Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Say “I DO” From These Beautiful Locations Around Uganda

It’s not clear who came up with the idea that you have to get married only in a church. You can actually plan ahead by applying for the certificate earlier on so that on the d-day everything legal is sorted out.

So after opting out of doing your ceremony in church, you will need beautiful locations where your nuptials can be finalised from.

Some of the things to put into consideration for your wedding location are:

  • Affordability- Make sure you do not go beyond your stipulated budget just to stand out.
  • Accessibility- Can your guests access the location you have chosen? If it's an island, charter a ferry for them.
  • Is it worth it? Or you just want to spend money just because everyone did the same.
  • Does it suit your wedding needs?
  • The most important thing to consider is the certificate because without it then your marriage is not legal.

Here are some of the locations around Uganda, we thought you should add to your itinerary for your wedding. 

Garden Weddings

Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Maybe one of the most beautiful natural resources near Kampala, the gardens are a national conservation site for research managed by the National Agriculture Research Authority. They are home to different prominent tree species, birds, and monkeys. The property is quite expansive and stretches to the shores of Lake Victoria. 

Reception Venues

Instead of booking two locations at once, you can fully utilise any good reception venue as one for your wedding. Have the church section on one side and the reception on another. And since most locations are usually expansive gardens you will have enough space. 

Island Weddings

Bulago Island

One island with two beautiful properties that will keep your guests happy for your “getaway nuptials.” One Minute South Villa is a picturesque property with a personal touch to it where you can host your guests and stay by the beach. Whereas Pineapple Bay has a “hotel on an island” setting with cottages sprawled all over the property, it is a sight to behold and worth the boat ride from the mainland. 

Ssese Islands

You cannot go wrong with the Ssese islands; choose one of the many islands and stand out with your island wedding. They will give a refreshing feel to your ceremony, you can do it at the beach or move it to one of the forests. 

Along The River Nile

The Nile almost cuts Uganda into half, meaning you have many spots along its stretched banks to choose a destination. You can do it at the rocks at the Murchisons or maybe in Jinja at one of the many resorts on the Nile. This gives you a unique feel to your wedding. 

Adrenaline Vows

High Up A Peak

Thrill seekers will always look for a chance to do something amazing, of course you do not have to endanger your guests by putting your wedding on a cliff. But you can choose one of the many lower peaks of an accessible high rise with the permission of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and make a memorable wedding. 

National Park

Yes, these are not just for touring and hiding from wild animals but for special occasions too. So why not make a wedding in the wild? Most of the lodges in National Parks have wonderful views that give off a rustic vibe, use it to your benefit and make a rustic wedding. 

Home Wedding

Why spend all that money hiring out a venue when you have a big property to host guests? You will need a catering service and decorators to make the place glamorous then invite guests. If you do not have a big parking, that is what good neighbors and public spaces like fields, church/ mosque lots are for. Ask for permission and hire a security officer from the local police office. 





Governments Must Increase Transparency As A Tool To Fight Corruption

Ross Campbell, director public sector – Institute Of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW’s) was in Uganda for the 4th Africa congress of accountants that took place at Speke Resort Munyonyo from 2nd – 5th May 2017 under the theme ‘accountancy & accountability: transforming Africa’s economies’.

In this interview, he speaks about public finance management, corruption, donor funding and good corporate governance practice. Below are the excerpts: 

What does public finance management generally entail?

At its highest level public finance management entails ensuring that public funds are spent in accordance with the public good, that this spending represents value for money and that the continued expenditure is sustainable within realistic projections of government revenue.

This also requires good record keeping to ensure accountability to tax payers, effective risk management, and, critically, that future spending plans can be financed wisely which then promotes the creation of a stable economy.

What are the strong pillars that make up an effective public finance management system?

There are many pillars which support the creation and functioning of a stable and effective public finance management system. Among them are:

  • A strong accounting profession with qualified individuals who hold internationally recognised professional qualifications.
  • Robust international standards for accounting and audit to which professionals must adhere.
  • A strong independent audit profession which promotes transparency and accountability.
  • Ensuring that those holding senior management finance roles are appropriately qualified.
  • Creating and implementing appropriate systems and processes to guide the profession and ensure that professionals operate with integrity and accountability.
  • Publishing comprehensive information about public finances to promote trust in the profession.

Despite the enactment of a number of public finance management reforms since the 1990’s, Uganda continues to face many scandalous cases of misappropriation of public funds. What steps would you advise the government of Uganda to take to curb the vice of corruption altogether?

The single most important thing that any government can do to address corruption, whether in the present or the future, is to increase transparency by publishing up-to-date information which clearly and concisely presents how public funds have been used and what benefits these have resulted in for the society. This must be backed up by a strong independent audit function. In so doing, the government makes it much more difficult, if not impossible, for individuals who seek to engage in corrupt activities.

The public service has been riddled with corruption scandals mainly because of the weaknesses within financial management in government entities. What recommendations would you give to solve weak accountability that comes with soft controls and widespread corruption within the political and bureaucratic frameworks?

In order to bring in strong controls you need people who understand what such a system looks like and how it operates. Generally speaking, these are professionally qualified accountants or auditors who have successfully achieved very rigorous qualification, usually of an international standard.

Moreover, these professionals will be held to standards of behaviour by the professional body with which they qualified, with disciplinary consequences if any unethical behaviour on their part has been proven. In fact, this is a key requirement to address accountability: there must be consistent and enforced controls which safeguard the integrity of the profession.

Continuous corruption in Uganda has prompted several donor agencies to suspend budget support to Uganda over the years since 2012. What advice would you give regarding attracting these donors back?

Fundamentally, these donors have to trust the system. In order to either build or regain their trust, governments who require this funding, whether in Uganda or elsewhere in the world, must bring in reforms to ensure there is strong oversight and that that system of oversight and audit is itself subject to quality checks.

And the more independent that system is of government and the more it uses international standards for quality assurance and good practice, the more confidence these donors will have in it. This is the most critical way of restoring confidence and proving to these donor agencies that their support is appreciated and that their concerns are being seriously addressed.

The effectiveness of Uganda’s public finance management has also been affected partly by limited internet, infrastructure coverage, and a shortage of technical capacity expertise to operate the systems. What is your advice on improving Uganda’s public finance management?

Any system, in order to be effective, must be supported by a strong infrastructure which includes having professionals with the necessary skills and qualifications, systems that are resilient and capable of supporting the management and clear, transparent and auditable business processes. All three must be implemented together as they support each other. Having one without the others is not enough to ensure a robust public finance management system.

Citizens in Uganda continuously feel hard-pressed with taxes. How better can government of Uganda articulate the importance of paying tax to its citizens?

Again, this is a question of trust. In any society, the people must see how their taxes are being used and what benefits they are receiving. In other words, governments must justify the implementation of various forms of taxation. This is done, as mentioned earlier, through the publication of clear, concise, comprehensive, and independently audited information about public finances to promote trust in the profession and that their money will not be misappropriated. Only then will people believe in the importance of paying taxes. 

Should the government of Uganda be accountable to its citizens for each expenditure? If so, how?

Yes, of course. Any government must if it wishes to build trust in the system of public financial management. The way to do it, again, is through the publication of clear, concise, comprehensive, and independently audited information regarding how funds have been used and the benefits to society.

Bunyoro Innovator Wants Government To Set Up Science Lab In Oil Region

By Busiinge George

A 27 year old student of Gulu University, Hoima branch, is getting famous in Hoima district for his innovativeness. Luke Asaba alias LUCASI, a resident of Nyaruziiba village in Kagadi district claims that he has manufactured a projector which can project from 3 – 5 meters away. He has named it Garlssmanic Projector Made in Uganda, Gulu University, Bunyoro Branch.

Asaba says that some of the youths in Albertine grabben have developed a habit of not working, instead they sit idly waiting for the production of oil and gas to start so that they can get jobs and money. He says his peers are too idle and not innovative.

He added that he has decided to manufacture his Projector so that the country can save some money that it takes abroad to buy such machines when Ugandans can manufacture ‘ours through our

“I have one challenge which is lack of a science laboratory. Government should come and set for us a laboratory here in Bunyoro. It could also be one way of empowering the youth in the Albertine region. They can use it to be innovative instead of being idle waiting for the oil which is still in process,” Asaba, who says that it is not the first he is making such a projector, requested for help from government.

“I have spent 2 years while manufacturing this projector and I have been making research and improved on my innovation. I now want government to assist me by providing us with a science laboratory in the Albertine grabben,” Asaba said emphasizing.

He called upon fellow youth to stop the habit of sitting idly waiting for oil money. He says they should join him in his manufacturing industry. “We manufacture many things and as we wait for the oil and gas, because many lack the qualification to work in the oil industry, the youth should join me.

Asaba added that on his projector, he has used some materials which has cost him around Ushs400,000. These materials include:

  1. Disposable silver plates
    2. Slant
    3. Reflecting mirrors
    4. Sets of lenses
    5.Wires .
    6. Bulbs of 18 walts energy savers
    7. Woods


NSSF Infrastructure Investment Gets Global Recognition

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Uganda won the Africa Pension Fund Infrastructure Investment Initiative of the Year Award, beating other top pension funds on the continent. 

The NSSF Chief Investments Officer, Gerald Paul Kasaato, received the award on behalf of the Fund during the Africa Investor Infrastructure Development Summit held in Durban, South Africa on Tuesday, 2 May 2017. 

The Fund was recognized along with other global pension funds as well as leading pension fund personalities, for efforts made so far and being made in investments in the infrastructure space. Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said that the award is another milestone for the Fund for its prudent, yet aggressive investment strategy. 

“We are glad that our investment efforts such as the upcoming UN Model Project, the Off taker project in Real Estate, contractor financing and our investment on PTA Bank to finance infrastructure have been recognised. As a Fund, we are delighted but not surprised by this award,” Byarugaba said. 

In November last year, the Fund made an additional investment of about Ushs59.4 billion in Umeme Limited, effectively increasing its stake in the company from 15.5% to 23%. The Fund also invested in PTA Bank, which predominantly supports infrastructure funding.  

“We have become a benchmark for the social security industry in the East Africa region and we are steadily climbing the ladder to the top on the African continent,” he added. 

Byarugaba said the Fund is committed to preserving and growing the value of its members’ savings, by paying a real rate of return above the 10 year inflation average, driven by an aggressive investment strategy within Uganda and East Africa. 

The Fund has over the last 5 years consistently surpassed its target on interest payment to its members. Last year, the Fund paid an interest rate of 12.3%, which was higher than the 10-year average rate of inflation rate of 8.6%. 

This is the second time that the Fund is recognised at a continental and global level for its investments. In 2015, the Fund won the African Pension Leadership Initiative of the Year Award for its diversification efforts in the equity space. 

Commenting on the award, CEO of Africa Investor Hubert Danso said for Africa to realise its economic potential, it is critical that long-term industries, such as infrastructure, energy and transport, provide the groundwork for private equity transaction growth and job creation in Africa. 

“We are therefore delighted to recognise the leading role that institutional investors and, more especially, international and domestic pension funds play in these transformative investments in Africa. We salute all the winners, both pension fund leaders and institutional institutions,” Danso said. 

Africa Investor Summit partners include the World Pensions Council, the Institutional Limited Partners Association, the African Pension Fund Network and the African Securities Exchanges Association, amongst other prestigious institutions.


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