School Teacher Flees Over Threats

An elderly woman in Masaka and her family are living in fear after one of her grandchildren was outed as a gay man spreading the homosexual agenda.

While appealing for help, the granny (names withheld) says she fears for her life after the mob, openly vowed to kill her, burn her home and slash her gardens.  What makes it sad is that the Police have turned a deaf ear after several pleas for protection.

She reveals that the source of her misery is one of her grandsons, Hamza Ssewankambo who is accused of committing an abomination.

Ssewankambo, a former teacher is accused of spreading homosexuality to school-going pupils. He says that although he has since fled for fear of persecution by the hate mob, he continues to be harassed. 

“Ever since the secret came out that my son was gay, we have never known peace.  Several men have threatened to kill us and banish us from the village.  They are demanding that I produce Hamza.  They even tell me that they have protection from Security forces and I shouldn’t bother reporting the threats,” she laments

“My grandson the sole breadwinner was expelled from school over gay claims.  He was once beaten by a mob. They claimed parents had withdrawn their children from the school following his actions. When I reported to Police, I wasn’t helped,” She says.

She admits she lives in an intolerant neighbourhood where people can kill if you are suspected of harbouring someone who is gay.

She confesses that Hamza Ssewankambo lived a troubled life growing up. We always felt bad but tried to help him. We tried to get him a wife but we don’t know what went wrong and we thought he would change.  It was for our own safety because we felt threatened.

 When I heard he got into trouble I was very concerned but now people are coming to me threatening me and my home. I Have learnt that his on the run but I’m also worried his life too.       

“Police haven’t helped us. We live in fear,” she says.   She fears that they will end up like David Kato, a prominent gay rights activist who was murdered in his home in 2011 weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed.

Recently, Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said: "Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that."

"Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act.

"We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence."

Lack of climate adaptation investment could cost emerging markets hundreds of billions by 2030

Failure to invest the bare minimum needed to withstand projected climate damage could cost emerging markets hundreds of billions in climate damages and lost GDP growth this decade, according to a new study by Standard Chartered. 

The Adaptation Economy, which investigates the need for climate adaptation investment in 10 markets – including China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan – reveals that, without investing a minimum of USD30 billion in adaptation by 2030, these markets could face projected damages and lost GDP growth of USD377 billion: over 12 times that amount. 

The projection assumes that the world succeeds in limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement. In a 3.5°C scenario the estimated minimum investment required more than doubles to USD62 billion and potential losses escalate dramatically if the investment is not made.   

Examples of climate adaptation projects include the creation of coastal barrier protection solutions for areas vulnerable to flooding, the development of drought-resistant crops and early-warning systems against pending natural disasters. 

India to benefit the most from adaptation investment 

Among the 10 markets in the study, India is projected to benefit the most from adaptation investment. The market would require an estimated USD11billion to prevent climate damages and lost growth of USD135.5 billion in a 1.5°C warming scenario – equal to a thirteen-to-one return for the Indian economy of investment in climate adaptation. 

Meanwhile, China could avoid an estimated cost of USD112 billion by investing just USD8 billion. And Kenya could avoid costs of an estimated USD2 billion by investing USD200 million in adaptation. 

Market

Minimum investment required (1.5°C)

(USD)

Economic benefit (USD)

India

10.6 billion

135.5 billion

China

8.1 billion

111.9 billion

Indonesia

4 billion

39 billion

UAE

2.7 billion

31.5 billion

Nigeria

1.5 billion

19.9 billion

Bangladesh

1.2 billion

11.6 billion

Egypt

900 million

8.6 billion

Vietnam

600 million

8.9 billion

Pakistan

600 million

7.6 billion

Kenya

200 million

2.2 billion

The case for adaptation

Even if the world’s nations manage to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, measures to adapt to climate change must be pursued alongside the global decarbonisation agenda, with the banking sector having a critical role to play in unlocking finance. 

The USD30billion investment required for adaptation represents only slightly more than 0.1 per cent of combined annual GDP of the 10 markets in the study and much less than the estimated USD95 trillion emerging markets require to transition to net zero using mitigation measures, as outlined in Standard Chartered’s Just in Time report. 

The Adaptation Economy also surveyed 150 bankers, investors and asset managers and found that, currently, just 0.4% of the capital held by respondents is allocated to adaptation in emerging markets where investment is needed most. 

However, 59% of respondents plan to increase their adaptation investments over the next 12 months. And on average, adaptation financing is expected to rise from 0.8% of global assets in 2022 to 1.4% by 2030. 

Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer, Standard Chartered said: “This report makes it clear that irrespective of efforts to keep global warming as close to 1.5C as possible, we are going to have to incorporate climate-warming effects into our systems and adapt to its reality.   

“All nations will need to adapt to climate change by building more resilient agriculture, industry and infrastructure, but the need is greatest in emerging and fast-developing economies with a disproportionate risk of exposure to the negative effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather.   

“We must urgently recognise that adaptation is a shared necessity, and as our Adaptation Economy research so effectively highlights, inaction creates a shared societal burden of exponentially increasing cost. The financial sector has a crucial role to play in directing capital towards adaptation and creating the proof points to demonstrate that investing in adaptation can be a commercially viable attractive proposition for the private sector."

 

Sharp, Long-Lasting Slowdown To Hit Developing Countries Hard

Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects report. 

Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development—such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, or escalating geopolitical tensions—could push the global economy into recession. This would mark the first time in more than 80 years that two global recessions have occurred within the same decade. 

The global economy is projected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024. The sharp downturn in growth is expected to be widespread, with forecasts in 2023 revised down for 95% of advanced economies and nearly 70% of emerging market and developing economies. 

Over the next two years, per-capita income growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to average 2.8%—a full percentage point lower than the 2010-2019 average. In Sub-Saharan Africa—which accounts for about 60% of the world's extreme poor—growth in per capita income over 2023-24 is expected to average just 1.2%, a rate that could cause poverty rates to rise, not fall. 

"The crisis facing development is intensifying as the global growth outlook deteriorates," said World Bank Group President David Malpass. "Emerging and developing countries are facing a multi-year period of slow growth driven by heavy debt burdens and weak investment as global capital is absorbed by advanced economies faced with extremely high government debt levels and rising interest rates. Weakness in growth and business investment will compound the already-devastating reversals in education, health, poverty, and infrastructure and the increasing demands from climate change." 

Growth in advanced economies is projected to slow from 2.5% in 2022 to 0.5% in 2023. Over the past two decades, slowdowns of this scale have foreshadowed a global recession. In the United States, growth is forecast to fall to 0.5% in 2023—1.9 percentage points below previous forecasts and the weakest performance outside of official recessions since 1970. In 2023, euro-area growth is expected at zero percent—a downward revision of 1.9 percentage points. In China, growth is projected at 4.3% in 2023—0.9 percentage point below previous forecasts. 

Excluding China, growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to decelerate from 3.8% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023, reflecting significantly weaker external demand compounded by high inflation, currency depreciation, tighter financing conditions, and other domestic headwinds. 

By the end of 2024, GDP levels in emerging and developing economies will be roughly 6% below levels expected before the pandemic. Although global inflation is expected to moderate, it will remain above pre-pandemic levels. 

The report offers the first comprehensive assessment of the medium-term outlook for investment growth in emerging market and developing economies. Over the 2022-2024 period, gross investment in these economies is likely to grow by about 3.5% on average—less than half the rate that prevailed in the previous two decades. The report lays out a menu of options for policy makers to accelerate investment growth. 

"Subdued investment is a serious concern because it is associated with weak productivity and trade and dampens overall economic prospects. Without strong and sustained investment growth, it is simply impossible to make meaningful progress in achieving broader development and climate-related goals," said Ayhan Kose, Director of the World Bank's Prospects Group. 

"National policies to boost investment growth need to be tailored to country circumstances but they always start with establishing sound fiscal and monetary policy frameworks and undertaking comprehensive reforms in the investment climate." 

The report also sheds light on the dilemma of 37 small states—countries with a population of 1.5 million or less. These states suffered a sharper COVID-19 recession and a much weaker rebound than other economies, partly because of prolonged disruptions to tourism.

In 2020, economic output in small states fell by more than 11%— seven times the decline in other emerging and developing economies. The report finds that small states often experience disaster-related losses that average roughly 5% of GDP per year. This creates severe obstacles to economic development. 

Policymakers in small states can improve long-term growth prospects by bolstering resilience to climate change, fostering effective economic diversification, and improving government efficiency. The report calls upon the global community to assist small states by maintaining the flow of official assistance to support climate-change adaptation and help restore debt sustainability.

Post Bank Goes Smart With New Cardless ATMs

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

In a bid to offer more convenient and up to date services to costumers, state owned  Bank  Post Bank Uganda Limited has introduced smart ATMs that can be used with or without ATM cards as it’s latest innovation.

Some of the value added services customers can take advantage of with these new Smart ATMs include larger deposits of up to 30 million Ugx and cheaper money transfer services across the country.

According to Post Bank Uganda's CEO Julius Kakeeto, the introduction of these Smart ATMs is part of the bank’s medium term strategy to move from the mainly brick and mortar banking to integrate more digital channels into the services they offer their customers.

“ Our newly introduced Smart ATMs will offer greater convenience, save time and cut transaction costs for our customers too as they will be able to bank up to 30 million Ugx through our smart ATMs some thing the old machines didn’t have which will offer convenience mainly for SMEs that close business late and need to bank their cash for safe custody.”  

Getting rid of the long queues in the bank something  we have also been working tirelessly towards since we embarked on this digitisation strategy in 2020. This drive has been boosted with these new full self service Smart ATMs which will ensure more types of transactions and larger transactions sizes can be done at any of our 60 Smart ATMs across the country.

Besides being able to transact using these machines with just your fingers and no need for an ATM card, Customers need not to worry about fraud and crime with in these new smart ATMs and other digital applications of the bank according to Andrew Kabeera the Bank’s Executive Director.

“We have ensured that as management, the bank staff have the type of skills with in our Human resources and the necessary technology too to make sure our customers transactions are safe and fraud can be averted quickly by investing over $4 million dollars in advanced systems to guarantee this” he said.

Presiding over the function as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Finance Honorable Henry Musasizi applauded Post Bank for this new innovation.

“ As government we are looking at mainly two things to uplift our people from poverty. The first one is integrating every one into the monetized economy and secondly ensuring cheap and affordable capital reaches our low income citizens scattered across the country all of which these new Smart ATMs and Post Bank’s digitisation drive will support.”

 As a result we commend post bank for this great innovation and pledge to work with it to ensure the success of our programs as government going forward especially the Parish Development model we are now rolling out country wide he added.

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DR Congo Entry Into EAC Good For Uganda Oil & Gas Sector

By Dr. Abel Tindao

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has joined the East Africa Community (EAC) at a critical time for Uganda and its quest to become an oil and gas producer. Uganda and partners - Tanzania, TotalEnergies, CNOOC Uganda and others – in February announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) that will see international oil companies invest about $15bn in the Albertine Graben, western Uganda.

Uganda, with 6.2bn barrels of yet to be extracted crude oil (1.7bn said to be recoverable) shares a political boundary with DRC. Already, endowed with various minerals like gold, diamond and other, DRC, according to a 2012 seismic survey, suspects to have about 3bn barrels in the blocks around the Lake Albert basin. This basin is shared by both countries.

It is important to note that while Uganda and DRC are politically friendly, the continued instability in East DRC, including harbouring Ugandan rebels is detrimental to regional peace, doing business, development and social welfare. But now that DRC has joined the EAC, there is hope that the bloc can as a group pacify that part of DRC.

Existing collaboration between Uganda & DRC

Late last year, Uganda and DRC collaborated to help Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) flush out Allied Defense Forces (ADF) rebels out of their hideouts inside DRC using what has been called Operation Shuja. The ADF, backed by terrorism groups like Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda, had bombed two separate targets in Uganda’s capital Kampala. This collaboration is an indication that more collaborations can be achieved more so if they are economic.

In December of 2021 it was reported that Uganda had started building 223km of roads in the DRC at a cost estimated to be USD330m to improve trade in the two countries.

In 2020, DRC exported $17.7M to Uganda. The main products that DRC exported to Uganda are Raw Tobacco ($4.65M), Scrap Iron ($3.73M), and Sawn Wood ($3.15M). In the last 25 years the exports of DRC to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 16.1%, from $421, 000 in 1995 to $17.7M in 2020.

In 2020, Uganda exported $265M to DRC. The main products that Uganda exported to DRC were Cement ($40.6M), Palm Oil ($24.2M), and Rice ($12.2M). In the last 25 years the exports of Uganda to DRC have increased at an annualized rate of 8.03%, from $38.4M in 1995 to $265M in 2020.

With these number as provided by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), an online data visualization and distribution platform, Uganda stands to benefit from this arrange by exporting more to the DRC< a country with a population of 90 million people.

The two above collaboration show to what extent the two countries eying economic transformation can go. And now that they are endowed with rich natural resources, there is so much they can achieve if they focus on being good neighbors, promote peace, economic recovery and pan Africanism.

Untapped potential waiting

Of the entire Albertine Graben endowed with huge potential of hydrocarbons, Uganda has explored only 40 percent and will in the next 25 years when the confirmed recoverable oil is expected to be depleted, Uganda will have earned a humongous USD50bn. But that is anything to be worried about. Already Oranto Petroleum and Armour Energy have been licensed to do exploration in that area.

Also, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) has sent out expression of interest for oil and gas exploration. Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) is teaming up China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Uganda) to venture into that. This is an indication of how rich the Albertine Graben is and the prospects for Uganda continue to look good.

The DRC is already an oil producing country, positioned number 12 in Africa, depending largely on its coastal production activities in the western part of the country. But Sub Sahara’s largest country has huge untapped potential on borders of Uganda.

TotalEnergies, the oil company commandeering the development and eventual production of Uganda’s oil is said ‘to be chasing for business in DRC’ with a mission to tap into their resources. The oil company and Uganda & DRC can harmonize their interests and come up with a formula that will see the natural resources exploited and benefit the citizens.

Protecting the environment, rich biodiversity

Of course this has to be done sustainably since it is in an eco-sensitive area rich in biodiversity. You wouldn’t want to extract the hydrocarbon at the expense of the environment. That would be disastrous and irresponsible. Already, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have sounded worries that fossil fuels is putting the environment in Lake Albert basin at risk and fueling climate change.

To avert such fears, Uganda has a good National Oil Gas Policy whose mission is to create everlasting value from the resources and law regimes that are protective of not only revenues that will be accrued from the oil and gas production but also the environment. DRC can bench on what Uganda has achieved, and of course, Uganda can offer what it has learnt so far.

Tightening security & ensuring peace

In the jungles of eastern DRC, proximately next to Uganda, there over 133 rebel or militia groups funded by the illicit minerals trade. These militias are a menace and if not dealt with can curtail the proper and sustainable exploitation of these natural resources.

We have seen this happen in Nigeria’s Delta where militia bomb and set oil pipelines ablaze. Uganda and DRC need to find a domestic solution to this because, like we have seen, even with the presence of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), a UN peacekeeping force hasn’t stopped these militias from causing havoc.

Sometimes Lake Albert has seen Ugandan fishermen attacked by armed civilians or DRC soldiers and robbed clean while on the lake in Ugandan waters. This continues to happen even when the Ugandan government protested to their counterpart in Kinshasa. This cannot continue especially when exploration for oil is ongoing on the lake. Gun wielding bandits are a risk to manpower undertaking exploration. Oil companies wouldn’t want to invest and risk the lives of their workers like that.

It is therefore important that the two countries work out a solution and give investors and oil companies a guarantee that they are safe. Investor confidence is earned.

The writer is a Ugandan marine security expert.

You Are The Torch Of Today, Forge New Tomorrows, Jyotsna Ruparelia Preps Indian Women Entrepreneurs Ahead Of Awards & Cultural Festival

Businesswoman Jyotsna Ruparelia has hailed Ugandan-Indian women for being full of strength and being visionary. Her kudos come ahead of the forthcoming Indian Women Entrepreneur Awards & Indian Cultural Festival scheduled for 12th March 2022 at UMA Multipurpose Hall in Kampala.

“Ladies, you are all selected as winners; you women, have shown some special qualities - caring, courage and confidence. As entrepreneurs, you have taken the road less traveled. With deep respect, you infuse the culture we live in with our values of giving and growth – congratulations,” Jyotsna said in a recorded video.

Jyotsna, the co-founder of the Ruparelia Foundation and director of Ruparelia Group of Companies congratulated the Indian High Commissioner for organising the first of its kind event, the Indian Women Entrepreneurs awards ceremony and cultural festival.

“Ladies you are the torch of today who will forge new tomorrows. Welcome to the circle of Ugandan Indian women who are known for strength and vision,” she stated.

 

The High Commission of India, Kampala is organizing the Indian Women Entrepreneur Award & Indian Cultural Festival that will also have a conclave for business meetings. The awards will celebrate indian women who have excelled as entrepreneurs.

The event will be graced by a special guest Ms. Dipika Chikhlia, a TV personality in India and Bollywood Singer Nirupama Dey. The festival will be a showcase of Indian cultural including music, dance and fashion.

Looking For A Private But Nature Friendly Place To Stay, Think Kabira Country Club

There are times when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily to a place where you can find solitude, rejuvenation and get back your groove, in Kampala, the place, as time has proved, is Kabira Country Club, a boutique hotel located in Bukoto.

Kabira Country Club, an intimate and imitable paradise, offers a fresh breath to Uganda's hospitality industry with its renovated rooms, designed to complement its natural environment.

The newly renovated Quaint cottages with Spacious Garden, Balcony, Kitchenette and much more is the perfect option for you with access to Health Club, Swimming, Tennis Courts, Squash Courts, Basketball Court, Sports Field, and a 10% discount on salon.

Ajit Singh, the Kabira Country Club general manager says that customers can now have an amazing, homely experience in their fabulous penthouses, refurbished to suit your lifestyle.

And now that the weekend is around the corner, you can also get a chance to stay in a beautiful, fully furnished and well arrayed trouble-free paradise and skip the crowds.

According to Singh, Kabira Country Club is a perfect place to take a minute of privacy to rest and rejuvenate or get your work done. “We offer wide range of amenities that will help you relax with credible and timely room service,” he added.

While at Kabira Country Club, you get to enjoy a sundowner and amber sunsets with a visit to The Pub, the multi-cuisine restaurant and bar or give into to your sweet cravings at Bake-O-Logy. Whatever you choose to do, the hotel shall cater to your to-do interests.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one holistic experience, Kabira Country health club offers it all, and then some. It literally breathes energy into any fitness regimen with facilities which include a half Olympic-sized swimming pool, kids’ pool, Gym, Tennis, Basketball, squash courts & a football pitch.

 

 

You will enjoy the privacy of the hotel's rooms without feeling isolated. With a distinctly personal feel, the rooms and cottages offer a blend of inspired design and an intimate attention to detail consistent with your every idea of what turns hospitality into what is homely.

Now You Can Book Entire Dolphin Suites Hotel For A Day In Latest Offer

Do you have an event, a party, a milestone to you want to celebrate and you want a full package of venue, food and drinks and accommodation, Dolphin Suites Hotel in Bugolobi is offering itself to you and your guests for a day’s booking.

The lavish Bugolobi based Dolphin Suites has revealed a friendly offer of Shs4mper day to all its customers willing to book the entire hotel. "Yes, it's true, you can have us out of the suites for a full day. We are getting booked so fast, hurry while we still last," the hotel posted on its social media pages.

The hotel which is part of the Speke Group of Hotels is a unique boutique-style hotel offering 27 luxurious and comfortable guest rooms with individual balconies overlooking the hillside of Bugolobi and the city of Kampala. An ideal choice for those who want a quiet stay, close to the business and corporate houses.

The hotel located Bugolobi, Princess Anne Drive, 5 KM from the city Centre and 35 KM north from the Entebbe International Airport, the hotel is 500m from Village Mall Bugolobi and this offer shopping opportunities to all travellers

It is a perfect ambience that will ensure value for money on the guest’s part. Henceforth, Dolphin Suites has established itself as the epitome of relaxed grandeur, welcoming visitors to the city with stunningly appointed rooms and a host of facilities.

Members, residents and guests can also take time out to relax and de-stress with a little pampering. We offer an array of beauty and relaxation treatments for members to enjoy from a massage to ease any worries away, to a relaxing facial or an invigorating body exfoliation treatment.

The hotel also has an excellent bar, restaurant and outstanding banqueting facilities where one may relax, meet friends or even discuss business.

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