2013

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UgandAbout

Ugandabout – ottobre 2013

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Eccovi alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nell’ottobre 2013. Clicca qui per leggere le notizie del mese

AIDS: DA 2001 INFEZIONI DIMEZZATE NEI BAMBINI, E MORTI IN CALO
23 settembre 2013

NATA LA CAMERA COMMERCIO ITALIANA IN AFRICA ORIENTALE
7 ottobre 2013

AFRICA: MOODY’S, PERFORMANCE ECONOMICHE TRA LE MIGLIORI AL MONDO
8 ottobre 2013

CHILD LABOUR KEEPS TWO MILLION OUT OF SCHOOL
11 october 2013

UGANDA: GOVT LAUNCHES ADOLESCENT GIRL’S VULNERABILITY INDEX
11 october 2013

AFRICA: ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD, INNOVATION KEY TO MORE GIRLS IN SCHOOL AND LEARNING
11 october 2013

UGANDA, KARAMOJA – FROM A NEGLECTED DESERT TO A REGION ON THE MOVE
13 october 2013

SEGNALI DI DISTENSIONE TRA KAMPALA E KHARTOUM
14 ottobre 2013

PADIGLIONE ITALIA INCANTA FIERA INTERNAZIONALE KAMPALA
14 ottobre 2013

SCIENCE EDUCATION SCORECARD LAUNCHED
20 october 2013

UGANDA: RAILWAY DELIVERS COMMERCIAL OPTIMISM TU GULU
29 october 2013


AIDS: DA 2001 INFEZIONI DIMEZZATE NEI BAMBINI, E MORTI IN CALO
23 settembre 2013
Malati di Aids in calo: dal 2001 al 2012 il numero di persone che hanno contratto l’Hiv è sceso di un terzo del totale ed è addirittura dimezzato nel caso dei bambini. Anche le morti per Aids, dopo il picco da 2,3 milioni del 2005, sono scese a 1,6 milioni l’anno scorso.
I dati sono stati pubblicati dal Programma delle Nazioni Unite per l’Hiv e l’Aids (Unaids), secondo il quale il mondo si sta avvicinando al ‘Millennium Development Goal’ che prevede di fermare l’epidemia di Aids entro il 2015. Gli autori del report segnalano che il calo di decessi e di nuove infezioni è dovuto al miglioramento dell’accesso ai farmaci. Senza trattamento, le persone con virus Hiv possono sviluppare l’Aids, una malattia che rende mortali le più banali infezioni.
E’ tra i bambini che i progressi sono più evidenti: se nel 2001 sono state registrate quasi mezzo milione di nuove infezioni, nel 2012 sono state poco più di 250.000. In totale le nuove infezioni del 2012 sono 2,3 milioni.
Nel 2012 quasi 10 milioni di persone nei Paesi a medio e basso reddito come il Sudafrica, l’Uganda e l’India, hanno avuto accesso alla terapia antivirale grazie all’abbassamento dei prezzi e alla maggiore disponibilità del farmaco.
fonte www.agi.it

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NATA LA CAMERA COMMERCIO ITALIANA IN AFRICA ORIENTALE
7 ottobre 2013
Battesimo a Kampala per la Camera di Commercio Italiana in Africa Orientale (Cciao), fondata dagli imprenditoriali italiani attivi in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ruanda e Burundi.
L’organizzazione, creata per sostenere la penetrazione commerciale delle Pmi italiane nella regione, nasce sulla scia del rafforzamento del Business Club Italia in Uganda (Bci-U), che si è dotato nelle scorse settimane di un’Unità di Scouting d’Affari che ha avuto un inizio molto promettente, con l’organizzazione del Padiglione Italia alla Fiera Internazionale di Kampala.
A istituirla sono stati gli imprenditori italiani dei cinque Paesi dell’East African Community, riuniti nella residenza dell’ambasciatore italiano a Kampala, Stefano Antonio Dejak, alla presenza del rappresentante Sace a Nairobi, Vieri Velardì, e del direttore dell’ufficio Ice di Johannesburg, Giulio Mulas.
La nuova struttura, infatti, nasce sull’esempio della Camera di Commercio Italiana in Sud Africa e in stretto coordinamento con questa. L’obiettivo è di interconnettere fra loro gli imprenditori italiani nella regione e sostenere la penetrazione delle Pmi italiane in questa promettente regione di 150 milioni di potenziali consumatori.
fonte
www.repubblica.it

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AFRICA: MOODY’S, PERFORMANCE ECONOMICHE TRA LE MIGLIORI AL MONDO
8 ottobre 2013
L’Africa è la regione “tra i migliori interpreti a livello globale” vista “la crescita del 5-6% dei prossimi anni”. E’ quanto si legge in un rapporto diffuso oggi da Moody’s che fa il punto sull’emissione di bond da parte di paesi africani.
Sei dei dieci paesi che raggiungeranno la crescita più alta fra il 2013 e il 2018 si trovano in Africa – scrive Moody’s – e nonostante ci siano ancora disparità fra i paesi africani, la crescita globale del continente è sostenuta da alcune variabili chiave fra cui l’aumento degli investimenti diretti stranieri, la forte domanda interna sostenuta dal reddito pro capite crescente e l’aumento dei prezzi delle materie prime”.
Moody’s plaude anche alla riduzione del debito attuato da molti paesi africani. Il debito medio dei governi della regione è sceso a poco più del 35% del Pil a fine del 2010 – si legge nello studio – mentre nel 2002 era al 67% del Pil”. Condizioni positive che rendono ‘appetibili’ i titoli africani.
L’agenzia di rating ricorda poi che entro qualche anno Angola, Camerun, Kenya, Uganda e Mozambico lanceranno il loro primo bond sul mercato internazionale.Abbiamo identificato questi 6 paesi nell’Africa subsahariana – prosegue il rapporto – si tratta di paesi che emetteranno almeno 500 milioni di dollari ciascuno il che permetterà loro di entrare nell’Emerging market bond index di Jp Morgan, cosa che non solo darà loro visibilità ma fisserà dei paletti per quelle imprese e banche locali che puntano al mercato internazionale”.
fonte www.agi.it

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CHILD LABOUR KEEPS TWO MILLION OUT OF SCHOOL
11 ottobre 2013
At least 2 million children aged five to 17 are engaged in child labour, the first Child Labour report released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) reveals. The report, unveiled recently at Statistics House in Kampala, reveals that the two million child labourers accounted for 16% of the entire children’s population of 11.5 million in Uganda.
According to the report, child labour is among the major causes of child abuse and exploitatio
n. The report further faults child labour for slowing down broader national poverty reduction and development efforts. It also points to child labour as an obstacle to achieving universal primary education.
Children who are forced out of school to help supplement their families’ incomes are denied the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to aid them get decent employment in future. This ties them down in a cycle of poverty” the report reads.
The report defines child labour as work that is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful to children. It further includes work activities that interfere with children’s school attendance. To that end, child labour is when children aged five to 11 years are engaged in work, while children aged from12 to 13 years work beyond 14 hours a week and when children aged between 14 and 17 years work at night or for more than 43 hours a week.
Of the child workers, 52.5% were males while 47.5 were female.
The report further stated that one in every four working children (26%) carried heavy loads at their respective workplaces. While presenting the report, Wilson Nyegenye, a principal statistician, at UBOS said children in the rural areas were engaged in child labour more than their urban compatriots. Most of the activities that employ child labour, such as agriculture, are in the rural areas Nyegenye said. About 42% of children in the rural areas were in employment, compared to the 17% in urban areas.
At least 51% of the children in the central region and 40% in the western region were in employment indicating that the two regions had the highest level of child employment. Addressing the media on the report, Andrew Mukulu, the director, population and social statistics said: “Overall, children with both parents dead were more involved in employment than their counterparts in other orphanhood statuses.”
Most of the child labour, Mukulu noted was employed in primary sector encompassing agriculture, forestry and fishing. This sector accounts for 93% of the child labour in Uganda.
Kampala city emerged as the most notorious employer of child labour with 79% of city’s child workers engaged in the services industry. Household chores, the study noted, also formed an integral part of the daily work of a Ugandan child with 65% of children engaged household chores. However, girls were more likely to perform household chores than boys and more children in rural areas undertook household chores (66%) than their urban peers (58%).
According to Godfrey Nabonyo, the manager communications and public relations UBOS, the report is informed by the National Labour Force and Child Activities Survey 2013, the first national survey of its kind in Uganda.
fonte www.newvision.co.ugInnocent Anguyo

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UGANDA: TOURISM, THE SLEEPING GIANT
11 october 2013
New World Bank report urges Uganda to scale up marketing for the industry to boost the economy. Enhancing the country’s image abroad alongside a deliberate courtship of investors into the sector will be crucial if the country’s tourism potential is to be realized, a recent World Bank report says. The report entitled, ‘Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Improved Growth and Livelihoods’ says African countries like Uganda can compete with other tourist-rich regions of the world if they can effectively plan for and integrate tourism into their economies.
Following years of sustained investment into the sector by the private sector, the report categorizes Uganda as being on the verge of tourism success, but at the same time cautions the country against complacency if it is to move into the select group of sub-Saharan countries like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Mauritius and Namibia that have deepened and sustained tourism. “It is not enough to have interesting natural and cultural attractions and ‘friendly people” the report prepared by the World Bank’s Africa Finance and Private Sector Development Tourism Team, cautions.
This latest report is the first World Bank study that has comprehensively examined tourism throughout sub-Saharan Africa and recommended practical, evidence-based measures to unleash the sector’s economic and development power across the continent.
According to the report, which was released on Oct. 3 in Washington DC, tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the world economy, and it is now ripe for development in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, the number of tourists arriving in sub-Saharan Africa has grown by 300% since 1990, with 2012 marking a high of 33.8 million tourists. In terms of income generated from the sector, this too has risen with receipts from hotels, tours and other attractions in 2012 amounting to over $ 36 billion.
According to the report, countries around the world have cashed in from tourism as international global arrivals have grown. But the expansion of tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of obstacles with issues such as land ownership and availability being at the forefront. Specifically, Uganda’s key constraints to tourism include poor physical connectivity to tourist sites, inadequate tourist information, low levels of ICT provision of tourist services, and inadequate specialized human resources for the hospitality industry.
Geoffrey Baluku, a tour operator and also the Secretary General of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), puts this particular restriction into perspective. He says whereas it will take a tourist in Rwanda two hours from Kanombe International Airport to the Volcanoes National Park, it will take one who preferred Bwindi Impenetrable National Park about 12 hours from Entebbe to travel to the South-West.
This according to Baluku always puts Uganda in a less competitive position yet the sector is highly competitive. Vivian Lyazi, the principal tourism officer who doubles as the spokesperson of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, told The Independent that the World Bank is spot on, noting that the government is working on infrastructure with main emphasis on roads and power supply. By doing this, Lyazi said, the cost of doing business in the sector would go down, which would help to attract more private sector players in the sector.
In order to ensure customer satisfaction and the safety of visitors the government is also working on quality assurance by strengthening its regulatory department at the ministry. The report urges governments to form alliances with the private sector and the private sector to partner with government at local, regional and national levels. Together they can plan and develop tourism infrastructure, increase transparency in land ownership and create a business-friendly environment for tour operators and other companies.
This, Herbert Byaruhanga, the president of the Uganda Tourism Association who also doubles as the chairman of the Uganda Safari Guides Association, says is the way to go. He says stakeholders in Uganda’s tourism sector can begin by working on an inventory on the sector that is very important but is glaringly lacking. “The people developing Uganda’s tourism sector need first hand information but todate, the country has no such inventory, which frustrates the private sector” he said. “For instance up to now, we do not know how many hotel rooms of international standard are in the country and we don’t know how many genuine tour operators and guides are in the country.
Tourism is the future
When sustainably managed, tourism fuels economic transformation, accelerates reform, triggers infrastructure improvements, and empowers women and minorities in countries throughout Africa, the report notes. According to the report, global international tourist arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa have been growing steadily at 4-5% per year on average since the 1950s; between 2009 and 2010, it adds, despite the global financial crisis, international tourist arrivals in the continent increased by 8%.
Therefore, the report notes, countries that are scaling-up tourism [Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe] need to invest in promotion and marketing, enhance their image, and provide sector incentives.
To become competitive worldwide, African governments and the private sector must work together in planning tourism infrastructure, promotion and financing” the report adds. Lyazi says because there is a big challenge of insufficient funds to aggressively market Uganda, the ministry is going for innovative strategies such as social media platforms to improve Uganda’s visibility. He said although Uganda received 1.2 million visitors in 2012, the tourists who came for leisure were about 250,000, which is way on the low side. “We need to improve on this number because this is where the money is.” At policy level, he says, the government is still negotiating for a single tourist visa with her four East African partners to boost the tourist numbers into the country.
fonte allafrica.com Ronald Musoke

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UGANDA: GOVT LAUNCHES ADOLESCENT GIRL’S VULNERABILITY INDEX
11 october 2013
Uganda today (Friday) launches the first ever Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability Index (AGI). It’s a joint effort of the Government, UNICEF and Population Council. Kyateeka Mondo the, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said the index represents the first global efforts to capturing the vulnerability of adolescent girls.
The focus on adolescent girls represents their particular vulnerability and role in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. It also captures vulnerability at individual, household and community levels, for girls 10 to 14, and 15 to 19Mondo said.
UNICEF’s David Stewart said adolescence is one of the most critical phases of human development during which the stage is set for later life. “The index was developed based on a growing recognition of the need to channel resources to this vital yet vastly underserved population. He said it will also aim to be a summary indicator that can serve as an advocacy tool to draw attention to adolescent girls as well as a rigorous measure to inform policy programme and resource allocation decisions” Stewart explained.
And on why the index is focused on the girl-child, Mondo said while all adolescents both boys and girls are entitled to decent livelihoods, girls face both disproportionate risks and distinctive consequences to vulnerabilities. “Girls’ and boys’ opportunities diverge during early adolescence. Girls face particular vulnerabilities and are more likely than their male peers to drop out of school, to marry at an early age, and to bear the brunt of poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes Mondo said. At the same time Plan Uganda will also launch the state of the World Girls 2013 report titled ‘In Double Jeopardy, Adolescent Girls and Disasters.
fonte allafrica.com Andrew Masinde

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AFRICA: ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD, INNOVATION KEY TO MORE GIRLS IN SCHOOL AND LEARNING
11 october 2013
To mark the second International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF today highlighted the power of innovation to get more girls in school and improve the quality of learning for all children. Despite the decreasing number of girls out of school, too many around the world are still denied a quality education and a chance to reach their full potential.
Evidence shows that even a single year of secondary school for a girl correlates with as much as a 25 per cent increase in her future earnings. But today, millions of girls are still out of school, including 31 million primary school aged girls.
Education can transform the lives of girls and strengthen their communities” – said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director – “Innovation can help us reach every girl by transforming education“.
With its partners, UNICEF is exploring how technology can increase access to education for out-of-school girls and improve the quality of learning for every child. In South Africa, the TechnoGirls partnership among UNICEF, the government, and over 100 private sector companies is connecting 10,000 adolescent girls with mentors from the tech sector to boost their skills and job readiness. Innovation is also helping governments and their partners to reach the hardest to r
each children who are at the greatest risk of being out of school.
In Uganda, EduTrack is using SMS text messaging to connect students and schools with UNICEF, enabling them to report on learning, teacher quality, and violence in schools. Innovation is not only about technology. It can mean embracing new ways to overcome other barriers that keep girls out of school, like improving sanitary facilities and keeping girls safe as they walk to and from school. “Innovation is giving us powerful new tools to reach and teach more girls than ever before” said Mr. Lake. “To help more girls go to school, stay in school, and complete their learning, we need to keep learning ourselves, using these new tools, generating new ideas, and scaling up the most promising innovations.”
UNICEF observed the International Day of the Girl Child with a series of events. These include a Google Hangout with students at the International School of Brooklyn and Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director to discuss girls’ education, and the unveiling of a unique interactive billboard which enables viewers to “erase” the image of child factory workers, revealing a hidden image of students in the classroom by award-winning actress Freida Pinto.
Together with Intel, UNICEF earlier conducted a Code for Good Hackathon, an event which brought together students from Stanford University and Contra Costa Community College in a 24-hour coding marathon to devise new ways of increasing South Sudanese girls’ access to quality learning, a problem posed by UNICEF’s Innovation Lab in South Sudan. Only 800 girls in the world’s newest country reach the last grade of secondary school. UNICEF released a video by internationally acclaimed American singer and songwriter Katy Perry ahead of the second annual International Day of the Girl Child.
fonte allafrica.com

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UGANDA, KARAMOJA – FROM A NEGLECTED DESERT TO A REGION ON THE MOVE
13 october 2013
On the Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto road, Alekilek, a rocky hill that looks like a 17th century fort with brown grass and acacia at the foot, welcomes you to Karamoja sub-region in the north-eastern corner of the country. The region shares international borders with South Sudan in the north and Kenya in the east and northeast.
Presently, Karamoja is made up of seven districts: Abim, Moroto, Kotido, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Amudat and Kaabong. The population estimated at over one million people consists of people loosely described as the Karimojong who are mainly of Nilo-Hamitic descent and practise cattle herding, with different social groupings but largely similar dialects with exception of a few that are quite distinct.
The main social groups that constitute the Karimojong are the Matheniko mainly in Moroto district, Bokora mainly in Napak and Pian. The others are Pokot, Tepeth, Nyakwae, Jie, Dodoth, Ik, Napore, and Ethur.
Moroto municipality, clustered at the foot of the imposing Mount Moroto, is Karamoja’s main town. Founded in 1912, the town is an oasis of modernity in the region, with only the main street, Lia, tarmacked. It hosts pretty decent guesthouses, restaurants, shops and, of course, the two nightclubs. Moroto town may be a long way from the city, and the trappings of modernity, but it is not as bad as many people have portrayed it. Mount Moroto hotel just outside town is ‘the region’s Serena hotel’.
Extremes – Arguably, Karamoja is a land of many contrasts. The landscape is flat semi-arid savannah grasslands, and acacia-wooded hills punctuated by imposing rocky volcanic mountains like Moroto and Napak. Here, it is always dry, hot with heavy but short rainfall seasons. In fact, it rarely rains here. But when it finally does, it is always short and heavy often washing away roads and bridges, with rivers emerging from nowhere.
Mark Aol Musooka, the LC-V chairman Moroto and one of the elders says, “As you might have seen and experienced, when it stops raining, temperatures run very high and all the grass withers“. With the fabulous fauna and flora especially in Kidepo Valley national park in Kaabong district, the region’s distinctiveness can’t be overemphasized. Indeed, it is a region with exceptional diversity of physical features.
Blessed with many minerals including gold, Karamoja represents a typical case of two extremes: abundant mineral wealth and poverty exacerbated by years of cattle rustling and insecurity, a situation that government is correcting through several interventions. For decades, the area was characterized by lawlessness and insecurity. Cattle rustling defined Karamoja. The disarmament programme that disarmed warriors gave the region a new hope. 
Prosperity
Following an improvement in peace and security, after the disbarment exercise, government through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is making strides in transforming the area to match the rest of the country in development.
See, just like the rest of the country, the health system is gradually improving. Several health centres have been built and equipped with drugs and other equipments. Moroto hospital was upgraded to a regional referral hospital and equipped to handle the new role as expected. On top of constructing health centres, government has also constructed staff quarters, maternity wards and encouraged expectant mothers to utilize health centres when giving birth.
For the first time in history, the region now has hydroelectricity.
Moroto and Abim districts were recently connected to the national grid, while Nakapiripirit’s connection awaits commissioning. The region will also soon have its first tarmac road. The Moroto-Nakapiripirit-Muyembe road is already under construction.
Through different initiatives such as Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF I), Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP), the government has been able to construct many valley dams particularly to provide water for animals.
Cattle branding – For a long time, violent cattle raids that often ended in brutal killings, abductions and raping of girls and women, among other vices, were synonymous with the Karimojong. As a way of stamping out cattle raids, government in 2010 introduced electronic branding of animals, especially cattle, to check on theft.
The project was initiated by the minister for Karamoja Affairs, Janet Museveni, in conjunction with the Office of the Prime Minister. It is aimed at tracing stolen animals with the aid of an electronic chip. In the cattle electronic branding system, a computer chip containing all information about the animal’s owner is inserted into the cow’s stomach through the mouth. This information can be read using scanners which will be available in every market for inspection.
The animal is also ear-tagged and the owner issued with a certificate which he has to produce before selling the animal. Once any branded animal is stolen, it can be traced using a mobile computer stick and the machine will tell the particulars of the animal owner, village, parish and sub-county of origin.
fonte allafrica.com Edward Ssekika

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SEGNALI DI DISTENSIONE TRA KAMPALA E KHARTOUM
14 ottobre 2013
Un incontro franco e amichevole”: così il ministro degli Esteri sudanese Ali Karti ha definito il faccia a faccia tra il presidente Omar Hassan al Bashir e il suo omologo ugandese Yoweri Museveni avvenuto a margine del vertice dell’Unione Africana conclusosi ieri ad Addis Abeba.
La notizia del colloquio tra i due capi di Stato – il primo da dieci anni – si è rapidamente diffusa sulla stampa africana e regionale che parla di ‘disgelo’ nei rapporti tra Kampala e Khartoum. Da anni, i due governi si accusano reciprocamente di sostenere gruppi ribelli l’uno nel territorio dell’altro: Kampala accusa il vicino di armare l’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore di Joseph Kony (LRA), attivo anche in Centrafrica, Congo e Sud Sudan, mentre Khartoum critica il sostegno e l’accoglienza offerti da Kampala ai vertici del Movimento popolare di liberazione del Sudan – Nord (Splm-N) protagonista della ribellione nelle regioni meridionali di Blue Nile e Sud Kordofan.
Non credo si sia nella condizione di dire che abbiamo trovato una soluzione al problema – ha ammesso Karti – ma indubbiamente ci sono progressi”. Il ministro ha aggiunto inoltre che i due leader si sono impegnati a “cessare qualunque attività ostile” l’uno nei confronti dell’altro.
fonte www.misna.org

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PADIGLIONE ITALIA INCANTA FIERA INTERNAZIONALE KAMPALA
14 ottobre 2013
Successo per il Padiglione Italia alla Fiera Internazionale di Kampala, frutto della collaborazione tra l’Ice e il Business Club Italia in Uganda (Bci-U). Alla principale manifestazione fieristica del Paese africano, l’Italia si è presentata con una struttura di 110 metri quadrati, strategicamente piazzata, che ha ospitato gli espositori italiani, incantando i visitatori.
E’ stata un’occasione per ribadire le potenzialità del mercato dell’Africa orientale per le Pmi italiane, come ha sottolineato l’ambasciatore Stefano Antonio Dejak, nel corso di un incontro sulle prospettive del Made in Italy in Uganda e nella regione. Dejak ha anche ospitato in residenza un dibattito con il ministro del Commercio, Industria e Cooperative ugandese, Amelia Kyambadde, al quale hanno preso parte sessanta fra imprenditori venuti dall’Italia per la fiera, membri del Bci-U e alcuni rappresentanti delle Ong più interessate a una cooperazione con le imprese.
Il dinamismo e le potenzialità della regione per le imprese italiane hanno avuto conferma nelle scorse settimane con la nascita della Camera di Commercio Italiana in Africa Orientale (Cciao), fondata dagli imprenditoriali italiani attivi in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ruanda e Burundi per sostenere la penetrazione commerciale delle Pmi nell’area.
fonte www.agi.it

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SCIENCE EDUCATION SCORECARD LAUNCHED
20 october 2013
The Uganda Science Education Programme (USEP) has launched an academic progressive score card to monitor the quality of science learning and teaching in secondary schools. The score card, a school based monitoring tool, is aimed at improving science education in the country.
It seeks to answer questions of whether teaching is taking place, how good it is and how to improve teaching to boost learning. It works through participative school based monitoring system, where head teachers, directors of studies and heads of department are involved in planning, evaluating the teaching and learning of science subjects.
Speaking during the launch at Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday, the ministry of education commissioner in charge of private schools, Robnison Lyazi Nsumba said the rate of failure in science subjects in secondary schools is worrying. “There is a real problem in our hands, 50% of the students are performing poorly in science subjects. If the schools were hospitals then you would see the impact of failure by a number of patients dying” Nsumba said.
According to the 2012 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) results, Mathematics and other science subjects were the most poorly done, whereby 42.5% of the candidates failed Biology and only 1% got distinctions while 23.9% got credits in the subjects. In Mathematics, only 2.1% got distinctions and 23.9% got credits while in physics, 52.7% of the candidates failed and only 0.7% got distinctions and 18.1% got credits. In chemistry, 0.9% candidates passed with distinctions and 11.2 % got credits.
Nsumba was optimistic that the academic progressive score card would help monitor progress. “There are many textbooks and boxes of chemicals that have never been used in schools. The score card will monitor the use of equipment, delivery by teachers and consequently improve performance“.
The USEP chairman, Bro. Brian Francis Matsiko said the score card has been tried out in 15 schools across the country in the last four years and have received feedback on how it has improved performance. USEP is a non-profit making organisation under Kisubi Brothers University College established in 2009 to compliment government efforts in the prioritization policy of science education in a bid to improve the quality of teaching and learning of science subjects in Secondary schools in Uganda.
Commissioner Secondary Education Standards, Kedrace Turyagyenda said one cause of poor performance in science subjects is inadequate supervision of the learning and teaching process. “The card is providing data which is evidence of performance. This will enable schools become accountable to themselves and improve planning and learning outcomes in secondary school” Turyagyenda said. Nsumba said the score card was supervised by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and the directorate of standards in the ministry of education.
It will be rolled out to other schools once the ministry is satisfied with its use. He however cited financial implications in rolling it out.
fonte www.newvision.co.ugAgnes Kyotalengerire

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UGANDA: RAILWAY DELIVERS COMMERCIAL OPTIMISM TU GULU
29 october 2013
The line is expected to ease transportation of cargo and boost investment in the once war-torn district. The re-commissioned railway line is also set to further enhance Gulu as the hub for trade and agriculture in the northern part of the country.
Speaking at the re-commissioning of the railway line last week, President Museveni urged the people of Gulu to take advantage of the railway line and boost their agricultural potential. “What we should do is to ensure that every homestead has got something to sell, so that we produce the crops that will be carried by this railway.”
The district, known for cassava and simsim growing, is characterised by huge sects of uncultivated land. This has made Gulu hugely dependant on petty businesses and a budding tourism sector, especially in the hospitality sector. With the re-commissioning of the railway network, which covers the towns of Tororo, Mbale, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu and Pakwach, there have been calls for the locals to engage in commercial agriculture.
The Gulu LCV Chairman, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, sees the railway as providing the best opportunity for agricultural development after years of poor road infrastructure. “Our road network has had terrible consequences on businesses and lives. This gives us the best opportunity. The district lies at the centre of arable land, making it the best potential hub for agri-business.”
The railway line, which was last in operation in 1993, is now open for business following a first phase operation of repairs on the track, bridges, culverts and community engagements. This refurbishing cost $2m (Shs 5.2bn), according to Rift Valley Railways – the company with the concession to revive the railway line – and took 10 months to complete. Rift Valley Railways (RVR) now plans to invest close to $14m (Shs 36.4bn) in a second phase to increase load capacity. The third phase by RVR will involve replacing vandalised locations plus increasing the wagon fleet.
The improvement of the railway has already eased the transportation of goods to South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to officials. Gulu district Woman MP Betty Ochan hopes the railway line will now attract more investments in the region, which will ultimately deal with the high rates of unemployment and poverty.
fonte allafrica.com Edgard Angumya

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