Delayed Oil Riches and Shattered Hopes
It was the promise of oil – billions of barrels of black gold, discovered locked beneath Lake Albert – and the riches to follow that brought electricity to Buliisa. Roads, piped water, and other unthinkable luxuries came next, as the poor farming village on the great lake’s northern shores transformed into a booming frontier town, and Uganda braced for newfound prosperity as an African oil giant. But those fortunes never transpired, the wells were never dug at Buliisa, the refineries never built and taps never turned.
Fourteen years after the discovery of sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-largest oil reserves, not a drop has been extracted. Bureaucratic delays and contract disputes have ground progress to a halt. And allegations of environm…
First Interest Rate Hike in Sub-Saharan Africa
Uganda became the first major sub-Saharan African economy to increase interest rates this year to counter inflation pressures caused by weakening currency and rising oil prices.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in the east African nation increased the benchmark rate to 10% from 9%, central bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile told reporters on Wednesday in the capital, Kampala. That is as inflation pressures have increased and price growth is projected to exceed its target, he said.
“A key risk to the inflation outlook is the shilling exchange rate, which remains vulnerable to the possibility of tighter global financial conditions as well as stronger domestic demand,” Tumusiime-Mutebile said. The weaker currency "combined w…
US Ambassador encourages more Investor-friendly Climate
The US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac has cautioned Uganda on the bureaucracies and red tape in investment procedures saying they discourage many potential investors. Malac said this during a meeting with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde to discuss trade relations between USA and Uganda on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at the Ministry of trade offices. Malac revealed that many American investors have approached the embassy complaining and frustrated due to the corruption and government bureaucracy that makes the investment processes in Uganda longer than necessary. She urged Uganda to make investment processes/steps clear and transparent so that it is easier to attract US investments and for the US embassy t…
Trade Ministry to start registering SMEs
This, according to Amelia Kyambadde, the trade minister is aimed at reducing the losses government incurs in tax defaulters. The trade ministry is to partner with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to have all the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) registered. She further noted that the process is mandatory and everyone must embrace it.
“We shall use the district commercial officers to have all the owners on board. We shall also use the Kampala Capital City Authority. The future is in formal business, you cannot operate business when you are not paying taxes or linked to any form of support or public sector,” she stated.
Kyambadde was speaking during the sidelines of breaking of the ground ceremony for Arena Mall in Ns…
Online Payments for Visa introduced
In a bid to boost domestic tourism, payment for Uganda visas is now done online. The new innovation is also projected to attract more foreigners into the country. According to Mr Jacob Siminyu, the immigration directorate spokesperson, the service that has been tested for two days is promising.“Seventy seven people have so far used the service to pay for their visas in the last two days since we started using it. Most of the clients are from United States of America where we have only two centres for visa application and payment,” he said.
“Other payments are from United Kingdom, India, Germany New Zealand, Canada, Oman, Spain and Brazil, Netherlands, Pakistan, Australia, Austria among others,” he added. Mr Siminyu told Daily Monitor i…
Shilling continues to strengthen in wake of PTA Bank Loan
The Uganda Shilling continues its recovering road from its loss of 17% last year. Experts are confident to see further gain after the long awaited PTA Bank loan came through three weeks ago. In a bid to support the struggling Shilling, last year government embarked on the process of securing a $200 million (Shs690 billion) from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, known as PTA Bank.
Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, confirmed Parliament’s clearance of the PTA loan after Cabinet’s earlier approval. “The loan was cleared by Parliament and Cabinet and we are already discussing its budgeting,” Mr Muhakanizi said. Last year the Uganda central bank sold dollars on numerous occasions …
Donald Trump: "I will lock Museveni up!"
The president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump vowed to lock up President Yoweni Museveni during the run-up to the American elections.
“I want to reiterate here before America’s greatest heroes that I will not condone any dictatorial tendencies exhibited by dictators around the world especially the two old men from Zimbabwe and Uganda."
“Mugabe and Museveni must be put on notice that their days are numbered and that I am going to arrest them and lock them in prison. If the past American administrations have failed to stop these two despots, I will personally do it,” Trump told American war veterans.
Economy shrank last Quarter by 1.3%
Uganda’s economy contracted by 1.3% in the third quarter of the financial year ended last month from a growth of 1.7% in the previous quarter, hurt by poor agricultural output, the statistics office said.
Processed output from the farm sector declined by 6% in the period compared with a revised growth of 2.2% in the preceding quarter, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics said on its website.
The East African nation measures its economic output on the basis of its fiscal year running from July to June.
Banking and Finance Reform becomes Law
The public and financial sector have welcomed the recent Cabinet approval of the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2015. The Bill to be tabled before Parliament soon paves way for the introduction of Islamic and Agent banking as well as bancasurance in Uganda. Also included in the reforms is the creation of a fully-fledged fund to compensate customers when their bank is closed. This will protect the savings of Ugandans and will ensure compensation higher than the guaranteed sh3m if a bank closes. The fund will be able to invest the money meant to protect customers of banks and micro-finance institutions. The ‘protected deposit’ shall be adjusted regularly by the finance minister, according to the Bill gazetted on July 31, this yea…
Revised Budget 2015/2016 focusses on Energy and Transport
In the latest revised draft budget, security, energy and the transport sector have been allocated more resources in the 2015/2016 budget. Government has revised the total budget for the next financial year from sh14trillion which had been put in the budget framework paper to sh18.4trillion. According to the new Public Finance Management Act, parliament has only up to Friday this week to complete the process of scrutinising and approving the 2015/2016 budget.
Aware that URA revenue collection target for 2015/2016 is sh11.1trillion, government will be able to fund the next budget by about 60% and the remaining percentage will be from external and domestic borrowing.
Transport increases to sh3.1trillion
According to the paper…