Monday 22 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(AfricaNews 04/06/17)
Uganda has rejected reports of an international mediation between President Museveni and his opponent, Kizza Besigye, and maintained that there would be no international audit of the results of the 2016 elections. President Museveni won the 2016 polls with 60.75% of the vote but the election was slammed by the international community. Earlier in the week, reports said Besigye had confirmed that an agreement had been reached to have an audit of the election results. “The presidential election results have never been, and cannot be, part of any discussion,” Uganda’s government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said while rejecting reports of talks with the opposition. “We cannot say that there is dialogue going on between the NRM government and FDC on any...
(AfricaNews 04/06/17)
An attempt to distribute relief food aid on Wednesday by Ugandan firebrand opposition leader Kizza Besigye was thwarted by police who fired tear gas to disperse aid recipients leaving at least two injured. Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party drove bags of food to famine-hit Toroma County in the Katakwi District of eastern Uganda, only to be told by police that they were not consulted, local media Daily Monitor reported. “We are not sure of the safety of food, so it’s worth examining it before given out,” East Kyoga regional police commander Francis Tumwesigye told the media after the police fired tear gas at dozens of disappointed aid recipients. Besigye said on his Twitter page that the “visibly hungry”...
(Bloomberg 04/05/17)
Economic growth in Uganda may accelerate in the coming fiscal year, underpinned by government spending on infrastructure and an anticipated recovery in lending to the private sector, according to the International Monetary Fund. The growth rate may increase to 5.5 percent in the 12 months through June 2018, compared with an estimated 4.5 percent this year and 4.8 percent in the prior 12-month period, Clara Mira, IMF’s resident representative in Uganda, said in an emailed response to questions. The Finance Ministry forecasts slightly higher growth of between 6 percent and 7 percent. The East African nation, which is on a cusp of oil production, is investing in electricity production, roads, railways and an oil pipeline. Expenditure on government projects will...
(New Vision 04/05/17)
The loans will cover 89% and 88% of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively. The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $253 million of loans to the Governments of Kenya ($147.3 million) and Uganda ($105.7 million) for the upgrading of a 118km road section connecting the two countries as well as the construction of the a 32km Eldoret town bypass in Kenya. Once completed in 2021, the project will contribute to improving the living standards of the 1.4 million people in the project zone of influence, according to Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development Department of the Bank. The loans will cover 89% and 88% of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively. For...
(NPR 04/05/17)
As soon as you set foot in any of the refugee camps along the South Sudan border in Uganda, a vast human suffering becomes easily apparent. We explored some of the personal stories of people fleeing this young country's conflict in a story over at Goats and Soda, but it's hard to express the scale of this conflict, which has killed more than 50,000 people since the end of 2013. What began as a dispute between the president and vice president has turned into a brutal civil war fueled by ethnic tensions. The U.N. has been using alarming superlatives to describe it. It has said sexual violence in the conflict has reached "epic proportions," that the humanitarian needs have reached...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(Daily Monitor 04/03/17)
Kampala — Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has criticised the Inspector General of Government (IGG) on account of not prosecuting magistrates caught red-handed in acts of corruption. The Chief Justice was addressing hundreds of lawyers at the Annual Law Conference at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe on Friday. Justice Katureebe named two cases where the IGG arrested two magistrates involved in corruption in separate incidents but pardoned them instead of prosecuting them. The office of the IGG headed by Justice Irene Mulyagonja is the lead government agency mandated to fight corruption.
(The Observer 04/03/17)
Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura has for the first time addressed the friction between police and other security agencies investigating the murder of Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the former police spokesman. Kaweesi, his driver and bodyguard, were gunned down on March 17 a few metres from his home in Kulambiro, Nakawa division, Kampala. The agencies, which include Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organization (ISO) as well as Special Forces Command (SFC), are split on whether the investigation should focus on a possible inside job within police or external factors such as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Another bone of contention is on who should interrogate Kaweesi's four cell phones. The Observer caught up with Kayihura on Friday at the...
(The Observer 04/03/17)
Over 500,000 Ugandans are living with different kinds of cancers unknowingly, according to Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Experts at the UCI blame this on the inability of medical personnel throughout the country to diagnose the different kinds of cancer and the reluctance of people to go for screening. UCI registers 4,500 new cancer cases, which is only four per cent of the estimated number of case patients. Dr Jackson Orem, the executive director UCI, says statistics show that half a million Ugandans are not accessing services due to ignorance of the disease. "It is very very difficult, I would say; it is very rare for you to go to a doctor or a medical personnel in Uganda and the first...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Daily Monitor 03/31/17)
Parliament. Parliament has locked out all other media houses in Uganda from running the institution’s advertisement and ring-fenced the largely government-owned newspaper, New Vision, as its sole service provider in a procurement process tainted with intrigue, questions around transparency and flouting of rules. The decision reached by Parliament’s procurement unit has already raised dust internally with the contracts committee questioning the unprecedented decision in a heated meeting where members of the two committees clashed on Wednesday. “The procurement unit usually asks service providers to express interest in doing business with Parliament after which some get pre-qualified
(Daily Monitor 03/31/17)
KAMPALA. District chairpersons under their umbrella body, the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), have petitioned the President demanding a salary increment which is ten times their current pay. Local council 5 chairpersons receive a monthly stipend of Shs1.5m but they say their emoluments do not correlate with the amount of work they do. Led by Mr George Mutabaazi, the president of ULGA, the district leaders indicated that as titular heads of the different local government units, they work under harsh environment that warrant a higher pay. “Your Excellency, the subject of this petition is to first of all complain respectfully that you seem not to appreciate the role your humble petitioners play in the administration of government matters,” reads in...
(Daily Monitor 03/31/17)
Gulu — A former senior signaller in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by elusive rebel leader Joseph Kony has defected from the rebel outfit to the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF). Lt Michael Omona, 33, defected on January 20, from the jungles of Central African Republic (CAR) after spending 23 years in captivity. He was airlifted to Gulu on Monday and welcomed by religious leaders led by Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama, security officials and cultural leaders amid ululation from relatives at Gulu Airfield. Mr Omona joins two other former ex-LRA fighters; Sgt Peter Kidega, a former radio signaler and Julius Obira. They both surrendered to the UPDF in October last year and February last month respectively. He was...
(AfricaNews 03/31/17)
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Baton Relay arrived in Uganda on Saturday, as part of the African leg of the tour. The next edition of the Games itself is being hosted by the city of Gold Coast, Queensland, in Australia in April 2018. After a number of festivities, the Queen’s Baton is departing Uganda on Thursday. It visited the Gems International School in Butabika, and then moved to the Uganda Olympic Committee offices in Kampala. The Baton left on its tour from Buckingham Palace in London and the first destination was Sierra Leone. It also stopped in Akwaaba in Ghana and Kigali in Rwanda. On the Ghanaian section of the relay, the Baton visited the Presidential Palace and the...
(Voice of America 03/30/17)
The Ugandan military says an aide to Lord's Resistance Army chief Joseph Kony has surrendered, a day after the United States said it will withdraw from the task force chasing the notorious rebel group. Ugandan military officials said Thursday that Michael Omona, Kony's chief communications officer, gave himself up in the Central African Republic. Omona was part of the LRA for 23 years after being kidnapped by the group in 1994. On Wednesday, the U.S. military said it will remove its forces from Operation Observant Compass, the task force established in 2013 to hunt down bands of LRA fighters roaming across Central Africa
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
Uganda's army on Wednesday hailed the surrender of a senior commander of the Lord's Resistance Army who was in charge of communication for leader Joseph Kony. Major Michael Omona returned to his hometown of Gulu in northern Uganda on Monday, 23 years after he was kidnapped by the feared LRA. He handed himself over to US troops in the Central African Republic last month, said army spokesman Richard Karemire. "Having him weakens the command and control of the LRA because communication is a major component in command and control of the military even if it is a ragtag force like the LRA," Karemire told AFP. "This surrender is an indication that our psychological operation of dropping leaflets calling on the...

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