Africa Investment Forum Hailed For Financing Africa's Infrastructure

By 2050, just 32 short years from now, Africa's growing population will tip the scales at a whopping 2 billion, with a youth of 840 million. In the process, the continent will overtake the populations of China and India combined. 

Financing Africa's development needs will require an estimated US $600-700 billion per annum. According to the African Development Bank's  African Economic Outlook 2018 , of this, about US $130-170 billion a year in infrastructure will be needed.  

To address these challenges, the African Development Bank has launched the Africa Investment Forum , a platform to mobilize private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector to facilitate infrastructure projects with the capacity to transform the continent.

The Premier of Gauteng Province, Africa's seventh largest economy, David Makhura, endorsed the Forum as a game changer for financing Africa's infrastructure development at the launch of the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg.

"It's an honour to receive a vote of confidence from one of the most influential, respected and credible institutions of our continent. I want to assure the African Development Bank, and members of the African and global investor community that we are ready to host a highly successful Africa Investment Forum in November. We have an impeccable track record of hosting continental and global events of the magnitude and significance represented by the Africa Investment Forum," Makhura said at the formal launch of the Forum.

The Bank and the Government of Gauteng Province on Tuesday signed a memorandum of agreement to host the inaugural edition of the Africa Investment Forum from November 7 to 9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Makhura referred to the Africa Investment Forum as more than a Davos of Africa, stating that "we as the Gauteng Provincial Government are very pleased to have won the bid to host this biggest and unparalleled investment platform on the African continent. It's a great platform that will translate Africa's professed potentials into real opportunities and progress."

He added, "The November Inaugural Africa Investment Forum fits very well with the investment drive of President Ramaphosa and will be one of the most important platforms for our government and local businesses to pitch for greater levels of investment.

Gauteng-based investment companies have already invested more than $30 billion in different regions of Africa. We have a 15-year infrastructure masterplan with a portfolio of bankable projects that require more than $150 billion over 10 years."

While Africa is the next investment frontier, there is an urgent need to bridge the gap between available capital and bankable projects, said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, noting the Africa Investment Forum will help make Africa a place where its young people want to live and thrive in.

"The overall Investment gap for Africa to achieve overall economic development is actually much higher and stands at $200 billion to $1.2 trillion a year. Impediments to bankable projects must be resolved to create win-wins for governments, development finance institutions and other relevant stakeholders. Africa must invest in its own development if it wants others to do so," he said.

"This is the essential reason for the new approach of the Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that will incentivize collaboration for the economic and social development of Africa. This will primarily be about transactions and investment deals for Africa's economic development and not a talk shop."

Adesina noted that financing Africa's development is and has always been a collective and cooperative task, requiring broad-based partnerships with the private sector.

"We know that the money is there. By 2020, there will be close to $111 trillion assets under management globally that are invested around the world often at very low interest rates. Within Africa, the assets under management of domestic institutional investors will rise to $1.8 trillion by 2020, tripling from $634 billion in 2014. Most of this money isn't invested in Africa. But Africa should invest in its own development if it wants others to do so."

Key industry leaders have endorsed the Forum as a unique opportunity for the private sector to invest in transformative projects across key sectors of strategic interest in Africa. 

Investor Relations and Communication Executive at Harith General Partners, Pule Molebeledi, described the investment guarantee component of the AIF as a game changer.

"This will be a major catalyst for projects that are currently stuck in the pipeline," he said.

The African Development Bank is committed to working with other multi-lateral development partners, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance funds, private sector and stakeholders to ensure that the Africa Investment Forum becomes Africa's key springboard for African investment and for meeting the continent's massive infrastructure and development needs. This is the first time ever that several multilateral development banks will come together on a single platform designed to bring a major pipeline of bankable projects to completion.

School Principal Offers Holiday Parenting Tips

The month long first term holiday is here and parents are thinking hard how they can keep their children productively engaged through the time they will be out of school.

It is a big concern especially or working parents who have to leave their children in the hands of house helpers, relatives or by themselves until the evening when they return from their days duties at their workplaces.

To keep their toddlers busy, some parents send children for holiday coaching to prevent them from playing too much and loitering around the community. This period, the Principal of Kampala Parents’ School, Ms Daphine Kato, says needs to be well managed.

She explains that parents need to balance between children’s play time, house work and revision or reading time. “It is not good to concentrate on one,” Ms Kato says.

Put in a balanced time table

She explains that during the term, children concentrate more on reading books therefore doing the same during holiday makes them tired of books by the time they return to school for a new term. “They need to play as well as reading books,”

“So it is very important for parents to have a program, a time table for the children. For example from morning to break, a child can do some house work and then after play or can concentrate on books then play in the afternoon. It needs a balanced time table,”

“The problem is if they don’t read, they will completely switch off and forget. When they return to school, they start from zero. This is why we are saying; let them have a balanced time table that caters for both reading and playing,” she adds.

Visit the village for adventure

Ms Kato says taking children to village for parents who can afford is a good idea as it gives the toddlers a chance to learn about things they only hear in class.

“Taking them to places like in village where they see plants and animals which they just read about in class but have never seen is a good idea. Many of them only see food in supermarkets but when they see how this is harvest is a good practical learning experience,”

“When we talk of an anthill, some of the children can’t even imagine how an anthill looks like; the pit latrine, they are used to flashing toilets. That kind of education is important,” the principal suggested.

Safety first

Ms Kato advises that children can play football, jump ropes and other games in their compound or play board games in the house without restriction but is important is that they must be monitored.

“Playing should not be restricted but they need to be monitored, to know the kind of friends they have. Parents need to be selective and guard their children against strangers. They must be proper security at home because at school we are very strict,”

House work good for their learning

House work shouldn’t come off as a punishment, Ms Kato says, advising that it children shouldn’t do a lot of it. “When you make children do housework from morning to sunset they grow to hate it. Let them do it with a lot of interest. Let it also be programmed,”

“For example if a child wakes up and cleans the house or washes the utensils, immediately after that one you don’t have to bring in another chore. Let the child relax,”

“Those who can prepare a meal let them prepare it with the help and supervision of a maid or a parent. That is how they will enjoy. If you keep them working the whole day it will turn out to be a punishment.”

PHOTOS: Meet Miss Victoria University Contestants 2018

Victoria University will this Saturday, 28th April, reveal and crown the most beautiful female student at the Miss Victoria University Beauty Pageant finals at Kabira Country Club. The University says it organized the pageant to produce students who will be ambassadors and represent the University at different events and levels of society.

Marlie Keishamaza, General Secretary of the Guild and one of the organizers of the even, said the pageant gives the girls’ confidence and boosts their self esteem. “We wanted to give everyone a chance because above everything we want the girls to have boosted confidence and self esteem after this event,” Ms Keishamaza said.

“We opened registration and went with the girls that signed up, although we had a few more contestants who dropped out because of fear,” Ms Keishamaza said the organizing committee is looking for intelligence, creativity, confidence, relevance to answering questions in the contestants.

Contestant #1 NAME: Bingi Elsi Nina COURSE: Journalism and Media Studies NATIONALITY: Ugandan
Contestant #2 NAME: Namuli Priscilla COURSE: Foundation Program NATIONALITY: Ugandan
Contestant #3 NAME: Kansiime Merielle COURSE: Foundation Program NATIONALITY: Congolese
Contestant #4 NAME: Neima James Alexander COURSE: Science in Public Health NATIONALITY: South Sudanese
Contestant #5 NAME: Akuol Zakaria Deng COURSE: Foundation Program NATIONALITY: South Sudanese
Contestant #6 NAME: Napeyok Ursula Joan COURSE: Tourism and Hotel Management NATIONALITY: Ugandan

 

What Sudhir Told Makerere University School of Law Students

In his maiden address of the annual Makerere Lawyers Annual Dinner, businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia made an incredible mark as the Ruparelia Group chairman told a story of surviving as an entrepreneur in developing economies like Uganda.

The dinner that was hosted Kampala Serena Hotel was used to mark 50 Years of the law school at Makerere under the theme “Bridging the Past with the Contemporary World for a Better Future. Below we reproduce the remarkable speech by Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.

I was delighted as I am now before you, when I received the invitation to do two things this evening;

  1. To attend this dinner
  2. To give a key note address.

Delighted because sharing experiences with the youth is as delighting as it is rejuvenating. Moreso future lawyers. Thank you for the invitation.

The topic is “the relationship between business and the Law; and the opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future.”

In this address the topic is viewed within the School of Law at 50 theme; “BRIDGING THE PAST WITH THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD FOR A BETTER FUTURE

This is too broad and rather complex a topic. Luckily what is requested of me is to speak to you as a businessman and that is who I am- a seasoned entrepreneur who is neither a Lawyer nor an academic.

Being seasoned carries with it a tag of weathering storms and soldiering on a challenging journey and that I have done to the extent that I was deemed worthy of speaking to such an audience at a dinner.

What you put at risk and I will be talking about risk business and law, is your appetite. I hope you will excuse me if my address takes your appetite with it.

My address will be in two segments.

  1. The Relationship between business and the law
  2. The Opportunities that will be available for Lawyers in the future.

But before that, a brief over view of my journey will assist in giving a proper perspective of my experiences and what I have to share with you.

I was born in Katwe Kabanyolo, Kasese. I left Uganda in 1972 for the United Kingdom when Asians were expelled.

In the United Kingdom, I pursued some studies and at the same time worked.

A typical day was a combination of studying and working for up to 16 hours. I was a cab driver in London and had a part time job in the accounts department of a well-established mid-size enterprise.

I returned to Uganda in 1985 on a scouting mission.

In December, 1986 I started business-trading business on Kampala road with a capital of USD 25,000. Like Chairman Mao said a long journey starts with one step.

From the one trading step in December 1986 to date the Ruparelia Group is comprised of 14 Companies in different sectors.

-Real Estate with Meera Investments Ltd as the group’s flagship Company.

-Hospitality under which Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kabira Country Club, Speke Apartments and others fall.

-Education. In this sector we have Kampala International School offering an International Curriculum, Kampala Parents School offering the nation curriculum, Delhi Public International School and Victoria University.

-Insurance- We have Goldstar Insurance Co. Ltd

-Media-We have the oldest private FM broadcasting entity in Uganda, Radio Sanyu.

-Rosebud Ltd- this is a floriculture Company currently exporting 400k roses daily to Europe.

Until recently Crane Bank Ltd was one of the Group Companies. When all court matters are over I will be glad to return and share invaluable unwritten Crane Bank lessons – not what we see in the press.

The group’s human personnel is 7,000 strong. That’s a snapshot of the Ruparelia Group.

As you can imagine, the group deals with many suppliers, many clients, many regulators including Workers Unions, European authorities for the flower exports, etc. The wheels of business to a great extent run on the Law. Should the rule of law malfunction business will follow suit or put in other words the healthy check of businesses is as good as the rule of law prevailing at any one time.

To do all this one needs good professionals, good dependable people and this includes good lawyers.

I will not define who a good Lawyer is but professionalism, reputation, knowledge and agility are key attributes. A good lawyer must constantly be ahead of the curve in the profession

Back to the topic;

  1. The Relationship between business and the Law.

When we talk of business, there is one key pillar of it that is inevitable. That is Capital. One thing we must constantly remember about capital is the now famed phrase; CAPITAL IS A COWARD. This phrase first came in print in October, 1884 in the Jersey Journal.

As you know when threatened, a coward flees and so does capital under threat. It goes where it is safe and stays where it is protected. It flees when threatened and unprotected.

The biggest protector of capital and therefore business is the Law. This sums up the relationship between business and the Law.
The importance of business in economic and human development cannot be over emphasized. The protector of
capital and the entrepreneur that uses capital to create value for society is therefore very linked and very important

This protector of capital called the Law is very crucial from the basic elements such as incorporation of a Company, the concept of limited liability to complex competition and anti-monopoly regulations, labour laws, complex project structures and contracts such as the recently signed agreement relating to the oil refinery in Uganda and now cyber Laws, privacy laws that have seen face book on the spot after the etc.

What then, with this protector does a businessman or rather businessperson to be gender sensitive, takes risk with faith in the protector that is the Law?

The protector above the law is the Almighty.

Risk taking is an attribute of entrepreneurship. That said, risk must always be weighed against rewards and possibilities. What is undisputed is that every business has risk well embedded in it. The Law is the strongest insurance against many risks.

That is why confidence in a functioning and reliable judicial system is key for business. The compliance and regulatory environment is important too. Business thrives when the rule of Law exists. As a businessman you always want that comfort that the law will protect you and you can run to Court or a Regulator should the need arise.

This applies even when it is against the State. As you will appreciate the State is mighty. The Law though is mightier
and in that lies the strength business derives from the Law.

A case in point. In 1994 Meera Investments Ltd, our group’s real estate company obtained a Certificate of Incentives from Uganda Investment Authority. To qualify for incentives there was a monetary investment threshold that one had to attain.

On attaining that threshold Meera Investments Ltd applied and demonstrated that it had 5 properties whose value exceeded the threshold thus the grant of the Certificate of Incentives that gave an exemption from corporation tax, withholding tax and tax on dividends for 5 years.

This enabled Meera Investments Ltd invest more. That indeed is the essence of incentives. To attract more capital and more investments. With more capital and more investments in a country the spin offs are numerous.

In 1999, Uganda Revenue Authority slammed Meera Investments Ltd with a Shs. 36 billion tax assessment claiming that only 5 properties listed for purposes of demonstration of attainment of the threshold were exempt. Meera Investments Ltd on the other hand maintained that a threshold is a minimum qualifying mark and not the ceiling .Therefore all of its properties were exempt.

Meera Investments Ltd run to Court and sued the Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority as well as Uganda Investment Authority.

The case moved from High Court to the Supreme Court on a technicality raised by the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority to the effect that it is only URA that could be sued.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Commissioner General could be sued and referred the case back to High Court. In end the Certificate of Incentives was respected. The Supreme Court decision should be good reading for Law Students.

For Meera Investments to have succeeded against a government agency illustrates the strength business derives from the Law. Perhaps Meera Investment would be no more had the law not offered that protection.

With all challenges that institutions face, the Judiciary in Uganda is still a good place to resort to. I hope the future generation that you represent will make it even better and not worse.

Beyond litigation, the Law, through regulatory tools ensures sanity in a very competitive business environment. Business rivalry can be chaotic. The law is at hand in containing what would otherwise be anarchy in business. The law ensures predictability and provides, appropriate checks and balances.

As you can imagine, the group deals with many suppliers, many clients, many regulators including Workers Unions, European authorities for the flower exports, etc. The wheels of business to a great extent run on the Law.

To do all this one needs good professionals, good people and this includes a good lawyers.

I will not define who a good Lawyer is but professionalism, reputation, knowledge and agility are key attributes. A good lawyer must constantly be ahead of the curve in the profession.

I will now turn to the second and last segment

  1. The Opportunities that will be available for lawyers in the future.

In the Journey I started in Uganda in December 1986, I have seen opportunities in all sectors and professions; the legal profession included.

For opportunities in the future you must be constantly aware of the changes in this digital world. They are more rapid than most of us imagine and that is where your opportunities lie. Innovation is now the center stage of everything and you young lawyers must be innovative.

Major opportunities lie beyond the traditional litigator, the traditional Registrar of Companies, the traditional Judicial Officer. This is a narrow way of looking at the future. Lawyers have an edge in building careers in tech firms, insurance banking, and the internet of things.

To prepare yourselves for the future, business literacy, financial literacy, and communication skills will give you a premium. You have to start challenging yourselves and challenging your curriculum.

Are you getting any training in these aspects?

You need to equip yourselves to be visible in the increasingly challenging world. You must be resilient.

I have built resilience and this has helped me weather many storms. Resilience has many attributes. They include;

  • Emotional intelligence i.e. ability to control one’s feelings, get out of the human weakness of looking at others from your perspective, step outside and look.be able to anticipate. Have a vision.
  • Authenticity- i.e. be true to the values and goals you stand for. Drive the identity that you are even when the going is tough.
  • Agility- i.e the ability to think through situations quickly, transform challenges into opportunities.

Each time we hear of Artificial Intelligence, crypto currencies e.t.c. we tend to imagine they are too remote or rather that we are too remote. This is a big mistake. These times are with us. We must understand them.

The opportunities available for lawyers in the future are enormous but they demand a shift from old school in all ways. Business automation with the modern computing power is already providing accurate answers to legal questions.

Are you preparing yourself? Are you adaptable to new thinking, new tools, and new technology?

That in my view is the outline of the opportunities for lawyers in the future.

As I conclude I will leave you with an article that I read in one of the Harvard Business Review Magazines- It is titled; The case for Plain-Language Contracts.

It is an amazing shift from the legalese of WHERETOFORE, NOTWITHSTANDING, HERETOFORE to plain language. A shift from unnecessarily long contracts. It illustrates the need, even from a language perspective, for a change in how Lawyers go about their business. The change is not only in technology and business environment.

I have a few copies of the Article for you. I hope the organizers will make it available for each of you.

I wish each of you a bright and successful future.

I will end by reminding you that there is no dignity in poverty. The key is in hard and Up-To Date work skill tool yourself to avoid poverty but avoid poverty in dignity.

Thank you.

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia

Six Year Old Vulnarable Girl Burns In Hidden Child Labour Practice

By George Busiinge

In the outskirt of Hoima Municipality, six year old Joan Kusiima lives with her stepmother under constant pressure and fear. Young Kusiima is forced to prepare a meal for a family of 12 people among other atrocious inflicted on her at that tender age.

Kusiima in a heartbreaking revelation told Earthfinds that she is not only made to cook for the large family but she is also denied the chance to go to school like many of her age mates. Instead, this website learnt, Kusiima is made to look after her young step sisters and brothers.

She also spends much of her time looking after domestic animals, doing domestic work like collecting firewood and water. She is sometimes forced by her stepmother to go and till the farm from morning up to lunch time.

An eye witness told us that despite all efforts by Kusiima to accomplish what her step- mother tells her to do, the toddler is beaten by the woman who is supposed to protect, be her mother and guardian.

Joyce Kyomusiime, the child’s stepmother, when contacted denied the allegations including that her step-daughter got burnt when she forcefully made her prepare a full saucepan of porridge for the family.

It is alleged that Kyomusiime told Kusiima to lift the hot saucepan with hot boiled porridge from the fire spitting charcoal stove without the help and supervision of an adult.

The stepmother apparently threatened to beat the child if she did not do what she was being instructed to do.

Kyomusiime said: “I have never forced Kusiima to prepare a meal for the whole family because she is vulnerable. Never have I instructed her to do any house work. She got burnt when playing with other children in the kitchen. There is nothing I know about what those who claim to be eye witnesses are saying.”

Kusiima is nursing serious wounds in a small clinic around Kiryateete, outside Hoima town, after efforts to get money that would enable her get better treatment failed. She is now being helped by Good Samaritans from a catholic church within Hoima.

Grace Bigabwekya, the mid-western police regional head of Family and child protection unit confirmed the heinous act saying that such incidences of hidden child labour are common in Hoima district but those who are involved will be prosecuted in courts of law.

It is difficult to know when these cases of hidden child abuses are committed because inside households and are never reported. “We are fighting the vice when such stepmothers and fathers are got they will be prosecuted in the courts of law without any mercy.” Bigabwekya told Earthfinds in Hoima, at his office.

“We are still hunting for Kyomussime and she if arrested, she will be taken to court when investigations are complete to answer the charges of child abuse.” He added.

Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs Ink Victoria University Partnership After Launch

The Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (CYE) is set to closely work with Victoria University Kampala, including working on this year's young entrepreneurship summit which took place at Serena Hotel Kampala, Tuesday.

In a joint statement, CYE President Edwin Musiime and the Director of Victoria University Rajiv Ruparelia revealed that the two entities will soon launch a Leadership and Management short course at Victoria University.

The short leadership course is aimed to further nurture a stronger spirit of competitiveness and effectiveness in the market place and corporate world.

Victoria University is an institutions of learning promoting dynamism, innovative learning and raising students with cutting edge knowledge fit for the 21st century challenges while The Uganda Chamber Entrepreneurs is an initiative with a nation-wide reach among young to inspire a sustainable Entrepreneurship culture.

The first milestone was realized at this year's young entrepreneurship summit opening on Tuesday the 3rd April at the Kampala Serena Hotel hosting up to 1000 young business owners. The summit that closes on the Wednesday the 4th is running under the theme: Inspiring a Sustainable Entrepreneurship Culture.

"I have always believed in the power of an idea and the unlimited potential a vision carries and I believe that the time for Uganda to have its young people rise to economic power is now," says Mr. Edwin Musiime the Executive Director of Chamber of young entrepreneurs Uganda.

The chamber is set to set new standards in Increase of business start ups, Train and Skills develop the startups, engage on increasing job creation. CYE has an ambitious Vision 2020 of Empowering 10,000 young Entrepreneurs, Create 1,000,000 jobs and contribute 20 million Dollars to the National GDP.

"We are vested with the transformation of the entrepreneurial landscape in Uganda and as such, we are constantly rolling out programmes and initiatives that will help shape Uganda's youths for a stronger social and economic future," CYE President Edwin Musiime says.

Global reports indicate that the Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, with 77% of its population being under 30 years of age. There are 7,310,386 youth from the ages of 15–24 years of age living in Uganda.

We are focused on promoting the positive role of entrepreneurship in driving Uganda's social and economic development. In doing so, we hope to accelerate the spread of economic prosperity and social progress throughout Uganda, strengthening the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Making Affordable Housing A Reality In Kenya

The Kenyan government's aim of building one million affordable homes in five years, if successful, could ignite a lagging real estate sector, and place Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) at the centre of economic life for one of Africa's most rapidly urbanising countries, said Kfir Rusin.

As the managing director of the region's largest real estate focused event, the two-day East Africa Property Investment (EAPI) Summit, a primary focus for the conference is developing a strategy for realising the government's goal.

"We're bringing private and public-sector stakeholders together under one roof at EAPI 2018, and we believe we will develop the roadmap to making affordable housing a reality," said Rusin.

President Kenyatta's announcement, in November 2017, energised a tepid real estate market, still recovering from its worst performance in six years. But the Chairman of the Kenya Property Developers Association, Mucai Kunyiha, argues there is a lot of work to be done first.

"Our members are keen to unlock the key obstacles that have hindered progress in the sector in the past, including proper planning by local authorities, provision of adequate infrastructure, and a complete overhaul of the Land Registries, whose ability to deal with the existing volumes of transactions is already strained," said Kunyiha.

But the demand for affordable housing is one of the most significant opportunities for PPPs in Africa, with Kenya having the opportunity to create a workable model for the continent to adopt.

Kecia Rust, the executive director of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAFH), argues that the opportunity for affordable housing is immense and could lead to the creation of 1.3 million jobs across the continent and $400 Billion in direct economic activity. Kenya, she argues, is one of the markets that could lead the way by creating a workable PPP model: however, certain fundamentals must be addressed.

"The real challenge is the housing value chain, and if we look at the first step, land, how do we get access? We have to look at the municipalities and ask who administers it and address infrastructure requirements and needs first."

For Rust, the state has an essential role to play in making it attractive for developers to invest in housing by providing incentives and infrastructure financing. One solution, she says, is to split funding between housing and infrastructure, with the state issuing 100-year bonds to fund bulk infrastructure (roads, water) projects. This strategy would reduce development costs and make affordable housing projects more attractive for developers.

The need to develop bulk infrastructure has been a principle driver for developers in focussing on higher-end consumers alone, in delivering an estimated 35,000, mostly unaffordable, homes per year, while the lower and middle end of the market continues to be underserved.

As Rust commented, "The majority of the middle class and working-class households simply can't get a foot in the door."

Reducing costs and providing finance for aspirant homeowners is critical, in a market facing such an acute shortage. Prices have risen dramatically in Nairobi since 2010, with a ten-fold increase in price from Sh400,000 to Sh4 million for the most inexpensive home. Yet mortgage uptake remains low with only 25,000 mortgage-purchased homes, in total.

While the government remains tight-lipped on what an 'affordable home' is; Kunyai defines it as a building costing up to Sh4 million to buy, and aimed at households that earn between Sh40,000 and Sh100,000 per month.

"We're very much looking at affordable housing and how we can work together with the government and the private sector, to participate in the government's housing agenda under the big 4," said Barclays Kenya's Head of Strategy, Moses Muthui.

Addressing the shortage of homes will provide an economic stimulus to the entire economy through the creation of jobs and increased investment, which is likely to spill over into the regional economy. And while PPPs are not a new route to large infrastructure development, globally, the scale, social focus and timeline of the projects will lead to increased attention by investors, developers and public-sector stakeholders across the continent.

At the EAPI Summit this year on the 24th and 25th of April, a core theme for its stakeholders, will be the ambitious housing projects launched by the state. While public housing has been used as an electoral campaign pledge throughout the world, the distinction is that the Kenyan Government is extending its hand in partnership through creating favourable tax incentives, providing land, and investing a considerable portion of its GDP into industrial construction plants to reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) by developers.

What If Wakanda Was Actually Uganda?

By Simon Singiza
Student at Victoria University Kampala


Wakanda forever!!To all those relieving themselves from the blank panther hype. As a huge fan of Chadwick Bozeman and the marvel series.I didn’t expect anything less of the movie. What actually took me by storm was the excitement it caused globally not to mention in Kampala streets with cinemas seats fully booked anywhere you turned .

The last time I saw such hype was the time our Lord Jesus Christ received some serious cains in the release of passion of Christ. If I you haven’t watched it run and buy that movie ticket, or you can choose to be patriotic (be Ugandan, buy Ugandan) and wait for the vj junior version to come out.

There so many aspects that made this movie thrilling starting from the cast of African actors, the authentic fight scenes as well as the concept of a technologically advanced Africa. But the real entertainment for me was the effort made by social media to affiliate the movie based kingdom wakanda to Uganda.

Its all starts when the movie points out that the location of the wakanda kingdom was somewhere around East Africa. Then the Mengo lords casting the first stone swore how that name is actually pronounced as Waganda and not Wakanda.

The basoga too were not going to let anyone steal the glory right and so they rushed to lay claim on one of the two Ugandan actors that were part of the Black Panther cast was of Busoga origin. One could hear them affirm how they even sent Daniel Kayunga the kanzu he wore on during the premier of the Black Panther.

What Ifound more interesting was the pictorial evidence the Bakiga revealed of the similarity of the wakanda geographical scenery to Lake Bunyonyi and the Ruwenzori Mountains as they too tried to own the movie. This got me thinking supposing there was some truth in these arguments, how can Uganda and its tourism benefit from this opportunity.

The music and film industry has played a big role in influencing today’s culture, way of life, and general public opinion about certain topics. This is why the business world will not mind paying millions of dollars just so their products can feature in popular movies.

You imagine how much Mercedes Benz had to pay just so batman could be seen driving a Mercedes in the justice league movie. Or how much American car companies have to pay for their vehicles to feature in movies like the transformers or the fast and furious.

I’m quite sure tourism in Madagascar sky rocketed immediately after the release of the famous cartoon animation Madagascar. Not to mention the benefit Kenya and Tanzania tourism has received courtesy from the classical animation the lion king which not only stressed the beauty of the Kilimanjaro Mountain and national parks but also Swahili language phrases like hakunamatata

If businesses and other countries are benefiting from Hollywood, what would be we are not the only African country that is suffering the effect of bad publicity. after all, one of the reasons the blank panther movie is a hit is because this is among the first few movies that has made an attempt to change people’s mindset about Africa and therefore we should grab this opportunity and use this movie to focus that attention further on Uganda’s tourism before some other country does.

The writer is a BBA student at Victoria University Kampala and Head of Marketing Voyager Hotels.

SURVIVAL INSTICTS: Why Bagyenda Is Hanging On BoU Job, Fighting Mutebile

Justine Bagyenda’s long and glorious tenure as Executive Director in charge of Supervision at the Bank of Uganda (BOU) came to a surprising end when the Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, on February 2, 2018, fired her as he made changes he said would scale up efficiency of the financial industry regulator.

The new changes, which Mutebile said were ‘normal’ at BOU, would immediately bring in Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi, formerly working with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as Director Economic Affairs, to replace Ms. Bagyenda. Prof. Mutebile, according to analysts, is punishing long-serving Bagyenda for the mess she reportedly caused as BOU sold Crane Bank to DFCU Bank at just Shs200b.

It is alleged Bagyenda sanctioned the payment of Shs13 billion legal fees to MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga (Bowmans) to defend BOU against Sudhir Ruparelia for allegedly using Crane Bank money worth about Shs400 billion. Though Mr. Ruparelia has dismissed the allegation as untrue, the case is in Commercial Court and Bagyenda is expected to be a key witness.

But MMAKS and AF Mpanga law firms won’t represent BOU as court dismissed the advocates for ‘conflict of interest’, having worked for Crane Bank. This further brought the central bank on the spot as it made losses worth Shs5.4 billion in three months, having brought on Sebalu and Lule Advocates to replace the two law firms mentioned earlier. Indeed, BOU had to face the wrath of Parliament for the loss made.

Bagyenda, who was to retire in June this year, having worked at BOU for over 30 years, is contesting her dismissal and has not officially handed over the office to her successor, even as reports indicate the latter has assumed his duties. She accuses Prof. Mutebile of ignoring the law when he fired her.

She has since moved in another office at BoU. She says she is a public servant who is permanent and pensionable and cannot just be dismissed without clear reasons, the reason she rushed to the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, who now is at loggerheads with Mutebile over Bagyenda’s dismissal.

But insiders say this was an alleged cover up for the bad deals orchestrated by Bagyenda and the law firms that would later present an opportunity enabling DFCU Bank to hurriedly buy off Crane Bank, with the executors of the deal reportedly expecting to gain from the transaction.

Bagyenda’s genesis of financial troubles, analysts say, start here. She is now battling to save her image as several accountability oversight agencies like Parliament and Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), close in on her.

IGG Vs Mutebile fight over Bagyenda

Bagyenda’s rush to the IGG has not helped her regain her juicy job that she used to amass wealth in billions of shillings and properties. Despite the IGG Irene Mulyagonja writing to Mutebile to rescind his decision, Mutebile says the Constitution gives him independence to streamline the human resource at the central bank when need arises.

Interestingly, the BoU Act gives Mutebile, who is a Governor and doubles as the chairperson of the BoU board, powers to enforce several issues at the bank without necessarily going through other channels.

Consequently, he has asked the IGG to back off. The public is watching as the Governor and IGG quibble over the interpretation of the law. Latest is that President Yoweri Museveni has this Monday summoned the two principals to a meeting at State House. This meeting could provide the decisive line in the multi-faceted saga that has drawn in the ‘who-is-who’ in the country.

Bagyenda’s billions

Leaked documents show that Bagyenda stashed billions of shillings totaling 20 billion in various bank accounts in just six years, on top of owning properties worth billions of shillings.

This has caused her more trouble, causing the IGG and now Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) to launch investigations into her sources of income. Bagyenda formerly chaired the FIA board when she still held the supervisory role at the central bank.

The investigations

City lawyer Denis Nyombi recently wrote a letter asking Parliament to investigate Bagyenda’s wealth. “The purpose of this letter is to inform you that our client (whistleblower) is in possession of information about some of the properties of Bagyenda, which he says were not declared as required the Leadership Code Act 2002,” part of the letter wrote. The Act is meant to stop public officials from engaging in corruption.

Nandala Mafabi accuses Bagyenda, banks of money laundering

Budadiri West MP and former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Nandala Mafabi, a distinguished accountant has called for the investigation and prosecution of Bagyenda over money laundering.

“We are going to carryout investigations and we are going to deal with those banks because they have been doing illegal things with Bagyenda,” Mafabi fumed during a recent press conference held at Parliament.

The MP was warning Barclays Bank and Diamond Trust Bank, among others which are not happy with their staff who leaked Bagyenda’s transactions to the public. Mafabi says that if convicted of corruption, Bagyenda could serve twenty years in jail for money laundering, according to Mafabi.

FIA orders closure of Bagyenda’s accounts

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has confirmed that an investigation into Bagyenda’s billions of shillings is ongoing. Bagyenda was a board member of the FIA before she was axed.

The Executive Director of FIA Sydney Asubo said days ago they were acting on a petition from a whistleblower who indicated that Bagyenda’s wealth is not commensurate with employment at her former job, suggesting she could have been involved in money laundering.

Asubo said FIA would share information with relevant law enforcement agencies to take action. “The information we have, we shall share it with other law enforcement agencies. We are still compiling information about the financial dealings of Bagyenda. We shall then have to verify it,” he said in Kampala.

Accounts frozen

Latest reports coming in Monday say FIA has instructed banks to close Bagyenda’s accounts after she failed to appear there for interrogation last week. If true, this means she won’t transact any business on those accounts.

 

Last month, a whistleblower petitioned the Inspector General of Government (IGG) claiming that Bagyenda had accumulated more than Shs 19 billion within a space of two years.

She is also linked to 17 properties in central and western Uganda worth several billions. Bagyenda was supposed to declare her wealth under the Leadership Code Act that stipulates that a person shall within three months after becoming a leader and thereafter every two years, during December submit to the IGG a written declaration of their income, assets and liabilities.”

The IGG has since opened investigations into the allegations. But one wonders how the IGG will save her job at BOU given her questionable acquisition of too much wealth.

URA taxes

Bagyenda is also on the URA radar for alleged tax evasion especially as regards her real estate empire (rentals) where she earns hundreds of millions monthly without reportedly remitting corresponding taxes to URA.

Bagyenda was also attached to Microfinance Support Centre. She was also contact person for IMF/World Bank and Board member, Insurance Regulatory Authority.

Bagyenda’s sad ending in financial sector

Those who have watched Bagyenda’s rise in the financial sector especially at BOU claim that despite the fact that she was about to retire, her current position is precarious and is likely to impact on her future dealings in the financial sector.

She will mostly likely concentrate on private business, albeit with hiccups, they say.

SOURCE: Eagle Online

Visit www.eagle.co.ug for this and other insightful and analytical articles.

Crude Oil Export Pipeline To Increase Uganda, Tanzania FDI By 60 Percent

The foreign direct investment (FDI) to both Uganda and Tanzania as a result of the construction the East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline (EACOP) will increase by 60 percent, Ahlem Friga-Noy, Total E&P Uganda Corporate Affairs manager recently told journalists in Kampala.

“The magnitude of the project is big and we expect that during the construction phase the direct foreign investment for both Uganda and Tanzania will increase by 60 percent. That should give you an idea of what magnitude we are talking about.” She said.

Friga-Noy was recently speaking at a press conference organized by Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS) to announce the upcoming Local Content Stakeholder Dialogue on March 28th-29th 2018 at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is intended to transport crude oil from Uganda's oil fields in Hoima through the Port of Tanga, Tanzania to the world market. The 1445km long pipeline is largely being funded by Total.

The heated crude oil pipe line, commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania in August, 2017 will cost $3.5 billion and will be completed by 2020 making Uganda join the ranks of oil producing countries. The pipe line will on completion carry 216,000 barrels of crude oil for export daily.

The investment planned for the construction of this pipeline presents a myriad of opportunities for citizens and businesses of both countries. Both countries and the joint venture partners are devising means in which nationals can participate in this huge infrastructure project.

Engagements like the Local Content Stakeholder Dialogue which will happen next week presents an opportunity to discuss how businesses in both countries can maximize the opportunities the EACOP project presents.

Among the opportunities the EACOP project presents is direct employment for skilled individuals like welders, engineers, land acquisition (compensation), supply of quality food, security services, transportation services among others.

Friga-Noy notes that the participation of local content or man power in a project of this magnitude is key and that Total is willing to play a role and contribute towards building local content in Uganda.

“We strongly believe that it is important when you start a project like this in a country where oil is quite nascent partnerships between international and national companies are developed.

“This is a formidable way to ensure transfer of knowledge, skills, capacity building, increasing standards and meeting requirements. So this is one of the pillars we emphasis because it has the power to push towards local content.” She explained.

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