Finance (520)

Uganda Development Bank to Support 19 Companies in Bunyoro

By George Busiinge

At least 19 companies in Bunyoro sub-region are set to benefit from Uganda Development Bank (UDB) financial support.

Speaking during an annual media briefing organized by UDB at Bwendero Dairy Farm, one of the bank’s development partners, Joshua Mwesigwa, the Director of Strategy UDB says the bank has approved new loan applications for different companies.

He says the approved loan is Sh984 billion adding that the loan was increased from Sh635 billion from the year 2021 to 2022.

He notes that the industrial sector, comprising manufacturing and agro-industry received the highest number of approvals worth Sh454.75 billion with primary agriculture receiving Sh96.75 billion.

Mwesigwa adds that the approved funds will support 249 projects and these projects are expected to create 35,372 new jobs. He added that sh9.3 trillion worth of output value, turnover from the business financed.

He noted that the approved funds will support 249 projects and these projects are expected to create 35,372 new jobs. He added that sh9.3 trillion worth of output value, turnover from the business financed.

Mwesigwa added that they also expect to generate Sh393.79 billion in tax revenue for the government and attract foreign exchange earnings equivalent to Sh1, 579 billion.

He explained that last year, 19 projects were approved in Bunyoro region worth Sh18.3 billion adding the investment will create 432 jobs in the region.

He says that the initiative is aimed at promoting and developing the key growth and priority sector of the economy which include agriculture both primary and Agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism and targeted intervention to support infrastructure and human capital development.

John Magara, the director of Bwendero Dairy Farm says with the support of UDB, they moved into industrial development. 

He says they have managed to install a sugar plant that produces 750 tons of sugarcane per day and established a sugarcane plantation on 2500 acres as well as registering 257 sugarcane out-growers. 

He adds that with the partnership with UDB, BDF has contributed at least Sh6bn in taxes over the last 5 years and purchased 86974 tons of Sugar cane from farmers which amount to Shs8.6bn.

Grace Mary Mugasa, the State Minister for Public Service has commended UDB for supporting citizens to be able to engage in industrialization.

However, she challenged the people of Bunyoro not only to focus on growing sugarcane but only get interested in production of food.

The state minister for Bunyoro Affairs Jenifer Namuyangu commended the Bwendero Dairy Farm for embracing industrialization.

Sharp, Long-Lasting Slowdown To Hit Developing Countries Hard

Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects report. 

Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development—such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, or escalating geopolitical tensions—could push the global economy into recession. This would mark the first time in more than 80 years that two global recessions have occurred within the same decade. 

The global economy is projected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024. The sharp downturn in growth is expected to be widespread, with forecasts in 2023 revised down for 95% of advanced economies and nearly 70% of emerging market and developing economies. 

Over the next two years, per-capita income growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to average 2.8%—a full percentage point lower than the 2010-2019 average. In Sub-Saharan Africa—which accounts for about 60% of the world's extreme poor—growth in per capita income over 2023-24 is expected to average just 1.2%, a rate that could cause poverty rates to rise, not fall. 

"The crisis facing development is intensifying as the global growth outlook deteriorates," said World Bank Group President David Malpass. "Emerging and developing countries are facing a multi-year period of slow growth driven by heavy debt burdens and weak investment as global capital is absorbed by advanced economies faced with extremely high government debt levels and rising interest rates. Weakness in growth and business investment will compound the already-devastating reversals in education, health, poverty, and infrastructure and the increasing demands from climate change." 

Growth in advanced economies is projected to slow from 2.5% in 2022 to 0.5% in 2023. Over the past two decades, slowdowns of this scale have foreshadowed a global recession. In the United States, growth is forecast to fall to 0.5% in 2023—1.9 percentage points below previous forecasts and the weakest performance outside of official recessions since 1970. In 2023, euro-area growth is expected at zero percent—a downward revision of 1.9 percentage points. In China, growth is projected at 4.3% in 2023—0.9 percentage point below previous forecasts. 

Excluding China, growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to decelerate from 3.8% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023, reflecting significantly weaker external demand compounded by high inflation, currency depreciation, tighter financing conditions, and other domestic headwinds. 

By the end of 2024, GDP levels in emerging and developing economies will be roughly 6% below levels expected before the pandemic. Although global inflation is expected to moderate, it will remain above pre-pandemic levels. 

The report offers the first comprehensive assessment of the medium-term outlook for investment growth in emerging market and developing economies. Over the 2022-2024 period, gross investment in these economies is likely to grow by about 3.5% on average—less than half the rate that prevailed in the previous two decades. The report lays out a menu of options for policy makers to accelerate investment growth. 

"Subdued investment is a serious concern because it is associated with weak productivity and trade and dampens overall economic prospects. Without strong and sustained investment growth, it is simply impossible to make meaningful progress in achieving broader development and climate-related goals," said Ayhan Kose, Director of the World Bank's Prospects Group. 

"National policies to boost investment growth need to be tailored to country circumstances but they always start with establishing sound fiscal and monetary policy frameworks and undertaking comprehensive reforms in the investment climate." 

The report also sheds light on the dilemma of 37 small states—countries with a population of 1.5 million or less. These states suffered a sharper COVID-19 recession and a much weaker rebound than other economies, partly because of prolonged disruptions to tourism.

In 2020, economic output in small states fell by more than 11%— seven times the decline in other emerging and developing economies. The report finds that small states often experience disaster-related losses that average roughly 5% of GDP per year. This creates severe obstacles to economic development. 

Policymakers in small states can improve long-term growth prospects by bolstering resilience to climate change, fostering effective economic diversification, and improving government efficiency. The report calls upon the global community to assist small states by maintaining the flow of official assistance to support climate-change adaptation and help restore debt sustainability.

Post Bank Goes Smart With New Cardless ATMs

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

In a bid to offer more convenient and up to date services to costumers, state owned  Bank  Post Bank Uganda Limited has introduced smart ATMs that can be used with or without ATM cards as it’s latest innovation.

Some of the value added services customers can take advantage of with these new Smart ATMs include larger deposits of up to 30 million Ugx and cheaper money transfer services across the country.

According to Post Bank Uganda's CEO Julius Kakeeto, the introduction of these Smart ATMs is part of the bank’s medium term strategy to move from the mainly brick and mortar banking to integrate more digital channels into the services they offer their customers.

“ Our newly introduced Smart ATMs will offer greater convenience, save time and cut transaction costs for our customers too as they will be able to bank up to 30 million Ugx through our smart ATMs some thing the old machines didn’t have which will offer convenience mainly for SMEs that close business late and need to bank their cash for safe custody.”  

Getting rid of the long queues in the bank something  we have also been working tirelessly towards since we embarked on this digitisation strategy in 2020. This drive has been boosted with these new full self service Smart ATMs which will ensure more types of transactions and larger transactions sizes can be done at any of our 60 Smart ATMs across the country.

Besides being able to transact using these machines with just your fingers and no need for an ATM card, Customers need not to worry about fraud and crime with in these new smart ATMs and other digital applications of the bank according to Andrew Kabeera the Bank’s Executive Director.

“We have ensured that as management, the bank staff have the type of skills with in our Human resources and the necessary technology too to make sure our customers transactions are safe and fraud can be averted quickly by investing over $4 million dollars in advanced systems to guarantee this” he said.

Presiding over the function as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Finance Honorable Henry Musasizi applauded Post Bank for this new innovation.

“ As government we are looking at mainly two things to uplift our people from poverty. The first one is integrating every one into the monetized economy and secondly ensuring cheap and affordable capital reaches our low income citizens scattered across the country all of which these new Smart ATMs and Post Bank’s digitisation drive will support.”

 As a result we commend post bank for this great innovation and pledge to work with it to ensure the success of our programs as government going forward especially the Parish Development model we are now rolling out country wide he added.

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SMEs Have A Critical Role In Creating Jobs & Incomes - Miraj Barot

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries like Uganda are critical when pursuing sustainable growth because they create jobs, are innovative and pay taxes to government, Miraj Barot, the Managing Director of Tirupati Group Of Companies, told a high-level conference in Kampala.

“SMEs have played a more successful role in increasing employment and arranging incomes; they are drivers of sustainable economic growth. As they say, little drops of water make a mighty ocean; similarly, smallscale industries can combine and make a huge economy,” Miraj said.

He was speaking at the Religion & Enterprise Africa Summit 2022 event on Saturday at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. The Summit was organized by Human Capital International Uganda under the theme ‘entrepreneurial transformation through faith-based innovation, investment, trade and technology.’

Miraj, who was discussing the topic ‘Advantages of Having SMEs in Developing Countries’, explained that SMEs have competitive structures and strategies and can easily adapt to changes. “During covid19, a tailor who was making clothes for people suddenly started making masks; SMEs are highly flexible,” he said.

He said that for success, SMEs need to be faithful to their religions inorder to be able to do good, be ethical and with high levels of integrity. "It is very important to have these values instilled in us in our youth so that they not only maintain social values of our families but also the entire country to prosper at large.

GEN SALIM SALEH: The Powerful Invisible Hand Fighting To Save Bitature's Empire From Shs177bn Loan Debt

By Abbas Kabonge 

Businessman Patrick Bitature woes involving his South African lenders continue to intrigue Ugandans who each day wonder how he will sort his financial mess especially now when the country is limping due to the harsh economic times.

To pay or not pay is the question on the mind of Ugandans regarding the loan worth about Shs177bn that hangs on the head of one of Uganda’s astute businessmen who have been able to build a fortune in a manner that many cannot explain. 

During the days when the registrar of companies was working on an application by Vantage Mezzanine Fund 11 partnership seeking to transfer Bitature's estate for onward auction, the businessman learned of the same and swung into action. 

By this time, the registrar of companies had listened to the submissions of the lawyers of Vantage in the absence of Bitature lawyers. The registrar was on the verge of delivering a ruling placing Bitature's estate on the auction stall. 

Bitature somehow learned of what was going on and quickly dispatched his lawyers of Muwema and company advocates to thwart what was going on. Inside information indicate that Bitature's lawyers requested to be made part of the ongoing proceedings since what was going on had the effect of gravely affecting his interests. 

Vantage smelt a rat and informed the registrar how Bitature had gatecrashed the proceedings. They argued that Bitature was wrongly before the tribunal. This is since, they pointed out, the borrower had agreed while taking the loans in 2014, for the securities to be unconditionally altered and sold off upon his failure to pack back the loans.

Despite those explanations coupled with the fact that Bitature was actually in absolute default of the debts, the registrar went ahead and stopped the proceedings half way. The registrar even went ahead and placed the file containing the proceedings itself, on the shelves to gather dust. 

Bitature's lawyers had exploited the arbitration process in London in respect of this dispute, to move the registrar to do what she did. Seething with anger and completely unaware of the side-games going on, the lenders proceeded for a review of the registrar's ruling. 

The South Africans would end up not liking at all what transpired before Justice Musa Ssekaana. Other than overruling the registrar, the judge instead invalidated the whole debt worth Shs177Bn.  

He ruled that since the lenders hadn't registered their dealings with Bitature, before going ahead to lend money to him, such a breach invalidated the subsequent loan transactions themselves. 

We now understand that prior to all these happenings, Bitature had petitioned one of President Yoweri Museveni's powerful brothers and confidant, Gen Salim Saleh to rescue his empire from auction over these loans. 

Amidst emphatic moves by the South African lenders, Bitature is known to have met Saleh in Namunkekera, Nakaseke, Luweero. The president's fond sibling has been camping there in Namunkekera whilst overseeing industries being set up but numerous investors. 

The purpose of Bitature's visit was to plead with the powerful Saleh to save his empire from the auction that was pending given his failure to clear the debts he had acquired from Vantage. Fortunately, Bitature is one of the regime's erstwhile supporters and campaigners.  

So, Saleh was readily at hand to listen to his woes as well as do the needful. Still unaware of the evil hand behind what was going on; the lenders not only appealed, but also advertised Bitature's empire for sale. 

Justice Stephen Mubiru kind of overturned Ssekaana's ruling but as we all know by now, a slightly higher court led by Justice Christopher Gashibarake has since intervened and put the auction of Bitature's empire on hold. 

Incidentally, in order to appease the lender and solve the impasse, tax payers' money is about to be unleashed to clear Bitature's personal debts.

Young Business Women Showcase At Luwero Women’s Market Exhibition

Over 100 young women showcased their small businesses at a special women’s business market exhibition aimed at empowering them.

The exhibition, dubbed “Women’s Day Katale”, was hosted by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Uganda’s apex body for the private sector, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative in Uganda in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 themed, “investing in young women for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Speaking at the event hosted at Kasana Sports Grounds in Luwero, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko - the Vice Chairperson of the PSFU Board said, “Through this initiative, we are re-echoing our recognition of the contributions, resilience, and potential of young women in Uganda. This Women’s Day Katale provides an opportunity for young women in Luweero to gain linkages for their goods, products, and services to the available market.”

The exhibitors received business development support through free financial literacy, brand image consultancies, and guidance on embracing technology to support their long-term business objectives while ensuring sustainability and excellence.

In his address, Adrian Bukenya, Uganda Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, highlighted the fact that Uganda, has one of the highest proportions of women-owned businesses anywhere in the world.

“It is up to all of us to ensure young women and men have the support they need to drive change in their communities, and contribute to our economy as equals. We need to work with intentionality, urgency, and at scale to enable systems-level changes that will catalyze opportunities for young women in Uganda and in fact the continent.” 

Bukenya commended the exhibitors for their skills, creativity, and value and highlighted two young women who participated in the exhibition.  Nineteen-year old Namato Shamira, who recently enrolled in the URDT (Uganda Rural Development Training Institute), expanding her tailoring skills and learning to make shoes and bags. She started her own business, tripled her income, and plans to pay forward her experience to 30 other young women. 

Thirty-year old Bernadette Ojao’s struggle started after dropping out of high school and she spent almost three years searching for a job to earn a living and look after her family. Her luck changed when a friend gave her a sewing machine.

She, however, did not have skills or knowledge of the fashion and design industry to put the gift to good use. When The Innovation Village, a Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works partner, put out a call to entrepreneurs, she leapt at the chance to join the creative industry.

Through upskilling and business support, she learned how to make reusable sanitary pads and reusable masks. Her first sale was 1,500 face masks to Tugende, a Bodaboda company that supplied the masks to their motorcycle riders in Kampala. Bernadette currently employs six fellow women from local communities and the slums of Kamwokya.

The exhibition, held at the Luwero Kasana Sports Grounds, attracted more than 300 participants from local government, the private sector, and the community.

Stanbic Bank National Schools Championship Returns

The acclaimed Stanbic Bank Uganda annual National Schools’ Championship (NSC) is back, and participants have up to March 8, 2022 to submit their business idea entries to stand a chance of winning grand prizes worth over UGX60million.

At least 60, 000 students from more than 100 Ugandan secondary schools are expected to participate in the months’ long grueling enterprise challenge that will climax in October with outstanding business ideas standing a chance of being linked to investors on top of winning expensive prizes from the bank.

Now in its seventh year, the 2022 NSC is running under the theme ‘Empowering the Job Creators of Tomorrow’ and will encourage participants to pitch especially climate smart business ideas in line with Stanbic Bank Uganda’s sustainability strategy.

“We are empowering job creators of tomorrow, but we also want to see them address global challenges such as climate change---that way, we can count on a generation of entrepreneurs that appreciate the importance of doing the right business, the right way,” said Cathy Adengo, Head of Business Sustainability at Stanbic Bank Uganda.

Launched in 2016, the NSC has registered growth each year from 32 schools participating in the inaugural year to over 100 (since 2020) with over 600 student business ideas generated.

At least 200 businesses have since been set up from the ideas submitted---90 of the 187 actively running student-led enterprises have received capital grants from the championship investor-relations initiatives that help link bankable ideas to financing.

Four-tier competition

The Stanbic National Schools Championship is a four-tier competition involving new schools (Startup Challenge); schools with existing businesses BizGrow Challenge); alumni (AlumGrow Challenge) and teachers (TeachGrow Challenge).

Participating students will have to compete in several qualifying rounds, including attending a boot-camp after which a winner is identified at a grand finale in September.

In the bootcamp, participants are taught different skills including business plan development, product development, customer care, communication skills, branding and marketing.

Elve Nshuti, 20-year-old alumni of the programme said, “I’ve been exposed to a variety of opportunities since my participation in the competition. Last year, I was able to win Ugx1.5million capital to invest in my tech company I-Tech Africa.

I’ve gained more exposure equitably to customers through the championship. I’ve learned to be responsible and empowered, valuing collaboration over division and long-term gain over short-term gain because this is how my future will be bright.”

Bank Of Uganda Injured My Reputation As A Businessman, They Must Pay - Ruparelia Vows

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed, with costs to the respondents, an appeal by Bank of Uganda against businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments, the real estate arm of the Ruparelia Group, bringing to end a five year litigation battle between the businessman and the central bank.

The five justices of Supreme Court including Rubby Opio Aweri, Percy Tuhaise, Ezekiel Muhanguzi,Prof. Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza and Faith Mwondha also ordered that the management of Crane Bank (in receivership) be returned to its shareholders, the original owners.

Now, in an interview with Spy Uganda, a local online news website, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has lamented that Bank of Uganda actions to close Crane Bank and allegation of mismanaging the bank he founded injured his reputation as a businessman.

"I made heavy losses because of Bank of Uganda. My reputation as a businessman was destroyed. I have never failed any business. Bank of Uganda killed my career when they said I had failed my own business, Crane Bank. That has a bearing especially with my business partners,"

He added: "I told you from the beginning that Bank of Uganda stole my bank. I thank the judiciary for not shielding such dubious games. They have to pay costs of the suit right from the commercial court to the Supreme Court,"

When Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia lost Crane Bank over alleged mismanagement, by law, it meant that he cannot open or directly run another financial institution. In fact, because of that, he also lost his forex bureaus.  This, he says, is not good for his name and business.

When Bank Of Uganda Erroneously Took Over Management Of Crane Bank Before Fraudulently Selling It To DFCU Bank

The news of Bank of Uganda taking over management and closing down of Crane Bank Limited trekked into public spaces timidly in the third quarter of 2016. Ruparelia Group, the proprietor and highest shareholder of Crane Bank, issued public denials describing such talk as false and a rumour.

Bank of Uganda, the regulator of the banking industry also offered support to Ruparelia Group when the then governor of the central bank Emmanuel Tumusime-Mutebile (now deceased) issued a press statement saying Crane Bank was safe.

"It has been brought to our attention that messages have been circulating on WhatsApp instructing depositors to withdraw their money from Crane Bank within the next week. We wish to categorically state that these messages were not issued by Bank of Uganda,” Mutebile said.

The rumour persisted and indeed, on 20th October 2016, the Bank of Uganda took over the management of Crane Bank, the commercial bank which had been started in 1994 by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, the chairman of Ruparelia Group, for being significantly under-capitalised.

In the statement signed by governor Mutebile, the Bank of Uganda said Crane bank posed a systemic risk to the stability of the financial system and the continuation of the bank’s activities was detrimental to the interests of its depositors.

Mutebile then appointed a statutory manager, Edward Katimbo Mugwanya, to run the bank and suspended the board of directors of the bank. He was quick to assure depositors that their money was safe as the bank would continue to operate under the Mugwanya management.

That a week ago before the takeover of the Crane Bank, the central bank was denying that Crane Bank was vulnerable perturbed the public. Just about a year before, Crane Bank had been voted the best bank in Uganda by the UK based Financial Times Publishers and organizers of the Banker’s Magazine, an accolade they had previously won numerous times.

The takeover of Crane Bank by the Bank of Uganda sparked off bad blood between the two institutions that led to a historical court battle that only arrived at its end five years later, in 2022 with the central bank on the losing side at the Supreme Court directed that it pays costs and reverts Crane Bank to its shareholders.

So many things happened in the five years including a parliamentary inquiry by the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that investigated the closure of seven banks by the Bank of Uganda.

Under the chairpersonship of Abdul Katuntu (MP Bugweri County), COSASE filed a report that faulted the central bank for not falling the laws, corruption, intrigue and other misdemeanours when causing the closure of not only Crane Bank but also other six banks.

The other banks included Teefe Trust Bank LImited, International Credit Bank Limited, Co-operative Bank Limited, Greenland Bank Limited, National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank (U) Limited. The Auditor General Report on which the COSASE investigation was based highlighted broad corruption, misappropriation of funds by the Bank of Uganda and illegal closure of commercial banks.

But before the COSASE inquiry, the takeover of Crane Bank by Bank of Uganda had been marred by irregularities including the fraudulent manner in which the central bank sold Crane Bank assets to dfcu Bank via a phone call instead of the standard and statutory open bidding.

At the helm of causing the closure of Crane Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank (U) Limited was Dr Luis Kasekende, the then deputy governor and Justine Bagyende the executive director supervision. In various reports, these were held accountable personally.

And as the Crane Bank – Bank of Uganda comes to an end, the central bank as the regulator of the financial sector is left with an egged face with a lot of work to do to bring its house in order and gain not only public trust but also from the financial institutions it regulates. 

Stanbic Properties Limited Unveils Inaugural Real Estate Market Report Showing 89% Occupancy Rate

A new real estate sector report compiled by Stanbic Properties Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, as at the end of December last year, indicates that average occupancy from surveyed buildings was recorded at 89% for Grade A, 83% for Grade B and 74% for Grade C buildings.

The report says that the prevailing median rents were recorded at US$15, US$11 and US$8/m² /month for Grade A, B and C buildings respectively exclusive of service charge.

Released on Feb.09 at a press conference held in Kampala, the report says, market evidence indicated more demand for the newer Grade A office buildings that feature large – open layout floors and state-of-the-art design and safety characteristics is emanating from companies in the oil and gas, financial services, government parastatals and engineering sectors.

Spencer Sabiiti Oyes, the Chief Executive of SPL said, “the key firms/companies that stimulated this trend are those that had previously been leasing smaller spaces in lower-tier Grade B multiple buildings because the market never provided ample opportunities to consolidate their operations in a single building.”

Other key demand drivers, according to the report included exclusiveness of the stand-alone Grade A office structures evidenced by an increase in enquiries away from multi-tenanted office buildings to take advantage of branding and fully control their security requirements.

Furthermore, demand for space in the lower tier Grade B and C buildings whose rents are low was dominated by start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises.


Sabiiti said, they also noticed several non-governmental organisations scaling down on their rental space by consolidating their operations in single stand-alone formerly residential buildings as opposed to renting several buildings particularly in areas of Bugolobi, Muyenga and Naguru.

This trend was primarily driven by downsizing due to COVID19 related budgetary constraints faced by foreign funders as well as a growing work from home trend for employees who only use formal office workspaces on an as-needed basis.

In terms of pipeline, the completion of buildings currently under construction will add approximately 36,000 m² of lettable space to the existing stock by the end of 2023.

It is anticipated that Grade A space will account for 90% of the pipeline developments, according to the report.

Retail property market

The formal retail sector was traditionally concentrated in Kampala’s central business district and a few high-end residential areas in the peripherals particularly Naalya, Lubowa and Entebbe.

However, the report says, the growth of Kampala’s prime retail sector has spilled over into the sub-urban areas of Wakiso district where the retail sector is experiencing a fundamental transformation through improved quality and standards.

“As of December 2021, we observed an increasing trend towards the development of formal super and hypermarkets as well as shopping malls in Sub-urban suburbs in Wakiso and Mukono districts,” Sabiiti said.

This trend is being driven primarily by the increasing purchasing power of the working-class, who predominantly reside in these areas. 

Additionally, the COVID-19 related movement restrictions also forced consumers to increase their retail expenditure within their immediate residential neighbourhood.

The retail sector in Kampala is more vibrant compared to the metropolitan areas of Wakiso and Mukono.

That said, findings from the survey revealed that Kampala’s prime retail malls were facing stiff competition from locally owned suburban shopping centres in Wakiso district whose market was majorly supported by a higher domestic consumption by the middle-class.

The highest rental rates were registered in prime malls where tenants pay between US$22 to US$27/m 2 /month for prime retail space on the lower floors and between US$12 to 16$/m 2 /month for large space occupiers on similar floors.

“We expect openings of new retail stores and expansion of existing retail stores to remain stagnant or very limited as retailers acclimatise to the post COVID19 retail environment in the near future,” Sabiiti said.

This is mainly due to the fact that COVID19 related restrictions have forced consumers to adopt online retail, a tendency that is likely to stabilise and continue.

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