Ugandabout – novembre 2015


Alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nel novembre 2015.

4 november 2015

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4 november 2015

Uganda and Queen Elizabeth have been listed by Lonely Planet as one of the region’s valued destinations and attractions tourists should look out for in 2016. Other countries in East Africa (EA) named were Kenya and Tanzania.
In their latest publication, Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide publisher, EA was ranked third on the 10-annual hot-list of wallet friendly destinations where tourists should go in 2016.
The publication reads: “… Africa is a massive continent so you’ll be doing yourself and tourism in East Africa a favour if you take advantage of the cracking deals on offer to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and the rest of the region.”
It further mentions the region’s attractions such as gorilla tracking, Rift valley scenery and the squeaky-sand beaches as some of the world’s great wonders tourists should experience.
The magazine said at Queen Elizabeth National Park, tourists could look out for tree-climbing lions and elephants and more than 600 different bird species. “…This is the place to come for guaranteed sightings of a huge range of African wildlife, a real-life geography lesson in the difference between savannah, wetlands and forest and the chance to do all this without having to share it with too many of your fellow humans” the magazine mentioned.
In an interview with ‘Daily Monitor’ on what the listing means to Uganda and East Africa in general, Uganda Tourism Board chief executive officer Stephen Asiimwe said: “This is a vote of confidence for Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania because we complement each other.”
He added that a lot of effort has been put in the Destination Uganda campaign to ensure the country becomes the best destination and results have been accolades being won. “Our teams have been very active mapping out product development to promote Uganda beyond wildlife but also look at our unique attractions like tribes, religious tourism, and quality assurance of facilities to have acceptable standards countrywide” he said.
Mr Joshua Ssali Ssentongo, a marketing consultant at VC Business Solutions, a tourism marketing firm, says such credible recommendations, strategically hyped shall see tourist numbers increase. “This is going to happen especially during the peak summer season after the elections providing a much needed forex boost in the economy which positively trickles down to everybody” he said. Mr Geoffrey Baluku, a member of the East Africa Tourism Platform, said: “This will boost our image and reaffirm Uganda as a tourism destination.”
According to latest statistics, the tourism sector contribution to the economy was Shs5.6 trillion (7.9 per cent of GDP) in 2013 and rose to Shs6.4 trillion (9.9 per cent of GDP) in 2014. This is forecast to rise by 8.0 per cent in 2015.
fonte www.monitor.co.ugKatherine Nabuzale

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5 novembre 2015
L’Uganda si recherà alle urne il prossimo 18 febbraio per le elezioni presidenziali: lo ha annunciato la commissione elettorale, confermando che a concorrere per la prima carica dello Stato saranno otto candidati.
Il presidente Yoweri Museveni, al potere per 29 anni, dovrà tenere testa agli sfidanti di opposizione, tra i quali il suo ex medico di fiducia e oggi leader del Forum per il cambiamento democratico (Fdc) Kizza Besigye e l’ex primo ministro Amama Mbabazi.
Le altre candidature approvate dalla commissione comprendono il professore universitario Venansius Baryamureeba, Abed Bwanika del Partito popolare per lo sviluppo, il pastore evangelico Joseph Mabirizi, il generale in pensione Benon Biraaro e l’unica aspirante donna, l’avvocato Faith Kyalya.
La campagna elettorale, iniziata in questi giorni, terminerà il 16 febbraio, due giorni prima del voto. Museveni e il suo Movimento per la Resistenza Nazionale (Mrn) al potere dal 1986, sono considerati favoriti per un nuovo mandato.
fonte www.misna.org

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6 november 2015
The Uganda shilling has strengthened greatly against the dollar, clawing back over Shs 500 it had lost to the greenback. Financial watchers describe the appreciation of the shilling against the dollar as “sharp”, meaning it strengthened rather rapidly and higher within a short time.
The shilling today traded against the dollar as high as Shs 3,300 on the buying side and Shs 3,490 on the selling side. This was in stark contrast with the Shs 3,600 levels experienced over a month ago. This week’s sharp appreciation followed about three weeks in which the shilling appreciated against the dollar stabilizing at about Shs 3,630.
Shamil Hussein, of Hydery Forex Bureau and also vice chairman of Uganda Forex Bureau and Money Remittance Association, told Uganda Radio Network that the Bank of Uganda’s move to increase the central bank rate to 17 percent has made loans expensive.
As a result, explains Hussein, many investors, especially foreign, are now rushing in with dollars, changing into shillings in order to buy government treasury bonds and treasury bills which attract more interest.
Hussein says campaigns for the general election have also brought in dollars for various political groups which are being exchanged for shillings, hence the appreciation.
According to Hussein, the rush for government securities and campaign dollars has contributed to the sharp appreciation of the shilling. Hussein said the appreciation of the shilling does not impact on the dealers because their margins do not change much. He says instead it impacts on exporters because they will now get few dollars for their exports.
On the other hand, explains Hussein, importers are happy because they are using few dollars to import compared to when the shilling was weaker.
Stephen Kaboyo, from Alpha Capital Partners, says the outlook in coming days shows that the exchange rate will be stable with, as he puts it, “a mild bullish bias supported by expected improved supply of foreign exchange mainly from coffee exports, the liquidity tightness in the money market and Bank of Uganda’s absence in the financial market on the buy side”.
fonte allafrica.com

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7 november 2015
I first heard of Robinah Babirye last year. A friend told me about her. “I want to introduce you to this girl. She is very special in her own way. You need to meet and probably do some write up on her” stated my friend then. When I asked what was so special about her, she said, “You will know once you meet her.” My friend was supposed to send me Babirye’s phone number but this did not happen. The number was never sent and so I let it pass.
Meeting Babirye – Many months after that conversation, I heard of a one Robinah Babirye being mentioned on one of the local radio stations for having won a beauty contest dubbed The Y+ Beauty Pageant.
The event had been organised by the Uganda Network of Young People living with HIV (UNYPA), which focuses on ending stigma among, mostly, young people living with HIV. “Could she be the one?” I thought to myself.
A call to my friend comfirmed that this was the same Babirye she had told me about. I eventually tracked Babrye down through UNYPA and we finally got to meet on a Sunday last month.
The meeting was at Kasalita hostel in Kyambogo, a Kampala suburb, where she resides. We sat in her room for the meeting. One of the things that struck me as she started to talk to me was her confidence. I could feel it just from the way she was looking straight at me. Her beauty also stands out, especially her flawless skin.
How she got to know about her status – Babirye and her twin, Eva Nakato, were born 22 years ago to Christopher K. Kaweesa, a school director, and the late Jane Nakityo. As a child, she did not understand why they were constantly falling sick and had to take medication from time to time. But they finally got to know why at the age of nine. They were inside the house when their mother called them outside because she wanted to tell them something very important.
“It was late at night. We sat on a bench. Mummy sat in between Eva and I and held us tight before saying there was something wrong with us. That our blood was quite different from that of other people. That we had akawuka (the HIV virus)” Babirye recounts. Despite their tender age at the time, the twins understood what impact the virus had as they broke down and asked their mother many questions including how they had got it in the first place.
The explanation was that at a certain time during her pregnancy when she was expecting them, she was transfused with unscreened blood and only discovered after delivery.
“She said that’s how we had got it. She went ahead to thank God for us and emphasised that she loved us very much” Babirye narrates. At home, family members including their five siblings, all HIV negative, were supportive and life was fine. It was, however, a different story at school.
Coping with stigma at school – Throughout high school, Babirye had to build on lies whenever other students asked about why she was always sickly and taking medication. The constant probing for answers sometimes frustrated her.
“I got fed up to the extent that I even stopped taking my medication as regularly as I should have. I did not want other students to see me and come asking questions about the drugs” she says, adding, “I had self-stigma. I feared people knowing about my status. I feared disclosure or anyone noticing anything unusual about me. I feared stigmatisation and started pretending to be in a world where I was okay and yet I was not.”
Babirye could not understand why out of all the people in the world, she and her sister were the ones infected. She avoided the school nurse when she was sick out of fear that her blood would be tested and her HIV status discovered.
“There were times I would be so sick but I would never visit the nurse, I would insist that they give me permission to go back home instead which always made them suspicious” she says.
Most times, the school administration let her go home and whenever she returned to school, she had to work very hard in order to catch up. The only people who knew about her status were her three close friends whom Babirye says kept it a secret.
Opening up – Even when she joined university in 2013, people continued to wonder about why she was always sickly and on medication, which was something she had tired of ages ago.
She had also met a lady called Asia Mbajja Namusoke at a workshop where the latter had advised that the best way to cope with living with HIV was to open up about one’s status. Babirye had kept in touch with Namusoke who became her pillar of strength.
“I guess the pressure had also gotten to me so I eventually started to open up about my status. Whenever someone asked me what was wrong, I would tell them face front about my status” she says.
Some used this as an opportunity to stigmatise her more by calling her all sorts of names. “I was sometimes called a walking dead, a murderer and a sickler. Then, there was a time someone called me a devil” narrates Babirye of the stigma suffered at University, especially when she had a misunderstanding with another student who knew about her status. “The words were harsh. The cross was sometimes too heavy to carry. I was really torn up.”
Her main source of comfort came from her twin sister, Eva Nakato who also lives with HIV, her immediate family and close friends. Her father would often remind her, “Everyone who is extraordinary has to be talked about since they are different from the rest.” Sadly, Babirye’s mother succumbed to cervical cancer in 2013, but Namusoke remains motherly to the twins and Babirye goes on to live a full life.
Moving on regardless – A third year student at Kyambogo University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Community-based rehabilitation says it is these tough past experiences that have hardened her over time. Today, she can face and take whatever is said to her.
Babirye is even dating, although she will not share much about that. “He is HIV negative though and I told him about my status as soon as I noticed his interest in me. He is always checking up on me asking how I’m doing” she says. On September 18, she was crowned Miss Y+ at an annual event that took place at Golf Course Hotel, which came with a full year study scholarship.
The beauty queen states that her plan now is to go out there and reach to other people infected with the disease through mostly sensitisation and advocacy work. “I want to empower other youth living with HIV. I want to tell them that they are not alone, we are in this fight together” she says.
Babirye is also the programme officer at PINA (People In Need Agency), which prioritises making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Her advise to others infected with HIV is that having the virus is not the end of the world, especially if you adhere to a treatment plan.
The prevalence curveThe 2013 HIV/Aids Uganda country progress report indicated that the epidemic continues to be generalised and has not changed pattern in the last three decades.
The country achieved success in the control of HIV spread during the 1990s, bringing down the prevalence among adults aged 15 to 49 from a national average of 18.5 per cent in 1992 to 6.4 per cent, as reported in the 2005 sero-survey. The 2011 Aids indicator survey in Uganda reported HIV prevalence at a national average of 7.3 per cent and important variations by sex and in specific regions.
The prevalence in the country has consistently been higher among women compared to men since the early years of the epidemic. Between 2004/ 2005 and 2011, there was notable decline in HIV prevalence among women in Kampala, eastern and central regions. These improvements may be a reflection of the penetration of effective HIV prevention interventions across communities in the respective regions.
The issues affecting these youths – Asia Mbajja Namusoke is the executive director of People In Need Agency(PINA), a Non-Government Organisation that strives to empower youth living with HIV. She shares some of the issues that affect these youth the most.
What is it like working with youth living HIV/Aids? – It is heartbreaking at times having to hear stories of how these children live their lives. Can you imagine that sometimes even their own parents shun them? It is such a sad thing.
What are some of the major challenges you have noticed affecting these youth? – Taking medication is really a tough thing for many of them. Just imagine having to take drugs every day. It is not an easy thing. Then, also, for some of these children accepting the fact that they are infected takes time. They live in denial and even refuse to take their medication, which affects their health in the long run.
What kind of help do you extend to them? – In different ways, including holding outreach programmes and counselling them. I have personally given shelter to some of those who have been deserted by their families.
And how do you feel society could help these children? – By not shunning them. Many times, people shun those they discover are living with HIV. That’s why you will realise that many of these children complain about stigma. It’s about time this came to a stop. These children should be treated like everybody else.
And your advice to youth living with HIV? – Having HIV does not mean the end of the world. Go out and achieve your goals and dreams. But as you do this, remember to always take your medication and be in touch with the doctors.
fonte allafrica.com Esther Okula

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7 november 2015
Strong growth in borrowers’ files captured by the credit reference bureau propelled Uganda’s ratings on access to credit, according to the latest World Bank Doing Business indicators, but lack of integrated land administration reforms has constrained progress on registering property and made it harder for real estate players.
The World Bank’s Doing Business scorecard shows that access to credit improved significantly this year, registering 42 points compared with 128 points recorded in 2014.
Although the credit reference bureau system initially covered borrowers from commercial banks, it has since widened its scope to include borrowers from microfinance and licensed credit institutions that are regulated by the Bank of Uganda.
The number of borrowers registered on the country’s single credit reference bureau platform has grown to more than 500,000 people since 2009, which is an indicator of increased documentation of borrowers.
“It has become difficult for a weak borrower to access credit from more than one bank because of tight credit assessment tools and vital financial information shared by banks in relation to a single client” said Charles Abuka, head of BoU’s financial stability department.
Lending rates still high – Consequently, improved documentation of borrowers has not translated into cheaper lending rates. Prime lending rates charged by Ugandan banks averaged 24 per cent in September while the central bank raised its rate from 13 per cent recorded in June to 17 per cent last month, financial market reports show.
Nevertheless, notable gains posted in this area partly boosted the country’s overall ratings compared with other categories. Uganda was ranked 122 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators for 2015 compared with 135 out of 189 registered in 2014.
fonte www.theeastafrican.co.ke Bernard Busuulwa

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9 november 2015
During his upcoming visit to Uganda, Pope Francis is scheduled to meet with among others, a delegation representing members of the Muslim community in the country. The head of communication and information at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) headquarters at Old Kampala, Hajj Nsereko Mutumba, has assured Catholics that the Muslim community will join the rest of Ugandans in welcoming the pontiff.
“We have no problem whatsoever with the Pope’s visit, since we currently enjoy cordial relations with the Christian community, including Catholics” Hajj Mutumba said. He observed that in today’s Uganda, both Christians and Muslims need each other in order to survive. ‘We all face the same problems; poverty, illiteracy, HIV/Aids, malaria and other health hazards don’t target a particular religion, but attack us all together, a reason we must work together to get rid of them” he said.
According to Hajj Mutumba, the UMSC has respect for other religious leaders in Uganda and the world as clearly stipulated in their constitution’s Article 5. He disclosed that during his first year of being posted to Uganda, Apostolic Nuncio Michael Blume visited Mufti Ramadhan Mubajje at Old Kampala Mosque and delivered a special message of peace from Pope Francis to Ugandan Muslims.“During the meeting, the Mufti told Archbishop Blume that we were all created to know and co-exist with each other, and never to kill each other.”
Hajj Mutumba added that during the meeting, the Mufti appealed to the international media to differentiate between acts of individual groups of people from religions that they claim to belong to. The Nuncio reportedly made it clear that the goal of Pope Francis was to promote peace and interfaith dialogue.
Sajjabi led muslims to meet pope John Paul 11 in 1993 – During Pope John Paul II’s visit to Uganda in 1993, not many people got an opportunity to meet and talk to him. However among the few lucky ones was Al-Haji Tezikuba Sajjabi, a senior presidential advisor for trade, commerce and industry. Tezikuba will never forget the day he was chosen to lead a delegation of Ugandan Muslims that met Pope John Paul II at St Joseph Secondary School, Nsambya.
“We spent some good 40 minutes chatting with the Pope in a room where only a few people were allowed and most of them being cardinals and bishops.” Being the leader of the Muslim delegation, Al-Haji Sajjabi sat closest to the Pope. “He first touched my hands for a while and prayed for me in Latin. He then inquired from me how Muslims and Christians related in this country. I assured him that the relations between the two groups had greatly improved of recent compared to the situation in the past” he recalls.
He told the pontiff that all Ugandans needed one another irrespective of their different religions. Giving an example, he narrated to the pope about the first primary school he attended in Budiini, Kaliro, which belonged to the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul gave Al-haji Sajjabi a gift in form of a round-shaped disc or medal which he has kept safely up to this day. So many people, notably Catholics, have approached the Al-haji willing to buy the Pope’s gift from him, something he has turned down.
“After the meeting with the Pope, I walked out of the hall only to see hundreds of priests and nuns outside yearning to come closer to where the Pope was but with no chance at all. But who am I Sajjabi, a Muslim to be given an opportunity to touch his hands and speak to him directly? This is one day I will never forget in my life” he says with almost tears of joy.
Al-Haji Sajjabi is one of the brains behind the formation of the Inter Religious Council of Uganda a few years ago. He still remembers those difficult moments encountered when he used to approach the religious leaders of the time to try to convince them the importance of forming such an organisation of unity.
Popes relations with MuslimsPope John Paul II will go down in history as the first pope ever to enter a mosque and the first to make such a meaningful gesture towards Islam. During his second trip to the Middle East in May 2001, Pope John Paul II made a speech at the Olmayyad Mosque in the Centre of Damascus, saying he was mindful of past centuries of conflict in the Middle East between Christians and Muslims and that he hoped religions would now find new ways at the start of the third millennium, “to present their respective creeds as partners and not as adversaries.”
As the Pope entered the mosque, his shoes were removed and he put on white slippers to walk on the carpeted floor, as is a Muslim tradition. The Pope urged Muslims and Christians to forgive each other of the past. He also appealed against religious fundamentalism of any kind. John Paul said young people needed to be taught respect and understanding.
“May the house of Christians and Muslims turn to one another in experience of brotherhood and friendship so God the Almighty may bless us with peace” he said.
“For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness” the Pope said in his address to Muslims leaders, including the Grand Mufti of Syria.
The Pope’s purpose of the visit to the Middle East was to follow in the footsteps of St Paul. During St Paul, the apostle’s lifetime, the mosque was a Roman temple.
The temple became a Christian church and then 1,400 years ago, was taken over by Islamic believers. At the centre of the mosque, is a shrine believed to contain the head of John The Baptist, sacred to both Muslims and Christians.
In May 2009, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Hussein Bin-Talal mosque in the Jordanian capital of Amman, making the number of mosques entered to two after a previous visit to the legendary Blue mosque in Istanbul, Turkey in 2006.
In November 2014, Pope Francis further demonstrated his commitment to improving relations between Christians and Muslims when he prayed in Istanbul’s historic Blue mosque and visited the Haggia Sophia-two powerful symbols of the Muslim and Christian faith.
fonte allafrica.com – Robert Mugagga

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9 november 2015
Experts have warned that if strategic measures are not taken to address the high infection rate of pneumonia among children under five years, it may become Uganda’s leading killer disease.
“In Uganda it has been the second highest cause of death in children after malaria in children but it will soon take over as the leading killer disease” said Dr. Godfrey Magumba, the country director Malaria Consortium.
He was addressing journalists at their offices in Naguru ahead of the World Pneumonia Day, celebrated every 12th of November. This year’s theme is ‘Universal Access to Prevention and Care for Pneumonia’. “Evidence shows that children are dying from the disease due to the unavailability of effective interventions like proper nutrition, vaccination, hand washing with soap and low emission cooking stoves” Magumba said.
Uganda is one of the countries still struggling with the increasing number of pneumonia cases among children under the age of five. Statistics from the Health Ministry show that in the past, Pneumonia was annually responsible for the death of 39,000 people. This however has risen to 40,000 plus in the last year.
The 2014 Pneumonia Fact sheet ranks Uganda as 8th in the number of pneumonia deaths in the world. Another report from UNICEF also indicates that all deaths occurring as a result of pneumonia happen in rural and poor communities.
Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lungs. It is caused by a bacterial infection, but it can also be caused by a virus, fungus, or parasite. It presents symptoms like cough, flu, fever, difficulty in breathing; signs that may be mistaken for malaria.
If detected early it can be treated and is curable. If ignored, pneumonia can lead to permanent mental illnesses and death. Magumba said pneumonia presents financial costs to both the country and families as children affected by the disease become vulnerable to various illnesses like meningitis that may become expensive to treat.
President Museveni in 2013 launched the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine meant to cut pneumonia deaths among children below five years.

Magumba advised parents to take their children for regular checkups and routine immunization and urged government to train health officials on better ways of managing the disease.
fonte www.newvision.co.ug – Saudha Nakandha

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16 november 2015
Kenneth Kabagambe, a university graduate, only got to learn about hepatitis B, when a colleague succumbed to the infection. “The way he was buried scared me. They didn’t allow anybody to get close to the body just as they do when one succumbs to Ebola.” Kabagambe’s awe is not misplaced as hepatitis B, like Ebola and HIV, is a viral infection that spreads through blood and other body fluids. But hepatitis B attacks the liver and kills faster than HIV.
But it was too late for Kabagambe. He was already infected. Soon after testing positive for it, Kabagambe also learnt that there is a vaccine for it. But unfortunately, he was told, only people who are not infected could be vaccinated. When he asked about treatment, the health worker who conducted the test was unhelpful. In desperation, Kabagambe did another three tests at a bigger hospital. Here he was immediately initiated him on HIV Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs, although he had tested negative for HIV.
“The doctor assured me that if I took ARVs for a month. I would be completely cured” he recalls. But he says when he told another doctor about it, he was told that HIV drugs cannot treat hepatitis B. The doctor also told him that his viral load was also too low to require any kind of treatment – not even the real antivirals recommended for hepatitis B patients. In reality, Hepatitis B is incurable. Kabagambe’s story shows the ignorance around the disease – even among health workers.
Part of the reason for this is mainly because the disease has not been given the attention it warrants. Although about 3.5 million Ugandans are at risk – more than doubling the 1.4 million living with HIV, the government is only now starting to pay attention and allocating money to fight it.
Dr. Jacinto Amandua, the Commissioner Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health, says Shs10 billion has been allocated to managing the increasing hepatitis B.
Amandua said the disease is ten times more deadly than HIV/AIDS and that Uganda is one of the countries with the highest prevalence in the world. The highest rates of infection are in Karamoja region (23.9%), Northern Uganda (20%), West Nile (18.5%) and western region (10%).
Perhaps it’s not just Uganda that has ignored hepatitis B. Health care providers all over the world have not had uniform guidelines for treatment until March when the World Health Organisation (WHO) released the first ever set of guidelines.
Statistics from WHO indicate that 240 million people suffer from the disease and an estimated 780,000 succumb every year. Most of them are from low income countries where the disease is more prevalent.
Amandua says about Shs7.5 billion will be spent on vaccination in 30 most at risk districts of northern Uganda and the rest of the money is being used to purchase reagents for testing and drugs.
“The good thing the anti viral drugs are made here. We have already done quality tests on them. Very soon they will be available” he said adding that two clinics have also been opened at Mulago National Referral Hospital and Arua in the West Nile for capacity development and training because there’s generally lack of awareness about the silent killer.
But how does the disease manifest itself? – Kabagambe told The Independent that by the time he tested positive, he did not feel pain or any other symptoms. Doctors say that many people who suffer from chronic hepatitis B will not have any symptom.
“You may get infected without knowing it because the disease can be transmitted as children run around playing. Actually some people never know they have hepatitis B until a doctor finds that they have cirrhosis or liver cancer” says Amandua.
At the Uganda Cancer Institute, hepatitis B is responsible for 80% of the liver cancers.
Though many never show any symptoms until the disease advances, some may experience constant discomfort on the right side of the belly, yellowing of the skin, fatigue, and dark urine among others.
Prevention techniques – Amandua says just as HIV, your risk of acquiring the disease increases when you have unprotected sex with a person with the disease or with multiple partners. He encourages people to use condoms.
According to the doctor, the deadly virus lasts longer than HIV outside the body. The upside is that it can be vaccinated against. Recently the government made it compulsory for children and health workers to be vaccinated. The vaccine is given in three intervals. The second is given a month after the initial one and then the final one after six months.
He also encourages routine testing explaining that people with chronic infections may feel fine for a long time, even as the virus is causing damage and by the time symptoms appear, the liver damage may be advanced. To him, everyone should be tested. Hepatitis B becomes chronic when it lasts more than six months. Although infections can persist in adults, most chronic cases occur in people who are infected in childhood. At the Ministry, Amandua said they have programmes focused on prevention of mother to child transmission of the disease since many contract the disease at birth.
Acute infections occur in those who have been infected recently. Blood tests can tell doctors whether the infection is acute or chronic and whether the virus is actively multiplying. Important tests to consider according to Amandua after testing positive include the liver function which is meant to determine whether it’s functioning normally, the hepatitis antigen, which shows whether one has a dormant or active virus and the viral load that determines the amount of virus in the blood.
However, WHO recommends that to cut the numbers of those succumbing to hepatitis B, governments and health workers should use two medicines Tenofovir or Entecavir for treatment in addition to using simple tests for early detection of liver cancer to assess whether treatment is working or if treatment can be stopped.
fonte allafrica.com – Flavia Nassaka

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16 november 2015
The main challenges appear to be structural, with inadequate investment in modern traded goods, sectors like labour intensive manufacturing and low labour productivity. Two related issues are integral to the success of Uganda’s medium term National Development Plan and its long term economic prospects.
The first issue is how to ensure the external balance – the balance of payments – is sustainable over the medium to long term. The second issue relates to challenges of accelerating meaningful structural transformation in the economy.
The two issues are related because a strong external performance is usually associated with structural transformation in developing countries, as demonstrated by the success of the Asian tigers. For them, industrialisation and rapid export growth have gone hand in hand.
In my view, to achieve sustainable development and structural transformation, Uganda must strengthen its external performance and improve the business environment to attract more private investment into the traded goods sectors of the economy.
The external sector performance – The external sector of the economy plays a critical role in small open economies and is often the source of the greatest risks to the economy. Although Uganda has achieved successes in the external sector, notably the strong growth of tourism earnings and exports of food and manufactured products to regional markets, our external performance has deteriorated over the last 10 years.
In particular, the deficit on the current account of the balance of payments has widened from less than $300 million in 2005/06 to $2.3 billion in 2014/15, the last fiscal year. The current account deficit is forecast to widen further to $3.6 billion by 2018/19 before levelling off. The major factor driving the widening current account deficit is the increasing trade deficit The trade deficit in goods and services has almost tripled since 2005/06, from $1 billion in that year to nearly $3 billion in 2014/15. It is forecast to reach almost 3.9 billion by 2017/18. In the last fiscal year the trade deficit was 12.6 percent of GDP.
For comparison, remittances and donor grants, which are also components of the current account, provided inflows of about $1.1 billion in 2014/15, barely enough to cover a third of the trade deficit.
Why is the trade deficit so large? Although exports of goods and services have expanded quite rapidly since 2005/06, from $1.6 billion to nearly $5 billion in the last fiscal year, in absolute terms, imports of goods and services have expanded by an even greater amount. Furthermore, for the last two fiscal years, exports of goods and services have stagnated. We appear to have reached the limits of supply capacity in many of our main export industries, especially the export crops.
On the other hand, our economy is heavily dependent on imports and import demand has continued to expand, driven by the growth in our economy.
In the national income accounts, the current account deficit reflects the gap between gross investment and national savings. Whereas gross investment rates have risen from 25.5 percent of GDP in 2008/09 to 31.5 percent of GDP in 2014/15, there has not been an equivalent rise in national savings rates. As such the current account deficit has widened and most of the increase in gross investment which has occurred over the last six years has been financed with external savings; mostly external loans and foreign direct investment.
Current account deficits are financed by surpluses on the financial account (net inflows of foreign capital); this is what used to be called the capital account. When foreign capital flows into Uganda, Ugandans acquire liabilities, consisting of debt or equity, to foreigners.
Over the next six fiscal years, including the current one, Uganda will require cumulative surpluses on the financial account of approximately $19 billion to fund its current account deficits. This large capital inflow will have profound implications for the liabilities which Uganda will acquire to the rest of the world.
Uganda’s net international investment position, i.e. its net assets or liabilities with the rest of the world, shows that by June 2015, Uganda had net liabilities of approximately $14 billion (equivalent to about 50 percent of GDP). This is the sum of all past current account balances. Because current account deficits are forecast both to continue and to widen further over the medium term, Uganda’s net liabilities to the rest of the world are forecast to increase to $33 billion by 2020/21.
The liabilities to the rest of the world, which comprise equity and debt, must be serviced through interest payments or the remittances of profits; foreigners do not invest their capital in Uganda as an act of charity. In the last fiscal year, Uganda made net payments abroad of $700 million to service its net foreign liabilities.
Given the projected increase in the country’s net international liabilities, net investment payments abroad are forecast to increase to $1.6 billion by 2020/21. Servicing foreign capital will become an increasingly onerous burden on our economy unless the capital invested by foreigners expands our capacity to earn or save foreign exchange.
Although it is optimal for a capital scarce economy to finance its development using foreign savings, no country can run trade and current account deficits indefinitely. Eventually Uganda’s trade deficits will have to be reduced sharply, both to generate the foreign exchange needed to service the country’s external liabilities and to ensure that those liabilities do not accumulate to unmanageable amounts. Reducing Uganda’s trade deficits requires that the investment which will be undertaken in Uganda’s economy over the medium term enables both an expansion in real output and that a substantial share of the increase in real output can be used to earn or save foreign exchange, through the production of exports and import substitutes.
The prospects for oil production offer an opportunity to reduce the trade deficit over the long term, and even achieve a trade surplus, but these prospects are far from guaranteed. Compared to forecasts made in 2013, current baseline forecasts for the global oil price are about $30 per barrel lower, on average, between 2020 and 2030, according to the United States Energy Information Authority.
If Uganda were to produce about 70 million barrels of oil are year on average, a $30 per barrel drop in the global price of oil translates into a loss of exports earnings of about $2 billion per year for Uganda.
If the low price forecasts were to be eventually proven accurate, exploitation of Uganda’s oil would provide very little surplus after production and transport costs have been met.
It is not my intention to make a forecast of oil prices in the 2020s. Oil prices are volatile and forecasts are often wrong. But, given the uncertainty about the long term price of oil and, therefore, the magnitude of the contribution that the oil sector will eventually make to Uganda’s exports, it would be very imprudent to place too much emphasis on oil to ensure the long term sustainability of the economy’s external balance.
Instead our economy needs to develop a stronger export base, from non-oil exports of goods and services. The prospects for expanding exports, especially non-traditional exports, are closely linked to the degree to which the economy achieves structural change.
Structural change in economy – Structural change is integral to socio-economic development. The process by which a low income country is lifted up to middle income status usually involves a large scale shift in the way in which people earn their living, from self-employment in low productivity traditional activities, such as subsistence farming, to wage labour in modern, profit oriented, commercial enterprises where labour productivity is both much higher than in the traditional sectors and much more dynamic: it increases rapidly through time.
Although Uganda has sustained buoyant real growth rates for nearly 25 years, the economy has achieved only a limited degree of structural change. This is evident from a number of indicators. The labour force data derived from the Uganda National Household Surveys (UNHS) indicate that the share of the working population whose primary income earning activity is agriculture fell only slightly between 2002/03 and 2012/13, from 65.5 percent to 62.4 percent.
Furthermore, the 2012/13 UNHS revealed that two thirds of the agricultural labour force, and 43 percent of the entire working population, are subsistence farmers.
Structural transformation should entail labour moving into formal, private sector businesses. Although the number of registered businesses has grown rapidly, most are very small and informal: they are microenterprises. Registered businesses in Uganda, both formal and informal, employed only 1.07 million workers in 2010/11, which is only 8 percent of the country’s working population. The rest of the working population are either self-employed (the majority), are working in unregistered businesses, as casual farm labour, or as household labour.
Although the number of workers who are employed in formal sector businesses, those with five or more employees, increased between 2001/02 and 2010/11 to almost 430,000, these workers still comprise only a very small share of the working population: just 3.3 percent in 2010/11.
Therefore, in terms of shifting the labour force away from traditional activities and into modern, formal, private sector businesses, Uganda has barely started the process of structural transformation.
Manufacturing is one of the drivers of structural transformation in developing economies. Formal sector manufacturing businesses employed 89,000 workers in 2010/11, which is a negligible 0.7 percent of the working population. Furthermore, the annual growth of employment in formal sector manufacturing businesses between 2001/02 and 2010/11 was only 3 percent and did not even keep pace with the growth in the overall labour force in this period.
The paucity of structural transformation is reflected in the trends in labour productivity. Over the period 2002/03 to 2012/13, labour productivity grew at an average annual rate of about 2 percent. This compares very unfavourably with the industrializing economies of East Asia, which have achieved sustained labour productivity growth of around 8 percent per annum.
The lack of structural change in Uganda is related to the composition of private investment. If workers are to move out of traditional activities and into modern industries, there must be large scale private investment in the latter. Uganda has achieved reasonably good rates of private investment over the last few years, averaging between 21 and 25 percent of GDP.
However, the bulk of this private investment appears to have been allocated to buildings – residential property, office blocks and shopping malls – rather than to manufacturing, agro-processing or modern farming.
As such, it provides only limited formal sector employment and contributes little to productivity growth. The Bank of Uganda conducts an annual Private Sector Investment Survey (PSIS) which covers most of the large and medium scale firms in Uganda; these are the most productive and technologically dynamic firms in the economy.
In 2013, fixed capital investment by the 650 firms covered in the PSIS only amounted to 4 percent of GDP, or about 17 percent of total private investment. This level of investment is not high enough to propel structural transformation in our economy.
Link between weak external sector and lack of structural change – The structure of Uganda’s economy is dominated by household enterprises rather than by medium and large scale firms. This is an impediment to a more vibrant and competitive traded goods sector. It undermines the country’s external performance.
The paucity of private investment in modern industries, especially in the traded goods sectors of the economy, is a major contributor to the weaknesses in Uganda’s external accounts and its widening trade and current account deficits. Most of the private investment in Uganda is allocated to non-traded goods sectors such as commercial and residential buildings, rather than modern traded goods industries.
Although small farmers play an important role in producing the traditional cash crops – coffee, tobacco, cotton, etc – which are used to provide the bulk of Uganda’s export earnings, diversification into more sophisticated, higher value exports such as manufactured products, processed foods and services is usually only possible with the growth of formal sector enterprises which can operate at optimal economies of scale and have the financial resources to invest in modern technology and the managerial and technical expertise to utilize it efficiently.
Similarly, to produce import substitutes for most of the manufactured goods which Uganda imports is only possible when domestic firms have acquired a minimum scale of production and technological capacity. In addition, it is growth of firms in the traded goods sectors of the economy which are usually the driving force behind structural transformation. These firms operate in highly competitive markets which are subject to continuous innovation.
To compete successfully in traded goods markets, firms must be able to continuously raise their productivity and adopt new technologies. This, in turn, leads to strong growth in labour productivity.
Conclusions – Two crucial facets of our economy must be radically improved if we are to achieve our long term development objective of raising the economy to middle income status. We must strengthen our balance of payments by expanding exports of goods and services, for which we cannot rely on oil alone. This is necessary to narrow the trade and current account deficits and generate the resources to service our growing foreign liabilities.
Alongside this, we must attract much more private investment into labour intensive, modern, formal sector businesses, to strengthen the growth of labour productivity. These two goals are linked; in particular because an expansion of traded goods production requires private investment in modern industries. To achieve these twin and mutually compatible goals will require focusing on four sets of policies.
First, we cannot expect to improve our balance of payments without a competitive real exchange rate. The real exchange rate is the most important relative price for producers of traded goods, because it is crucial for their profitability. Overvalued real exchange rates are a serious impediment to export growth and structural transformation.
We have to resist demands to support a stronger (i.e. more appreciated) exchange rate in order to make imports cheaper, because this will harm our economy in the long run.
Second, planned large scale public sector projects which will be financed mainly with external capital are a source of currency mismatch. Some of these projects will add to Uganda’s growing external liabilities which will need to be serviced with foreign exchange payments while in the short run, they will make little contribution, even indirectly, to earning or saving foreign exchange.
The currency mismatch must be managed very carefully to avoid placing a big burden on future generations. Third, it is crucial to maintain healthy buffers of foreign exchange reserves to protect the balance of payments against adverse shocks, of the type we have suffered over the last 18 months, when export earnings stagnated and foreign direct investment declined.
As our economy becomes even more dependent on inflows of foreign capital to finance its investment requirements, a sound level of foreign reserves is needed to protect our economy from shocks to both the current and capital account. It would be very imprudent to deplete our reserves to try and defend an unsustainable exchange rate.
Uganda has agreed with its partners in the East African Community to hold foreign exchange reserves equivalent to 4.5 months’ of import cover, which is a prudent level. Over the medium term, we should aim to rebuild our reserves to the target agreed in the EAC.
Finally, Government should implement measures to improve the business environment if we are to attract more private investment in productive enterprises. In the 2015/16 Global Competitiveness Report, corruption was cited by respondents in the business community as the most problematic factor for doing business in Uganda, well ahead of access to finance, taxation and the supply of infrastructure.
If we do not tackle this problem, our investments in public infrastructure and in deepening the financial system will not be sufficient to mobilize the private sector investment the Ugandan economy needs to drive its structural transformation.
fonte www.independent.co.ug – Louis Kasekende (deputy governor of the Uganda central bank)

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18 november 2015
My name is Winnie Nakato. I am a 15 year old Rwandan who has lived in Uganda all my life. My mother died when I was only nine months and I only met my father last year. So, there is little I know about parental love.
I was raised by an uncle and his wife in Kyankwanzi. Life was not easy because I was beaten for every little mistake I made. I had no one else to turn to because that was the only family I knew.
When I turned three, my uncle took me to Help and Equip Evangelist Disciples (HEED) in Mubende, an organisation that helps orphans. Here I found love, Aunt Irene was a very sweet woman she carried us, played with us, and acted as our parent. Not even once did I miss home because what HEED gave me was a real home.
Ray of hope – The organisation enrolled me and other children at Alpha and Omega Nursery and Primary School in Busabala in Kampala. The organisation rented for us a house in Luzira with matrons on hand to take care of us. After sitting for Primary Leaving Examinations, I joined Ebenezer International High school in Mubende, under HEED, in 2013.
The school got me a sponsor who paid for my tuition. The sponsor had promised to take care of me until I completed university. My dream was to study hard and become a lawyer. I did not want to disappoint my sponsor. I remember the sleepless nights I spent while revising for tests and exams. Students called me names but I did not mind because I knew my goal.
Tumbling down – All my dreams got shattered the day I went to my uncle’s home for holidays. My uncle had died so it was only his wife and my cousins who were there. When I reached their home, they welcomed me with hugs and kisses. We talked at length considering I had not seen them in a long time.
The following day when everyone had gone about their business, my elder cousin, Moses, called me to his room. I did not even give it a second thought when I closed the door behind me.
As soon as I closed the door, he jumped from his bed, like a possessed man, and held me against the door. It all seemed surreal, he threw me on his bed. I realised it was serious when he ripped my skirt. I tried to shout in vain.
Moses did to me something I hate remembering, the pain I experienced and all the blood I lost. I remembered how I confidently put up my hand when Aunt Irene asked for virgins in class. But all that pride was lost.
No one to turn to – Moses never had any sympathy and even promised to cut my throat if I said anything to anyone.
When aunt came back later in the evening, I ran to her in tears and told her how her son has deprived me of my pride, she immediately pushed me a way saying her son can never do such “nonsense”.
Left with no option, I went back to school. After three consecutive months of missing my periods, I knew I was pregnant. I was tensed and did not know what to do. I wanted to kill myself. I saw my dreams flying away from me yet there was little I could do to change it. How was I going to face Aunt Irene? I asked for permission from school and went home to tell aunt about it. The moment she saw me, she sternly asked me what I wanted in her home.
When I told her I was pregnant for her son, she chased me away and told me never to return to her home. She did not even allow me to sit down even for a moment. It was during this period that I met my dad whom I narrated everything to. He reported the matter to Bukwiri Police Station in Kyankwanzi unfortunately my aunt foiled everything.
The aftermath – Moses escaped to Rwanda. I decided to go back to Aunt Irene and narrate my bitter experience. She was touched by my ordeal and together with the administrators, they sent me to Wakisa Ministries. I am seven months pregnant.
Life is good here and Mama Vivian is the best person I have seen. I feel blessed to have been brought here since I am with girls who are in the same condition as myself.
I have not figured out where I will take the baby after delivery but I believe God will give me wisdom. I despise Moses for ruining my future because while he is lounging scot-free, I am homeless and have no one to run to. I will love my child because she will be the only family I have.
If it is a girl, I will call her “Patience” because it is through patience that I have made it this far. I wish the government could impose a death penalty to all those monsters who rape and defile young girls, most especially taking advantage of the poor ones. I know if this was done, such cases would reduce greatly.
Help for sexual assault victims – Every person who has been sexually violated responds differently to the crime – some become depressed while others become angry. All emotions are fair responses to a rape or sexual assault. Here are a list of tips for talking to a rape victim.
Road to recovery – If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, you may not know how to feel normal again. You may feel that the emotional pain of a rape or sexual assault will never go away. You may feel shame, depression, anxiety and fear after the attack. No matter how you feel, know that things will become better, you will learn to heal, and life will go on in your new normal.
Physically – Seek medical attention – even if you do not want to take the case to the police, you must be seen by a doctor to receive care for any injuries and to be tested (and receive treatment) for any sexually transmitted infections.
Even though you may have the intense desire to shower, before showering go see a doctor so he or she can collect evidence to try and convict your rapist. Even if you do not want to press charges right away, you may change your mind later.
Chances are, your rapist has or will attack someone else. This evidence could be the difference between a conviction and another rape. Do not throw away or wash the clothes you were wearing at the time of attack. Place them in a bag to take to the police.
Emotionally – You are not alone, one out of every six women and one out of every 33 men, have been the victim of a rape. Remind yourself that every person responds differently to a sexual assault. The feelings, range from depression, humiliation, fear, confusion, anger, numbness, guilt, and shame.
fonte allafrica.com – Zuurah Karungi

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19 november 2015
The much-anticipated Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) was launched by the country’s Vice President, the Honorable Edward Sekandi on November 17, 2015 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. He represented President General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is currently on the Presidential campaign trail.
Describing the expo as a “supermarket,” he outlined the achievements and a roadmap for the sector, attributing the increase in tourist expenditures at US$1.4 billion from US$600 million within the last 10 years to a favorable political climate and improved infrastructure with the sector generating 12% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) absorbing 9% of the workforce in formal employment.
The Vice President added that government is projecting tourist arrivals at 1.5 million in the next 2 years and 5 million arrivals in the next 5 years. This would be achieved through engaging 3 public relations firms in English and German-speaking countries including the USA, Canada, the UK, Northern Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, not forgetting that “we need to look east to Japan, China, Russia, and the Middle East.”
He also underscored government’s commitment to the expansion of Entebbe International Airport and to upgrading Kasese, Pakuba, Kidepo, and Kisoro airstrips.
The government of Uganda is lobbying international partners to end trade in illegal products from poaching which is compromising the country’s competitive advantage and decimating wildlife. He pledged that the Uganda Wildlife Authority shall be provided with equipment, personnel, and special intelligence to fight poaching, stating he is not forgetting to berate the negative travel advisories that are adversely compounding the industry.
The VP also promised more funding to the Uganda Tourism Board to optimize the safety of tourists. Hopefully, the Ministry of Finance shall relent after recently announcing, much to the chagrin of tourism stakeholders, that funding to government ministries will be slashed to deal with a widening budget deficit.
In the week leading up to the opening, over 50 hosted buyers traversed the country’s major attractions on familiarization tours of the country to visit the Mountain Gorillas, Murchison Falls, Kidepo, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Source of The Nile before being entertained to a cultural evening of traditional dance, cuisine and folklore at The Ndere Centre in Kampala.
Before inviting the V.P to launch the expo, the State Minister for Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities Honorable Agnes Akirol had earlier remarked that the expo provided the opportunity for international exhibitors and buyers to discover where their clients can spend their holidays.
In its second year running, boosted by accolades from bagging best exhibitor at the INDABA, South Africa and Magical Kenya, Uganda Tourism Board is eager to organize an exhibition in its own right after participating at several international and regional exhibitions including KARIBU in Arusha, Tanzania, and Magical Kenya in Mombasa, Kenya.
UTB Marketing Manager Edwin Muzahura announced that the event program shall include a series of sessions at the International Conference Centre including presentations by The East African Tourism Platform, Women in Tourism, and the crowning of the Big Birding Day which has been ongoing.
South African singing duo Mafikizolo has been invited to perform at the Tourism Excellence Awards on the last day of the event on November 20 which shall give recognition to individuals, companies and organizations that have contributed to the tremendous growth of Uganda’s tourism over the years.
fonte www.eturbonews.com – Tony Ofungi

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29 november 2015
Pope Francis jetted into Entebbe International Airport on Friday last week after a visit to Kenya at 17:30 pm and was received at the airport by President Yoweri Museiveni and his wife. After a brief ceremony at the airport, the Pope was hosted at Uganda’s State House by the President and addressed hundreds of top government, business, cultural and religious leaders.
Uganda is the only country in Africa to have hosted three Popes, first by Paul VI in 1969, second in 1993 by John Paul II and now Pope Francis. This is thanks to Uganda being the home of the Uganda Martyrs. The Uganda Martyrs were a group of 22 Catholic converts and 23 Anglicans who were executed between November 1885 and January 1887 for refusing to renounce their faith Christianity in the historical kingdom of Buganda. The king had another group of 77 young Muslim pages also executed for the same reason.
The young Christians who were pages in the kings’ court, were executed brutally, some by hacking, machetes, and others burned alive by the king’s royal guards leading to final execution at Namugongo, near the capital Kampala. Namugongo shrine has been elevated to the status of Basilica. As a result of his bravery by the young people and in recognition of their valor, Pope Benedict XV beatified the Uganda Martyrs on June 6, 1920, and Pope Paul VI canonized them on October 18, 1964. Pope Francis’ trip to Uganda was also to celebrate 50 years of their canonization.
As a result of this rich religious history and the significance of the Uganda martyrs, especially to the Catholic faith, Uganda has become a sought-after faith and religious tourism destination. The Uganda Martyrs Day is now a public holiday, celebrated on June 3 and attracts millions in a week. This year alone the Martyrs Day registered 3.5 million visitors to Namugongo alone.
While in Uganda, Pope Francis met public authorities and diplomats, bishops, seminarians, teachers, catechist; held mass at the Namugongo Basilica; addressed thousands of youth; and met leaders of a care center on the outskirts of the city.
He commended the Uganda government for looking after thousands of refugees from neighboring countries and called Uganda a safe haven.
The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is using this visit to promote the country as a faith-based pilgrimage destination. UTB CEO Stephen Asiimwe said in a report recently that “Uganda is a safe, beautiful, welcoming and great country to visit. We are inviting the world to come and have a spiritual experience with the best safari, flora, and fauna experience as a bonus.”
At the moment, Uganda hopes to cash in on the world’s estimated 1.2 billion people and would rank the country next to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Italy.
fonte www.eturbonews.com – Stephen Asiimwe

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Cambio valuta: in data 30/11/2015 1 dollaro USA è pari a 3355 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 3547,4079 scellini ugandesi.
UgandAbout è un servizio di Italia Uganda Onlus a cura di Simona Meneghelli.

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