UGANDA INFLATION HITS 28.3 PERCENT
1 october 2011
ADULT EDUCATION: HOW TO CATCH UP ON TIME YOU LOST
3 october 2011
MORE THAN 1,000 DISPLACED FAMILIES STILL STUCK IN CAMPS
6 october 2011
AT SCHOOL IN A BAD ECONOMY
10 october 2011
UGANDA, 18 MILA BAMBINI VITTIME DI ABUSI
10 ottobre 2011
MAKERERE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DECRY POOR LIVING CONDITIONS
11 october 2011
TANGENTI DAI PETROLIERI, GOVERNO SOTTO ACCUSA
12 ottobre 2011
17 ottobre 2011
IN UGANDA SBARCANO SOLDATI USA PER LA GUERRA CONTRO L’LRA
17 ottobre 2011
NON SOLO LRA NEL MIRINO DEGLI AMERICANI
19 ottobre 2011
UGANDA, BANCA CENTRALE PREVEDE CALO INFLAZIONE
18 october 2011
IMPROVING TRAFFIC SEES GROWTH IN UGANDA’S AIRLINE BUSINESS
21 october 2011
GOVERNMENT, PRIVATE SECTOR DISCUSS STATE OF UGANDA’S ECONOMY
21 october 2011
WAKISO, INFANT AND MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE HIGHEST
24 october 2011
ESPONENTE DI OPPOSIZIONE BESIGYE AGLI ARRESTI DOMICILIARI
25 ottobre 2011
UGANDA’S POPULATION TO HIT 100M IN 2050
27 october 2011
UGANDA INFLATION HITS 28.3 PERCENT
1 october 2011
Annual headline inflation hit 28.3% at the end of September, the highest since January 1993, due to shortage in food supply and the continued depreciation of the shilling, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has said.
The inflation figure, which excludes education data, shows a 6.9% jump in the general price level, from 21.4% at the end of August, to increase the chances of a higher Central Bank Rate for the month of October.
“During September, food prices went up by 8.4% due to reduced supplies to the market. Non-food prices rose by 5.9% due to higher prices of charcoal, firewood, local brew (waragi and malwa) and scholastic materials” Chris Mukiza, the UBOS director for macro-economic statistics, said. “Prices of some imported goods, especially second-hand and new clothing, household items and pharmaceutical products went up due to the continued depreciation of the shilling” he noted.
Mukiza said upcountry towns of Arua, Masaka, Jinja and Gulu are experiencing annual higher inflation rates of 38%, 32.2%, 31.8% and 31.7%, respectively. Prices of matooke, sugar, irish potatoes, cassava, pineapples, avocado, tomatoes, cabbage, green pepper, meat, chicken, eggs, cooking oil, fish and bread went up in most areas in September.
The urban poor in developing countries will be hardest hit by the impacts of climate change, says a new report by UN-Habitat on cities and climate change. This is not because the urban-poor are most responsible for high greenhouse emissions; in fact, it is quite the opposite. The report shows there is an inverse relationship between those most responsible for greenhouse emissions and those who suffer most from its impacts.
In Uganda, the lack of basic services and infrastructure in the country’s slums compound these impacts. Severe flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain have long plagued the urban-poor, whose affordability constraints force them to settle on vulnerable land.
In the coming years, heavy precipitation events are very likely to occur more frequently and with greater severity according to the report. Residents of Uganda’s slums are not strangers to this phenomenon, which disrupts and destroys business, makes roads impassable, decimates homes, overwhelms sanitation systems and spur outbreaks of cholera, malaria, dysentery, and diarrhea.
During heavy downpours, many of Kampala’s slums look as though they have been hit by a Tsunami. Roads turn into raging rivers and cars, people, loose structures and property are washed away. In many, pit latrines are swept away by flash floods, spreading disease throughout the settlements. Throughout the country’s slums, homes and businesses are severely damaged during rainy periods, necessitating partial rebuilding multiple times per year. The asset stripping this presents for the urban-poor is crippling.
This World Habitat Day, Ugandans should not ignore the vital role of the urban-poor, who constitute 60 per cent of the nation’s urban population. When the urban-poor are organized and sensitized about climate change, they can play a central role in mitigating its impact upon their environment.
Indeed, about 38,000 Ugandan slum dwellers in six urban centers – Kampala, Arua, Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara, and Kabale – are doing just that through small but scalable slum upgrading activities. These responsible citizens are members of a growing social movement known as the Uganda Slum Dwellers Federation – a network of 343 community groups that save daily, work in partnership with local authorities, and mobilize their members to improve living conditions in slums.
Among the committees found in each community group is a Health and Hygiene Committee. Throughout the country, these committees mobilize members, and even the wider community, to dispose of waste thoughtfully and work with local authorities on municipal-wide initiatives.
The impact of community-led initiatives such as Keep Mbale Clean, make a visible difference in some of the largest slums, and greatly mitigate the risk of flooding by clearing drainages and encouraging residents to keep them litter-free. Environmental conservation is also enhanced when groups such as the Federation train communities in solid waste management skills.
Among the best practices instituted by the Federation are community projects that make briquettes from organic waste, that recycle plastic waste, and reuse discarded materials to make crafts. In Jinja, the Federation is using innovative soil compressed interlocking brick technology to construct quality and weather resistant houses for members.
The technology being employed eliminates the need for massive quantities of scarce timber for brick-firing. It is the Federation members themselves who do the construction, acquiring marketable skills in eco-friendly building technology. In addition, the Federation collects invaluable information during citywide enumerations (community-run censuses) about waste management practices and sanitation services in each of its cities of operation.
Once processed, the Federation works with local authorities to see that this data informs interventions in their settlements. Such information means the Federation can assist local authorities to generate targeted and efficient strategies for climate change mitigation that can be jointly implemented with local communities.
Sustainable and scalable mitigation strategies are possible in Uganda if the urban majority is organized and respected as a legitimate partner in this most urgent endeavor.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Skye Dobson
Getting formal education right from childhood may look a luxury to some people but many regret when opportunities pass them by in later years after they have missed certain steps they can’t compensate for. While many mourn their miss quietly, some, especially those who attain some level of economic and social success find themselves at odd with their social status but often think of themselves as misfits as the shadow of lack of academic papers hover over their success.
Foreshadowing – Those who choose a life of politics have borne the brunt of those early missed opportunities as they have seen doors slammed shut in their faces or their otherwise flourishing careers brought to a sudden halt.
The most traumatized however remain those who discover later in life that their current situation is largely to blame on opportunities they missed earlier. It is partly for this reason that adult education is suddenly becoming a major business in Kampala and other urban centers. Adult training centers are teeming with eager learners hoping to recapture a part of what they missed if not to tap into new opportunities, at least compensate and restore battered egos.
“I have been facing a lot of difficulties in communicating with my customers who do not understand Luganda and I have to interact with them in English. So, that is the reason I am in this place” says Richard Senyondwa, a 35-year-old student of Kampala Adult School, who chose to take to class, as the value of education becomes real to many people.
Agnes Nabbanja, a matooke vendor in St. Balikuddembe Market, is studying to be able to earn an income of her own in future. Ms Nabanjja says she prefers to pay Shs150, 000 per term in such a specialized centre, than joining a regular Universal Secondary Education School, for fear of embarrassment. In the classroom, which accommodates up to 50 students, the mature men and women recite word by word as their instructor, using a rudimentary pointer, points at what they are supposed to read.
Al Hussein Mohammed, a 40-year-old from Somalia, is aiming to get the education that he missed when wars raged in his country. He is currently achieving this advancement in education at Makerere Day and Evening Adult Class (MAECCA). “I have got an invitation from my brother in the US but all documents are in English which I do not understand” he explains.
Another student, Mr Ephraim Sekidde, who missed formal education due to economic deficiencies, joined the adult school to grasp opportunities for further education in order to update professional competencies required by the working world. “I had dropped out in primary level” he recalls. “But now since I have got money and a job, I need to upgrade my education status and CV as well.”
Originally for foreigners – James Baluku, proprietor of Kampala Adult School, says that the school was established two years ago to assist foreigners, mostly Rwandese, whose country shifted from French to English-speaking, as well as to combat high illiteracy levels. Mr Bakulu says: “We wanted to help everybody to learn this language [English] because it is like the Anglophone world is winning over the Francophone and if a person does not know English they feel like they have been left out somehow.”
In most of the schools, the beginning adults are given simple English sentence-construction lessons and after a period of a year, the students are free to leave school and continue with their businesses. But Ms Grace Nakintu, the director Nakivubo Settlement Continental School of Primary Education and Computing, says due to commitments at home, most of the students are rarely in class. “It is the biggest challenge we are facing because you can be conducting a lesson and one gets a call that there are problems at home. He simply walks out of the class and you cannot stop him” she says.
Two of Ms Nakintu’s students have since climbed the education ladder higher and are pursuing diploma courses at Makerere University Business School. Laban Kabuye, the head teacher at the centre says the classes can be as big as 100. The study programme is shorter compared to the regular school time table. Most of the classes are conducted in the evening, and the school day is only three hours.
Only this year, Ms Nakintu says 25 of out 350 students at the school, are set to sit their Primary Leaving Exams while 32 will sit for Uganda Certificate of Education. At MAECCA however, adults are passed into a fully-fledged education programme, similar to the typical Ugandan education system. Although similar, the adult version takes a shorter time in comparison due to the age of the students; it is thought students at advanced ages do not have the same dexterity as their younger counterparts, according to Henry Bantariza, an administrator at the school.
“Since most of these people come to class after work, they are tired and what we do is to only teach them for two hours” Bantriza told Daily Monitor. “We make each level of education shorter by two years, and one year for ‘A-Level’“. Ephraim recalls gaining these skills as quite life-changing: “A year ago, I could not even switch on a computer” he says. “I did not know how to send e-mail or access the internet, yet at my work place, everyone was given a computer and they expected us to own e-mail accounts to enable us to communicate easily.”
Employment demands – Mr Bantariza, the administrator at MAECCA, explained that demand for computer literacy forced the school to include computer studies due to the tension resulting from employers demanding computer skills, even though employees did not possess these abilities. The adult education sector, commonly referred to as the Literacy and Basic Education (LIBE) by the Ministry of Education, is also facing various hitches, especially for the private proprietors who have predominantly established the schools on their own.
James, at Kampala Adult School, says students often do not complete the courses because their target is to learn basic English. Additionally, they abandon their studies before clearing all the school fees, which affects the school’s operations.
According to the educator, “Some of these people are stubborn and do not want to comply with us because they think we are younger and should not tell them what to do, but we have designed rules and regulations to which they must adhere.”
fonte www.allafrica.com – Skye Dobson
Much as the government announced in 2006 that it was safe for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda to return to their villages, several vulnerable people including the elderly, child-headed families and widows have failed to leave the satellite camps.
Statistics from aid agencies indicate that at least 1,000 households in Lango sub-region are embroiled in a number of struggles ranging from lack of manpower to build houses in their respective villages and land wrangles. Majority of the stuck families attribute their woes to abandonment by their able-bodied relatives as they relocate to their villages.
Ms Grace Atoo, 35, a widow with 11 children in Opimo Village, Barlonyo Sub- county in Lira District, said she lacks money to build a house in her village, adding that providing food and school fees for her children is also becoming difficult. Mr Simon Odongo, an 83-year resident of Ariongomele Village, said he came to Bala Stock Farm Village in 2003 when insecurity was at its peak, but has not been able to return because he has been waiting for the government to fulfill its promise of providing iron sheets. “They promised to give us iron sheets and ox-ploughs to enable us resettle, but up to now there are no signs of the pledges” Mr Odongo said.
Mr David Ojuka, a former chairman of Bala IDP camp in Lira, estimates that the area still has about 280 households that have not received their packages from the government. He asked President Museveni to fulfill his pledge if he is to get votes in 2016 polls. Railway A Division chairman George Awio, said many people in the camps have become destitute, daily relying on hand outs from friends and relatives while others resort to begging.
The Resident District Commissioner in Dokolo, Mr Ben Anyama, however, refuted the claims, saying “Our next target is resettlement and it is a process. It cannot be done in a day. We have been giving out iron sheets, drilling boreholes and giving out farm inputs to those returning to their villages.” Mr Anyama added that those claiming the government has failed to fulfill its promises to war victims were looking at money rather than what was designed to resettle them. “People should not expect cash, but they can be given iron sheets and farm inputs” he said.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Emmanuel Opio & Bill Oketch
Figures released by the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics a month ago indicated that the inflation rate rose to 28.3 per cent in August, from 6 per cent in January this year. Three weeks into the third and last term of the UNEB school calendar, the ‘Daily Monitor’ spoke to a number of school heads to find out how they are coping with the current inflation.
Fuelled by rising food and transport costs, we wanted to find out what special arrangements, if any, have been implemented to deal with a crisis whose containment seems to elude policy makers. The budget for the first term usually gives a rough idea of what will be spent in other terms. This year, however, given the galloping inflation, schools have had to scale back on some activities, eliminate others and as a last resort increase school fees for some.
Expensive food – Rising food costs a 50kg bag of posho cost Shs100,000 at the beginning of the year; now it costs Shs175,000 have forced schools to cut back on other expenses to maintain their menu and reduce the potions served. Mr Bharat Manek, the principal of the privately owned Lohana Schools, told us that they have tried to maintain their menu although at a higher cost. The schools usually buy fresh vegetables, cassava and matooke to be used throughout the coming week on Saturdays. But whereas this cost between Shs600,000 and Shs700,000 at the beginning of the year, it now costs Shs1,100,000.
At Kololo High School, they have been forced to eliminate some food from their menu and serve only the basics. Rice is out whereas fish and beef, which were served three times a week, are now served once. It is a USE school so only A-Level students eat at school. Namilyango College, meanwhile, has decreased the potions it serves at mealtimes, Mr Gerald Muguluma, the head teacher, told this paper. Other activities and plans, meanwhile, have been shelved.
At Namilyango, they have had to reduce on the number of student outings. Club activities, which usually involve social functions at other schools have suffered the brunt of budget cuts whereas academic trips and sports engagements have been unaffected. At Lohana, money that had been allocated to the purchase of new textbooks has instead been diverted to food.
The acquisition of new laboratory equipment for their secondary section has also been pushed to next year as the school struggles to keep its menu the same as before. The recent primary school teachers’ strike was provoked by the rising prices against meagre salaries and we were interested in finding out how teachers were coping. Private schools said they could not raise salaries without increasing fees. And the two private schools we visited, Caltec Academy and Lohana, said they had not raised fees because such decisions are usually taken at the end of the school, taking effect in the next school year. Caltec has instead added a transport allowance to teachers’ salaries, while at Lohana, the salary has remained constant. Increasing fees in government schools requires government approval and at the moment, this is not forthcoming. In any case, however, few schools have explored that option.
Mr Muguluma told ‘Daily Monitor’ that some parents have been inquiring if the school plans to raise fees and have expressed willingness to pay the extra fees but this is not on the table yet. It will need approval by the Board of Governors and government and even then, it is being mooted for next year if the economic situation does not improve.
Dark future – Actually, the same sentiment was expressed at all the other schools; should the economic situation remain the same or become worse, schools will have no option but increase their tuition for the coming academic year. Meanwhile, the government has maintained the USE grant it pays to schools under the policy.
To cope, other activities had to be cut. Kololo High School, for example, reduced termly tests from three to two, scrapping the mid-term test. This is due to the increase in stationary prices; a dream of duplicating papers that cost Shs80,500 at the beginning of the first term now costs Shs15,000. A number of schools have increased fees, especially for candidate classes who are subjected to more tests than usual in the third term.
Mr Manek said his school has had to admit a number of new students this term and when he asked the parents why they were transferring their students at such an unusual time, they said it was because of unexpected increases in fees.
A number of parents ‘Daily Monitor’ spoke to as they lined up to pay fees in banks around the city said their children’s schools had raised fees. Parents whose children’s schools had maintained their fees don’t expect such luck next term however, especially if current economic trends persist. And, like the school heads told this paper, they are right.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Raymond Mpubani
Almeno 18.000 bambini sarebbero vittime di abusi sessuali in Uganda, 12.000 in più rispetto all’ultimo rapporto stilato sei anni fa.
Lo studio, pubblicato sulla edizione online di Africa Review, è stato condotto dall’Uganda Youth Development Link (Uydl) in 10 distretti del paese, nel febbraio scorso. Secondo il rapporto, le giovani vittime di sesso a pagamento hanno dai 13 ai 14 anni, e il fenomeno prende piede anche nelle scuole.
Angry female Makerere University students residing in Complex Hall Tuesday morning went on strike over the continuous pitiable living conditions in the hall. The students were striking over lack of piped water, lack of constant electricity supply, poor sanitation and poor hygiene in the hall which houses only female students. Other reasons included foul stench emanating from the toilets, overcrowded rooms, poor quality meals and a leaking roof among many.
The students also demanded the immediate resignation of the contemporary hall warden, Akullu Laurah saying she was extremely uncooperative. “We want a new warden now” chanted the fuming ladies. What began as an emergency general assembly called by the student leaders of the hall at 7:00pm at the hall’s parking yard almost turned violent when the warden refused to address the emotional students and locked-up herself in her office prompting some students to threaten to beat her up.
However, at around 8:00 am, the dean of students, Cyriaco Kabagambe came to the rescue of the scared warden, who swiftly re-emerged from her hideout. The dean then addressed the students and promised to address their issues immediately saying by 6pm yesterday the students would have water and power.
Nonetheless, he pledged to work on the administrative issues later. He also promised to get the hall re-roofed immediately further admitting the shortage of rooms in the hall saying at one point all rooms in complex hall were single. On the quality of food, the dean pledged to improve it further advising the hall to adopt the squatting toilets instead of the sitting ones saying the squatting ones are easy to maintain and clean than the sitting ones.
The intervention of the dean eventually calmed the students. However, the students vowed to continue with the strike if the dean did not fulfil his promises.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Innocent Anguyo Alia
Moratoria sugli accordi nel settore petrolifero e richiesta di dimissioni del capo del governo e del ministro degli Esteri: sono i punti fondamentali di una risoluzione approvata dal parlamento dell’Uganda dopo le rivelazioni su presunte tangenti versate ad alti funzionari dalla società inglese Tullow Oil.
In un dossier presentato ai deputati ieri il capo del governo Amama Mbabazi e il ministro degli Esteri Sam Kutesa sono accusati di aver intascato tangenti per decine di milioni di euro in cambio di misure favorevoli a Tullow Oil, una società che quest’anno ha rilevato concessioni su tre giacimenti di idrocarburi nel bacino del Lago Alberto.
La risoluzione, approvata anche con il voto di deputati del partito del presidente Yoweri Museveni, vincola nuovi accordi con le società petrolifere all’entrata in vigore di una legge quadro che regolamenti il settore. A essere bloccata è anche una possibile vendita delle concessioni di Tullow Oil alla francese Total e alla cinese Cnooc, in discussione da mesi.
Oggi il voto del parlamento è sulle prime pagine di molti quotidiani di Kampala. Secondo ‘The Monitor’, un giornale di opposizione, Museveni potrebbe tenere una conferenza stampa oggi pomeriggio.
Nel corso di una cerimonia svoltasi a Ginevra il 13 ottobre, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera ha ricevuto il prestigioso premio Martin Ennals per i difensori dei diritti umani. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera è la fondatrice e la direttrice esecutiva di ‘Freedom and Roam Uganda’, un’organizzazione non governativa che difende e promuove i diritti delle persone lesbiche, gay, bisessuali e transgender.
“Questo premio è un riconoscimento all’incredibile coraggio mostrato da Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera in un contesto di profonda discriminazione e violenza contro le persone Lgbt nel suo paese” – ha dichiarato Michelle Kagari, vicedirettrice di Amnesty International per l’Africa. La comunità Lgbt ugandese sta affrontando una situazione estremamente difficile. Amnesty International continua a ricevere segnalazioni di arresti arbitrari, detenzioni illegali, maltrattamenti e torture per ragioni unicamente legate all’orientamento sessuale e all’identità di genere. Le leggi ugandesi considerano l’omosessualità un reato penale punibile anche con l’ergastolo. Tentativi di introdurre la pena capitale per il reato di omosessualità aggravata sono stati per il momento respinti grazie alla mobilitazione delle attiviste e degli attivisti locali e delle organizzazioni internazionali per i diritti umani.
Il 26 gennaio di quest’anno l’attivista per i diritti dei gay David Kato è stato assassinato dopo che il quotidiano ugandese ‘Rolling Stone’ aveva pubblicato la lista dei 100 ‘più importanti’ omosessuali del paese, invitando i lettori a impiccarli. Anche il nome di Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera era nell’elenco. “Ho dedicato la mia vita a lottare apertamente per i diritti dei gay in Uganda ed ecco il prezzo che mi viene fatto pagare: mi cacciano da una casa all’altra, il mio ufficio è stato chiuso, non posso più camminare tranquillamente in strada e mi hanno aggredito” – raccontava nei mesi scorsi Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera ad Amnesty International.
Nonostante queste intimidazioni e minacce, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera continua a perorare la causa dei diritti delle persone Lgbt, in pubblico e attraverso i mezzi d’informazione, sia in Uganda che all’estero. Il premio Martin Ennals, intitolato alla memoria dell’ex Segretario generale di Amnesty International e giunto alla ventesima edizione, viene conferito da dieci organizzazioni per i diritti umani a colui o colei che, nell’anno in corso, ha svolto un’azione coraggiosa ed efficace in difesa dei diritti umani.
È stata dispersa dalle forze dell’ordine di Kampala, la manifestazione degli oppositori tornati in piazza per una protesta ‘walk-to-work’ contro il carovita e l’aumento dell’inflazione. La polizia, hanno riferito alcuni testimoni, è intervenuta con idranti e gas lacrimogeni contro alcune centinaia di attivisti, arrestando alcuni degli organizzatori.
Ieri il presidente Yoweri Museveni aveva ammonito i manifestanti e minacciato ‘tolleranza zero’ contro chi fosse sceso in piazza oggi, giorno degli esami nelle scuole secondarie.
Gli Stati Uniti hanno inviato i primi cento militari in Africa centrale, per contrastare i ribelli dell’Esercito di resistenza del Signore (LRA). Pur essendo armati fino ai denti, i soldati Usa sono ufficialmente in Africa solo per assistere.
A precisarlo sono i presidenti di Stati Uniti e Uganda, che pochi giorni dopo il dispiegamento dei soldati, hanno insistito nel dire che hanno solo compiti di assistenza. Ieri a Kampala Yoweri Museveni ha assicurato che i militari giunti in Uganda la settimana scorsa dovrebbero essere definiti “personale” e non “soldati“. In una lettera inviata al Congresso Usa venerdì, Barack Obama aveva sostenuto che “i consiglieri combatteranno le forze dell’LRA soltanto se costretti a difendersi“.
Secondo il presidente statunitense, l’assistenza degli Stati Uniti si estenderà dall’Uganda alla Repubblica democratica del Congo, al Centrafrica e al Sud Sudan, i paesi dove l’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore ha progressivamente spostato il baricentro delle sue incursioni. L’invio dei militari è consentito da una legge del 2010 sul sostegno politico ed economico ai paesi africani minacciati dall’LRA.
Secondo stime della Ong Usa ‘Resolve’, dal dicembre 2009 i ribelli dell’Esercito di resistenza del Signore hanno ucciso 944 civili ed effettuato 1723 rapimenti.
“Un maggiore impegno internazionale è un fatto positivo ma ci si chiede se un’escalation militare sia una soluzione” dice alla MISNA padre John Ashworth, un consulente del Consiglio ecumenico delle Chiese con un’esperienza trentennale in Sudan.
Alcune organizzazioni non governative hanno sostenuto che l’arrivo in Africa centrale di unità speciali statunitensi incaricate di garantire assistenza nella lotta contro i ribelli dell’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore (LRA) sia il segno di una nuova consapevolezza a livello internazionale. I piani americani stanno però alimentando anche timori e sospetti.
“I bombardamenti dei Mig ugandesi peggiorarono solo le cose” dice alla MISNA padre Franco Barin, un missionario comboniano che si trovava nella regione congolese di Dungu tra il 25 e il 29 dicembre 2008, quando le incursioni dell’LRA fecero più di 400 vittime. Secondo il missionario, l’offensiva avviata pochi giorni prima dagli eserciti di Congo, Uganda e Sud Sudan ebbe l’effetto di disperdere i ribelli guidati da Joseph Kony e rendere ancora più imprevedibili le loro incursioni.
L’organizzazione non governativa americana ‘Resolve’ calcola che soltanto dalla fine del 2009 l’LRA sia responsabile dell’uccisione di 944 civili e del rapimento di 1723 persone. Il raggio d’azione dei ribelli si è progressivamente spostato dall’Uganda settentrionale verso il nord-est del Congo, il Sud Sudan e la Repubblica centrafricana. Sono i paesi dove dovrebbero operare i 100 “consiglieri militari” giunti mercoledì a Kampala, equipaggiati per combattere e sostenuti da “personale esperto di intelligence, comunicazioni e logistica”. Secondo il presidente Barack Obama, l’Esercito di resistenza del Signore “continua a commettere atrocità che hanno conseguenze sproporzionate sulla sicurezza a livello regionale”.
Le stime sulla consistenza numerica dell’LRA variano da alcune migliaia di combattenti a poche centinaia, anche perché è spesso difficile distinguere una colonna di ribelli da un gruppo di disertori. Gli spostamenti degli uomini di Kony potrebbero essere seguiti grazie alle tracce lasciate dai telefoni satellitari che portano sempre con sé e devono poter ricaricare. Un precedente c’è, l’uccisione del guerrigliero angolano Jonas Savimbi, ma non tutti credono all’approccio muscolare. Secondo padre Ashworth, bisogna puntare su “negoziati e maggior protezione e assistenza umanitaria” alle popolazioni colpite.
L’arrivo delle unità speciali ha seguito di alcuni anni quello dei 17 consiglieri “anti-terrorismo” inviati dall’amministrazione di George Bush. Dal 2008, soprattutto dopo l’approvazione di una legge del Congresso l’anno scorso, gli Stati Uniti hanno stanziato a beneficio degli eserciti africani impegnati nel contrasto all’LRA circa 33 milioni di dollari. Stando agli ufficiali di Kampala, la settimana scorsa Kony sarebbe sfuggito d’un soffio alla cattura nei pressi della cittadina centrafricana di Ndjema. Vero o no, resta il fatto che gli americani posizionano i loro militari tra il petrolio del Lago Alberto e la cassiterite dei giacimenti congolesi. “Gli Stati Uniti hanno legami storici con Uganda e Sud Sudan – sottolinea padre Barin – ma guardano oltre”.
La Banca centrale dell’Uganda prevede per il 2012 un raffreddamento delle tensioni inflazionistiche, che in questo Paese hanno un tasso a due cifre.
In un intervento alla cerimonia per la consegna dei diplomi dell’Istituto per i servizi bancari e finanziari, il Governatore dell’istituto di emissione, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, ha detto che “è già cominciato il calo dei prezzi delle derrate alimentari che, insieme con la svalutazione della moneta locale, sono state tra le cause principali dell’aumento dei prezzi“. Questo Paese dell’Africa orientale ha registrato ad agosto un tasso di inflazione su base annua del 28,3 per cento, contro il 21,8 del mese precedente.
Uganda’s skies have continued to attract attention of international airlines as they seek to tap into the country’s growing passenger traffic resulting from increasing investor numbers coming to explore investment opportunities, especially in the oil sector. Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, yesterday announced it’s re-launch of flights Entebbe effective December, coming on the back of Qatar Airways’ recent announcement to enter into Uganda’s airline business.
The continued dominance of East Africa’s airline business by Kenya Airways, and the lack of strong competition against KQ has among other factors built confidence among established international airlines to venture in the region so as to tap into the growing passenger traffic.
Mr Karim Makhlouf, the Gulf Air chief commercial officer, told a news conference in Kampala yesterday that the re-launch is part of the airline’s strategy to expand to diverse and niche locations beyond Middle East and Bahrain in a bid to spur investment, trade and leisure travel between the two countries.
Providing an alternative – The re-launch of the airline’s flights to Entebbe, will give Ugandan travellers another alternative airline to the Middle East, Europe and Asian destinations. Ugandans currently fly to business destinations in Europe and Middle East using mostly Emirates, Kenya Airways, British Airways and KLM. “Gulf Air has made considerable changes to its service portfolio and I believe this new route will be a success for both passengers and cargo operations as we seek to serve the underserved markets” Mr Makhlouf said. He added the Entebbe route, the fifth on the African continent for the airline, will present commercial and tourism opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and business people from both markets.
Gulf Air suspended services to Entebbe 8 years ago, saying it was undergoing restructuring to enhance the efficiency and attractiveness of its operations but has now come back after realising that Uganda is a growing market with a lot of potential.
Qatar Airways, a Doha-based airline is expected to commence daily flights between Doha and Entebbe and to the rest of the world on in November.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Faridah Kulabako
In a landmark dialogue held yesterday, government officials and a cross section of senior business personalities discussed serious challenges facing the economy, with the Central Bank insisting on tackling consumer demand while private players agonised over the effects of hard times on their businesses. The dialogue, tagged ‘CEO Summit Agenda October 2011′ was held at Serena Hotel featured presentations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), leading economists and chief executives of prominent firms.
While the IMF appears bullish about Uganda’s economic forecast, with projections of more than 5 per cent this year alongside stable budget deficits in spite of suffering the highest inflation rate in East Africa, the government and the private sector are visibly shaken by prevailing conditions. Bank of Uganda (BoU) on one hand, admits serious concerns about rising prices that saw headline inflation hit 28.3 per cent last month, but calls for drastic monetary actions to protect long term growth, however, business executives argue such actions have suffocated their operations and rendered survival difficult.
Aggressive policy actions by BoU have led to sharp hikes in the inflation targeting rate, known as Central Bank Rate (CBR) that has shot up to 20 per cent, triggering further increases in banks’ lending rates that are currently averaging at 25 per cent a situation that local executives feel is likely to accelerate collapse of many businesses due to excessive borrowing costs.
“With inflation at 28.3 per cent and growth in private sector credit in the region of 45 per cent, we believe it is necessary to curb aggregate demand and bring down inflation in order to protect long term growth” said Dr Louis Kasekende, deputy governor at BoU.
In contrast, private sector executives lamented that BoU’s tight stance that has accelerated interest rates has clearly compounded their nightmares, coupled with high inflation, a falling shilling and higher costs of operation driven by load shedding. Manufacturers for instance, are confronted with declining sales, increased production costs and cheap imports that are outcompeting local goods, according to Emmanuel Katongole, chief executive officer of Quality Chemicals Industries.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Bernard Busulwa
Wakiso District has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country although it’s an urban area, where health services can be easily accessible, an official has said.
Ms Jesca Nsungwa Sabiiti, the assistant commissioner for child health at the Ministry of Health, also revealed that the district currently leads in cases of malnutrition in the country. “It is absurd that Wakiso, an urban area neighbouring Kampala (Uganda’s capital city) is leading in mortality rate and malnutrition” Ms Sabiiti said.
She made the remarks during the opening of the Nurture Africa Paediatric Medical Centre in Nansana Town Council at the weekend. Infant and maternal deaths, Ms Sabiiti said, are caused by HIV/Aids, malaria, malnutrition and other diseases triggered by HIV/Aids. She encouraged the centre to sign a memorandum of understating with the district so that it can be assisted by the latter in procurement of drugs and human resource.
The centre, which was constructed with the help from the government of Ireland, will provide free healthcare to the most vulnerable children in Wakiso.
Mr James Kimbowa, the Nurture Africa country director, said over 2,000 vulnerable children will access primary service care at the centre. He said about 200 children living with HIV/Aids will also access full treatment at the centre. “We are committed to contribute towards the health and development of the most vulnerable children to enable them become positive influences on societies” he said.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Joseph Miti
Il capo del Forum democratico per il cambiamento (Fdc) Kizza Besigye rimarrà agli arresti domiciliari fino a quando prometterà di non partecipare più alle manifestazioni di piazza che, negli ultimi mesi “hanno macchiato l’immagine del paese agli occhi dell’opinione pubblica”. Lo ha reso noto la polizia di Kampala dopo aver fermato l’esponente di opposizione che si recava, questa mattina, all’ennesima protesta ‘walk to work’ organizzata dal partito per protestare contro il carovita e chiedere le dimissioni del presidente Yoweri Museveni.
Besigye era confinato nella sua abitazione di Kasangati, alla periferia di Kampala, dal 18 ottobre scorso senza nessuna ‘accusa’ formale. “Riguadagnarsi la libertà di movimento dipenderà solo da lui e dalla sua capacità di giudizio” ha detto la portavoce della polizia Judith Nabakoba, aggiungendo che “dovrà prima promettere di astenersi dal partecipare ad attività violente e tese a minacciare l’ordine sociale”.
Diversi membri dell’opposizione – secondo la stampa ugandese – sarebbero stati arrestati negli ultimi giorni dopo aver partecipato alle manifestazioni che, nella loro forma più recente, prevedono che i partecipanti blocchino il traffico abbandonando per strada autoveicoli e motociclette.
Per la terza volta consecutiva Besigye ha perso, nel febbraio scorso, le elezioni presidenziali alle quali si era candidato contro Museveni, al potere da 25 anni. Il blocco di opposizione ha rigettato i risultati delle urne denunciando frodi elettorali.
Uganda, with its high fertility ratio of about 7 children per family, is likely to see its population rise to 103.2 million by 2050, latest projections indicate.
Government released the projections yesterday while launching a report that assesses the state of the country’s population, with a pledge that it is keeping a keener eye on the implications of Uganda’s high growth rate. The announcement coincides with the timing of a global report, which shows that the world population will hit the seven billion mark on Monday.
The State of Uganda Population Report 2011, launched in Kampala yesterday alongside the State of the World Population Report 2011, paints a picture of a country whose rapidly rising population could have “negative impacts” for its per capita economic growth. Throughout most of that time, the majority of Uganda’s population is likely to be young – leaving a perpetually huge weight of dependence on a small number of productive Ugandans.
Currently, according to the 120-page report, some 69 per cent of Uganda’s population is under 24 years of age. However, in a speech read by Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi noted that the “government regards population as a crucial resource that can be harnessed for national development.”
Estimates published in the report, whose focus this year was on reproductive health, show that if Uganda succeeded in reducing its population growth rate from the current 3.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent in the medium term, the country’s annual growth of per capita GDP could rise by between 0.5- 0.6 per cent.
Fertility – “If we additionally consider the impact of the population dynamics such a reduction would entail, per capita economic growth could increase by between 1.4 and 3.0 percentage points per annum as long as Uganda would be in the phase of the ‘demographic gift’ with falling population growth but still substantial labour force growth” it adds. The report also adds that Uganda has an unusually large discrepancy in fertility between the highly educated (3.9) and the women with low education (7.8), which it says makes Uganda’s poor prone to being caught in a poverty trap which keeps poverty high, widens inequality and reduces economic growth.
In its analysis of the impact of population growth on resources, the report says more than 80 per cent of Ugandans rely directly upon land, agriculture, and fishing for their livelihoods, but environmental indicators reveal trends of degrading agricultural lands, soil erosion, deforestation, drainage of wetlands, loss of bio-diversity, reduced range land capacity, and increased pollution.
The report also indicates that the growth of urban populations throughout Uganda is placing particular stress on municipalities that already lack the infrastructure to meet current water and sanitation needs. “In these urban areas, flooding, poorly constructed latrines, and the resultant run-off of solid waste contaminate water ways and further exacerbate diarrheal disease outbreaks. As such if the trend persists, there shall be several challenges to future growth and structural transformation unless serious measures are taken to convert it into a population dividend” explains the report, which adds that even in densely populated Kampala, 85 per cent of households rely on pit latrines.
Comparing Uganda’s socio-economic indicators with those of other countries in Africa and Asia that have lower population growth rates, the report says Uganda’s high population growth rate exacerbates poverty and constrains the household’s and the government’s efforts to provide quality social services such as education and health. “The problem with a fast-growing population is not the growth itself, but “rapid, unplanned growth” concludes the report. “It is conceded that growth is a natural process that guarantees continuity of existence of living things. However, the process of growth is determined by important variables, which include; age structure, sex and distribution. The decisions and policies we make today, and the options available to young people, will ultimately determine the quality of the population in 2050.”
In his statement, however, Mr Mbabazi said the government is now closely monitoring the country’s population trends “not only in numbers but also in terms of what implications such numbers mean to the provision of services such as health, education, housing, food, [and] employment.”
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Benon Herbert Oluka
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