Monday, August 3We Break the News
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TECHNOLOGY

BUSINESS: Uganda’s debt to stretches to $1billion a year

BUSINESS: Uganda’s debt to stretches to $1billion a year

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
Uganda’s debt stock is likely to increase by more than $1b per year even without taking on new loans due to failure by government to utilise borrowed funds, Parliament’s committee on the national economy has warned. The warning is contained in a report on the state of indebtedness, grants and guarantees, issued by the committee earlier this week. The report indicates that whereas loan disbursements against the Budget stood at 81 per cent in the financial year 2017/2018, it dropped to 77 per cent in the financial year 2018/2019 with Shs4,878.47b disbursed against a budget of Shs6,336.19b. The report attributes the decline to failure to utilise $5.08b in borrowed funds.“As at June 2020, Uganda had $5.08b of undisbursed debt. This debt will increase Uganda’s stock in the medium term...
AFRICA: Equatorial Guinea hold discussions with African Energy Chamber and updates on energy developments during Covid-19.

AFRICA: Equatorial Guinea hold discussions with African Energy Chamber and updates on energy developments during Covid-19.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA, TECHNOLOGY
The Chamber sought to understand the state of the hydrocarbon sector in the country and was briefed by the Minister and the Director on immediate and near-term plans by the MinistryJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 3, 2020/ -- Last week, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) held a bilateral discussion with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, led by H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, alongside the Director of Hydrocarbons, Robustiano Eyegue Ndong and NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.The Chamber sought to understand the state of the hydrocarbon sector in the country and was briefed by the Minister and the Director on immediate and near-term plans by the Ministry.Equatorial Guinea has moved its Year of Investment program to 202...
TECHNOLOGY: UCC, UICT launch digital skills training

TECHNOLOGY: UCC, UICT launch digital skills training

TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
KAMPALA — Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has partnered with Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) to train digital skilling community instructors who will in turn impart digital skills among local communities in Uganda. The online digital training of trainers, which was launched during a Zoom meeting on 30th July 2020, aims to enhance digital skills through training for selected ICT instructors or change agents. Implemented by UCC’s Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF), the project aims to harness ICT enabled opportunities for social and economic transformation. UCC, through RCDF, aims to facilitate universal access to high capacity broadband for all Ugandans through targeted interventions that address barriers such as location, physic...
Siemens signs memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HELIOZ to provide safe drinking water to Khartoum and Kosti, Sudan

Siemens signs memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HELIOZ to provide safe drinking water to Khartoum and Kosti, Sudan

TECHNOLOGY
KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 1st, 2020/ -- Siemens (www.Siemens.com) and HELIOZ collaborate to provide safe drinking water in Sudan; Siemens will sponsor a “WASH” campaign to provide water to marginalized Sudanese residents; easy-to-use solution for water disinfection, WADI will be implemented Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HELIOZ, a Social Enterprise company that is active in the field of water disinfection and development of climate projects, to provide safe drinking water to the marginalized Sudanese residents of Khartoum, where there is no access to potable water.Recognizing the dire need of clean drinking water in many parts of Sudan, Siemens has engaged with HELIOZ to contribute to changing the water crisis, by sponsoring a “WASH” campaign aimed at providing a s...
UGANDA: Vehicles entering Kampala city to pay a fee, KCCA.

UGANDA: Vehicles entering Kampala city to pay a fee, KCCA.

AFRICA, Business, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
In a bid to decongest the city and boost its revenue, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has announced that it is working on a draft policy that will make it mandatory for all private cars entering the city centre to pay a certain fee, on top of parking fees and other levies. Ms Betty Amongi on the sidelines of a press conference she held in Kampala yesterday, said the draft policy would soon be shared in Cabinet for discussion and once approved, it will then be tabled to Parliament for endorsement. She said KCCA would soon determine how much money each vehicle is expected to pay before accessing the city centre.“You will be charged an amount to enter the city. If you have a private car, you will have to pay before you enter the central business district,” the minister said.“The pol...
African Energy Transition Committee to Drive Solutions for a Net Zero Future and Energy Poverty

African Energy Transition Committee to Drive Solutions for a Net Zero Future and Energy Poverty

TECHNOLOGY
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 30, 2020/ -- As the Covid-19 pandemic is set to accelerate the global energy transition, the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) is appointing an Advisory Committee to assist in developing new African business models and solutions to the global decarbonization challenge. Such members include: Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman, APO GroupAkinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO, Genesis Energy GroupRolake Akinkugbe-Filani, Managing Director, EnergyInc Advisors and Senior Africa Advisor, IFU Danish Investment FundWalter Peviani, Managing Director, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd.Rémi Mouchel, Operations Director and President of the Executive Board, IFP TrainingMembers of the Energy Transition Committee act in their personal cap...
TECHNOLOGY: Government Suspends new electricity connections under Rural Electrification Policy due to COVID-19

TECHNOLOGY: Government Suspends new electricity connections under Rural Electrification Policy due to COVID-19

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
The Government of Uganda has indefinitely suspended the Electricity Connection Program through which Ugandans are connected on the electricity grid through a subsidiary approach. The suspension according to a statement released by UMEME, Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, is due to a realignment of priorities and financial resources by government, in part brought by the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. According to a statement released by UMEME spokesperson, Mr Peter Kaujju, the connections are suspended until further notice. The government of Uganda launched the Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) in 2018 for a 10 year period ending in 2027, with a prime objective of increasing electricity access and providing cleaner energy to Ugandans. The policy had been introduc...
BUSINESS:  ‘No Ugandan oil has been extracted for commercial purposes,’ UNOC.

BUSINESS: ‘No Ugandan oil has been extracted for commercial purposes,’ UNOC.

Business, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) has revealed that it has managed to extract 45,000 barrels of crude oil from the Albertine Graben. The extraction is currently not for commercial purposes but aimed at testing the elements of crude Uganda has. The revelation was made by Peter Muliisa, the chief legal and corporate affairs of UNOC. Muliisa explained that, “We needed to understand the components of crude that we have, whether it’s waxy or its sulfur content. If the sulfur content of crude is high, then it’s not commercial. So, the way you do the testing is to extract something crude where with only extracted 45,000 barrels of crude oil from the Albertine graben since exploration stated in Uganda.” He said that he had been prompted to make these comments to clear the air abo...
Africa: Unblocking Bottlenecks in Financial Relief Critical for Survival of Air Transport in Africa

Africa: Unblocking Bottlenecks in Financial Relief Critical for Survival of Air Transport in Africa

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY
AMMAN, Jordan, July 29, 2020/ -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging African governments to: Unblock bottlenecks so that urgently needed financial relief pledged for air transport and tourism reaches the distressed businesses it is meant to help.Implement the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Take-Off guidance to ensure a safe restart to aviation.  Unblocking Financial Bottlenecks As a consequence of the pandemic and associated restrictions, African airlines are forecast to lose USD 2 billion in 2020. Without urgent financial relief, the industry is at risk of collapse, putting about 3.3 million jobs and USD 33 billion in African GPD in jeopardy. To date, the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa Rwanda, Senegal, Côte D’Ivoire and...
AFRICA: Operation SALAMA reaches millions of Moroccans with pandemic information, supplies, support

AFRICA: Operation SALAMA reaches millions of Moroccans with pandemic information, supplies, support

AFRICA, Business, Morocco, TECHNOLOGY
The Government also worked closely with partners, including UNFPA, to reduce disease transmission and limit the impact of the pandemic on at-risk communitiesRABAT, Morocco, July 28, 2020/ -- When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Morocco in March, alarm spread through the country. “At the start of the pandemic, we were very worried about our health,” Halima*, a migrant woman from Madagascar, told UNFPA.A state of emergency was declared, and strict movement restrictions were implemented. Within three months of enacting these measures, the country was recognized for having one of the lowest fatality rates from the illness.The Government also worked closely with partners, including UNFPA, to reduce disease transmission and limit the impact of the pandemic on at-risk communities. Operation SAL...
BUSINESS: CANAL+ to launch first premium DTH platform over Ethiopia, broadcast from EUTELSAT 7C

BUSINESS: CANAL+ to launch first premium DTH platform over Ethiopia, broadcast from EUTELSAT 7C

Ethiopia, TECHNOLOGY
PARIS, France, July 28, 2020/ -- Long-term, multi-transponder contract leveraging capacity on EUTELSAT 7C’s dedicated Ethiopian spot beam; showcasing the dynamism of the Ethiopian broadcast landscapeEutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) (www.Eutelsat.com) and CANAL+ have signed a multi-year, multi-transponder contract for Ku capacity on EUTELSAT 7C to support the launch by CANAL+ of a premium DTH platform in Ethiopia at the beginning of 2021.Leveraging Eutelsat 7C’s incremental capacity dedicated to Ethiopia, CANAL+ will launch a comprehensive broadcast offer encompassing a DTH pay-TV offer of some 50 premium channels in a mix of standard and high definition, enriched by the addition of a selection of Ethiopian Free-to-air content.EUTELSAT 7C is a high-power broadcast satellite wh...
S.AFRICA: Trade and industry committee engages on sugar and steel industry

S.AFRICA: Trade and industry committee engages on sugar and steel industry

Business, South Africa, TECHNOLOGY
Parliament, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry today had fruitful discussions on developments in the South African sugar and steel industries. Committee Chairperson Mr Duma Nkosi noted that the sugar industry is in the process of applying for an exception from the Competition Commission to implement the provisions of the master plan as drawn up by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). The committee heard that the South African share of the sugar market has shrunk from 1.6 to 1.2 million tons. Furthermore, there has been a significant decrease in sugar cane production, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal. Consequently, there have been job losses and small growers have gone out of business. The DTIC’s proposed sugar masterplan interventions for sta...
BUSINESS: VC4A announces 2020 ‘Venture Showcase – Seed’ in partnership with AWS Activate, AfriLabs and ABAN

BUSINESS: VC4A announces 2020 ‘Venture Showcase – Seed’ in partnership with AWS Activate, AfriLabs and ABAN

AFRICA, Business, TECHNOLOGY
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 29, 2020/ -- VC4A (https://VC4A.com/) is calling for African startups looking to raise between $150K and $1M. In proud collaboration with technical partner AWS Activate, and network partners AfriLabs and ABAN, VC4A will be hosting the exclusive ‘Venture Showcase - Seed(https://bit.ly/2D9XODn)’ in November as part of a virtual gathering of Africa-focused early-stage investors.Via this campaign VC4A will select 10 innovative early-stage startups to showcase their business to the world. A requirement is that you are based in Africa and your tech-enabled solution is already on the market, you are able to show some traction and you have expansion plans in mind.Since 2017, VC4A has showcased growth-stage startups as part of the annual Africa Early Stage Investor Su...
BUSINESS: Bank customers to make payments at no extra cost

BUSINESS: Bank customers to make payments at no extra cost

Business, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) has today launched the ‘No Merchant Surcharge’ Campaign dubbed “Pay with your Card @ No extra Cost”.   The campaign aims to raise awareness on the Card payment system. The campaign aims at eliminating the practice of merchants levying extra fees for electronic payments made using Point of Sale (POS) machines. Speaking at a Press Briefing this morning, UBA Executive Director Wilbrod Owor said, “In August last year, Bank of Uganda issued a directive that prohibits merchant surcharging at POS terminal and the fixing of minimum/maximum transaction amounts  on electronic  payment cards.  This was in a bid to drive the growth and uptake of Digital Financial Services. Through this campaign, UBA will educate consumers on the No Surc...
BUSINESS: Umeme discontinues free electricity connection program

BUSINESS: Umeme discontinues free electricity connection program

TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
In 2018 launched ECP a free electricity connection policy where customers were required to pay only shs20,000 for inspection and government caters for the remaining connection fees in a move aimed at connecting 300,000 customers annually implemented by Rural Electrification Agency. However, according to Umeme, the program has been halted after government ran out of funds. “Unfortunately, due to a realignment of priorities and financial resources by government in part brought by the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic, the ECP program has been put on hold until further notice,” a statement by the Umeme head of communications, Peter Kaujju said. “The Ministry of Energy , the Electricity Regulatory Authority and REA are fully aware of the current constraints and we are confident a solution...
BUSINESS: Byarugaba assigned as Absa Uganda’s new board chairperson

BUSINESS: Byarugaba assigned as Absa Uganda’s new board chairperson

TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
Byarugaba, who has served on the board since January 2016, replaces Swithin Munyantwali who vacated the position following his appointment to the board of Absa Group as Non-Executive Director in September 2019. “I am delighted to confirm Nadine’s appointment as Board Chair of Absa Bank Uganda. Her strategic leadership and seasoned knowledge of the banking sector stands us in good stead as we continue to pursue our ambition and goal to be a leading and trusted African financial services company. I am confident that Nadine’s leadership will strengthen our resolve to deliver continued value to our customers and shareholders” said Peter Matlare, Deputy Group CEO of Absa Group Limited. A seasoned banking professional with experience spanning over 25 years, Byarugaba is also a board membe...
AFRICA: 1.4 million Ugandans to access reliable and affordable energy under new EIB – ENGIE initiative

AFRICA: 1.4 million Ugandans to access reliable and affordable energy under new EIB – ENGIE initiative

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
KAMPALA, Uganda, July 28, 2020/APO Group/ -- Scaling up off-grid solar power model for transforming rural energy access across Africa; EIB financing to overcome barriers to 80% of Ugandans without access to electricity; Local currency financing to accelerate PAYGO solution for affordable green energy. Millions of people, small holders and entrepreneurs in remote villages across Uganda are set to access reliable and cheap electricity for the first time under a new off-grid solar scheme agreed between ENGIE (ENGIE-africa.com), through its Solar Home System company Fenix International and the European Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest financiers of renewable energy. “Access to affordable and clean energy is important to fight poverty, create jobs and empower women and girl...
BUSINESS: MTN MoMoNyabo promo breathes life into struggling businesses

BUSINESS: MTN MoMoNyabo promo breathes life into struggling businesses

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
MTN Uganda through its MoMo Nyabo promotion has come out to stand with its customers as it offers them an opportunity to win money up to sh5m to help them rebuild their lives and businesses following the COVID-19 financial disruptions. But that is no longer a problem for Janat Katende Namakula who won a whooping sh4.2m with the on-going MoMoNyabo Together promotion.MTN Uganda through its MoMo Nyabo promotion has come out to stand with its customers as it offers them an opportunity to win money up to sh5m to help them rebuild their lives and businesses following the COVID-19 financial disruptions.To enter the draw, MTN customers simply have to use the MyMTN app or dial *165# and buy airtime or data, including paying for utilities and many other goods and services.Namakula, a shoe business ...
BUSINESS: Shell Uganda launches shs500m “Good to see you again” promotion

BUSINESS: Shell Uganda launches shs500m “Good to see you again” promotion

TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
Shell customers stand a chance to be rewarded with prizes instantly for every purchase made at Shell service stations, countrywide, for the next eight weeks, in a new campaign dubbed “Good to See You Again”, the company has announced. The campaign is targeted at all motorists including private motorists, taxi drivers, boda riders and truck drivers that use Shell fuels, lubricants or shop services. “We know that times are tough for most people, and particularly, for our valued customers, as we emerge from the restrictive COVID-19 lockdown measures. It is the reason are extending the spirit of camaraderie to our loyal customers to show them that we are with them during this challenging time,” said Moses Kebba, the Vivo Energy Uganda Marketing Manager. “We shall be giving away insta...
UGANDA: CAA appoints Kayoola EVS electric bus to transport employees

UGANDA: CAA appoints Kayoola EVS electric bus to transport employees

AFRICA, TECHNOLOGY, UGANDA
The Civil Aviation Authority has tapped on the Kayoola EVS electric buses to transport staff of to and from work. According to CAA’s acting director general Fred Bamwesigye, Kayoola will provide solutions to some of the public transport problems they have been experiencing. “I am pleased to inform you that Kiira Motors Corporation offered and received acceptance to pilot the Kayoola EVS electric bus with Uganda Civil Aviation Authority by transporting our staff from Kampala to the airport and back,”he said. He said the staff from Kampala will be collected three days a week for eight weeks, free of charge. “From 20th July up to 11th Sep 2020 and from the feedback received from the users especially our staff and what we have witnessed ourselves, these buses are welcome addition,...