Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Freight Forwarders Turn Focus To Oil And Gas Money

The Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) and the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), are jointly organizing the inaugural Regional Logistics EXPO 2017 and the 3rd Annual Oil & Gas Convention scheduled for April 25 to April 27, 2017 at Serena Hotel.

The joint event will be held under two themes: “Transforming Uganda into a Regional Logistics Hub - What is your role?”  and “Oil & Gas Doors Open in Uganda”.

Announcing the upcoming event on Monday, April 10, 2017, Dr Elly Karuhaga, the Chairman of the UCMP, noted that more than 800,000 tonnes of equipment is expected to be transported to the Albertine oil region as Uganda seeks to achieve First Oil by 2020.

 “After the launch of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the crude export pipeline from Hoima to the Port of Tanga in Tanzania and the same for Nwoya and Buliisa exploration areas, the stage is now set for Uganda’s oil and gas industry to take off. This presents a huge opportunity for our freight and logistics counterparts,” said Karuhanga.

“However, for this to be realized, the logistics industry has to attain very high capacity and become extremely efficient. Hence this upcoming forum intends to come up with solutions that will boost our logistics to meet the high demands of the oil sector," he added.

As such, Karuhanga noted, with over 1,000 delegates expected from across the world, the symposium will present an opportunity for joint-venture partnerships within the logistics industry, between local players and their large international counterparts to build the capacity needed to serve the oil industry.

Echoing the importance of collaborating with the oil and gas sector, Mrs. Jennifer K Mwijukye, the outgoing chairperson of the UFFA acknowledged that indeed these were exciting times for the two business associations, hence the need to join forces and define strategic economic interventions that can spur sustained economic growth in Uganda.

 “Both the logistics and oil industries believe that transforming Uganda into a regional logistics’ hub will significantly help the country attain its middle income aspirations,” noted Mwijukye.

Adding, “It’s only natural that being the main organization in transport and logistics, the UFFA takes the lead in championing the call for Uganda’s transformation into a logistics hub.”

A logistics hub can be defined as a central distribution area or a location designated for logistics activities. Normally these are established for strategic economic reasons that call for input from various stakeholders.

“A regional logistics hub in Uganda is a no-brainer because of our strategic geographic location as a next door neighbor to the large markets of South Sudan and DRC that would make organized cross-border trade lucrative. It is high time we exploited our land-linked-ness rather than always lamenting about being landlocked,” Mwijukye said.

In addition, she said, the hub would enhance exports, boost industrialization while transforming upcountry towns like Tororo, Kasese and Gulu into cities that would comfortably accommodate the high demands of the petroleum industry especially in the storage and handling of bulk products.

Dr Merian Sebunya, a board member of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU),  one of the partners of the event, said that certainly Uganda’s entire economic performance was intensively transport dependent, hence their coming on board to support the symposium.

“Uganda's key sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, mining and very soon oil, require transportation of large quantities of freight of low to medium value. This has compelled the PSFU to establish the National Logistics Platform, with support from Trademark East Africa, that seeks to develop a comprehensive strategy to enhance the logistics industry," Sebunya said.

Gerald Ekinu, from the Ministry of Works and Transport, also pledged government’s support to the Expo and Convention, noting the urgent need for an efficient logistics and transportation industry in Uganda.

Apart from, the Principal Economist Ministry of Works & Transport, PSFU and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), other partners include the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the World Bank and UKAID.

 

Power For All Report Pinpoints Policies To Accelerate Energy Access

A ground-breaking report recently released by Power for All identifies the five most important national energy policies needed to end electricity poverty for approximately 1 billion rural poor (mostly living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia), and outlines the steps governments can take to implement those policies, in particular the integration of decentralized renewable (also known as distributed or “off-grid”) solutions into energy infrastructure planning and build-out.

The report centers on new quantitative and qualitative analysis from the Platform for Energy Access Knowledge (PEAK) -- a joint project between the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), University of California, Berkeley and the Power for All campaign. PEAK examined the policies of five high-growth decentralized renewable energy (DRE) markets -- India and Bangladesh in Asia, and Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia in Africa -- to identify trends in energy policy that will help other countries replicate success.

In order to measure progress, the report also unveils an Energy Access Target Tracker (EATT), which for the first time indexes the 48 energy-poorest countries and their national energy access targets, and determines which are best prepared to achieve universal electrification and which are not. Currently, almost two-thirds of the countries lack a rural energy access target. The 48 countries together account for 540 million rural unelectrified, more than half of the global total.

A 2016 report by Power for All concluded that ending energy poverty by 2030 -- the focus of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 -- can only be achieved for the rural poor by accelerating investment in decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions such as mini-grids and rooftop solar.

The new report, titled “Decentralized Renewables: From Promise to Progress”, builds on those findings, with a focus on the need for policy leadership alongside increased access to finance. The analysis of the high-growth DRE markets identified key policy levers that have resulted in success. Those five policies are:

  • Reduction of import duties and tariffs on DRE related products
  • Support for the availability of local finance through loans and grants and microfinance
  • Establishment of energy access targets or national commitments to electrification
  • Establishment of rural electrification plans or programs that incorporate DRE
  • Technical regulation through established licensing procedures for mini-grid operators and through adoption of quality standards for products and services

But more than just identifying what policies are behind rapid rural energy access, the new report also addresses how to get there, by making key three recommendations on policy implementation and process, including:

Setting the target: include decentralized renewables in national policies and rural electrification plans

Ending the implementation gap: institute decentralized energy in integrated energy planning so that grid extension, mini-grids, and standalone systems are given equal consideration

Instituting collaborative policy design: DRE multi-stakeholder-led policy-making that includes government, private sector, funding and civil society actors

“Decentralized renewable energy is the key to unlocking SDG 7, and this report not only identifies the policies necessary to jumpstart that process, but for the first time outlines specific actions that help national governments successfully implement these policies,” said Rebekah Shirley, Power for All research director and co-author of the new report. “Energy access is possible, but only with political will and leadership at the national level.”

Turning its Call to Action into tangible results, Power for All recently hosted multi-stakeholder meetings in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, where governments, civil society and the private sector responded with clear commitments to accelerate energy access via DRE.

Mohammed Wasaram, managing director of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) pledged that his organization would “continue to uphold its mandate to ensure the facilitation of entry of new market participants and continued development of local rural electrification ventures. REA recognizes the efforts of the Power for All initiative and commends them for serving as an organized focal point for such market participants in renewable energy and will continue to support such initiatives."

 

Graduates Get Employment Tips

There is always that desire to get your dream job right after university. Actually many young people refuse to take on lesser jobs waiting for the big dream job to come their way. However Rajiv Ruparelia, the promoter of Victoria University thinks otherwise.

While speaking at the second graduation of Victoria University at Kabira Country Club last week said this could be a wrong approach most times to many graduates. Rajiv, a youthful successful entrepreneur, advised that starting at the lower ranks of a working environment prepares you to grow professionally.

“The mistake many of you make is that you want to be Managing Directors after university, no, this is wrong. Start at the lower ranks and grow within the system. This prepares you to excel and gives you experience.” Rajiv, also Managing Director of Ruparelia Group said. 

Twenty three students walked away with degrees in different disciplines while two took home diplomas. The university acting Vice Chancellor Godfrey Nyakana said about 150 students earned certificates in different courses but most notably in oil and gas management.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the promoter of Victoria University

Three students earned a bachelor of nursing science, five students graduated with bachelor of midwifery science, six students were awarded a bachelor of public health and one student got a bachelor of computer science.

Also, one student got a bachelor of IT, two students got a bachelor of banking and finance, and other two students got a bachelor of business administration while one student each got a diploma in social work and social administration and business information systems.

The Chancellor of Victoria University in Kampala Dr. Martin Aliker called on graduating students of Victoria University to add value to society by being compassionate.  

“I want to take this opportunity to thank parents who have come here for supporting and funding the education of your children. To the students go out and add value to society. Be compassionate.” Dr Aliker counseled graduates at the graduation ceremony.

Joseph Nyakaana, the university vice chancellor said the University currently boosts of 199 students undertaking studies in the four faculties. He advised graduates not to sit on their laurels because they have graduated. He noted that graduating is no achievement compared to what awaits them in the employment world.

 

 

 

 

Here’s What You Should Know Before Thrill Seeking

Deep down most people love living for the thrill, from childhood the ideas of jumping into lakes from cliffs to swinging on tree branches. We all love the feeling that comes with thrills, the only difference is some people are more daring than others.

Thrill seekers are people who are eager to take part in exciting activities that involve physical risk. They are always aware of the underlying dangers of the activities they will undertake but they will do it anyway. But before you throw care to the wind and embrace danger, here are some of the things you should know or do. 

What Are Your Limits?

Not everyone can handle some activities and just because everyone is doing something does not mean you have to do it too. Everyone’s body has a level of pain and what it can handle so before you do something, understand your body. Understand how flexible you are to swing on cliffs, how strong your limbs are for mountain climb and if your chest can handle high altitudes. Go for checkups. 

Where Are You Going?

For every location you pick, you should tailor it to your body and by this it means you pick a challenge you can handle. If you are a good swimmer, you can choose extreme kayaking or whitewater rafting, it would do you a big disservice to choose an activity that you are not well versed with.

Location research helps you understand what regulations local authorities have on what activity you will be engaging just to be on the safe side of the law. Lastly, when you do research on your destinations it helps you plan properly especially with the budget and what equipment you will need. 

Emergency Kits

Wherever you go, it is advisable for any traveller to have an emergency first aid kit with them especially when headed into remote areas where medical facilities are not easy to access. You can find an emergency kit in medical supply stores or camping gear stores. 

Necessary Equipment

What trip are you planning to have? Where are you planning to go to? This helps get to know what equipment you will need for the trip. The equipment you will need for mountain climbing is different from that for sky diving. You would have to look for it from sporting equipment dealers or stores. To be on the safe side, make sure you look up everything you will need even the small things you think might not be that important. 

Practice Makes Perfect

After purchasing your equipment, you need to get better at using it. Take it for test-runs to get familiar and make sure it works very well. If you have not been a regular mountain climber, try practicing on a small hilly place that is easy for you to scale and with something that can easily break your fall. 

Professionals

People have been mountain climbing/ sky diving or any other thrilling adventure should be the first people you talk to before you do so.Their advice is most important since they know the thrills and dangers that come with that very activity. 

Keep Fit

One thing about most thrill seekers is they are fit enough to undertake whatever activities they know will satisfy their urge for adventure. You can not do things that other people are scared of doing when you are not fit for it. Try taking your body through full body exercises depending on what you will be engaging in, so that it is ready for the strain that will be imposed on it later on. 

Communicate

Always have your immediate family and friends informed about wherever you will be headed to no matter what time it is. Try investing in a satellite phone for locations that make communication difficult.  Incase of emergency, have your IDs and information cards for contacts who can be notified since accidents are very common during such activities. 

Get Insurance

Having the right travel insurance is very important especially if you are frequent traveler. Choose your insurance provider carefully from the packages and what countries the covers are offered. 

Please note that as much as thrilling seeking involves a lot adventure and fun, you are not advised to undertake such activities without professionals. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

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