04 Dec

Uganda: When Women in Power Are Battered

High profile women to suffer gender-based violence. The majority, however, remain mute because of their position in society. Some, however, have gotten the courage to break the silence and are now points of reference to other women facing similar ordeals.

One of such women is Judith Babirye, the Buikwe Woman MP who is also a gospel singer. The lawmaker has never been shy to speak about how she suffered domestic violence in her previous marriage.

“Yes, I was once a victim and was able to pick myself up and move on with my life. I am now strong,” Babirye said in a recent phone interview. The mother of one says she picked up the pieces by seeking counselling from different people.

“They guided and gave me wise counsel but emphasised that the final decision had to come from me and not anyone else,” she says. Babirye, who is known for her strong Christian faith also prayed, fasted and sought divine intervention.

“It is on my knees that God gave me strength to stand and hold my head high,” she says. At one point, she had to cease focusing on herself and make her daughter a priority.

“I did not want the violence to compromise my little girl’s future, therefore, I shifted my energy to raising her,” she says. Babirye married Samuel Niiwo in 2005, and filed for divorce years later.

Another notable woman is Beatrice Kiraso, the former Woman MP for Kabarole who wrote the book, Making a Difference which casts a light on her past life as a victim of domestic violence abuse by her husband who she later divorced.

Beaten because of work

A female MP who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity says she previously faced the wrath of her husband because of the nature of her work.

To read the full article, click here.

15 Sep

Uganda: Govt Issues Oil Exploration License to Australians Armour Energy

Uganda has handed over the oil exploration license in the Kanywataba block in the Albertine area to an Australian company – Armour Energy Limited.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Energy offices in Kampala Thursday morning, Energy Minister Irene Muloni said the issuance of the license to Armour Energy Limited brings in a new player in Uganda’s oil and gas sector.

“This is in response to our objective as a ministry of ensuring that the country’s resource base which currently stands at 6.5 Billion barrels oil in place is expanded by further exploration efforts,” Muloni said.

She said that the key elements of the Kanywataba block deal, done in accordance with Section 58 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013, includes an exploration license with an acreage of 344 square kilometer for four years split into two periods of two years each.

The other part of the deal is a minimum work programme which includes acquisition of seismic data and drilling of at least one well, an advisory committee chaired by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, and consisting of representatives from government and the licensee to review and approve all annual exploration work programmes, budgets and production forecasts.

The other elements include payment of royalty based on the gross total daily production in barrels of oil per day – the rate of royalty ranges from 8.5% to 21% and the cost recovery limit for petroleum has been set at 65%.

Payment of a signature bonus, research and training fees, and annual acreage rental fees for the first exploration period amounting to $316,000 have been paid to the Uganda Petroleum Fund. Performances (Bank) guarantee amounting to 50% of the minimum exploration expenditure for the first exploration period is ($990,000).

“Due diligence was carried out; it required someone who is serious and determined,” Muloni said in support of handing over the license to Armour Energy Limited.

Read more: Uganda: Govt Issues Oil Exploration License to Australians Armour Energy

15 Sep

Uganda: Dar, Kampala Oil, Gas Firms Join Forces

The Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS) and their Ugandan counterparts Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS) have signed an agreement that will see the two working together in the Hoima-Tanga pipeline project.

Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, ATOGS cofounder and Vice- Chairman Mr Abdulsamad Abdulrahim said the signing ceremony marks the be ginning of collaboration between the two in a journey to grow the economies of Tanzania and Uganda.

The agreement will see Tanzanian and Ugandan service providers in the oil and gas industry do joint biddings for tenders in different areas of the pipeline project, including transportation of materials.

Uganda’s AUGOS Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Emmanuel Mugarura encouraged Tanzania service providers in the industry to be strong, work together and uphold standards that are required in the industry.

Mr Mugarura said it is only through hard work that the service providers from Tanzania and Uganda can achieve the required standards in the industry.

“It’s through standards that you can stand up and talk…stand up and compete, join tenders and stand up against Chinese, Europeans and Americans who have been in the game longer and they have money. The advantage we have is that we are East African,” Mr Mugarura explained.

ATOGS was formed as a result of AUGOS, after service providers visited Uganda and saw the need to establish an association that brings together local business service providers. One of ATOGS objectives is promoting local content in the oil and gas industry through supporting job and business opportunities for nationals and local businesses in the country.

Earlier, while speaking with ATOGS members, Senior VicePresident (Business Development) of Prezioso Linjebygg Company, Jean -Louis Chassagne said the company has vast experience in executing such major oil and gas projects.

Prezioso Linjebygg is among seven companies bidding for tenders in the execution of Hoima -Tanga Oil Pipeline project.

Read more: Uganda: Dar, Kampala Oil, Gas Firms Join Forces

14 Aug

Kenya: Buy-Out Plans Boost Uchumi Shares Despite Drop in Sales

Uchumi

Shares of Uchumi supermarket continued an upward rally at the bourse this week following revelations of possible cash injection by a strategic investor.

While other counters suffered a lull or no-show performance, the retailer shrugged off post-poll jitters to post an impressive Sh4 per share sale for 937,700 shares, up from last Monday’s 3.70 price when it moved 514,100 shares.

On Friday, the government-owned listed firm issued a statement exuding confidence of a impending deal between it and a strategic investor who had pledged to pump in Sh3.5 billion to acquire a stake.

This, they said, would help them settle debts owed to suppliers and property owners in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with part of the proceeds to be used in replenishing stocks.

The announcement on August 5 elicited positive interest in Uchumi shares that witnessed a sharp rise in trading from the 35,300 shares sold on August 3 to August 5’s close of day price of Sh3.45, where 828,400 shares were dealt.

Uchumi’s chief executive Julius Kipng’etich said the cash-strapped chain was seeking between Sh3.5 billion to Sh5 billion of debt capital through issue of convertible debt instrument or outright purchase of equity or a combination of both.

On Friday, Uchumi said the process of bringing on board a new investor would take four months or less, adding that the funds realised would help revamp its operations, stock up shelves, pay suppliers and rebuild customer confidence.

“The transaction process will come to a conclusion within the stipulated time or less, marking the last mile of Uchumi’s recovery,” said the CEO.

While auditors blamed Uchumi’s woes on mismanagement and abuse of office, the retail sector’s market leader Nakumatt has been suffering financial woes that saw it announce plans to bring in an investor to inject an undisclosed sum of money for a 25 per cent equity.

The firm has sought court intervention to avert seizure of its assets to repay rent arrears for two of its stores while workers have been going without salaries, raising fears on its preparedness to handle expansion into East Africa.

The regional operator with 65 stores across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda has expressed optimism of returning to profitability, but emerging details show all is not well with suppliers, workers and property owners who remain unpaid.

Suppliers Association chairman Kimani Rugendo said talks were ongoing over unpaid deliveries.

In its rescue plan, Uchumi saw Dr Kipng’etich move in, closed its Uganda and Tanzania subsidiaries, as well as several branches in Kenya, and got a not from shareholders to seek injection of fresh capital.

It also sold its Ngong Hyper and Lang’ata Hyper properties on a buy-lease back arrangement.

Source from allAfrica

02 Aug

Mobile contributes $110bn to sub-Saharan economies

sub-Saharan economy

Sub-Saharan Africa is, and will continue to be, the fastest growing mobile market in the world, contributing  $110bn to Sub-Saharan economy

By the end of the decade, there will be more than half a billion mobile subscribers in the region, up from 420 million at the end of 2016.

Among the growth drivers is the under-16 age group, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the population in many countries, and women, who are currently 17 percent less likely to have a mobile phone subscription than their male counterparts.

Mobile is now also a significant contributor to the sub-Saharan African economy. In 2016, mobile technologies and services generated $110bn of economic value, equivalent to 7.7 percent of regional GDP.

This figure is expected to grow to $142bn, or 8.6 percent of GDP, by 2020. The mobile ecosystem also employed about 3.5 million in the region last year, and contributed $13bn to the public sector through taxes.

Here are some of the key trends industry group GSMA has observed:

Transforming industries

Across Africa, mobile is transforming traditional industries and enabling innovative business models to deliver affordable and sustainable services.

Perhaps one of the best examples is mobile money, which has been critical in advancing financial inclusion over the last decade. There are now 140 live mobile money services in 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for nearly 280 million registered accounts.

Today, more than 40 percent of the adult population in seven countries – Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe – use mobile money regularly.

Utilities are another area where mobile is driving innovation. Mobile-based, pay-as-you-go solar enables access to clean energy solutions, with entrepreneurs partnering with mobile operators to deliver the solution.

Growing by nearly 40,000 systems per month, there are now one million home systems installed globally. Some 95 per cent are in sub-Saharan Africa, impacting about 4.8 million people.

We see similar innovation in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture and others. This is just the beginning as we move forward in Africa’s digital age.

Fuelling economies

Local mobile operators have invested $37bn in their networks over the past five years, mainly to deploy new 3G/4G mobile broadband networks across the region.

Fuelled by growing access to mobile data services and smart devices, the local mobile ecosystem is flourishing, supported by investments from operators and others in mobile-focused start-ups and tech hubs.

Seventy-seven tech start-ups across the region raised almost $370m in funding in 2016, up 33 percent from the previous year.

However, this continued growth and investment is not a given. The mobile industry faces several challenges, such as high levels of taxation and outdated regulatory frameworks.

Positive collaboration is needed between governments and the mobile industry to enable innovation and extend connectivity to all.

Connecting everyone

Looking beyond the numbers, mobile is positively impacting African society and helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time for the 2030 deadline.

Mobile operators across Africa are working together to deploy mobile-enabled solutions to deliver key services such as health and education, increase women’s access to mobile, create employment opportunities and decrease poverty.

Of course, the mobile industry cannot solve the challenges of the SDGs alone – no one can. Governments, industry, humanitarian organisations and individuals must come together to build sustainable partnerships.

Having just visited Tanzania and witnessed much of this first-hand, I am struck again by the power of mobile to foster innovation, to fuel economies and to transform lives across Africa.

[Via thisisafricaonline]

17 Jan

Hong Kong bans import of poultry meat and products from Uganda and areas in Germany, India and Japan

HONG KONG, The People’s Republic of China, January 17, 2017

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (January 17) that in view of notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the State of Bavaria in Germany and Kottayam District in Kerala State of India, and an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza in Uganda and a notification from the Japanese authorities about an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Gifu Prefecture, the CFS has banned the import of poultry meat and products (including poultry eggs) from the above places with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong.

A CFS spokesman said that in the first 11 months of last year, Hong Kong imported about 9 300 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 2 million poultry eggs from Germany, and about 6 800 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 45 million poultry eggs from Japan. Hong Kong at present has established a protocol with India for the import of poultry eggs but not for poultry meat, and no poultry eggs were imported into Hong Kong from India in the same period. In addition, as Hong Kong has not established any protocol with Uganda for imports of poultry meat and eggs, there is no import of such commodities from Uganda.

“The CFS has contacted the German, Indian, Japanese and Ugandan authorities over the issues and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks in the countries concerned. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation,” the spokesman said.