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How Uganda Milk & Sugar Control Kenya’s Economy

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Kenyans have never believed that Uganda can produce anything worth in surplus to sell to the neighbouring markets.

It should be remembered that since the late 1960’s, Uganda slid into lengthy intermittent civil wars and this gave a chance to Kenya that embarked on growing its economy and turning into a leading producer of all forms of products that the region needed.

However, Uganda has been steadily working around its internal economics for example in western region, farmers started investing heavily in dairy farming and changed from keeping local longhorn Ankole cattle to rearing modern breeds.

People from western Uganda started settling down after the wars in Uganda, hence abandoning nomadism. The revolution in dairy farming has resulted in high production of milk against the low domestic and fragile foreign markets.

According to statistics, Uganda today produces 2.6 billion litres of milk per annum. However, domestic demand stands at only 800 million litres, creating a huge surplus.

Uganda started exploring neighbouring markets like Kenya and found a huge gap and noticed that it would easily penetrate Kenya by selling at lower price compared to Kenyan milk.

The attractiveness of Ugandan milk is helped by a lower production cost that stands at about Sh17 when compared with Kenya’s Sh26 on average per litre.

In the past few years, Ugandan Milk flooded Kenya and swiftly became the best choice and much sought after milk.

It is said that Ugandan milk was retailing at about KSh40 for a half litre while the Kenyan local brands traded at Sh45 on average, leaving processors with unmoving stocks as price sensitive consumers preferred the cheaper imported product.

Kenya government was so devastated by the manner in which Uganda which they despised for decades would incidentally disrupt the market.

People of western Uganda started settling down after the wars in Uganda, hence abandoning nomadism after the lengthy civil wars

The chairperson of the Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation (KDFF) Stanley Ng’ombe, said Ugandan milk has had a negative impact on Kenyan farmers, driving down the volumes that they can afford to produce because of the low prices.

Kenya government has been wondering whether Uganda has the capacity to produce this entire surplus, with allegations that much of it comes from third party countries as powder milk then reconstituted in the neighbouring country before finding its way to Kenya.

Kenya government claims that most of the milk coming from Uganda is imported into that country as powder from Europe.

“We know that Uganda has no capacity to produce all this milk and there is likelihood that most of it comes from Europe before finding its way to Kenya,” said Stanley Ng’ombe who heads 26 dairy cooperatives scattered across Kenya.

After several complaints by Kenyan farmers over the influx of Ugandan milk, which had seen a litre touch the historic low of KSh17, the government reacted by confiscating thousands of tonnes of milk from Uganda and consequently stopping imports.

As if that was not enough, Kenya slapped the Mbarara based Lato Milk with an import ban early in the year, the effects have been devastating for farmers in Uganda. Hundreds of workers in Pearl Dairies, the makers of Lato Milk sent on leave with production at the firm cut to bare minimum.

Kenya Dairy Board says that milk imports from Uganda have been regulated at the moment and that there is no more dumping of the produce in the country.

Margret Kibogy Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director says, “We have tightened the surveillance and no longer have firms from Uganda dumping milk here as all the commodity coming in is well regulated.”

However, under the EAC Common Market Protocol, products from member states are allowed to move freely from one country to another.

The measure put in place by the regulator saw the price of milk increase to KSh36 before going up again to KSh40 a litre, but this time on account of low production.

Kenya and Uganda set up a joint verification team to assess the status of Ugandan sugar.

Uganda Sugar Diplomacy In Kenya

After several years of back and forth arguments and disagreements on whether Uganda had the capacity to produce excess sugar to flood Kenya, the battle was won by Uganda.

Since 2015, Uganda and Kenya nearly severed ties because Kenya did not believe that its neighbour had the capacity to export sugar.

With this state of contention, the two countries decided to assemble a verification team to independently investigate Uganda’s sugar production capacity.

The team visited 11 sugar factories in Uganda. According to the findings, Uganda’s Surplus Sugar for the year 2014/15 was 36,000MT on average.

Kenya later admitted that Uganda, its aggressive neighbour has the muscle to export large volumes of sugar to countries in the region.

Uganda Wins Sugar Dispute Against Kenya

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Airtel Rwanda Partners With Canal+ To Ease Payment Of Subscription Fees Via Airtel Money

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Airtel Rwanda and Canal+ Rwanda have launched a partnership, enabling customers to easily make subscription payments.

The partnership announced at a joint press conference today provides clients of both CANAL+ and Airtel a simpler, instant and secure payments method using Airtel Money.

CANAL+ Rwanda is the subsidiary of CANAL+INTERNATIONAL, TV operator by satellite in Africa and present in over  25 African countries.

CANAL+ Rwanda have a trilingual package with 200 channels in French, Kinyarwanda and English and it offers accessible bouquet starting from 5,000 Francs with a distribution network throughout the country.

Speaking at the launch event, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Hamez said “We are delighted to launch this new service on our Airtel Money platform we welcome all Canal+ customers to enjoy the convenience and simplicity offered by Airtel Money both on the USSD as well as in the My Airtel App”.

The new service that was launched today comes on the heels of an ongoing Airtel Money campaign called Free P2P which enables all Airtel Money customers to send and receive any amount of money for FREE.

“Free P2P or Ohereza Amafaranga Ku Buntu was launched in June 2021 saw Airtel scrap all charges to send and receive money between customers, a major differentiator that positions Airtel Money to become the provider of choice when it comes to payment of good and services such Canal+ that we have launched today” added Hamez.

Canal+ Rwanda’s Managing Director, Madam Sophie TCHATCHOUA said “It gives me great pleasure to allow Canal+ client to renew their subscription with Airtel Money. The successful integration of our mutual services makes life easier for our beloved customers who can now recharge and seamlessly have their images back and all this can be done from the comfort of their home”.

To renew your subscription via Airtel Money, customers can simply dial the direct short code string *500*4*3*2*4*1# on either their smartphone on feature phone, input their 14 Digit of their decoder  number, select their preferred bouquet and make the payment which is recognized by the Canal+ billing system instantly.

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Hundreds Of Passengers Miss Flight In Uganda Due To Delayed COVID-19 Tests

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Hundreds of Ugandans have been left stranded at Entebbe International Airport by the Emirates Airways after the laboratory where they had taken their Covid-19 results delayed to return them on time.

In a Snapchat post by Ugandan socialite Sheila Gashumba, she ranted, ‘’When I tell Ugandans that Covid in Uganda is a business they say I have ‘kajanja’.

Now all Emirates passengers have missed their flights because Safari Lab sent Covid results at 2:45pm and Emirates closed its gate at 3pm.

The hospital said it couldn’t work on everyone in the short time.

Around 300 passengers missed their flight yet Safari Lab had made a total of UgSh75m since everyone had paid UGX 250,000 for the test.

In the video where all passengers were visibly angry and frustrated, they can be heard asking for what the solution is and who is going to pay for the tickets again now that those that they had paid for can no longer be used anymore.

Passengers expressed their frustration at the rot in the service.

“I experienced such thing in March as the officers in charge claimed that the gates were close at 1pm as the flight was at 3pm,” one twitter user said.

Some made jokes out of it and asked, if this was because of the US$10 tax that is in the process of being introduced and will be paid by anyone that leaves the country using the Entebbe International Airport.

Another twitter user @kasoxialex2000 asked, ‘’@UgandaCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority), but seriously you guys when you move to some airports don’t you copy something? Why are we ever backwards??? Stop embarrassing us. Who will save Uganda’’
By press time there was no official communication from the Civil Aviation Authority, Safari Lab nor Emirates Airways.

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Kagame Tells Bankers, Banking Can’t Just Be “Service For Elites”

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Banking can’t just be a service for elites, President Paul Kagame has said.  He made the remarks while speaking at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Nigeria that he attended virtually.

Running under the theme, ‘’Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’, the two-day conference will aim at the need to reposition the Finance and Banking sector as a catalyst for Economic recovery, transformation and inclusive growth.

In his remarks, he noted how the Covid pandemic has affected every aspect of Africa’s economies but at the same time also presents an opportunity for African banks to play a leading role in making societies more resilient and more responsive to the needs of Africans.

‘’Whatever affects business, affects banking. Financial services are the engine of private sector development. Banks are crucial for allocating capital wisely and productively,’’ he further added.

President Kagame noted that, in order to stay competitive, there is need to keep integrating new technology into banking to increase financial inclusion and access as banking can’t just be a service of elites.

He also went ahead to reemphasize what he has always said when it comes to African states always depending on the West and other countries for support. ‘’Indeed, Africa has the resources to fund its own economic growth and reduce dependence on external resources,’’ he said.

Kagame also noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating new opportunities for Pan African Trade and investment. ‘’Banks with continental reach, like several of the institutions represented here can lead the way in cementing economic integration.’’

As he concluded, he stated how the banking sector, more than any other, understands the importance of integrity and good customer service. ‘’Banking is ultimately about trust. We look to you to set the pace in this regard. Our role as governments is to maintain good enabling environments, protecting both shareholders and customers while allowing for innovation. We expect you to keep challenging us on this,’’ he said.

In attendance at the same conference was the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Edwin Emefiele who made a huge announcement.  He said, ‘’Central Bank, will, in the next twelve months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.’’

In Rwanda, current statistics show that even though there are still various challenges that continue to put women behind men when it comes to financial inclusion, the number of women who are currently banked have risen from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.

This is according to a FinScope 2020 Gender thematic report on the state of women financial inclusion in Rwanda that was supported by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

In one of the Focus Notes from Access to Finance Rwanda, farmers reported that women and men enjoy equal rights and treatment at specified two Financial institutions in the Focus note and therefore no special gender based treatment yet the outcomes of each groups are not equal.

At both Financial Institutions, women and youths are more likely to use loans to hire land farm as they lack access to land and they have been assisted by addressing some of the barriers that women and youth face in accessing loans.

The conference will therefore focus on how banking can be a service enjoyed by all Africans regardless of their financial strengths through making access to finance for development is an easy and smooth process.

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