Posts tagged as: environment

South Africa: Energy Notes Judgement By Cape Town High Court in the Earthlife and Safcei Litigation

press release

The Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi, notes the judgement by the Cape Town High court in the Earthlife and South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) case against the Minister of Energy and other respondents. The Minister has now directed the Department to study the judgment, and will pronounce on the matter in due course.

The Minister will also engage all other relevant parties on the outcome of the matter.

The Department reiterates that the South African Government has not entered into any deal or signed any contract for the procurement of nuclear power. However, there are Inter-governmental Agreements (IGA’s) signed between South Africa and the following countries: United States of America, South Korea, China, Russia, and France.

The Minister will engage Parliament on this matter going forward.

Issued by: Department of Energy

South Africa

Dam Levels Decline in Most Provinces

The national storage of 211 dams has decreased slightly by 0.3% to 72.9% compared to 73.2 last week, according to the… Read more »

South Africa: Nuclear Deal – Court Puts the Brakes On Deal

RESOURCE: Court Sets Aside South African Govt’s Huge Nuclear Dealanalysis

The Western Cape High Court’s ruling on Wednesday that the nuclear procurement process has been unlawful and unconstitutional won’t necessarily scupper government’s plans to expand nuclear energy. It means the procurement process will have to begin with a clean slate. By GREG NICOLSON.

Judge Lee Bozalek ruled in favour of applicants Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) on Wednesday, significantly derailing current attempts to proceed with the construction of 9,600 MW in nuclear plants and issue binding proposal requests in June.

Bozalek said the state’s section 34 determinations, allowing it to procure nuclear power, are “unlawful and unconstitutional” and must be set aside. Any steps taken since the 2013 and 2016 determinations must also be set aside. The court also found that the inter-governmental agreements reached with Russia, the United States and Korea regarding the deals were also unlawful and unconstitutional and should be set aside. The energy minister was ordered to pay the applicants’ legal costs.

Safcei and Earthlife argued that any future nuclear procurement attempts from the energy minister should be subject to a public participation process, which Bozalek did not order. He did, however, go into detail about the requirements for the…

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Nuclear – the Trillion Rand Deal Our Children Will Pay for

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Namibia: Comprehensive Conservation Programme On Track

Windhoek — The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and partners in Namibia regard Conservation Agriculture (CA) as an optional approach for all farming households to manage agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity and food security, while preserving and enhancing the resource base and the environment.

Responding to questions by Farmers Forum regarding the achievements of the Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme (CCAP) since its inception last March, senior public relations officer of the MAWF Margaret Kalo said to complement existing national initiatives in achieving national food security, the MAWF formulated the CCAP via a stakeholder consultation process.

“Whilst the MAWF developed the CCAP recognising the development opportunity provided by climate-smart Conservation Agriculture (CA) and complementary Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) as a suitable approach in our farming systems, it is imperative to note that adoption constraints at all levels must be overcome to mainstream CA in a targeted manner involving all stakeholders who have a role in ensuring its success,” she notes.

She notes that the sequential implementation of the CCAP interventions was initiated immediately with its official launching on March 17, 2015. “The MAWF is satisfied with the CCAP implementation outcomes to date, including the planned activities by all role players during 2016, and comments all stakeholders for their commitment and support in this endeavour,” she observed.

“As for any programmatic procedure, the CCAP interventions were reviewed and endorsed without major changes at the National CA Conference in October 2015 by 230 participants representing 73 institutions for continual implementation in 2016. With such notable stakeholder interest and backing, moreover their agreement with CCAP implementation modalities, the MAWF is confident that all overall targeted interventions will be achieved by 2019,” she assures.

Kalo further points out that the N$94 million announced at the launch of the project are not funds that are available, but merely the required budgetary resources for the implementation of CCAP over its five years. The figure does also not account for interventions, products and services provided by the government of Namibia under other ongoing and planned programmes.

However, it is commendable that MAWF and stakeholders have to date secured substantial resources that enabled the collective and satisfactory implementation of CCAP interventions.

CCAP progress highlights for 2015 as reported to the MAWF by various stakeholders include:

Mobilisation of external resources (N$20million) from development partners such as the EU, FAO, GIZ, NAFOLA and SCORE to support MAWF in the implementation of CA in Namibia.

Successful hosting of the 2015 National CA stakeholders conference attended by 230 participants representing 73 institutions.

Adoption of the CA coordination framework by all stakeholders in Namibia, and the institutionalisation of the National CA comprising of 25 stakeholders and chaired by MAWF.

Establishment of the Kavango East, Kavango West, Omaheke and Zambezi CA Regional Forums as platforms for the coordinated implementation of CA at regional level.

Conducted a CA learning and exposure visit to Zambia by 30 frontline officers representing 8 institutions, which stimulated public and private sector interest for collaboration with Namibian partners.

Initiation of a CA baseline study to compile and analyse existing date, draw lessons and a plan for accelerated implementation in all crop growing regions.

Commencement with the development of standards and guidelines for CA monitoring and evaluation based on international FAO guidelines.

Awareness and advocacy interventions initiated with the development and publication of the CA brief, and production of CA leaflets, stickers and posters outlining key messages on CA to be distributed nationwide.

Recruitment of accredited CA trainers initiated to develop appropriate training manuals for extension staff and farmers, whilst the training needs assessment among all frontline officers to inform the material development process is under finalization.

Procured a variety of CA specific equipment, including tractors, implements and tools valued at about N$ million suitable for small-scale farmer use.

Through the Rain-fed Crop Production Programme, land in various agro ecological zones was serviced (cultivation, fertilising, planting and weeding) by applying one of the three CA principles, while superior adaptive seeds (maize, mahangu and legumes) have been used.

Initiated the drafting of a National CA communication and Visibility plan to guide stakeholders in CA messaging and effective communication.

Secured on-farm and on-station CA demonstration plots for practical showcasing of CA practices and related GAPs to farmers, with renovations of training and other physical facilities nearing completion.

MPs Criticise Cuts in Budget for Vice President’s Office

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — Two Parliamentary Standing Committees and the Opposition Camp yesterday raised concern over proposed budget cuts at the Vice President’s Office for the next fiscal year, 2017/18.

The committees and the opposition camp also decried government failure to release on time funds for development for the same office in the current fiscal year, 2016/17 which ends in June.

The Minister in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment) January Makamba yesterday presented a Sh19,916,595,437 budget for the next fiscal year, which is Sh4.1 billion down from the current budget of Sh24,035,883,448.

The budget has two main votes, the Vice President (VP) and her office (Union Affairs and Environment). While the budget of the VP registered an increase from Sh3.6 billion this year to Sh4.9 for the next financial year, that of her office has dropped by Sh5.3 billion or 26 per cent, from Sh20.3 billion of this fiscal year to Sh15 billion for the next fiscal year.

Reacting to the budget proposals, the parliamentary committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs which oversees Union Affairs, Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment alongside the Official Opposition Camp said the estimates for the next year were far too low compared to the burden of the VP’s Office.

Dr Mary Mwanjelwa (Special Seats-CCM) on behalf of the environment committee told the House that the committee has realised the requested the financial demand of conserving the country’s environment is greater that the requested funds.

“The committee is not satisfied with the budget ceiling for this office because it does not reflect the importance of the office…

“Sh6.7 billion is requested for development budget for the VP’s office in 2017/18 which is 38 per cent down for the amount allocated in this fiscal year which is Sh10.9 billion,” she told the House.

Mr Joseph Mhagama (Madaba-CCM) from the Justice and Constitutional Affairs committee told the House that budget for the VP’s office has been registering significant budget cuts since 2015/16 fiscal year.

“In 2016/17 the budget dropped by Sh17 billion compared to 2015/16, and in 2017/18 the drop is Sh5 billion compared to 2016/17. The situation is largely affecting the office in executing its duties,” he said adding, “the government should allocate sufficient funds and disburse them timely especially in the area of development projects.”

The Opposition camp’s speech on Union Affairs, which was tabled by Mr Ally Saleh (Malindi-CUF) noted that the VP is a national brand and as the most senior aide to the President her office should be accorded with budget that reflects its importance.

“The situation is not acceptable… we support the Constitutional and Legal Affairs but propose that the VP’s office budget should be increased,” reads Mr Saleh speech in part.


Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

Tanzania maintained its position as the second largest military spender in East Africa last year as the global… Read more »

Tanzania Losing Too Much Forest Cover, Says Minister

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — The Minister of State in Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Mr January Makamba, yesterday told the Parliament that serious measures are required to save the country from environmental disaster.

He the august House while tabling his office’s budget estimates for the 2017/18 fiscal year, that according to a report by the National Forestry Resources Monitoring and Assesment (Naforma), Tanzania is losing 372,000 hectares of natural forests per annum.

According to the minister, the biggest challenge that his office is facing is poor environment knowledge by the people. “I believe this will be a challenge for us all, and we should educate our people that most of the adverse effects that we are experiencing today are a result of our own activities,” said the minister.

Speaking of his latest tour of the Ngorongoro Crater, the minister said that one third of the crater has been invaded y allien species. “Other parts of the crater have also been invaded by the species, the greenery is still there but it is not consumed by the animals. A task force made up by scientists is currently working on the matter and will soon table measures to arrest the situation.”

He also talked about the Greater Ruaha River which he recently toured. He told the House that the water flow is largely affected and poses a huge danger to two main hydropower dams, namely, Mtera and Kidatu.

“There are a number wealthy and highly placed individuals who have diverted water from the river to their farms. We are going to deal with them accordingly to save the water flow and the greater Ruaha-Rufiji basin,” the minister said.

He noted that the government has successifully whipped a ban on the production of sachet-packed spirits, popularly known as viroba, which were a notorious agent of environmental pollution.


Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

Tanzania maintained its position as the second largest military spender in East Africa last year as the global… Read more »

State Secures 230 Billion/ – for Climate Change Mitigation Projects

By Rose Athumani

Dodoma — Vice-President’s Office (VPO) has secured 230bn/- for execution of adaptation measures in a strategic Simiyu water project to mitigate climate change effects.

Minister of State in VPO, Union Affairs and Environment, January Makamba, told the National Assembly here yesterday that his office is still seeking more funds from international climate change bodies to implement various projects for mitigation of climate change.

According to Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment) Mr January Makamba “The VPO’s office will continue writing more project proposals for implementation of adaptation projects to mitigate the climate change effects, which cut across all sectors in the country, including production and public services,” he said as he tabled his ministry’s budget estimates for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

Four other projects on biodiversity conservation that the ministry had presented to the Global Environment Facility have received a funding green light, bringing to nine the total number of projects that will receive funding from the facility.

“Our strategy is to make a case that climate change effects are among the challenges affecting our economic growth,” explained the Minister, saying the argument will help in securing funds for implementation of adaptation strategies to mitigate the effects, boast production and improve delivery of public services.

Outlining strategies currently implemented to restore and safeguard lake and river water sources, Mr Makamba said a national taskforce that Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan launched recently on the conservation of River Ruaha Basin has started its work.once the industries start operating.

“It has since been agreed that there is need to look for a partner or investor to inject funds to enable the facility start operations,” she said.

“Already, LAPF Pension Fund has agreed to pump in the required amount of funds to complete the construction works for the plant to start meat processing in the next six months,” she explained, assuring that LAPF investment in the meat factory will be guided by the legal requirements under the Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA).

“This is to ensure that members’ contributions are invested carefully in a manner that will benefit the funds and public,” she stated.

She appreciated the financial boost by the pension scheme towards allowing the processing facility to begin operations in the next six months and eventually reduce unemployment problem through job creation.

“It is our hope that the factory will also check conflicts pitting farmers against livestock keepers since the pastoralists will have a readily available and lucrative market for their cattle and peasants get opportunity to establish pastureland for livestock,” she observed.


Tanzania Maintains Place As Second Largest Military Spender

Tanzania maintained its position as the second largest military spender in East Africa last year as the global… Read more »

‘Seeking to Manufacture Plastic Bags…invest in Recycling Plant’

Photo: Daily News

Plastic Bags.

Morogoro — New plastic bag manufacturing factories in the country will have to install recycling facilities as the government moves to curb environmental degradation, the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) has announced.

NEMC Coordinator for the Eastern Zone Jaffar Chimgege, speaking here over the weekend, said: “As a country, we face a serious challenge when it comes to littering the environment by plastic materials and solid waste…they both pose serious threat to the environment.”

He made the revelation shortly before he welcomed Morogoro Regional Commissioner Stephen Kebwe to officiate at a two-day workshop for environment and health officials on enforcement of the Environment Act.

The officials were drawn from local government authorities in Tanga, Coast and Morogoro regions. Mr Chimgege said various measures, including compelling manufacturers to produce plastic materials of approved specifications, were being undertaken to address the environmental pollution situation.

He cited the recent total ban on production of plastic sachets hitherto used to pack alcoholic drinks, saying new manufacturers of plastic materials will be required to install recycling facilities.

“The aim is to curb environment pollution through reduction of indiscriminately discarded litters of plastic materials on land and water bodies,” he stressed.

Speaking at the workshop, NEMC’s Chief Environment Officer Glory Kombe, pleaded with members of the public, particularly urban dwellers, to reduce the uses of plastic bags when shopping.

“In rural areas, people re-use one plastic bags for several times, they wash and reuse them…this has checked scattering of plastic materials in villages. We should as well consider other materials like baskets,” she advised.

The official as well urged people to separate solid waste to enable recycling factories to reprocess plastic materials for other uses.

Morogoro RC, Dr Kebwe, urged the environment and health officials to effectively enforce the Environment Act, saying the central government has now given more powers to local government authorities to oversee the legislation.


Stage Set for Hearing of High-Profile Drug Cases

Hearing of three cases of suspects nabbed with drugs at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in 2013 and 2014… Read more »

Climate Change and Global Warming Pose Threat to Ecosystems

opinionBy Mramba Nyindo

This article on climate change and global warming starts with a reference to what the scriptures state. When all was set to put humans on earth in the creation process, two gases – oxygen and carbon dioxide – were considered essential to sustain life in humans and plants.

Adam was instructed to nurture and protect the environment as the scriptures inform us. Plants make and release oxygen and humans use oxygen to sustain life. We use oxygen to generate carbon dioxide, which plants use to make oxygen and sugar.

Greenhouse gases

Other gases, for example, methane arise from different sources. Carbon dioxide and methane are the main gases that make this world stay warm because they can absorb heat. Carbon dioxide and methane are known as greenhouse gases. But when greenhouse gases are in excess in the air they cause global warming.

All living things, including microbes, birds, mammals and plants, generate waste products that must be removed from their bodies. Humans and other mammals release waste products in form of faeces, urine and carbon dioxide.

Sewage systems, where available, handle feces and urine to specific collection or disposal sites known as septic tanks. Humans are prone to generate rubbish or garbage from their homes. In towns and cities rubbish or garbage is collected and taken to landfills.

Our ability to manage sewage and garbage and pollutants from where we live or work, factories and cars is of paramount importance. We have the capability to develop control measures, which would save the environment and turn sewage and garbage for useful purposes. You will be surprised that each day a human being excretes about 125 grams of faeces and 1,400 millilitres of urine.

These two products are generally termed waste because they arise from the food we eat and the liquids we drink. Tanzania with a population of 56,784,974 inhabitants produces 7,098,121kg of faeces and 79,500,363.6 litres of urine per day. How is this colossal volume of waste disposed of? Because most people in Tanzania live in villages, where piped water and flush toilets are in most cases unavailable, much of the voided urine and faeces is stored in latrines. Urine and some of the dissolved faeces generate greenhouse gases. Urine and faeces could percolate through the latrine and contaminate surrounding rivers and streams and may in that way spread diseases.

Flush toilets

Flush toilets are common in towns and cities, where after flushing a toilet the waste is driven through a sewage system into a septic tank facility, where the waste is broken down by bacteria. Ideally, sewage must undergo treatment in a wastewater treatment plant before it is disposed of, for example, before it is released into lakes, the sea or as fertiliser or other purposes. This procedure is done in the western world. In the developing world, sewage treatment has not been fully realised. After sewage has undergone treatment sewage sludge and a nutrient-rich-digestate remain behind and can be used to generate biogas, whereas the digestate is fit as land fertiliser.

Sewers emit primarily methane, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, which are greenhouses gases. Because this article is on global warming and climate change it is also necessary to explain some specific terminologies. At about 20 to 30km above the earth surface is found the ozone layer. Ozone is derived from oxygen. Ozone layer absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which is harmful to living things on earth.

Damaging the ozone layer

Certain gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, can damage the ozone layer, when they exceed certain concentration in the air. The heat that ultraviolet radiation emits on earth is absorbed by greenhouse gases such as water vapour, methane and carbon dioxide.

When this happens we are protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation such as the development of cancer. So, before we condemn methane and carbon dioxide as bad greenhouse gases we must give them credit because they are able to keep the world warm.

The problem arises, when too much carbon dioxide and methane accumulate in the air since they absorb much heat which produces global warming. Before things started going bad in the atmosphere after the industrial revolution the atmospheric methane concentration was 0.0017 per cent. That of carbon dioxide was 0.0360 per cent. Methane is 30 times more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide. In 2014, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 81 per cent and of methane was 11 per cent. This is a phenomenal increase.

Hard Statistics

Some hard statistics on cars on the road is baffling: The number of cars (in millions) in selected four countries is as follows: Canada 34 (by 2015), USA 250 (by 2015), Germany 62 (by 2015), Japan 68 (by 2011), China 300 (by 2015). By contrast Kenya had 0.028 (by 2016), while Tanzania had 1.8 registered cars (by 2011). In total, there have been about 716 million cars emitting at the exhaust methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. These figures demonstrate the role of cars in air pollution.

Climate change and global warming have been forming for about 150 years, when the industrial revolution became entrenched, but because the process is slow it has taken long to manifest.

The first country to industrialise was Britain and by 1850 it was recognised to be leading others. The industrialisation of China was achieved in 1950, Japan 1900 and US 1870-1900. Of course, there are many good effects of industrialisation.

The bad effects are air, water and soil pollution, which produce climate change and global warming.

Extreme weather conditions

In the past five or more years, these effects have manifested as extreme hot and cold weather and floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Tanzania has had its share of the calamities: repeated flooding in Coast Region, earthquakes in Kagera and windstorms in Mtwara. All over the country agricultural production is under threat. By extension our food security is being tested.

As a basic science teacher, I am concerned about the evolution/mutation of the current disease – causing organisms that may attempt to cope with global warming and develop defence mechanisms that can resist different medications that we provide to treat patients. Some of the organisms may mutate completely and become new and unknown to our bodies. If that happens, I think a few of us will survive their onslaught.

A form of resistant TB

Currently, we have a form of TB that has defied all tuberculosis treatment modalities since 1900. While discussing this problem recently with a scientist on tuberculosis I alluded to her that my prediction is that the recalcitrant TB could have arisen from the effects of global warming because the TB organism is literally in contact with global warming in the lungs. She smiled; we shook hands and parted ways.

My experience living in Kilimanjaro Region for more than 60 years is that never before have I experienced such harsh weather conditions as in the past five years. The region enjoys relatively warm weather throughout the year. Evenings are usually cool. Moderate rainfall is expected in February-March.

This situation has manifestly changed in the past five years. Currently it is excessively hot, hotter than Dar es Salaam. The good rains have not fully arrived. Some areas have been affected by hurricane winds. Some little rain came with terrible storm and lightning. The vegetation is defoliating. It is predicted that in the next 25 years there will be no snow on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. The mountain will be like an anthill. It is a pity, as that will mark the end of tourism!

Trends in weather conditions

Looking at current trends in climate and weather changes one can ask a provocative question: who and how will the excessive greenhouse methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide gases be removed from the atmosphere?

Advances made in chemistry, physics, astronomy and meteorology, etc in the industrialised world can be put in place to device a system that will remove excessive levels of greenhouse gases, especially methane and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. From a Tanzania perspective, Tanzanians should adopt all measures that would mitigate further global warming and climate change. We should reduce or eliminate methane and carbon dioxide from landfills and septic tanks. Tree felling and logging should be prohibited.

New industrial facilities

All new industrial facilities that are built should operate by enforceable gas emission rules and waste generated by such facilities should follow laid down disposal procedures. We must recycle garbage, feces, urine etc. Some countries are generating electricity from their urine.

In short one solution is that we must be proactive and recycle waste matter as much as we can. To me the word waste is a misnomer. Hence, climate change and global warming is neither a mirage nor a hoax. Yes, we can rewind the clock.

The author is a basic science teacher with peripheral legal-political interests.

Researchers Find Use of Treated Mosquito Nets Unsafe

By Angela Oketch

Synthetic insecticides used by East African countries in treating mosquito nets are not safe, researchers have said.

The nets are treated by insecticides known as pyrethroids, which, according to the researchers, cause asthma and cancer to infants and young children, and are very harmful to the environment since they do not break down easily.

Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) is now seeking to eliminate the unsafe synthetic insecticides.

“All mosquito bed nets distributed to households in East African countries are treated using synthetic insecticides, which are not safe.

“We are looking for a way of coming up with natural extract from pyrethrum to make safe insecticides and even use them in making indoor residual sprays which are harmless,” said Dr Festus Tolo, head of Natural Product Research and Drug Development Programme at Kemri.


The institute is carrying out a study that involves usage of natural extracts from African flower of pyrethrum through nanotechnology to come up with safe insecticides for treating nets.

The study titled New BioMedical Uses of Kenyan Grown Pyrethrum seeks to ensure that residents of East African member states are safe from attacks caused by pyrethroids.

Dr Tolo said the study was long overdue since some countries have banned the use of synthetic treated nets.

The researchers are getting the pyrethrum flower from Naivasha and West Pokot farmers since it is not widely planted.

“The pyrethrum flower produces pyrethrins, which are natural insecticides. The technology involves transforming the particles (extracts) from pyrethrum to remain for a longer period of time,” he said.

“The reason pyrethrins have not been in use is because they are not readily available and they do not last long when used on bed nets, while the pyrethroids are easily available and last for long on nets,” added Dr Tolo.


The study began last year in October, according to Dr Tolo.

“We are expecting to release the results by October this year. Though from what we have gathered, natural pyrethrum sprays paralyse insects that come into contact with it. We want to make it long lasting,” he said.

World Health Organization estimates that 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria worldwide.


Home Owners Face Jail for Not Installing Solar Power

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Islamic Banking Faces Tax Hurdles in Uganda

By Bernard Busuulwa

Issues of taxation, manpower and marketing have hampered the rollout of Islamic banking products in Uganda, as technocrats struggle to finalise regulations for the new products.

While regulations to guide the use of agency banking have been finalised and are scheduled for issuance after April 19, issues surrounding taxation of Islamic banking products remain unresolved.

Under Islamic banking rules, no interest is charged on loans to borrowers; profits and losses realised from a business are shared equally between lenders and borrowers, and lending is restricted to morally acceptable ventures: Lending to alcohol firms, tobacco producers and gambling companies is prohibited.

Concerns over how much tax should be applied to Islamic financial products and the elimination of double taxation have slowed consultations on the matter.

For example, a mortgage transaction arranged between a bank and a client under Islamic banking would require the two parties to make equity contributions towards the deal without charging the home buyer any interest.

The client would instead be obliged to buy out the bank’s equity share in order to achieve full ownership of the house or piece of land in question. Recent proposals in favour of taxing the banks’ contribution have raised questions about the competitiveness of Islamic banking products when compared with conventional financial offerings.

In contrast, mainstream mortgage products require clients to make reasonable equity contributions towards the purchase of real estate, disbursement of a bridging loan facility by a commercial bank, and repayments that carry annual interest charges. Withholding tax is levied on interest earned from the mortgage, while the value of the loan is exempt from taxes.

A shortage of specialised Islamic banking professionals has also slowed down the rollout of Islamic financial products. Due to the sensitive nature of Islamic banking operations, use of qualified Shariah professionals is considered essential in regulation, selling and distribution of financial services.

However, according to research data, there are only 10 qualified Shariah professionals on the local market.

This is in a business environment with 24 commercial banks and a small pipeline of specialised Islamic banking players who have shown interest in the market but are yet to obtain commercial licences.

“Taxation of Islamic banking transactions seems complex because it is difficult to determine the exact point of taxation, and also minimise the risk of double taxation. But the UK has already come up with useful tax guidelines that define the degree of taxation for Islamic banking transactions, involving both physical assets and direct cash, which would be compatible with our environment. The human resource gap experienced among local Shariah professionals in Uganda could be filled by foreign manpower previously nurtured by big banks like Standard Chartered, Barclays and KCB in their native markets. In addition, there are overseas players in big Shariah markets like Malaysia that are capable of providing outsourced compliance services for Shariah boards,” said Abubaker Mayanja, the managing director of ABL Dunamis Ltd, a financial advisory services firm.


East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) is in slumber as club and national teams’… Read more »

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