Category «Business»

Tourism marketing poor

Players in the tourism industry have criticized government over its reluctance to offer financial support to the sector over the years. Uganda has since last year been ranked among the top tourist destinations in the world, with the latest rankings from lonely planet selecting Uganda as the top tourism destination for 2012. Speaking on the sidelines of the Parliamentary Tourism Week today, the President of the Uganda Tourism Association, John Wekesa notes that there is no political will from government and Parliament to promote the sector that brings in more than 20% of the national budget. Wekesa says Parliament should focus on increasing budgetary allocations to the sector in the next financial year.

Simcard Registration: Is it Big Brother at work?

A common complaint foreign investors make about Uganda is the time it takes to register a business. We have 16 procedures for registering a new business, Tanzania 12, Kenya 11, while Rwanda has only two. Not so for joining a mobile phone network. At the moment all you need is to buy a phone, the SIM card of the network you wish to join and voila, you’re connected. No paperwork, bribes, or waiting periods pending approval. This is set to change. Starting March 1, all telecom operators—MTN, Warid, Airtel, uganda telecom, Smile, et al— will commence registering SIM cards and the details of their owners following a directive by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology released on December 12, …

Government sets 15% interest rate for youth money

Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka has this Wednesday announced that the government has agreed with three Commercial Banks to fix the interest rate charged on youth money at 15 per cent for a period of six months. Ms Kiwanuka said this at the Ministry Headquarters where she officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Centenary Bank, dfcu and Stanbic managers in a partnership deal that potentially paves way for the unemployed youth to access the Shs25billion in the 2011/12 budget. “We have fixed the interest rate at 15 per cent to make the venture capital fund accessible for the youth,” Ms Kiwanuka said. “We have signed the MoU with banks and before the end of this week the youth can access …

Growing import bill a threat to current gains – central bank

The growing gap between imports and exports standing at $3 billion (about Shs7 trillion) has tilted Uganda’s Balance of Payments (BoP) casting doubt on the country’s sustainable growth, according to the central bank. Central bank’s data released yesterday indicate that Uganda’s import bill has been growing by about $5 billion (about Shs11 trillion) compared to export earnings of $2.4 billion (about Shs5 trillion) annually. Addressing the press in Kampala yesterday during the release of the February Central Bank Rate, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile the Bank of Uganda governor, told journalists that the country’s negative BoP was still a source of risk for inflationary pressure and foreign exchange volatilities. Threatening growth He said: “We can no longer finance our deficits using …

Cement, sugar, iron and steel lift Uganda’s export fortunes

Even as statistics indicate that Uganda has continued to be a net importer, there is great optimism as the country registers good performance in the export sector in 2011, according to data from Uganda Revenue Authority. URA data indicates that Uganda has between 2009 and 2011, grown its export revenue to about Shs1.8 trillion, slowing down the country’s Balance of Payments deficit. “In the last three years, the value of exports grew from about Shs2 trillion in 2009, to Shs3.8 trillion in 2011,” said Mr Moses Kajubi, the URA commissioner for domestic taxes, at the Exporters’ Taxpayer Forum yesterday. This, according to URA translates into foreign exchange earnings, which are crucial to reducing donor reliance, boosting employment, and could assist …