At, it was another event packed week in matters business. From Uganda’s debt rising to Shs67 trillion to Zambia agreeing to buy Uganda’s milk, we bring you a summary of the events.

BoU remains optimistic despite Uganda’s debt rising to Shs67 trillion

Early this week, we reported the Bank of Uganda (BoU) as saying that Uganda’s debt remains sustainable despite the total public debt stock rising to 45.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

In their annual report for 2021, BoU said the provisional total public debt stock (in nominal value) as of June 2021 stood at Shs67.395.9 trillion (45.5 percent of GDP), increasing by 17.3 percent in FY 2020/21.

BoU said the increase was mainly due to a 35.2 percent growth in domestic debt stock. External debt stock also grew by 9.0 percent during the period under review due to increased borrowing from multilateral and bilateral creditors, according to the central bank.

10 forex bureaus exit Uganda amid declining profits over Covid

We also reported that 10 forex bureaus have exited Uganda amid declining profitability occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the BoU annual report for 2021, while 13 new forex bureaus and 10 (ten) new money remitters were licensed during the year to June 2021, 10 forex bureaus and 4 money remitters permanently exited the sub-sector.

The report attributes this to decline on profitability of the sub-sector occasioned by government of Uganda measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Uganda Tourism Board officials grilled over Shs360m expenditure at Dubai Expo

Lawmakers last Monday reacted with consternation following revelations that the Uganda Tourism Board spent most of their Shs360m budget for the Dubai 2020 Expo on allowances and entertainment.

The MPs on Parliament’s trade, tourism and industry committee were questioning UTB officials led by executive director Lilly Ajarova on how they spent Shs360 million meant for the Dubai 2020 Expo.

According to UTB, Shs53m was spent on air tickets and visas, Shs28m was for PCR testing for Covid-19, per diem for traveling delegation was 83 million, promotional materials which included kitenge bags, safari hats, gomesi and kanzus was Shs20.5 million.

Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze, DDA and Pearl Dairies officials flag off the first consignment of Ugandan milk headed for Zambia on Saturday.

After being rejected by Kenya, Uganda finds market for its milk in Zambia

The government of Uganda has found an alternative market for its milk in Zambia after enduring nearly three years of its product being rejected by Kenya.

The minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Mr Frank Tumwebaze, last weekend flagged off the first consignment of 50 tonnes of powdered milk destined for Zambia.

The Zambian Coca-Cola Beverages Limited has made an order of 700 metric tonnes of powdered milk each year from Pearl Diaries Uganda.

MTN Uganda, stock brokers embark on IPO awareness tours nationwide

MTN Uganda last week embarked on countrywide town hall meetings to create public awareness about its listing of shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Together with their senior brokers – SBG Securities and Crested Capital – MTN senior managers led by the CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, opened up shops in major cities and municipalities as well as appearing on radio talkshows where they started providing vital information about the MTN offer of shares and the stock market to communities.

MTN is offering shares at Shs200 per share with a minimum order quantity of 500 shares which means Ugandans can become shareholders in MTN Uganda with an investment of as low as Shs 100,000.

Uganda govt warned as domestic debt hits Shs4 trillion

Ugandan lawmakers have tasked the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to put an end to the increasing domestic arrears amounting to Shs4.1 trillion.  

The MPs on the Budget Committee were meeting the Ministry of Finance officials led by the Minister of State (Planning), Hon. Amos Lugoloobi on 27 October 2021 as he responded to concerns raised on the charter for fiscal responsibility for financial year 2021/22.

Amolatar District Woman MP, Hon. Agnes Atim said that domestic arrears are proof that there is a gap in financial management and a weakness in leadership by the ministry.

Uganda – Tanzania symposium to showcase oil pipeline opportunities

The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) together with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) have organised a symposium in which the two neighbouring countries will showcase opportunities created by the oil pipeline.

Speaking at the launch of the event in Kampala on Tuesday, PSFU chairman Elly Karuhanga said the symposium slated for November 25, 2021, will link Uganda and Tanzania’s private sector players in the oil and gas sector.

“The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which runs from Lake Albert to the Tanzanian port of Tanga, will create over 5,000 jobs and could create a further indirect 20,000 jobs for our people. Therefore, communication is vital to bring local companies up to speed with what is required of them to participate in this oil & gas sector,” Karuhanga said.

PSFU officials at the launch of the symposium in Kampala on Tuesday. PHOTO/COURTESY

Uganda, American Chamber of Commerce sign MoU to promote investment

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Chamber of Commerce with a view to connecting Uganda and America for business investment opportunities.

The president of American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Mike Davis, and the UIA Director General, Dr Robert Mukiza, signed the MoU at a function held in Kampala on Wednesday, 27 October 2021.

Mr Davis said the MoU is the first step in fostering bilateral agreements and trade between the two countries.

“How do we tell the story of Uganda so that American companies can invest here? This MoU supports business and investment opportunities in Uganda,” he said.

“It is important that we bring money to Uganda and also create an environment that our investors are protected and can build their businesses successfully in Uganda,” Mr Davis added.