Here Are Benefits For Uganda Once Legal Farming Of Marijuana Commences

An Israeli firm, Together Pharma, through its local subsidiary, Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd, are engaging local authorities seeking permission to legally start farming marijuana in Kasese, Busongora and Hoima.

The media is reporting that Together Pharma has already got clearance from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and have been issued with a license which was signed on by the Acting Authority Executive Director Lawrence Byensi on March 18, 2019.

The investment license was issued under Section 16 of the Investment Code, 1991. The provision of the Investment Code 1991 and Guidelines and Procedures brought into effect under it shall apply.

Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd has land to grow medical cannabis (marijuana) for export. Uganda Radio Network is quoted by Watchdog Uganda saying the firm’s shareholders include Globus Pharma Inc. and Industrial Hemp Uganda Ltd run by former Bunyaruguru MP, Benjamin Cadet.

$5m marijuana plant

Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd also intends to build a marijuana oil extraction plant in Kampala indicates that its initial investment in Uganda is $5m (Shs18.7 billion). This investment which will create jobs for many Ugandans and earn foreign exchange for the Uganda is however threaten by ministers of Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire and Jane Ruth Aceng of health ministry.

In a February 15, 2019 letter addressed to the chief operating officer of Together Pharma, Otafiire denied government ever issuing a license to grow hemp and medical cannabis in Uganda. The law requires that the applicant gets the necessary clearance from various ministries concerned and the National Drug Authority.

“The government of Uganda is well aware of their operations in Kasese district and the various benefits the said project has in terms of employment to Ugandans, revenue generation, and technology transfer…,” reads Otafiire’s letter.

The Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said that she had never granted Together Pharma permission to start a marijuana farm in Uganda.  The National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993 provides that “No person shall, without the written consent of the Health Minister… cultivate any plant from, which a narcotic drug can be extracted”.

Health benefits of marijuana

While marijuana is widely regarded as an illegal substance and poses health risks, it is increasingly being accepted and regulated globally because of its health benefit when prescribed by professionals. 21 countries - Chile, Colombia, Canada, Australia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Macedonia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Uruguay – have issued  full federal legalization or medically legalized the herb.

Medical marijuana has been lawful in Canada since 2001, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s successful campaign to open up recreational use was hailed as a landmark moment in the legalization movement.

Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize marijuana in 2013 and last year began allowing sales in local pharmacies. In countries like Peru and Spain possession of marijuana isn’t punished as long as it’s for personal and private use. In September, South Africa‘s constitutional court ruled that weed is legal and people are allowed to use marijuana privately.

According to US's National Institutes of Health, people have used marijuana, or cannabis, to treat their ailments for at least 3,000 years. Cannabidiol, a substance that is present in marijuana, received approval in June 2018 as a treatment for some types of epilepsy. There is widespread belief that marijuana is an effective treatment for a wide assortment of ailments.

Over the years, research has yielded results to suggest that marijuana may be of benefit in the treatment of some conditions like chronic pain, alcoholism and drug addiction, Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety, cancer, Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy. But even with the positives, marijuana when regularly and excessively used can cause mental health problems, Testicular cancer, Respiratory disease.

Many scientists and health bodies — including the American Cancer Society (ACS) — support the need for further scientific research on the use of marijuana and cannabinoids to treat medical conditions.

Economic Benefits To Uganda

With such a significant investment from Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd worth $5m, Uganda will the first country to legalize farming of the herb. This means it will be able to export to neighboring country and earn the country insurmountable amounts of revenue and foreign exchange.

The pharmaceutical sector in Uganda will earn a breakthrough as it will reduce on the expenses to import medicinal marijuana. They will be able to get it locally.

Forbes reports that earlier this month the ETFGI Consultancy Firm revealed that the world’s first cannabis exchange-traded fund is on its way to becoming the second most profitable exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Canada after offering 50% return so far this year. In October 2018, Canada became the second country in the world, after Uruguay, and the first country within the G20 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

According to an Investopedia report October, last year, the economic benefits of legalizing weed have already been apparent as the first states in the United States of America have moved to change their legal positions. The report said legal marijuana could mean a big push for state economies and big bucks for both the state and the federal governments.  

Investopedia said that better than expected sales of marijuana in Colorado and Washington over the past several years have resulted in buoyant tax revenues. In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana. Sales in North America grew 30%, to $6.7 billion, in 2016, and is projected to increase to $20.1 billion by 2021, according to Arcview Market Research.

Wiith other countries progressing and starting to realize social and economic benefits from legalizing the growing, trading and prescription of marijuana then maybe it is time for Uganda to size up this adventure and work out the legal regimes to support this new cash cow.


Victoria University To Benefit From 1, 100 Ruparelia Foundation Scholarships

The Ruparelia Foundation will in the Academic year 2019/2020 give out over 1,100 scholarships to youths joining Victoria University, Watchdog Uganda has reported, quoting a letter to the ministry of education from Rajiv Ruparelia, a director of the Foundation.

The scholarships are aimed at uplifting the lives of underprivileged Ugandans especially the youth.

In a letter to the Ministry of State for Youth and Children Affairs, copied to Victoria University Council, Vice-Chancellor, Guild President and Admission’s office, Rajiv Ruperelia, the director of the Rajiv Ruperelia Youth Scholarship said that scholarships are to cover 70 per cent of the tuition fees.

The scholarships are to cater to the students who are offering the following courses; Faculty of Health Sciences (200 scholarships), Faculty of Business Management (150), Faculty of science and Technology (200), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (250) and lastly, Department of Petroleum and Energy Studies (300).

He noted that minimum qualification for the degree programme is two principal passes and one principal pass for the diplomas.


Ham Kiggundu Translates Success & Failure Book To Luganda

Last year in July, businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises launched a book in which he shares his story as a successful businessman and what other people can do to be successful in life.

The book titled ‘Success and Failure based on Reason and Reality’ has emerged as one of the best sellers on Amazon for an African author and won book of the year in Uganda.

The book, according to testimonies, has been an inspiration to many people and have requested that it translated to Luganda so that other people who don’t completely understand English can be inspired and learn from it.

In the 154 paged book Ham as he is referred to by his friends and business associates explains how for one to be successful, needs to have a reasonable thinking capacity, a plan and strategy, personal responsibility, focus and vision, consistence and patience, good listening skills, choice of good company, ability to take risks in life, forgiving and forgetting, courage and determination, a supportive family and a socially, political and economically organized society.

In the book which is now available and accessible to all leading bookstores to non English speakers tackles the issues of success and money (how to make money), risks and challenges of making money, building meaning relationship with people, how to become rich and wealthy, poverty and failure, the road to success, education and success, employment and success, the law and success and other pertinent issues.

While launching the book, Ham said many Ugandans don’t believe in themselves and that they can be successful.  “While many people look at me as a successful person, its discomforting to see that many Ugandans are economically not okay. The major problem I have come to realize is that most Ugandans have very poor mindset. They don’t believe in themselves and they don’t believe in success,” Ham told journalists when launching the book.

“So many of my friends have approached me from time to time and ask how I have managed to be successful an early age of just 34 years. This is a question I can answer in a simple statement. That is one of the reasons as to why I decided to sit down and write this book,” he said last year.

Ham says the book is not about him and the things he has been able to accomplish but rather ‘about my countrymen and countrywomen to start thinking progressively and have a mindset change for the good of country’s behalf.’


South African National Accreditation System Accredits UNEB To ISO Certification

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has been accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) to provide International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Management Systems Certification.

The accreditation comes at a time when a growing number of Ugandan companies are seeking ISO management systems certification to benefit from the nascent oil and gas sector.

According to ISO, a management system is “the way in which an organization manages the inter-related parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives including, among others, product or service quality, operational efficiency, environmental performance, health and safety in the workplace.”

The SANAS accreditation means that UNBS is now internationally recognised to provide certification services to organisations for Food Safety Management Systems (ISO 22000) and Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001).

UNBS joins acclaimed multinational service providers of ISO management systems certification that comply with international requirements.

The UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo said: “The accreditation means that UNBS has been accepted and recognised at international level to offer ISO management systems certification in a competent, consistent and impartial manner.”

 “This accreditation will give Ugandan companies an opportunity to certify their organisational systems and processes at an affordable cost to demonstrate that their services meet international standards and therefore capable of meeting customer expectations,” Dr. Manyindo said.

“The certificates issued by UNBS are now recognised worldwide thereby facilitating international trade. It gives us a competitive advantage in a market dominated by large foreign multinationals. We intend to use this accreditation to expand our market share of ISO certification,” Dr. Manyindo added.

This accreditation adds to the UNBS chemistry and microbiology laboratories which are internationally accredited by SANAS.

SANAS is a signatory to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) which gives it world-wide recognition as a competent body for carrying out independent evaluation of certification bodies against recognised standards. International accreditation agreements provide a mechanism that allows accredited certificates to be accepted around the world which reduces the risk of products and services being rejected in international markets.

La Cabana To Treat Customers To Easter BBQ Brunch

Food is the ingredient that binds us together, and this Easter weekend, you and your loved ones have a chance to come together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ at La Cabana Restaurant at the scheduled Easter BBQ brunch.

La Cabana at Speke Apartments, Wampewo Avenue, is Kampala’s premium and ritzy churrasco grill restaurant serving Brazilian, Continental and Indian cuisines. And this Easter it has set to feed individuals, families and corporate organizations this Easter Sunday, 21st April, 2019.

At the East BBQ Brunch (breakfast & lunch), customers have a chance to choose between two packages – Easter Classic and Easter Premium. These two offers come with discounts fofr children below the age of ten years.

The Easter Classic package going for Shs99, 000 offers a glass of champagne, open salad bar, classic churrasco meat (unlimited 6 cuts of meat until you drop), side dishes and Easter special dessert while the Easter Premium packages a glass of champagne, open salad bar, classic churrasco meat (unlimited 9 cuts of meat until you drop), side dishes and Easter special dessert.

La Cabana is offering a 30 percent discounts for kids below 10 years and free access to the swimming pool and free cookie decorating station for kids. La Cabana's Easter BBQ Brunch is a celebration of the finest cuts of meat, welcoming ambiance – where you can be with your family and friends and enjoy all the different kinds of meat.

Victoria University Gets Student Hostels

Victoria University has announced they have started providing hostel services to students in a clean, private, secure facility located in the city centre. The university without disclosing the exact location of the hostel facility said it is located in a walkable distance from campus on Jinja Road, opposite Dewinton Road.

The fully furnished hostel facility comes with a dining area for both single and double rooms. From the hostel, students can easily access shopping malls, markets, commercial banks & ATM machines, health centres and other service providers a student can need.

Victoria University's mission is to provide a dynamic employment facing learning experience; facilitated by qualified and committed teachers in a modern, fully equipped facilities. The university stands out as a pivot of academic excellence.

“We are committed to the advancement of higher education in the country and the East African region by establishing exemplary, specialised and employment-oriented education,” Dr. Krishna N. Sharma, the Vice Chancellor, said in a previous interview.

“Our backbone too is solid, as we are backed by the Ruparelia Group which is notable in the education sector in Uganda and has under its portfolio the renowned Kampala International School Uganda and Kampala Parents School,”

The vision of the University is to provide access to higher education which transcends national boundaries and to develop educational opportunities which conform to the highest international standards.

How Can Landlords Help Tenant’s Businesses Achieve Growth

Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) largely depend one edgy capital and budgets and one of the nagging item on their budget is rent and payment for utilities like water, electricity bills. Many SMEs wish this cost can be forgone; however it is inevitable to doge these costs.

And in times of meagre profits business owners find a hard time surviving beyond their first year of existence. In the struggle to stay afloat, business owners are stretched by bills and in an attempt to survive they start allocating their expenditure to the most demanding issues like restocking and paying employees and taxes.

In the process they forget or forego to pay rent to the landlord. This causes rent arrears to pile up to irritating figures. When rent arrears pile, and with no money to settle the rental arrears, the landlord is left with one option, to get rid of the tenant. It can be this bad.

 However, Haruna Sentongo, the proprietor of Haruna Enterprises, is a rare breed among landlord in Kampala. Sentongo, through Haruna Enterprises, is being generous enough and helping tenants at Segawa Market in Mengo – Kisenyi to achieve the much desired business growth. Segawa Market which is opposite the gate to Lubiri SS is the only market specializing in trading spare parts of automobiles.

He is offering new tenants three months free of rent as long as your book for office space or shop at Segawa Market. On top of giving you three months’ rent free, Haruna Enterprises as landlords are also paying for electricity, water, garbage disposal, security and free parking. This means that the tenant will not worry about paying for utility bills and can use the three months to settle in the storeyed market.

Ahmed Mukisa, a tenant, says this takes away stress associated with paying for bills routinely. Another tenants said it helps them save money and allocate it to do other things like paying taxes, paying wages or restocking the shop.

“This is the first place I am seeing this. It is good, paying for electricity is inconveniencing and stressing. I have been here for a long time but I have not paid for electricity and we have electricity all the time unless it is load shedding,” Ben Ntale, a trader at Segawa Market, explained.

Isaac Newton, the property manager of Segawa Market explained that they are offering the three promotional free months because they understand that when starting, business can be hard and challenging. “So we want our tenants to have a time to settle in and start making money,” he said.

Sentongo, the CEO of Haruna Enterprises said that they will continue to provide and respond to the needs of Ugandans noting that the future of Real Estates in Uganda is very bright considering the huge endowment of natural resources. “Haruna Enterprises is well poised to harness these opportunities with relentless drive and commitment it has taken to become the leading player in our various markets,” he said.

Parliament Should Not Throw Good Money After Bad Money

The idiom “throwing good money after bad” refers to spending more money on something problematic that one has already spent money on, in the (presumably futile) hopes of fixing it or recouping one’s original investment.

Whereas recapitalizing Bank of Uganda is a strategic and urgent business for parliament, it should also be equally urgent and strategic to quickly implement the COSASE recommendations on restructuring both the management and regulatory regime at the central bank.

The people who are behind the mistakes that led to the need for recapitalization cannot be the same people to manage the recapitalized central bank. That would be the equivalent of throwing good money at bad money!

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. BoU potentially faces up to UGX1trillion in lawsuits as a result of the findings and recommendations of COSASE. Parliament should not put the proverbial cart before the horse. Bank of Uganda needs overhauling first before anything else.

In the Judas story

They are trying to claim that the money central banks wants is to cover the money spent on Crane Bank

Yet the 478b stolen in the name of Crane bank limited has never been accounted for. In fact Auditor General report is clear.

It appears the hyenas at Bank of Uganda want to steal another 484b after stealing 478 in the name of Crane Bank.

They are all thieves trying to fight over the loot.

You can’t just take a request to parliament to give u 484.2b before u account for 478b stolen in the name of Crane Bank capitalization.

This is the right time for MPs to ask the hard questions before authorizing Capitalization of Bank of Uganda.

The MPs on Finance Committee and Parliament must open their eyes to the fact that put license funds must be accounted for.

Totally agree and maybe they need to consider management changes as well

You cannot just pump money in a financial institution that has been investigated and found wanting in terms of accountability/professional standards.

The Cosase report proposed a cleanup among other reforms at Bank of Uganda.

It’s true Bagyenda left Bank of Uganda but she was not the only person who messed up Closed Banks. Many officials who messed up and these are the same people salivating to receive 484b. Let’s get serious for once

Management team used to be highly regarded but have turned into thieves.

SOURCE: Command1Post

Domestic Capital Anchors Property Investment Across Africa

Office yields remained largely stable in most African markets over the past two years, anchored by patient domestic capital as local investors assume a longer-term perspective, a new analysis by Knight Frank shows.

The analysis, published in a new Knight Frank report dubbed Africa Horizons, shows that of the 35 office markets covered, yield remained stable in 16 locations in the two years to 2018 and rose in six, while 13 markets recorded declines. Africa Horizons provides a unique guide to real estate investment opportunities on the continent, examining developments in agriculture, hospitality, healthcare, occupier services (office), capital markets, residential and logistics property sectors.

"By taking a longer-term perspective, and in some cases a lower return profile, local investors have remained more active than headline figures suggest. This explains how yields in most major markets have remained stable in the face of weaker reported transactions," the report states.Just under US$2 billion worth of deals in Africa were publicised in 2018, predominantly involving assets in South Africa. Contrary to the global trend, Africa's recorded transaction activity peaked in 2016, and has since eased. Notably, private capital remains an important driver of investment activity in much of Africa, although ultimately somewhat opaque.

According to the report, healthy economic prospects suggest that Africa will remain a compelling investment destination for those targeting key centres. In addition to the office markets in these locations, the report notes, rising wealth will favour sectors exposed to consumer logistics, and selectively, retail.

"We envisage rising investor demand for those African locations that can demonstrate something of a counter-cyclical nature, combined with rising domestic wealth," the Africa Horizons report concludes.

In 2018, Africa recorded more than 700 separate inward investment projects, half of which originated from corporations domiciled in the US, UK, France, China and Germany. The investment destinations were broad although South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia accounted for over half of the projects, according to the report.

In Nairobi, yields in 2018 stood at 8% for office, 8.5% for logistics property, and 9% for retail. A-grade warehousing around the capital currently commands monthly rents in the upward of US$6 per square metre, almost double that of the predominant stock of older units that lack modern features such as cross-docking and intermodal facilities.

Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank Kenya Managing Director, said: "Yields in each of the market segments align to their risk profiles, with retail being much riskier in Nairobi currently hence the proportionately higher yield."

According to the Africa Horizons report, top residential investment opportunities across the continent include student accommodation (with Zambia, South Africa and Kenya being education hotspots), retirement homes, and middle- income housing as demographics change.
In Kenya's logistics sector, formal retailers have emerged as a major driver of growth owing to their increasing need for large centralised warehouses as they gain critical mass countrywide.

Vice Chancellor Rewards Victoria University Academic Giants

Under normal circumstance, people who work hard and excel are rewarded as a motivation to work even harder next time. This is what Victoria University has done, to reward students who exceptionally performed well in their academics.

For performing well and acing their exams, 44 students were on Saturday treated to a sumptuous Vice Chancellor’s dinner at La Paroni Restaurant along Parliamentary Avenue. These academic giants also received Certificates of Achievement in recognition of their academic achievement.

The dinner was the Deans of various Faculties and the Academic Registrar who took turns in encouraging the students to pursue academics with seriousness and keep their performance high always. 

Victoria University Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof Krishna N. Sharma, encouraged students, reminding them that education should be able to transform the mind and grow in every individual unique ability to enable them succeed in life.

As a university, emphasis on experiential learning is not accidental but rather cautious since the world tomorrow shall require dynamic and flexible citizens ready to solve the challenges of the day case by case. He reflected on the University motto, Come prepared to learn, Leave prepared to succeed urging students to always aim high in both academic and social spheres of life.

This celebration is held semester wise as a University tradition. It is hosted by the Vice Chancellor’s office in honor of the best performing students with GPA of 4.4 and above.

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