Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

Insurance Consultants Minet Upbeat About Uganda’s Oil Potential

Uganda’s oil and gas development and eventual production is set to see about $20bn invested in the country. This money will mainly be invested in putting in place required infrastructure to facilitate production of Uganda’s 6.5 billion barrels of crude buried in the Albertine Graben region, western Uganda.

This heavy and historic investment, according to Maurice Amogola, the Chief Executive Officer of Minet Limited, an insurance consultancy firm, presents a vast array of risks that if not insured can be disastrous and hamper the dreams of the country and the international oil and gas companies that have invested a fortune in the country.

In an interview with this website on Wednesday in Kampala, Amogola said while risks can be mitigated in various ways, insurance is very critical and oil companies, government and services providers cannot afford to ignore it. As a consultancy, Minet’s job is to discuss with clients about potential risks and suggest solutions by connecting client to suitable insurance firms to take the risk.

Amogola said in the advance of Uganda’s oil production, the market is preparing and insurance companies and Uganda Insurers Institute are training their personnel to understand the risks that might manifest in the oil and gas industry.

He explained that while the risks in the oil and gas industry are big and capital burdening, insurance firms can pool their resources together and spread the risk. “Companies that are here locally will be able to ensure local risks but the bigger risks and the liabilities that manifest will have to be shared with other international companies,”

“You will hear of companies like SwissRe, Alliance, UgandaRe, African Insurance Corporation, KenyaRe, PTA Insurance and others. All these organizations will share the risks that will come up in the oil and gas industry. We are taking our people through the processes.”

Minet, formerly Aon, is a consulting firm specializing in risk and human capital management. As the largest Aon Global Network Correspondent, Minet has access to a network spreading to 120 countries.

Minet is a well – known and trusted brand across many African markets. The rebirth of Minet marks an historic milestone in the Risk Advisory Industry. Minet is a Pan- African brand with an extensive African foot print, owned and led by Africans for Africans.

Minet and Aon will continue to have a close working relationship, which leverages Aon’s global expertise, strengthened by our local knowledge and experience. As Aon’s largest global network correspondent, Minet will be the partner of choice for businesses across Africa and continue to provide the same exceptional service to all clients across Africa.

Oil And Gas Local Content To Promote Industrialization – Roofings’ Lalani

The pursuit of local content in Uganda’s oil and gas sector received the backing of businessman Sikander Lalani when he said that in the presence of a robust participation of local goods and services suppliers the country’s oil and gas adventure will lead to industrialization and economic transformation.

Lalani who owns Roofings Group worth $300m was addressing a congregation at a cocktail hosted by Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) at his residence in Kampala’s upscale Nakasero suburb.

“We are looking forward for the upcoming oil and gas industry. Surely, all the service providers and manufacturers will benefit a lot and we thank government for encouraging local content. Local content is to supply to the sector; this will promote industrialization and economic transformation in the country.” He said in his brief address.

The national oil and gas policy which was established in 2008, two years after Uganda discovered commercially viable crude oil deposits in western Uganda provides for the participation of Ugandans in the oil and gas industry. Subsequent national laws and regulation made it mandatory for the industry to absorb Ugandans and local businesses.

In the same spirit a national content policy has been drafted and is before cabinet for consideration. Government, through various agencies, oil companies and development partners are facilitated the skilling of Ugandans so that they are not technically kicked out of the industry.

Elly Karuhanga, the chairperson of UCMP said that it is the role of the private sector to create local content awareness by exposing the opportunities in the industry and preparing themselves to be able to execute these opportunities.

“Our job is to make an alarm that something is happening, that our economy is on fire, it is unstoppable and that nothing will ever stop Uganda from becoming a middle income country if not a donor country to the neighbors.

Uganda should be the hub of oil and gas industry for countries that have been endowed with oil and gas – in Sudan, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. So let’s train and skill our people.” Karuhanga told members of the Chamber who gathered for an evening of networking at the posh home of the Lalanis.

Huawei Seeds For The Future Students Learn Chinese To Boost Their Competitiveness

The ten Ugandan ICT students who are on a two-weeks technological study trip in China under the Huawei “Seeds for the Future” Programme 2018 have expressed happiness at the opportunity to learn the Chinese Language.

The students whose ICT related proposals were chosen as the best from the 35 presented by students from the Public Universities in Uganda, were recently flagged off by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni for a hands-on ICT training in China under Huawei’s Seeds for the Future program.

They include Abigaba Hilda from Lira University, Karasira Cosmas from Busitema University, Kasumba Robert, Mangeni Ajambo Cleopatra, Nanyonga Berinda and Obbo Peter   from Makerere University, plus Kirembwe Andrew, Mugisha Samuel, Nakate Annet and Oola Gerald from Muni University.

While in Beijing, Huawei has enabled the Ugandan students to be trained by the Beijing Language and Culture University’s School of Continuing Education for a week in speaking and writing the Chinese language. The students are also being exposed to the Chinese painting and Culture and a test will be administered after the one week and certificates credited to the successful ones.

Oola Gerard, studying Computer Science in Information Technology at Muni University and who is also the Huawei Seed for the Future Student’s leader in China, said it is a great opportunity for him and his colleagues to learn the Chinese language because being able to speak the language will give them a comparative advantage over their peers when competing for relevancy and employment in the global world.

“We need to learn Chinese because China is a big economy and in order for us to benefit from it we need the language which will be our bridge. I am going further to learn more Chinese when I go back to Uganda. We thank Huawei Uganda for this initiative”, he said.

Belinda Nanyonga a Student of Software Engineering from Makerere University urges her peers back home to learn other foreign languages in addition to their professional courses in order to compete favourably in the global world.

She says, “There are many businesses in Uganda owned by the Chinese but since most people cannot communicate in the Chinese language, they are failing to benefit from these business for example like getting employment.”

As for me I have learnt some elementary Chinese and I can now go and buy something in a super market here in Beijing because I even know how to count the money. When I return home, I will ensure that I continue teaching myself using the internet” she added.

The Chinese Lecturer Xíng Xiăoyan lauded the Ugandan students saying they are very interested and keen to learn Chinese. She said she hopes they will in future take more lesson in the language.

While in Beijing the students also visited the Great Wall in Beijing, an historical site traced back to 2,000 years ago and which attracts about 80,000 tourists; both Chinese and foreigners, every day. They were also taken on a guided tour of the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, found in Beijing, which was built on 72 hectares and is the biggest preserved palace in the world.

The Ugandan students will relocate to Shenzhen on Friday where they will have a week of a hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, LTE and cloud computing at the Huawei Technologies Headquarters.

Lina Cao the Public Relations Officer Huawei Technologies (Uganda) Co. Ltd, who accompanied the students to China, urged them to effectively utilize their time in China, take advantage of the ICT expertise and experience and ensure knowledge transfer to their Universities.

This is the third group of students to visit China under the Huawei's “Seeds for the Future” global Corporate Social Responsibility flagship program, which has so far benefitted 30 Ugandan Students since President Yoweri Museveni flagged it off in 2016.

Museveni Dangles African Natural Resources In Face Of Western Firms

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda said Western companies, unlike Chinese firms, have been ‘sleeping’ and ‘reluctant’ to take up projects and investing in the African continent adding that the West ‘don't care about what potential is in Africa.’

The President then challenged Western companies to take interest in helping Africa explore its resources potential, saying the continent presented immense business opportunities. "Africa is going to be a huge power house in terms of business," said the President.

"Africa and the West share a lot of history together and there is a need for them to use these past linkages to further economic business," said the President.

The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe as he witnessed the signing of the Project Framework Agreement between the government and the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC).

While congratulating the parties to the agreement, President Museveni said the composition of the AGRC showed that Western companies were also waking up to realise Africa's potential.

The agreement, according to a statement released by the State House media team, will ensure development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the oil refinery in Hoima District, Western Uganda, where the country has 6.5 billion barrels of un-extracted crude oil.

Africa is widely endowed with natural resources that have in the recent years attracted not only Western companies but also Chinese firms. Many African countries like Ghana, Uganda and Kenya are becoming major oil producers. The oil works are being conducted by mainly Western companies like Britain’s Tullow and France’s Total.

The minerals have been a major foreign exchange earner for many countries in Africa right from the time when the colonial master arrived on the continent. Hundreds of year later, companies from the West are arriving to explore and mine minerals. These activities are improving the economic fortunes of host African countries.

And now with the invitation of African presidents like Museveni, Western companies get more energized to venture into Africa and do business with the willing governments and citizens. This will see more foreign direct investment coming into the continent – creating more jobs, infrastructure and improved standards of living.

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