Browsing: Uganda

Transport infrastructure will help better integrate Africa and increase trade
Before the Covid-19 Pandemic struck, East African countries had a common agenda to invest in infrastructure development.
As the three main economies of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda they sought to become competitive and attractive investment destinations, the issue of borrowing in foreign currencies created the debt burden they face today.
The mega investments in roads, railways, ports and aviation, have all been challenges, as low revenue collections and high recurrent expenditures continue to plague their respective governments.

Most of the countries have no choice but borrow to bridge budget deficits. According to the IMF, the major EAC nations, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, together, had borrowed more than $100 billion in both external and domestic borrowing.

With the global economy in teeters post Covid-19 and the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, economies worldwide are contracting, leaving East African nations in a perilous situation.

According to the IMF, about

For years, the East African Community (EAC) struggled with divisions among member states mainly on key trade agreements slowing down the region from achieving a full working common market.
Countries have been playing protectionism targeted mainly at protecting local industries, with fallouts witnessed among states.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have had their fair share of the trade wars with both tariff and non-tariff barriers affecting regional integration.
Poor infrastructure in some parts of the region has also been affecting easy movement of trade volumes while businesses have suffered lack of enough capital to do trade.
However, recent developments have set the region for growth both on intra-EAC trade, continental trade and of course international trade.
Over the course of 2022, there has been progress on the East African Community’s Common External Tariffs (CETs) which had dragged since 2016.This exposed the region to cheaper imports mainly from China and India, making
2022 has been a mixed bag of fortunes for the East African Community (EAC) as economies in the region implemented different policy interventions and post-Covid recovery strategies. This is after a somewhat robust recovery in 2021 following a major dip in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic brought most sectors to a near halt. The tourism and logistics sectors were among the hardest hit sectors with the pandemic also affecting the real estate sector, finance, construction, events management, ICT, manufacturing and consultancy. The region is however on the road to recovery with reopening of economies propping GDP growth which has averaged four per cent (4%) in 2022.Going into 2023, average growth is projected at 4.7 per cent with top performers seen to be Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, albeit the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the realities of stagflation and recession remaining a threat.

But what is expected of

  • Uganda Bureau of Statistics has indicated that the country’s inflation has for the first time since 2012 hit double digits, rising to 10 per cent in September 2022 from 2.7 per cent in January 2022 and 4.9 per cent in April 2022.
  • It is said that inflation above an annual average of 5 per cent retards economic growth and derails economic development.

Cause of Uganda's Inflation

According to an article titled Uganda grapples with soaring inflation amid persistent global uncertainties, the rise in inflation has been brought about by issues such as tightening of global financial conditions, which triggered investors' exit from the domestic debt market, thus stoking depreciation pressures on the Uganda Shilling; the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which disrupted global production and supply chains; extended drought in some regions of the country; and increased global commodity prices.

Additionally, as the country gramples to recover from the pandemic-induced recession, the…

WAGA Power Pack: A Tanzanian innovation has made it to the UK Royal Academy of Engineering shortlist of the 2023 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

Tanzania engineer Gibson Kawago is recycling laptop batteries to provide reliable and affordable power for electric bikes, power banks, solar lights, businesses and homes. His innovation is WAGA Power Pack.
The innovation is a response to Tanzania’s unreliable electricity supply and its impact on the economy, safety and health.

  • Fifteen talented entrepreneurs shortlisted from Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe
  • Shortlisted entrepreneurs provide innovative engineering solutions crucial to UN Sustainable Development Goals – addressing water, healthcare, agriculture, education, food security, waste, and energy challenges
  • Innovations include a remote healthcare monitoring system improving rural healthcare, a low-energy low-pollution cooking stove, and accessible electric mobility solutions

The Tanzania engineer makes his WAGA Power Pack with recycled batteries bought from informal …

Medical marijuana may very well be the agri-business that Africa needs to get its economies high in the global multi-billion agro-industry.

Already, Africa’s marijuana production is on the rise.

According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) medical marijuana dispensary sales totalled US$11.5 million in just under one month. Other than the sales, OMMA also says in that same time, between January and February of 2019, it also raised more than US$3 million in taxes alone.

The following month, approximately US$873,361 came from the 7% gross receipts tax and US$1.3 from the 4.5% state sales tax.

Since OMMA began accepting applications for medical marijuana licensing, the state says it has pocketed well over US$7.1 million inpatient license fees and more than US$11 million in revenue generated in commercial license fees.

That is just one state. Consider how much the entire US has made from medical marijuana as a country. Worldwide, …

At the just concluded 7th Uganda Oil and Gas Summit, where investments in fossil fuels projects was discussed, the Managing Director of East African Crude Oil Pipeline Limited (EACOP) renewed commitments and assurances that the crude oil export pipeline project is compliant with international human rights, environmental and social requirements standards even as EACOP legal shareholding faces a challenge in Europe.

Europe is now focusing on green and climate friendly projects, pushing many countries to shift without offering viable alternatives.

As if it was not clear, the EACOP for now is forging ahead, with or without the “approval” of the European Union and its institutions, namely the EU Parliament. The crude oil export pipeline is one of the major projects in East Africa in recent times.

Read: Tullow Oil: Crude oil pipeline project still active

On September 14, 2022, the EU Parliament issued a Joint Motion for a Resolution …

Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in Africa and the largest inland fishery in the world.

According to a 2016 World Bank report, the lake supports the livelihood of a dense rural population of over 40 million people, with nearly 50 per cent of them living on less than US$1.25 per day.

Hydropower

The lake and its resources fuel the economies of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, providing hydropower for Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda and water supply for major African urban centres like Kampala, Kigali, Mwanza and Kisumu.

In October 2019, the lake’s water levels started rising, reaching 12.66 metres in December 2019. On March 6, 2020, a water level of 12.94 metres was registered, only similar to that of March 4, 1964.

According to an article by The East African, officials at Eskom say the steady rise in water levels led to an increase in the…

The EU bile against the EACOP speaks volumes on the EU parliament’s imperialism and neo-colonial attitudes by turning a blind eye to the Union’s emissions, choosing to hypocritically shine a light on East Africa’s emerging economies, Uganda and Tanzania.

  • Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine at the end of February sent energy markets reeling and prices surging.
  • The EACOP will convey crude oil from Kabaale – Hoima in Uganda to Tanzania’s Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port.
  • The EU bile against the EACOP, according to Tayebwa, speaks volumes about the EU parliament’s imperialism and neo-colonial attitudes.

Global energy market disruptions

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine at the end of February sent energy markets reeling and prices surging. Russia remains the largest oil and gas products exporter globally, and Africa is mainly affected by the resultant market disruptions.

The recent global oil market changes have inspired the search for alternatives. Countries have also …

Tanzania has brazenly stood by and backed the ambitious East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project championed by Uganda after facing pushback from the European Union (EU) Parliament.

The EU parliament has spotlighted the project on allegations of human rights violations and significant environmental and climate risks posed by the oil pipeline project.

As a deliberate attempt to swat the EU’s “neo-colonial” setbacks, Tanzania, as one of the stakeholders via the ministry of energy, has issued a statement addressing the situation. The ministry unequivocally said it is “seriously concerned by grave factual misrepresentations in the resolution issued by EU Parliament.”

  • Uganda, which is the primary project implementer, has remained stern on executing the oil pipeline
  • Tanzania’s ministry of energy has exposed equal and fair compensation modalities to affected communities
  • Despite every needed environmental assessment by international standards, still, some risks are unavoidable; the ministry of energy said

According to the …