cross-section of Ugandans living in and working with various International Organisations within Geneva said a statement from Kadaga’s office. Kadaga has led delegation of MPs to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the 130th Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly.While asking government to fully supports the advancement of professional Ugandans who have hit a glass ceiling, the ASUGAS chairman Michael Nsobaine challenged the country to pay all her outstanding dues to International organisations. Read more
British Airways expands EA operations
As East African economies project increased growth, British Airways is adding more flights and growing capacity in the region.In Uganda, the company will increase flights between Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and Entebbe. At the same time, it will replace the Boeing 777s on the daily service between London and Nairobi with the larger Boeing 747-400s, adding more than 780 seats a week on the route.The airline’s newly appointed commercial manager for East and Southern Africa, Mr Edward Frost, said the move is a response to continued strong economic growth in the region.According to the United Nations’ world economic situation and prospects  report, East African growth was 6 per cent  and is expected to increase to 6.4 per cent. Read more
ROALI: Insurance firms, banks advised on laws to boost service delivery
With bancassurance expected to boost the uptake of insurance services in the country, players have been urged to align the insurance and banking Acts to ensure success of the product. Bancassurance involves a bank providing outlets through its branch network for the sale of insurance products, especially life insurance and pension products to clients. Speaking at stakeholder consultative meeting, Mr Sundresan Moodley, head of Bancassurance, Rest of Africa for Liberty Insurance, said despite contributing immensely to insurance companies’ revenues in markets where the model operates, bancassurance has been a disaster in others because of a variance in laws regulating the two sectors.“The insurance regulator doesn’t want to report to the banks’ regulator yet the banks regulator also doesn’t want to report to the insurance regulator. So aligning the Acts to create a mutual ground for the product will be necessary,” Mr Moodley said. Read more
Vivo to launch mobile fuel-testing lab
Uganda’s petroleum industry has suffered from adulterated fuels mainly from unscrupulous dealers mixing mainly kerosene with diesel and petrol to maximize gains.These adulterated products not only cause damage to the vehicles’ engine but also discourage fair competition among the operating oil companies.A statement from Vivo Energy indicates that the company has obtained a mobile fuel-testing laboratory that is equipped with tools to conduct onsite preliminary tests, randomly, to detect any tampering that could occur at our Shell Fuel Stations.Hans Paulsen, Vivo Energy Uganda's managing director said: “it help guarantee the quality of the products that eventually goes into customers’ tanks.”Dr. Ben Manyindo, the Executive Director of National Bureau of Standards, praised Vivo Energy for its proactive approach to quality assurance.“It greatly enhances the work that Vivo Energy is already doing and provides additional support to the work UNBS is also doing with our mobile vans. Vivo Energy works in partnership with us to offer support. Read more
African central banks advised on curbing inflation
The Governor Bank of Uganda, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, has asked African central banks to adopt the inflation targeting monetary policy frameworks, saying it is very effective in controlling the increase in prices of commodities and stabilising interest rates.While delivering his keynote address during the International Monetary Fund and Bank of Uganda conference in Kampala yesterday, Mr Mutebile said: “I strongly believe that it is both feasible and desirable for central banks in Sub-Saharan Africa to modernise their monetary policies and adopt inflation targeting frameworks.” Read more
New telecom launches at only Shs74 per call
The telecom industry could witness a new wave of price wars following the launch of a new telecom company that will charge subscribers only Shs74 per call, the cheapest rate on the market. Other telecoms charge an average of Shs270 per minute.Smart Telecom, which has been running the “Give Us a Name” campaigns launched yesterday after buying off Sure Telecom licence, which had failed to attract subscribers since its launch.Smart Telecom, which is part of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, will use “074” as its code.Justifying the low call rate, Mr Abdellatif Bouziani, Group chief executive officer of Smart Telecom East Africa, said: “Like we asked East Africans to give us a name, we also asked them what they wanted from us and they said they wanted to make calls without being under pressure of time. That is why we are offering subscribers an opportunity to make a call without minding at a clock ticking and pay only Shs74.” Read more
KCCA: Clock Tower, Jinja Road flyovers to cost billions
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has unveiled a multi-billion master plan to transform the transport network in the city. The plan encompasses construction of flyovers at Kitgum House, Mukwano and Clock Tower junctions in the next five years.It will also develop an integrated public transport system with Bus Rapid Transit, Non-Motorised Transport and cable cars. According to KCCA documents, the passenger rail services in the city and its suburbs will be revamped.“Feasibility studies and preliminary designs have been completed. Works are expected to commence,” reads a KCCA document on the project in part. KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju corroborated with the plans, saying: “We have done the preliminary designs and contacted seven possible service providers.” Read more
Deforestation causing rising food prices, activists say
Rampant deforestation is to blame for the reduction in food supply, which causes increase in food prices, activists have said.In a statement issued , the activists said despite the campaign to promote food security, the planners forget the role of forests. They added that food security requires sustainable energy and ecosystem provided for by forests to increase production. Ms Efrance Nakiyingi, the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) programme officer, said the country has lost about one quarter of her forests. She said this has resulted into weather changes leading to delayed and insufficient rains, floods and mudslides. Read more
UIA top boss outlines investment plans
What is the country’s major investment agenda?
There are about four of them. Agro-processing ranks up there. We are putting a lot of emphasis here because we know that is where our comparative advantage is.Minerals are the other area we are prioritising. We are looking at refining them before exporting to other markets. Tourism is the other sector that we are developing and we believe we could easily be the leading tourism destination in this region. We have not yet managed to exploit the tourism benefits fully but this is something we are working on because of its potential.ICT is another sector because the educated young population can benefit immensely from investment in this sector. Read more
NWSC monthly collections reach Shs20b
The National Water and Sewerage Corporation has announced a monthly revenue collection of Shs20 billion, attributing it to improved billing and recoveries from illegal water use.While conducting the  evaluation of area managers, Mr Alfred Okidi Okot, the head of Finance, said the collections hit Shs20b especially for Kampala Water because of the improved revenue collection which now stands at 92 per cent due to reduced arrears, team work and integrity resulting from introduction of pre-paid water meters and e-payment solutions.“It was good for Kampala Water and we should now focus more on out-put. Read more
NARO: Rice becomes preferred cash crop in Uganda
Ten years ago rice was a preserve for the rich or a special cuisine spared for Christmas and ceremonies. But with the introduction of more than 16 species to farmers, the cereal is fast replacing some staple foods in part of the country and becoming a preferred cash crop in some circles.“The land under upland rice shot up from 1500 hectares ten years ago to 220,000 hectares,” said the deputy director general of National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) Dr. Ambrose Agona.“Consequently, the volume of rice harvested shot up from 80,000 to 220,000 metric tons last year.”“Local production has saved the state more than $30m that it would have spent importing rice. It is now ideal for food security.” Adding that, “When cassava mosaic hit eastern Uganda and the central region was ravaged by banana wilt, rice had to take their place. Wakiso, Luwero, Gulu, Teso and Hoima are now producing lots of rice. This has made Uganda a food basket in a region that is badly hit by the effects of climate change.” The popularity of rice was boosted when maize prices plunged to their lowest. Read more

Six oil firms here to inspect the Oil wells
Six shortlisted oil firms for Uganda’s refinery project have arrived in the country to inspect the oil wells. They are China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau from China, Petrofac from UAE, RT-Global Resources from Russia, Vitol SA from Switzerland, SK Energy from S.Korea and Marubeni Corporation from Japan. According to the programme, the bidders will visit the oil fields in the Albertine Graben and the area where the refinery is going to be developed at Kabaale Parish, Buseruka Sub County in Hoima District.They will also hold a meeting with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), TOTAL and TULLOW the companies licensed to undertake petroleum exploration, development and production of the oil and gas resources in the country. The six firms were shortlisted in January2014 and the winner for the development of the 60,000 barrels per day (BPD) oil refinery and related downstream infrastructure is expected to be announced by the Ministry of Energy.Meeting the firms on Wednesday at Kampala Serena Hotel, Eng. Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy & Mineral Development (MEMD), said: 'We invited the bidders for this conference to share with them information on the developments in Uganda’s oil and gas sector, and more specifically to introduce the refinery project.”  Read more
Financial services industry asked to boost risk controls
The financial services industry needs to strengthen its risk management systems and controls as they rollout innovative products to ensure business sustainability and boost customer confidence in the industry.Speaking ahead of the sixth Banking, Finance and Insurance expo slated for March 20, at the Uganda Manufacturers Association showground, RoyalWay Media chief executive officer, Mr David Sempala, said risk management has emerged as one of the new threats to the financial services sector. Therefore, it needs to create robust risk frameworks and clearly define risk appetites and reporting in order to anchor decision making.According to a Deloitte  Financial Crimes Survey report, Uganda’s financial services industry loses between $1 million (Shs2.4 billion) and $10 million (Shs24.9 billion) to fraud annually, necessitating industry players to put in place robust security controls that match the innovative delivery channels being rolled out to curb fraud.The Banking, Finance and Insurance Expo seeks to present a platform for public financial capabilities.Mr Sempala added: “Financial institutions may change corporate governance and take a larger leap to new innovation while their customers lag behind in technology and other financial information which results in risks, thus, the need to bridge this gap through such expos.” Read more
Used car importers body to set up local vehicles testing facility
Just days after protesting Uganda Bureau of Standards’ decision to re-inspect imported used cars before being shipped here, Used Car Dealers Association has issued a statement saying it is prepared to invest any amount of money to set up a vehicles-testing facility in Uganda. The Used Car Dealers Association leadership says it is willing to work with the government through the public-private partnership arrangement to establish modern vehicle-testing facilities that could also be used for testing road worthiness of vehicles that are already on the road.“We cannot wait to discuss this arrangement (investing in a vehicle testing facility) with government,” Mr Siddiq Mushtaq, a senior member of the Used Car Dealers Association, told the Daily Monitor earlier in the week.A statement issued by the Used Car Dealers Association further recommended that government suspends mandatory inspection at the ports of export (before the vehicles are shipped here) as consensus and modalities on its implementation is being agreed. Read more
Kisenyi residents advised to embrace development
Residents of Kisenyi in Kampala have been called upon to welcome development brought in by private investor because it is for their own benefit. The call has been made by deputy director revenue collection KCCA, Julius Kabago during the launch of the new branch of Diamond trust Bank at USAF market in Katwe.He said that it is from the private investors that KCCA is able to get taxes that help develop the city. “We need fly overs in our city to reduce the jam, more good roads, health centres and other developments. So if we come requesting for your support in case we have brought people to develop your areas, please cooperate with us, it is not for KCCA’s benefit but for all Ugandans,” Kabago said.He cited examples of USAF market and USAF which people resisted initially but today are benefiting through getting job. Read more
Uganda to announce oil refinery investor 
The east African country first discovered crude deposits in the Albertine rift basin along its border with Democratic Republic of Congo and reserves are estimated by the government at 3.5 billion barrels.The government moved closer to getting the hydrocarbons industry off the ground last month when it signed a memorandum of understanding with three oil firms laying out a blueprint for the commercial development of its oil fields.According to the deal, crude produced by the three firms - Britain's Tullow Oil, France's Total and China's CNOOC - will be shared between a thermal power generation plant, a planned refinery and an export pipeline.Commercial oil production is expected to begin at the earliest. The energy ministry announced five consortia and one individual firm had been shortlisted to bid for the $2.5 billion refinery. The lead investor - which will also operate the plant - is expected to take up a 60 percent stake, with the remainder going to the Ugandan government. Read more
Consumers petition Gov't over telecom services
Consumer advocacy groups have petitioned the Government to intervene and end the abuse of consumer rights to fair and responsible service by telecom companies.The plea was made during the inaugural communications consumer parliament at Imperial Royale Hotel. The dialogue was organised by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as part of activities to commemorate the world consumer rights day under the theme: ‘fix our phone rights.’The event was organised to provide an opportunity for consumers with to express their concerns and enable telecom service providers and the sector regulator UCC to listen to the consumers’ views.In the petition, the consumers represented by Sam Watasa from the Uganda Consumers’ Protection Association (UCPA) demanded for compensation to consumers affected by for poor service delivery.“We demand for consumer redress by way of reasonable compensation of losses made by consumers arising from charges on unsolicited services, unsuccessful delivery of services Watasa. Readmore
EAC: New sanitary measures to spur East African fisheries business
New measures that will boost fish trade volumes in East Africa have been formulated.
The East African Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures for fish products were developed by experts from regional partner states. SPS are World Trade Organisation standards that ensure consumers are supplied with safe foods. Fish and fisheries products are part of this.Responding to the new measures, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of the productive and social sector Jesca Eriyo said: “this is in line with Treaty for Establishment of the EAC Article 38 and in tandem with the EAC Common Market Protocol 45(3), on cooperation in Agriculture and Food Security.”“This calls for an effective mechanism of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, standards and technical regulations within the EAC,”she added. Read more
BOU: Central bank governors to meet over monetary policy
African Central Bank governors are scheduled to meet in Kampala, Uganda with a view to improve their economies’ monetary policies.The meeting,will allow the continent’s governors to chart a way forward in implementing a modern monetary policy that has been recommended by International Monetary Fund (IMF) to mitigate both internal and external risks in their economies.African countries are experiencing challenges to realise stable monetary policies framework in their economies because of evolving risks that come with internal and external shocks in the economy, hence the need for modernising of monetary policy frameworks.The high level two-day conference on Modernising Monetary Policy Frameworks in Low Income Countries (LICs) is being organised by the IMF and the Bank of Uganda, with support from the UK’s Department for International Development and it will be held at Speke Resort Munoynyo. Read more
Dry spell pushes milk prices up
More people with the appetite for milk are finding it hard to include it on their daily menu because its price has gone up.Experts in the industry attribute the hike in prices to scarcity of supplies which have been caused by the dry spell.Ms Samusha Musinguzi, who owns a retail shop in Mpererwe, says the price started going up about two weeks ago.“We have been buying a litre at Shs1,800 at the depot. But since then a litre has gone up to Shs2,200,” Ms Musinguzi explains.However, the milk at the depot is not enough for the demand in the area, pushing the dealer to ration it.“You can only take three litres. A litre is now at Shs2000 at that depot but it’s rare to find milk. So, we are now buying from supermarkets like Shoprite at Shs1,900 but still you only find Fresh Dairy yet we prefer Jesa.”Since we go for many days without milk at the shop, we have hiked prices to Shs2,600 a litre to make some profits.” Read more
Chinese ambassador commends Vision Group
The Chinese envoy to Uganda, Zhao Yali, has commended Vision Group for its role in transforming society by providing useful information through its various platforms.Zhao Yali said; “The Chinese government appreciates the close cooperation we have had with New Vision. We attach great importance to New Vision for the important role you are playing in informing society.”A jovial Yali made the remarks while visiting Vision Group head office in Kampala. During the visit, the envoy met with the Vision Group Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kabushenga, who was with Editor-in-Chief Barbara Kaija and other editors.Yali, who was accompanied by the deputy head of mission, Li Qianghua, counselor Ouyang Daobing and Third Secretary Kevin Xu, said the visit was part of strengthening the cordial relationship between Vision Group and the Chinese embassy in Uganda.He said he was impressed by the high degree of organization at the Vision Group and its success as a multi-platform media house.“Uganda and China have very close bilateral relations and share a lot in common in terms of culture and historical background,” said the envoy. He donated two 102cm-wide Hisense flat screen colour televisions to Vision Group.Read more
UTB: Uganda shines at Berlin tourism exhibition
Uganda was the fifth best exhibitor at the just concluded ITB Berlin tourism exhibition among 10 African countries.The Uganda’s stall in Berlin measuring 120 square meters was the biggest ever in recent years. The number of walk-in visitors marched Kenya’s which occupied almost a similar space.The elegant exhibition stall housed private tour operator who showcased artwork of the rare mountain gorillas, Uganda Waragi gin, artifacts, and images of games and a full time running video playing a documentary of the Ugandan tourism story.Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive officer, Uganda Tourism Board acknowledges that should the industry pull in one direction and marketing is funded, Uganda will even do better. “Uganda will prosper in tourism, we just need to tweak a few things,” noted Asiimwe adding that the industry is everybody’s business.Other countries in the top ten included Burundi and Rwanda. At a dinner hosted by Ugandan ambassador Marcel Tibaleka, UTB board chairman James Tumusiime noted that as part of efforts to actualize the industry’s full potential, foreign missions need to be fully integrated into the game especially because the largest groups of high spenders are from Europe and America. Read more
KDLG: Kasese set for cage fish farming
Kasese District Local Government has started training communities living along lake shores in cage fish farming as a way of reducing pressure on the lakes in the area.The principal district fisheries officer, Julius Baluku, said cage farming will help individuals to practice commercial fishing without affecting the lakes.In an interview, Baluku said cage fish farming would also reduce on the irresponsible harvest of immature fish, which was rampant in Lakes Edward and George.He said the district local government has availed a volunteer, Danny Sieg from the Philippines, who has already started training members of the Beach Management Units on how to construct and manage the cages.To pilot the project, three demonstration centres are to be established in Katunguru fish landing site, Kasenyi along Lake George and Kayanzi along Lake Edward.Commenting about the venture after visiting the training site at Katunguru fish landing site along the Kazinga Channel , Kasese district LC5 vice chairperson, Tadeo Muhindo, said he had been convinced that cage fish farming will increase on fish production.He noted that the venture if it succeeds will help in curbing fish depletion in Lakes Edward and George where immature fish catching is rampant. Read more
KCCA: New city markets to create 22,800 working space
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has finalized plans to construct seven new modern markets in the five city divisions.Upon completion, the new markets are expected to create additional working space for 22,800 city traders. KCCA spokesperson, Peter Kaujju said construction of the new markets would cost ($100m) sh250b.Part of money has been secured to buy land for Bukoto, Kitintale and Ggaba markets, Kaujju said. Other markets are to be rebuilt in Busega, Kasubi, Ntinda and Nakulabye."Designs for Busega market in Rubaga Division have been completed and construction will commence," Kaujju said. Kaujju said funds for procurement of land for the other markets and their construction had not yet been secured. Most of the markets have been in dire state, with filthy working conditions.Reconstruction of most city markets had long stalled due to management wrangles and funding challenges.According to KCCA, the seven new markets will be built to similar standard as the sh22b Wandegeya Market that houses 1,200 traders. Read more
Uganda to host EAC business meeting
An East African Community business forum that brings together private sector actors and civil society groups in the region will be held in Kampala, Mary Makoffu, EAC Director for Social Sectors has said."The objective of the Forum is to allow selected stakeholders and the EAC to consult and work towards realizing the Community’s objectives,” she said.Under the theme “EAC: My Home, My Business,” the various groups interested in paving the business routes within the region would interface with the East African Secretariat in order to unmask the opportunities available within EAC member states and come up with mechanisms on how to explore these opportunities. Read more
EAC Tourism Ministers Assure West Of Safety
The East African Community Ministers responsible for Tourism have assured the global tourism industry that the region is safe and secured. In a statement at the ITB Trade Fair in Berlin, Germany, the Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Agnes Akiror Egunyu, said that despite several challenges, the region has agreed to tackle negative travel advisories targeting the region collectively. She emphasized that Ministers responsible for Tourism in the Partner States have taken a new dimension of adopting a proactive approach to pre-empt the issuing of such negative travel advisories as well as addressing any negative travel advisory jointly as a Community. Hon. Egunyu urged the Commonwealth member countries to consult the EAC Secretariat before publishing any travel warnings. In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Jesca Eriyo, informed the invited guests during the EAC Day held on 7th March that the EAC benefits significantly from the Travel and Tourism industry as a result of the region’s endowed resources. Read more
URA: Government losing billions to money lenders
They earn huge sums of money by charging exorbitant interest rates on money loaned yet some don’t pay a single penny in form of income tax to Uganda Revenue Authority.These are money-lenders, whose operations have left many Ugandans desperate for quick loans in tears for being fleeced of their properties that are staked as collateral.Unlike the formal lending institutions like commercial banks that have strict rules and procedures to access loans that may include having a business plan, money-lenders do not ask for any of that.This is because they are most interested in the borrower’s assets which can either be movable or immovable property such as cars, buildings, land titles and laptops, among others, depending on the loan amount which must be staked to get the money. Read more
Court orders UBC to pay sh262m to NFA
The High Court has ordered Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) to pay National Forest Authority (NFA) $104,808 (about sh262m) in un-cleared license fees since 1950s.NFA sued UBC for continuously occupying two of its plots of land in Kigulya Central Reserve in Masindi and Ibamba Hills in Hoima where the corporation erected masts without paying.The civil suit followed failed negotiations between the two parties in 2004 to clear the outstanding arrears.Delivering the judgment at the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala last week, Justice Ralph Ocan said the suit arose after UBC failed to pay the forest authority fees for utilisation of its land.“The suit is not really about recovery of land. It is, therefore, not subject to the law of limitation,” Ocan ruled.Justice Ocan rejected UBCs defense that the Act establishing UBC allows it to install relevant broadcasting and trans-mitting stations in any place in Uganda for purposes of its broadcasting functions.He said under section 27 of the Act, all assets and liabilities of Radio Uganda and Uganda Television were to be vested in UBC. Read more
MEMD: Transforming Uganda’s black gold to green gold
Goverment will utilize its discovered petroleum resources to create green gold from the black gold.  This was revealed by Eng. Irene Muloni, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development while addressing delegates, IHS Energy’s annual executive conference that was held in Houston, Texas USA. “Uganda is an agricultural country and we will use the revenues from this natural resource to create lasting value through upgrading our infrastructure, mechanizing agriculture, increasing access to energy for the population and protecting our environment,” Eng. Muloni said. Uganda has proven petroleum resources currently estimated at 3.5billion Barrels of oil in place. The discovery was made  in the Albertine Graben.In her remarks Eng. Muloni noted that it is an exciting time for Uganda with significant progress being made in the oil and gas sector.“The finding cost for oil in Uganda is US $1 per barrel which is one of the lowest in the world.  This coupled with a drilling success rate of above 85% makes Uganda an attractive destination for investment,” she added. World over, the drilling success rate averages between 10% and 30%. Read more
Telecom firms accused of cheating customers
Telecom firms have been accused of cheating their clients through bogus telephone transactions where clients lose huge sums of money in double charges and unsolicited messages.According to documents seen by New Vision, a client made a telephone call using a Uganda Telecom (UTL) line last November and ended up being charged twice for the same call. The documents show that when the call was ongoing, another call was initiated using the same numbers, resulting into double charging. “I don’t know how this came about. It looks like they have been cheating me for long because previously, I would just pay the bill without checking it,” said the subscriber who preferred anonymity.Ali Amir, the UTL managing director, denied the accusations. “Universally, customers complain about being overcharged when they are on prepaid services because they lose track of consumption of services at time of usage. This is a common issue across all networks in the world, not just in Uganda,” he said.On unsolicited messages, Amir said UTL has a database of customers who have agreed to re¬ceive and those who have opted out of receiving messages about product offerings. Subscribers have also accused Airtel and MTN of continuously cheating them through making unauthorised deductions off their airtime. Read more
Britam weighs move to cross-list
Britam top executives have signaled the likelihood of the company cross-listing on the Ugandan share markets following new regulatory requirements for separate life and general insurance licenses. A definite date has not been set though. Benson Wairegi, the Britam group boss, noted that the company took over Kenyan Insurance firm – Real Insurance, as part of an ambitious expansion plan into Tanzania and the wider African market. He noted that the firm is open to similar acquisitions within Uganda to boost its expansion and growth plans. “When the circumstances justify, we will cross list. It is something we are discussing at board level. As and when opportuni¬ties arise, we shall take up any acquisition opportunities that arise,” Wairegi told reporters at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Britam listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 2011 and has an asset base in excess of $301m (sh753b) with brand equity value in excess of $69.6m (sh174b). Top shareholders of Britam include Wairegi, Equity Bank Group boss James Mwangi, prominent Kenyan businessmen Jimnah Mbaru and Peter Munga and Mauritian national Dawood Rawat. Read more
Fitch Ratings: Aid cuts will have limited budget impact
The budgetary impact of various donors’ decisions to suspend aid to Uganda in response to legislation that increases penalties for homosexuality should be limited, Fitch Ratings says. Uganda has become less dependent on aid in recent years, and the authorities have managed the budget through previous suspensions by re-prioritising spending.Grants as a proportion of revenue fell from 40% in the financial year to 12%, and we forecast them to fall further, to 9%, as robust economic growth has boosted other revenues.This has reduced the risk to government finances posed by volatile aid flows.The government may choose to re-prioritise some spending if additional countries opt to suspend aid, although this is unlikely to affect flagship projects. The development of two long-delayed power projects, the 600 Megawatts (MW) Karuma and Isimba hydropower dams, together costing $2.3b, has resulted in an upward revision to the budget deficit forecast for the financial year to 7.1% of GDP, from 5.3%.But the underlying balance, which strips out the impact of the new loans funding the projects, which will be repaid out of the project’s cash flow. Read more
UBOS: Strong Shilling cuts inflation in manufacturing industry
Local manufacturers spent relatively less to manufacture products in the fourth quarter last year, the latest Producer Price Index for Manufacturing (PPI-M) shows.The PPI-M shows inflation in the manufacturing sector declined by 0.6 per cent, compared to a 2.2 per cent rise, due to the appreciation of the Shilling against the dollar.The appreciation of the Shilling meant that importers of various products, including raw materials used in the manufacturing sector, spent fewer Shillings to buy the dollar – the currency used in international transactions – there by reducing the cost of production.The local unit which had gained stability in the first quarter depreciated in the fourth quarter, hitting a low of Shs2,720 per dollar following a pull out of offshore investors and aid cuts due to the corruption scandals in the Office of the Prime Minister. Read more
BEL: Residents laud Bujagali Energy for services
Communities living near the Bujagali hydro power plant have hailed Bujagali Energy Limited [BEL], the producers of power at the facility, for helping them live a better life.This follows the completion of several social projects BEL had promised to set up as it started construction works for the 250 Megawatt power dam.The projects include the expansion of Budondo Health Centre IV, extending power lines to the communities and improvement of school structures.Speaking during an impact assessment tour of the projects, the in-charge of Budondo Health Centre, said there has been an overwhelming increase in the number of patients seeking services at the health centre since the intervention of BEL. Read more
Deloite: Uganda loses about Shs25b to bank fraud annually - report
Players in the financial services industry have been urged to put in place strong security controls to curb the ever increasing fraud in the East Africa region.Speaking at the launch of the Deloitte  Financial Crimes Survey report in Kampala, Mr Robert Nyamu, the director Forensic and Litigation Support Deloitte, said there has been an increase in cases of fraud in the region due to financial institutions’ failure to put in place high-tech controls that match the kind of innovative products put on the market.According to the report, Uganda loses between $1 million (Shs2.4 billion) and $10 million (Shs24.9 billion) annually to fraud while Kenya and Tanzania lose more than $10 million, each annually.“We salute the innovation happening in the financial services industry but we feel a lot needs to be done because as more innovations are rolled out, there is need to elevate the security systems to make it more challenging for fraudsters to get their hands on depositors’ money,” Mr Nyamu said. Read more
No quick fixes for a bad financial situation
Kent, an auditor in a prominent hotel in Kampala, is dealing with what he considers the most challenging financial circumstances of his life. A number of poor financial decisions have seen his debts spiraling.He is currently servicing two loans alongside a long list of creditors including family and friends. To make matters worse, two loan sharks are baying for his blood.Servicing his financial obligations takes up about 80% of his monthly income. Unfortunately, he used some of the loans for bad investments which he had to abandon.Amid this financial pressure, he is juggling two jobs, supporting a string of dependants and can barely take care of the basic household needs.Fortunately, he secured two plots of land and property in the countryside. Kent’s state of affairs may ring true for some of us. And for most people in such situations, a quick solution for getting out of such quagmire is appealing. However, anyone who has dug themselves into such a situation or an even more adverse state than this anecdote cannot get back on the right financial footing overnight. Read more
Drought pushes milk prices up
The four-month long dry spell that has hit most parts of the country has sent shock waves across the main milk producing regions, pushing up milk prices.Dairy farming is concentrated in 42 districts found in the cattle corridor that stretches from southwestern Uganda through the central region to the northeastern part of the country Over 60% of the households in the cattle corridor keep livestock.A survey conducted in supermarkets and retail shops in Kampala indicated that the price of fresh milk. has shot up from sh1,000 to between sh1,800 and sh2,000 per liter, while the pasteurised packaged milk such as Jesa, Fresh Dairy and Mama Milk went up from sh2,000 to between sh2,200 and sh2,600 per liter, depending on the location.Officials from the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) said the dry spell has forced dairy farmers to seek alternative means to feed their animals.Statistics indicate that milk production in Uganda is estimated at one billion litres annually. The demand for processed milk is estimated at 400 million litres per year.About 70% of the total annual production of 1.5 billion litres is marketed, while 30% is consumed by the producing households. Read more
est services in our banking halls. This is another step to show that we are still committed to delivering a superior customer experience.” Read more

Ugandan shilling stable, seen weaker on high liquidity 
The Ugandan shilling was treading water on Friday but market players expected some weakening next week as excess local currency liquidity spurs an uptick in demand for dollars.  At 1128 GMT (Friday, 5 July 2013) commercial banks in the capital Kampala quoted currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,588/2,598, unchanged from Thursday's close.  "The market outlook suggests that the shilling could be vulnerable on account of improved liquidity levels well into next week," said Stephen Kaboyo, managing director of Alpha Capital Partners. Read more

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