Health & Fitness: Dolphin Suites Fitness Center Reopened

Dolphin Suites, a luxury hotel located on Princess Anne Drive, Plot 36 Bugolobi, Kampala, has opened its fitness center following government's allowance of the reopening of gyms, saunas, massage parlours and general wellness centres in the country.

These have been banned from operating due to COVID19 pandemic. But now with a commitment that they will adhere to laid out tSOPs, they have been allowed to operate and offer their services to their customers cautiously.

Dolphin Suites Fitness Center offers services like a health club, steam & sauna, swimming pool, family-friendly facilities, restaurant and parking space. It caters to people of all ages and different fitness levels, whether you are extremely athletic or just need a little exercise.

The fitness centre is staffed with professional trainers who are on hand to take you through your routine workouts, guiding you every step of the way.

“We understand the importance of keeping in shape and the advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle,” the hotel said of their preparedness to serve guests in this COVID19 era.

And as the hotel reopens its fitness center to the public again, it periodically offers one-hour free session at the gym during the weekend. Dolphin Suites comes with not just accommodation, but with conference halls, a restaurant, and a gym, plus a swimming pool.

Dolphin Suites is a beautiful hotel complex nestled in the peaceful neighbourhood of Bugolobi, away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala. Located only five minutes from the city centre, Dolphin Suites is a well-planned easily accessible hotel with an expansive array of facilities and services that will surely grant you an unforgettable, blissful stay.

Enjoy a quiet moment to yourself in the secure private grounds, relaxing by the pool or visiting our health club — complete with gym, sauna and steam room — before enjoying a delicious meal in our restaurant with a fully stocked bar.

WINNER: Speke Resort Again Wins Global Accolade At World Luxury Hotel Awards

An excited management team at Speke Resort and Conference Centre in Munyonyo took to social media to announce an important milestone in what has proved to be a tough year in the hospitality sector globally - they had been named the Best Luxury Lakeside Resort in East Africa at the World Luxury Hotels Awards.

"Congratulations! Speke Resort was announced the best Luxury Lakeside Resort in East Africa. Thank you all for your support," a post reads on the social media pages of Speke Resort Munyonyo.

In August this year, Speke Resort and Conference Centre, fresh from winning the travellers' choice winner’s award at the 18th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards organized by TripAdvisor, announced that it had been nominated in this year's World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Speke Resort was last year, 2019, named the best lakeside luxury resort in Africa at the 2019 World Luxury Hotels Awards which were announced on October 12th at the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Finland.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards, established in 2006, celebrates achievements in the luxury hotel industry offering international recognition as voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike.

Over 300 000 international travellers nominate and vote each year for their favourite hotels, during a four-week period to select the winners. The Awards have over 100 categories with 2000 hotels profiled and nominated.

Why You Should Think Of This Perfect Family Getaway At Speke Resort Munyonyo

The year 2020 has not been an easy one because of the coronavirus pandemic that came with a myriad of travel restrictions. The pandemic prevented many Ugandans from travelling abroad on vacation and many are looking at the local market for options; places where they can go on vacation especially as a family.

While Uganda is an extremely beautiful country, with many places one can visit especially this festive season, Speke Resort and Conference Centre and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort on shores of Lake Victoria continue to stand out as a destination of choice especially for people who don’t want to go far away from Kampala.

The two sister hotels owned by Speke Group of Hotels and the Ruparelia Group of Companies have put together various packages that can make an ideal family getaway unbeatable. This merry-making season, you can enjoy an extraordinary retreat with exclusive offers at Speke Resort Munyonyo where you can relax and refresh – a perfect family getaway.


Travelling as a family means going for the utmost comfort especially for the children. Sheltered under charming, traditional African, modern contemporary and furnished with rich natural fabrics, the rooms and cottages at Speke Resort are equipped with the latest modern technologies, complimentary high-speed internet for up to four devices and 24-hour services, for our guests’ utmost convenience.

Guests of Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort are guaranteed a stay unlike any other offered by luxury hotels in Uganda.

For this vacation offer, guests will pay Shs296, 250 for deluxe single (one person), Shs395, 000 for deluxe double (two people), Shs474, 000 for studio room (two people) for and Shs533, 250 for a superior room (two people).

Also, the one-bedroom suite (two people) will go for Shs711, 000, garden villa (four people) for Shs849, 000, preidential cottage (four people) for Shs950, 000, executive room (two people) for Shs533, 250, executive suite (two people) for Shs928, 250 and presidetial suite (four people) for Shs1, 468, 000.

The offer is valid until 30th November 2020 and rates are subject to applicable taxes. All are half-board rates: bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Create unique memories for your family this festive season with amazing offers and lots of entertainment for all.


Ajit Singh, the rooms’ division manager at Speke Resort, said: “Keeping in mind the comfort of our guests, we offer 24-hour in-room dining. At the touch of a button, all your needs will be taken care of.” He added: “Our wellness centre has officially re-opened, be sure to fit in some fitness time so you can stay sharp.”

You can also book a cottage for a family at a cost of $498 per night full board and enjoy an assortment of entertainment and lots of fun activities like horse riding and others. While there, you can enjoy a unique and delicious dining experience as you savour curated dishes from the hotel’s vast experienced chefs.


Speke Resort has 8 well-appointed bars and restaurants.  Guests looking for a luxury dining restaurant at the resort can choose from our traditional, thatched, open-air dining spaces, Lakeside Grill and the charming Viking Bar.

Unique amongst the resort, some of the dining spaces offer breath-taking lake views and is surrounded by fragrant, tropical blossoming trees, and is melodious with the sound of waves, monkeys and birds at flight.

Guests can experience fine European, African and Indian cuisine, be entertained by authentic Ugandan music and dance, and unwind in the romantic, paradise resort that is Speke Resort.


As well as our luxury dining restaurants, the resort offers private, candlelit dinners for two under the stars and can enjoy a specially curated menu, designed in collaboration with our master chefs, accompanied by soft, traditional Ugandan instruments and the sound of Lake Victoria.

Horse Riding

While enjoying the vacation at the resort, you can give the little ones a horse especially they can never forget. For just Sh30, 000 enjoy the pony ride (20 minutes), one hour hack (one hour) for Shs55, 000, private lessons (30 minutes) for Shs50, 000 and shared lessons (45 minutes, two people) for Shs50, 000 each.

For group lessons (45 minutes, 3-8 people) it will cost Shs40, 000, special lessons (45 minutes, 10 riders) is Shs320, 000 and photoshoot (15 minutes) is at Shs80, 000.  All rates are inclusive of all applicable taxes. Offers are valid until 30th November.


The mission of the Pony Camp is to advance your children with a diverse experience that offers them the opportunity to compete as a team and craft new friendships that will last a lifetime, Ajit Singh said of their horse stable services.

Water Safaris

Water is life and offers a relaxation that the body and mind dearly need after a long year of uncertainty. While on vacation at Speke Resort, it wouldn’t be ideal to leave without experience Lake Victoria, its gentleness and beauty.

Speke Resort Munyonyo has the largest private-owned marina in Uganda and offers a wide range of aquatic activities and has put together good offers for canoe rides including using speed boats. Going fishing is also an option. For Shs40, 000 you can enjoy a canoe ride (30 minutes), canoe (one hour) for Shs80, 000 and harrier (one hour) for Shs330, 000.


Or the ride the speed boats – the formula speed boat (one hour) is $240 and proline speed boat (one hour) for $240.

The fishing trips are awesome and affordable. You can use the canoe (4hours) for Shs235, 000, canoe (8 hours) for Shs380, 000, high power canoe (6 hours) for Shs500, 000 and proline speed boat (one hour) for $240. The offers are valid until 30th November.


Because we are discussing a family vacation, we can briefly talk about the meeting facilities at Speke Resort, a favourite venue for conferences in Uganda. Every year our facilities welcome thousands of visitors attending major national and international conventions, meetings, concerts, competitions, and more, Ajit said.

He adds that the Resort has been hosting conferences since 2001 and today, boasts of 3 ballrooms, 19 indoor and 6 outdoor conference venues thus, making it the premier conferencing venue in Uganda. Next time you want a place for your workplace conference, you know the place to call. 

Illegal Activities In The Park Tend To Resume In The Relaxed Atmosphere Of COVID19

By Spencer Pedun

Recently, the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) has concluded receiving applications from tourism operators seeking to access funds to recover from the effects of Covid-19. The government through the tourism ministry received six (6) million Euro (25.5 billion) stimulus package from the EU towards the private tourism sector for post lockdown operations.

The package was channeled through UDB to enable the tourism operators to rebuild the sector through upgrading their facilities in line the standard operating procedures set by the government.

The sector continues to be the biggest foreign exchange earner to the National economy and employs the majority of Ugandan.

Majority of women who make up 54% of tourism workforce youth and workers in the informal economy are among the most at risk categories. The sudden fall in tourism cut off funding for biodiversity conservation has placed jobs at a risk and has led to rise in poaching, looting and in consumption of bushmeat partially due to the decreased presence of tourists.

In Kidepo Valley National Park, community involvement in nature tourism show how communities have been able to protect their cultural and natural heritage while creating wealth and improving their wellbeing.

The impact of COVID-19 on tourism communities places further pressure on heritage conservation as well as on the cultural and social fabric of communities, particularly for indigenous people and ethnic groups, for instance, many intangible cultural heritage practices such as traditional festivals and gatherings have been halted or postponed and with the closure of markets for handicrafts products and other goods, indigenous women’s revenue have been particularly impacted and has led to encroachment of the parks.

Communities such as Lorukul, Kipope and Karenga villages largely depend on tourism were left uncertainty on how to survive the post effects of Covid 19, which has pushed them to encroach on the park looking for food and income. 

Therefore, I call upon the government to strengthen the resilience capacity of communities to diversify their livelihoods and promote ecosystem conservation through climate-smart agriculture, plant of fruit seedling and encourage beekeeping along the conservation areas.

Spencer Pedun is the Project Assistant at Environment Government Institute (EGI)


CSOs Want Export Credit Agencies To Stop Supporting Dirty Fossil Energy In Uganda

Environment Governance Institute (EGI) has asked developed countries through Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) to stop supporting fossil fuel developments and large hydro-power dams in Uganda.

These projects, EGI said, undermine the Paris agreement, aggravate climate change, destroy the environment, heighten human rights violations and leave local communities disenfranchised.  

EGI working with four environmental organizations from Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda, in cooperation with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and Both ENDS has released a report which reveals that since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, rich countries have provided almost 50 times as much support through ECAs for fossil fuel-related projects less for clean energy projects in the four African countries. 

In the report titled “A Just Energy Transition for Africa? Mapping the impacts of ECAs active in the energy sector in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda”, it is revealed that rich countries insured energy projects with a total value of 11 billion US dollars and more than half of this export support is related to fossil fuels.

Only 1% went to sustainable renewable energy. Export credit agencies provide insurances and guarantees to companies doing business abroad. 

People and nature 

Part of this research is also based on reports from local communities in Uganda that have been affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which is supported by the UK ECA UKEF. People have had to leave their land and water they depend on to pave way for this fossil fuel project. They are hardly compensated for this, with many ending up living in poverty.


“Such projects have left people worse off than they were, these are communities that already have to deal with impacts of climate change such as food insecurity “, said Samuel Aede from EGI. “These developed countries must rethink their ECA related support towards sustainable energy projects,” 

Beneconsila Busingye widow of 56 had to move to pave way for oil developments in Uganda. "I first had to leave my land for the construction of the airport for the oil developments. Access to the same land that we were given in compensation, was next cut off by the government because of the EACOP oil pipeline developments. After my husband died, the government did not want to compensate me. I never signed anything, yet all of a sudden I am no longer allowed to use my land. How can I feed my children now that my husband is dead?

Not in line with the Paris Climate Agreement 

"Despite international climate agreements and national climate ambitions, export credit agencies continue to support fossil energy projects abroad on a large scale," says Niels Hazekamp of Both ENDS. "This undermines the Paris Climate Targets. Export credit agencies hardly play a role in ensuring green, sustainable projects. This report once again makes us wonder whether ECAs are able to make the changes that are urgently needed.” 

Dependent on fossil 

By supporting the expansion of the fossil sector in these African countries, export credit agencies ensure that economies remain dependent on fossil fuels. "And that in a world that is increasingly switching to renewable energy," says Isabelle Geuskens of Milieudefensie.

"Those countries risk ending up with huge debts and fossil infrastructure for decades to come, while in the future the demand for their oil and gas will decrease substantially. The Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB already warns of the dangers of huge debts in African countries that are economically dependent on fossil fuels, but at the same time it contributes to this dependency by continuing to support fossil fuels in these countries. 

Export credit agencies for a green and just transition 

With the report, the organisations want to raise some fundamental questions about the role of export credit agencies in supporting dirty energy in Africa. Hazekamp: "The vision that export credit agencies have of sustainability is highly questionable.

Our research shows, for example, that large hydropower plants, to which most of the other half of all export support for the energy sector goes, continues to be referred to as ¨green¨ and ¨sustainable: ¨. However, these reservoirs also emit a lot of methane, which contributes to climate change. The dams also affect the natural environment and are linked to human rights violations". 

The report calls on the governments to stop supporting fossil projects via their ECAs. The environmental organisations also ask these governments to take a critical look at whether the energy projects supported by ECAs in the south are able to contribute to a just and green energy transition.


Tripling Renewables Investment To Reach Climate Goal

Global renewable energy investment increased between 2013 and 2018, reaching its peak at USD 351 billion in 2017, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI).

The 2020 edition of Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance highlights however, that while a cumulative USD 1.8 trillion were invested during the five-year period, the amount falls short to achieve the global climate commitments.

Renewable energy investment slightly declined in 2018, with modest growth through 2019. Although this was largely due to the decreasing costs of renewables, the total installed capacity continued to grow. The current level of investment is still insufficient however to keep the rise in global temperatures within the 1.5°C objective by mid-century. To achieve this climate goal, investment in diverse renewables technologies must almost triple annually to USD 800 billion by 2050. 

Ambitious commitments from governments are needed, backed by supporting measures such as moving subsidies away from fossil fuels. Further investments are also needed in system integration and enabling technologies that increase system flexibility such as batteries and energy storage. To that end, policies that enable the integration of new renewables capacity additions into the energy systems are needed, leading to their decarbonisation and bringing wide socio-economic benefits.

"The investment trend in renewable energy before COVID-19 was a positive one," said Francesco La Camera, IRENA's Director-General. "But COVID-19 has shown us that much more effort is urgently needed to put us on a climate compatible pathway and help us recover better with a sustainable, resilient economy. Decision makers must design systemic approaches to policies that encourage and speed up the flow of investment into renewables, and away from fossil fuels, and doing so enable economic growth, social resilience and welfare." 
IRENA's post-COVID agenda showed that average annual investments of USD 2 trillion in renewables and other energy transition-related technologies in the 2021-2023-recovery phase could create 5.5 million additional jobs in the sector. An additional 19 million energy transition-related jobs would be created by 2030, following average annual investments of USD 4.5 trillion up to 2030. 

The majority of these investments could come from private sources, if government funds are used strategically to nudge investment decisions and financing in the right direction. The capital is available, with a push from the governments to mobilise it.  Public funds are able to leverage private investments by a factor of 3 to 4 if used strategically to steer investments toward clean energy solutions and away from fossil fuels.

Greater participation of institutional investors – which hold about USD 87 trillion in assets – will help to reach the scale of global investment needed. To this end, it is key to promote the use of capital market solutions, such as green bonds, that address the needs of these investors. The potential role of institutional investors for the global energy transition is further explored in IRENA's report, Mobilising Institutional Capital for Renewable Energy, published this month.
"There is a very clear need for a rapid increase of investment in renewable energy coupled with a significant reduction and redirection of investment away from fossil fuel energy," said Dr Barbara Buchner, CPI's Global Managing Director. "We call for more effort and coordination among policy makers, public and private finance institutions, energy and non-energy producing corporations, and institutional investors to speed up the global energy transition. This action is fundamental to a more sustainable and resilient future." 

This year's joint report analyses for the first time financial commitments to off-grid renewables technologies in developing markets, as they can bring the world closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030.

Providing cost-effective energy solutions, off-grid renewables are essential in a time when energy access is crucial to power healthcare facilities, save lives and create jobs. While investments in off-grid renewables solutions kept growing, reaching an all-time-high USD 460 million in 2019, additional capital must be unlocked especially for income-generating activities and productive uses to improve the livelihoods and resilience of billions of women and men globally and to promote socio-economic benefits. 

Looking ahead, policy makers need to signal long-term political commitment and enhance partnerships with the private sector to boost investors confidence and attract additional private capital in the sector. To that effect, the report laid out five specific recommendations that policy makers should implement to engage private sector actors, including institutional investors, capital market players and non-energy producing companies, in the collective path to green recovery and climate objectives.

Kabira Country Club: Hotel For Family Fun, Business Meetings, Quality Services

Finding a hotel that can offer exquisite business and good family time is a rare gem in Kampala yet Kabira Country Club does just that. For the years past, Kabira has capped its beauty by keeping maximum standards and quality services.

Set amongst a foray of palm trees in an idyllic suburb of Bukoto, less than a 15-minute drive from the hub of Kampala city, Kabira is the premier boutique hotel in the city. Through the gates and up into a swanky courtyard the Club is cut off from the clamour and hustle that surrounds it.

The hotel provides unrivalled luxury and is the perfect setting for a weekend getaway, a holiday location, a memorable wedding setting and a business meeting to see through that deal you want most.

Along with a fully equipped gym, Kabira has world-class sporting and recreational facilities which cater for a wide range of fitness and wellness needs. It has two heated swimming pools, 3 squash courts, a sports field, four clay floodlit tennis court and floodlit basketball court and spa.

Natural Ambience

When you get past the security barrier at the main gate of Kabira you are welcomed by a natural ambience exuded by the fauna and flora that characterizes the expansive luxury multi-functional facility.

In the morning and midafternoon, guests donning business suits and other office wear are seen making their way into conference halls to meet the demands of the corporate world. 

The hotel also offers world-class service when it comes to conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops. Conference halls are equipped with latest Audio & Video systems to give your seminars, workshops, business meetings & conferences the digital look and interactions you need.

“We get international delegates and clients coming in for all kinds of conferences from different parts of the world,” says Mr. Dhaval Machhar, the hotel’s General Manager.

Mr. Dhaval says people choose Kabira Country Club because of ‘our standards, quality services and good rates. For its quality services, Kabira Country Club has won several local and international awards. 

On the leisure side, guests from different parts of the world in the country for business or to tour the Pearl of Africa are seen lounging by the poolside, the gym or the bar area enjoying a cold beer, gin or whisky to wind down the evening.

Wide Range Of Services

Mr. Dhuval revealed that many people from across the world have shown interest in Kabira because they know that this is big, well situated and safe.

The hotel offers a wide range of accommodation options from a single room, double rooms to three-bedroom duplex Penthouse. The rooms and suites offer 24-hour room service, air-conditioning, satellite TV, a bathtub and many other amenities.

Riding on the back of Speke Group of Hotels, Kabira comes with the finesse associated with the Group that has heavily invested in the hospitality sector.  This finesse has won the Club several accolades from respectable TripAdvisor.

Kabira has created an experience where you can get anything you want in one location. You have the option to relax on the terrace, dine from the restaurant or bar & coffee shop.

The light bites, healthy salads and finger foods are always available from the snack menu. If you want something more substantial, just ask for the complete selection from the main course menu. The extensive menu is a fusion of African, Continental, Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean cuisine, reflecting the cosmopolitan city of Kampala.

Letter: Sudhir Writes To Museveni Regarding Growing Of Marijuana

In a lengthy letter to President Yoweri Museveni, businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, the chairman of Ruparelia Group, has explained that the timing is now for Uganda to venture into the business of growing marijuana for medical purposes.

Ruparelia, whose Premier Hemp company is among the many that have applied for the license to start farming the herb that has hundreds of medical purposes. Below is the full letter.


Your Excellency, I believe you very well recall the vanilla ‘madness’ of 2002-2005 when Ugandan farmers got rich overnight in Mukono and Masaka; those good old but shortlived days when vanilla almost became like gold.

We all remember when farmers in had to spend nights in their gardens, guarding their golden harvests from thieves; when traders started fighting each other over who should buy from which farmer and at some point, government had to intervene.

For those who are not aware, this sudden vanilla fortune was driven by two occurrences, thousands of kilometers away, in Madagascar, one of the world’s largest producers of vanilla.

The island nation was struck by two successive cyclones in one month- Tropical Cyclone Kesiny in May 2002 (Northern Madagascar) and Tropical Cyclone Manou in the South East, killing people, destroying transport infrastructure and thousands of acres of crops, especially the prized vanilla.

Global vanilla markets reacted and Uganda overnight went from nearly a zero exporter of vanilla to earning USD7.8 million in 2002 and USD11.5 million in 2003. Farmers and traders, became millionaires overnight.

Subsequent storms like, Cyclone Gafilo in March 2004 and Cyclone Dora, Indlala and Jaya that hit Madagascar between 2006 and 2007 kept Uganda in vanilla business, but sooner Madagascar recovered and took back its vanilla markets.

It was instead time for Ugandan vanilla farmers to be hit by financial storms and cyclones. It had to take another major storm- Cyclone Enawo in March 2017 to hit Madagascar, followed by Tropical Cyclone Kesiny in Northern Madagascar in May 2017 for Ugandan farm gate prices to rise to as much as UGX170,000-200,000 per kilo! Again Uganda had another windfall with national export earnings jumping 295.2% from USD3.2 million in 2016 to USD12.7 million.

But soonest Madagascar began recovering, prices went down and in 2018, Uganda’s export earnings fell to USD8.2 million and fell further to USD4.47 million in 2019. Well, we do not know when the next cyclone will come for Vanilla farmers to enjoy yet another rich season but one lesson we can learn from the above is the power of being a first mover.

A first-mover advantage can be simply defined as the ability to beat of competition as a result of being the first to go to market with a new product category. Of course, how lasting this advantage gets, depends on many other things like a good investment and regulatory climate, among other variables.

Coming back to East Africa, this week, it was all over the news that Rwanda will start receiving applications for licenses to grow medical marijuana for export, following an October 13th cabinet meeting that approved the regulatory guidelines on the cultivation, processing and export of high-value therapeutic crops.

Other countries in the region, including Uganda are also at various stages of approval of the growing of medical marijuana. While we are not attempting to compare Uganda with any other country, as we are a unique and independent country, it is also a market reality that the global medical marijuana market, estimated to reach between USD40 billion and USD45 billion by 2025, is not unlimited.

The early birds will certainly catch the most and possibly the biggest worms and like in the case of Madagascar and vanilla elaborated above, will hold onto this advantage for many years to come.

Those that will come on the next wave, will have to play second-fiddle, hoping and praying for some storms of some kind so they can gain some short-lived windfalls. If there is anything that Covid-19 has taught the markets, it is the danger of relying on the same sets of traditional sources of income.

In the case of Uganda, tourism, Uganda’s largest forex earner is on its knees and is not expected to recover fully until 2003 and beyond- and this presupposes a vaccine is discovered sooner than later.

Although coffee export earnings, according to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Bank of Uganda are on the path to recovery, this is only because we exported more bags of coffee, otherwise prices are still on the low.

According to UBOS, although monthly earnings from coffee exports reached a record high of USD419.5 million in July 2020, this was because Uganda exported 540,000 bags the highest monthly export quantity since 1997.

It is also worth noting that average prices also fell to USD1.53 in July and USD1.48 August- a record lowest in about 10 years. According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), world global coffee consumption is expected to reduce as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on the global economy and the lockdowns adding more pressure on out-of-home coffee consumption.

This according to ICO, the intergovernmental organization for coffee exporting and importing governments, including Uganda, has left the global markets with a surplus of about 1.54 million bags.

This, surplus, added to another 4.4 million bags carried over from the 2018/19 season, will according to ICO continue holding back global price recovery. ICO reported that World Coffee prices in September 2020 remained at an average of US cents 116.25 per pound.

Although a little higher than the average US cents 107.25 for the 2019/20 coffee year, it was still way below the 10-year average (2007 and 2018) of US cents 135.3 per pound. Elsewhere as coffee farmers and traders continue to feel the pinch, other traditional Ugandan exports are also under pressure.

 A comparison of export earnings of the 6 months before Covid-19 (September 2019-February 2020) and the 6 months after Covid19 (March-August 2020) also shows declining export revenues on many other agriculture exports, almost all of them double-digit. Significant declines were from: Cotton (-65.3 %), Tobacco (-63.5 %), Fish (-30.4%), Hides & Skins (-47.1%), Maize (-28.3%), Beans (-41.7%) and Cocoa (-17.3%).

The Only Exceptions, Which Grew, Were: Fruits & Vegetables (+31.3%), Tea (+5.6%) And Flowers (+19.2%) – but again the devil could be in the details.

 Your Excellency, if there is one lesson we should pick from the Covid-19 crisis is the need to not only add value (like you have always emphasized to especially the bazzukulu), but even more importantly the need to diversify.

Value addition and diversification are important because, truth be said, some markets for some of our agriculture products are over saturated. Even with value-addition, we can only go far, because we do not have much competitive advantage.

That is why we believe Uganda has a real opportunity to establish both a competitive and a fast-mover advantage in the medical marijuana for export business- we have the right climate and more arable land than most, if not all our neighbours combined.

If we miss this opportunity, we may probably never catch up. Medical Marijuana is a whole new industry, a game-changer. Global Research firm Nielsen predicts that by 2025, sales of all legalized cannabis in the U.S. alone will reach $41 billion. Medical marijuana for export will not only create new revenue streams for the country, but it will also spur many other local value-addition sectors and thousands of jobs.

Your Excellency, the private sector has been ready since 2018 and we believe that now, more than ever, there are all reasons to fast-track legislation on medical marijuana production, to give Uganda competitive edge.

The Ruparelia Group, one of the largest commercial agriculture players that controls over 40% of the cut flowers export market, registered Premier Hemp Limited in July 2018. We are ready and willing to leverage our expertise in commercial agriculture to grow this golden crop on a large and for-export-only scale.

But we are not alone, 20 other companies have applied for licenses as provided for under Section 11 (1) of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2016 and are waiting for clearance and written consent of the Minister of Health. Will there be challenges and mistakes along the way?

Yes, like any other new industry, there will be very many challenges, but as you rightly told Uganda on June 08th 2017, during the reading of the 2017/18 budget: “Failing is part of success. Therefore, we shall learn from our mistakes, and keep trying until we succeed.”

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia is the founder and Chairman of Ruparelia Group and Rajiv Ruparelia is the Group Managing Director. The Ruparelia Group is one of Uganda’s largest business conglomerates with investments in financial services, real estate, education services, hospitality, agriculture and media/broadcasting.

Uganda Tired Of Waiting As Rwanda Formalizes Medical Marijuana Farming

Ugandan investors intending to participate in the commercial growing of medical marijuana or cannabis are not happy that the government has remained silent regarding opening up the business for agricultural licensing.

Their displeasure was reawakened when Rwanda on Tuesday announced that cabinet on Monday 12 October 2020 approved regulatory guidelines that provide a framework for investment in the production and processing of medical cannabis for export to growing global markets. 

Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive officer of Rwanda Development Board, said Rwanda will begin to receive applications for licences from interested investors for this high-value therapeutic crop. Such a development has eluded Ugandan companies who for the last three years have been waiting to be licensed.

The Ugandan authorities have mentioned before that they are consulting stakeholders on how they will regulate the growing of marijuana without members of the public abusing the highly addictive substance. But it seems the process is taking a little bit too long and its making interested investors uncomfortable.

In Rwanda, Akamanzi said guidelines establish quality standards, the requirements for licenses and permits, as well as strict security measures designed to prevent any illicit diversion or use of the product.

“This investment framework does no affect the legal status of cannabis consumption in Rwanda, which remains prohibited. Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for export markets,”
“Rwanda is a signatory to all relevant UN convention relating to narcotics, and will continue to ensure full compliance with international law,” Akamanzi said.

 An official at Premier Hemp, one of the companies targeting the recrutive business said they will have to yet again engage government so that the matter is addressed. The official said that with the development in Rwanda being, targeting the Rwanda market is an option they can consider.

Go For A Cozy Independence Day Weekend Outing At Speke Resort Munyonyo

Sink into a world of total comfort and relaxation as you celebrate Uganda's 58th Independence Day this weekend with Speke Resort Munyonyo and Conference Centre luxurious suites, delicious dining experience and magnificent views.

Uganda attained her independence from Britain’s colonial rule on 9th October 1962, a day that is celebrated every year. And this year, you can Speke Resort’s Munyonyo Independence Weekend offering you a unique and delicious dining experience this weekend as you savour curated dishes from Speke Resort’s vast experienced chefs.

The whole idea behind live music is to give you those harmonizing sounds that you love so much.

Speke Resort is a place where you can hide from the bustle crowd of the city and enjoy a peaceful time reading or working during a trip. To help clients enjoy the independence weekend, Speke Resort is also offering affordable discounts on accommodation.

The Deluxe Single room for one person has been offered at Shs296, 250, Deluxe Double for two people is at Shs395, 000, Studio Room for two people is at Shs474, 000 while the Superior Room for two people is at Shs533, 250.

Take a break without being overwhelmed by costs. Half board rates include bed, breakfast and lunch or dinner.

The One Bedroom Suite for two people is Shs711, 000, Garden Villa for four people is Shs849, 250, Presidential Cottage for four people is at Shs950, 000, Executive Room for two people is at Shs533, 250, Executive Suite for two people is going forShs928, 250 and the Presidential Suite for four people is at Shs1, 468, 000.

“We always strive to make your moment an enjoyable one, Ajit Singh, Rooms Division Manager, Speke Resort said of the offers. He said guests on Independence Day will be entertained by a Live Band to serenade them with soothing party music.

The breakfast combo is heavenly delicious and is the perfect way to start celebrate life.

““We have re-defined luxurious living with our fully furnished and serviced new Garden Villas. Available for rent on daily, short- and long-term basis. Adventure is waiting for you. Escape and breath the fresh air on Lake Victoria with our water safaris, Ajit noted.

“We aim to redefine a new dimension of luxury and relaxation. We present a delightful dining experience with family and friends featuring a charming space with interior fittings that evoke the senses. Book your stay with us and enjoy exclusive access to unique experiences.” Ajit added

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