Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

Works Minister Prioritizes Victoria University Students For Logistics Internship

The Minister of State for Transport Aggrey Henry Bagiire has asked officials from his ministry to always offer internship placements to students of Victoria University undertaking logistic and transport courses whenever the need arises.

“I want to direct you that students of Victoria University that have chosen to partner with us should be given the opportunity to do internship at the ministry. That is not a question for discussion, it is coming from me,” Bagiire told Wilson Katushabe, commissioner for transport regulation and safety.

The two were presiding over the event where Victoria University in partnership with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) to launch accredited programs in Logistics and Transport. The event took place at Kabira Country Club recently.

The minister further said the ministry was going to work with Victoria University on CILT programs and other transport related initiatives by encouraging all government MDAs to consider CILT as a vital part for growth of the country.

“We will partner with university to innovate and research; create partnership in terms of providing internship which is part of knowledge transfer and skills enhancement, share opportunities. Transport and logistics are key enablers of economic development and prosperity, the minister explained.

The minister revealed that they are developing a national transport and logistic policy, developing second national multi-sectoral master plan 2020-2040, have formulated a fifteen year master plan for logistics for the northern economic corridor 2015 – 2030 and have also established a logistics unit in the ministry to coordinate development of logistics in the country.

“We are building capacity in transport and logistics through CILT, developed skills needs assessment for the development of transport and logistics sector, have developed a framework to develop a logistics hub, amendment of some of these laws is happening establishment of one stop border posts has also happened and there is improvement of roads, water, air and railways services,” he added.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in the UK is the membership organization for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains. It was first established in 1919 and registered as a charity organization and part of the CILT international family with over 33,000 members in countries across the world.

Members of the Institute are involved in the management and design of infrastructure, systems, processes and information flows and in the creation, management and development of effective organisations. The work of members impacts directly on people, society and the environment, on business profitability and economic growth.

Assoc. Prof Krishna N. Sharma the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University expressed happiness to run the professional programs. “The accredited programs are designed by CILT to thoroughly equip participants with ‘street-smart’ tools and skills preparing them to effectively transition from a student mindset to a creative, problem solving and value adding young adult, ready to step into the Logistics and Transport world with enthusiasm, hope and a clear purpose,”

Geoffrey Etyang the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport –Uganda chapter said Victoria University is the 2nd university besides UMI to run these accredited programs and the first to run the Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Transport.

Speke Resort: Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions Hub

Revenue streams for hotels and entire hospitality industry is no longer dominated by accommodation and what the kitchen has to offer but rather from a new cash cow – the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism segment.  

The trend has not spared Uganda where, according to industry insiders, hotels are making a lot of money from hosting local and international meetings. And to meet the demand hotels are investing in exquisite and luxury conference halls to make guest as comfortable as possible.

One such hotel that has mastered the art of organizing top notch conferences is Speke Resort & Conference Centre in Munyonyo. The Resort has been hosting conferences since 2001. It boasts of 3 ballrooms, including a 1,000-seat ballroom, 19 indoor and 6 outdoor conference venues.

An extension named Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort was added and it was the place that hosted the 2007 Commonwealth Government Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM), with the Queen of England in attendance. Other high profile meetings have since followed. Speke Resort will yet again host the British royal family in 2020 when the Duke of Edinburgh comes for the International Gold Event.

The Resort has an audio & visual department and can help you record your event with perfection. Guest services are available to provide such amenities as fax, photocopying, Internet and express mail services. The conference rooms are fitted with functional air conditioner, finest furniture, carpets and fittings that are made to deliver utmost comfort and luxury.

The Resort extends this touch of finesse to the accommodation section. From Presidential Suites, Presidential Cottages, Executive Rooms, Superior Rooms, and exquisite villas that are bright, spacious and filled with beautiful views of Lake Victoria, you got it all.

The rooms are charming, dressed in traditional African and modern contemporary designs, furnished with rich natural fabrics and equipped with the latest modern technologies, complimentary high speed Internet for up to four devices and 24-hour services.

The Resort has a modern gym, spa, Olympic size swimming pool, fitness center kid’s center, squash court, boat rides, and horse riding among other amenities. Speke Resort was last year named the best Luxury Lakeside Resort in East Africa at World Luxury Hotel Awards ceremony which took place in Bali, Indonesia.

The Resort routinely wins TripAdvisor and local tourism awards which something that says about the quality of its services and customer care.  In March, the Resort once again, and for the fourth time in a row, won the Service and Luxury Business Hotel category at the annual Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards.

Recently during the Africa Now conference, Africa’s 8th richest person - billionaire Strive Masiyiwa awed by the classic beauty of Speke Resort proposed that the luxurious five star hotel resort should be named “the official African Conference Centre.”

Mr. Greg Petzer, the General Manager of the Resort in an interview said they are well aware of the business opportunity that MICE tourism presents to them and the competition at hand and to stay as market leaders, they are constantly upgrading their facilities to stay upto date with world class standards.

Mr. Petzer attributed their success to team work and meeting customer expectations. “We are happy it is paying off in such a manner. We do a lot of training, we invest money, time and effort in the human resource side of our product,” Mr. Petzer stated in an interview.

He said the hotel management works ‘closely with government’ in terms of meeting the guidelines that have been set out for the hotel business throughout East Africa. “We have a lot of repeat guests who stay with us; what I have noticed over the years is that guests rely on our services and the standards when they are traveling.”

Media report indicate that Uganda has seen a steady rise in tourist arrivals from 945,899 in 2010 to 1,322,522 in 2016 translating into a 107% increment in earnings, from $662 million to $1,371 million targets to earn US$2.7bn by 2020.

Govt Moves To Sanitize Mining Sector With Biometric Registration Of Miners

The latest government ambition to register all artisanal and small scale miners in Uganda has been looked at as a programme that will improve management of the mining sector, harmonize and formalize Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) activities in the country.  

Government last month with the help of Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy (ACEMP) and Action Aid Uganda launched the Biometric Registration of Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (BRASSM) in Uganda at Royal Suites Hotel in Bugolobi.

The system will capture the biometric data of Ugandan artisanal miners who will be given identification numbers according to their mining zones. Foreign artisanal miners will not be registered, instead they will now have to apply for mining licenses just like foreign companies do. By doing this, the system will protect local artisanal miners from foreigners.

The Minister of State for Mineral Development Hon. Peter Lokeris while officiating at the launch of BRASSM revealed that over one million Ugandans directly or indirectly benefit from ASM operations despite being portrayed by its negative impacts. He explained that there is need to understand and address the structural challenges faced by artisanal miners in order to improve the sector’s opportunities.  

The Minister pointed out the challenges faced by the ASM sector as inadequate regulation, local politics, nomadic way of ASM operations, influx of foreigners, insecurity, environmental degradation, use of hazardous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide, lack of technical & financial capacity and lost revenue opportunities for government.

“These structural problem need to be addressed for ASM to contribute to social and economic development of the country,” the Minister told the congregation dominated by ASMs from across the country at the launch. BRASSM will address some of these challenges weeding out foreigners, access to financing and address issues of insecurity.

WHO WILL BE REGISTERED?

For miners to be registered, they must be adult Ugandans, registered under a mining association, living in a mining zone, with a national identity card (Ndagamuntu) and a practicing miner. No individual will be registered under BRASSM unless they are applying for mining licenses as a company.

Mr. Don Bwesigye Binyina, the Executive Director of Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy, the implementing agency, said the BRASSM project will enhance quality of life for miners so as to increase their contribution to Uganda’s sustainable development.

Mr. Zachary Baguma a commissioner at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said government wants to identify and know these miners so that they can be mobilized and enhance their capacities through trainings, financing and monitoring.

RESTRICTED MOVEMENT OF MINERS

The registration of miners will also restrict their movement. This means that if a miner is registered in Busia, he or she cannot relocate to Mubende. This, Mr. Baguma said is aimed at combating migrating miners. “If you are licensed in Mubende and not in Mityana, then you should not go to mine in Mityana,” Mr. Baguma said.

This however didn’t go down well with miners at the launch who said restricting their movements would limit their production. Mr. Mathias Aroba, a miner and treasury at Tiira Small Scale Miners association in Busia District said many people will not register with that kind of restriction. He advised that people who should be restricted are the dealers instead of miners.

But ACEMP’s Mr. Bwesigye said this kind of restriction will help government to track miners and collect taxes from them, help in addressing issues of conflict and security and to ensure that the resources benefit indigenous people or residents of that particular mining zone.

Mr. Baguma said that while official steps for anybody to change his registered BRASSM license, they will need to prove that they have not destroyed the environment in the place they have been working in. “Before you move, you must restore the mining holes. The place you are leaving behind must environmentally happy,” he said.

ARTISANAL MINING’S BIG POTENTIAL

Hon. Lokeris reiterated that the government recognizes the potential of ASM and what it can contribute to the local economic development if well regulated. He acknowledged that ASM can create jobs especially in rural areas, improve livelihoods and control rural-urban migration. Therefore to the ministry is implementing a Mineral Wealth and Mining Infrastructure Development Project that is aimed at development of an effective ASM Management Strategy to address ASM challenges.

Hon. Lokeris said together with ACEMP MEMD will map, register and come up with an effective management strategy for development of ASM sector. Under this collaboration both parties will improve ASM management strategy, undertake BRASSM by working with National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) and National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U).

They will develop mechanisms to regulate ASM movements, identify relevant stakeholders for ASM consultations, analyze and provide a baseline profile for ASM sector, develop a tool for monitoring, evaluation and improvement of ASM practices and develop a mechanism to control use of hazardous chemicals by ASM, among others.

Chartered Institute Of Logistics & Transport Programs At VU To Address Challenge In Sector

Victoria University has moved to address the challenges in the transport and logistic sector by launching Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport programs at the Ruparelia Group owned learning institutions.

They have partnered with The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in the UK, a membership organization for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains.

The Minister of State for Transport Aggrey Henry Bagiire on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at Kabira Country Club presided over the launch the programs by the University. He expressed delight over Victoria University’s attempt to educate and attract individuals to the logistics and transport sector. “Lifelong learning will be a clear necessity in imparting knowledge and building skills today in the sector,” he said.

“The growth of population is presenting a challenge for those working in the logistics and transport sector and in Kampala city, the daily day time population is over 3 million people and moving such masses to destinations is a challenge and Victoria university is coming in at the time when the service is badly needed,” he added.

Assoc. Prof Krishna N. Sharma, the vice chancellor of Victoria University said they are proud to to run the professional programs under Logistics and transport and working with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

The accredited programs are designed by CILT to thoroughly equip participants with ‘street-smart’ tools and skills preparing them to effectively transition from a student mindset to a creative, problem solving and value adding young adult, ready to step into the Logistics and Transport world with enthusiasm, hope and a clear purpose.

Geoffrey Etyang the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport –Uganda chapter said Victoria University is the 2nd university besides UMI to run these accredited programs and the first to run the Advanced Diploma in Logistics and Transport.

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