Author - Kathryn

Bank Of Uganda Maintains CBR At 9% As Inflation Goes Up

Bank of Uganda has announced that it will for the fourth month in a raw maintain  the central borrowing rate (CBR) at 9% aimed at stabilizing the commercial lending rates.

This was revealed by the BoU Governor Emmanuel Mutebile on Monday 13th as he released the monetary policy statement for August 2018.

Mutebile further noted an increase in inflation for the month of July 2018 up to 3.1% from the 2.1% registered in June.

This increase is believed to have resulted from the newly imposed taxes like fuel excise tax and one off-off price changes from communication taxes, global oil prices and the depreciating shilling against the dollar.

According to Mutebile, the annual core inflation also rose from 0.8 in June to 2.5% in July 2018.

However the annual food crops inflation remained subdued with a slight decline from 2.3 in June down to 2.0% in July.

“The weaker shilling exchange rate combined with higher oil price assumptions could result in a more elevated inflation trajectory. Food prices are projected to remain low in the forecast horizon and are not seen as a major risk to the inflation outlook, but this can quickly change depending on the weather conditions,” said Mutebile.

Despite the economic challenges, the Governor cited that the country’s economic growth continues to strengthen.

“The real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for FY 2017/18 is estimated at 5.8 percent compared to 3.9 percent in FY 2016/17. Economic growth is projected to strengthen further in FY 2018/19 to 6 percent and to an average of about 6.3 percent over the medium-term supported by public infrastructure investments, improving agricultural productivity, recovery in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and strengthening private sector credit (PSC) growth partly as a consequence of the monetary policy easing,” he said.

He added; “Indeed, weighted average lending rates fell to 17.7 percent in June 2018 from 25.2 percent in February 2016 when Bank of Uganda (BoU) started easing monetary policy.”

Nevertheless, there are downside risks to the growth outlook including challenges relating to financing of public investment programmes and the weak external balance position coupled with escalation of global trade tensions.

Although public investment programs could substantially raise output and be self-financing in the long run, transitional challenges of funding these investments can be formidable, and may crowd out private investment and consumption, thus delaying the growth benefits of public investment.

Inflation is forecasted to continue rising in the range of 6-7% in the second half of FY 2018/19 but will stabilize around the medium-term target of 5 percent by end of 2019.

He noted that a key risk to the inflation outlook is the shilling exchange rate which remains vulnerable to domestic market conditions and the possibility of tighter global financial conditions and food prices being projected to remain low in the forecast horizon, which are not seen as a major risk to the inflation outlook but rather determined by changes in the weather conditions.

The Central Bank has over the years done a leading role in maintaining a neutral monetary policy stance so as to keep inflation relatively close to a 5% target, which is projected to contribute to attaining the Country’s sustainable economic growth.

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Fraudulent job offer alert: Instances of fraudulent job offers by parties masquerading as PSFU

Fraudulent job offer alert

Instances of fraudulent job offers by parties masquerading as PSFU and using names of actual employees within PSFU has been reported to us. The job offers are typically supported by forged documents and interested jobseekers are being asked to provide personal data and/or to cover expenses for the recruitment process.

Please note PSFU will never ask for advance payments during the recruitment process, will never provide unsolicited job offers as first point of contact and that job offers will always be based on a formal recruitment process.

If you are applying for a vacancy at PSFU, for your security, please use the online portal www.psfuganda.org/opportunities

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13th PSFU Trade Facilitation Expo set for 3rd to 5th September 2018 at UMA, Lugogo

The Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) is set to host the 13th trade and facilitation expo from 3rd to 5th September 2018 at UMA Show grounds, Lugogo

The trade facilitation expo is an annual event that brings together different private sector and public sector players from across the globe to share information, learn and network.

This year’s event will be held at the Lugogo Show Ground in Kampala under the theme ‘Business Competitiveness through improved skills, Innovative, financially and value additions in value chains’.

During the press conference held at the PSFU offices, on Tuesday, 7th August, Mr. Gideon Badagawa, Executive Director PSFU said this year’s expo will focus on providing information to small and medium entrepreneurs that will help them to improve their competitiveness on the local, regional and global market.

“The expo presents an opportunity for Uganda to host a number of respectable businessmen and women across the globe to provide information, networking and capacity building for the country’s importers and exporters by bringing them together to interact with Uganda’s major trade partners with the leading providers of trade facilitating service,” Badagawa said.

He further explained that Uganda’s small and medium business sector remains underdeveloped because of mainly lack of standardized goods and under productivity of labour.

“Registration and formalization of businesses is very crucial for business development. The other important factor is improving the standards of our products. Only then will we be able to compete on the global market,” he said.

The expo will host government trade facilitation agencies, ambassadors from different countries that Uganda trades with and other business facilitators.

Among other objectives, this year’s expo is aimed at promoting business linkages between small and big companies, enable information access and sharing by different government agencies, enable trade attaches at diplomatic missions and embassies of Uganda’s leading trade partners and enabling PSFU members to understand the new structural operations of PSFU.

The expo will be hosted by PSFU in partnership With URA, URBRA, Kenya Ports Authority, Harris International, Bank of Baroda, Ministry of Trade and many others.

Book your stall today – call Kathryn on 0785 464 282 or at klmusoke@psfuganda.org.ug

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Mobile money tax: shrink in transactions hurting the economy

Private Sector Foundation Uganda together with some of its members met with the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on Tuesday, 7th August and advised the Committee that the debate on Mobile Money should continue until a comprehensive and unbiased study is done on the effects of the tax on the Country’s economy visa vie its benefits.

According to Mr. Moses Ogwal, Director, Private Sector Development, there has been a very evident impact of the law barely two weeks after implementation where the turnover on Mobile Money has reduced by 60%. He advised that it would be better for Government to avoid taxing Mobile Money users rather consider sharing revenue with telecommunications companies by stepping up the excise duty from 15% to 17.5%. He further emphasized that the tax discourages financial inclusion. The private Sector argued that Telecom companies cannot shift the entire tax to the Mobile money users since they are also working towards attracting more customers to the service.

“We may be excited about how much we are going to get as revenue, which may not collect, but also we should not act at the cost of business growth” Stated Mr. Gideon Badagawa, ED PSFU

More details; https://www.softpower.ug/mobile-money-tax-shrink-in-transactions-hurting-the-economy-says-private-sector/

 

 

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START Facility: Deadline for submission of applications extended to 21st August 2018

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS EXTENDED TO TUESDAY, 21ST AUGUST 2018

Proposals for commercially viable investment projects focused on agro-processing / value addition e.g. processing plants, storage facilities and any other agricultural value addition projects in Northern Uganda are encouraged to take note of this extension and apply accordingly

Download the submission form here >> START Facility form

 

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World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2018

The EABC is pleased to invite you to participate in the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2018, themed ‘Scaling up through trade: Skill – Innovate – Connect’ on 10th – 12th September in Lusaka, Zambia.

This is a unique opportunity to expose East African goods and services to Zambia market as well as, build connections and partnerships with international distributors, suppliers and investors. This year, the Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings will be held on 10th-11th September 2018 and will focus on the following products: Agricultural crops (fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea, cereals and oilseeds); Honey and honey-by-products; Machinery for crop farming (fruit/vegetable/oilseeds processing); Postharvest storage systems and Packaging for vegetable-based products.

The conference session will commence on 11th – 12th September 2018 and offers an opportunity for the business community and high-level policy decision makers to reflect and engaged in candid discussions on:
• Jobs of Tomorrow, Through Trade
• Agriculture to Agribusiness:  Reducing Risks, Increasing Returns
• Tearing Down Trade Borders
• Going Green: Who Will Finance SMEs
• Reducing Risks for Investors in Africa

We welcome you to join the EABC business delegation to Lusaka, Zambia. Registration is free of charge. Kindly:

• Fill attached registration form to confirm your participation
• If you are interested in B2B networking, fill also the attached B2B questionnaire to receive a list of potential business partners based on identified business complementarities.
• Cover your costs of travel and accommodation to attend the forum.

All filled forms should be sent via email to communications@eabc-online.com with a copy to membership@eabc-online.com before 1st September 2018.

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EABC appoints new chairperson

• Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt appointed EABC Chair
• Let’s Improve Competitiveness, says new EABC Chairperson

Nairobi, Kenya: June 29, 2018: The East African Business Council appoints Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt from Nairobi, Kenya as the new EABC Chairman for the period 2018/2019 during the 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM). Mr. Nesbitt takes over from Mr. Jim Kabeho from Uganda who has served for the period 2017/18. Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt is also the Chairman of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) & General Manager Eastern Africa, IBM East Africa Limited.

Dr. Manu Chandaria, EABC Founding Chairperson in his remarks during the 19th AGM urged the Private Sector to be committed to EAC Integration and to a strong EABC and speak with one voice on business and Private Sector issues.

“Speak as East Africa and not as individual Partner States,” Dr. Manu Chandaria, EABC Founding Chairperson emphasized the need for concerted strengthened Private Sector advocacy at regional level.
He also emphasized for the elected leaders to realize that working at the Regional level is a Commitment and they must be committed to give their best for a better East Africa.

In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Nesbitt reiterated the need to increase competitiveness of East African companies and SMEs to compete at continental as well as international level and expressed commitment to addressing the bottlenecks to intra EAC.

“As you might have realized, intra EAC Trade has been declining over the years (2014 to 2016) as it registered a decline of 10.1% between 2013 and 2014 and a further decline of 14.6% between 2015 and 2016 according to the EAC Trade and Investment reports (2015, 2016) and this was mainly attributed to restrictions on export of certain products to Partner States as well as persistent Non Tariff Barriers. This is not a good signal for regional business and my tasks among others will be aimed at to ensure there is seamless flow of goods and services within the community.”  said Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt.

“Let’s focus on competitiveness of our businesses to sell our goods at regional, continental, and international scale ” said Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt.

He urged for close collaboration with the governments of the EAC Partners States and called for the government to improve the business environment support the operations of the Private Sector to thrive. The new chair also called for improvement of technological infrastructure to fast track free movement of goods and services in the region.

“Adopt technology such as block chain to solve regional challenges like counterfeits and contrabands” said Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt, new EABC Chairperson.
The East African Business Council also appointed Vice Chairs and Members of the EABC Executive Committee who strategically guide EABC’s mission to promote sustainable Private Sector driven growth. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the supreme policy making organ of the East African Business Council (EABC). The AGM meets once a year to elect the Executive Committee headed by the Chairperson, receive annual report on the initiatives undertaken by the Secretariat and give overall direction to the Secretariat in line with the Strategic Plan and interests of the business community in East Africa. The EABC Board of Directors consists of 22 members, headed by a Chairperson, elected from the Partner States on an annual rotational basis. Each country nominates 4 Members to the Executive Committee.

The outgoing Chairman Mr. Jim Kabeho lauded the EABC Secretariat for the good work that has been done in the year under review and congratulated the incoming board of directors, urging them to continue the ongoing initiatives of the EAC Integration process.

Mr. Nesbitt further appreciated efforts by the former chair Mr. Jim Kabeho in steering the work done in the year 2017 together with the Executive Committee. Mr. Nesbitt reiterated his commitment and passion to work with colleagues, Executive Committee members and requested full support from EABC Members, EABC National Focal Points, Secretariat, as well as the East African Community Secretariat, Organs & Institutions, Governments of the EAC Partner States and Development Partners.

During the 19th EABC Annual General Meeting, EABC also honored outgoing board directors for their distinguished service to the council in the year 2017.

-END-
Notes to Editors
Speech of new EABC Chairperson

About East African Business Council

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the Integration process of the East African Community. Being the representative of Private Sector associations in the region, EABC was granted observer status in organs and activities of the East African Community (EAC). EABC therefore participates in various sectoral meetings, meetings of the Coordination Committee, the EAC Council of Ministers, and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State; with a view to ensure, that the agenda of the Private Sector is well articulated and received by the policy makers.

Vision: Borderless East Africa for business and investment.

Mission: To promote sustainable Private Sector-driven growth.

EABC Membership is drawn from the six East African Partner States and is open to all national and regional associations as well as Corporates with interest in the EAC Integration process or operations in the region. At national level, EABC activities are coordinated through the EABC National Focal Points, who are also the national Private Sector umbrella bodies. These are Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Burundi (CFCIB), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

Source: http://eabc-online.com/index.php?/highlights/view/eabc-appoints-new-chairperson

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Trade and Development Bank to Focus on Africa’s Long Term Growth Projects

President of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, Admassu Tadesse has said the Bank is looking to participate in long term funding for infrastructural development projects in Uganda and Africa.

Speaking at the 34th annual General meeting for the regional Governors in Kampala, the president noted that although TDA has financed major projects in Uganda, these have been mainly on short term trade financing.

TDB is a trade and development financial institution in Africa that was formed in 1985. The bank is owned by major African states, Security funds and other private companies.

The president noted that despite economic challenges in the states where the bank operates, it has been able to surpass its targets.

Currently the bank is growing at a 24% annually, 3 times more than the GDP growth of the region.

According to the outgoing chairman of the board Maurice Lousta-lalanne, the bank has achieved all its five year targets with its assets growing from $1.8b to $ 2.5b.

The bank has also reduced its non-performing loans from 3.89% to 2.39%.

Finance minister, Matia Kasaija who is also the incoming Board of governors TDA said the bank has been a very supporting partner for Uganda with over 12 transactions in Banking, Manufacturing, trading, Agribusiness, health sector and real estate.

“TDA helped us with $ 200m in finance part of our budget. They also helped us in setting up the Kampala Cement which has improved our cement production. There are many projects but those are the major ones”

More details: https://chimpreports.com/trade-and-development-bank-to-focus-on-africas-long-term-growth-projects/

 

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PSFU signs an MOU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

On the 25th July 2018 the Ugandan business committee was honored to host the Rt Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Nandera Modi and H.E the President of the republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to a business forum at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The Chairman PSFU Mr. Patrick Bitature requested the Private Sector in Both India and Uganda to build on the historical relationship between the 2 countries to grow the Trade between the 2 countries. He also requested that this be a new era where PSFU working with The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) would set up a Private Sector Incubation center to help the Ugandan Private Sector develop Value addition in their Products they manufacture

The President of CII Mr.  informed the Business forum that CII has 4 areas of working with Ugandan Private Sector and these are; Infrastructural development, Setting up of Export processing Zones, in agriculture setting up food security and processing areas for value addition and finally having an enormous competitive edge in renewable energy.

President Yoweri Museveni called on the Indian business community to reduce the trade imbalance between Uganda and India which is characterized by Uganda buying more from India than India is doing from Uganda.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his part, assured President Museveni that India was ready to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries. He noted that the other key priority areas the two countries could cooperate and maximize opportunity, include human resource development and value addition to agricultural products

A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between PSFU and CII for collaboration between the 2 institutions for the growth of the Private Sector.

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The 12th edition of the URA Open Minds Forum

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) hosted its 12th edition of the Open Minds Forum on Thursday 12th July 2018 at UMA show grounds and it was certainly an event no youth deserved to miss.

The event focused on skilling Uganda’s youth with financial discipline and a mindset for business success. The URA Open Minds Forum successfully set a platform for fostering financial discipline and business skilling as well as provide an opportunity to the youth attending to share and learn from youth entrepreneurs that were present.

The panel discussions held at the Forum were conducted by successful youth entrepreneurs from various strands of life and professions. Some of the panelists included our very own Ms. Ruth Musoke Biyinzika (Project Head SDF, PSFU), Mr. James Abola (Team leader, Akamai Global ) Financial Management, Lillian Katiso (‎Director of Finance and Training – ‎Zaddock Associates Ltd) Financial Management, Niyitegeka Michael (ICDL Africa Country Manager, Uganda) IT Ethan Mussolini (CEO, Success Africa) and it was also graced by Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi (Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs) as the Guest of Honor and Ms Doris Akol (Commissioner General URA) as the keynote address speaker.

Ms. Ruth Biyinzika together with Ms. Doris Akol (CG, URA)

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