Sunday 24 September 2017
(IRIN 07/26/17)
Uganda, the country with the world's fastest growing refugee burden, is failing to secure the help it needs to care for those forced across the border from South Sudan by war and hunger. Close to one million South Sudanese refugees, 86 percent of them women and children, have settled in northern Uganda as a result of the crisis. On average, 2,000 people arrive each day. The unprecedented mass influx is putting enormous strain on Uganda's already limited public services, and fragile local resources like land, firewood, and water. That, in turn, is fanning tensions between the refugees and host communities. The international community is struggling to respond to a crisis of this scale. In June, Uganda and the UN appealed...
(The Observer 07/26/17)
A Chinese firm, claiming to have been cheated out of a multibillion rock deal, has appealed to President Museveni requesting for his urgent intervention. China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is battling with a local company, Welt Machinen Engineering Ltd, for Kamusalaba rock in Lorengedwat sub-county, in Nakapiripirit. Welt Machinen belongs to Ben Koriang and Felix Oroma, sons of Peter Lokeris, the minister of state for Minerals. Whereas CRBC maintain they need to extract gravel from the rock, Welt Machinen claims its intention is for commercial production of granite. According to a letter dated June 29, 2017, CRBC warns that their harsh treatment by some government authorities could deter other foreign firms from investing in the country. "The purpose of...
(The East African 07/25/17)
President Yoweri Museveni has approved the borrowing of Ush10.3 trillion ($2.9 billion) for the construction of the standard gauge railway from the Malaba border with Kenya to Kampala in the clearest signal yet that the regional infrastructure project is back on track. Uncertainty had hit the project after Uganda said it was considering building a railway through Tanzania after failing to get assurances from Kenya that it would extend the Mombasa-Nairobi line to Malaba. Kenya has since committed that its line, whose first phase to Nairobi was competed in June, will be extended in phases to Naivasha, Kisumu and eventually Malaba. The approval for the borrowing comes amid indications that China had agreed to fund the line only if it...
(Agence Ecofin 07/25/17)
In the framework of its great achievements programme, the Ugandan government wishes to easily access lands held by individuals by simplifying expropriation for public use. A constitutional reform which seems not to rejoice the civic society much. “We believe it is unfair. Rich people can defend their rights at the court; they can afford a lawyer. But we the poor we cannot. A poor man cannot even know the value of his land. This means that whatever the amount he gets for it, it is very likely that it will correspond to the property’s actual value. This also means that the farmers will receive meager compensation for their lands. A legal proceeding takes a year, that represents three agricultural campaigns...
(Daily Monitor 07/25/17)
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Rtd Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire has skipped today's Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs sitting sitting on land amendment under unclear circumstances. The Minister together with Betty Amongi of Lands, Housing and Urban Development were expected to defend their quest for Constitutional Amendment before the committee. However, only Ms Amongi and the deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana showed up. Government wants Parliament to amend Article 26 of the Constitution to create room for compulsory acquisition of land by both the central and local government. The Bill currently before Parliament’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has so far attracted public rejection, with government taking to the defensive to calm public fears. The bill...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(Agence Ecofin 07/24/17)
In the framework of its great achievements programme, the Ugandan government wishes to easily access lands held by individuals by simplifying expropriation for public use. A constitutional reform which seems not to rejoice the civic society much. “We believe it is unfair. Rich people can defend their rights at the court; they can afford a lawyer. But we the poor we cannot. A poor man cannot even know the value of his land. This means that whatever the amount he gets for it, it is very likely that it will correspond to the property’s actual value. This also means that the farmers will receive meager compensation for their lands. A legal proceeding takes a year, that represents three agricultural campaigns...
(Daily Monitor 07/24/17)
In 2016 Deputy William Ruto pitched camp in the Elgon region of Uganda campaigning for Mr Yoweri Museveni who was running for presidency for the fourth term against his long time opponent Dr Kizza Besigye. Mr Ruto joined Mr Museveni’s campaign trail in the Elgon area, the home of the Sabiny, who share the same values and norms with Mr Ruto .Kenyans elect their president on August 8. We expected Mr Museveni to do the same in favour of his friend Ruto, who gave him a stiff arm that made him win in the Elgon region. It is only days to the election date following a tight race between mainly the National Super Alliance (NASA) led by Mr Raila Odinga...
(Voice of America 07/21/17)
Ugandan police say they arrested dozens of political opposition activists this week. The arrests coincide with speculation President Yoweri Museveni will act to change the constitution to allow himself to run for another term in 2021. Uganda's constitution stipulates presidential candidates must be younger than 75 when they stand for election. Museveni, who has held power for 31 years, will be 77 by the next election. Forum for Democratic Change official Ingrid Turinawe told AFP she believes the arrest of 56 opposition party members on Wednesday is linked to the issue. Museveni has not publicly communicated his intent to run for another term, telling the Ugandan media on Wednesday not to "waste your time" with the rumored constitutional amendment. On...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
Police in Uganda announced the arrests of opposition activists this week amid speculation that longtime President Yoweri Museveni is planning to change the constitution so he can stand for re-election. No official move has been made to lift the bar on Museveni running due to his age, but Ingrid Turinawe, senior organiser for the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change, said he believes the arrests of 56 party members on Wednesday were linked to the speculation. "The government gets suspicious that whoever is meeting is discussing the age limit.
(Dw-World 07/20/17)
Police in Uganda have arrested at least 53 people including an opposition leader, for demonstrating against a plan to amend the constitution and scrap the presidential age limit. Norbert Mao, leader of the Democratic Party, was arrested alongside his supporters as they protested against the planned constitutional amendment. For days now, a clique of legislators from the ruling party, National Resistance Movement, (NRM), has been clandestinely agitating for the removal of the age limit which would give a leeway for the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to run for another
(Daily Monitor 07/20/17)
Borrowers will have to contend with high interest rates, at least until commercial banks are able to reduce their operating costs, with the government not intervening. There have been calls that Bank of Uganda (BoU) and ministry of Finance legislate and cap interest rate to a certain percentage, like Kenya. However, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the BoU Governor, has downplayed the possibility saying it would exclude small businesses from accessing financing. “As the SME sector is crucial for the future growth of the economy and the creation of employment, capping lending rates would constitute a dangerous act of economic self-harm,” he said in a speech at the 1st Annual Bankers Conference yesterday at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Last year, the Kenyan...
(Daily Monitor 07/20/17)
Kampala- Kenya’s National Super Alliance presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, says Kenya should not emulate Uganda to shut down communications on Election Day. Mr Odinga’s remark follows a statement attributed to National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairperson Francis ole Kaparo that Kenya could shutdown social networking sites to check hate speech. Kenya will have a General Election on August 8. There are fears the polls could turn violent should either Mr Odinga or President Uhuru Kenyatta refuse to concede defeat. “I met Kaparo… he said he has no intention nor does he have the capability to shut off communication systems,” Mr Odinga told journalists on Thursday, in Nairobi. The event was relayed via periscope. “So I told him this [Kenya]...
(The East African 07/20/17)
Uganda--About 460 suppliers with in the oil and gas sector are yet to submit all the necessary documents and requirements to meet the needed capacity to work in Uganda’s oil and gas sector, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) said in Kampala. Enerst Rubondo, the PAU Executive Director said out of the 753 entities that submitted applications before the closing date which was 15th May 2017, 293 entities were successfully verified to be on the National Supplier Database for Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector. This indicates that a total of 460 entities have not been successfully verified to be on the National Supplier Database for Uganda’s oil and gas sector. “It doesn’t mean that the rest have failed but they...
(Daily Monitor 07/20/17)
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has said no payment will be made until traders who supplied goods and services to the government of South Sudan are verified. Ms Kyambadde said her ministry will write to the ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs to avail a report of confirmed traders to be catered for. She added that they will also write to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to halt the process regarding the matter. “We cannot run away from you traders when they have unfinished business. Ten years of suffering is too much for one’s business to be affected. We are going to do our part to ensure that all the processes are properly done,” the minister told a group of...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Saturday adopted a regional biodiversity protocol and related strategies at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Executive Secretary of IGAD Mahboub Maalim said the protocol would help to mobilize resources and create much more cooperation on the issue of ecosystem development in the region. IGAD ministers of environment approved the protocol on biodiversity management, which the Maalim described as a milestone achievement. According to Maalim, regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa could be realized through prudent management of natural resources and trans-boundary ecosystems. Recently, Ethiopia and Kenya launched a cross-border program which is the first of its kind. “We are building on that high-level political support to...

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