Kenj Nabirye

Kenj Nabirye

Improving Logistics Will Improve Uganda’s Economy - Minister

Improving the logistics system will enable Uganda improve access to new market opportunities, according to Eng. Monica Azuba, minister for works, transport and communication. Improved logistics are key at a time when Uganda is boosting exploration and production of oil, gas and minerals

“Inefficient logistics can place obstacles to trade. It makes it difficult for countries to tap into new markets,” Eng. Azuba said. She was opening the two day Global Logistics Convention and Exhibition at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel recently.

The convention is attended by over 500 delegates from different parts of the world. It is organized by the Uganda Freight Forwarders Association, the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), the National Logistics Platform and the Ministry of Works and Transport. The aim of the convention is share best practices in trade and policy, changing trends in the industry facilitate engagement among various stakeholders.

The minister commended Uganda improving its ranking from the 83th position to the 55th position last year in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI). She explained that the ranking was because Uganda.

The LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.

The minister explained that Uganda’s ranking has improved because of improvement in customs clearance procedures, improvement in infrastructure. “The improvement was by 25% in the LPI. We hope can do better,” she remarked. Other countries in the region performed better than Uganda in the LPI.

She said Uganda has introduced the one stop border posts to quicken movement of goods. She noted that the number for days for trucking cargo from Mombasa has reduced from 18 days to 3 days. She said government was investing more in improving roads, rail, air transport.

She cited that the use of rail transport can cut the costs of goods by 30% and it can enhance Uganda’s competitiveness.

During the convention the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association’s e-learning Platform was launched.

USAID Uganda Mission Director Mr. Joakim Parker said the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, started working with the Federation in June 2017 with the common goal of strengthening the regional freight logistics industry.  He said the partnership has built the capacity of customs clearing and freight forwarding agents to effectively apply the revised EAC Rules of Origin.

“The new e-learning platform will allow us to reach even more customs clearing agents, freight forwarders and shippers – the industry specialists who are on the ground, helping to improve East African Community integration and trade.  The platform will lead to a reduction in non-compliant custom declarations and Non-Tariff Barriers, and in doing so will reduce the time and cost to move cargo across borders,” Mr. Joakim said.

Mr. Hussein Kiddedde, the chairman Uganda Freight Forwarders Association said logistics is a key driver for economic growth and productivity. He said new technologies were merging in the industry that needs to be adopted by the private sector. “There are many opportunities in the region such as oil and gas, Standard Gauge Railway, infrastructure development that need the services of logistics. We need to be ready for them,” Mr. Kiddedde said.

Mr. Dickson Kateshumba, commissioner customs Uganda Revenue Authority urged players in the logistics industry to avoid delays because it becomes a cost to the consumers. Mr. Kateshumba said sometimes the cause of delay in transporting goods were drivers who make unnecessary stops. “The driver has to be sensitized on trade facilitation,” Mr. Kateshumba said.

Mr. Patrick Bitature, chairman Private Sector Foundation in a key note address explained that the logistics sector was about managing the supply chain. “People who produce cement or steel need to import raw materials efficiently using logistics,” Mr. Bitature said.

Mr. Bitature urged the private sector players in the industry to work in synergy and not try to destroy each other. “We have to put aside our differences in the private sector, in the public sector and in the region and work together,” Bitature said.

Real Estate Body Recognizes Outstanding Rajiv Ruparelia

The Association of Real Estate Agents Uganda (AREA) named Rajiv Ruparelia as its outstanding member. The recognition was bestowed on Rajiv by Kongai Shirley, the AREA President during the award giving ceremony in Kampala recently.

As director of Meera Investment, a real estate development arm of the Ruparelia Groupd, and Crane Management Limited, a property management agency, Rajiv has overseen the development of a number of multibillion real estate investment in and outside Kampala. And for this effort and what he contributes to AREA, he was named AREA Member of the Year 2018 ‘for being an outstanding member’. 

The Association of Real Estate Agents Uganda, is an umbrella organization of real estate agents, managers, organizations and other real estate professionals in Uganda, the third-largest economy in the East African Community. The association brings together individuals and companies working in the real estate industry.

The Association has become the lobby arm of real estate on behalf of its members including, lobbying on tax issues in parliament, good regulatory environment with Ministry of Housing Lands and Urban development and making presentations on housing forums representing the real estate industry.

Proceeds From Royal Ascot Goat Races To Benefit Tag Rugby

The Royal Ascot Goat Races, continuing with their social responsibility tradition, will once again give back to society, with Totos Tag Rugby and Outreach programme being this year’s beneficiaries, the organizers have confirmed.

Under the Totos Tag Rugby programme 250 children train at the Kyadondo Rugby Club every weekend. Toto’s Tag Rugby has been instrumental in rugby development in the country. Many of the national team players have gone through this programme.

The Royal Ascot Goat Races, which was last held in 2012, will be happening on Saturday, August 25, 2018, at its customary venue of Speke Resort, Munyonyo. Tickets to the Goat Races will go for Shs50,000.

“The Goat Races were easily the most popular event on Uganda’s social calendar for all the time they were held, so we wanted to bring that amazing experience back with fun-filled activities everyone can participate in,” said Sheena Ruparelia, the event coordinator, at the relaunch press conference last month.

“Our focus is on the races and activities around that, but there will be hospitality tents available, a food court with up to 10 types of cuisines; a beer garden, cocktail and champagne bars, sport games, silent disco areas, and chill-out lounges,” she added.

The goat races will entail six races over the course of the day, with each race featuring 10 goats. Anyone can sponsor a race, or buy a goat to participate in a race. The proceeds generated from the races will then go to a selected charity.

#GoatRacesKla: Speke Resort Offers Discounts On Accommodation

Speke Resort Munyonyo has announced big accommodation discounts during the weekend of The Royal Ascot Goat Races. This, the hotel said is to enable their clients enjoy the goat races and ‘enter a world filled with all the fun & unforgettable experience’.

While the goat races will happen on 25th August, the goat races weekend offer starts on 24th and runs till 26th August. This means you check in a day earlier to prepare for the goat races and leave a day later after the fun filled event.

“The Goat Races were easily the most popular event on Uganda’s social calendar for all the time they were held, so we wanted to bring that amazing experience back with fun-filled activities everyone can participate in,” said Sheena Ruparelia, the event coordinator, said at the launch of the event recently.

“Our focus is on the races and activities around that, but there will be hospitality tents available, a food court with up to 10 types of cuisines; a beer garden, cocktail and champagne bars, sport games, silent disco areas, and chill-out lounges,” she added.

“We are excited about the return of the Goat Races, which we consider the social event any fun-loving person would look forward to the most in Uganda. We jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Goat Races because no fun event of this kind is complete without Tusker Malt. We want guys to really make the most of it,” said Grace Namutebi, Brand Manager, Premium Beers at Uganda Breweries.

The goat races will entail six races over the course of the day, with each race featuring 10 goats. Anyone can sponsor a race, or buy a goat to participate in a race. The proceeds generated from the races will then go to a selected charity. Tickets to the Goat Races will go for Shs50,000, with early bird offers, and special discount days also planned, where one can get a ticket for as low as Shs30,000.

Continuing with their social responsibility tradition, the goat races will once again give back to society, with Totos Tag Rugby and Outreach programme being this year’s beneficiaries. Under the programme 250 children train at the Kyadondo Rugby Club every weekend.

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