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Maria Kiwanuka

The  Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development

MFPED: Procurement stakeholders review sector performance 
The Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA)  holds the 10th Public Procurement Performance Review Workshop at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka is expected to open the one day workshop under the theme Strengthening Procurement Capacity for Effective Service Delivery.Participants at the event will review the progress of the procurement reforms, share experiences and agree on timelines for action plan that they will agree on.The workshop is a follow up to the Public Procurement Symposium held.“A number of issues on strengthening procurement capacity for effective service delivery are to be discussed. Participants will look at and evaluate the different opportunities presented by the Amended PPDA Act to improve the service delivery in the public procurement,” said Vincent Mugaba, PPDA’s Senior Public Relations Officer. Read more
MFPED: UAE investors want to build airports, pipeline
The visiting delegation from the United Arab Emirates wants to invest in the construction of international airports, oil pipeline and renewable energy in Uganda.According to Maria Kiwanuka, the minister of finance, planning and economic development, the United Arab Emirates government has also expressed interest to invest in agriculture, trade and industry, toll roads, minerals and building capacity on Lake Victoria.Kiwanuka held a meeting with the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Reem Al Hashimy and her delegation, at the ministry of finance headquarters, where the two parties agreed that legislative frameworks be drafted to ease these investment projects.Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Mobile money account holders grow to 18 million
The number of mobile money account holders in Uganda has grown to 18,489,989 which is much higher than the traditional bank account holders.The mobile money accounts are a convenient way for people to transact money using their mobile phones networks. Speaking during economics of mobile money economy seminar in Kampala, Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, said, there were about 18.5 million mobile money accounts from a mere 10,011 accounts .“In terms of monetary value, over Shs18 trillion was transacted through mobile money,” she said.Read more
MOF: Pension arrears to be cleared 
Retired civil servants will have their gratuity and pension arrears, thanks to the stringent reforms that have seen the finance ministry save over sh200b that was being stolen. Speaking at a corporate governance book launch at Serena Hotel, finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said the stringent reforms undertaken in her ministry have enabled them to save over sh200b, money that was being siphoned by government officials. Kiwanuka said the saved money will be used to pay all gratuity and pension arrears . “I don’t want to see any pensioner coming to the ministry to inquire about their pensions; they will all be paid before the end of this financial year,” Kiwanuka said. The Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, told New Vision in a telephone interview that although the finance ministry is not sure about the exact amount in arrears, the Ministry of Public Service submitted a figure of sh96b for gratuity and about 3b for pension arrears. Read more
MOF: Government yet to spend half of national Budget 
About Shs5.6 trillion has been spent by government departments out of the approved Shs15 trillion Budget .According to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance on its expenditure performance, Shs6.3 trillion was released to government institutions, making up 41.9 per cent of the approved Budget. “Out of the total funds released, 88.94 per cent was spent, amounting to Shs5.59 trillion,” the statement reads in part. However, the Shs5.6 trillion so far spent out of Shs15 trillion show that government has not even used half of the budget funds.This brings a case of low absorption of funds meant to be spent.  ExpendituresIn terms of total expenditure, Shs1.26 trillion was spent on wages, Shs2.53 trillion on non-wages and Shs1.8 trillion on development capital. Read more
MOF:  E-Government procurement project launched
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka launches a strategy on E-Government procurement.The government hopes that with the e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system, entities will be in better position to manage public procurement and promote transparency through the procurement cycle.“E-Government procurement is expected to increase transparency in public procurement. As you are aware lack of transparency breeds corruption, unfairness, lack of competition and ultimately the government does not achieve value for money as a result of paying more for a service that could be delivered at a cheaper price,” said Kiwanuka. It is also hope that with the new system, efficiency in procurement and service delivery will be increased, and that the bidder confidence in the procurement regime will rise. Under the e-procurement system, entities will be able to run all public procurement process online, and bidders will have quick access to all relevant information in the public domain. This will improve the time one takes to bid and get a response. Read more
MOF: Accountants told to get registered
Basing on the new Accountants Act in place, the ministry of Finance has called on all practising accountants in the public and private sectors to register with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), saying it is a law that must be adhered to.Addressing guests during the financial reporting awards at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said: “Every accountant practicing accounting in the country must register with Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda.”Financial reporting refers to the periodic production of business financial statements. Financial statements include the balance sheet. The balance sheet summarizes a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity over time. Read more
Finance minister, Kiwanuka Economy to grow by 7% in five years
Uganda’s economy will grow by 7% a year in the three to five years’ time, up from a forecast 6%, helped by investment from oil explorers and by expansion in the services sector, the finance minister said.Uganda discovered oil and expects output to start.“We are looking at 7% in the medium term, and for us medium term,” finance minister Maria Kiwanuka told Reuters in London, where she was attending a conference.She said the economy was expected to grow by 6% in the calendar year, a figure in line with the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of 6.1% growth for the fiscal year.“We are looking to a big increase in investment demand as oil companies are bringing in more of the equipment that they are going to need to start extracting the oil,” Kiwanuka said. “We are looking to continue the increase in services demand — manufacturing, financing and telecoms.” Read more
MFPED: Treasury to save Shs320 billion annually from finance reforms
The government expects to save Shs320 billion annually following the clean-up of ‘ghost’ workers from the payroll by decentralising it. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development says preliminary analysis of the quarter one wage bill performance for the entire government indicates that it is likely to save Shs100 billion, but due to the discounting mechanism, promotion and recruitment activities, it leaves it with a net saving of Shs80 billion per quarter. Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi, during the launch of the annual Budget Monitoring Report for Financial Year at the finance ministry headquarters said the reforms are yielding positive results in terms of savings and efficiency in public finance management. Read more
MFPED: Uganda to host regional ACCA summit
Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister will preside the largest gathering of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) in Eastern Africa, as accountants and auditors ready for the oil and gas economy. Beatrice Isagayite, the ACCA Uganda head noted that the conference at the Speke Resort Munyonyo will bring together accountants and entrepreneurs from Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and Ghana to discuss policy and network. Anthony Harbinson, the ACCA global president is expected for the conference as well as Beige group boss Mike Nyinaku, and prominent Ethiopian entrepreneur Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu of the SoleRebels fame. The forum is expected to host between 400 to 500 high level participants to discuss the implications of regional integration, oil and gas, the capital markets and public sector changes that will drive growth. “We know that professional accountants are important at every level of business and are vital to drive the economy forward. This is a critical at this stage when many sectors are looking to widen their regional footprint,” she said at the Golf Course Hotel. Read more
Minister Kiwanuka to Declare New NSSF Rates
The Minister of Finance Hon. Maria Kiwanuka is set to declare this Financial Year’s interest rate payable to NSSF members.The Minister will make the declaration at the NSSF head offices at Workers House in Kampala.The Fund’s Interest rates have been on a steady rise over the last few years, something that Ag. Managing Director, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa attributes to emerging better and long-term investment areas.Last year, NSSF declared an interest rate of 11.23 percent, up from 10 percent in the Financial Year. Following the announcement, NSSF credited its members’ accounts with a total of Shs 278 billion up from Shs202bn the previous year.On such investments, Geraldine says is the latest Shs 70 billion venture the fund made in shares in power distributor Umeme, a business deal being probed by Parliament. Read more

Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Finance regrets lack of support to innovators
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has regretted that young innovators have been left to fend for themselves many times lacking the opportunity to interface with venture capitalists and possible financiers for their brilliant ideas.“Let us help them make viable business plans, there is no reason why we should not have a Silicon Valley, Savannah Valley or a Mabira Valley,” noted Kiwanuka. Presiding over the 5th CEO summit at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Kiwanuka said the time is now to turn these ideas and potential into actual value.Ugandan innovators especially in ICT have stormed the world with brilliant health, education and service delivery solutions. But most of these innovations have had little success in the market place and getting commercialized. Innovators recently lamented over the lack of coordination and support from institutions like NITA and UCC or even the ministry of ICT. Some of the recent global award winning solutions include Project 1 and AfriGal Tech an all-girl team that were chosen to represent Uganda at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Semifinals.AfriGal Tech from Makerere University developed an application called mDex, a smart phone-based sickle cell diagnosis alternative.Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Parliament set to scrap taxes on agricultural inputs
The House is poised to adopt a finance committee report that recommended that the proposed 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural inputs and equipment be scrapped.While reading this year’s budget, finance minister Maria Kiwanuka proposed an 18% VAT on agricultural supplies such as hoes, fertilisers, seedlings and tractors in order to generate sh30.4b, about 0.2% of the entire budget.However, the committee, chaired by the Kyadondo North MP, Kasule Sebunya presented its report saying the proposed taxes would kill the agricultural sector that is struggling with a meagre growth of 1.5% to increase the use of agro-chemicals, improved seeds and fertilisers.“Application of VAT on agricultural supplies will make the situation worse, especially in rural areas and hinder the mechanisation of agriculture in the country,”Sebunya told the plenary session presided over by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.Oulanyah adjourned the debate on the committee report, but this was after allowing the shadow finance minister and Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya to also present his minority report rejecting VAT on salt. Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Parliament passes Tax Procedures Bill
Parliament  passed the Tax Procedures Bill which is meant to harmonize, consolidate and streamline tax procedures into a single law in order to simplify tax administration. The finance committee chairman Robert Kasule Ssebunya said, “This Bill will promote tax compliance as it streamlines tax administration.” The finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said the law would empower URA to effectively enforce taxation and therefore generate more revenue for the country. Clause 41 of the Bill provides for access to premises, records and data storage devices to avoid the common problem of under declaration by companies which pay fewer taxes than what they should be paying. Clauses 48 to 53 of the Bill provide for penal tax for default in furnishing a tax return, late payment of tax, failing to maintain proper records, making false or misleading statements, understating provisional tax estimates and failing to apply for registration.Read more
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka: Finance mineral development to propel agribusiness 
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked the private sector to fund natural resource development activities.This, she said will enable the country get money to invest in Information and Communications Technology, irrigation, roads, innovations and electricity to attain inclusive growth in a youth dominated country.Ms Kiwanuka said the discovered oil, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels alone, cannot provide inclusive and sustainable development but can be used to put in place an enabling environment for the agricultural sector to grow.“We have oil but we look up to you (private sector) to make sure that the resource is financed properly to propel sustainable inclusive economic development. Invest in the resources below the ground to translate into sustainable resource above ground,” Ms Kiwanuka said.Read more
MOFPED: Finance mineral development to propel agribusiness - minister
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked the private sector to fund natural resource development activities.This, she said will enable the country get money to invest in Information and Communications Technology, irrigation, roads, innovations and electricity to attain inclusive growth in a youth dominated country.Ms Kiwanuka said the discovered oil, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels alone, cannot provide inclusive and sustainable development but can be used to put in place an enabling environment for the agricultural sector to grow.“We have oil but we look up to you (private sector) to make sure that the resource is financed properly to propel sustainable inclusive economic development. Invest in the resources below the ground to translate into sustainable resource above ground,” Ms Kiwanuka said. Read more
MOFPED: Govt will support investment
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has said the Government will help many local companies to grow, pay taxes and in turn create employment, by providing a conducive environment.“The Government is committed to improving the lives of its people through providing a condusive environment for companies to grow. In turn, these companies will create employment for our people and manufacture goods for export to neighbouring markets. This will earn us more foreign exchange,” Kiwanuka explained. The minister made the remarks, as Uganda Baati Limited celebrated 50 years of doing business in Uganda. The function was held at the company’s head office in Kampala. Kiwanuka assured the business community that the Government values its partnership with the private sector. “We have, over the years, become attentive listeners to your suggestions because we are determined to make you the real shakers and movers of our economy,” she said. Addressing Baati, Kiwanuka said the Government was proud to associate itself with the company’s activities. “From what I have been seeing on the market, the company is growing even stronger and bigger. I wish to thank you for introducing steel products to the Ugandan market and for sustaining the business for so many years,” she explained. Read more
Utilise EA integration to grow local businesses - Kiwanuka
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has told local companies to utilise the opportunities accruing from the East African integration to expand their businesses in the region like Tanzanian and Kenyan companies are doing.Ms Kiwanuka said although the integration is real, many Ugandan companies are limiting their horizons to only Ugandan borders thus missing out on business expansion advantages of selling to a wider audience which results into more business profitability, attracting of professionals and sustainability.“Emulate other companies (Kenyans and Tanzanian) and do not limit yourselves to Ugandan borders. The East African integration is real get on board,” Ms Kiwanuka said. Read more
MOFPED: Financial Intelligence Authority formed
The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), a new body to combat money laundering, has been formed. The former director legal services in the Inspectorate of Government, Sydney Asubo was appointed the interim executive director pending ratification by the FIA board and approval by Parliament. However, the FIA board is still being constituted.“I hereby assign you additional responsibility as the interim executive director of FIA on secondment for a period of six months,” the letter from finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, copied to the finance permanent secretary and secretary to the Treasury, read. The Anti-money Laundering Act requires the minister to appoint an executive director on recommendation of the board. Money laundering is the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of proceeds of criminal activities by making such proceeds appear to have been derived from a legitimate source. Read more
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka: 10% tax on bank fees draws mixed response from players
Banks have started collecting the 10 per cent Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) excise taxes with charges on some huge withdrawals, ledger fees, bulk transactions and other periodic charges set to increase.During the Budget reading, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said the Excise Tariff Amendments 2014 mandates all banks to collect and remit 10 per cent fees, which will help URA collect a projected Shs22 billion.The 10 per cent tax on banking services which took effect in the new financial year is one of the initiatives that URA has deployed in an effort to plug the Budget deficit created by donor aid cuts. DFCU managing director Juma Kisaame said currently, banks are responding individually to the tax and it is upon a given bank to either increase charges such that the consumer bears the final cost or peg them on the banks which would then foot the bill on behalf of the customers, something he said is hard because banks are in business to make money. Read more
MOFPED:Why Public Employees Deserve High Salaries
While delivering the Budget Speech for Financial Year 2014/15 (In accordance with Article 155(1) of Constitution of Uganda), the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED), Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, announced that Shs 450 billion was allocated to enhance the salary of all Public Servants. This includes provisions for the teachers' pay increase in line with Government's agreement with the Uganda National Teachers' Union (UNATU). The salary of the lowest paid Teacher will therefore increase by between 15% and 25%. Other Public Servants' salaries will also be adjusted within the available resources. This is good for the economy- going forward.You know, there is a tendency to think that improved salaries/wagesfor public and private workers constrain economic performance of countries. Those who argue against higher pay for workers in both public and private sectors look at salaries through the prism of burdensome recurrent cost stream that should be at minimal if farms and firms are to be efficient. Yet, better pay has potential to expand fortunes of companies and governments through its ability to stimulate productivity of the workforce. Of course the other credible argument is that improved salaries are only desirable if they are matched by improvement in performance of the workforce. But there is more to this dominant narrative.Read more
MOFPED: Good pay for public servants will help boost our economy
While delivering the Budget speech for Financial Year 2014/15, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Maria Kiwanuka, announced that Shs450 billion was allocated to enhance the salary of all public servants. This includes provisions for the teachers’ pay increase in line with government’s agreement with the Uganda National Teachers’ Union. The salary of the lowest paid teacher will, therefore, increase by between 15 per cent and 25 per cent. Other public servants’ salaries will also be adjusted within the available resources. This is good for the economy- going forward. You know, there is a tendency to think that improved salaries/wages for public and private workers constrain economic performance of countries. Those who argue against higher pay for workers in both public and private sectors look at salaries through the prism of burdensome recurrent cost stream that should be at minimal if farms and firms are to be efficient. Yet, better pay has potential to expand fortunes of companies and governments through its ability to stimulate productivity of the workforce. Of course the other credible argument is that improved salaries are only desirable if they are matched by improvement in performance of the workforce. But there is more to this dominant narrative. Read more
Deloitte: Domestic debt could affect the shilling — experts
Jared Osoro, an economist, notes that this may affect the exchange rate. “When the fiscal deficit grows faster than the Gross Domestic Product growth, there is a depreciation bias on the shilling. At the moment, it is hard to differentiate between fiscal and monetary policy in Uganda as both are pulling in the same direction,’’ he noted.“A very accommodative monetary policy may boost economic growth, but fail to anchor inflation,” Osoro added, while speaking at the Deloitte past budget breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel recently. The exchange rate was relatively stable in 2013/14, with a marginal appreciation of the shilling by about 2% against the US dollar on the back of strong foreign direct investment. Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, explained in the budget speech that the net domestic financing in 2014/15 will include a draw down of the energy fund to finance the Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects. Read more
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka: Economic growth will reduce budget deficit
According to the Budget Framework Paper 2014/15, the fiscal deficit for the current financial year 2013/14, excluding grants is projected at -9.1 per cent.This is an increase of more than 60 per cent of the -5.6 per cent fiscal deficit for financial year 2012/13. A budget or fiscal deficit is the gap between what the government spends and what it gets in income, mainly from taxes. When the government spends more than it collects from tax it has to borrow money to make up the difference.This is the current situation the Uganda government currently faces. This deficit is funded by borrowing mainly from the domestic market.This borrowing is necessary in order to provide fiscal support, following the aid suspension of 2012, as well as the lower than expected revenue collections for the current financial year. Read more
BOU targets commercial banks over high interest rates
Commercial banks in Uganda are not heeding to Bank of Uganda’s call to reduce interest rates and lend more to the private sector. High interest rates have put off many borrowers in Uganda.Bank of Uganda reports state that there has been only a modest increase in the stock of private sector credit. It said the level of private sector credit at the end of December 2013 was sh8.62 trillion, which is about 8% higher than the June 2013 levels.The ministry of finance states that in spite of a reduction in both inflation and the Bank of Uganda policy rate, lending rates charged by commercial banks continue to be prohibitively high and are keeping borrowers away from the credit markets.“We will continue to work with financial institutions to reduce the cost of loanable funds, by reducing the cost of doing business. There are a number of reforms that are expected to have a positive impact on financial sector,” finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said.Read more
'Youth unemployment is a venue for instability'
“Unemployed young men without a future are fertile recruiting ground for radical ideas. There is instability not far away where we stand,” he told fellow ambassadors, government officials and the minister of finance Maria Kiwanuka.The EU official said both Europe and Africa need a youth who believes in the future and who dares to take chances without fearing of losing the family’s savings and health.He said the country needs youth who are not corrupt but those who have hope and trust in government’s institutions.Schmidt was speaking during the Europe Day celebrations at his residence in Kololo, Kampala on Friday.He called for social cohesion and peace as the country approaches the 2016 election year.“Social cohesion, peace and hope for the future are essential values as Uganda prepares for the general elections in 2016,” he said.He appealed to government to conclude negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement with the East African Community to foster economic growth.Read more
Gov’t Seeks Shs360bn to Better Albertine Roads
Government is finalising efforts to acquire a Shs 365bn loan to improve infrastructure and social services in the oil-rich Albertine region. Cabinet gave green light to Minister of Finance, Hon Maria Kiwanuka, to borrow the amount from World Bank's International Association. The Minister will soon be tabling the proposal to Parliament to get the final approval as required by Article 159 of the constitution. Information Minister, Hon Rose Namayanja, told press today that the money is intended to improve on the region's infrastructure projects like the road network which according to a recent study by oil firms in Uganda, is still critically lagging behind.  As exploration of oil and gas comes to a close in the districts of Hoima, Buliisa and Nwoya, business has being expanding by the day. Read more
China Exim Bank to fund more projects in Uganda
The President of the Export-Import Bank of China, Li Ruogu will discuss funding for more infrastructure projects in Uganda, the state minister for finance in charge of general duties, Jachan Omach disclosed .Ruogu, who is on a three-day visit to Uganda, arrived in Uganda  for discussions on the financing of Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects.Speaking to journalists shortly after the arrival of Exim Bank officials at Entebbe Airport, Omach said Ruogu would also discuss funding for other infrastructure projects.Ruogu was  scheduled to meet the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi and the minister of finance, Maria Kiwanuka .Read more 
Lobby Parliament to fast-track Islamic banking - Finance minister
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka has asked groups pushing for the establishment of Islamic Banking in the country to lobby legislators if the Shariah-based banking is to be realised soon.“We realised the need for this bank and as cabinet, we drafted the Bill and sent it to Parliament. You must lobby members of Parliament,” Ms Kiwanuka said early this week at a seminar organised by Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kampala aimed at creating awareness on how the bank works.The basis for Islamic banking, according to Ms Rahma Hassan Hersi, an Islamic finance lawyer, lies in the principles of the Sharia laws drawn from the Quran.“Interests are forbidden. Wealth can only be generated through legitimate trade and investment in assets….both parties take risks and share profits,” Ms Hersi said. Read more
MFPED: UBA scoops Shs45b govt fuel deal
United Bank for Africa (UBA) has entered a deal with government to manage fuel consumption and expenditure of state ministries, departments and agencies.UBA was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development after Standard Chartered, also known as Stanchart withdrew from the deal.It is believed that the deal which will compel all government ministries, departments and agencies to use fuel cards issued and managed by UBA, will see the bank collect a cheque from the government every quarter ranging between Shs25billion to Shs45 billion, depending on consumption. Read more
Private Sector Lists Demands Ahead of June Budget
The sector last year influenced up to about 80 percent of the 2013/14 budget, which largely prioritized infrastructural development, according to Finance Minister Hon Maria Kiwanuka.Private Sector Foundation Uganda boss Mr Gideon Badagawa said they hope to take the lion's share, in terms of enhancement of value addition of agricultural output through infrastructural development"Uganda is still exporting raw agricultural produce even when we realize that the global market today appreciates more of finished products," he said.Read more
Harmonise money supply and expenditure, Kiwanuka says
The minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Ms Maria Kiwanuka, has called for the harmonisation of monetary and fiscal policies, saying the two complement each other in economic development. Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money while fiscal policy is the use of government revenue to influence the economy.Her call comes at a time when central banks are moving away from monetary-targeting policy frameworks which aim at the amount of money supply in the economy to control inflation to inflation target monetary policy frameworks, which look at inflation forecast, low interest rates and stable exchange rates. Read more
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 last week in Kampala at the Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) International Conference to mark 50 years of existence, Ms Kiwanuka said: “2014 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
Amended PPDA Act becomes operational next week
The amended Public Procurement and Disposal Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act and regulations will come into force on March 3, the finance minister Maria, Kiwanuka, has revealed.Kiwanuka said this while launching the public procurement and contracts management training manuals that will be used by procurement experts to address shortcomings in the procurement process experienced by procurement officers and contract management committees across the country.The manuals were developed by Civil Service College Uganda and funded by World Bank.Kiwanuka informed the senior procurement officers, permanent secretaries, chief administrative officers, heads of departments and Members of Parliament that the amended PPDA Act is expected to improve procurement process in the areas of increased absorption and commitment of funds through improved procurement planning, transparency and accountability in which functions of accounting officers and contracts committees are streamlined and regulated use of force account mechanism to ensure value for money. 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
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

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

NSSF Moves To Construct Shs1tn Housing estate
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has announced plans to construct a landmark 2,741-unit housing estate in Lubowa, Wakiso district, in its continued effort to give its members competitive returns on their savings. The real estate project, which will cost an estimated USD 400 million (Shs1tn) over a 10 year period, will be developed on the Fund’s 565 acres of land along Entebbe Road and will be one of the most upmarket housing estates in Uganda. 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 2013/14.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
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

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 recent development the oil industry have progressed.Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) will implement the construction of the transmission line project.     Read more

OIL: MPs ‘Green’ as government presents new bill
The public finance bill seeks to ensure prudent management of oil revenues to promote transparency and accountability. The proposed amendments were tabled before the three committees tasked to scrutinize the bill  by Lawrence Kiiza, the director economic affairs at the ministry of finance (photo the finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka). Read more

Uganda to use oil cash for infrastructure development
Maria Kiwanuka, the Ugandan finance minister, said all oil returns would be channelled to the construction and improvement of infrastructure like roads, railway, dams, power plants and revamping of the irrigation schemes all over the country. “We are looking at infrastructural development first because it’s visible, manageable and accountable,” Kiwanuka said speaking at an oil transparency and accountability conference in Kampala. “It also largely engages the private sector and shall create more jobs for our young population.” Structural information is the large-scale transfer of resources from some sectors to others in a system, necessitated by fundamental policies.  Read more

China gives Uganda $8.2 million grant 
Uganda has signed an agreement with China to receive a technical and economic cooperation grant worth 50m RMB (about $8.2m).  While signing the agreement with Zhao Yali, the Chinese ambassador to Uganda, at the ministry of Finance on Friday, Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said the government would choose between agriculture, infrastructure and human resource development to invest the money.  “The grant will be used for the implementation of projects that will be agreed upon by the two governments in the near future,” Kiwanuka said.  Read more

Uganda Govt to expand universities
The Government has embarked on the expansion of its six universities and two other degree-awarding institutions in a bid to increase enrollment in science and technology disciplines viewed as development shots.The expansion targets enrollment of an additional 35,000 students in science and 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