The past week saw landmark events happening, from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) announcing that it had offered five acres of land to enable Prof. Patrick Ogwang set up a factory for the manufacture of Covidex, as well as a 10-year tax holiday, to Uganda signing a 10-year agreement with a Russian company to fix spy gadgets on cars, motorcycles and marine vessels. On the continent, Pfizer and BioNTech signed a deal to produce Covid-19 vaccines in Africa. Read on and see what made big news in business this week…
UIA offers free land, 10-year tax holiday to Covidex maker
The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) on Wednesday July 21, announced that offered five acres of land to enable Prof. Patrick Ogwang set up a factory for the manufacture of Covidex, a herbal drug that has been approved as supportive treatment for Covid-19.
While handing over an investment licence to Prof Ogwang, Investment minister Evelyn Anite also announced a ten-year tax holiday to Jena Herbals Ltd that manufactures Covidex.
“Our focus is on supporting local investors. We believe that our country can be built by ourselves,” said state minister Anite.
“Our goal is to make sure that we can support the local investors to set up and register their businesses as soon as possible. The land will enable him develop his and other solutions to enable the growth of the pathogenic economy,” she added.
The five acres of land are located in Soroti Industrial Park. Prof. Ogwang welcomed the UIA offer and said he is ready to set up the new factory immediately.
Pfizer, BioNTech sign landmark deal to produce Covid vaccines in Africa
Pfizer & BioNTech on Wednesday July 21 announced the signing of a letter of intent with the Biovac Institute, a South African biopharmaceutical company, to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for distribution on the African continent.
Under the agreement, Biovac will complete the last step in the manufacturing process of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, known as “fill and finish,” the companies said in a statement.
“This is a critical step forward in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic, worldwide pandemic,” said Biovac chief executive officer Morena Makhoana.
The project will take time to get off the ground however, with the first African-finished Pfizer vaccines not expected before 2022.
NBL donates 300 oxygen cylinders as Uganda struggles to meet demand for COVID-19 patients
Nile Breweries Limited made the donation, valued at over Shs 333Million (US$92,000), to benefit major referral hospitals in 17 districts across Uganda. The cylinders are to be distributed across the country covering all regions: Acholi, Ankole, Buganda, Bukedi, Bunyoro, Busoga, Karamoja,Kigezi, Lango, Sebei-Elgon, Teso, Tooro, and West Nile. These regions are represented by districts:Gulu, Mbarara, Kampala, Masaka, Lugazi, Tororo, Masindi , Jinja, Iganga , Moroto, Kabale, Lira, Kapchorwa, Mbale, Soroti , Kabarole, and Arua.
Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Nile Breweries Legal & Corporate Affairs Director Onapito Ekomoloit flagged off trucks delivering 300 oxygen cylinders to major hospitals across the country, for the benefit of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The 75kg oxygen cylinders, will prove an immensely valuable resource in Uganda’s fight against the pandemic and has the potential to save many lives.
Museveni extends decision on mid-term access to two weeks after NSSF, Workers clash at State House
President Yoweri Museveni, on Thurday Jul 22, announced he will decide on the workers mid-term acess to their savings in the coming two weeks after National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and workers clashed over information and change in wording.
The president came to his decision during a long meeting held at State House on Wednesday, that was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance led by the Minister Matia Kasaijja, the Managing Director of NSSF Richard Byarugaba members of National Organisation of Trade Unions – Uganda (NOTU) and Central Organisation Of Free Trade Unions -Uganda (COFTU).
In the meeting, workers’ representatives including Peter Werikhe, Usher Owere, Charles Bakabulindi and COFTU representative Dr. Sam Lyomoki said while they had agreed with the NSSF that only workers who are 45 years and have saved for ten years (45years and 10 years savings) be allowed mid-term access of 20 percent of their savings, they were shocked to learn that the wording had changed to (45 years or 10 years savings).
Uganda Govt signs 10-year deal with Russian firm to fix spy chips in vehicles, motorcycles
The government of Uganda, on July 23, signed a 10-year agreement with a Russian firm -Joint Stock Company Global Security- to install tracking devices in all public and private vehicles and motorcycles in Uganda.
The intelligent transport monitoring system also includes marine vessels operating on all the country’s water bodies.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Office of the President in Kampala, Security Minister, Gen Jim Muhwezi was optimistic that the system will help tackle with the security problem for the country.
“It will provide government with a digital system that will monitor our vehicles in the country. It will enable us use artificial intelligence to back up other measures in place to be able to provide the country with security,”Muhwezi said.
On spying concerns raised by the public, Muhwezi said the system is meant for for security purposes.
Movit’s COVID-19 Support to benefit 2,500 vendors in Kampala markets
Movit Products Limited, on July 23, announced that, through its Skin Guard and Baby Junior brands, it had donated personal care and sanitary items to the Kibuye and Nakasero markets and vendors.
The donation, which is the launch of a series of support the brand has planned to extend to other markets around Kampala, will be made to fifteen (15) major markets and clinics as a means to further beef up the ongoing efforts by government and the market vendors associations.
The total population of the 15 markets and 5 clinics that Movit will be supporting is 2,500 vendors, excluding the communities that shop from there.