2017

07.06

UgandAbout

Ugandabout – maggio 2017

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Alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nel maggio 2017.

THE LAST WORD: UGANDA’S DECLINING GROWTH
1 may 2017

DRUG SMUGGLING FROM “UGANDA IS ON THE RISE”
1 may 2017

UGANDA’S CHEMONGES WINS METRO MARATHON IN DUSSELDORF
1 may 2017

UGANDA TO HOST AFRICAN LIBRARY CONFERENCE
2 may 2017

UGANDA: AFRICA’S TOP BIRD WATCHING DESTINATION
3 may 2017

UGANDA: AFTER ARMYWORM
3 may 2017

UN VIAGGIO SENZA RITORNO
3 maggio 2017

ACCES TO ART INCREASING, BUT MORTALITY REMAINS HIGH IN UGANDA
5 may 2017

UGANDA, US SIGN AGREEMENT ON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
9 may 2017

UGANDA: SUGAR CRISIS ON FOR ANOTHER 2 YEARS
9 may  2017

WHY WE SHOULD COMMEND UGANDA’S MINISTRY OF HEALTH
13 may 2017

LA CRISI RIFUGIATI IN SUD SUDAN E’ ANCHE UNA CRISI ECONOMICA
15 maggio 2017

UGANDA HOSTS TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
25 may 2017

UGANDA: BODA BODA MAKES ITS WAY TO OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNERS DICTIONARY
25 may 2017

UGANDA FIGHTS CHILD MARRIAGE WITH JOB COURSES AND KIDS’CLUBS
26 may 2017

UGANDA: PANIC AS UPDF PULLS OUT OF KARAMOJA
30 may 2017


THE LAST WORD: UGANDA’S DECLINING GROWTH
1 may 2017

Uganda is going through the worst economic performance since 1987 when the government of President Yoweri Museveni began liberal economic reform. In the first quarter of this financial year, the economy contracted by 0.1%; the second quarter it grew by 0.8%, far below projected growth of 5.5%. Given a population growth rate of 3.12%, per capita income has contracted by 2.3% between July and December, the reason The Independent last week reported that Ugandans have grown poorer.
Evidence of distress is everywhere. Last year, Uganda’s fourth largest bank, Crane Bank, went burst. The real estate market, an important measure of economic vitality, is sluggish. Non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans have increased from 5.29% in December 2015 to 10.47% in December 2016. Because the real estate market that underwrites loans is in distress, banks are stuck with collateral they cannot dispose off to recover their money.
Outside of the banking sector, many companies are saddled with unsold inventory while others are suffering declining sales. Some are laying-off workers. I am aware that most people don’t care about the statistics I have outlined above in large part because they are just numbers. However, behind these numbers are important factors that foster economic wellbeing of people. So what has happened to Uganda’s economy that has run a good 30 years marathon at an impressive average growth rate of 6.74%?
Before government critics can jump on these numbers to score points, let us note that across the board, African economies are doing badly. This is because of the slowdown of economic growth in China and continued sluggish growth in Western industrialised nations all of which have led to a decline in the demand for commodities that constitute most of Africa’s exports. According to the IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Africa of October 2016, the best ten growth performers for 2017 were projected to be Ivory Coast at 8%, Ethiopia at 7.5%, Ghana at 7.4%, Tanzania at 7.2%, Senegal at 6.8%, Kenya at 6.1%, Rwanda at 6%, Burkina Faso at 5.9%, Uganda at 5.5% and Mozambique at 5.5%.
But even from these figures we can see a problem. Seven years ago, the economies of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana were growing at a rate of 8% and above; and Uganda was close to that figure. So the current IMF projections show a significant decline in the performance of Africa’s best performers as well. And for Uganda’s perennial skeptics who argue that growth figures are cooked, this is a reminder that public institutions like Uganda Bureau of Statistics, in spite of their weaknesses, still do a good professional job.
Uganda’s growth, however, has been made worse by a draught that hurt agriculture. Secondly, there has been a significant reorientation of the budget towards greater development spending and reduced spending on consumption. While spending on huge infrastructure projects like roads and dams as Uganda is doing is a great thing, our problem is that most of the contracts are going to foreign firms with little or no enforcement of local content rules. Thus foreign contractors, especially the Chinese, import large numbers of semi-skilled workers and other inputs. And when paid they repatriate their profits back home. This imposes a severe strain and drain on our foreign exchange.
fonte independent.co.ug – Andrew M. Mwenda

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DRUG SMUGGLING FROM “UGANDA IS ON THE RISE”
1 may 2017
A report on alcohol and drug abuse has revealed that drug trafficking across the Busia-Uganda border is on the rise, with 89.4 per cent of residents interviewed admitting drugs are trafficked into this country.
The report was released by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the Busia Agricultural Training Centre on Friday. It says bhang is the most trafficked drug across the porous border.
Nacada regional manager for Nyanza and Western Esther Okenye said other commonly smuggled drugs are chang’aa and cigarettes, second generation alcohol, miraa and kuber.
She said culprits mainly use boda bodas, trucks, private vehicles, persons living with disability, the youth and elderly women to ferry the drugs.
The report says problems faced in curbing drug trafficking include corruption among law enforcement officers and lack of harmonised laws between Kenya and Uganda.
Others are poor coordination among enforcement officers, porous borders, increase of boda boda riders, high unemployment and lack of common border programmes.
Nacada is to launch a pilot survey in Matayos subcounty on prevention science, with emphasis on strengthening families. The programme will start in the next financial year.
Okenye said alcohol is generally acceptable in the communities, but urged consumers to take it sparingly, adding that it destroys lives.
Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa was present. He said Busia will legalise busaa to be sold in licensed outlets so they bar children from access. The survey sampled 698 residents, randomly selected from all sub counties.
fonte the-star.co.ke – Jane Cherotich

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UGANDA’S CHEMONGES WINS METRO MARATHON IN DUSSELDORF
1 may 2017
Germany – Uganda’s youngster Robert Chemonges has won the 15th Metro Marathon in Duesseldorf, Germany with a personal best time.
The 19-year-old clocked a fine 2:10:31 in windy conditions, which should secure qualification for the World Championships’ marathon in London this August.
Norway’s Weldu Gebretsadik took second with 2:11:16 and also qualified for London while Yared Shegumo of Poland was third. The runner-up from the European Championships in Zurich 2014 clocked 2:12:33.
Portugal’s Doroteia Alves Peixoto took the women’s race with 2:32:00, improving her personal best by 4:01 minutes. Sara Makera of Tanzania, who had been in the lead for most of the race, was second in 2:33:08.
Third-placed Carmen Martinez Aguilar from Paraguay ran a national record of 2:35:17. All three achieved their national qualifying times for the World Championships.
Including running events staged parallel, as many as 16,000 runners entered the Metro Marathon Duesseldorf. Close to 4,000 of them were running the marathon.
A group of six men, including two pacemakers, passed the half way mark in 64:53. When the rabbits dropped out four kilometres later there was a good mix of nationalities left in the first group: Josphat Ndambiri of Kenya, Uganda’s Chemonges, Poland’s Shegumo who grew up in Ethiopia and Weldu Gebretsadik, who switched from Eritrea to Norway.
It was then Shegumo who lost contact to the group in the 28th kilometre but later moved ahead to third. The leading trio kept their consistent pace and went through the 30km mark in 1:32:35.
Surprisingly it was then the favourite Ndambiri who could not hold on with around nine kilometres to go. With a PB of 2:07:36 he was the fastest runner on the start list and had hoped to break the course record of 2:07:48.
But he could not match the pace of Chemonges and Gebretsadik. The pair shared the lead until the 40th kilometre, when the Ugandan attacked and built a decisive lead.
“I realized that he would probably not be able to follow me. So that was when I pushed. Before I was not sure if I could win” said Chemonges, who improved his personal best of 2:10:32 by exactly 32 seconds in Duesseldorf.
“It was difficult in the wind. But otherwise it was a great race, and obviously I am very happy.“
It was just a week ago when Uganda’s superstar Stephen Kiprotich came in second at the Hamburg Marathon. Now a fellow countryman turned out to be the surprise winner of the Metro Marathon Duesseldorf.
“I am now number three in Uganda behind Stephen Kiprotich and Munyo Mutai, so I think I will be selected for the World Championships” said Chemonges, who one day hopes to run 2:06.
In the women’s race Sara Makera sprinted away right from the start, covering the first kilometre in 3:08. At 10 k she was still running a 2:25 pace with a split time of 34:27.
The runner from Tanzania, who had a personal best of 2:45:00 before Duesseldorf, slowed but kept a significant lead until late in the race. She passed half way in 1:13:29 and 30 k after 1:45:38. With 12 k to go 29 year-old Makera was still almost two minutes ahead of Doroteia Alves Peixoto.
However she then slowed dramatically in the final section and the Portuguese passed her less than two kilometres from the finish line by the Rhine. Third placed Carmen Martinez Aguilar improved her own Paraguayan record by 44 seconds to 2:35:17.
fonte newvision.co.ug

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UGANDA TO HOST AFRICAN LIBRARY CONFERENCE
2 may 2017
Uganda will next year host over 400 African librarians for the standing conference of eastern, central and southern African library and information associations.
According to Gertrude Mulindwa, the director of the National Library of Uganda, the conference, which will take place in April next year, will be convened at Entebbe under the theme: “Positioning library and information services to achieve sustainable development: Innovations and partnerships.”
“The conference theme is a response to the United Nations (UN) call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity as spelt out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS),” Mulindwa told journalists today at Uganda Media Centre.
During the conference, she added, delegates from 28 African countries will exchange ideas and innovations on how to use libraries to enhance education and improve literacy levels on the continent.
“This conference is also expected to have economic impact on local businesses, including hotels, tour companies, transport, entertainment,” she said.
fonte newvision.co.ugDavid Lumu

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UGANDA: AFRICA’S TOP BIRD WATCHING DESTINATION
3 may 2017
There’s great joy in the simple and rewarding hobby of bird watching. Birdwatchers travel far and wide to feast their eyes (and their camera lenses) on the magnificence of the feathered creatures. There are numerous excellent birding hotspots across the world, but few come close to Uganda, a place of diverse landscape, vibrant wildlife, and an abundance of rare bird species.
Home to more than 1,000 bird species, Uganda is Africa’s birding paradise, where trying to identify different types of the avian creatures is as tricky as it is fun and rewarding. The landlocked East African nation harbours about 50 percent of all birds in Africa, and 10 percent of the world’s total avian population. The country is home to one well-known species called the Fox’s Weaver, and numerous other species endemic to the Albertine Rift, the western side of the East African Rift, covering parts of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi.
Birdlife in Uganda can be found in many parts of the country, across a variety of habitats such as forests, lakes, swamps and agricultural lands. Some migrate from the shores of Lake Victoria and settle in the capital, Kampala, where you may spot more than 300 species in just one day. However, the best place to watch these feathered friends is Semuliki National Park, where there is an extraordinary diversity of birdlife. This is where you will find over 441 different species, accounting for 40% of Uganda’s total bird population.
The number and variety of rare birds at Semuliki National Park is impressive. There are about 46 Guinea-Congo biome species which you will not find anywhere else in Africa. Some of the birds you can expect to see include: the Blue-Headed Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-Throated Alethe, and African Green Broadbill. There is also an abundance of the White-Crested Hornbill, Yellow-Throated Nicator, Blue-Billed Malimbe, Red-Rumped Tinker Bird, Orange-Cheeked Waxbill, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, and many other fascinating flying friends.  At Semuliki, you can combine your bird watching with any number of easy or challenging forest hikes for a more rewarding experience.
Another excellent birding site is the Mabira Forest Reserve, a 306 square-kilometre rainforest in the central part of the country, home to over 300 types of birds. You will revel in the sighting of the likes of the Turaco, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Grey Parrot, White-Spotted Flufftail, Dusky Long-Tailed Cuckoo, and the Nahan’s Francolin, which has been placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of endangered species.
In western Uganda, there is the Kibale National Park and Bigodi Wetland, two other rich bird watching destinations. The former harbours approximately 350 bird species, while the latter is home to 138 types of birds that can easily be seen on any of the guided tours. The unique and colourful birds of Kibale National Park can best be spotted on the guided forest walks offered by the park’s experienced and friendly staff. Apart from birding, you can also enjoy spectacular sightings of chimpanzees. The park boasts the highest number of ape species in East Africa.
Uganda has long been touted among the best bird watching sites in the world. As birding expert and author, Nigel Wheatley, writes in Where to Watch Birds in Africa, “In terms of its size, Uganda is the richest country for birds in Africa; and this immense volume and diversity occurs miraculously in a space which keen birders can cover in a relatively short visit.”
Some of the country’s other great birding spots include: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mabamba Bay Wetland at Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
So, next time you yearn for a rare aesthetic treat or need to take your bird watching game to the next level, or if you simply want to develop a new hobby – pack your bags and head to Uganda’s lush green forests of unrivalled beauty.
fonte africa.com

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UGANDA: AFTER ARMYWORM
3 may 2017
Uganda is under attack. It is under attack from the Fall Armyworm in what experts call a “biological invasion”. Unfortunately, it appears, the government was caught unprepared. It has reacted with a mixture of indecision, panic, bluff, and deployment of ineffective intervention. As a result, the farmers – who are at the frontlines to battle the new enemy – are poorly equipped, frustrated, and desperate.
Umaru Ddumba, who has 107-acre farm in in Makukuba Village, Nabbaale Sub County, in Mukono District near Kampala, is a typical farmer in this category.
When he set out to plant his 12-acre maize plantation, he was looking at striking a windfall of over Shs30 million from his crop. He expected to harvest 20 bags of 100kgs each from each acre, which would give him 240 bags. And if he sold each at 150,000, he would get Shs36 million. But today, when you get to his farm, what you see are shriveled plants, with leaves mostly covered in numerous holes of varying sizing as if they were shredded by grenade shrapnel and are still on fire.
The Fall Armyworm, a never before seen pest in Uganda, caught Ddumba by surprise. He had prepared for the usual maize stalk borer(ndiwulira) by setting aside Shs1 million for pesticides and spraying. Instead, by mid- April he had spent Shs7 million on fighting the army of worms – with minimal success, on a field he planted in March. He was looking to harvest in June but is unsure now.
“I have little hope of getting any sizeable harvest,” he says.
But he cannot give up. He continues to spray because he fears the worm may attack his other crops on the farm since he is a mixed farmer who also grows bananas, coffee, and pineapples. He also keeps cattle.
Failure of this maize crop means Ddumba is making losses over two seasons in a row. Last season, he planted seven acres of maize and was expecting to get 140 bags but instead got only 105 as drought ravaged the country.
Ddumba’s losses, however, could have an even bigger implication for the economy. Even before the fall armyworm outbreak, food prices had remained stubbornly high because of the last poor harvest. Failure of this season will mean higher prices and possible stock-outs and famine.
Yet Ddumba is not alone. The armyworm has ravaged over 60 districts out of the 111 in the country. Many of those not attacked are not maize growing districts.
Desperate fight – The farmers, frustrated that they have been left to fight the new invaders on their own, without help from the government, have resorted to desperate measures to try save their crop.
Brig. Kasirye Ggwanga, the maverick soldier who was once the political head of neighbouring Mubende district has a 200-acre farm in Nakisunga village in Mukono District which was still safe in April. As always, he has developed a theory about why other farms are under attack.
“When you do research you find that this worm has mostly hit areas where trees have been cut down because the moths fly easily in empty space unlike in our areas which are still forested and the moths are trapped by the trees,” he says.
fonte allafrica.com

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UN VIAGGIO SENZA RITORNO
3 maggio 2017
Nel dicembre del 2013, appena due anni dopo aver ottenuto l’indipendenza dal Sudan, nel Sud Sudan è scoppiata una guerra civile che ha provocato la fuga di un milione e mezzo di persone verso sud, in Uganda, per sfuggire alle violenze e alla fame.
Alfred Wani un uomo di ottant’anni è uno degli 800mila sudsudanesi che dal luglio del 2016 hanno lasciato il paese per dirigersi in Uganda. Alfred spiega la sua decisione: “Ho visto le uccisioni, ho visto case in fiamme, ho visto i corpi con le gole tagliate, non posso tornare indietro e riviverlo”.
La famiglia Wani, composta da 29 persone, si sposta con tre capre e tutto quello che è riuscita a portare dal proprio villaggio. La loro meta non è il centro profughi Bidi Bidi, ormai diventato il più popolato al mondo: hanno deciso invece di raggiungere il campo di Imvepi, nel distretto di Arua, nel nord dell’Uganda. A quindici chilometri dal campo, il governo ugandese ha assicurato ad alcuni rifugiati un lotto di 50 metri quadrati di terra dove Alfred spera di poter ricostruire con la sua famiglia una vita migliore.
Le foto sono state scattate da Jerome Delay dell’Associated Press tra marzo e aprile del 2017.
fonte internazionale.it

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ACCES TO ART INCREASING, BUT MORTALITY REMAINS HIGH IN UGANDA
5 may 2017
“Although absolute HIV–associated deaths decreased by an estimated 58% from 2005 to 2015, HIV is still the leading cause of death in adults, with [the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS] estimating 28,000 AIDS–related deaths in 2015,” Andrew G. Flynn, of the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and colleagues, wrote in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.
The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of three patient cohorts with HIV and suspected meningitis who visited two Ugandan hospitals. They included 262 patients who presented to a hospital between 2006 and 2009, 469 who presented between 2010 and 2012 and 622 who presented between 2013 and 2016.

No patients in the 2006 cohort had received antecedent antiretroviral therapy (ART), compared with 366 (59%) in the 2013 cohort (P < .001).
Subsets of 71 patients in the 2006 cohort and 426 in the 2013 cohort were asked about previous HIV diagnosis and use of ART. Forty-six patients (65%) in the 2006 subset had known their HIV status for less than 1 month, the researchers said, compared with 143 (34%) in the 2013 subset (P < .001).
Also in the latter subset, 128 patients (30%) had been receiving continuous ART for more than 4 months. Fifteen patients (4%) in that subset had stopped ART more than 1 month before their hospital visits.
Despite these improvements in HIV screening and use of ART, HIV–associated infections such as cryptococcal meningitis remain a significant concern, researchers wrote.
In the pre-2013 cohorts, Cryptococcus was isolated from 420 out of 731 patients (57%). Another 23% had aseptic or viral meningitis, 1.6% had bacterial meningitis and the remainder had an undetermined illness.
In the 2013 cohort, 439 out of 620 patients (71%) had cryptococcal meningitis, the researchers said.
The number of patients presenting with meningitis increased by 33%, from 18 per month in the earlier two cohorts to 24 per month in the 2013 cohort (P < .001).
The 2013 subset showed that 20% of patients had known HIV but less than 1 month of ART and 30% had ART virologic failure.
The researchers said they could not determine the causes for ART failure but that the data show a need to sustain and improve care.
“Our data indicate that an area of growing priority for preventing AIDS deaths is achieving and maintaining viral suppression in persons receiving ART,” they wrote. “The observed trends and current HIV care needs identified in Uganda likely are generalizable to other sub-Saharan African settings.”
fonte healio.com – Joe Green 

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UGANDA, US SIGN AGREEMENT ON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
9 may 2017
Uganda and the US are working closely in the Rakai Health Sciences Program under the Ugandan Virus Research Institute
Uganda through the Ministry of Health and the US government have entered a partnership aimed at enabling further biomedical research cooperation in preventing, diagnosing and treating the heavy burden of infectious diseases in Uganda.
The fields for research and training include HIV/AIDS, malaria among other emerging diseases.
Dr. Diana Atwine the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary signed on behalf of Uganda whereas Deborah Malac, the US Ambassador to Uganda signed on behalf of the US.
Currently, Uganda and the US are working closely in the Rakai Health Sciences Program under the Ugandan Virus Research Institute (UVRI), MoH and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the US NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services.
fonte newvision.co.ug – Cecilia Okoth

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UGANDA: SUGAR CRISIS ON FOR ANOTHER 2 YEARS
9 may 2017
Sugar manufacturers are warning that the current sugar crisis, which has escalated sugar prices, is likely to last up to two years.
Wilber Mubiru, the secretary of Uganda Sugar Manufacturers’ Association, says the industry is experiencing scarcity of mature sugar canes that has greatly impacted sugar production.
According to Mubiru, about a dozen sugar plants in operation, currently have no mature cane plantations nor out growers for supplies, which forces them to “poach” immature cane from other established sugar companies and farmers.
He blames the sugar crisis on shortage of cane and premature harvest, adding that the situation is likely to normalize in two years’ time when the canes are expected to mature in about 18 months’ time.
Mubiru says despite the shortage of cane and reduced production of sugar, the mill gate price of most plants has not increased significantly, citing the average price per 50-kilo-bag of sugar at Shs 187,000.
He observes that due to the free market policy, middlemen are cashing in on the crisis by overcharging wholesalers and retailers, hence the spike in sugar prices. In downtown Kampala, a 50kg bag of Kakira sugar costs between Shs 280,000 and Shs 300,000, while Kinyara sugar is the cheapest at Shs 260,000. From last year’s average of Shs 3,000 per kilo of sugar, the price shot to Shs 4,000 early this year and is now hovering over Shs 5,500. A kilo of Kinyara sugar is the cheapest at Shs 5000, while Kakira sugar is selling at 6,000 a kilo. On the shelves, Kakira sugar and Lugazi sugar are scarce compared to Kinyara sugar, which is in plenty. Many dealers have now started hoarding sugar in order to benefit from anticipated price hike in the short term.
Mubiru says the free market policy has created a scenario, whereby speculators are now dictating the prices. He says since there is no government control, traders are taking advantage of the shortage to make a killing at the expense of Ugandans, most of whom are poor, adding that traders should avoid greed.
Asked why, as, manufacturers they can’t voice their concerns and dampen the sentiments, Mubiru says they do not have the power to do so.
According to Mubiru, government could intervene in the market by buying sugar in bulk and saturate the market to stabilize the prices. Mubiru says although Uganda produces sugar in surplus, neighbours Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan have deficits and partly depend on imports from Uganda.
Uganda produces over 400,000 metric tonnes of sugar per year and consumes 360,000 metric tonnes. The balance of about 50,000 metric tonnes is exported to the region, especially to Kenya where sugar prices are much higher.
Asked if the government could control export of sugar, Mubiru says under the East African Community that would be unlawful, adding that it has the potential of creating a trade and diplomatic stir.
Mubiru says a more long term solution to the sugar crisis would be for government to pass the National Sugar Bill of 2015 in order to streamline the industry, particularly ensuring that each sugar company has its own territory and out growers ecosystem. According to Mubiru, Uganda still has a lot of land for sugarcane growing and it makes no sense for the companies to crowd in a few locations with disastrous consequences.
On sentiments that the current sugar crisis could be as a result of the ‘Big Three’ – Kakira, Lugazi and Kinyara – trying to arm twist the government to grant their wishes in the sugar bill, Mubiru says that isn’t the case. According to Mubiru, the crisis impacts negatively on them as well, because while they have low productivity, they have to incur costs like wages, medical services.
fonte: allafrica.com

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WHY WE SHOULD COMMEND UGANDA’S MINISTRY OF HEALTH
13 may 2017
The 2017 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) Report that was released recently shows tremendous improvements in most health indicators and healthcare seeking behaviour over a period of five years 2011-2016 especially for the rural population.  My main interest is particularly on maternal and child health.
According to the report, maternal mortality (pregnancy-related deaths) ratio presently stands at 368 per 100,000 live births a sharp decline from 486 per 100,000 live births where it had stagnated for over a decade.
The report further indicates a drastic decline in under-five child mortality (the probability of dying between birth and the fifth birthday) rate from 90 per 1000 live births (2011) to 62 per 1000 live births (2016); Improved immunization coverage (access, utilization and timely completion) particularly for Polio; Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG); Diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT); and pneumonia;  Improved antenatal care and attendance throughout the four (4) minimum recommended trimesters; Increased number of health facility deliveries and under the care of trained personnel; and Improved timeliness in seeking health care at the onset of illnesses with malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.
Yes, the above ratio and rates for these health indicators are still high (far below the international standards) the reason why Uganda never achieved the targets for the Millennium Development Goals 3 and 4 (for maternal and child health respectively). Nevertheless, tremendous improvement captured in the 2017 UDHS Report needs to be acknowledged and commended.
It is on record that the Ministry of Health (MOH), amidst budget constraints, managed to implement numerous interventions as guided by the health sector strategic investment plans over the years.
There have been efforts to prioritize stewardship, resource mobilization, standards and guidelines development, monitoring and supervision in the health sector. Notable improvements in the health sector are also associated with qualitative and quantitative improvements in human resources for health, procurement and supply of essential drugs, health infrastructure and equipment.
Of great importance is MOH’s initiative to establish various strategic partnerships with development partners and civil society organizations. One of such partnerships was through the Community and District Empowerment for scale-up (CODES) project which I believe must have made a contribution towards this health improvement.
A five-year project (2012-2016) was designed to reduce child deaths caused by diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria—the three of the top childhood killer diseases in Uganda today. The project was developed jointly by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, UNICEF and Karolinska Institute in partnership with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), Child Fund International, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Makerere University School of Public Health.
The project helped the Ministry of Health to boost its own capacity to implement policies and interventions that lead to a wide array of improvements in health outcomes, especially concerning the control of the above mentioned childhood diseases. CODES project was funded by UNICEF (Uganda), a grantee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the United States Fund for UNICEF.
The project involved 21 districts of Uganda for both “Supply-side” and the “Demand-side” interventions. The supply-side interventions empowered District Health Teams (DHTs) to use evidence-based management tools to overcome management bottlenecks, and it also enforced continuous quality improvement (CQI) in health facilities. ACODE implemented the project’s demand-side component that mobilized and galvanized citizens to demand for effective and quality health service delivery, thereby enforcing community oversight and social accountability in the health service delivery in the project districts.
Thus the aforementioned child and partly maternal health indicators formed part of the supply and demand-side interventions of the CODES Project that used behavioural change communication approaches- particularly, community and health facility dialogues.  I am confident that if CODES project could be scaled-up to all the current 112 in the country, in addition to other numerous Ministry of Health interventions, the health indicators in question would improve further better in the next five years, thereby setting a good stage for the realization of health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Ministry of Health has so far adopted some aspects of CODES supply-side components particularly health data management tools for DHIS 2, but it seems reluctant and non-committed to consider scaling-up aspects of demand-side component of CODES across the county due to anticipated colossal cost implications.
The costing study for project scale-up country-wide commissioned by UNICEF and MOH is underway. Preliminary data indicates that scaling up CODES interventions (both supply and demand-side) to all the 112 districts would require about  UGX 16.7 billion (or US$ 4.94 million)  per annum [Adjusted  for inflation UGX 18.2 Billion (or US$ 5.4 million)]? I feel this is not a scaring figure.
It is possible as long as there is political commitment. Actually, this figure is slightly higher than the present-day controversial presidential handshake of UGX 6 Billion that ended-up in the pockets of only 42 public officers.
fonte newvision.co.ug Moses Mukundane

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LA CRISI RIFUGIATI IN SUD SUDAN E’ ANCHE UNA CRISI ECONOMICA
15 maggio 2017
Servono 1,4 miliardi di dollari per fare fronte all’emergenza umanitaria in Sud Sudan, dove 1,8 milioni di rifugiati, di cui un milione bambini, sono fuggiti, riversandosi nei Paesi vicini. Secondo l’Unhcr, ad oggi si è raggiunto solo il 14% dei fondi necessari. Il Sud Sudan è oggi il Paese al mondo con il più rapido tasso di crescita di rifugiati.
Un’emergenza che non è ancora stata finanziata adeguatamente, con appena il 14% dei fondi raccolti. È la crisi dei rifugiati sudsudanesi, ad affermarlo l’Agenzia delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati (UNHCR) e il Programma Alimentare Mondiale (WFP), che hanno sottolineato che, per assicurare assistenza di base ai rifugiati ospitati attualmente nei 6 Paesi vicini, per tutto il 2017, alle organizzazioni umanitarie servono 1,4 miliardi di dollari. La situazione in Sud Sudan continua infatti a peggiorare e il sovrapporsi di diversi fattori tra cui il confitto, la siccità e la carestia, portano ulteriori spostamenti di persone e un rapido esodo di quanti fuggono da una delle crisi più gravi al mondo.
“Il violento conflitto e il deterioramento delle condizioni umanitarie nel Sud Sudan stanno spingendo un numero record di persone a lasciare le loro case”, ha dichiarato l’Alto Commissario delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati, Filippo Grandi.
Il Sud Sudan ormai è diventato il Paese con il tasso di rifugiati più in rapida crescita al mondo, con più di 1,8 milioni di rifugiati, di cui un milione di bambini, che hanno cercato rifugio in Uganda, Sudan, Etiopia, Kenya, Repubblica Democratica del Congo e Repubblica Centro Africana.
“La sofferenza che sta vivendo il Sud Sudan è inimmaginabile,” ha affermato il direttore esecutivo del WFP David Beasley. “Sono ad un passo dall’abisso e la violenza è alla base di questa crisi. Le organizzazioni umanitarie spesso non sono in grado di raggiungere le persone più vulnerabili che hanno maggior bisogno di aiuto. Molti muoiono di fame e a causa delle malattie, mentre molti altri sono dovuti fuggire per cercare sicurezza altrove”.
Il numero di persone che sono fuggite dal Paese ha superato le stime della comunità umanitaria, che già erano molto pessimistiche. Nel mese di marzo, ad esempio, il numero di rifugiati ha superato la cifra attesa per l’intero anno. L’Uganda sta gestendo un numero di arrivi superiore al previsto, e a questo ritmo probabilmente presto arriverà ad ospitare oltre un milione di rifugiati sudsudanesi.
“La carenza di fondi ci ha costretti a fare dei tagli alle razioni alimentari di molti rifugiati in Uganda”, ha dichiarato Beasley. “Io lo trovo inaccettabile, e spero di non essere l’unico. Sono famiglie come le nostre, sono nostri fratelli e sorelle e il mondo deve aiutarli ora – non c’è tempo da perdere. Aiutateci a fare qualcosa perché ne hanno bisogno.”
L’UNHCR ha accolto con gratitudine l’incredibile generosità dimostrata ai rifugiati dai Paesi dell’area, ma è allarmato dalla criticità della situazione.
“Paesi come l’Uganda hanno fatto tutto il possibile, ma non saranno in grado di sostenere ulteriormente i rifugiati, a meno che il resto del mondo non faccia la sua parte,” ha sottolineato l’Alto Commissario Grandi, durante la presentazione del piano a Ginevra.
Finanziamenti insufficienti rendono difficile il lavoro delle agenzie umanitarie, che faticano a fornire cibo, acqua, sostegno alimentare, rifugio e servizi sanitari ai rifugiati.
Le comunità che stanno ospitano i rifugiati sono tra le più povere del mondo e vivono una pressione immensa. “Aiutare i rifugiati non è solo questione di prima assistenza”, ha dichiarato Grandi dell’UNHCR. “Significa anche sostenere i governi, le comunità e l’economia dei Paesi che li accolgono.”
L’UNHCR sta gestendo la risposta all’emergenza con i governi, le agenzie umanitarie, le comunità ospitanti e i rifugiati stessi. Attualmente l’Uganda ospita circa 898.000 rifugiati, il Sudan 375.000, l’Etiopia 375.000, il Kenya 97.000, la Repubblica Democratica del Congo 76.000 e la Repubblica Centrafricana 2.200.
Il WFP fornisce assistenza alimentare e denaro a più di 1,8 milioni di rifugiati nei Paesi limitrofi. Il piano di risposta aggiornato non copre le necessità umanitarie di circa due milioni di persone sfollate all’interno del Sud Sudan.
fonte vita.it 

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UGANDA HOSTS TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
25 may 2017
The app developers will be engaged in developing mobile applications and the candidates who will showcase the best mobile application will pocket sh18m, which is about $5,000.
Uganda will host a Hackathon event at Innovation Village in Ntinda from Friday 26 to Sunday 28.
The event aims at exploring the possibility of building a mobile focused developer team in Uganda that is focused on lean and XP practices, continuous improvement, continual delivery, and test driven development.
The app developers will be engaged in developing mobile applications and the candidates who will showcase the best mobile application will pocket sh18m, which is about $5,000.
Traditionally applications were developed for the desktop and later adapted to mobile as an afterthought.
Today, that trend has inverted. With 1.2 billion mobile devices, it isn’t merely a trend, niche or something in the future. The event that will be hosted under the theme: “Mobile First” to test what innovators can develop for mobile such as an iOS app, Android app or Responsive Web App.
Henry Damulira the C.E.O of Air Save, a financial technology company and one of organizers, says that this event is a big opportunity for Uganda’s app developers.
“Last year under my company, I joined start up competitions under the category of financial inclusions where I represented Uganda and won the Uganda start up cup competitions. From there, we qualified for the African competitions that were hosted in Accra, Ghana in April last year and we became second. Later in August, we participated at world level in the same competitions that were hosted in the US and we became forth,” Damulira says.
Adding that he got an opportunity to interact with other app developers in the United States of America looking for opportunities for Uganda and his personal business and that’s how he got in touch with the founder of Madrona software company Will Kamp, who accepted to support and nature local talent in software development.
The duo decided to organize an event that will bring together system developers with an aim of choosing the best talents in Uganda that will take on the opportunities in the US where demand for software developers is high.
Linus Wamanya, a board member at Startup Silicon Ventures Africa says that Uganda is a hotspot for technology development and this event will provide an opportunity to IT specialists to have their skills polished.
“Most of the app developers in Uganda work in isolation and they leave out a lot of features in the apps they develop because they don’t have people to guide them. We now want to have them converge in one place and equip them with more skills which they can use to develop our country,” he says.
Will Kamp says that they are looking to build a developer team locally in Kampala.
He adds: “We are specifically interested in engaging developers who have an expertise in mobile software and back end systems.”
How to participate
You must register for the Hackathon as an individual and may compete as either an individual or as a team.
Competing as a team is encouraged but not mandatory. A team should have between two to five members. If you do not have a team, you may optionally indicate that you’d like to be place.

fonte newvision.co.ug – Derrick Kyatuka

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UGANDA: BODA BODA MAKES ITS WAY TO OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNERS DICTIONARY
25 may 2017
Boda boda is among the more than 900 latest words that producers of venerable Oxford English Dictionary have added to the 9th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary.
Of the said words, 170 were related to technology – and more than a half-dozen to Twitter.
Of the said words, 170 were related to technology – and more than a half-dozen to Twitter.
Although Boda bodas, (bicycle and motorcycle taxis) are used without the contingent, the word is specific to East Africa Boda boda pivotal in creating jobs and quick means of transport in hard to reach or congested cities across the country.
The word reportedly originated in Busia, Kenya where bicycle riders would ferry people from outlying areas in the county (formerly district) to the market in Busia town. Most times people would avoid using Matatus (which were and still are the common form of public transport) because they were expensive or very few were available. They would, however, also not agree with bicycle riders on a fare to Busia.
To cut cost, people would start walking toward Busia. Meanwhile bicycle riders (boda boda) would wait for the next customer. If they waited long without getting one they would start cycling towards Busia, and along the way they would meet people walking towards Busia. They would then shout “border, border”. If they get an interested person they would then start bargaining for a fare. If they agreed, the bicycle rider would ferry the person to Busia.
Later bicycle ‘boda boda’ would graduate to motorcycle then spread to other parts of Kenya and East Africa.
Alternatively, a BBC journalist initially imagined its origin to be onomatopoeia.
A third theory is that the boda boda had an apocryphal ability to transport people across a border without a need to complete the paperwork using a motor vehicle would necessitate.
While there is no doubt boda boda are commonplace in East African cities like Kampala and Nairobi, estimates of their number vary.
Data from the Kampala Capital City Authority show 120,000 registered motorcycles in the city in 2013 although the number of boda boda could be higher as some are unregistered according to a representative of the Kampala Boda-boda Riders Association. The same source indicated in 2015 that around 40,000 were operating in central Kampala. Another knowledgeable source suggested in 2015 that the true figure is closer to double that number.
Kigali – Unlike in most other cities, motorcycle taxi drivers in Kigali, Rwanda, are generally registered and considered law-abiding. Here, the preferred term for this form of transport is moto.
They are however responsible for more accidents recorded in the country than any other means of transport.
Amount of money Uganda’s Mulago hospital spends on each accident victim, including boda boda ones.
According to statistics from Mulago National Referal hospital 80 per cent of accident patients admitted to the accident and emergency ward are as a result of boda boda and it cost Shs1.2m on each victim.
About 3,043 were motorcyclists injured in accidents in 2012, a significant increase from 1,795 cyclists injured in 2008, according to a five-year (2008-2012) injury and fatality trends report. It is estimated that Kampala alone has more than 300,000 boda bodas.
fonte allafrica.com

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UGANDA FIGHTS CHILD MARRIAGE WITH JOB COURSES AND KIDS’CLUBS
26 may 2017
Two years ago, Uganda launched a national strategy to cut child marriage rates, but girls are still getting married too young. Now local groups are stepping in to try to tackle the problem with community-based initiatives.
Margaret was 15 when her parents told her she was getting married. Her future husband was a 36-year-old farmer from her home village of Sakabusolo, in southern Uganda. She begged her parents to let her stay in school, but they said they needed the dowry money. The groom paid them $80.
It didn’t take long for Margaret to realize her husband was a violent alcoholic. After six months of rape and beatings, she got pregnant. “The best part of becoming a mom is having someone to play with,” says the teenager, who has just turned 16 and still wears her school uniform skirt. But the birth of their son did not temper her husband’s mood swings. So, one day, after a particularly brutal beating, Margaret packed a small bag, tied her baby to her back and fled to her elder sister’s home.
Like Margaret, 40 percent of Ugandan women get married before the age of 18 and 10 percent are wives by the time they turn 15. Child marriage forces tens of thousands of girls to drop out of school and increases their risk of poverty, domestic abuse and health problems related to early pregnancy.
Child marriage is common practice in many sub-Saharan countries, but Uganda’s government is one of the few trying to stop it. The minimum age for marriage has been set at 18 since 1995, but the law is difficult to implement because most marriages are unregistered. That’s why, in 2015, the Ministry of Gender and Labor launched the National Strategy to End Child Marriage – a comprehensive plan formed in collaboration with UNICEF that features data collection, countrywide advocacy and civil society partnerships.
“Empowering girls is key to Uganda’s prosperity and social economic transformation,” says Lydia Wasula, communications officer for the Ministry of Gender and Labor. Since the launch of the national strategy, more than 71,915 girls have taken part in awareness programs that consist mostly of voluntary workshops on sexual health and reproduction. Meanwhile, 6,420 community leaders – from priests to teachers – have pledged their collaboration and UNICEF has experienced a sharp increase in calls to their child protection hotline.
Still, the percentage of children getting married is stubbornly consistent. Social awareness might be on the rise, but experts warn the main push factor, poverty, is not receding fast enough. Neither are patriarchal cultural norms. Harriet Akullu, child protection specialist for UNICEF Uganda, says social customs “are still hindering the implementation of national laws at the local level.”
Margaret’s best friend, Mary, is also a young mother, but she still lives with her 42-year-old husband. They met when she was 16, during Christmas break. As an orphan, Mary hoped getting married would bring her security, but all she got was abuse. “I think of leaving him every time he beats me,” she says, “but I need money for my baby.” Her eyes fill with tears as she breast-feeds her 7-month-old daughter.
For Benard Serunyigo, the solution is obvious: jobs. As the director of operations for the local NGO Uganda for Her, Serunyigo works to empower young girls through education and vocational training. “We can’t just tell child brides to run away,” he says. “We need to give them somewhere to run to.”
To that end, his organization sets up safe spaces for teen mothers in rural communities where they can air their fears and plan their futures. Once the young mothers have identified their professional aspirations, Uganda for Her provides them with the training to get them started. Many of them want to become hairdressers, but the undecided ones can learn how to sew menstrual pads as a way to gain financial independence while they search for their calling.
But providing job opportunities doesn’t address a more fundamental problem: how to identify at-risk girls before they get married. In the slums of Kampala, the local non-profit Kids Club may have found a solution. Instead of relying on outside intervention, they are building referral mechanisms through youth leadership clubs. “Every context is unique,” says the NGO’s founder, Samuel Wambayo. “So we need to find advocates from the community.”
Kids Club runs after-school teen programs in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where students organize and meet to discuss their concerns around issues like marriage. This is how Brenda was rescued. When the 13-year-old stopped attending school, members of her meet-up found out her mother wanted to marry her off. Early detection allowed Wambayo to intervene and change the mother’s mind. “You can’t protect children from a distance,” Wambayo says. “You need to be physically there.”
Vocational training and local youth networks promise to be more effective than educational pamphlets, but they are also more expensive. And the funds allocated by the government and UNICEF two years ago to fight child marriage in the country are fast running out.
Akullu, from UNICEF, says “long-term funding is very limited and does not match the high level of vulnerable adolescents.” But Wambayo argues it’s just a matter of re-allocation. “Instead of holding policy conferences in expensive hotels, we should spend the money in the communities,” he says.
Meanwhile in Sakabusolo, Uganda for Her is setting up a hairdressing course for its teenage mothers. Margaret is already dreaming of all the things she’ll be able to do when she gets a job, like buying a mobile phone. Her sister doesn’t let her have one – she says she’s too young.
fonte: newsdeeply.comLaura Secorun

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UGANDA: PANIC AS UPDF PULLS OUT OF KARAMOJA
30 may 2017
A decision by the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) to withdraw 2,700 soldiers from Karamoja sub-region, has thrown the regional leadership and the communities into panic for fear that acts of insecurity might crop up again.
The residents are worried that the UPDF’s withdrawal from the once unstable region might culminate into insecurity instigated by cattle rustlers who are likely to wreak havoc among the communities in the unguarded area.
Government in 2001 deployed about 10,000 UPDF soldiers to beef up security in the volatile region and to embark on the disarmament exercise where more than 43,000 guns were collected from the Karimojong cattle rustlers.
The deployment was informed by the persistent raids on the neighbouring districts, including ambushing vehicles and killing people.
The region then enjoyed some relative calm with less reported incidents of armed raids.
But apparently, more than 2,700 soldiers under the 3rd Division in the various fields have been recalled and redeployed in Somalia for refresher training, according to the army.
For the last one week, several army trucks have been seen ferrying soldiers out of Karamoja sub-region without any replacements.
Speaking about the development, Mr Francis Kiyonga, the Amudat District chairperson, expressed fear that the cattle raiders might take advantage of the army withdrawal from the sub-region to raid people’s cattle.
While government embarked on the disarmament process, an estimated five per cent guns are still in the hands of the Karimojong.
“We are at a critical time right now to complete the disarmament process. It will, therefore, be a miscarriage of the disarmament process if UPDF is withdrawn from Karamoja,” he said.
He reported that there are already fresh fights between the Pokot communities of Uganda and Turkana in Kenya that have seen the renewed flow of guns into Amudat.
He disclosed that there is a black market for bullets at Tukwel Trading Centre in Kenya, about 30kms from Amudat District and that each bullet is sold at Shs5,000.
The 3rd Division comprises of Teso, Sebei, Mt Moroto zone and Busoga sub-region and initially had only 9,000 soldiers. With the withdrawal of the 2,700, the region is left with a total of 6,300 soldiers.
Mr John Nangiro, the Nakapiripirit District chairperson, weighed in on the government decision, saying this is opening insecurity in the region.
“First of all, the public derives comfort in the UPDF presence. Their presence is a symbol of peace to them,” he said amidst fears of fresh rearmament.
Capt Isaac Oware, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson, confirmed that the army is withdrawing 2,700 soldiers for another mission in Somalia.
However, he insisted that those withdrawn were replaced.
“People should not panic that the soldiers are going out of Karamoja. They are being replaced so there is no gap left,” he said.
The presence of UPDF in Karamoja has created a greatest impact, especially in restoring peace in the region that was dominated by cattle rustling.
History – Karimojongs border Turkana and Pokot communities of Kenya, Toposa and Didinga of South Sudan, Oromo of Ethiopia and Jie and Matheniko of Uganda.
These form a cluster of 14 communities in the semi-arid savannah land, with cattle keeping as their main source of livelihood.
The communities have for long launched violent attacks against each other through well planned raids. The communities take pride in owning as many cattle as there is as one’s social and political status is determined by the number of livestock.
fonte allafrica.com – Steven Ariong

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Cambio valuta: in data 31/05/2017 1 dollaro USA è pari a 3.589,60 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 4.042,32 scellini ugandesi.
UgandAbout è un servizio di ITALIA UGANDA Onlus a cura di Lucia Supino.

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