News Archive‎ > ‎Archive 4‎ > ‎News Archive 1a‎ > ‎News Archive 1‎ > ‎

News Archive 2

News Archive 2

Vision awarded for corporate governance
Vision Group, under its trading name, the New Vision Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, has been awarded for excellence in corporate governance by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).Corporate governance is a set of systems by which organisations are controlled. ICSA Uganda was incorporated and has been awarding MBA level degrees to company secretaries and accountants since.“This award is a recognition that Vision Group strives for transparency and accountability in all we do,” Gervasse Ndyanabo, the Vision Group company secretary said at the sidelines of the event at BMK house in Kampala.  “This means a lot for our shareholders and stakeholders. Good corporate governance is good for the economy,” he added. Simon Osborne, the chief executive officer of ICSA global said, African states that are part of the institution will soon be given more voting rights and say in the affairs of the global body. Read more
High operational costs pushing up inflation in building industry
Increased operational costs resulting from the introduction of a Single Customs Territory in East Africa saw constructors pay more for inputs last year.Latest Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) Construction Sector Indices show prices in the construction sector rose by 0.9 per cent last year, compared to a 1.7 per cent decline registered over the same period.Mr William Anguyo, the principal statistician in charge of Business and Industry Statistics at Ubos, said the introduction of a Single Customs Territory (SCT), which was new to clearing agents, led to delays in clearing of goods, resulting into an increase in suppliers’ operational costs which were then passed onto the final consumer in form of high prices. Read more
Standard Chartered bank net profit fell
Standard Chartered bank said net profit fell more than 16 percent and warned of a "challenging" first half following significant challenges for its South Korean operations.The London-based lender, which makes 90 percent of its profits in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said net profit was $3.99 billion last year, down 16.65 percent from $4.79 billion Standard Chartered's South Korean retail bank suffered a $1.0 billion write-down in its value, and produced lower revenue with higher bad loans during the year, culminating in a $162 million operating loss.Overall operating income fell one percent to $18.67 billion , compared to the previous year, while annual profit before tax was down 11 percent to $6.06 billion.The results follow a decade in which the bank posted consecutive full-year profits. Read more
UBOS releases producer price index showing
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) yesterday released the Producer Price Index (PPI) for the construction, hotel and manufacturing sectors at Statistics House in Kampala.The latest PPI reveal a general increase in the prices of construction materials and manufactured products, while the hotel industry generally recorded price falls over the festive period in December.The construction sector indices show that the prices of construction materials, wage rates, and equipment hire rates increased by 0.9%, compared to the year ending in .The index examined the prices of construction inputs such as timber, paint, PVC pipes, water tanks, clay bricks and tiles, cement, concrete, steel bars, roofing sheets and iron and steel bars, electrical wires and cables, lime, stone aggregate, diesel and bitumen.The price increase was attributed to increase in wage rates due to the increased cost of living, as well as increase in the average prices of inputs for roads such as bitumen arising from a rise in operational costs at the port of entry in Mombasa. Read more
Uganda Gets First $47m State-of-the-art Steel Coating Factory 
President Yoweri Museveni has launched a state-of-the-art steel manufacturing plant in Jinja under the flagship of MM Integrated Steel Mills (Uganda) Ltd.At a function attended by all political and religious leaders from the area, the President who was evidently pleased by the multibillion and highly mechanized project in his country expressed gratitude to the proprietors and promised to help them in all ways possible. “In Africa, most of our people employ body muscle rather than technology to carry out activities; fetching water from the well, carry pots on the head. Africa must evolve from employing bodily muscles to mechanised activities. I am, therefore, very happy that our friends have put up such a mechanised plant," said the President. Read more
Conflicting local laws hampering execution of EAC protocol - official
The different legal regimes in East African Community member states are a new restriction to the implementation of the East African Community treaty and protocol.According to Ms Allen Asiimwe, the Uganda country director Trade Mark East Africa, despite the elimination of non-tariff barriers previously thought to be the problem, conflict among the laws governing professional associations and services in member states is a new obstacle to the implementation of the treaty and protocol.Restrictive laws While addressing officials at a breakfast meeting about the integration process in Kampala, Ms Asiimwe observed that despite recent developments such as the introduction of EAC single tourist visa and the single customs territory, the integration process in East Africa is still finding challenges because of the laws governing professional associations and services. She said such laws are proving restrictive and protective rather than facilitating the smooth coordination of the integration process. Read more
We intend to quadruple tourists numbers - new UTB boss
Endowed with national parks, birds, primates, geographical features, the new executive director of Uganda Tourist Board (UTB) Steven Asimwe has promised to take tourism to greater heights, boost the numbers of visitors, attract investors and brand Uganda across the globe.“The onus is upon everyone to paint a rosy picture of Uganda as a destination,” said Asimwe. “I appreciate the outgoing team for attracting 1.2m visitor here annually. However, with the new team we intend to quadruple the figure.”Asimwe stressed that during his reign, he is going to engage the whole nation and work with regional partners, conservation groups, local government, cultural institutions and the media to implement the tourism master plan which is embedded in the country’s ambitious Vision.Deputized by John Ssempebwa, Asimwe has called upon private investors to exploit existing opportunities in tourism. Read more
MFPED: Invest in oil and gas, minister tells insurance sector players
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has told players in the insurance sector to strategically invest more in the coverage of emerging risk sectors such as oil, gas, agriculture and infrastructure.Speaking  in Kampala at the Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) International Conference to mark 50 years of existence, Ms Kiwanuka said: “The year and beyond brings various opportunities to the Insurance sector:-Oil exploration and mining (including infrastructural development), public investment in infrastructure, the modernisation of agricultural practices and the resurgence of the East African Community.”Ms Kiwanuka also said Uganda has fewer professional insurers compared to other countries and having IIU at the forefront of training professionals will help overcome this challenge.“The Ministry of Finance realises the importance of having skilled and qualified manpower to manage the country’s resources and risks. This is key in the economic development of any nation,” Ms Kiwanuka said. Read more
MOTI: Highlights of China-Uganda relations
China continues to be one of Uganda’s leading trading partners. According to statistics from the Ministry of Trade, Trade volume between the two countries came to $575.5 million, of which China’s exports were $546.01 million, and imports $29.49 million. This indicated that Uganda exports five per cent worth of what it imports from China.China has made this possible by employing a strategy that emphasizes a zero-tariff treatment to 95 percent of the products from the least developed African countries having diplomatic relations with China. The bilateral trade started soon after the establishment of the diplomatic relations.The Chinese government has made significant investments in Uganda mainly in the areas of infrastructural development such as road construction, hospitals, railway, electrical power and communications development.China imports leather, coffee, fish and food products from Uganda and exports light industry products, farm tools, textiles, pharmaceutical products, garments, ceramics to Uganda. Read more
Bank of Uganda maintains lending rate at 11.5%
The Central Bank has kept its key lending rate at 11.5 per cent for the second consecutive time, saying the country needs a flexible environment to support low lending rates.Uganda’s economy is experiencing positive and negative conditions emanating from both domestic and external pressure, which the Bank of Uganda says needs a balanced policy stance to ensure stability in the economy. The decision to retain the Central Bank Rate - the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the Central Bank - is aimed at consolidating the gains made to stabilise the Uganda Shilling which has been sliding on the back of donor aid cuts.The move also shrinks the likelihood of a reduction in the cost of loans, since commercial banks use the CBR to set interest rates. Read more
NFA: China supports Uganda in manufacturing Bamboo products
For several years the Bagisu from Mbale and the slopes of Mountain Elgon have enjoyed Kamalea (bamboo shoots) as a nice delicacy sauce. However, new innovations (emerging from China) indicate that Kamalea is not just food but has a wide range of use. The UIRI Bamboo project officer, Julius Turyamwijukya said they have made 5 million toothpicks using local bamboo since they returned from China. “Another plant is in Kabale because it is near the bamboo forest in Kisoro. All we need now is an entrepreneur to inject in money for buying raw materials and use the plant at UIRI,” said Turyamwijukya. David Ebong the National Forest Authority (NFA) board chair, the government body set to spearhead the bamboo satellite villages said the Chinese have earmarked $10 million (shs245b) for putting up bamboo value addition plants across the country.“Apart from being eaten as food, bamboo is used in China for making furniture, utensils (chopsticks), paper, curtains, mats, shirts, musical instruments and décor,” he said.He said UIRI had so far made over 1000 meters of mat from bamboo. Read more
KCCA to introduce online revenue collection
Kabango was addressing journalists during the signing of the revenue collection agreement with Diamond trust Bank in Kampala.He said this is going to be the only way the KCCA will quicken their revenue collection.“Customers have been facing hardships with paying KCCA revenues, you could find a long line and others could move for long distances looking for banks to pay the fees, but with this new system a customer will just pay anywhere they are stationed.I know there’re those who will think they will avoid because they will not have bank slips but we shall track them, this system is fully advanced,” Kabago said. Read more
Regional lawyers to benefit from training
Senior lawyers charged with negotiating transactions and drafting agreements for extractive and other industries will be trained to enable the region benefit from its resources.The training by East African Development Bank (EADB) slated for March 9 to 14, will bring together lawyers from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda to build the capacity of public sector lawyers.It will be conducted jointly with global law firm, DLA Piper and its non-profit affiliate New Perimeter, which provides pro bono legal assistance. Through New Perimeter, DLA Piper will send eight senior corporate transactional lawyers from six different countries to deliver the training. Read more
Gov't Moves To Scrap rigid Procurement Rules
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) has kicked off plans to amend the PPDA act to meet the demands of the rapidly changing business environment,The institution’s boss, Cornelia Sabiti, said the move was also aimed at streamlining procurement process of government bodies. “Recognizing the continuously changing public procurement environment, PPDA began working on amendments to the PPDA Act in consultation with experts, public entities users, business and local leaders and academics,” said Sabiiti at a press conference in Kampala on Monday. “The fruit of this collaboration is what has culminated into the Amended PPDA Act and Regulations which will go a long way in addressing the needs and challenges in public procurement in Uganda.” The development comes amidst public outcry over the rigid procurement rules that continue to delay development projects leading to loss of colossal sums of taxpayers’ money. On the same day, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka issued the commencement instrument which now makes the Amendment Act law. Read more
Star Tv To Abandon DTT As Paytv Competition Heats Up
In a move that is a clear indication of the heightened level of competition within Uganda’s nascent DTT industry, Star television one of the major players is beginning to show signs of abandoning the DTT market and shifting its strategic focus towards Direct to Home DTH paytv services. The development is likely to have implications on thousands of Ugandans who have already purchased their services on Star’s DTT platform who might be left without the network infrastructure and technical support needed if the move proves to be successful and eats into its own market. According to Mr. James Onyango, an Industry analyst with over ten years of regional market experience, the move by Star to DTH clearly shows the company is bearing the brunt of stiffened competition and the negative effects of the excessive sale of old outdated T1 STB technology even after the UCC issued a directive ordering all pay television operators to stop. Read more
NSSF profit soars as assets increase to Shs3.9 trillion
People saving with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) should expect a little more interest at the end of the financial year as the fund registers a 26.5 per cent increase in operating profit.Latest information shows that for the half year, the Nssf’s profit increased to Shs156 billion from Shs123.3 billion during the same period in the Financial.Over the same period, NSSF’s total assets grew to Shs3.9 trillion, compared to Shs3.1 trillion at the same time last year.Reacting to this performance, Nssf chairman Ivan Kyayonka said: “This was key performance and to savers, it means they will get a little more interest but this will be subject to how the fund performs at the end of the financial year”. Read more
MTIC: EU sets EPA deadline signing for October
Uganda seems not yet prepared to conclude the on- going EAC- EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) trade, analysts have observed.Despite negotiations spanning over 12 years with remaining contentious issues unresolved, the European Union has put for concluding the negotiations. This means countries that have not signed or ratified EPAs  will be removed from the list of beneficiaries of the duty Free Quota free market access.Jane Nalunga the SEATINI- Uganda country director noted that much as the five partner EAC states- Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania- decided  to strengthen their regional integration agenda and negotiate EPA as a bloc under the initial Framework Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) nothing much seems to be effective as a bloc.“The stated objective of EPA was to ensure sustainable development of ACP countries and to ensure smooth and gradual integration into the global economy and eradicate poverty but so far the negotiations have not addressed these objectives,” said Nalunga at the EAC-EU EPA review workshop in Kampala. Read more
Rural women get business development tips
The initiative being implemented by the Eastern Africa Sub- region Support Initiative for the Advancement of women (EASSI) and Deutshche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) has already seen over 1400 rural poor women from Busia- Uganda, Busia Kenya, Kabale and Rakai benefit. The project targets cross-border communities aged between 16-55 who are in the informal sector and are not in school or employment.“We want to address poverty among the rural poor women by helping them acquire skills and be able to influence decisions on economic self-reliance,” said Elizabeth Ampairwe the EASSI project coordinator for WOGE (Women and Girls Empowerment).WOGE is being implemented in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. Ampairwe who was addressing a group of 40 Trainer of Trainers (TOT) drawn from Rakai, Busia-Uganda, Busia-Kenya, and Kabale said rural women are equipped with tips in book keeping, business skills development, understanding value chain and appreciating agriculture as a business. Read more
KPA: New Mombasa port charges draw outrage from importers
Importers in Uganda are outraged following an increase in cargo handling tariffs by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).According to a communication from KPA-Mombasa offices, there will be a 5 per cent increase for loading and discharging of Saloon, Station Wagon and Vans (not exceeding 1.5 tonnes).This means importers will now pay $73.50 (Shs180,810) up from the current $70 (Shs172, 000) for the above vehicles. In the new arrangement, tariffs for handling of self-propelled units at the Container Freight Station (CFS)-Shore Handling Saloon, Station Wagon, Vans and Cars (not exceeding 1.5 tonnes) have also gone up to $83.50 (Shs205,410) from $80 (Shs196,800), thus indicating a 4.4 per cent increment.Additionally, self-propelled units (imports or exports) for the above mentioned cars will also attract a $67.50 (Shs166, 050) tariff up from $65 (Shs147, 600), indicating 4 per cent increase. Read more
Deloite: Uganda telecoms have lowest revenue per user in EA - report
Telecommunication companies in Uganda have the lowest Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) compared to their counterparts in the region, a Deloitte study shows.The Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Predictions 2014: Highlights and context report indicates that while Kenya’s ARPU was $6.2 (Shs15,020) last year and $4.4 (Shs10,660) for Tanzania, Ugandans spent only $3.5 (Shs8,479) on average on airtime.Kenya’s ARPU is expected to rise to $6.5 (Shs15,747) this year, $3.7 (Shs8,964) for Uganda while Tanzania’s is expected to remain unchanged at $4.4 (Shs10,660) this year. This means that majority of mobile phone users in Uganda are low-end subscribers, whose propensity to spend on mobile value added solutions is low; thereby depressing the effective rate of revenue realisation per minute for the operators. Read more
Mbabazi Woos Swedish Investors
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has invited Swedish investors to come to Uganda and take advantage of the lucrative trade and investment opportunities.Mbabazi said Uganda has favourable conditions for investment, adding that the country is ready to give prospective investors all the necessary support they require to invest in the country. Premier Mbabazi made the remarks while meeting the Swedish Minister for Finance, Anders Borg who called on him at his office in Kampala. The Swedish Finance Minister was in the country to discuss business opportunities which can be exploited by Swedish nationals who intend to invest in the East African region. Read more
KCCA to unveil new bodaboda stages next week
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will next month unveil new bodaboda stages in the city and a code of conduct for the cyclists.The move is the outcome of last year’s controversial city bodaboda registration exercise.“The registration exercise is being finalised and currently we are synchronising the results with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) before we can roll it out,” said Peter Kaujju, KCCA’s spokesperson.Last year, KCCA registered 60,000 bodaboda cyclists amid protests from cyclists who feared that the exercise was intended to throw them out of the city. Read more
CSS: Market will get more volumes, value - report
Market observers have given a positive outlook predicting that Uganda’s economic recovery will accelerate further this year.A Crested Stocks and Securities outlook posted Wednesday afternoon noted that the Ugandan stock market will also post more activity than in 2013 owing to a stable economic climate which supports investment in listed securities.“We expect more corporate actions, particularly in banking and insurance, as companies look to access capital and meet industry capital requirements, the spotlight on emerging and frontier markets by off shore investors presents more opportunity for growth of the stock market,” says the report.Agriculture and services are anticipated to be the main driver of this growth while the expected oil explorations and other activities which are aligned to the commencement of this quickly establishing sector will see more investments.The stock brokerage firm also predicts that the banking sector will recover from the effects of the high non-performing loans that were accumulated in 2011-2012 therefore the sector is projected to perform better than in 2013. Read more
CMA: Firms urged to embrace enterprise governance
Companies operating in Uganda have been urged to embrace enterprise governance principles to enhance their reputation and boost their growth.“There are situations where owners of companies act like the board of directors and management,” said Keith Kalyegira, the CEO of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).“Such companies end up defaulting on commercial and statutory obligations such as paying NSSF and taxes. These eventually catch up with them and some end up closing because of poor governance practices,” he added. Kalyegira was opening the third annual directors and company secretaries’ conference at Protea Hotel in Kampala.Alison Kibirige, the chair of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) Uganda, stressed that there is a difference between corporate governance and enterprise governance. Kibirige said enterprise governance applies to every kind of organisation, not just companies which is the case with corporate governance. So if you run a school, hospital or faith based organisation, then you better begin thinking about this seriously,” Read more
Finance ministry withdraws retirement benefits Bill
State minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana, has ordered that the proposed Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalization Bill 2011, that had already been presented to parliament be shelved to allow more consultations with the stake holders.Keith Muhakanizi, the finance planning and economic development permanent secretary conceded that there were loopholes and agreed that they need to do more research before announcing the way forward.“After these presentations, I would like to say that unless one does not have Uganda at heart, there is no way you can accept that we go forward with this bill in this current form,” he said, after NSSF’s Patrick Kayota had made a presentation on why the new Bill spelt disaster instead of improving on the social security sector in the country. “The big question is, does the Bill enhance the security, coverage and effectiveness of the pension sector and the answer is no. It is instead trying to strip NSSF but without giving an alternative,” said Kayota after a 15 minute presentation by Geraldine Ssali Busulwa, the NSSF acting managing director who took the meeting through the performance of NSSF, which he said has been making profits and called upon government to improve the NSSF Bill other than bringing an entirely new law. Read more
Uganda Has Big Investment Potential, says Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni has asked the foreign investors in Uganda to tap into the investment opportunities available in the country, especially in the areas of Agro–processing, and other minerals which have been discovered such as phosphates, iron ore, wolfram, among others. He was  speaking as the Chief Guest at the Commissioning of the Multi-billion Galaxy International School in Uganda at Lubowa, Wakiso District.  According to the President’s Special Assistant for Communications, Ms Sarah Kagingo, Galaxy International School is one of the six schools established by the Turkish investors in Uganda. Some of the other schools include; Turkish Light Academy Nursery school Lweza, Kigo, Galaxy International school in Jinja, Turkish Light academy Primary School, among others.  The President said that much of Uganda's produce like coffee and maize is not processed, and that much of the maize is exported to Kenya as grain. Read more
EAFCA: Western region tops coffee quality competition
Coffee farmers from Western Uganda dominated the high rankings during this year’s national coffee quality competition aimed at boosting courage among coffee value chain stakeholders to consistently be quality sensitive while handling the crop during production.The annual Taste of Harvest (ToH) competition, spearheaded by The Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) program is the annual cupping training and competition held in coffee producing member countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.During the recent national competition for Uganda, the competition committee got 65 entries from different Robusta and Arabica coffee players. Kagango Coffee Farmers Association (Sheema district) emerged top of the Robusta category after scoring 84.65 points while the Kabarole district based-Kibagha Coffee Farmers Group Druger under Karangura Modern Peak Farmers Association led the Arabic category with 86.7 points.Both top winners are part of the 160 coffee farmer association members supported by The National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farmer Enterprises (NUCAFE) in matters of value addition, multi-level quality control and quantity enhancement for more financial returns. Read more
Uganda traders give South Sudan govt ultimatum over unpaid dues
A group of Ugandan traders operating in Juba, have given the government of South Sudan a 16-day ultimatum to pay more than Shs123 billion ($49.9million) it owes them or they mobilise others to join them in a strike.The group, consisting of nine local companies and individuals, say the money accrued from hundreds of tonnes of grains they had supplied to the South Sudan government.According to the chairman Uganda South Sudan Grain Traders and Suppliers Association, Mr Chris Kaijuka, several attempts to have their money paid have been unsuccessful.However, Mr James Mutende, the State Minister for Industry, told journalists at Parliament last week that the negotiations had been ongoing before the civil war and a committee set up by the two countries to verify the traders’ claims.Read more
URBRA: Schemes to pay tax to pension authority
Pension schemes will pay tax to help fund the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) in a move set to give the agency an independent budget.The tax will also be used to conduct capacity building trainings for the players so as to develop a strong and stable retirement benefits sector.Schemes receiving mandatory contributions will pay 0.05 per cent of the total assets to the Authority while those getting voluntary contributions will be required to contribute 0.025 per cent of their total assets.Established in September 2011, URBRA is still fully funded by government. Mr Moses Bekabye, the Authority’s interim chief executive officer said the levy will provide a more sustainable financing stream for the agency in the long term to enable it attain independence which is key in boosting trust and confidence in pension administration. Read more
CAA wants tax exemption on firefighting equipment
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has requested the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to exempt it from paying taxes on firefighting trucks and other non-commercial aviation equipment. Ignie Igunduura, the CAA manager public affairs, said the equipment has no commercial value.“The companies that manufacture the trucks do so on order. When we place an order for a truck at $1m (about sh2.5b), we end up paying an additional sh400m in taxes to URA, yet the trucks are not intended for profits,” Igunduura said.He added that the trucks are only deployed on emergency responses when fires break out in Entebbe and Kampala.“Should we start charging a fee for each emergency we intervene in? The trucks have no commercial value, so URA should not tax them,” he said.Igunduura made the remarks while guiding journalists on a tour of Entebbe airport over the weekend. Read more
Plan Uganda commits sh8b for youth projects
Plan Uganda is committing $3.5m (about sh8.8b) in the next three years to support youth economic security through improved savings and skills enhancement. Dubbed “A Working Future”, the programme is targeting 12,000 youth and will be executed in partnership with the private sector.Plan Uganda country director Fikru Abebe said they will focus on providing the youth with appropriate skills and linking them to job placements, as well as understanding the skills required by the private sector.“Many young people with vocational skills have and will be meaningfully employed,” said Abebe during a breakfast meeting over the weekend.The focus will be on the village savings and loan associations as a springboard to formally mobilise savings and drive enterprise.Young people in Uganda aged between 10 to 24 years comprise 33% of the population or 12.3 million people. This is expected to grow to 29.5 million by 2050.This, according to experts, presents a challenge because about 60% of the youth are in the labour market but without appropriate skills. Read more
Banking borders in EAC to disappear
Following the single tourist visa, a major deal between banking switch services in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania is in the offing to unlock more value in the East African banking, finance and trade sectors.Banking switch services allow a customer of one bank to access their account at ATM’s of another bank without opening an additional account.Uganda currently has 5.3 million commercial bank accounts spread out in 27 licensed commercial banks. There are 13 banks on the Ugandan switch run by Interswitch East Africa.“We are soon signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya’s Kenswitch, Rwanda’s Rswitch, and Tanzania’s Umoja. Our goal is to expand to the entire African continent,” Olumuyiwa Asagba, the Interswitch boss said at the Serena Kampala Hotel last week.“We want to be a catalyst for the East African intergration and the move towards having a cashless economy,” he added.The addition of Centenary Bank to the Ugandan switch last week, has doubled the number of interconnected ATMs in the country to 280 from 146. Read more
UNBS Under Fire Over Failed Standards Maintenance
Local entrepreneurs dealing on motor mechanics and home appliances repairing have come out to challenge the Uganda National Bureau of standards (UNBS) on what they termed as sheer incompetence in enforcing standards of spare equipment being imported into country. While the body watched reluctantly, they said, these fake products were relentlessly costing them their reputation, customers and resources. Mr Yiga Martin, the Chairman Uganda Technicians and Information Technology Association, told Chimpreports on Thursday that UNBS critically lacked the aptitude and equipment to sieve out substandard mechanical repair equipment, especially for modern appliances like LCD television sets, as well as car parts. "We are buying brand new pistons out there only to run in the engine for 20 minutes before collapsing," he told us. "We inject in a lot of money to purchase this equipment and we end up losing it, along with the trust of our customers.” He further blamed UNBS for working in isolation in detecting fake products, yet the highly experienced mechanists in town could help in identifying the fake products. Read more
23-year-old minting millions from gowns
After her Ordinary Level (O-Level), Nantayi enrolled at Tiner International School of Beauty Hairdressing Art & Fashion and was awarded a Diploma in fashion after a two-year course. After school, she was ready to start making clothes, but her father thought she could start with an internship to gain experience. But Nantayi thought otherwise. “I did not have any money because neither my father nor my big brother could give me money yet I felt I was ready to start. My eldest brother gave me Shs100,000. I had already identified a place where I would pay rent of Shs50,000,” Nantayi explains.Even before getting the money, she had contacted a lady at Zai Plaza in town to let her rent part of the shop. In one of the corners, she started stitching dresses. Read more
UNRA: Delay in road works costing $1m monthly
A delay in the process of awarding contracts for road works costs the taxpayer $1m (sh2.5b) per month, an appalling situation that calls for early groundwork and planning to shorten the procurement process.David Luyimbazi, the director, planning at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said the delays have affected service delivery.“It takes about four to seven months to procure just a single project. We cannot meet the lead time to prepare the project, and this affects drawback of resources (using the allocated funds),” he said.“The level of preparing and planning is key in timely delivery of projects.”Luyimbazi said over 90% of UNRA funding is spent on procuring goods and services, adding that if delays in the tendering process are checked, a lot of government resources and time would be saved.He was presenting a paper on the effect of procurement procedures on resource absorption and project implementation in Uganda at the launch of the first national development policy forum at the Kampala Serena Hotel last week.Read more
MOG: Government to introduce business clinics for unemployed youth
The Ministry of Gender, in collaboration with UNICEF Uganda will establish entrepreneurial training centres (business clinics) in four districts to be used to educate and equip youth with basic knowledge.According to the Partnership for Economic Policy press statement, the study seeks to examine the effects of risk aversion on subsequent demand for credit among youth and the impact of credit counselling on borrowing choices of young people in Uganda.The proposed interventions will involve delivering credit counselling through specialized business clinics involving youths aged 18 to 35 years who currently own a business and are interested in applying for business expansion credit through government’s established schemes. Read more
RATIN: Uganda increases maize exports to Kenya
Opportunities are opening up in Kenya for Ugandan maize traders following the ongoing civil unrest in South Sudan. Uganda has been selling nearly all its maize stocks to Juba since the inception of Africa’s newest statistics. More than 2,000 tonnes of Uganda maize had crossed into Kenya through official customs points.One tonne of maize is currently retailing at $500 (about Shs1.2m) in Juba compared to $400 (about Shs980,800) in Nairobi, according to the Regional Agricultural Trade Intelligence Network (Ratin). Read more
ULRC: Laws underway to regulate internet banking
The Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC) said a process has started to enable effective management and regulation of mobile money and Internet banking practice in the country.ULRC Secretary Lucas Omara Abong said they have commenced the process to gather views, comments and recommendations from stakeholders to build a law that would take care of the transactions.“We are asking stakeholders to examine Mobile Money and Internet Banking transactions in Uganda and particularly, issues that require regulation, security and legal and ethical standards requirements for these payment transactions to protect the different institutions and their customers,” Mr Abong told journalists in Kampala. Read more
EIF: Uganda fails to access $4m fund
Uganda’s access to the $4m (about sh10b) aid to trade hangs in the balance, after the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Programme officials said the trade ministry is submitting conflicting project proposals.The Geneva-based EIF officials said Uganda seems undecided on whether to claim the money or not, although it is entitled to it.The fund is part of the Aid for Trade, an arrangement in which wealthier nations agreed to fund poor ones to fully participate in international trade. One trade related project would be funded per recipient country According to the EIF Secretariat in Geneva, Uganda has sent a number of conflicting project proposals. They include proposals for silk production, aloe vera, gum Arabica, honey and tourism and hospitality training.“We are confused as to what Uganda wants. We want the Government to agree on one project proposal in which the country has a clear competitive advantage and inform us accordingly,” said the EIF Executive director Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari in a recent visit to Uganda. Read more
46 million Stanbic shares on demand
Stanbic Bank returned to the fore of activity, selling 1,064,500 shares on Tuesday with turnover of sh32m after trading ended at an average price of sh30 per share. This was 85% of the day’s total traded value.There, however, remains overwhelming demand on the Stanbic counter, reaching 45.6 million shares on Tuesday. Demand is rising by the week as the bank is close to announcing its annual results alongside all listed companies as part of statutory requirements.Investors have, according to analysts, positioned to cash in on the post announcement dividend, a situation which has driven up the demand, although current shareholders are reluctant to give away their positions, creating the price mismatch. Read more
Facebook to buy WhatsApp in $19bn deal
Facebook is betting huge on mobile with an eye-popping cash-and-stock deal worth up to $19 billion for Internet Age smartphone messaging service WhatsApp.The surprise mega-deal announced Wednesday bolsters the world's biggest social network -- which has more than 1.2 billion members -- with the 450-million-strong WhatsApp, which will be operated independently with its own board.It fits with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's focus on being at the center of lifestyles in which billions of people around the world share whatever they wish over the Internet using smartphones or tablets."Facebook works harder than any other social site to keep people coming back," said Forrester analyst Nate Elliott."In the past year, they've focused much of that effort on mobile -- introducing Home and Paper, and upgrading both their Facebook and Messenger apps -- and this is another step towards keeping people engaged no matter where they are." Read more
PWC: 500 African auditors to attend conference in Uganda
Uganda is to host the first African Federation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (AFIIA), which is to bring together over 500 auditing professionals from across the world.Sponsored by the Vision Group and Pricewater House Coopers, the three-day conference will start on April 6 at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo. The commissioner for inspection and internal audit at the ministry of finance, Dr. Fixon Akonya, told journalists at the Media Centre in Kampala that Mervyn King, the chairman of South Africa’s King committee on corporate governance which produced King I, II and III, will address the conference. Uganda’s auditor general John Muwanga and his counterparts from Kenya and Tanzania will also address the conference under the theme, “unity in diversity, one continent, one internal auditing profession.”According to Akonya, the general conference will be preceded by the workshop of leaders of institutes in africa , and the board and audit committee workshop.“These events will bring together leaders of internal audit institutes and internal audit professionals from across the continent. It is the first of its kind in Africa,” he said.The auditors are to discuss ways to improve governance, risk management and controls across the continent. Read more
BOU: Shilling steady, seen stronger on dollar inflows
The Ugandan shilling was steady and was expected to appreciate in the days ahead as the central bank mopped up liquidity and dollars flowed in from offshore investors buying debt.Commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,453/2,458, little changed from 2,452/2,457."The repo that the central bank did today coupled with suppressed demand for dollars will give the shilling a bullish tone going forward," said David Bagambe, a trader at Diamond Trust Bank. "However, the shilling will also derive a bit of energy from inflows from foreign investors who are targeting Ugandan debt."Bank of Uganda, the country's central bank, issued a seven- day repo that was taken at 11.5 percent. It did not disclose how much it sucked out of the market. Read more
EAC launches common market scorecard
Entitled, “East African Common Market Scorecard : Tracking EAC compliance in the movement of capital, services and goods,” the report was prepared with the support of the World Bank Group. The scorecard examines selected commitments made by the partner states, outlines progress in removing legislative and regulatory restrictions to the protocol, and recommends reform measures.Addressing delegates at the launch of the report in Arusha, EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera said that all partner states were expected to remove internal tariffs, implement a common external tariff, and remove non-tariff barriers to trade, among other commitments. “If implemented, these measures will have a profound and positive impact on the economies of the partner states.”East African countries, Dr Sezibera said, had committed themselves not to introduce new restrictions, and to eliminate existing ones. Read more
Museveni commissions works for multimillion dollar economic zone
President Yoweri Museveni has called for the protection of government land including that vacated by refugees saying it can be used to attract investors who will build growth centres to attract people from poverty.The President was presiding over the ground breaking ceremony for a US$300million, 18 square miles facility that will also house a beef production zone, host a world class abattoir to consume about 400 cows a day, breeding of new strains of livestock, feeding and production areas, slaughter houses, packing facilities and maintenance hall for the cattle depository. The development follows an earlier meeting during which President Museveni held talks with the Turkish investors led by the ASB Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sitki Ayan over business opportunities in Uganda particularly the creation of a special economic zone.The President warned Ugandans against land fragmentation saying it creates problems and does not attract investments said there is a lot of market in Turkey for products such as coffee which will be produced an processed here before export. Read more
Govt to multiply number of coffee trees, productivity
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has met a delegation from the largest coffee roaster in Europe, D.E Master Blenders at his office in Kampala. The company is also the third largest coffee roaster globally, with headquarters in the Netherlands. During the meeting, Mbabazi disclosed that the government had embarked on an ambitious programme to multiply the number of coffee trees in the country, and increase their productivity. He said agricultural zoning was critical for household poverty eradication. Mbabazi urged the company to develop strategic relationships with farmers in support of the programme. The company is already operating in Luwero district focusing on quality improvement, good agricultural practices and improved market access for participating producer groups.“I can assure you of total support to facilitate that partnership because our economy is private sector-led and I don’t see this changing soon,” Mbabazi said. He noted that proceeds from the nascent oil industry would be used to boost agricultural production, value addition and product quality to international standards. Read more
MOA: Government targets Shs248b in fish exports
Government has started working on measures that will see the country’s fish exports greatly increase to fetch $1billion (about Shs248 billion).State Minister for Agriculture Zirubaberi Nyira Mijumbi said Uganda wants to contribute to increased social and economic development in the East and Central African region through fish trade and fisheries development.“We want to tackle the whole value chain from impounding illegal fishing gear, post-harvest handling, border inspection to stop trade of immature fish across the region, among other interventions,” Prof Zirubaberi said last week after opening the 2nd trade event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission in conjunction with European Union and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. Read more
DDA: Milk demand outstrips supply due to low yields
As demand for milk exceeds supply, farmers are worried of low earnings following the current dry spell that has reduced harvested volumes.Experts in the industry say that harvests are still low in some of the producing areas.Dairy Development Authority Coordinator for South Western region Stephen Aikiriza says: “Despite the areas receiving rain, it didn’t reach the desired intensity.”As a result, areas of Isingiro, Bukanga-Kamwema, Endizi Sub-county, parts of Kiruhura and Lyantondde did not feel the intensity of the rain, thus the low harvest.Mr Aikiriza adds: “As these areas were getting to terms with the situation, they were caught up with the current dry spell which has left many farmers with low supplies.” Read more
PSFU: Development plan detached from Budget
In the next four months, the first part of the National Development Plan will give way to the second phase after nearly five years of what economic and development analysts describe as mixed fortunes.The National Planning Authority (NPA), the planners and coordinators of the National Development Plans (NDPs), however, give themselves a 60 per cent rating, arguing that they could have done better had the government ministries, departments and agencies aligned their programmes and projects to the development document. Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) policy analyst Moses Ogwal, in an interview last week, said more should have been done compared to what the planning agency claims to have achieved. According to the NPA chairperson, Kisamba Mugerwa, one of the biggest achievements the institution has registered is transforming the attitudes of the government from previously thinking short-term to long-term planning. Read more
Museveni Boosts ‘Industry Revolution’ In Kapeeka
President Yoweri Museveni had a very busy day on Monday as he launched several poverty eradication programmes in Nakaseke District. In the morning, the President visited Golden Steel Rolls hoe factory in Sanga, Kapeeka road.At this industry, he was informed that power shortage was hindering production and efforts aimed at creating more opportunities for workers.“The President was informed that electricity is a bottleneck to production. He directed the Minister of Energy, Hon. Irene Muloni, to visit the factory not later than Tuesday and solve the problem,” says the President’s Communication Assistant, Sarah Kagingo.Museveni last year launched a special wealth creation project to uplift the people and army veterans living in Nakaseke and the greater cattle corridor from poverty. Read more
UECCC: Solar loans to boost business
Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECUganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC) under the Energy ministry has developed a loan product to enable easy accessibility to solar systems.CC) under the Energy ministry has developed a loan product to enable easy accessibility to solar systems.Ms Specioza Ndagire, the managing director UECCC, explained that the solar loan product will increase access to credit facilities for both domestic and commercial enterprises. Ms Ndagire noted that there is need to support people in this loan product to increase the consumption of solar in the country.“We will commit credit to participating financial institutions (PFIs’) for on-lending to both domestic and commercial consumption,” said Ms Ndagire.This solar loan product is intended to address the higher costs of acquiring solar systems in the country. Read more
Kacita Vows to Boycott Trading Licenses
Traders under their umbrella organisation Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have vowed not to continue paying any license fees to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) effective immediately. In a stakeholders meeting held in Kampala, Isa Ssekito, the KACITA spokesperson, declared that this has come as a result of KCCA and URA failing to sensitise the traders on the requirements for obtaining trading licenses. “Traders need more information about the procedures, benefits of the Tax Identification Number (TIN number) which was made a compulsory requirement for anybody to obtain a trading license in Kampala,” Ssekito explained. “We have decided as traders that there be no more paying of licenses to KCCA, URA until when they fulfill their earlier promise of sensitising the traders on which forms of taxes they have to pay. They should also explain why they charge inflated fees to all those traders who have registered for TIN numbers.” Read more
Museveni Woos Investors For Mega Railways Project
President Yoweri Museveni has called on investors to work with government towards securing funds for the construction of the railway lines to South Sudan, DR Congo and Rwanda. The President was meeting a delegation of Fouad Alghanim & Sons Group of Companies led by the Chief Executive, Mr. Fouad Alghanim at State House in Entebbe. The Group is involved in a wide spectrum of investments such as the energy, construction, communications, shipping and agro processing sectors. Under the regional infrastructure project, a new railway line will connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan and is expected to reduce transport costs by more than 60 per cent, expand production and reduce the costs of goods and services according to reports. This will also add at least 2,000 miles to the East Africa's railway network. Read more
UMA: Manufacturers commend UPDF presence in S. Sudan
The Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) has commended the UPDF for their efforts in trying to stabilise South Sudan, saying it will protect their business interests and consumers.Traders have counted losses in billions of shillings as merchandise movement ground to a halt due to insecurity in South Sudan.Amos Nzeyi, the UMA chairman, advised traders to take advantage of the war and plant food crops that will be sold to South Sudan once the war ends. There is, however, no timeline on when the war will end.South Sudan is one of Uganda’s biggest markets for both agriculture and manufactured commodities.But this has come under serious threat because of the crisis, with analysts saying the UPDF presence has somewhat stabilised what would have been a “completely hopeless situation.”State minister for investment Gabriel Ajedra recently said Uganda has lost close to sh2b since war broke out in South Sudan between the government and rebels loyal to former vice-president, Dr. Riek Machar. Read more

 WENRECO: West Nile residents complain of prolonged power shortage
The West Nile is facing power shortages following the breakdown of the second turbine at Nyagiki power station. Arua, zombo and Nebbi districts are now receiving 1.75Meggawatts (MW) of power from only one turbine, yet the peak load is 2MW, creating the need for loadshading in the region.However, Suresh Ballal, the general manager of WENRECO, the power distribution company in the region, said power interruptions are due to a breakdown of transformers and weak power lines that formerly belonged to the Uganda Electricity Board.Repair works for the units that have broken down is taking abnormally long and the consumers are getting increasingly frustrated. Read more
BOU: 286 farmers apply for ACF loans
Despite majority of Ugandans being involved in agriculture, only 286 farmers have applied for government’s cheaper loans estimated at Shs218 billion, under the Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF), a Bank of Uganda (BoU) official has said.The executive director Finance BoU, Mr David Kalyango, told the Daily Monitor, that of the 286 loan applications, 239 were approved and money disbursed, with 65 per cent of the loan portfolio financing agro-processing projects.Dismissing allegations of low uptake, Mr Kalyango said the scheme has steadily improved over the years, with the number of participating financial institutions also increasing to 17. Read more
Informal sector now growing faster, says UBOS
The informal sector is the fastest growing segment of the economy, according to a recent report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.According to the report, the number of businesses operating informally is multiplying at a speed that is far greater than the pace of enterprises that mutate into formal operations annually. And if the trend is not checked, economic analysts warn its impact on the economy could be grave as the government will be short of resources to fund its (national) budget. “Informal sector is the fastest growing sector in Uganda, accounting for 43 per cent of the total economy,” reads in part the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) data. Read more
National development plans not in line with govt priorities – NPA chief
The Chairperson Uganda National Planning Authority (NPA), Mr Kisamba Mugerwa, has identified lack of proper coordination between the government ministries, departments and agencies as being responsible for the poor enforcement of the national development plan.According to Mr Mugerwa, so much should have been achieved since the launch of the comprehensive National Development Plan in 2007, had the entire government departments owned up the development document and implemented it in collaboration with each other.“One of the key findings of the mid-term review of the National Development Plan (NDP) was the lack of alignment of the sector development plan,” Mr Mugerwa said yesterday at a strategic meeting on formulation of the 2nd NDP that should be up and running by September, 2014.He continued: “Our role (NPA) is only coordinating the process while the ministries, departments and agencies and other non-state actors are to prepare and ultimately implement the plan.” Read more
Arabica coffee prices increase
Prices of Arabica coffee parchment have rebounded to sh4,200 per kilogramme, up from sh3,000 after nearly six months of price stagnation.The increment came at the right time, the back-to-school period, when most coffee farmers need to pay school fees for their children. Students and pupils reported back to school for the first term.Joseph Sodo, a coffee farmer from Katongo parish, Kapchorwa district, explained that the rise had offered a lease of hope to the coffee business. Sodo, who has a child in secondary school and two at primary level, sold off 32 bags to get fees for them.“With the price increment, it means each 65-kg bag of premium Arabica coffee parchment rose to sh273,000 up from sh195,000. I got sh8.7m which enabled me to pay my children’s fees,” Sodo said.“The huge gain I made from this increment, however, is the fact that I had 2,400kg of stocked parchment that I had purchased when prices were still low.”Prices of Arabica coffee parchment in Bugisu region are mainly dependent on the price at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where its green beans trade under the name Bugisu Arabica. Read more
Rose bud Ltd: Flower industry boom as Uganda gets more Valentine’s Day orders
Uganda has received more Valentine’s season flower export orders, a development that points to a good year for the industry.This is good for the industry which suffered a setback when the main market, European Union, went through a recession that saw consumers cut back on their expenditures.Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Mr Dimple Mehta, an administrator at Rosebud Limited-the leading producers of roses in the country revealed they have received more orders this year.“This year we have received more orders compared to the previous years,” he said.Industry sources say that it is still hard to tell how many tonnes will be exported because, this being the peak season, orders are still coming in.However, partial figures indicate 200 tonnes have so far been exported. Read more
SB: Farmers ignorant about cheap agriculture credit - bank official
Despite efforts by the government to avail cheaper agricultural credit through the Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF), a few farmers have taken advantage of the facility to boost productivity, a senior banker has said.Speaking to journalists in Kampala, Stanbic Bank managing director Philip Odera said limited sensitisation about the existence of the facility has led to low uptake of the credit funds.“We partnered with government to offer subsidised lending to agriculture but the challenge has been limited communication about the availability of the funds to the sector,” he said. “We continue to encourage the Small Medium Enterprises dealing in agriculture to take advantage of this cheaper credit to grow the agricultural sector.” Read more
MV Kalangala set for private operator
The Government is looking for a competent company to manage and operate Marine Vessel (MV) Kalangala. The vessel which plies Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe and Lutoboka in Kalangala, was assembled in 2005 as fulfilment of President Museveni’s pledge to the people of Kalangala for eased water transport and connectivity to the mainland. It was initially managed by M/S Mulowooza and Brothers between 2006 and 2010 but when the three-year contract expired, the works and transport ministry took over its management to date.The vessel is currently in Mwanza, Tanzania where it is undergoing the annual repairs to meet the international maritime safety requirements. Susan Kataike, the works and transport ministry spokesperson said the procurement process for the private operator for the vessel is ongoing. Read more
UCC: Uganda approves five firms to deal in free-to-air decoders
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has approved five firms to deal in the importation and sale of free-to-air decoders, opening up a market that has been dominated by pay-tv providers.The companies allowed to deal in the DVB-T2 devices include; Widestar Digital (U) Ltd, Icomsys Africa Ltd, Brivid Uganda Ltd, a source familiar with the deal at the communications regulator told the Daily Monitor.Syscorp International Ltd and Trans-African Container Transport Ltd are the other companies that have been given a a go-ahead. “We hope that free-to-air decoders will start arriving in the country either this month or early next month,” the source said, adding that the price for the device is yet to be determined as the country is a free market economy. Read more
SCB: Shilling to stay strong, experts say
The Uganda Shilling has continued to exhibit its strength as dollar demand in the market remains relatively sluggish.By close of business yesterday, the shilling was trading at 2,462/2,472 against the US dollar, slightly stronger than it traded at the close of last week when it traded at 2,465/2,475.Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Standard Chartered Bank’s manager corporate affairs Herbert Zake said: “Looking ahead, we expect the Uganda Shilling to trade in recent ranges with support seen from continued lack of demand for the dollar.”Experts say the shilling’s strength is not a good sign for a country which is promoting her export industry and if the situation continues in favour of the local unit, the annual export value will definitely drop. Read more
Special economic zone to be opened in Nakaseke
The Government has signed a deal with ASB Group, a Turkish company, to establish a $300m special economic zone for beef production in Nakaseke district.Under the agreement, the government has provided an 18 square mile site at Kaweweta in Nakaseke, which will be handed over to the investor.The semi-arid area, which lies in the cattle corridor, accounts for 80% of livestock in Nakaseke district.The project coordinator, former finance minister Syda Bumba, said recently that the project will be implemented in phases.Special economic zones are common in countries such as China, India and Dubai. They are designated areas in countries that possess special economic regulations that are different from other areas in the same country. The regulations contain measures that are conducive to foreign direct investment. Read more
Multiple taxes hamper telecom operations
The government has been asked to reconsider the numerous taxes levied on telecommunication operators saying failure to do so will stifle the rollout to other Ugandans who have not been yet subscribed to the telecom industry.“Telecom industry is still the most taxed industry in the country. We now pay 2% of annual levy to the regulator towards development of ICT. There is also 25% debit on importation of airtime paper. So far for any value added we have to pay,” Denis Kakonge, the Airtel –Uganda legal officer said.He cited the taxes on handsets, gaming, scratch airtime cards and the calls made. Kakonge said the system needs to be revised like it is in other EAC countries.The remarks were made during the Indian Day parliamentary debate with Uganda’s MPs and various dignitaries from the business community at Victoria Serena at Mutungo .While addressing MPs, Kakonge also asked for punitive measures like introduction of a tough law to deter those vandalizing the telecom infrastructure. Read more
BOU: Uganda’s current account deficit improves by Shs437 billion
The Bank of Uganda state of economy report  indicates Uganda’s current account deficit improved to $417.2 million (about Shs1.030 trillion) during the quarter from a $594.2 million (about Shs1.467 trillion) deficit in the previous three months period (quarter).However, Uganda still has more work to do in order to further reduce the negative effects of a heavy current account deficit on its economic growth. “The improvement in current account deficit was driven mainly by: higher receipts of current transfers due to peak season receipts of workers’ remittances in December and higher project aid inflows to government and lower deficits posted in the goods, services and income accounts,” the Central Bank report read. Read more 
EY: Better investment climate key to improved revenues, experts say
Following the recent revenue shortfall of nearly Shs250 billion, Uganda Revenue Authority will have to quickly capture more people into the taxpaying bracket even as it seeks to close loopholes that could see the deficit further widen, tax and economic analysts have advised.In the medium term though, the experts say there is a great need to improve the overall investment climate if the country is to improve its revenue earnings.The Tax Partner and Country Leader of Ernst & Young, Mr Muhammed Ssempijja, predicts hard times for the tax collectors although they are also of the view that it is not too late for the tax body to redeem itself from the looming revenue shortfalls. Read more
EAC: Regional customs launch shifted
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have postponed the single customs territory (SCT) roll-out, giving Burundi and Tanzania more time to prepare for the shift. East Africa Community (EAC) secretariat custom officer Ally Alexander told the committee on Communication, Trade and Investment in Mombasa that the implementation of the model would begin. “We are looking at reducing the costs and number of days to clear the cargo from Mombasa to Kampala to take three days instead of the previous 18 days,” Mr Alexander said.The SCT was initially planned to begin in January with the three countries moving their revenue staff to common entry and exit points to begin goods clearance. But Tanzania and Burundi protested their exclusion in the arrangement after Kenya announced in January that it was ready to start accommodating revenue officials from the two landlocked states in Mombasa, prompting the three States to go slow on their plans. Read more
UIRI: Create banks for small businesses, Gov't told
Prof. Charles Kwesiga, the executive director of Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), wants the Government to encourage the establishment of commercial banks dedicated to supporting small businesses (SMEs).Kwesiga said a number of prospective entrepreneurs fail to take off due to the high interest rates charged by commercial banks.He said Uganda’s hope to achieve an industrialised economy hangs in balance unless the Government moves fast to reduce the cost of borrowing. “We must create a financial infrastructure that can offer affordable financing especially to SMEs,” Kwesiga said. “This infrastructure can involve capitalising the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) and have a section of commercial to support SMEs as has been done in the Asian tigers like Thailand, Malaysia and India.”Created in 2006, the UIRI has mainly focussed on incubating young entrepreneurs’ business plans by offering technical training and other requisite start-up facilities. However, Kwesiga explained that a number of the incubatees had failed to take off due to the high cost of borrowing. Read more
UCC: Internet efficiency up despite vandalism of cables
Uganda is now 10th biggest Internet user in Africa with over four million subscribers, the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Eng. Godfrey Mutabaazi, has said.Mutabaazi attributed the growth to increased circulation of smart phones on the market, distribution of computers to schools and competition in the telecommunication sector. According to UCC, 13% of Ugandans use the Internet. Almost 60% of Web traffic in Uganda is from mobile devices such as smart phones and laptops. Read more
Barclays: Banks try incentives to capture customers
Commercial banks have come up with a number of inducements including cash-backs, interest rate discounts and fee waivers, among others, as they struggle to revive growth in loan advancement to the private sector.This is in the wake of a slowdown in most commercial bank loan books that contracted as businesses and individuals in the country grappled with double digit inflation that resulted in a steep rise in lending rates.According to Barclays Bank retail director, Mr Nazim Mahmood, relieving customers of insurance fees seeks to give them peace of mind and lower the costs involved in financing a loan. “When the bank takes up the payment of the insurance, it means that our customers are able to get their prospects financed with peace of mind in case the insured eventualities occur,” he notes in a statement. Read more 
UMA: Local manufactures call for a ban on imported drugs
Manufacturers of medical supplies in Uganda have asked the Government to ban the importation of supplies that serve the same purpose as those made in Uganda.“Local manufacturers have no protection. We make enough products, but we are seeing many people importing what we make,” said Abacus Pararental Drugs managing director Harish Shah.Shah was addressing members of the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) at the Abacus premises recently.“There is no way the local manufacturer can benefit from the local market if the same product he is making is being imported into the country and is sometimes cheaper,” Shah noted. Read more
Economy to hit sh70 trillion by 2015, says Museveni
Uganda’s economy continues to soar and by the end of the  financial year, economists have predicted that it will have hit $28b (about sh70 trillion).Addressing NRM legislators at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi, President Yoweri Museveni noted that as a result of tackling market challenges and more exporting opportunities, the economy is bound to grow.Museveni made the remarks while opening the NRM 10-day retreat, where the executive and the party MPs will discuss the rising bank interest rates, corruption and the  party manifesto.The President noted that in the last 28 years Uganda has expanded 16 times, from GDP of $1.5b to $24b today.“By the end of the  financial year, our economy will be $28b. The size of the GDP depends on the foreign exchange rate. When the Uganda shilling appreciates, as it is bound to when we start oil and other minerals minning, the size of the GDP will rapidly grow,” the President said. Read more
Setting minimum wage good for economy
The government announcement recently that it will set a minimum wage is good news for the economy and also for the workers, but not in the way they think.As it is now, we have a minimum wage of sh6,000 a month, which was decreed, but inflation and an increasingly higher standard of living means the number is worse than redundant.Our workers’ unions have been pushing for a revision of this number, but the Government has argued that it is best left to individual employee-employer negotiation, fearing that if they set a number, investment in the country will become unattractive.Both are right, but for different reasons than they think. Let us take it from the investors’ point of view. Investors like cheap labour if they are producing for a market that is not finicky about standards and one that does not consume much anyway.In such a market, you can literally source your labour off the streets and not care about what value they are bringing to the operation other than their sweat. Read more
UIA: Sector players want Shs12 billion budget to market tourism industry
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will lobby government to increase funding for marketing tourism in North America and other selected satellite cities around the world from the current expected $9,000 (Shs221 million) to $5 million (Shs12 billion).“Lobbying is part of our mandate,” UIA executive director Frank Sebbowa said in a meeting aimed at building competitiveness in tourism with a view to attract investment and employment in the sector. He continued: “We will lobby for $5 million to be put in marketing the country’s tourism industry every year. This is something we shall start doing immediately.” This was after tourism industry players argued that lack of marketing explains why tourists prefer going to neighbouring countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania rather than here—in Uganda. Read more
URA records Shs246b revenue deficit
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has closed its half year accounts with a revenue shortfall of nearly Shs250 billion, mainly because of low consumption resulting from reduced economic activities. To beat the shortfall, which is more than 20 times the amount of money needed to get rid of counterfeit and substandard goods in the country, and nearly five times the amount of cash required to run the ministry of trade, the tax collectors will have to raise their collections target by at least 27 per cent.According to Ms Kagina, the deficit in international taxes of 26 billion and the Domestic taxes shortfall of 216billion, largely defined the kind of performance registered in the financial year.Under domestic collections, Corporation tax registered a shortfall of Shs161billion, an indication that the population consumption has declined. Read more
IOCSA: Companies advised on good corporate governance
Companies have been urged to practice a culture of good corporate governance so as to grow businesses and increase profitability.Speaking at a press conference ahead of the third annual Directors and Company Secretaries Conference scheduled for late this month, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators chairperson Ms Alison Dillon Kibirige said the quality of corporate governance within companies, irrespective of the size, has a direct impact on the level of growth and profitability, adding that good governance is also a major tool for attracting foreign investors.Good corporate governance involves having good structures in place, business ethics and values, stakeholder engagement and transparency and accountability. Read more
MTN: Taking the lead in telecommunications
 was a successful year for us as the leading Telecom operator in Uganda. The success was underpinned by major improvements in the customer experience and Infrastructure. In terms of customer experience, we successfully introduced higher Internet access speed services, extended coverage to new areas, registered 96% of our subscribers, launched MTN business, which has led to the consolidation of our integrated ICT business solutions and successfully added a number of new products.In terms of new products and services, has recorded a large number of new launches introduced such as “4G LTE”, “3G 42Mbps” ,” MTN WiFi HotSpots”, “MTN Xtra Time” and many other exciting services which we launched first in the Uganda market. In terms of infrastructure, we added 115 new Network coverage sites, bringing the total number of sites supporting our network to 1,220 and upgraded the capacity of another 406 Network sites. In addition, MTN Uganda upgraded almost all its network sites in Kampala from 2G to 3G. MTN Uganda is also keen to positively impact the lives of the people in the communities where it operates through its social transformation platform. Read more
URA: Uganda Economy Posts "Worst Performance In Several Years" 
Economic experts are concerned over the slack in the general performance of the national economy over the last 6 months. This has been reflected in a major decline in revenue collections by Uganda Revenue Authority in the closed first half of Financial year.   URA Commissioner General Allen Kagina announced  that the revenue body had registered a shortfall of a staggering Shs242 billion in the half.   With taxes on international trade performing at 98.5 percent (26.43bn shortfall) and and domestic taxes at 91.15 percent (216.37bn shortfall), Kagina described the body's performance as the worst in several years.   Some of the underperforming sectors included financial institutions, manufacturing, transport, communication, real estate, electricity, water, renting and others. Read more 
Buganda, Chinese company sign MoU to develop housing units
Buganda Kingdom has signed a memorandum of understanding with Henan Guoji Industry Group Limited, a Chinese company, to develop a mid-low income real estate.Through its investment holding company, Buganda Investments and Commercial Undertakings Limited (BICUL) and Henan Guoji partnership, the Kingdom wants to see the country’s housing deficit reduce.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, BICUL chief executive officer Roland Sebuwufu said: “There is still high demand for housing in the mid –low income bracket especially in the Central Business Districts, but the uptake was slow because of the high costs of the finished products yet the lending rate on mortgages is still high.”He added that the kingdom wants to partner with serious investors to provide solutions that would benefit not only the Buganda, but also contribute to the economic development of the country. Read more
UCC To Reward Technology Innovations
The Uganda Communications Commission has launched the 4th edition of ACIA, to reward and promote technology innovations aimed at finding solutions to Uganda’s local problems. UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, says the government body has a mandate to promote research and development in the sector. “In fulfilment of this mandate, UCC has adopted a number of strategies including provision of funding support, raising awareness about research and innovation, providing platforms to facilitate linkages between private and public innovation actors,” said Mutabazi . ACIA was established to provide a platform to recognize outstanding innovations from local companies and individuals in the development and adoption of ICTs in Uganda.Read more
TradeMark Amplifies Women’s Business Drive
Women stakeholders including national level women’s business associations; business women’s groups (Urban and Rural); individual women business entrepreneurs and key Government institutions deliberated on modalities of working together to enhance their participation in the East African Integration Process at Kampala Sheraton Hotel.Organised by TradeMark East Africa in partnership with the iCON Enterprise Foundation (formerly iCON Women & Young People’s Leadership Academy), the East African Business Council and the East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP), the meeting themed: “Enhancing Participation and Amplifying Voices of Uganda Women in Business and Trade in the East African Integration Process”. The function was graced by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde. Read more
Experts Want Mining Linked with Africa's Devt Goals
Celebrated for the first time, Africa Mining Vision Day calls for a more sustainable, people-centred mining agenda.On the margins of Africa’s largest annual mining conference, “Mining Indaba”, taking place from February 3-6 in Cape Town, South Africa, multilateral development organizations have called on the private sector to join forces with them in ensuring the revenues from mining are reinvested in people.The development comes high on the heels of a report by Human Rights Watch, saying Uganda’s nascent mining industry could do more harm than good for indigenous people unless the government makes reforms and mining companies start respecting rights. Read more
Cabinet Extends APRM Financing
Cabinet has decided that Government should continue funding the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), saying “it is still relevant to the Governance of Uganda,” Chimp Corps report. According to Information Minister, Rose Namayanja, “Cabinet noted that the APRM promotes peer learning and capacity building by exercising constructive peer dialogue and persuasion thereby making the process effective, credible, and acceptable.” It also approved the Extension of the APRM Programme of Action for the period 2014 -2015. APRM is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the Member States of the African Union (AU) as an African self-monitoring mechanism. Read more
PCP: Fresh produce export company secures Shs4 billion investment
Pearl Capital Partners, a specialist agriculture investment firm, has invested $1.5million (about Shs3.7billion) in a local export company, KK Foods, which supplies fresh produce to European markets.The Managing Director of KK Foods, Mr James Kanyije, in an interview yesterday, confirmed that his company had secured the funds, describing the deal as important and timely. KK Foods is a major exporter of fresh vegetables and fruits to the European market.Its main products are fresh chillies, hot pepper, bananas, okra, egg plants and groundnuts, mainly produced from smallholder farmers in Central and Western Uganda.According to investment and economic analysts, this venture will boost KK Foods ability to supply the European market more efficiently while at the same time reap more in terms of profits than it previously did although it will also give up some of its control to the investment firm.Read more
MEMD: Uganda to sign memo with oil firms over production-ministry
Uganda will sign a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with Britain's Tullow Oil, France's Total and China's CNOOC, an Energy Ministry spokesman said, in a vital step towards starting oil production in the country. Energy Minister Irene Muloni said last month that developing Uganda's oil fields and building infrastructure would cost between $15 billion and $22 billion, although there were plans to try to reduce that. Read more
BOU: Uganda Keeps Lending Rate At 11.5% As Inflation Drops
The Central Bank of Uganda  pegged lending rates at 11.5 percent, the lowest  when the apex bank tightened monetary policy to control skyrocketing inflation.The move came in anticipation of a surge in inflation rates. Uganda’s annual core inflation rate dropped to 4.6% from 5.7%, according to data from the country’s bureau of statistics.“Although core inflation has decelerated, helped by recent Ugandan shilling appreciation, food prices  which have risen strongly in recent months – are still a concern,” Standard Chartered economist Razia Khan said in a note.The central bank’s deputy governor, Louis Kasekende fears that the conflict in South Sudan, which he blames for some of Uganda’s economic troubles, if sustained could plunge Uganda into further economic misfortune. Read more
EAFF: Regional body seeks to replicate Uganda coffee farmers’
Executive members of the East African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF) have expressed interest in replicating the Uganda originated Farmer Ownership Model (FOM) that has supported increased roles of smallholder coffee farmers along the crop value chain systems.Applied with in the membership of the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), the FOM serves as an architecture directed at changing the role of the middlemen in the coffee value chain and increasing the monetary value that farmers retain, thus salvaging them from the plight of losses.Against that background, the Nairobi- based EAFFA is considering replicating and promoting the Model among other East African Community countries so that farmers elsewhere can also tap into the economic benefits enjoyed by a cross-section of Uganda coffee farmers.EAFF program officer Policy and Advocacy Mainza Mugoya noted that since the Model emphasises reduced roles of middlemen along the value chain, efforts should also be geared towards promoting it in the production systems of many other crops across the region. Read more
IRA: Innovation Spurs Insurance Industry
Worried about identity theft? You are not alone. Identity theft means that someone has stolen your personal information for the purposes of conducting transactions without your knowledge, and therefore purporting to be you. Identity theft is a fast-growing crime that can take a heavy financial and personal toll. Among other things, it can cost a good deal of time and money to restore your credit and your reputation.The inevitability of having to embrace the digital age means that even in Uganda, electronic financial transactions will soon become part of everyday life, and thus expose your personal information to potential abuse. Risk mitigation parameters exist for your protection in the form of Identity Theft Insurance. Read more
KF: Property Market Stabilising - Survey
For the last two years, the real estate sector has sent mixed signals; a boom in construction coinciding with a slump in demand for property.A study from the real estate giant Knight Frank, however, appears to settle the debate: Uganda's property is on a long road to recovery. House purchases and mortgage loans are up, as property yet again attracts the eye of investors and anyone with money to spend."The property market, although nowhere near its peak performance, is showing signs of slight recovery," says a report looking at the third and fourth quarters. "The easing of credit restrictions for mortgage financing and reduced lending rates from 30 per cent to 22 per cent currently [have] led to a revived interest in residential house purchases... "The recovery should come as a relief. For the last ten years, no sector has received as much attention and excitement as the property sector. House prices shot through the roof, and rentals and commercial structures sprouted all over the city and its suburbs. Read more
UFEA: Flower exports record growth
Uganda’s flower industry is regaining its export volumes thanks to a 4.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent increment in volumes and value, respectively.Data from the Uganda Flowers Exporters Association (Ufea), show the country last year exported 6.7 million Kilogrammes (6,773 tonnes), up from 6.4 million kilogrammes (6,444 tonnes).In an interview with Prosper, Ufea executive director Juliet Musoke explains: “We estimate the export sales at $37.2 million, up from $36.3 million.” “This performance showed a 2.4 per cent increment, and we have been seeing a steady growth which saw the lowest volume and sales,” Ms Musoke added. Read more
Monitor guest speaker listed among Africa’s most powerful
The guest speaker at the Monitor Thought Leaders Forum has been listed as one of the 10 most powerful men in Africa, according to the latest issue of a respected American business magazine.Forbes Magazine says Mr Ashish Thakkar and the nine others are entrepreneurs, corporate executives, social entrepreneurs, political and civil leaders who are “changing Africa and the world around them; often times without much fanfare…”Among other things, Mr Thakkar is noted for having founded Mara Online, a group of online and mobile telephony platforms that allow users to interact with each other. “The serial entrepreneur [Thakkar] advises several heads of states in Sub-Saharan Africa and runs Mara Foundation, a social enterprise that mentors young African entrepreneurs,” the magazine says of Mr Thakkar. Read more
Beer industry optimistic of 2014
The beer industry is optimistic about a sound economic environment  that should see beer consumption rise again.Beer consumption in Uganda is still low at about 7-8 liters per capita consumption. Much of the alcohol consumed is informal and semi processed because beer is still relatively expensive. But with an expanding economy and more disposable income, this is set to grow.“The prognosis for beer is positive with underlying prospects on oil coming on stream, and rising incomes,” observed Jenkinson. Read more
World Bank advises government to craft pro-poor policies
The World Bank has advised Uganda to develop policies that aim at social inclusion as the country positions itself to become a middle income country in the next couple of decades following its development strategies in the national vision.Uganda aims to become a middle income country by 2040 and the country’s grand plans are outlined in its “Vision 2040”. However, the World Bank says expectations from a middle income country are higher than those from low income ones.The World Bank says middle income countries are expected to address issues of social inclusion in ways that go beyond poverty reduction and that they are expected to attend to the needs of thosewho are most vulnerable to being left out using the available natural resources. Read more
The business of building business
I think it is safe to say, in trying to decide what causes businesses to fail or thrive at its basic level; it is how the company’s shareholders and management handle the issue of instant versus delayed gratification. Everything else is detail.The aforementioned Buffett, who has made his fortune investing in companies since he was 11, has a very simple way of telling which investments are good or not.Through long experience, Buffett, 83, has learnt to look for companies that show consistent growth in their net value – the extent to which the companies’ assets are larger than its liabilities. If this figure keeps growing year-in, year-out the probabilities are high that the share price will soon mirror this growth in company value.The growth in assets is the most manifest sign of delayed gratification, a virtue we will do very well to cultivate in our businesses and personal lives. Read more
ICAI: Indian accounting body launched in Uganda
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Uganda (ICAIU) was  launched at Silver Springs Bugolobi, Kampala by Indians living in Uganda. It’s a branch of India’s professional accounting body known as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of Indian Association of Uganda, Rajesh Chaplot said the institute is to uphold chartered accountancy profession in Ugandan as trustee of high quality, financial competency, managing business risks, corporate governance, assurance and audit competency and business competitiveness in fast changing business world.“The aim for this chapter is to recognize the need for professional development in the changing global and Ugandan business environment. We also want to organise professional development sessions for Indian and Ugandan professionals with focus on value based, changing business and organisation structures,” he said. Read more
Candles light his path to wealth
Uganda has the world’s youngest population, with more than 78 per cent below the age of 30.But for 22-year-old Deziderio Byansi, a resident of Kasokoso Kiganda zone, a slum area in Kireka, job searching has never been on his to-do list. Byansi employees four other young people at his company ‘Dezi Smart Entrepreneurs’ and he has trained more than 75 young people from Kasokoso, Mutungo and Mbuya communities to make a range of products including; candles, paper bags, school chalk, liquid soap, hair shampoo, bar soap, book binding and charcoal briquettes, among others.Although he sells his products in the environs of Mutungo such as some supermarkets in Mbuya, Kiswa, Mutungo, Nakawa and Kireka, Byansi is finding difficulties.“The challenge is that big supermarkets [Uchumi, Nakumatt, Tuskys] are hesitant to take on some products because our company is not yet registered.” Read more

Govt will go ahead with Pension sector liberalisation - Muhakanizi
The Finance ministry says the cost of paying pensioners through the Public Service Pension Scheme programme is impacting negatively on government budget.Reacting to criticisms from officials of the Gender ministry and the National Organisation of Trade Unions among others against the move to liberalise the pension sector in Kampala, Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi said: “Government is tired of paying the cost of pensioners through the Public Services Pension Scheme and so the sector must be liberalised.”Mr Muhakanizi explained that the fiscal price of paying pensioners on government is high yet at the same time there are a lot of inefficiencies in the current Public Service Pension Scheme. Read more
Petroleum value chain to get standards
Uganda has started the process of setting up standards and codes to govern the petroleum value chain.The process started with the launch of a 16-man technical committee composed of various experts from the academia, the industry, private sector, security and technocrats.The committee will provide for the formulation and harmonisation of standards for the downstream, midstream and upstream petroleum operations, which are critical to the development of the oil and gas sector.Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent secretary of the energy ministry, said there is urgent need to expedite the development of standards for the entire petroleum value chain.“This calls for standards and codes that can be adopted locally and also meet international requirements,” he said in a speech read by John Bosco Habumugisha, the assistant commissioner in charge of pipeline development.“Aspects of safety, security, health and environment are of paramount importance in ensuring effective regulation of the oil and gas sector, hence the need for appropriate standards and codes.”Kaliisa said it is important to involve stakeholders because they have many roles to play and “this will enable us to consult with you on how we can move forward in the country’s pursuit of commercialising the oil and gas resources.” Read more
Ugandan inflation nudges higher in January
Kenya's year-on-year inflation rate inched up to 7.21 percent in the year to January, the statistics office said , coming closer to the 7.5 percent upper threshold of the central bank's target range.In neighbouring Uganda, headline inflation also rose, to 6.9 percent in January from 6.7 percent the month before. Core inflation fell to 4.6 percent from 5.7 percent.The two east African economies have enjoyed relatively manageable inflation in the past two years. High commodity prices in global markets and drought at home had caused inflation to soar.Kenya's policymakers held interest rates at 8.5 percent for their fourth straight meeting this month, citing stability in key indicators such as inflation.Though the January inflation increase is small, it is the first since September, when it jumped to its high of 8.29 percent after a new sales tax came into force. Traders said it is unlikely to affect policy for now because the outlook for prices is still benign."Headline inflation remains contained, with major threats expected to escalate from May onwards due to grain imports and potential negative base effects," said Alex Muiruri, a fixed-income trader at African Alliance Investment Bank. Read more
UNBS: Oil, gas production regulations in offing
The Ministry of Energy and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) have put up a committee that will develop standards and regulations meant to govern the oil and gas production phase expected to start in 2018.Speaking during the inauguration workshop of the technical committee on petroleum yesterday, Energy minister Irene Muloni said the committee will be tasked to among others develop standards that are acceptable globally. Headed by Dr Bernard Kariko Buhwezi, a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering Makerere University, the committee is expected to start operations immediately. Environmental impact She said the standards that will be developed by the committee of more than 30 people, will focus mainly around areas such as safety, security, health and environment in the oil and gas sector. Read more. 
East African cooperatives to benefit from new regulation
Cooperative societies across East Africa will now collaborate on numerous fronts, including joint marketing, thanks to a regional Bill in offing. According to Uganda Cooperative Alliance secretariat and the Eastern African farmers’ Federation, the drive to have both regional (EALA) legislation allow the collaboration and national cooperative laws amended, is in high gear.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Mr Mike Sebalu, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member and the brain behind the EAC Co-operative Societies Bill 2014 said by mid-year, the Bill will have been passed and assented to by all the regional heads of state. Read more. 
The Principal MUBS Prof Wasswa Balunywa: Mergers, acquisitions expected in banking sector
The insurance and banking sectors could witness mergers and acquisitions in the near future as companies are unable to make meaningful profit margins to ensure business sustainability, a market expert has warned.The Principal Makerere University Business School, Prof Wasswa Balunywa, said Uganda’s economy is small and unable to profitably accommodate many players. Mr Balunywa, who was speaking at the insurance industry’s chief executive officers meeting in Kampala , added that a few financially strong companies are likely to swallow up small ones through mergers and acquisitions so as to make meaningful profits which are now shared among many players. Read more
EAC farmers demand for a law on Cooperatives
Members of the Eastern Africa farmers Federation (EAFF) have appealed to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to speed up the enactment of East African Communities Co-operative Societies Bill 2014.The Bill, being advanced by the Eastern Africa Farmers' Federation (EAFF), aims to facilitate the engagement of the co-operative movement in the EAC integration process.It will also help farmers in the region understand protocols so that they can be able to make decisions and have direct contact with the people who buy their goods.“Most of the trade in the region is not done by farmers. The farmers who trade in the region account for only 1%.The rest still don’t understand common market protocols,” said Stephen Muchiri, the chief executive officer of EAFF. Muchiri said that the law will not only regulate cooperatives but will also help farmers across the region understand common market protocols which will then ease cross border trade. Read more
TUBC: uganda warms up to a chance to tap into Turkish business success
AS a once notable producer of coffee in the world, Uganda has not experienced much success in marketing this important cash crop. Now a newly established Turkish business consortium is promising to work together with the Uganda business community, the government and farmers to help promote the once world famous Ugandan coffee on the international market. The Turko Group is a Turkish owned business consultancy group scheduled to start its operations here with the aim of promoting business and investment opportunities between Uganda and Turkey.The Group is under the auspices of the Turkish-Ugandan Business Council formed in 2012 to promote trade and business between the two countries. Speaking at a media briefing recently, Ersin Eren, the chairman of the Turkish Ugandan Business Council said that promoting Ugandan products like coffee to the international market will be one of a number of activities that this new consulting group will undertake. Read more
Include all people in economic growth-World Bank
In a country with a rich heritage there are many people who are now increasingly being excluded from employment, social services and powerful positions.According to the World Bank, the drivers of this exclusion include levels of education, ethnic identity, religion and educational background.The World Bank points out that social inclusion is not just about poverty reduction or about reducing income inequality; it is the process of improving the ability, opportunity and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.The World Bank has urged Uganda to ensure that as the economy grows and it pursues it vision of becoming a middle income some people are not left out to enjoy these benefits.“Social inclusion is becoming more urgent for Uganda. Profound transitions like the changing population structure, urbanization, climate change, information revolution and natural resource driven growth are creating new opportunities but also risks for inclusion,” said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, country manager World Bank Uganda. Read more
Banks’ mentality holding back funding to private health care
The conservativeness of commercial banks in lending to private health facilities is hurting the prospects of better health care in Uganda, an expert has revealed.“Because of the misunderstanding of the private health sector, and the perception of low business acumen of those working in the sector, banks perceive the risk of lending money to the sector to be so high,” Dr. Dithan Kiragga, the chief party of USAID/Private Health Care Programme has said.As a result, many private health facilities struggle to buy new equipment, train their staff further, hence compromising the state of health care. Read more
Affordable phones, internet will raise data use - report
The mobility Report produced by Ericsson, a Swedish technology firm analyses the subscription and applications development using telecom and data industry intelligence. “The past 20 years was voice, next 20 years will be about data,” said Fredrick Jejdling during the Sweden-Uganda ICT conference  at the Kampala Serena Hotel. He said this growth will be more than the global average which will be about 10 times.Uganda’s ICT industry has grown exponentially and is currently ranked 22 in Africa and 130 in the world in the global ICT development index. There are now more people using mobile banking than bank account holders, a situation the Swedish ambassador to Uganda observed as “extremely important with knock on effects on a range of other areas.” Read more
Minister cautions against repeat of past dam mistakes
The state minister for investment, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra, has cautioned energy sector players to avoid past mistakes that proved costly as the Government embarks on building new power plants.The Government has started the construction of new power projects such as the 600MW Karuma dam and Isimba dam.“I do hope that the mistakes made on Nyagak 1 will not be repeated. For us as politicians in West Nile, it gave us huge headache. We could not defend the actions of the energy players. How could a dam of 3.5MW take more than five years to be completed?” he asked.“If Nyagak 1 was designed well, we could have generated about 7MW. Now we have to build Nyagak 3 in the same spot. Why?”Speaking at the handover ceremony of the new board of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), Ajedra said the delay in getting the Bujagali project on the grid was costly. Read more
UETCL: Kampala to get 4m euro solar assembling plant
Energy shortfalls are set to be reduced further in the country following interventions to set up a modern solar assembling plant in Kampala.New Vision has established that the Euro 4m (shs18b) will be initiated by Clean Energy Partnership Africa (CEPA) a local renewable energy firm in partnership with J.v.G Thoma GmbH German based leading renewable energy company.According to statistics there has been a rise on demand for solar power especially in rural areas. But the demand seems to be shifting to the urban as well due to continues outages experienced by urban dwellers of late.Martin Erone Manager Legal services Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) said renewable energy is the only way to go. “The demand for power increases everyday yet that demand can’t be fully met. We need constant investment in energy and renewable sources such as solar are appropriate,” he said.David Ebong the Chief Executive said once in place the price of solar panels and installations that are considered expensive will reduce due to local manufacturing. Read more
CCLE: Tyre company to create 700 jobs
The C.C.L.E rubber company, set to commence domestic production in March, will be employing more than 700 people, a company official has revealedSpeaking last week in Kampala, Mr Chen Fan, the managing director, said they are waiting for one of the key machines which is already enroute to Uganda and once it arrives by end of this month, the installation will be done next month and production begins in March.He said more than half of the employees are Ugandans because of the need to have local managers who understand the local market.Mr Chen was receiving 20 Ugandan youth who had been undergoing a six-month Tyre engineering training course in China. “This batch is the first to acquire Tyre engineering skills in East, Central and Southern Africa,” he said. Read more
EAC: Business Council rallies region on policy reforms
As the East African Community enters its 14th year of integration, there are still penny-pinching issues that have pushed up the cost of doing business.The EAC’s bid to create a single East African market entails easing travel restrictions, harmonising tariffs and cutting telecommunication costs.This means the private sector has to be brought at the fore-front since it is regarded as the engine of growth, thanks to its contribution to the economic development of respective member states.The East African Business Council has positioned itself as the policy advocacy body in the region to ensure that policies are implemented. Read more
MARA: Use online business support services
 Money is hard to come by for many and business sales tend to slow down too.This could be a golden opportunity for you to think about what you will change in your approach to your business.In addition to tapping into ideas from your staff, family and friends, you might also consider using some of the free, online business support services that creative minds have put at our fingertips. Two of the online services available in Uganda are: Grow Movement: Headquartered in the UK, this uses the services of business experts all over the world to offer remote volunteer consulting services to entrepreneurs in Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. Read more
Tea Brokers East Africa Limited: Dry weather conditions take toll on region’s tea volumes
Tough times lie ahead for tea exporters in East Africa as dry weather conditions slash production.A new report from Mombasa Tea Brokers East Africa Limited predicts a gradual drop in tea production as Kenya approaches its dry season. The same trend is being experienced by Uganda where tea production has fallen due to the dry weather since the year’s start.In this period- Uganda, which is the second contributor to the Mombasa auction, surprisingly realised an increase in its sales. The country sold 4.1 million kilogrammes of tea, up from last year’s 3.4 million kilogrammes it sold previously.Sharing his experience with Prosper magazine, Mpanga Tea Estate’s chairman of the board of directors, Mr Jessey Bwango, attested to the low production. Read more
Safaricom: Joy and pain of the stock market
Damalie discovered that the share price of Safaricom had risen above Ksh11.60. In 2008 the company listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Already a big telecom company by then, investors in both Uganda and Kenya expected to gain a lot from the appreciation of the share price once it started to trade on the stock market.Many of the investors, or speculators, were relying on the performance of the shares of earlier listed companies such as Kengen in Kenya and Stanbic Bank in Uganda whose prices had doubled and tripled respectively. Safaricom listed at Ksh5 but instead of going north, the share price rapidly headed south. The timing of the listing of Safaricom played a major part in the depreciation of its price That was the time when the financial crisis was coming to light and investors were dumping stocks to retreat to more stable assets. Read more
Uganda Gets IMF OK to Raise Debt Limit
The International Monetary Fund has cleared Uganda to increase its debt ceiling on non-concessional borrowing by up to 47%, to allow the East African nation to fund ambitious hydroelectric projects aimed at addressing chronic power shortages.The country's borrowing limit has been increased to $2.2 billion from $1.5 billion, a boost for the country's efforts to access funds to meet its widening budget deficit, Ana Lucia Coronel, the IMF's senior resident representative in Uganda, said .The development is a relief for Africa's top robusta coffee grower and fledging oil producer; Uganda has been grappling with a widening budget deficit for the past two years, as spending has increased while funds from donors waned."The allowed increase is expected to finance electricity projects that are critical to close the acute infrastructure gap that makes Uganda one of the countries with the lowest levels of electrification in Africa," Ms. Coronel said. Read more
UNBS to inspect Pre-paid metres
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to start examining prepaid metres before issuance.The deal sealed comes on the heels of rising consumer complaints over exaggerated billings by the metres currently rolled out as a trial exercise by electricity distributor, Umeme.The MOU, a copy seen by the Daily Monitor, will enhance action and operation of both government bodies on the metres and ensure specific standards of quality control in the activities of licensees for electricity transmission, distribution, sale activities and feasibility studies for projects. Read more
Government suspends Lubiri airport development project
The government has suspended proposals to construct a mini airport at Lubiri-Mengo to complement the Entebbe International Airport, citing the Buganda Kingdom’s indecision.Speaking at the 20-year Civil Aviation Master Plan Consultative workshop in Kampala last week, Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala said while negotiations are still ongoing, the kingdom seems to have showed less interest in the proposal.“Mengo is still divided between culture and development,” Mr Byandala remarked, “The proposal was suspended for some time to let them (Mengo) first settle the differences.” Read more

Industrialisation: Uganda can take tips from Turkey
While the rest of Europe is still reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis, Turkey shrugged them off quickly. The country is a good case study of how a peasant economy can be transformed into an industrialised one. Industry lies at the heart of Istanbul, a city employing 17 per cent of Turkey’s 75 million people while Uganda is still trying to find its rightful place.Established 28 years ago, the Gebze-created industrial zone in the heart of Istanbul has thrived without credit. Seated on 537 hectares, with modern machine parks, its companies produce merchandise of international standards.Accommodating more than 125 domestic and foreign companies, the industrial zone attracts foreign capital to Turkey. The $17 trillion economy, also an emerging global investor, has a capital export base of more than $25 billion. Read more
MOA: Government targets Shs248b in fish exports
Government has started working on measures that will see the country’s fish exports greatly increase to fetch $1billion (about Shs248 billion).State Minister for Agriculture Zirubaberi Nyira Mijumbi said Uganda wants to contribute to increased social and economic development in the East and Central African region through fish trade and fisheries development.“We want to tackle the whole value chain from impounding illegal fishing gear, post-harvest handling, border inspection to stop trade of immature fish across the region, among other interventions,” Prof Zirubaberi said  after opening the 2nd trade event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission in conjunction with European Union and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. Read more
Uchumi eyes Shs168b from stock market
Uchumi Supermarkets intends to accumulate Shs168 billion from the stock market through a rights issue following an approval from the Capital Markets Authority.The firm which cross-listed its shares on the Uganda and Rwanda bourses last year, is riding on the wider pool of potential investors to buy into its company with the view of funding its expansion plans.The money, according to the Uchumi chief executive officer Jonathan Ciano, will enable the firm increase its turnover in addition to funding its regional expansion plans and refurbishing the existing outlets in Kenya. “We also want to pro-actively position ourselves and be able to finance working capital for our subsidiaries with a consequent growth in market share and sales volumes,” Mr Ciano said in a statement . Read more
USE: 2.4 billion shares changed hands in 2013
The stock market concluded deals worth over sh245 billion, a massive improvement from the previous year, a report indicates. The Uganda Securities Exchange report showed a marked rise from the sh26b obtained.Boosted by corporate action including the opening trading sessions after Umeme’s initial public offer, DFCU share sell as well as major deals on the Stanbic counter.There were 5205 deals with a total of sh245 billion deals after a total of over 2.4 billion shares were sold.The biggest deal was when turnover peaked sh139b after 524m shares were sold. Stanbic bank had 2339 deals overall- the most among all the 12 listed companies at the exchange followed by Bank of Baroda. Read more 
US hotel giant Marriott takes over Protea hotel group - Bitature
US hotel giant Marriott have finalized a deal to buy the Protea group, one of Africa’s largest hotel chain for US$186m (sh461b). An official at Kampala Protea Hotel confirmed the take-over bid.In Uganda the company manages three properties, including the Kampala Protea Hotel, located in Kololo, Kampala; the Entebbe Protea Hotel, adjacent to Entebbe International Airport and the Mbale Protea Hotel, near Mt Elgon, located in Mbale district.A fourth property, the Hoima Protea Hotel is currently under development in the Western Ugandan town of Hoima, in the oil-rich Albertine Graben.Kampala Protea Hotel is owned by Patrick Bitature, one of Uganda’s business moguls. It was not possible to get a comment from him as his phone kept ringing and he did not answer. It was also not possible to get a detailed comment at the hotel as the general manager was said to be in a meeting.“Marriott and Protea plan to close the transaction on April 1, 2014,” the firms said in a statement. Read more
Fina Bank Uganda sold to Nigerian bank group
Fina bank operations in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya will now be renamed and rebranded as subsidiaries of Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, after the latter acquiring at least 70% stake in shares in the three regional countries.The move comes after customary regulatory approvals which have been obtained after GT Bank and the shareholders of Fina Bank entered into a share sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of 70% stake in Fina Bank last July.This means that GT Bank will have a good percentage of the US$338 million Fina Bank’s assets and operations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, but it is also expected that GT bank will not change with the current management of Fina.An official at Fina Bank Uganda said the company had rebranded to GT Bank Uganda but could not comment because they were not authorized to do so. Read more
Shilling strengthens beyond initial forecasts
The Uganda Shilling has gained some ground against the dollar since the beginning of the year -a stance experts say has gone beyond their prediction.Yesterday, data from Bank of Uganda (BoU) showed the Shilling was trading between 2481/2491 by opening of business, a stronger standing than what was experienced at the beginning of the year when it traded at 2520/2530.Experts attribute the strength to the increase in exports from the country especially coffee - the country’s leading export commodity. Read more
Uganda Gets IMF OK to Raise Debt Limit
The International Monetary Fund has cleared Uganda to increase its debt ceiling on non-concessional borrowing by up to 47%, to allow the East African nation to fund ambitious hydroelectric projects aimed at addressing chronic power shortages.The country's borrowing limit has been increased to $2.2 billion from $1.5 billion, a boost for the country's efforts to access funds to meet its widening budget deficit, Ana Lucia Coronel, the IMF's senior resident representative in Uganda, said .The development is a relief for Africa's top robusta coffee grower and fledging oil producer; Uganda has been grappling with a widening budget deficit for the past two years, as spending has increased while funds from donors waned."The allowed increase is expected to finance electricity projects that are critical to close the acute infrastructure gap that makes Uganda one of the countries with the lowest levels of electrification in Africa," Ms. Coronel said. Read more
Government suspends Lubiri airport development project
The government has suspended proposals to construct a mini airport at Lubiri-Mengo to complement the Entebbe International Airport, citing the Buganda Kingdom’s indecision.Speaking at the 20-year Civil Aviation Master Plan Consultative workshop in Kampala last week, Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala said while negotiations are still ongoing, the kingdom seems to have showed less interest in the proposal.“Mengo is still divided between culture and development,” Mr Byandala remarked, “The proposal was suspended for some time to let them (Mengo) first settle the differences.” Read more

UNBS to inspect Pre-paid metres
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to start examining prepaid metres before issuance.The deal sealed comes on the heels of rising consumer complaints over exaggerated billings by the metres currently rolled out as a trial exercise by electricity distributor, Umeme.The MOU, a copy seen by the Daily Monitor, will enhance action and operation of both government bodies on the metres and ensure specific standards of quality control in the activities of licensees for electricity transmission, distribution, sale activities and feasibility studies for projects. Read more
Industrialisation: Uganda can take tips from Turkey
While the rest of Europe is still reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis, Turkey shrugged them off quickly. The country is a good case study of how a peasant economy can be transformed into an industrialised one. Industry lies at the heart of Istanbul, a city employing 17 per cent of Turkey’s 75 million people while Uganda is still trying to find its rightful place.Established 28 years ago, the Gebze-created industrial zone in the heart of Istanbul has thrived without credit. Seated on 537 hectares, with modern machine parks, its companies produce merchandise of international standards.Accommodating more than 125 domestic and foreign companies, the industrial zone attracts foreign capital to Turkey. The $17 trillion economy, also an emerging global investor, has a capital export base of more than $25 billion. Read more
MOA: Government targets Shs248b in fish exports
Government has started working on measures that will see the country’s fish exports greatly increase to fetch $1billion (about Shs248 billion).State Minister for Agriculture Zirubaberi Nyira Mijumbi said Uganda wants to contribute to increased social and economic development in the East and Central African region through fish trade and fisheries development.“We want to tackle the whole value chain from impounding illegal fishing gear, post-harvest handling, border inspection to stop trade of immature fish across the region, among other interventions,” Prof Zirubaberi said  after opening the 2nd trade event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission in conjunction with European Union and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. Read more
Uchumi eyes Shs168b from stock market
Uchumi Supermarkets intends to accumulate Shs168 billion from the stock market through a rights issue following an approval from the Capital Markets Authority.The firm which cross-listed its shares on the Uganda and Rwanda bourses last year, is riding on the wider pool of potential investors to buy into its company with the view of funding its expansion plans.The money, according to the Uchumi chief executive officer Jonathan Ciano, will enable the firm increase its turnover in addition to funding its regional expansion plans and refurbishing the existing outlets in Kenya. “We also want to pro-actively position ourselves and be able to finance working capital for our subsidiaries with a consequent growth in market share and sales volumes,” Mr Ciano said in a statement . Read more

USE: 2.4 billion shares changed hands in 2013
The stock market concluded deals worth over sh245 billion in 2013, a massive improvement from the previous year, a report indicates. The Uganda Securities Exchange report showed a marked rise from the sh26b obtained in 2012. 2013 was mainly boosted by corporate action including the opening trading sessions after Umeme’s initial public offer, DFCU share sell as well as major deals on the Stanbic counter.There were 5205 deals with a total of sh245 billion deals after a total of over 2.4 billion shares were sold.The biggest deal was in May 2013 when turnover peaked sh139b after 524m shares were sold. Stanbic bank had 2339 deals overall- the most among all the 12 listed companies at the exchange followed by Bank of Baroda. Read more 
US hotel giant Marriott takes over Protea hotel group - Bitature
US hotel giant Marriott have finalized a deal to buy the Protea group, one of Africa’s largest hotel chain for US$186m (sh461b). An official at Kampala Protea Hotel confirmed the take-over bid.In Uganda the company manages three properties, including the Kampala Protea Hotel, located in Kololo, Kampala; the Entebbe Protea Hotel, adjacent to Entebbe International Airport and the Mbale Protea Hotel, near Mt Elgon, located in Mbale district.A fourth property, the Hoima Protea Hotel is currently under development in the Western Ugandan town of Hoima, in the oil-rich Albertine Graben.Kampala Protea Hotel is owned by Patrick Bitature, one of Uganda’s business moguls. It was not possible to get a comment from him as his phone kept ringing and he did not answer. It was also not possible to get a detailed comment at the hotel as the general manager was said to be in a meeting.“Marriott and Protea plan to close the transaction on April 1, 2014,” the firms said in a statement. Read more
Fina Bank Uganda sold to Nigerian bank group
Fina bank operations in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya will now be renamed and rebranded as subsidiaries of Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, after the latter acquiring at least 70% stake in shares in the three regional countries.The move comes after customary regulatory approvals which have been obtained after GT Bank and the shareholders of Fina Bank entered into a share sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of 70% stake in Fina Bank last July.This means that GT Bank will have a good percentage of the US$338 million Fina Bank’s assets and operations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, but it is also expected that GT bank will not change with the current management of Fina.An official at Fina Bank Uganda said the company had rebranded to GT Bank Uganda but could not comment because they were not authorized to do so. Read more
Shilling strengthens beyond initial forecasts
The Uganda Shilling has gained some ground against the dollar since the beginning of the year -a stance experts say has gone beyond their prediction.Yesterday, data from Bank of Uganda (BoU) showed the Shilling was trading between 2481/2491 by opening of business, a stronger standing than what was experienced at the beginning of the year when it traded at 2520/2530.Experts attribute the strength to the increase in exports from the country especially coffee - the country’s leading export commodity. Read more

Buganda considers allocating Kigo prisons land to manufactures
Buganda Kingdom is considering allocating Kigo prisons land to Uganda Manufacturing Association (UMA) for an industrial park, the Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga has said. “The industrial sector is crucial for job creation. Buganda has enough land, in this case Kigo prison land would be suitable for an industrial park, but we will have to discuss further,” Mayiga said.The katikiro was responding to a request from manufacturers for more land to increase production for the growing demand of Ugandan commodities both local and regional market.Mayiga said that once more industries are set up in Uganda; more jobs will be created for majority of the youth who are unemployed.He made the remarks while receiving a check worth sh50m from the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) towards the reconstruction of Kasubi tombs that were torched four years ago.UMA chairman, Amos Nzeyi, said that there is a growing demand for Ugandan commodities from neighboring countries hence the need for more land for manufacturing. Read more
Increase in global coffee prices not yet impressive, experts say
Despite a slight increase in global coffee prices, farmers should not jubilate yet as the current prices are not yet impressive, experts have said. According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), there was a 4.6 per cent increase from December 2013 to date.The experts say farmers in producing countries like Uganda, currently ranked Africa’s number two and globally standing at number six, should endeavour to produce more quality beans.Sharing his opinion on the current coffee price trends, the Chairman National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises, Mr Gerald Ssendaula, said: “Farmers should counteract the global prices by producing more and quality coffee.” Read more
ERA withdraws licences of five contractors over performance
The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has withdrawn licence permits of at least five companies that did not exhibit any ‘discernible performance on their projects.ERA chief executive officer Benon Mutambi said  the companies had not demonstrated substantial feasibility progress “The authority discourages speculative behaviour in this sector among applicants for licences, permit holders and licensees,” he said. The regulatory body decried the rise in such tendencies, and described the contractors as speculators, whose behavior impedes development of the electricity sector despite the favourable policy framework in place and an attractive tariff regime.However, the authority reiterated the need for increased (private) investments in the sector to bring about steady electricity supply both on the main grid and hard-to-reach areas-operated by the Rural Electricity Agency. Read more
EADB advises companies on capital mobilisation
The East African Development Bank has advised company owners in East Africa to rethink ways of mobilising capital for their expansion through the capital markets instead of sticking to the conventional ways of borrowing cash banks.The advice comes at a time when both the government and the private sector continue to deal with the problem of high interest rates on commercial loans as they borrow for financing various investment projects.Speaking at the listing of National Insurance Corporation Rights Issue shares on Uganda Securities Exchange in Kampala last Friday, the Director General of East African Development Bank, Ms Vivienne Yeda, said mobilising capital through the capital markets is cheaper and creates competition and efficiency in financial markets. Read more
Museveni, Mutebile caution banks on customers’ savings
President Museveni has cautioned managers of financial institutions against exposing customers to unnecessary risks, saying management has to go an extra mile in supervising lending which could be a recipe for disaster if not well monitored.The President’s caution was particularly aimed at the management of the Finance Trust Bank that has upgraded to a commercial bank after operating as a Micro Finance Deposit-Taking Institution for years.According to Mr Museveni, the expanded roles of the commercial bank demand for more stringent supervision as the risks involved also get bigger and complex. And if it is badly managed, he argued, will expose customers to unwarranted risks, something that the bank should guard against and not let it happen. Read more
Commercial Bank of Africa returns to Ugandan market
Bank of Uganda has granted Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) a licence to operate thus becoming the 25th commercial bank in the country. The Kenyan owned bank returns to Uganda after 47-years since it was forced to close business because of the political instability in the country at that time.In an interview with the Daily Monitor, CBA Uganda’s chief executive officer Samuel Odeke said: “We received our official license to operate from Bank of Uganda early this month and we are soon opening to the Ugandan market.”Returning at time when the country has more than 20 commercial banks, Mr Odeke said the bank is ready to face up to the competition. “We have enough capital to take on big deals, meaning we are ready to handle Corporate, Small and medium enterprises, all of which need big capital,” Mr Odeke added. Read more
Valentine’s Day turns into big business even in East Africa
Hotels, resorts, safari lodges, restaurants and now airlines too are trying to cash in on Valentine’s Day celebrations this year, more so as the big day falls on a Friday, making it a perfect mini getaway weekend for lovers. Kenya Airways has now joined the throng with their heart shaped campaign, inviting those keen to get away with their loved one to consider spending a few days in Mombasa, Malindi, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Bangkok and yes, even Uganda, where ‘lovers’ retreats’ are being organized by among others GeoLodges Uganda. Read more  
EAC: Private sector too slow at exploiting regional opportunities
The private sector are shying away from the business opportunities in the East African Community (EAC).The commissioner for economic affairs in the Ministry for East African Community, Rashid Kibowa, said: “There is lack of enthusiasm by the private sector on EAC opportunities. There are trade negotiations that the private sector should get involved in.”Kibowa was speaking at a consultative meeting on the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA)-Southern African Development Community (SADC)-EAC tripartite cooperation at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently. The meeting was organised by the Ministry of East African Community Affairs and attended by the private sector and civil society leaders.The private sector, however, said they lack resources and capacity to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the region. Read more
Explain trading of shares - minister Kiwanuka
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked the leaders of the Capital Markets Authority and the Uganda Securities Exchange to demystify the trading of shares and bonds for Ugandans to gain interest in the business.The minister was speaking at a farewell function for Japheth Kato, who retired as chief executive officer for the Capital Markets Authority after 16 years of service at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo. Kiwanuka commended Kato for setting the right foundation for capital markets in Uganda and asked the new leadership to bring the market closer to Ugandans.The minister said more local companies should be encouraged to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange.“Uganda Securities Exchange must be a normal thing to Ugandans. Capital markets should be like mobile phones which are found in everyone’s house. We should make capital markets an everyday thing,” she said.Kiwanuka urged the private sector to take charge of capital markets saying the emerging petroleum sector, the liberalisation of the pension sector and the regional integration will present many opportunities. Read more
MAAIF: Livestock quarantine restrictions lifted in Kibaale
The ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries has lifted the quarantine that was imposed on Kibaale district following the outbreak of contagious Bovine pleuropneumonia-CBPP disease.“Following the complete disappearance of contagious Bovine pleuropneumonia-CBPP in the sub counties of Ndaiga, Mpeefu, and Kyaterekera in Buyaga west Kibaale district, quarantine restrictions that had been imposed has been lifted with immediate effect”, Dr. C.S. Rutebarika commissioner for livestock health and entomology announced. Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP - also known as lung plague), is a contagious bacterial disease that afflicts the lungs of cattle, buffalo, zebu, and yaks. Read more
EPL: Kiiza, the owner of a sh12b publishing empire
For many university students, life is about books and enjoying the independence that comes with post-high school life. Not for Ernest Kiiza. As a student of forestry, Kiiza spent this time looking out for opportunities of making money.That is how he developed a love for what would later become his lifeline — printing and publishing. As a student, he would use his upkeep allowance to buy stationery from fellow students that was supplied free of charge by government and sell it to printers at Nasser Road in Kampala for a decent profit. Upon completion of his studies, while his coursemates scrambled for jobs, Kiiza rejected a job offer as a district forestry officer and headed to Nasser Road to do business.Today, Kiiza, who recently became an MP and cabinet minister, owns Earnest Publishers Limited, a fast growing publishing house, valued at about sh12b. His business empire straddles media, agroforestry and real estate with well over 200 permanent employees. Read more
Multiplex Limited: Policy gaps hurting local construction firms
Local construction firms cannot fairly compete for large government contracts because the current policy is said to favour foreign companies over indigenous ones. And for that, the construction industry players want the National Construction Industry Policy of 2010, currently gathering dust at the Ministry of works, to be enforced.“Delay in implementing the National Construction Industry Policy means that our investment will go to waste,” Mr Moses Ndege-Bbosa, the Managing director, Multiplex Limited, whose company has invested over $20million so as to have a chance at the big contracts, said  when launching the company’s quarrying and crushing plant in Mukono. Read more
NEDL: Fish farmers advised to keep proper records to access loans
Davidson Madira, a financial consultant and managing director of Natural Enterprise Development limited said while the portfolio of the banking sector is not so much in support of agriculture and aquaculture, fish farmers ought to present proper records of their businesses in order to benefit.Mr Madira said, “Banks are not interested in security but the ability to pay back. I do not see the portfolio of the banking sector in support of the fish farming industry because despite the fact that it is one of the most profitable ventures, the sector lacks proper records and the farmers themselves seem not to understand a number of things, that makes aquaculture a high risk.” Read more
Control your liquidity to prosper
Liquidity is the measure of ease of access to cash whenever you need it, without incurring a significant penalty or loss.While majority of income earners often emphasise the use of a budget as a tool to balance their expenditure with their income, many of them have never recognised liquidity management as a crucial component of wealth management.Managing liquidity is an essential component of wealth management as it allows you to fund unexpected needs whilst limiting the rush to sell assets at unfavourable prices. Read more
Use Internet to meet your business needs
The internet has so dominated our lives, that “google” has now become a word in the English lexicon. Any time you need information on individuals, companies, government ministries or any given topics, you simply have to “google” them.Take advantage of the availability of such vast amounts of information, not only to ensure that you are well informed, but also to obtain business solutions. When looking for a simple way in which to keep business accounts, a quick search using the words “simple accounting template” will provide you with hundreds of different options, at no cost. Read more
EAC issues SQMT regulations to facilitate regional trade
The East African Community has issued regulations to enhance the operationalization of the EAC Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act (SQMT) of 2006.The SQMT regulations are geared towards facilitating regional trade. The Regulations were approved by the Council of Ministers and are issued in line with Article 6 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Common Market, with reference to Free Movement of Goods.The regulations will facilitate the issuance of quality marks on products conforming to regional and international standards and provide consumer confidence of the products traded in the region.The regulations also provide for emphasis on recognition of each Quality Marks issued by other Partner States Quality Marks in conformity assessment of goods moving across borders. Read more
UIA: Government urged to nurture local firms
The Government has been urged to nurture local companies to create a competitive and vibrant private sector.The chairman, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Patrick Bitature, noted that the desire for foreign manufactured goods under the guise that they are of better quality is a myth.In a move geared at building the capacity of local suppliers and manufacturers, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and the Uganda Manufacturers Association have urged the Government to enact a law granting 15% preference exclusivity for any public procurement to indigenous manufacturers. PSFU has also asked the Government to implement the trade and industrial policies enacted following the launch of the ‘Buy Ugandan, Build Uganda’ campaign launched to promote locally produced commodities. Read more
MTIC: WFP tells Uganda to improve grain quality
The World Food Programme (WFP) has called on the ministry of trade, industry and cooperatives, to regulate cross border trade of grains if quality for both the regional and international market is to be achieved.They also want the ministry to increase the sensitization on acceptable grain standards for traders to benefit from the grain market.Following the WFP call, the minister of trade Amelia Kyambadde has now set up a three-man committee to work with Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to sensitise grain traders.The committee headed by Dr. Joshua Mutambi, from the department of Industry and Technology also comprises, Chris Kaijuka, the Chairman of grain traders and Hakim Mufumbiro, head of the food standards department at UNBS. Read more
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi : Uganda Tourism Revenues Shoot To $1bn
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has warned of a looming disaster for the country's tourism Industry, if the line ministry and national park authorities don't quickly mend the souring relations between the game and people in neighbouring communities.Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has warned of a looming disaster for the country's tourism Industry, if the line ministry and national park authorities don't quickly mend the souring relations between the game and people in neighbouring communities. Read more
Museveni Woos Local Entrepreneurs to Invest More
President Yoweri Museveni has called on entrepreneurs to take advantage of the enabling environment created by the NRM government to fully explore the available business opportunities and advance themselves economically. According to the President’s Special Assistant for Communications, Ms Sarah Kagingo, Mr Museveni made the call this weekend at the official launching of Finance Trust Bank at Kampala Serena Conference Centre. Finance Trust Bank, which has been a Micro Deposit Institution (MDI) at tier III level has transformed into a fully fledged tier I Commercial Bank. Mr. Museveni noted that despite the current business friendly environment, only 32% of the populace in Uganda is in the money economy while 68% are engaged in subsistence farming. Read more
Counting the Cost: Uganda's Trade, Industry Limping As S.Sudan War Rages On- Hon. Amelia Kyambadde
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has revealed that the conflict in South Sudan has negatively affected trade and industry in Uganda. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, said before the conflict, the value of formal exports to South Sudan in 2013 was Shs 895.7bn equivalent to $358.2m at the current exchange rate. Kyambadde said this translates to “exports of Shs 74.6bn or $29.8m per month and Shs 2.4bn or $981.600 per day”.  "Informal Uganda exports to S. Sudan grew from $83.7m equivalent to Shs 209.25bn in 2011 to $115m equivalent to Shs 287.5bn in 2012 which has for now, due to the conflicts, reduced," she added. Kyambadde said manufacturers have so far lost market of 20 percent to 30 percent adding that on average, it is estimated that Uganda earned $9.58m (Shs 23.9bn) per month or $315,068 (Shs 788m) per day from informal cross border trade with S. Sudan in 2012.  Read more
SEATINI: Govt Warned On Competitiveness In Regional Markets
As Uganda prepares to join the east African economic integration government has been warned on the competitiveness in the region where Ugandan will find it difficult to compete with other member states to access regional market. The South and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) suggest that Uganda has to first expand its internal market before considering joining this region market. Jane Nalunga, the Institute's country director, told Chimpreports that with the current economic stand, Uganda will not   benefit with this economic liberalisation. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni: Uganda Can Compete In Regional Trade
President Yoweri Museveni has strongly dismissed claims of Uganda not competing favourably with other member states as insinuated by numerous critics of Uganda as far as East Africa regional trade agreements are concerned. The president says Uganda has the potential to perform better than other countries in the region.He further said Uganda should adopt economic policies from other economies which have yielded results like Malaysia, China and South Korea. Read more
Trust bank officially launches today
 After being granted a licence by Bank of Uganda, Finance Trust Bank, formerly a Micro Finance Deposit-Taking Institution, officially launches operations as a commercial bank today.Deposit-taking institution is an institution which is licensed to receive deposits from private individuals and to pay interest on it.The institution’s transformation came from what the management attributed to customer demands to have the institution upgrade to the next level. Read more
KK foods co: Kanyije has earned Shs530m in exports
Mr James Kanyije has done what only a few other exporter of fresh produce have ever achieved.His company successfully exported over 40 tonnes of organic fresh pepper to Europe. He did all that in a space of one month.And for just those consignments, his KK Foods Company fetched $210,000 (about Shs530m).In an interview with Prosper Magazine, it emerged that he could have done much better if he was not constrained by supplies issues— mostly arising from the producers end. Read more
S&P lowers Uganda sovereign credit rating to B from B+
 Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Uganda's sovereign credit rating to B from B+, with a stable outlook.S&P also affirmed its 'B' short-term and local currency sovereign credit ratings.The downgrade reflects S&P's view that Uganda's fiscal position has weakened relative to previous forecasts. Read more
Products conforming to standards will be issued with quality marks.
 Goods bearing a quality standards mark from any of the five East African partner states will now be allowed to be traded freely.This follows the East African Community issuance of a set of regulations to enhance the operationalisation of the regional standardisation. The regulations also known as the Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act (SQMT) of 2006, were earlier approved by the Council of Ministers and are geared towards easing trade.According to a communication issued to the Daily Monitor, the regulations were issued in line with Article 6 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Common Market, with reference to Free Movement of Goods.“The regulations will facilitate the issuance of quality marks on products conforming to regional and international standards and provide consumer confidence of the products traded in the region,” the communication noted. Read more

Government ministries to phase out cash transaction systems
Government ministries, departments and agencies have been directed to implement the electronic transfer of funds into bank accounts of service providers.The directive which takes immediate effect follows the release of the third quarter cash limits for wage, non-wage recurrent and development expenditure for January to March by the ministry of Finance to the government offices.While addressing the press , Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury said the directive is meant to speed up absorption of government funds and that there is no money lying idle in accounts and no multiple government accounts.“All accounting officers are instructed to start direct payment of service providers through the banking system to allow audits take place using the integrated financial management system which we are rolling out to local governments, ” he said adding that the number of vehicles lining up at Bank of Uganda every Friday reveals a lot about the implication of using cash transactions. Read more
Crane Bank to list on Uganda Securities Exchange in April
Ugandans will in the next three-and-half months have an opportunity to own Crane Bank after an announcement by the financial institution that the management is looking to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) by April this year.According to the bank’s Managing Director, Mr A R Kalan, management is looking to fulfill this plan.“We are listing in April. And by May, we will be (trading) on the Uganda Securities Exchange,” Mr Kalan told journalists while opening the bank’s 40th branch in Ibanda, Western Uganda.There are currently 18 companies at the USE, with Uchumi being the latest entrant to crosslist on the stock market. In an interview with the Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Officer, Keith Kalyegira, it emerged that should Crane Bank go ahead to fulfill its promise, it will be one of the few indigenous private companies to list without previous connection to government. Read more
More than 100,000 farmers to benefit in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania Heifer International received a $25.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project and assist more than 136,000 farm families in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Heifer International will work with and invite new investors from the public and private sectors to raise an additional $16 million over five years to fully fund phase two of the regional project, which is designed to eradicate poverty in these developing countries. The project enables smallholder farmers to profitably participate in the growing dairy industry, improving nutrition and increasing farmer income and access to markets. In 2008, the EADD program was implemented in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with an initial grant from the Gates Foundation of $51.3 million. This new grant will expand the EADD program to Tanzania while scaling up the impact of work in Kenya and Uganda. Read more
A three-day workshop on Fiscal Management of oil and Natural Gas in East African organized by the East African Community together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) opened today at Mount Meru Hotel, in Arusha,Tanzania.The workshop is designed to discuss key issues that EAC governments face in managing the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development and emphasize how the issues and policy choices are interlinked.These relate to design of the fiscal regime (tax and non-tax instrument) and revenue collection; options for the macro-fiscal policy framework and fiscal anchor as well as institutional reforms to integrate natural resources revenues into the budget and credible medium-term frameworks.Delivering the keynote address, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in the Republic of Kenya Hon. Davis Chirchir said that the timing and importance of the workshop to the East African Partner States cannot be over-emphasized due to the fact that the East African region is rapidly emerging as the preferred investment destination by international oil companies who own the risk capital for conducting upstream oil and natural gas operations. Read more
NIC to list 192 million shares
The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) will list 192 million on the stock market following the completion of the rights issue. The shares derived from NIC’s right issue offer carried out will be one of the bigger corporate actions that took place alongside Bank of Baroda’s bonus offer. During its annual general meeting, shareholders agreed to have a rights issue as a means of generating additional share capital. Crested Stocks and Securities are the sponsoring brokers. Joseph Kibuuka of Crested Stocks explained that of the 323 million shares on offer, 274 were paid for. “The 78 million (balance) will remain paid for but unalloted until Corporate Holdings Ltd. (IGI’s holding company) change their memorandum,” said Kibuuka. Read more
ERA: Uganda Slashes Power Tariffs for Industry Users
Uganda's state energy regulator has slashed power tariffs for industry users by 4% citing reduced generation costs, a feat at a time of spiraling prices in neighboring countries.The Energy Regulation Authority said that power-distribution losses are expected to drop to 20% this year, from 23%, as the country continues to move its electricity sector away from expensive diesel-fired thermal plants.Uganda is also profiting from favorable water levels at two of its main hydropower plants, boosting generation, according to Richard Apire, the chairman of ERA.Uganda, which is implementing a number of ambitious hydropower projects along the River Nile, is the first country in the region to reduce power tariffs, less than two years after it commissioned the $900 million Bujagali hydropower plant. Read more
UCDA: Uganda coffee exports up 7 pct yr/yr in December
 Uganda's coffee exports rose 7 percent in December from the same period in 2012 as farmers sold more of the commodity to raise money for the holiday season, a source at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said on Wednesday.The east African country exported 257,976 60-kg bags of coffee during the month from 240,403 bags in December 2012."I think farmers were forced to sell larger volumes of stock because they needed money for Christmas and the holidays but also there was ample sunshine which was crucial in quick drying of the beans," the source at the industry regulator UCDA told Reuters. Read more
Nakumatt seeks bank loans to finance Shoprite buyout
Nakumatt Holdings will finance the acquisition of three Shoprite outlets in Tanzania through bank loans, the managing director (MD) of Kenya’s largest supermarket chain has said.Mr Atul Shah said in an interview that Nakumatt is in talks with its lenders for cash to finance the transaction that is estimated at KSh4b (about Shs116b).“We are (also) discussing with the bankers as we work towards concluding the deal,” said Mr Shah, who last week estimated that the transaction will take about four months to conclude. The Nakumatt MD was, however, non-committal on whether the entire deal will be financed through bank loans. Read more
URBRA: Retirements regulator licenses 45 schemes
FORTY five firms have been licensed to operate as retirement benefits schemes by the regulator.Moses Bekabye, the acting chief executive of the regulator Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), said the regulator is in the process of procuring a firm to undertake a survey that will determine how many retirement savings schemes exist in total.“We do not know how many retirement schemes exist but we know they are many. The survey will show what resources they have and where they have invested,” said Bekabye, urging private schemes that have not submitted their applications to do so.Among the 42 licensed schemes is the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), which is the only mandatory scheme in the country. NSSF will also compete with all the other firms for workers’ contributions once the liberalisation law is passed. Read more
AU roots for better agriculture financing
THE Government has been asked to restructure agricultural financing to benefit farmers. The call was made by Rhoda Tumusiime, the AU commissioner for agriculture at a press conference. Four years ago, the Government set aside a sh30b agriculture revolving fund to be topped up by financial institutions to lend to farmers so as to increase agriculture yields. According to the head of agriculture financing at Stanbic bank, Richard Wangwe, financial institutions have been lending money to farmers but adds that not all farmers meet the requirements.Since banks consider agriculture a risky venture, Wangwe says, they have decided to focus on commercial farmers.Tumusiime added that the AU has been engaging the heads of central banks in member states to increase funding to the agriculture sectorRead more
UMA: South Sudan chaos sees local production fall by 60 per cent
The production level of local manufacturing firms and industries that export to South Sudan has dropped by nearly 60 per cent, Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) has revealed.Due to the ongoing political chaos, UMA says its members who produce for the South Sudan market have been left counting losses given that the costs incurred for goods meant for export are normally planned and spent ahead of production. The manufacturers’ leadership is also concerned that should the clashes drags on, the country’s earnings out of exports, particularly for the first quarter of the year, will decline to unprecedented levels, impacting on the health of the economy. Read more
UNBS: New standards to spur horticulture trade
New standards have been formulated to bolster Uganda’s Horticultural competitiveness on the international market.Uganda National Bureau of Standards with support from the Agricultural Business Initiative Trust- aBi Trust has developed three key standards in support of agribusiness.The standards are mainly designed for horticultural products and coffee, which are rated as high income earners.Speaking to Prosper Magazine, the Executive Director UNBS said: “The new standards are geared towards enhancing trade competitiveness for Uganda’s export products at the global market”. Read more
Banks look to recover lost ground in 2014
Commercial banks were optimistic about their performance in 2013 than they were in 2012 last year when most of them posted marginal growth in profits while others incurred losses.However, going by the look of things and given that some of them have been struggling for the most part of the year, 2013 profits could even be lower than they were in 2012.Housing Finance Bank outgoing managing director Mr Nicholas Okwir affirms this.He told this newspaper recently that 2013 was a difficult year for the banking industry due to a slowdown in economic growth, which he says may affect profit growth.“Demand is still subdued, household consumption is minimal and a few people are borrowing yet majority are unable to meet their loan repayment obligations,” he says. Read more
Electricity investment to cost $2b
UGANDA expects to invest $2.35b (about sh55.8 trillion) spread over the next five years in the construction of two hydropower projects and related substation and transmission lines.The power projects are the proposed 600 megawatts (MW) Karuma and the 183MW Isimba dam. They are expected to address electricity deficit, a critical bottleneck to economic growth.In a memorandum of economic and financial policies to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, pledged to set up a special purpose vehicle to manage the hydropower dams.This, according to the minister, will ensure that the revenue stream from the operations of the projects is separated from other transactions of the electricity companies and guarantee commercial viability of the projects.“Given the challenges associated with identifying adequate financing from concessional sources, the Government intends to contract non-concessional loans in amounts consistent with debt sustainability and the absorptive capacity of Uganda,” Kiwanuka said. Read more
Increased Investor Cash Drives Resources
 The Ugandan extractive industry notched up impressive achievements in 2013. Many of the successes came in the oil and gas sector like the issuance of the production licence to CNOOC in the last quarter of the year.However most notbale was the renewed interest by local and international investors to inject money into extracting the reputed vast minerals spread across the country.In the same manner the government, through public private partnership, showed interest in joinin hands with investors to exploit these natural resources. During the First Uganda Mining, Energy, Oil & Gas Conference that met in May last year, Zachary Baguma, Assistant. Commissioner Geology, Ministry of Energy said Uganda has over 20 minerals. Read more
MEMD: Uganda to set up geothermal energy entity
Uganda will start a geothermal resources department in the ministry of energy and mineral development to develop underground energy for electricity production.Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth and is recognised as renewable energy resources like hydropower and biomass.The existence of recent volcanic activity in the western rift valley makes the region ideal for geothermal energy due to relatively high heat flow rates in the area.“In order to fast track the development of geothermal energy, the Government is establishing a geothermal resources department,” Vincent Kato, the principal geologist in the department of geology survey and mines, said.“This is awaiting a certificate of financial implication from the finance ministry. This department will steer geothermal energy development in Uganda.” Read more
USMA: Sugar industry competition boosts farmers
Increased competition in the sugar industry has created a booming sector with sugarcane farmers now reaping more from growing of the cane.Farmers are also optimistic that if the agriculture loan scheme initiated about four years ago is restructured to reach the rural growers, the agriculture sector will grow by leaps towards full commercialisation.There are about six major sugar firms in Uganda. These include Kinyara, Lugazi, Kakira, Kaliro, Mayuge and Sugar and Allied Industries.The former three are all in Busoga region.With one of the fastest growing populations in the world, a rising GDP and growing disposable income in Uganda, the consumption of sugar per head and industry is projected to grow, creating new opportunities for both farmers and investors. Read more
MEMD: Uganda Oil sector to employ 150,000
Only about 150,000 Ugandans will be employed directly in the oil industry, the energy ministry has said, urging Government not to neglect other sectors that support the economy even as it focuses on oil production. According to forecasts, majority (65%) of the oil sector jobs will be technicians. Bernard Ongodia, a senior geophysicist in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), said, contrary to public perception, the oil sector will not create millions of jobs directly.“This means we need not to abandon other sectors especially agriculture which is the country’s biggest employer,” Ongodia told a group of journalists during an oil reporting training at the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) offices in Kampala . A total of 3.5 billion barrels of commercial oil deposits have been discovered in the 111 successful wells drilled in the Albertine Graben. Of this only between 1.2 and 1.7 billion barrels (about 30%) of oil will be recovered (produced), according to Ongodia. Read more
UIA: Foreign investment capital remains at $100,000
THE Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will not increase the threshold required for foreign investors despite outcries from local business entities, UIA boss disclosed recently.Currently foreign investors are required to invest in the country if they have a capital worth $100,000 (sh250m).The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have expressed concerns that the threshold is way below that required by other East African partner states which stands at $500,000.While responding to the demands, Frank Sebowa, the UIA executive director, noted that increasing the threshold would scare away investors.“Increasing to $500,000 is not viable because it will increase the cost of doing business,” said Sebowa in a speech read for him by Samali Mukyala, the senior legal investment officer.Mukyala noted that increasing the threshold would be prohibitive yet the mandate of the authority is to promote investment. Read more
UNBS: Poor quality killing Uganda’s fruit market
Exporters of fresh produce are losing out on the international market due to poor quality fruits and vegetables and limited knowledge on soils and plants.The observation was made by the director of KK Fresh Produce Exporters, James Kanyinje, at a meeting with the trade industry and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) at the Kampala Serena Hotel.“The demand for horticultural products is high but the quality of Uganda’s produce leaves a lot to be desired,” Kanyije said.He noted that many Ugandan products fail to meet the international market requirements, especially for the EU, UK and North America.Kanyije said the absence of a cold chain system affects the quality of fresh produce in transit.“Exporters lack cold chains, which is a burden because they have to incur extra costs of controlling the transportation and storage conditions.”The UNBS director, Dr. Ben Manyindo, called on horticultural exporters and farmers to use the UNBS standard on horticulture products to attract bigger markets.Read more
MUEPRC: Govt asked to establish agricultural financing bank
The Government has been asked to consider establishing an agricultural development bank to improve financial access to smallholder farmers.Despite several government interventions in agricultural financing, access to credit by smallholder farmers has remained low. Researchers from the Makerere University Economic Policy Research Centre said this is a frightening prospect for food security, health, income generation and economic development. They observed that weak coordination has affected previous agricultural financing interventions by the Government. “This could be blamed on the policy failures of government agricultural financing initiatives, poor response of formal commercial banks to agricultural lending and weak regulation of the microfinance institutions to effectively deliver credit to smallholder farmers,” the researchers noted. This was contained in a report resulting from an investigation on the extent of access and use of credit by smallholder farmers in Uganda. Read more
BARCLAYS: Shilling stable, seen bearish on corporate demand
The Ugandan shilling was unchanged in slow trading but was expected to come under some moderate pressure in the days ahead on the back of a recovery in corporate demand for dollars.Commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third largest economy at 2,523/2,528, unchanged ."We're anticipating demand from corporates to return to normal levels gradually over the coming weeks," said Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank Uganda. Read more
BOU: Uganda maintains key lending rate at 11.5%
 The Bank of Uganda has maintained its lending rate (central bank rate) to commercial banks at 11.5 per cent, unchanged from last month.The central bank cited the likelihood of slightly high inflation levels in the medium-term as the reason for maintaining the rate.The current macro-economic outlook by the Bank of Uganda forecasts suggests inflation will go down further in the coming months, driven by improved food crop harvests, but rise to 6.5 - 7.5 per cent during the latter part of the year. Read more
UCC: Stiffer competition expected in telecom
The telecom industry may see a resurgence of stiffer competition this 2014.This follows improving demographics and growth figures with the economy poised to grow at about 6.2% in 2014, inflation slowing to about 6.7% compared to the double figures of 2011 and 2012.All the telecom firms may bounce back strongly as subscribers see slight improvement in disposable incomes.Also a new UTL management team according to available information is in charge following several changes at the firm. The team according to sources were part of the marketing team at Warid Telecom before they were eventually acquired by Asian giant Airtel. It therefore remains to be seen whether UTL will launch onto the price war turf reigniting  price wars that saw call rates drop to as low as sh3 per second. But already, several creative market promotions are ongoing currently.Fred Otunnu, Uganda Communications Commission publicist says the industry currently has 16.8 million mobile subscribers but increased competition is eminent. Read more
30 million Stanbic shares on demand
The forthcoming full year dividend and financial performance announcement is driving strong demand for Stanbic shares.On Thursday, investors sought 31 million Stanbic shares in one of its strongest days in the first days of the new year.Market analysts have attributed this to the dividend expectations. Listed companies are expected to post their full year financial statements by the end of April according to statutory requirements.“Institutions want to start buying now to be on the register,” said Joseph Kibuuka from Crested Stocks and Securities research team. Read more
Investors eye mortuary business
A Public Private Partnership arrangement seeking to boost health care delivery systems has kicked off with private investors taking on the responsibility of equipping and managing mortuaries.The funeral management arm of APlus Group has started the process of managing mortuaries with Mengo Hospital after the firm reached an agreement with management to let the company modernise and manage the day-to-day services of the mortuary.According the A-Plus Group chairman Mike Sebalu, the mortuary services at hospitals the firm is partnering with will be up-scaled to include services such as advanced storage of bodies, embalmment, postmortems, dressing, caskets and international repatriations. Read more
 UBOS: Ugandan inflation slows to 6.7 percent in December
 Uganda’s headline inflation rate eased in December to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent a month earlier, due to a slower rise in non-food prices, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.Uganda’s headline inflation rate eased in December to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent a month earlier, due to a slower rise in non-food prices, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics said. On a month-on-month basis consumer prices increased 0.1 percent in December having fallen during the month before.Ugandan inflation has come down from an 18-year high of above 30 percent reached in 2011 and the easing trend suggests the economy can maintain fast growth without overheating.“I think the inflation trend clearly favours additional policy easing next month,” said Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank in Kampala. Read more
WB: Uganda, Tanzania lead Kenya in attracting FDIs
Kenya is losing out to regional peers Uganda and Tanzania in alluring Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), the  World Bank Economic Update report for Kenya shows.Uganda’s FDI dwarfs Kenya’s seven times with Tanzania receiving six times more foreign investment than what Kenya gets.The Bretton Woods Institution says Kenya is still unable to attract significant foreign direct investments to finance economic activity and power its growth. Kenya’s average inflows remain below 1 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.Uganda attracted Sh154.8 billion ($1.8 billion) in FDI, most of it going into the oil, gas and mining sectors. Tanzania, which recently discovered vast deposits of gas, received Sh129 billion ($1.5 billion). Read more
AFDB: $20m approved for housing and construction in Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $20 million to support small and medium enterprises involved in real estate and construction in Africa.The bank noted that the money would help addressing the critical shortage of building materials while creating jobs and income in the region.There is an acute housing shortage in Uganda. Statistics from the lands, housing and urban development ministry indicate that Uganda has a shortage of over 1.6 million housing units, with Kampala district alone, having a deficit of over 100, 000 housing units. The situation is likely to worsen as the country's population in urban centers grows to over 5.6% annually in urban centers. Read more
East African Community states set to reduce calling rates
Making phone calls within the region is likely to become cheaper after the governments of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan said they would scrap roaming charges and cap the fees mobile operators charge one another for terminating calls.Kenya ICT Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i said that the four governments would set up a technical committee to review taxes charged on calls and have a common position by February.ICT ministers John Nasasira of Uganda and Jean Nsengimana of Rwanda attended the meeting with a view to harmonising policies in East Africa and reduce the cost of doing business.Read more
SCB: Shilling to remain stable against dollar, experts say
 Earlier this week, the Uganda Shilling appreciated against the United States dollar to trade below 2500.The local currency is expected to stay stable on the back of reduced corporate transactions and sizeable inflows in the form of capital injections. This means exporters have less money in their pocket while importers are making more orders because they have more cash on them.Standard Chartered Bank’s head of corporate affairs Herbert Zake said: “We expect the Shilling to hold as major businesses slow down ahead of the festive season.” Read more
President Museveni: France to increase investment in country
President Museveni’s call to attract investors to Uganda seems to be getting heard with France’s ambassador to Uganda declaring the same as top of her priorities during her time of diplomatic service.Ms Makame, who presented her credentials two months ago to President Museveni, said. “Sustaining the trend of France’s economic involvement in Uganda is key on my priorities, and France’s foreign policy objectives in Africa. Read more
EAC: Oil triggers regional mineral growth
Discovery of oil in Uganda and Kenya has triggered mineral development in the region with natural gas in Tanzania and Rwanda, and other minerals like Nickel in Rwanda.Currently, Tanzania’s gold exports comprise about 50 per cent of its total exports. Experts say the region, that has been dependant on agriculture as its major economic activity in the last 50 years, has now shifted attention to the mining sector following oil and gas discoveries. Because of the discoveries, the World Bank says the East African Community (EAC) states are projected to grow in 2013 – Kenya by 5.7 per cent, Uganda by 6.2 per cent and Tanzania by 7 per cent. Read more
URBRA: Pension Trustees must have professional insurance 
Entities seeking to undertake trustee services in the liberalised pension sector must have professional indemnity insurance covers to guard them against huge financial losses, the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) interim chief executive officer has said. Speaking at a business reporters’ retreat in Entebbe recently, Mr Moses Bekabye said the cover help trustees, who will be responsible for making investment decision on behalf of pension schemes under a liberalised pension environment, not to pay huge sums of money as a result of unintentional financial loss.Trustees will be charged with ensuring the safety of savers’ money by investing it in investment vehicles that guarantee high returns. Read more
Fishing industry loses Shs5b to poor handling every year - FAO
Uganda loses Shs5 billion in post-harvest processing of fish, something that is greatly impacting on the country’s economy, the United Nations Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO), has revealed. FAO officials while at Post-Fish Harvest Loss Assessment in Kampala said sensitising people on hygiene and quality in handling fish in fisheries can minimise post-harvest fish losses. Read more
MTN Uganda Rolls Out Readypay Solar Kit
In a move geared towards improving energy and telecommunications access for millions of Ugandans who lack reliable electricity, MTN Uganda has teamed up with the US-based Fenix International and developed an ultra-affordable Pay As You Go energy solution designed to bring safe lighting, phone charging to its customers living off-grid across Uganda.The ReadyPay kit is a multifunctional Solar Power System which includes a solar panel, battery pack featuring two USB ports and two car lighter adapter ports plus a range of lights and phone charging accessories.
UCDA: Uganda coffee exports jump 13 percent in November
Uganda's coffee exports rose 13 percent in November from the same period in 2012, helped by increased yields in some growing areas, a source at industry regulator Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said.Uganda is one of Africa's biggest coffee exporters and the crop is one of the government's main sources of foreign currency. Read more
U.S., Sweden Boost Health Businesses
Sweden and the US recently signed a second joint Loan Portfolio Guarantee Agreement to expand access to credit for private health providers in Uganda.This seven-year, $7.5m (Shs 19bn) agreement will also allow Ecobank (managers of the credit) to expand its health portfolio. The targets are owners and operators of small and medium enterprises, including pharmaceutical wholesalers, retail dispensaries, service delivery franchisers, private clinics, and hospitals. Read more
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde: Uganda SMEs Given Insights
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde has advised Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SME) to form cooperatives to access financing and machinery.Speaking during the closure of the "KCB made in Uganda" project, the minister said that it is easier to support SME's as a group rather than an individual."It is easier to address your needs if you are in a cooperative," Kyambadde said "This makes it easier in helping to negotiate taxes and financing.Over 300 disadvantaged rural and urban cottage industry entrepreneurs across the country have benefited from cottage industry trainings held by the bank in partnership with Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA).In a bid to promote uptake of locally manufactured products, KCB Uganda and USSIA have been training small scale entrepreneurs enhancing them with entrepreneurial skills on how to run their businesses better. Read more
MEMD: Gov't Walks Tightrope As Bidders Are Shortlisted -Oil Refinery
Government has announced the second phase of the public tender for Lead Investor/Operator for the development, implementation and operation of 60,000 barrels per day (BPD) oil refinery and related downstream infrastructure in Uganda.The Request for Qualification (RFQ), which, attracted responses from seventy-five firms. According to a statement from the Energy and Mineral Development ministry, 8 consortia submitted detailed Statements of Qualifications, and six were short-listed to receive the Request for Proposals (RFP). One of these firms/consortia will be selected during the first half of 2014 to lead the $2.5bn Uganda Refinery Project. Read more
World Bank Cautions Uganda On Oil Revenues
Makhtar Diop, the Vice President for the Africa Region, World Bank, said that “every day, we hear reports of new discoveries of oil and gas in Africa – including Uganda,” adding, “we cannot miss the opportunity to translate this mineral wealth into better health services and outcomes, greater transparency, improved governance.” The former Senegal Finance Minister said “these revenues must be used to invest in people – and not just the percentage of students enrolled or the number of clinics, but the quality of those services.”Read more
UTA: Tea price rises from three-month low on Egypt stability
Relative stability in Egypt has helped reverse a drop in the price of tea, giving tea farmers and processors a reason to hope for the best.“Industry players and particularly the tea farmers cannot survive if the prices does not pick up fast,” Mr George William Sekitoleko, the executive secretary of Uganda Tea Association, said in an interview. Read more
Ugandan Miners Eye U.S. $5 Billion Bonanza
Gold miners and prospectors in eastern Uganda say the country can earn between $2.5 billnio and $5 billion from exploiting the precious metal in Bugiri and Namayingo districts.The miners during a meeting with local leaders said they are going to invest $100 million into the exploration and eventual mining of gold in the districts over the next seven years to reach this target.Ghanaian firm Blaze Metals Resources Ashanti Ltd together with Lynks FZC and Amor Mines Limited hold licenses to explore for gold in the districts under the Bugiri Exploration Programme.Their objective is to prospect, explore for produce, exploit, refine, process, manufacture products and bi-product, distribute, supply and otherwise deal in gold. Read more

MAAIF: Coffee policy to improve fortunes
Coffee farmers in Uganda should expect to up their productivity and better their incomes with increased access to reliable inputs, improved technologies, extension services and more participation in post farm processes with the launch of the national coffee policy. The policy was launched at the Coffee Research Institute at Kituza in Mukono district. The launch comes after Cabinet’s approval of the policy in August that aims to boost coffee production and push Uganda back to the helm of coffee production on the African continent.Speaking at a media briefing ahead of the launch, Prof. Zerubabel Mujumbi, the agriculture state minister, said the policy will strengthen the coffee research system so that it is responsive to industry requirements and demands. Read more
President Museveni: Dutch To Build $1.5m Shipyard In Jinja
President Museveni's recent visit to the Netherlands has attracted the Dutch ship-builders whose 1.5 million dollar investment to construct a shipyard in Jinja and build vessels to ferry cargo across Lake Victoria is in advanced stages.The group is to establish a ship-yard at Masese in Jinja Municipality as well as a modern maintenance and repair facility for all the vessels plying Lake Victoria from all countries bordering the water body. Read more
Uganda Govt gets sh750b to boost rural power
The Government has secured about $300m (about sh750b) from development partners to implement a 10-year rural electrification strategy, Godfrey Turyahikayo, the Rural Electrification Agency executive director, has said.He was addressing a stakeholders’ workshop held in commemoration of the agency’s 10th anniversary at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala recently. Turyahikayo said the first three years (2013-2016) would involve developing a new communication strategy, as well as legal and regulatory frameworks.They also intend to reform the agency’s institutional set-up, establish service territories and develop their individual master plans. “We have divided the country into 14 service territories to attract more service providers to the energy sector, especially in rural areas,” said Turyahikayo. Read more
East Africa Community set to adopt UN accounting system
The East African Community has agreed with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) on how the two blocs can quickly transit from the current 1993 System of National Accounting (SNA) to the UN recommended version SNA 2008 next year.The SNA are complete and consistent accounting standards of the economic activities of a nation. The SNA 2008 is a preferred system due to its exhaustive coverage of economic activities and data necessary for policy purposes, enlarged description of economic services other than financial intermediation common with the 1993 system. Read more
East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Launch Cross-Border Integrated Payments System
The East African Community (EAC) is closer to launching an integrated cross-border payments system, which will remove obstacles to cross-border business transactions and boost regional trade, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced Wednesday (December 11th).The East African Payments System (EAPS) is a step towards the formation of a regional monetary union. Read more
UCC: New telecom may reignite price wars
Well, we may not know its name, but its business is known. It is a new telecom company, expected to officially announce arrival on the Ugandan market next month. The entry is likely to set the stage for a price war on tariffs, according to an expert at Makerere University.The company has started with extensive advertisements, promising big prizes to whoever will give them a name.“Give us a name,” it says.On its website, hundreds of Ugandans have suggested a range, including Global telecom. But the firm will enter a local market that feels clogged – with 17 million subscribers, according to Uganda Communications Commission. UCC has a list of close to 40 licensed companies in the sector, but only a handful – less than ten companies – can be seen to be actively engaged in the market. Read more
URBRA: 351 players interested in open pensions sector
About 351 players have so far expressed interest to provide services in the pensions sector, of which 45 are pension schemes, 10 administrators, eight fund managers, four custodians, five corporate trustees and 211 individual trusts.However, two fund managers; a custodian, an administrator and 65 individual trustees, who applied for licences are yet to be licensed.Speaking  in Kampala , Mr Moses Bekabye, the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) interim chief executive officer, said although players are eagerly waiting to compete in a liberalised pension environment and some rules and regulations have been drafted, the process is still constrained by lack of law to institute the reforms. Read more
SME: World Bank to increase funding to Uganda
The World Bank vice-president for Africa, Makhtar Diop, left Uganda with the kind of message Kampala would like to hear – financial assistance will be tripled in coming years.In particular, Diop said, support will go to infrastructure development, education and agriculture sectors. Diop together with Simon D’Ujanga, Uganda’s state minister for Energy, visited Bujagali hydro power station in Jinja, one of the initiatives supported by the World Bank.At Bujagali, Diop underscored the value of public-private partnerships (PPP) in financing infrastructure projects in Africa. Read more
MTN Changes Whocalled Code
The short code has changed from 190 to *160*12# effective immediately.
MTN WhoCalled service will thus be notifying customers via SMS about the different people that tried to call them while they were unreachable or when their phones were switched off.The service notifies a client the number of times each caller tried to reach him/her and at what time of the day. Read more
Women entrepreneurs meet In kampala on procurement markets
Women entrepreneurs and representatives of trade support institutions (TSIs), government and multinationals from the Africa region are congregating in Kampala, Uganda, to learn about opportunities for women to access procurement markets.Uganda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde opened the workshop. The event is organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), under the umbrella of the Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors. Read more
Blaze Resources: Ghanaian firm in $100m Busoga gold investment
A Ghanaian mining company has announced a $100m investment over a seven-year period for its gold project in Bugiri, raising expectations of hundreds of jobs and more capital inflows.Blaze Metal Resources Ashanti will partner with two other firms, Lynks FZC and Amor Mines Limited, according to a company statement. Company officials speak of ‘encouraging’ gold prospects on both licences it holds, covering 60 square kilometres over two districts.In the statement, Prince Opoku, the operations director for Blaze Metal Resources Ashanti, said they were targeting two million ounces of gold in an area that also holds other base metals including iron ore and coltan. Read more
CBC: Carbonated drinks posted no growth for two years
Slow economic recovery from the  economic challenges and price increases have restrained growth in the carbonated beverages, an industry player has said.Justifying Century Bottling Company’s recent price cuts, Mr Norton Kingwill, the firm’s managing director, told the Daily Monitor that the growth of carbonated beverages has been flat over the last two years, necessitating price cuts to boost consumption.Although it had been noted that stiff competition is forcing players to reduce prices to appeal to consumers, Mr Kingwill ruled out competition in the recent price cuts, saying the move was meant to drive up the per capita consumption of sodas in Uganda, which currently stands at about 30 per cent, the lowest in the region. Read more
Deloitte: Oil and Gas spur infrastructure development in East Africa
The recent discoveries of oil and gas in East Africa are boosting infrastructural developments in the East African region, according to the Deloitte on Africa: African Construction Trends Report 2013.The quests for better transport infrastructure, reliable energy are also driving this growth, according to the report.Of the projects surveyed throughout the entire African continent, the East African region accounted for 93 projects, representing 29% of all the surveyed works, with a value of about US$67.7b. At the unveiling of the report in Kampala on, Dr. Mark Smith, Deloitte’s partner for Infrastructure and Capital Projects noted however, that development of public sector projects such as road and railway works, ports development dwarf those orchestrated by the private players.“In the East Africa region, over 70% are projects that are being built for the public sector,” he said. Read more
Umeme Tariffs to go up by 9.95% next year
TweetConsumers should brace themselves for a 10%  hike in electricity tariffs next year. Power distributor, Umeme, has proposed that tariffs for domestic consumers be increased by 9.95% effective next year from UGX524.5 to UGX576.69 per unit consumed. Umeme’s head of communications, Henry Rugamba, says the company submitted this proposal among others, because it was asked among other players in the sector to do so, by the Electricity Regulatory Authority. Electricity prices have been going up since 2005. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni:World Bank pledges US$200m for electricity
The World Bank is committing US$200m (about sh500b) to funding energy projects in Uganda, especially the rural electrification programme, as part of its refocused development support to the country.Makhtar Diop, the World Bank vice-president, disclosed that during a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni, and later with the Cabinet, they agreed on five priority areas; infrastructure, energy, education and skills as well as agriculture. Read more
UIA: Ugandan SMEs To Gain From Nairobi Jua Kali Expo
120 Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] have been flagged off to join 1,070 others for the ongoing Jua Kali Trade Exibtion in Nairobi Kenya.The Ugandan team was seen off by officials from the Uganda Investment Authority and ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives at the UMA show grounds Lugogo.This expo is geared towards among others; increasing cross border trade, encouraging Ugandan enterprises to seek for business opportunities that exist across the borders, value addition and product quality improvement. Read more
Poultry farmers optimistic as KFC sets foot In Uganda
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) officially opens doors to Ugandan customers. Officials described the opening of the restaurant as “a historic occasion in Uganda,” there are concerns about obesity that comes with fast foods and also the restaurant’s choice of suppliers of chicken. Ugandan poultry farmers are looking forward to seeing KFC buying chicken from their farm. Read more

MAAIF: Coffee policy to improve fortunes
Coffee farmers in Uganda should expect to up their productivity and better their incomes with increased access to reliable inputs, improved technologies, extension services and more participation in post farm processes with the launch of the national coffee policy. Speaking at a media briefing ahead of the launch, Prof. Zerubabel Mujumbi, the agriculture state minister, said the policy will strengthen the coffee research system so that it is responsive to industry requirements and demands. Read more
NIC predicts 30 per cent profit jump 
National Insurance Corporation is seeking Shs 8.4bn by inviting shareholders to either buy more shares or sell their rights.Nigerian firm Industrial and General Insurance Company Ltd (IGI) owns 60 per cent of the company.The public owns the remaining 40 per cent. The shares are on offer at Shs 26 per share and four shares for every five shares currently owned. It opened on November 22 and closes . The company projects a 30 per cent increase in profit after tax. Read more
Gov’t to buy shares in Air Uganda: Museveni, Aga Khan discuss deal
The Uganda government will buy shares in Air Uganda currently owned by the Aga Khan. This was reached in a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and H.H the Aga khan. Headquartered in Kampala, and with its operations base at Entebbe International Airport, Air Uganda uses a fleet of five aircraft to operate scheduled flights from Entebbe to various countries in Eastern and Central Africa.Meridiana Africa Airlines (Uganda) Limited is 100% owned by the Celestair Group, which in turn is owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). AKFED also controls Air Burkina and Air Mali, the national airlines of Burkina Faso and Mali respectively, and has an interest in Europe in Meridiana fly. Read more
BoU advised on hiking interest rates
High interest rates on loans from commercial banks have resulted into losses on the side of traders.Commercial banks increase the prime lending rates and interest rates per year.Business community and individuals have been forced to reduce on their lending-borrowing capacity due to the fear of making losses as their securities are taken up by commercial banks on failure to pay back the loans fully. Read more
SCOUL expected to double production
Sugar Corporation of Uganda is currently producing approximately 50,000 metric tonnes of sugar per annum, which is expected to double in future. They are also producing eight million litres of extra neutral alcohol. At the moment, the company directly employs about 6000 workers. Read more
USE: Toasting to Good Times At the Stock Market
There is good reason to cheer over what is happening in Uganda's capital markets at the moment.Uchumi, the Kenyan supermarket chain, listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange. National Insurance Corporation's notice to issue a Rights Issue. Rights issues allow shareholders to buy more equity into the company. Read more
Centenary Bank appointed NIC Bank’s agency in Uganda
Kampala Customers of Kenyan based NIC Bank and its local subsidiary - NC Bank will now be able to transact their business countrywide after Centenary Bank was appointed the institution’s banking agency.NC Bank managing director John Okullo said its customers are now able to make deposits into their accounts through Centenary Bank branches at no extra costs.“We are increasing our presence in the high network to facilitate local businesses as well as cross border trade. Read more
Shs4b project to boost farmers’ productivity
More than 1600 rural farmers in northern and eastern Uganda, formerly affected by the war, are about to see their agricultural production and incomes improve.This follows the implementation of a £1m (about Shs4 billion) programme by Send a Cow Uganda and United Kingdom development fund, DFID. The programme is meant to develop farmers’ capacity to grow from subsistence to commercial farming. Read more
                  MPs Raise Shs150m For Kasubi Tombs Restoration
The Parliamentary Community has contributed Shs153 million in a fundraising drive towards the restoration of Kasubi Royal Tombs.The tombs, a site of the burial grounds for four kings of Buganda, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site were destroyed by a fire in March 2010.The fundraising drive under the “Kasubi masiro Ggwanga Mujje” initiative was conducted by Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga during a visit to Parliament.He was hosted by the Speaker of Parliament in conjunction with the Buganda Parliamentary Caucus.Read more
Shilling eases as banks, firms buy dollars
 The Ugandan shilling was down a notch on Tuesday, weakened by appetite for hard currency from banks and manufacturing firms.Commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third largest economy at 2,521/2,526, down from Monday's close of 2,517/2,522."There has been some dollar purchases by manufacturing firms and commercial banks, which has weakened the local unit. Read more
MTN invests Shs 90m in Kampala golf club
MTN Uganda has extended a support package of Shs 90 million to Kampala Golf Club to aid the running of the club’s various activities.While attending the MTN Business Golf Day held at Kampala Golf Club, the MTN CEO Mazen Mroué, handed over golf equipment to the Uganda Golf Club Captain, Charles Katarikawe as part of a total package worth Shs 90 million that will facilitate the club’s activities. In addition to this, MTN Uganda has sponsored one of Uganda’s leading golf talents and upcoming pro-golfers, Deo Akope, over the last three years to the tune of Shs 101 million. Read more
IAEA sign deal - Muloni
Uganda and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have signed a five year framework for the peaceful application of nuclear technologies to solve everyday problems like hunger and poverty.“This is expected to match nuclear technology to national priorities for sustainable development,” Irene Muloni, the energy minister said.“The focus of the cooperation will be feasibility studies for nuclear power projects, uranium exploration and evaluation, cancer management, food and agriculture, water resource management and strengthening the national nuclear and radiation safety infrastructure.” Read more
Ugandan shilling stable, commodity exports seen offering support - Bukenya 
The Ugandan shilling was little changed. Traders said improved inflows from commodity exporters would provide a boost for the local currency. At 1115 GMT commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,517/2,522, barely changed from the close figure of 2,515/2,520. Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank, said a small increase in demand from the manufacturing sector had pushed the shilling a touch lower. Read more 
IDB: Sh87b for price project in Busoga region- Mbagadi
MPS have approved a $34M (about SH87BN) loan for financing enhanced national food  security by increasing rice  production in the districts of Iganga and Bugiri in Busoga region.Presenting the loan request to Parliament , Kagoma MP Fredrick Mbagadi said the funds will be secured from the Islamic Development Bank with a repayment period of 15 years. Read more
Umeme announces interim divided  
Power distributor, Umeme Uganda Limited, in line with its dividend policy has announced an interim dividend of Shs 8 per share approved at its meeting. The Board of Directors of the Company resolved to pay the total interim dividend worth Shs 13billion, basing on the performance of the CompanY. Read more
MTN, AON and Jubilee launch low-cost life Insurance policy
In what could turn out to be a great innovation, MTN Uganda has partnered with insurance firms AON and Jubilee to launch MTN LifeCare, a low-cost life insurance policy.It is probably the lowest- priced life insurance policy on the market and for as low as Shs 7,500 per year, MTN customers and non-customers shall get at least Shs 1 million as pay-out in the event of death.Subscription to the policy shall be through the MTN mobile money service. Read more
EAC: Regional standard bureaus join to harmonize grain standards
East African Community (EAC) countries have agreed to harmonise grain standards to easily promote cross border trade in the region.Speaking at a meeting organised by the East African Grain Council (EAGC) , the deputy executive director Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Ms Patricia Ejalu said leaders of standard bureaus in the region would meet to come up with general standards on grains. Read more
Thakkar calls for tax policy to promote small businesses
The Ugandan and other African governments have been challenged to create tax policies which promote the growth of small businesses. The founder and chief executive officer Mara Group, Mr Ashish Thakkar, who was the keynote speaker at the Monitor Thought Leaders Forum, said this is the next thing he is working on through his role in the Global Youth Council at the World Economic Forum. “If governments can create a tax policy that can promote small businesses by coming up with a certain threshold, it will help to make the informal sector formal,” he said. Read more
NIKO Insurance: Agriculture insurance making inroads in Uganda
Insurance products for the agricultural sector are on the rise as players seek to grow insurance coverage in the country.Despite agriculture being the backbone of the economy, insurance companies have been reluctant to come up with products for Uganda’s biggest employers. NIKO Insurance is the latest company to roll out products in the sector with three types of agricultural covers for livestock/ animal and crop insurance, weather indexed cover and ‘Kungula’ agri-insurance covers. Read more
Deliberate Investment Needed To Realise Mobile Money Benefits 
The power of Mobile Money as an enabler of financial transactions is beginning to gain ground in Africa.Uganda is a case in point, where more than half of MTN’s customers are Mobile Money enabled and generate over 25 million transactions each month. These were some of the insights shared by Shaibu Haruna, MTN Uganda General Manager for Sales and Distribution, as he addressed delegates at the 16th annual AfricaCom conference in Cape Town. Read more

How innovation can transform Uganda.
According to INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index , Switzerland ranked first followed by Sweden in second place and the United Kingdom in third place. And aptly called “Innovation Learners”, Uganda and Kenya are both listed as outperforming their peers in emerging economies along with countries like India and China.Read more

Amali: Microfinance regulatory body in the offing

TIER 4 financial institutions which include Microfinance Institutions, (MIs), Savings and Credit Co-operatives Organizations (SACCOs) among others are to acquire a regulatory authority.This authority will be mandated to license and monitor all Tier 4 financial institutions in the country.According to Hon. Caroline Okao Amali, state minister for microfinance in Uganda, a regulatory authority for tier 4 financial institutions will reduce fraud cases.Okao was optimistic that resources accruing from this regulatory body will boost business investments resulting in increased incomes. Read more

MEMD: 50 global firms target Uganda's oil refinery
Over 50 global firms have applied to build and operate the first multi-million dollar oil refinery in Uganda’ Lake Albert basin.The high interest in the refinery underscores its profitability and a strategic investment project. It has also has also disapproved the critiques who claimed that the project could not attract global interests.Following the confirmation of commercial oil reserves, government’s intent has been to refine the oil resources in the country as per stated in the National Oil and Gas Policy for Uganda.Read more
BOU: IMF concludes mission to Uganda on the first review of the policy support Instrument
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; the Governor of the Bank of Uganda (BoU); as well as with other senior government officials and representatives from the international, business, and financial communities.At the end of the mission, Ms. Ana Lucía Coronel, IMF mission chief and senior resident representative for Uganda, issued the following statement:“The growth recovery to 5¾ percent in 2012/13, driven by public investment and consumption and stronger private activity in telecommunications, has been supported by a fiscal stance based on strong implementation of investment projects.Read more
Uchumi to list shares in Uganda
Uchumi Supermarket will this week cross-list its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange after getting approval from the capital markets regulators. listed on the Nairobi and Rwanda stock exchanges, Uchumi becomes the first supermarket chain to mark list on Uganda’s bourse. Read more. 
BoU Governor cautions farmers against agriculture loans
Governor Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile. has warned farmers against acquiring loans to finance agricultural activities until they have grasped good agricultural practices. He said this is because uncertainties in the sector could keep them in a debt trap. He instead advised farmers to only ask for loans when they are in a position to use the money as finance to raise their incomes and sufficiently repay the loans and earn some profits as well. Read more
 NIC to get Sh8.4 billion from Rights Issue
The National Insurance Corporation managing director, Folayan Bayo, has announced that its rights issue will open  in a bid to raise Shs 8.4 billion to increase its capitalization.Read more
CAA: Foreign financiers troop to Uganda, eye new air transport master plan
Players in Uganda’s aviation sector are upbeat about prospects for the financing of a planned revamp and expansion of the Entebbe International Airport, as demand for air services continues to outstrip capacity.Read more
Tullow: We are in Uganda to stay, says oil company
Tullow Oil PLC (Uganda) is committed to the Ugandan oil and gas industry and will not cease its operations here, officials have clarified.The British exploration company in an email response to a number of questions raised by this newspaper, said it is fully committed to the Uganda project for a long term.Read more
KPMG:Top SMEs warned on attitude
Uganda’s Top 100 mid-size companies have been told to adapt best business practices or face extinction.“To be competitive, local businesses must change their attitudes or else they will be overrun by global force” Mr Peter Kimbowa, a renowned motivational speaker and team leader of CEO Summit, said. Read more
Umeme, Uganda Telecom seal payment solution deal
Umeme and Uganda Telecom have launched an extension of the TouchPay and Yaka Service by which Umeme customers can pay their bills using their UTL mobile phones via Msente Mobile Money Service. Announcing at the official launch of the facility at Hotel Africana, Mr Ali Amir, Uganda Telecom’s Managing Director said the telecom’s customers would now be able to pay their Umeme Energy Bills using the MSENTE Mobile Money platform anytime, anywhere and most importantly, at the most affordable rate on the market.Read more
EAC region becomes single tourist destination

Ministers responsible for Tourism from the EAC partner states and the EAC Secretariat have hosted an EAC joint event to promote the region as a single tourist destination at the World Travel Market (WTM) London. Addressing guests at the event, Uganda’s minister for tourism, wildlife and antiquities Maria Mutagamba who is also the chairperson of the EAC sectoral council on tourism and wildlife management, emphasized that the East African region was a secure and safe destination of wonders and opportunities. Read more

 Najjemba: kabale reconstruction efforts get shs 375bn boost
The State Minister for Urban Development, Hon Rose Mary Najjemba, has appealed to Kabale Municipal Council authorities to avoid conflict of interest during implementation of projects under Transforming Settlements of the Urban Poor Infrastructure (TSUPU). The minister also revealed that Kabale municipal council would get sh.375 billion from the Uganda Municipal Infrastructure Development, a project that was initiated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. The District Resident District Commissioner, Moses Erayu, also warned the municipal leadership over the recent resolution to have street lights and decorating the streets at a cost of Shs25m, a project that was never implemented. Read more

Rostec: Bids for first $3bn Uganda refinery
In a tender involving global giants such as Total and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Russian Rostec wants to set up the first oil refinery in the fast growing market of Uganda, one of the most business-friendly places in Eastern Africa. The subsidiary of Russian state corporation Rostec - RT – Global Resources - will partner the VTB Capital, while Tatneft will take over the operational role. Read more
Kiwanuka: Ugandans challenged to raise $100m infrastructure bond
Reliable power supply, good roods and access to clean water are taking up almost two thirds of the current national budget.Despite this, the allocations are still below the required infrastructure spend. James Mworia, the Centum Investments boss has challenged Ugandans to close the gap by mobilising $100m (sh260b) annually through a tax free infrastructure bond to rehabilitate key infrastructure projects. Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister allocated 18% or sh2.4 trillion of the current national budget to the roads and works sector up from sh1.7 trillion. Mworia noted that the total infrastructure spend should least reach 10% of Gross Domestic Product or $2b (sh5.2 trillion) each year for the next 10 years for the country to attain middle income status. Read more
 Ugandan traders in court over South Sudan's bid to join EAC
A group of Ugandan traders has dragged five members of the East African Community (EAC) before the regional court seeking to block South Sudan's entry into the bloc.The traders through their lobby, Uganda Traders Association of South Sudan (UTASS), argue in a suit filed in October before the East African Court of Justice, that South Sudan does not meet the requirements expected of states applying to join the EAC. Read more
Buganda eyes strategic business partnerships
Buganda Kingdom has embarked on a move that will see it reap billions of shillings from companies that are keen to benefit from the customer loyalty and the good will that the Kingdom’s initiatives have to offer.Although the kingdom’s technical personnel are still working out the modalities, negotiations with various firms, among them beverage and brewery companies, are already taking shape. Read more
Bank of Uganda: Uganda’s account deficit now stands at Shs1.4 trillion
Low earnings from exports and higher import prices have led to deterioration in Uganda’s current account deficit by $178.8 million (about Shs450.879 billion) .Bank of Uganda says the deterioration has seen the total volume of Uganda’s current account deficit increasing to $559.2 million (about Shs1.410 trillion)  from a $380.4 million (about Shs959.254 billion) deficitRead more.

 URA w
arns suppliers against unfair competition
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has warned suppliers against manipulating the procurement process to defeat free and open competition.Addressing the URA Suppliers’ Integrity  Forum at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Friday, Michael Otonga, from the office of the Commissioner General said collusion by suppliers was depriving URA of benefits of free and open competition.Read more
Bank of Uganda: Uganda's old Bank notes to expire next month - Mutebile
Whoever has bank notes of 1987 has to exchange them at the nearest Bank of Uganda office located in several parts of the country or else lose out, Central Bank Governor Mutebile said at a press conference at the Bank's headquarters in Kampala on Nov. 4."Your last chance to exchange old bank notes expires on December 31, 2013 at 12:00pm local time," Mutebile said, adding the exchange is free of charge and at full face value. Read more
AIG: CMA boss calls for innovation
The Capital Markets Authority chief executive officer, has urged financial institutions to be more innovative in order to improve financial markets.During the meeting AIG unveiled a new policy - directors and officers cover that cushions such individuals against claims resulting from mistakes or misjudgments they might taken in the line of duty. Read more
Uganda gets set for marble export
Uganda is on the verge of becoming one of the leading producers of marble - an industrial mineral used in the production of tiles. The deal according to information is being spearheaded by Dao Africa Limited, the company that was licensed last year to explore the availability of marble and later process it.Read more
France offers government Shs58b loan
The government has obtained a $23 million (about Shs58 billion) loan from the French Development Agency to finance the construction of the 220KV Nkenda –Fort Portal to Hoima Transmission Line on top of the Shs136 billion ($54 million) Norwegian grant.Read more
Bank of Uganda maintains lending rate at 12%
Kampala- Bank of Uganda yesterday maintained the Central Bank Rate (CBR) at 12 per cent, saying the current rate is neutral enough to support the country’s high economic growth as well as low commercial lending rates.Read more
AIG: Company directors get insurance protection

The Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive officer Japheth Kato was optimistic that the policy plays a critical part in strengthening corporate governance systems by offsetting losses that could constrain companies’ and individuals’ progress should such losses go uncompensated. It’s against the background of such occurrences that AIG decided to innovate into the Directors and Officers (D&O) policy to cushion them against claims which may arise from decisions and actions taken within the scope of their official capacities. Read more
BoU: Markets expects stable rate of inflation eases
Bank of Uganda is expected to keep the rate of its key monetary instrument steady after the of rate inflation eased in the month of October. BOU will make an announcement on the Central Bank Rate for the month of November, with some experts in the market expecting an unchanged rate, but most importantly with a wider section of the traders and public hoping the rate will boost credit growth as the festive season begins. Read more
                                     UNBS: Traders to pay 0.5% for PVoC - Ejal

Traders who import goods outside of the EAC will pay 0.5% of the goods’ cost for PVoC, which will be carried out before goods reach Uganda. Patricia Ejalu, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards deputy executive director says the move will help save the traders the expenses of having a backlog of goods at the entry points waiting to be verified. Read more
Kyambadde: Policy to support local products in offing
A new policy aimed at protecting local products against unfavourable competition from imported goods is in the offing, according to the Trade, Industry and Cooperatives minister, Amelia Kyambadde. The draft policy, Buy Ugandan Build Uganda, is currently being discussed by cabinet, and, once approved, will provide guidance to government ministries, departments and agencies on how to promote the production and consumption of locally-produced goods and services. Kyambadde was speaking at a dinner hosted by Uganda Manufacturers Association.Read more
BoU: Borrowers await good news as Uganda, Kenya central banks meet

The central bank Monetary Policy Committees (MPC) of both countries are expected to meet on Monday and Tuesday to set the Central Bank Rate (CBR). Ordinarily, commercial banks should use the CBR to benchmark the interest they charge customers. Read more
UBOS: Ugandan inflation edges down to 8.1 percent 
Uganda's headline inflation rate slowed to 8.1 percent  and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics revised  rate to 8.4 percent from 8 percent.Read more
EAC cooperation vital for success of oil sector
A recent report by African Alliance, a research and securities firm, said the outlook for the region’s oil and gas sector is bright, but the ability to deliver on large scale projects will be key to realising this potential. Read more
Parabel completes the first phase of Uganda investment project
 Parabel Ltd has successfully completed the first phase of a 7 million USD, high tech agro-investment that produces human food and animal feed in Entebbe, Uganda.The project run by the Abu Dhabi-based company, Parabel Ltd, involves a unique technology designed to grow, harvest and process a locally available aquatic plant, Lemna, to create food and feed products.Read more
Leaders set deadline on Kenya-Uganda pipeline
Regional leaders agreed to fast-track the construction of an oil pipeline between Kenya and Uganda.At the conclusion of a meeting Kigali under the auspices of the Third Integration Project Summit, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan set the November 30 deadline for contribution of monies meant for a study on the practicability of the project.Read more
France gives $23m for Fort Portal, Hoima power

France has granted $23m concessionary loan to finance the construction of the Nkenda-Fort Portal-Hoima transmission line to evacuate electricity from the proposed thermal power plant at Mputa oil field in Hoima.The 220 kV is also being co-financed by the Norwegian grant of $54m. Uganda will meet the costs related to compensation and resettlement action plans estimated at $19m. During the signing cerement of the French loan agreement in Kampala, finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, said the support will extend electricity to the “western axis,” where the  development of the oil industry have progressed.Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) will implement the construction of the transmission line project.     Read more
The World Bank: Uganda drops 12 positions in global business ranking
The new World Bank Doing Business Report released in Washington, shows that Uganda managed only one business reform by eliminating the need to have instruments of land physically stamped to certify payments of stamp duty. This implies that the country is not making significant progress in improving the business environment for investors. Read more
UIA wants review of oil clauses on local content
The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has called for amendments to the local content clauses within the oil sector, which it says do not guarantee local participation. Mr Albert Ouma, the UIA director of small and medium enterprise division, disclosed that foreign companies will continue dominating service provision because local players are not empowered enough, even by the laws in place.Read more
PSFU & NUMA: Over 100 firms to clinch deals in Northern Uganda
About 120 locally registered companies will pitch camp in northern Uganda for a week to search for opportunities to stamp their presence in the region that is in dire need of an economic makeover.By the end of the week, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), and Northern Uganda Manufacturers Association, said the number of registered investors to grace the Northern Uganda Economic Empowerment week, to be held in Lira next month, could rise to at least 200 companies. Read more 
UCDA: Northern Uganda to grow coffee
A campaign to increase coffee production in Lango and Acholi sub-regions has kicked off with Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) pledging to raise 100 million coffee seedlings to distribute to farmers in the region. UCDA officials said the campaign is to increase export from the current two million bags to 4.5 million in the near future. Read more.
Kawanda develops wilt resistant banana varieties developed in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology
Researchers at Kawanda national agricultural research laboratory have developed new varieties of bananas resistant to the devastating banana bacterial wilt disease, nematodes and weevils.Read more
Crane Bank to get fingerprint technology
Crane bank has signed up to a new software system, Temenos T24, which aims to bolster its service delivery and security applications.Officials from the bank and Temenos Group AG said the software would be installed into Crane bank's branch network in Uganda and Rwanda.Read more
East Africa: Launch of single customs territory is a landmark
At the Integration Projects Summit in Kigali, the Presidents of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan launched the single customs territory. The single customs territory is a milestone in the economic development of the region, especially for countries that share the Northern Corridor trade route.The development reaffirms the concerted efforts toward moving the East African community into a robust economic bloc. Read more
MTN launches mobile money ATM cash out service
MTN Uganda and Crane Bank have launched a Mobile Money ATM cash out service.In the first ot is kind partnership with one of the largest indigenous banks, the MTN Mobile Money cash out service allows MTN customers to withdraw money from Crane Bank’s ATMs using their phone. Read more
UIRI to produce, export ceramics
The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) is setting up a $2m (sh5.2b) plant to produce and export ready ceramic and porcelain assorted products.When complete, the plant will also be used as a demonstration and training facility for the development of both small cottage family factories and larger ceramic and porcelain factories.Read more
Insurance Institute of Uganda: Banks can sell insurance
The intended move to allow commercial banks to sell insurance products will boost insurance penetration levels, Mr Elvis Khisa, the Insurance Institute of Uganda chief executive officer, said bancassurance – a process of selling insurance products by banks – will be key in the growth of Uganda’s insurance numbers. Read more
World Bank urges on pastoralism, irrigation ahead of agric summits
On the eve of two major agriculture summits in Mauritania and Senegal, the World Bank is urging African countries and communities in the Sahel and the international development community to help protect and expand pastoralism on behalf of the more than 80 million people living in The Sahel who rely on it as a major source of food and livelihoods.The Bank is calling for more large-scale irrigation to help the region to move towards embracing climate smart agriculture that can manage competing demands for land, water, and other natural resources, in a region that has long suffered from drought, hunger, and low economic growth. Read more
New hydro projects to ease Uganda’s power costs
Uganda is investing heavily in hydropower, to move the country away from dependence on Independent Power Producers who rely on diesel for generation, which contributes significantly to the country’s carbon footprint. According to former Uganda Manufacturers Association chairman Abdi Alam, who is also the chief executive at Alam Group, manufacturers typically pay as much as 14 US cents for each kilowatt hour of electricity, which is much higher than what manufacturers in Kenya pay for instance. Read more
World Bank - Tourism to create one million jobs in the region
East African Community member states are set to create more than a million jobs in the tourism sector in the next eight years, new data indicates. The five member states are projected to create 1,086,000 jobs in the industry by 2021, absorbing jobless youths, a new World Bank report shows. Read more
Electronic systems boost tax compliance - report
A study has ranked Uganda as only second to Rwanda in East Africa, when it comes to making it easy for people to comply with tax obligations.The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers titled, Paying taxes 2014: The global picture, compares tax systems in 189 economies worldwide. It points out that with the development of electronic systems, Ugandans take an average of 209 hours to comply with all their tax duties.Uganda Revenue Authority’s adoption of electronic systems put Uganda in the 98th position out of 189. Reforms in the payment of vehicle registration, e-stamp duty, electronic cargo tracking and e-cargo declaration, have eased tax compliance.Tax administration has also been boosted by the restructuring of the Kampala Capital City Authority and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau in online registering of businesses.Read more
CAA: MPs approve one trillion loan for airport upgrade
Due to increased traffic of bigger air crafts requiring modern facilities, MPs on the physical infrastructure committee have agreed to a request for external funding to upgrade Entebbe and selected airports to international standards. In their report after visiting several aerodromes like Soroti, Kasese, Arua and Gulu, the MPs recommended a major upgrade of runways, taxi-ways and aprons at about US$448m (about sh1trillion). “Africa has the potential for air traffic growth in terms of passengers and cargo. Leading airlines are also increasingly accessing Africa’s air transport market and several of them have acquired new big aircraft like airbus A380 which have necessitated upgrade of infrastructure, facilities and technologies by airports,” according to the committee report, informed by a concept paper by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Read more
Centenary Bank: Shilling expected to stay strong against US dollar
 Low demand coupled with reduced inflows from the offshore investors has helped Uganda’s foreign exchange market to stay stable with the shilling making a slight appreciation against the US dollar.The shilling was trading in the range of 2525 to 2530 against US Dollar with the demand and supply matching.Market Outlook by Centenary Bank indicates that shilling is expected to remain firm in the short-term on the back of end-month dollar conversions.The stable currency environment is good for importers and exporters, given that they are in a better position to predict their operational costs.Read more
BOU: Regional traders to benefit from quick money transfer
Kampala- Ugandan traders will be able to transfer money across borders in the East African region within a day thanks to a new initiative that has inter-linked the region’s central banks.The initiative which is part of the projects by the East African Community member states to grow their capital markets has taken effect in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania while Rwanda and Burundi are expected to join later.The East African Cross Border Payment System (EAPS) will use the Real Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS). Read more
CEOs want human resource functions outsourced
 Company leaders want administrative human resource functions to be outsourced so that employees can concentrate on core company business.This came out in a forum held recently that brought together Human Resource (HR) practitioners and chief executive officers (CEOs) of various companies across Uganda.The Symposium was held under the theme ‘Defining the next stage of evolution of human resource practice in Uganda- insight from CEOs’. Read more
Government acquires Shs45 billion Japanese grant for hospitals - Kiwanuka
The government has received a grant of $18 million (about Shs45 billion) from Japan, which will be used to boost medical facilities and rehabilitate three referral/major hospitals in Western Uganda. The deal, recently signed by Finance minister, Ms Maria Kiwanuka, the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Junzo Fujita and Dr Hirofumi Hoshi, the Chief Representative of JICA Uganda, is one of the many grants the government has received to facilitate growth and development of the health sector. Read more
National Road Authority: Government releases sh113.1b for roads maintenance
The Government has released sh113.1b for the maintenance of roads in the second quarter (Q2) of. A press statement from the Uganda Road Fund (URF) shows that sh84.7b was disbursed to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), sh3.1b to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and 111 districts (sh10.1b). Additionally, sh3.4b was disbursed to the 22 municipalities in the country, sh4.79b to 174 town councils and sh6.96b to 1, 105 sub-counties.URF has also released sh28.4b to designated agencies for the maintenance of District, Urban and Community Access Roads (DUCAR) in Q2 . Read more
Vivo Energy:New fuel products to help motorists cut costs during festivities
Vivo Energy, distributors of Shell branded fuels and lubricants, recently launched two new products, Shell Fuel Save Unleaded and diesel to help people save on fuel money as the festive season gets close. Read more
Century Bottling, Riham : Consumers set to benefit from soft drinks price wars
onsumers will enjoy carbonated soft drinks at lower prices as players slash prices to appeal to customers and guard their market share.Century Bottling Company, the manufacturer of Coca Cola products, is the latest with the offer of its 350ml plastic bottled sodas at the same price with Riham’s 320 ml bottles.The fierce competition in the industry set in, following the entrance of three new players, including Riham, Azam and Fizzy soda brands, a scenario that has seen the former duopoly Century Bottling Company and Crown Beverages, the manufacturer of Pepsi Cola, shade off a considerable market share. Read more
UMA: Manufacturers want ministries forced to buy Uganda goods
Manufacturers have appealed to the Government to formulate a policy that compels all government ministries and departments to buy goods made in Uganda. The move is aimed at encouraging the consumption of locally manufactured goods by Ugandans to boost the manufacturing industry in Uganda. The call was made by the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) executive director, Ssebagala Kigozi, at a dinner for manufacturers at the UMA conference hall. “They should give us priority so that there is a deliberate percentage of an item to be sold to government institutions. This should allow us grow,” said Kigozi. Kigozi explained that goods bought in bulk locally provide quick capital that could be ploughed back into the business to increase efficiency and timely production of the required goods. Read more
BOU Marginally Reduces Key Lending Rate to 11.5 Percent
Bank of Uganda announced a marginal fall in the central bank rate (CBR) by 50 basis points from 12%  to 11.5% in December.While announcing the new rate before the media, Central Bank Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende said the reduction was based on  inflation numbers released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics.Read more
EPRC: Ugandans accessing financial services now at 54 per cent
The number of Ugandans accessing financial services from both formal and informal financial institutions has increased from 28 per cent in 2009 to 54 per cent .A FinScope III survey carried out by Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) reveals that the growth was driven by the increase in the non-bank sector from 20 per cent to 52 per cent.Presenting the survey findings in Kampala, the executive director of EPRC, Dr Sarah Ssewanyana said the share of adults using non-bank formal financial services increased from 7 per cent  to 34 per cent.“The strong growth in use of non-bank financial services is attributed majorly to use of mobile money transfer services,” she said. Read more
Protecting Yourself Against Cyber Risk
When financial institutions introduced automated teller machines (ATMs), it took many people a while to adjust to them as they were used to being served by a person.Now it is online banking. Groceries are purchased, bills paid and funds are transferred from tablets and smart phones. Welcome to the cyber era. This shift has brought with it great benefits to individuals and businesses, both large and small.It, however, also comes with inherent risks. Businesses now have more responsibility for the protection of personal and financial information of their customers.According to the Ponemon Institute, an American organization that conducts research on data protection and security, cybercrime has more than doubled in the last three years, and the financial impact of these attacks has increased by almost 40 per cent. Read more
Dfcu secures Shs24.9 billion loan to boost credit access
Dfcu retail and small and medium sized enterprise customers will now access affordable loans after the bank secured a loan from the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).The  $10 million (about Shs24.9 billion) loan from the United Kingdom’s Development Finance Institution is also expected to strengthen dfcu’S capital base and increase its lending capability to support SMEs and retail customers. Read more

Ugandan Central Bank Cuts Key Rate for First Time in Six Months
Uganda (UGCBANNC)’s central bank lowered borrowing costs for the first time in six months to stimulate economic growth and as inflation is set to slow further.The Bank of Uganda cut the key lending by 50 basis points to 11.50 percent, Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende told reporters in Kampala, the capital. The consumer inflation rate fell for the first time  to 6.8 percent from 8.1 percent, supported by stable oil prices and a stronger shilling, he said.“The Bank of Uganda forecasts suggest that inflation will edge down further, driven by crop harvests, to about 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent,” Kasekende said. “Economic growth remains below potential and downside risks pertaining to the uncertain global economic environment exist.” Read more
Hyundai E&C, Japanese partner win US$128 mln order in Uganda
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., South Korea's largest builder, said that it has won a US$128 million order to build a bridge in Uganda, teaming up with its Japanese partner.It marked the first time that the South Korean builder has made inroads into the African country.Hyundai E&C said it plans to build the 525 meter-long bridge across the River Nile at Jinja in southeastern Uganda under a deal with the Uganda National Roads Authority. Read more
Business World London Expo Launched
The Business World Company in partnership with Home Coming Revolution has launched its proven one-stop platform for Sub-Saharan African skills repatriation dubbed London Expo, in Accra.The event which is to retrieve Africa’s lost skilled personnel to the Diaspora would showcase jobs, property, schools, products, services, investments & entrepreneurial opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, kicks off at Kensington Olympia, London UK.The event is under the theme, “Africa deserves her skills back.”The London Expo which is endorsed by the Hillary Clinton Diaspora Foundation and the World Bank will attract companies from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Read more
UBOS: More Supplies Drops Uganda Building Material PRI
 A buyer's market has emerged in Uganda due to abundant supplies of building materials which has led to a fall in construction costs.According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) construction sector indices survey covering June to September, prices for the whole sector decreased by 8.7%.UBOS Statistician, John Bonaventure Musoke told a news conference prices for construction inputs like cement, roofing sheets and limestone went down.Read more
CMA: Oil could trigger financial markets growth
Uganda could see more companies list or buy shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) as the country gets closer to producing its first barrel of oil, Grace Kavuma, the board chairman of the Capital Markets Authority, has said.Speaking at Standard Chartered bank’s clients meeting for trustee services, Kavuma said the financial markets in Uganda were flat with very limited capitalisation. Only 18 companies are listed on the USE, and most of them are foreign. The Kenyan bourse  has more than 45 listed companies.But with more firms coming into Uganda to invest in the oil and gas sector, the capital markets could see vibrant growth with more investors buying into listed companies. Read more
Government scraps VAT levy on hotels outside Kampala
Government has announced that it has reinstated exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on accommodation (hotels and lodges) outside Kampala in a move to promote Tourism.The Secretary to the Treasury , Mr Keith Mukahanizi, made the announcement, saying the recently introduced 18 per cent VAT on accommodation facilities outside Kampala is now abolished. Read more

MOT: Government Re-Establishes the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) to Invest in Sectors of the Economy which are not readily attractive to the Private Sector 
The Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) an investment vehicle through which government will invest in strategic sectors of the economy has been re- established.According to the Undersecretary Ministry of Trade Fred M. Ogene, through UDC, government will invest in strategic sectors of the economy to trigger industrial and economic development programmes of the country. The corporation was first established in 1952 as an industrial arm of government. Read more
Entebbe Airport to open daily flights to China
 Entebbe Airport will open direct flights to and from China starting next year.This comes after China Southern Airlines Company Limited opening shop in Kampala to start ground work for the flights from Entebbe to Guangzhou city in China.Speaking at the commissioning of the Kampala office , Mr Abdul Monem Zein, the senior sales executive manager Middle East Region and Dubai office said the Kampala office is the first in Africa before opening others in Kenya and Tanzania in the coming two months“We have many Ugandan businessmen who travel to China and as you know, China has one of the biggest markets which we are opening to the whole world.” Read more
Deloitte: Cheque fraud widespread in Uganda, says financial report
Kampala- Cases of fraud involving cheques are more rampant in Uganda than in any other country in East Africa, a recent Deloitte report has shown.The Financial Crimes Survey Report, 2013, released recently, reveals that 50 per cent of cheque-related fraud happens in Uganda compared to Kenya’s 44 per cent and Tanzania’s 14 per cent.Uganda also leads in mortgage and accounting and financial statements fraud.Kenya, which is said to be having a mature financial market, registered the highest prevalence of cash theft, asset misappropriation, credit card fraud, investments fraud and Real time gross settlement systems (RTGS) and Electronic funds transfer ( EFT) fraud. Read more
Uganda’s NIC in plan to cross-list at Nairobi bourse
Uganda’s National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has announced plans to cross-list at the NSE, which could make it the second firm from the neighbouring country to have its shares trade on the Nairobi bourse after power distributor Umeme.The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) listed insurer is seeking to increase liquidity of its stock by taking advantage of robust trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) compared to the Kampala stock market. Read more
Ugandan inflation falls in Nov on slower rise in food costs
Uganda's headline inflation rate fell sharply in the year to November as a rise in food prices slowed, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. Consumer prices fell 0.7 percent, helping to hold the inflation rate to 6.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent
. Core inflation, which excludes both food and fuel costs, fell to 7.0 percent from 7.2 percent
. "The annual food inflation rate decreased to 8.1 percent compared to the 10.9 percent recorded," the statistics office said in a statement. Read more
AfDB Invests $113 million to Improve Energy Supply in Region 
The African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) has invested $113 million in the regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower project in order to improve on the energy supply and access in Africa. The beneficiaries of this project will be households, industries, SMEs and businesses in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, who will gain access to cheaper, more reliable and clean electricity.Alex Rugamba, Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department says the project will enhance the process of regional integration by the countries developing and managing the joint assets. “Through projects such as the Rusumo Falls project we are looking to leverage Africa’s natural assets for universal access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services on the continent,” he said. Read more
MTN Uganda launches another Mobile Money ATM cash out service in partnership with Interswitch
MTN Uganda, the leading Mobile Money network, has partnered with Interswitch Uganda to further increase their ATM Cash out footprint by allowing customers to cash out at all Interswitch’s ATMs across the country. Interswitch Uganda, is one of East Africa’s leading integrated payments companies.MTN Mobile Money customers can now generate a four digit TIN by dialling *165# from their mobile phone which can then be used at any Interswitch ATM across Uganda on a 24/7 basis to access their money.Speaking at the launch at Serena Hotel, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ernst Fonternel, underscored MTN’s mission of making the lives of its customers a whole lot brighter through convenient and cost effective solutions such as access to MTN Mobile Money through ATM platforms. Read more
BATU:Tobacco farmers earn Shs52b 
More than 15,000 farmers in the Bunyoro-Mubende and West Nile tobacco growing regions have earned a total of Shs52b from their sales of tobacco to British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) this year.Following the closure of the buying season in Bunyoro-Mubende, BATU has paid out Shs36b to 10,200 farmers for their crop. This one follows the West Nile buying season, where 4,700 farmers were paid Shs16b.Read more
Ugandan shilling stable, seen strengthened by offshore investors
The Ugandan shilling was stable on Wednesday but was seen likely to strengthen helped by foreign investors buying government Treasury bills at auctions. At 1211 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,520/2,525, unchanged from Tuesday's close."We're expecting offshore players who participated in the auction to be doing conversions tomorrow (Thursday) to settle their bids," said Ahmed Kalule, trader at Bank of Africa."That, added to the fact that we have another Treasury auction, will keep the shilling tending toward the upper (stronger) side." Read more
Sweden invests Shs164 billion in livestock production
Kampala-The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Anders Urban Andersson has said his government invested more than $65m (about Shs164 billiob) aimed at developing rural areas where majority of poor Ugandans live and also home to livestock production.Speaking at the third annual science festival held at Makerere University, Mr Andersson said:“Rural areas have being pointed out by several people as a key to Uganda’s development. I mean more than 80percent of the population stay in those areas…most of the livestock production comes from there,” he said Read more
EAC: Single monetary union agreement to be signed 
A monetary union agreement will be signed by Presidents of East African Community countries at the end of this week, paving way for the creation of a single currency.President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the creation of the East African Community Monetary Union is expected to strengthen regional competition, address costs of financial transactions in the region and reduce risks.“The people of East Africa are interacting at such as rising rate and exchanging information, goods and services in such growing volumes, that our borders have become mere formalities,” said President Kenyatta. Read more
Museveni urges Chinese investors on infrastructure dev’t
President Yoweri Museveni has said that government is ready to work and cooperate with all those people of goodwill who want to invest in areas of importance to national development such as in the works and transport sector.The President was speaking at a meeting with a group of Chinese investors from China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) led by its president and director Yuan Li who called on him at his country home in Rwakitura, Nyabushozi County in Kiruhuura district. Read more
Expert to Uganda: Change revenue collection model
Uganda will have to review its tax revenue model if it is to increase the number of taxpayers, a senior tax expert has advised.According to the Director of Institutional Development at The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Mr Lincoln Marais, Uganda and other African states should embrace revenue collection models that are not just easy to comprehend but also fair across the board.You must be transparent in your application. Provide taxpayers with all the necessary information related to tax matters. And you must ensure that paying taxes is made easy. And taxpayers must at all times know that as a tax body, you have the ability to enforce compliance.” Read more
MEMD: Karuma power project to create new 10,000 jobs
The construction of the proposed Karuma Hydropower Project on River Nile is expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs according to Chinese giants Sinohydro Corporation the power plant and transmission line contractorsConstruction of the 600-megawatt Karuma dam will begin  and it will start producing power. Irene Muloni, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, said the Chinese firm would tap into the local labour, and create opportunities for the people around.“During construction, the locals will provide labour and construction materials to the project. As provided for by Section 76 of the Electricity Act, Kiryandongo district will receive royalties, which will accrue from the production of electricity.Jobs expected include opportunities for welders, joiners, porters, carpenters, cooks, cleaners, electrical and mechanical engineers and masons among others. Read more
Shs400b to boost Kilembe mines growth
After lying dormant for about three decades, Kilembe Mines Ltd, a once vibrant manufacturer and smelter of copper in western Uganda, is out of the woods, owing to growing Chinese investment in Africa.Tibet Hima Co. Limited, a Chinese consortium that won Kilembe Mines deal, announced a $175 million (more than Shs400 billion) investment in the mines and unveiled two more Chinese partners: Shanghai Baosteel Group and Chinalco Luoyang Copper.Under the deal, Baosteel shall be involved in the feasibility studies for the downstream beneficiation process that shall involve smelting, refining and product factory development.Read more
MTN: SME business training goes to Northern Uganda
Over eighty participants from Northern Uganda participated in the MTN Business training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and were awarded certificates. The program aims at empowering the SME segment with the knowledge and skills required to run successful businesses. For the last two years, the program which is run in partnership with KPMG Uganda delivers the technical expertise covering the following topics: Internal Controls, Working Capital Management, Business Planning,Interpretation of Bank Statements and Basic Knowledge of Taxation. Read more
Ugandans told to ready for oil industry
Steve Harley, the DHL president of the Energy Sector, for Customer Solutions & Innovations said logistics players in countries where the resources are being discovered should start building their capacity.According to Harley, forecasts expect African oil supply growth to continue, with predicted ranges of growth over the period of between 0.5 million and 2.0 million barrels. “Africa will need to adapt in order to keep up with the demand, as well as evolving trends in this highly competitive sector.He said that globally, the steady and reliable supply of energy is critical to economic activity, and due to Africa’s availability of the resource, it is expected that the continent will see continued and steady economic growth. Read more
Oil: Ugandans advised on joint venture with Chinese
Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCC) has asked the local business community to consider  a joint venture with Chinese in the oil industry to enable them get the expertise and gain more from the oil sector.The call was made during a courtesy call by a sixteen-man delegation of Mayors and Governors from China at the UNCCI premises at Kiira Road.The meeting was aimed at strengthening trade ties between Uganda business community and Chinese investors.Speaking on behalf of UNCCI president, Steven Kabagambe, the acting secretary general Uganda Chamber of Commerce said the local business community lack capacity to manage the industry.Kabagambe noted that China has cost effective advanced technology that can help Uganda to grow other than depending on donations and hiring experts. Read more
Chinese Envoy Roots For Heavy Investment In Education
Ambassador Mr. Zhao Ya Li made the call over the weekend while addressing the cross section of parents, teachers of Bubare primary school in Ibanda town council, Ibanda district.Mr. Ya Li stressed that educating the children means educating the nation and parents such investments would insulate parents from regrets and poverty.He explained that the government of China is extending more support to the people of Uganda through constructing schools, roads, health facilities therefore asked Ugandans to utilize the services effectively. Read more
President Yoweri Museveni: UK, Israeli investors set sights on Mukono, Karamoja projects 
United Kingdom-based Cormac Infrastructure Ltd has set sights on the construction of an ultra-modern specialist hospital in Mukono District. President Yoweri Museveni has said the government will give full support to the company, whose officials have been in the country to explore the modalities of the project. Steve Corbett, who led the team, told the President at State House in Entebbe on Nov.12 that they also plan to secure funds from the U.K government and from the European Union to invest in the infrastructure development in Uganda.He said they plan to construct a 700-bed hospital in Mukono District at a cost of $574m (about Shs 1.5 trillion) with facilities to handle specialized management of ailments involving major body organs such as heart, lungs, liver, brain surgery, spine injury, accidents, emergencies and maternity among others. Read more
KCCA: Chinese investors, KCCA eye real estate
A team of Chinese entrepreneurs has expressed interest in partnering with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in the real estate business.The team from Shaanxi Province, China who are in the country for a Forum on China- Africa Local Government Cooperation, told KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi that they have found a lot of business opportunities in Kampala which they feel they can get involved in.The chairman of the board of the Shaanxi Overseas Investment and Development Company Limited, Xuemei Li, led the business team to KCCA head offices in Kampala .“We want to know if there is a way of engaging in real estate’s development mortgage, we want to know what it takes and how much revenue is required,” Xuemei Li inquired.Xuemei Li also expressed interest in the roads construction industry. Read more
Tullow:Private firms make Shs 450bn from oil
Tullow Oil has spent over $200m (Shs 450bn) in its dealings with over 550 local businesses since 2004, it emerged in a report titled Creating Shared Prosperity in Uganda, the report documents Tullow’s activities and investments over the last nine years.Launching the report, Tullow General Manager Jimmy Mugerwa, said the money had helped several firms grow, while allowing Tullow to manage its risks.“As we progress towards development, these investments are expected to increase exponentially. Ugandans must, therefore, continue to prepare themselves to benefit from these developments,” Mugerwa said. Read more
Certify your products, UNBS tells local firms
At least 90 per cent of locally manufactured goods in retail shops are not certified by Uganda National Bureau of Standard (UNBS), an official has revealed. According to standards body deputy executive director in charge of management services David Livingstone Elibu, until the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) begin to certify their products, it will be hard for them not to only penetrate the East Africa Community (EAC) market, but also win trust of both the local and regional markets. Read more
Prices For Industrial Products Still Unstable
Annual prices for all manufactured goods increased by 0.5 percent during the 12 month period up to September 2013 from September 2012 and still continued to shoot-up in the month of August with an increase of 3.3 percent. According to John Bonaventure Musoke, the senior statistician at Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOs) says the main contributors to the 0.5 percent increase were the drinks and tobacco by 9.8 percent mainly due to the rise in the prices of malt liquors attributed to a cost of raw material, textiles, clothing and foot ware. “The 4.5 percent rise is mainly due to the rise in prices of wearing apparel attributed to the cost of raw materials and chemical products which rose by 4.5 percent mainly due to the rise in the prices of soap products,” Musoke states. Read more
Kyambadde: Fake Goods Still Flooding Uganda Market
Government has warned that the economy is still awash with uncertified companies producing substandard products, which casts a dark shadow on the country’s prospected market share in the looming regional and tripartite integration. The alarm was sounded by Trade Minister Hon Amelia Kyambadde in her message delivered by Commissioner Trade and Industry Eng Sam Ssenkungu, who highlighted a dire need for self regulatory and a restrictive force from private sector and government respectively, in a bid to better the quality of locally produced goods. Read more
USE: Expert calls for investment bank licensing in Uganda
Regulators in the financial market have been urged to consider licensing investment banks to support corporate actions in capital development.The chief executive officer of Crested Stocks & Securities, Mr Robert H Baldwin, said the importance of having a Ugandan investment bank would help in building the expertise of local citizens as well as provision of jobs internally instead of relying on investment banks from outside Uganda to do investment banking services for stock market brokers who do the technical work of corporate listing of shares or issuing corporate bonds.He said investment banking helps companies and governments and their agents to raise money by issuing and selling securities/shares in the markets. Read more
The main shareholder of Uganda’s National Insurance Corporation (NIC) plans to take up its stake in a rights issue. Industrial and General Insurance Company Limited (IGI) of Nigeria which owns 60 per cent of NIC through Corporate Holdings Limited has said that it intends to take up the rights which it is entitled to.According to the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) listed company’s information memorandum, a minimum of 40 per cent of the rights issue or 129.24 million of the 323.1 million shares on offer must be accepted for the cash call to be declared a success.This gives the cash call which will be open through December 13, very high chances of realizing its goal. Read more
BOU: Uganda banks start reporting non-performing loans by currency
Commercial banks in Uganda are now reporting non-performing loans (NPLs) broken down by currency, complying with the regulator’s move to cushion the lenders against currency fluctuations.Bank of Uganda (BoU) in its financial stability report for the period ended June 2013 said that it was monitoring the growth of foreign currency-denominated loans to reduce risks associated them.“The BOU has strengthened its monitoring and surveillance of factors which might pose potential risks to the banking system. Read more
UBOS: Inflation in manufacturing sector increases by 0.5%
 The manufacturing sector has experienced a marginal rise in inflation by 0.5 per cent, according to figures from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).This implies that Ugandans paid slightly more for manufactured goods in the last 12 months ending September 2013, compared to the same period last year.The Producer Price Index for Manufacturing (PPI-M) released indicates that producer prices for manufactured goods increased by 0.5 per cent during the period. Read more
Bank of Uganda backs new finance bill
The Bank of Uganda agreed with the objective and the proposed amendments in the newly tabled Finance Bill 2012, saying the amendments will go a long way in strengthening the management of economic and financial matters of the economy. Presenting the Bank’s views on the Bill currently being scrutinized by the finance committee, the Deputy Governor, Dr Louis Kasekende, said the Bill will also ensure macroeconomic stability, economic growth and national development plans when setting fiscal objectives within the macroeconomic framework.“Specifically the amendments also look to commit the Government to efficient management of the oil revenues,” he told the committee chaired by the Kyadondo County North MP, Robert Sebunya. Read more
UBOS: Construction costs drop sharply
The latest highlights from Uganda Bureau of Statistics have indicated a sharp decline in the costs of all input materials for the construction industry in the country.The declined is being reported in all three sub-sectors of residential hoses, non-residential houses, and civil works (roads, bridges, dams etc)   The new price indices released at Statistics House in Kampala indicated an overall decline in input prices of 8.7 Percent . The areas studied include prices of all construction materials, wage rates and equipment hire rates. Read more
KIS: First solar power station opened in Kalangala - Byandala
Kalangala Infrastructure Services Ltd (KIS), the company contracted to develop infrastructure in Kalangala laid a foundation for the first solar power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa at Bukuzindu, Mugoye sub-county, Kalangala district. The event was officiated by the minister for Works and Transport Hon. Abraham Byandala, who represented the Vice President and Guest of Honourable Edward Ssekandi.   Byandala explained that the Partnership that the Government of Uganda and KIS are engaged in is a speedy, efficient and cost effective delivery of projects. Read more 
Quality Chemical: India's Cipla  subsidiary buys stake for $15 mln
Cipla Ltd  Says subsidiary of co has acquired additional 14.5 percent stake in quality chemical industries ltd for $15 million. Cipla Ltd has informed BSE that Meditab Holdings Limited ("MHL"), a wholly owned step down subsidiary of the Company, has acquired an additional 14.5% stake in Quality Chemical Industries Limited ("QCIL"), Uganda for a consideration of USD 15 million. Read more
CDP sees its 2013/2014 cocoa output rising 26 percent
Uganda forecasts its cocoa production will rise 26.3 percent in the 2013/2014 (Oct-Sep) season from the previous period, boosted by yields from new maturing trees, the head of the state-run Cocoa Development Project (CDP) said. The east African country is a relatively small producer compared with big growers such as Ivory Coast, but cocoa is one of Uganda's commodity exports. Read more
Google tries to turbocharge internet service in Uganda
Pushing cheap broadband and more use of Google, the search giant is making one of its biggest moves yet into the business of providing Internet infrastructure, installing a fiber-optic backbone to dramatically improve connectivity in Kampala.The calculus is simple for Google: the more that people do online, the better its core business of selling Internet ads can be. That’s why the company has been stringing fiber-optic connections to homes in Kansas City and other U.S. cities and has toyed with the idea of launching fleets of balloons or blimps that could beam wireless Internet access down to rural areas throughout the world. Read more
gree- technology programmes at university and over 12,000 students through virtual learning. The five-year programme which starts this month include Makerere whose enrollment stands at 40,000, Kyambogo with 25,000 students, Mbarara which has 3,500 students and Gulu whose enrollment is currently at 4,000 students.Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Government, while Gabriel Negatu, the director for ADB, in charge of the East African Regional Resource centre, signed for his ban Read more
Luwero to become top agriculture zone – Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni, who is on a poverty eradication drive in Luwero district, has vowed to make Luwero Triangle a model zone for the rest of the country to learn modern commercial agriculture.The fresh campaign targets NRM veterans, many of  whom supported the NRA, during the liberation struggle. Read more
Govt, NGOs to Share Development Plans
The Government wants non-government organisations (NGOs) to align their projects to government’s development priorities. James Baba, the state minister for internal affairs, said NGOs should strive to understand government priorities and work on them both in the local and central governments. Baba made the remarks while closing the national civil society fair at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday. “The Cabinet has charged the Ministry of Internal Affairs in consultation with the Minister of Finance to closely work with NGOs to ensure that your projects are aligned with government priorities,” he said. The National Development Plan outlines various strategies for the socio-economic transformation of Uganda from a peasant economy to a modern and prosperous country. Read more
Ugandan shilling steady, seen vulnerable on corporate $ demand
The Ugandan shilling recovered from early morning losses to trade flat, helped by expectations of dollar inflows due to a Treasury bill sale. Traders said high liquidity and corporate demand was seen keeping a dampener on the local currency.At 0843 GMT (11/7/13) commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy as unchanged from close of 2,595/2,605, after pulling back from an intraday low of 2,598/2,608. Read more
Uganda June coffee exports up 31pc 
Uganda exported 361,146 60-kg bags of coffee, a 31 percent rise on the same period a year ago after drier conditions helped speed up maturation of the beans and the drying process, a state agency said. Read more
Uganda wants Chinese-built infrastructure paid for with oil
Uganda will offer most of its infrastructure projects to Chinese companies because they can be repaid from future oil revenue, unlike Western businesses that expect advance payment, the Prime Minister’s office said. Uganda, classified as one of the world’s poorest countries by the World Bank, is on the verge of an oil boom after the discovery of crude. The government is seeking investment in improving electricity generation and transportation networks to drive economic growth intended to propel the country to middle-income status. Read more
Uganda Govt urged to intervene in forests, timber certification
The Government has been urged to certify Uganda’s privately owned forests and timber to enable it access markets while conserving the environment.The Europe Aid deputy director general, Marcus Cornaro, said: “The Government should wake up and address issues related to tree planters.” Cornaro’s remarks followed complaints raised by private tree planters supported by the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS), an EU funded programme, during his visit to Green Ishamba Forest in Mpigi district. SPGS aims at promoting private investment in timber production while promoting environmental conservation.    Read more
Understanding China, Uganda's New Big Daddy 
China has been all over the place lately, cherry-picking companies where it thinks it can generate revenue, and offering free money in projects that will get it a couple of nice newspaper headlines. For the last three weeks, Uganda has been treated to news of China either taking up a large economic project or offering the country some sort of aid. Read more
Uganda favourite destination for foreign investors: UN Report
Uganda has emerged as a favourite destination for foreign investors in the East African region ahead of traditional rival, Kenya, according to a new report by the United Nations.The World Investment Report, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development—UNCTAD, shows that Uganda received the most Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) particularly in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. Read more

Lake Mburo National Park - Investors' Paradise?
The attractions at Lake Mburo National Park will interest even the most sophisticated person. The long list comprises nature walks conducted on foot with a guide to furnish guests with knowledge about butterflies, flora and fauna.  There is also the boat ride and horse riding, which are interesting activities.  For photograph fanatics, the park offers spectacular views of the park’s terrain and wildlife. Visitors ride close to the animals either with their private cars or cars on hire.  The park also has the long horned Ankole cow, which is under threat of extinction.  The cattle graze along other wildlife like the burchellis zebras, buffalos, duikers, oribi, bush pigs and antelopes. There are also jackals, vervet monkeys and olive baboon.  Read more 

Uganda Development Bank to shift its market interest  
Despite its core mandate of providing development finance to projects in the country, Uganda Development Bank’s (UDB) presence in the market has been felt much by people in need of cheap credit.  This has been partly due to the alleged financial mismanagement and fraud that has seen the bank post massive financial losses over the years, resulting into an increase in bad loans.  The government-owned development bank’s level of non-performing loans rose to Shs7.9 billion last year, up from Shs2.1 billion in 2011, according to the institution’s 2012 annual report.  Read more      

China’s CNOOC eyes oil refinery
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has expressed interest in investing in Uganda’s oil refinery.  The Chinese State-owned company, expressed interest in the project following meetings with the company chairman Mr Wang Yilin and Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, in Beijing last week.  At the meeting, Mr Yilin, whose subsidiary (Cnooc-Uganda Limited) is yet to receive a 25-year licence to commence oil production, expressed the company’s interest in investing in both a refinery complex and the oil pipeline.
Read more                                                                                          

Bank of Uganda explains deficit
UGANDA's Central Bank is in deficit but its top officials maintain that this does not in any way pose a threat to the economy.  Prof Emmanuel Mutebile, the Governor of Bank of Uganda while reading the Monetary Policy Statement for the month of July 2013 in Kampala last week said that the deficit is a necessary 'evil' given the current global economic environment. Read more

Agriculture improves lives of women in Kapchorwa - a bank needed!
The Kapchorwa NAADS coordinator Francis Alinyo echoes similar sentiments.   “Many a farmer here are still trapped in a vicious circle of poverty because of loan sharks. They are fleeced by loan sharks charging interest rates as high as 20-60 percent,” says Alinyo.    “There is need to put in place a bank which will address the plight of farmers. Farmers need funds to buy planting seeds and other required farm inputs.” Read more 

Flower Gloom
In the recent past, ten companies have quit the flower business in Uganda, a clear indication of the tough times the sector is facing.  Speaking at a forum organised by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) under the theme, 'Unlocking the Export Potential of Uganda's Agricultural Sector' mid last month, Juliet Musoke, the executive director of Uganda Flower Exporters Association (UFEA), said the government should intervene to save the situation. She cited poor infrastructure, incapability of firms to raise the required volumes of flowers, high initial costs of operation, limited access to credit facilities, high flight costs as some of the factors that are failing the sub-sector to flourish.   Read more

Growth of online banking-over the counter down by 20%     
Fewer people are lining up in banking halls as online banking and mobile money transactions pick up.  Standard Chartered Bank Uganda over the counter transactions have fallen by over 20% over the last about seven (7) months.  Raheel Ahmed Standard Chartered’ s regional head of consumer banking stressed that the strategy is to now use technology and the digital platform to expand the bank’s reach to the customer complimenting the  physical branches especially for the young. Read more 

Museveni Commissions Sh5.2 Billion Power Line
Nakaseke — President Yoweri Museveni commissioned a sh5.2b electricity line that links Katugo and Ngoma sub-county through Kaweweta army barracks, Kanyogoga, Lwera and Kakoona in Nakaseke district.  The 70km electricity line that has been constructed under the Government's rural electrification programme, was undertaken by C&G Andijes company, a local firm, replaces the generator that the people here have been using. Read more 


UBA Uganda Bank joins Bankom Interbank Switch
Bankom Chief Executive Officer, Charlotte Kaheru (left photo)  said: “In effect, Bankom now becomes the country’s 3rd biggest ATM network and still growing, giving the partner institutions a competitive edge over their competition, as well as giving customers of those financial institutions, convenience like they have never known before."
UBA Chief Executive Officer, Margaret Mwanakatwe (right photo) said the partnership reinforces UBA’s commitment to efficient and convenient customer experience. “We are giving our customers access to over 70 ATMs spread across the country, effectively freeing our banking halls for only those services that need a personal touch such as business and personal financing,” she said adding, “When we opened our doors, we promised to give Ugandans one of the fast
EAC in renewed rail, road, energy push
“Implementation, implementation, implementation,” were the closing words from Diarietou Gaye, the World Bank country director for Eritrea, Kenya and Rwanda at last week’s key regional infrastructure meeting in Kampala.  Gaye’s summation captured the underlying tone and call to action by eminent speakers at the crucial meeting themed “Trans East African Networks Match-Making Conference-Financing Infrastructure for the future generation in the EAC region”.  The conference was held at the reclusive Lake Victoria Serena Resort in Lweza found on the dusty unpaved road off the Entebbe highway, somewhat symbolic of the state of infrastructure in the region. It is the first major regional engagement on infrastructure since the 2nd retreat of the EAC presidents in Nairobi last November.  Read more

Chinese consortium wins bid to revive Uganda Kilembe copper mines 
A Chinese Consortium has been awarded the deal to manage and operate the government-owned Copper company, Kilembe Mines Ltd.  Mr Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance and Privatisation Unit spokesman, confirmed yesterday that the Divestiture Reform Implementation Committee (DRIC), which is a subcommittee... Read more

Uganda gets US$8.2m grant from China 
The Chinese Government has given Uganda a US$8.2m (sh21.1bn) grant for infrastructure development.   The Uganda Government will decide its priorities for the funds, which Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka indicated will be in energy, roads, railways and “other critical areas.” 

Mbabazi woes Chinese investors to invest In Uganda 
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has invited the Chinese business community to invest in various sectors in Uganda, pledging the government’s commitment to avail some of them free land for the purpose.Photo: Airbus Deputy Manager Zheng Qi, conducts Mbabazi, Bakabulindi and Mrs Jacqueline Mbabazi around the Airbus assembly centre Read more 

African Nations Pledge Increased Efforts in Sound Management of Hazardous Chemicals
Representative of 28 African countries today developed a draft roadmap aimed at driving the continent toward meeting the 2020 goal of the sound management of chemicals across their lifecycles. National legal and institutional arrangements for chemical management and public resources for ensuring the sound management of chemicals are often insufficient, particularly in Africa. Meeting at the headquarters of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya for three days, delegates drew on the experiences of Zambia, Burkina Faso and Uganda to draft a plan to be taken back home and turned into appropriate implementing legislation to change this situation. Read more

Uganda: Soft drink producers want reduction on excise duty 
Juice and water producers in the country want the imposed 10 percent excise duty levied on bottle water reduced to enable easy competition in the East African region. Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde and Gordon Wavamunno Read more 
Bank of Uganda holds rates at 11 percent, sees inflation risks
Uganda’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 11 percent on Tuesday, citing renewed inflationary pressure. Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile. Policymakers said the bank Read more

Bank of Uganda projects slight rise in inflation  
The Central bank managed to achieve its target of stemming inflation to a single digit for the 2012/13 financial year.  For the year ended June 30, 2013, core inflation was at 5.5 per cent, which is within the bank’s average target, down from the double digit inflation in June 2012. While presenting the monetary policy statement earlier this week, Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said their forecasts show core inflation will rise slightly but fall again after about three months.  Read more

Coffee farmers to train in better financial management practices  
The volume of coffee produced by Ugandan farmers is set to increase following a new partnership between Uganda Coffee Farmers’ Alliance (UCFA), their umbrella organization and Centenary Bank, aimed at training the coffee farmers in better financial management practices.  According to Tony Mugoya, the Executive Manager, UCFA, the umbrella body which provides oversight to 82 coffee farmer companies and 1,640 producer organizations with 53,000 coffee growing households; 200 farmer leaders will receive industry specific training for two weeks. Read more

NSSF to trade wider!
The National Social Security Fund intends to trade on regional stock exchanges to widen its investment pool, Richard Byarugaba, the fund’s managing director, has said.  “The existing opportunities in Uganda are not strategic enough to absorb our liquidity. We, therefore, need to diversify and take advantage of the liquid stock exchanges in the East African region,” he said.  Byarugaba was speaking at the Fund’s offices while receiving a dividend of Shs 1.9bn from Umeme, the largest it has received in the last three financial years. NSSF invested in Umeme’s initial public offer late last year amidst widespread public scepticism. NSSF invested Shs 36bn in the power distributor, taking up an 8.1 per cent stake in the company. Read more

Museveni and Former Malaysian PM urge technology and industrialisation
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamed are urging African governments, including Tanzania to get rid of dependence on agriculture as mainstay of their economies.  Dr Mohamed and President Museveni who attended the Global Smart Partnership Dialogue held in Dar es Salaam last week urged that the continent should not continue condoning a colonial legacy of producing and exporting commodities.

No tax holidays for the investors under EAC 
The Uganda Government will not offer tax holidays to firms seeking to invest in Uganda as the country joins the rest of East African countries in harmonising taxes in the region. The state minister for the East.. Read more


PTA Bank aspires for more business in Uganda
The Preferential Trade Area Bank (PTA), also known as the Eastern & Southern African Trade & Development Bank, held a Bank Business Seminar at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. The event was organized in conjunction with the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) to share information on the opportunities provided by the bank with its members.   PTA “can do better than the commercial banks,” said Olive Kigongo, President of the UNCCI (right photo) "because they offer business people better rates in comparison"  
“We are a quiet bank” said Admassu Tadesse, the President and CEO of the bank (left photo), but “it’s time we made some noise,” he added.  Read more 

Uganda asks investors to focus on agriculture 
Government has asked investors to stop branding the agricultural sector as a risky area to invest if the country is to address the key destabilizing challenge of agricultural risks. Minister of State for Animal... Read more


Standard Chartered Bank Cleared to Handle Investment Schemes
Standard Chartered Bank has acquired authorisation to carry out operations of a trustee under the Collective Investments Schemes from the Capital Markets Authority.  With this service, the bank shall provide Trustee services to Collective Investments Schemes and asset managers will be able to launch unit trusts (collective investment schemes constituted under a trust deed). Some of the Services to be rendered include Net Asset Value verification, compliance monitoring and annual reporting to unit holders.  Carol Mubangizi, the head of securities services said individuals will be able to pool their funds, have a diversified portfolio and invest in Uganda Capital Markets. Read more

Uganda Govt calls for invest in meat industry 
The Government has called for massive investment in the beef industry as a way of eradicating poverty. State minister for trade David Wakikhona said the livestock sector has big investment potential because of.... Read more


Israel makes further inroads into Africa through an ATI partnership
ASHR’A, the Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation Ltd., today signed a co-operation agreement with ATI, the African Trade Insurance Agency. With the full backing of the Israeli government, the pact clears the way to increase exports from Israel to ATI’s African member countries and to increase Israel’s investments into Africa by minimising the political and commercial risks associated with doing business on the continent.   - Read more
                                                     Uganda, Tanzania top EA in attracting foreign funds as Kenya loses grip 
Tanzania and Uganda have widened their lead over Kenya in the race for foreign direct investments (FDI) in the East African region. FILE/TEA Graphic  Tanzania and Uganda have widened their lead over Kenya in the race for foreign direct investments (FDI) in the East African region, as lengthy licensing procedures and sluggish commercial dispute settlement turn multinationals away from Nairobi. Read more

World Bank Group Statement on Budget Support in Uganda
"In April 2013, there were press reports that the World Bank had pulled out of budget support in Uganda. We wish to clarify as follows:  The World Bank remains engaged in, and is committed to supporting Uganda's development priorities.  The Ugandan government has however requested that we direct most of our new support towards specific investments for infrastructure, agriculture and skills development, with less financing for general budget support." Read more

Uganda Partners China’s Sino-Hydro Group For $1.6 Billion Project  VENTURES AFRICA - Uganda has signed a contract with China’s Sino-Hydro Group Ltd. to build a $1.65 billion hydropower dam on the Nile River, reviving a project that had stagnated for years due to lack of funds.  According to government sources, the contract for the construction of the 600-megawatt Karuma dam in the east African country. Uganda said China had provided credit worth $500 million to help fund the construction of the Karuma dam.  Read more

Uganda’s May coffee exports rise 56 percent
Uganda’s coffee exports rose 56 percent in the year to May, after farmers sold huge volumes to prevent further losses as prices for the bean tumbled, a source at the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said 


Tanzania plans a railway line to reach South Sudan  
Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda have reached a formal agreement to construct a multi-billion dollar railway network, which would also serve South Sudan and tap into the bloc’s growing trade.  The project, to commence in 2014, is expected to take three years and cost $4.7 billion.  This will run alonsgside the $3 billion Tanga-Arusha-Musoma-Kampala railway line that is expected to be completed by 2015.  Read more             

Different dreams, same bed : collecting, using, and interpreting employment statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa -- the case of Uganda (English)

Subpages (2): News Archive 3 NP