Posts tagged as: uganda-bureau

August Inflation Drops in Uganda, Rises in Kenya

By Maryanne Gicobi

Uganda recorded a drop in headline inflation in August due to a fall in food prices.

Kenya, on the other hand, saw a rise during the same month, driven by an increase in food prices occasioned by depressed rains and low supplies.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the country’s year-on-year inflation edged down to 5.2 per cent in August from 5.7 per cent the previous month.

In Kenya, inflation increased to 8.04 per cent in August from 7.47 per cent in July attributed to an increase in the food and non-alcoholic drinks index.

Inflation in July 2017 had returned to the Central Bank’s desired band of 2.5 per cent either side of the five per cent target — at 7.47 per cent.

This was driven by a reduction in food prices including a range of fresh produce as well as cheaper sugar, milk and maize flour relatively to June 2017.

Energy prices also fell over the same period with kerosene, electricity and fuel becoming more affordable.

Same lending rate

Uganda’s central bank maintained its benchmark lending rate at 10 per cent in August, saying that while economic activity was picking up, inflation remained on course for its medium-term target of 5 per cent.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics said prices had declined mainly for fruits while core inflation was driven down by a slower rise in the prices of services without elaborating.

In the basket of goods used to calculate inflation, food takes up the largest share — 36 per cent — making it the main driver of the cost of living, followed by utilities such as rent, water, electricity, gas and fuels at 18 per cent.

In Tanzania’s year-on-year inflation slowed to 5.2 per cent in July from 5.4 per cent a month earlier, largely due to slower rises in food prices of cereals, fish, beans .

Rwanda’s inflation fell to 3.5 per cent year-on-year in July from 4.8 per cent a month earlier.

Uganda

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Inflation Expected to Increase in Six Months

By Martin Luther Oketch

Kampala — Bad weather conditions due to climatic change have affected food production in Uganda, leading to a resurrection of the upward inflation trend.

Due to the bad weather condition, the country is currently experiencing food supply shocks, something the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) predicts will be worse in the next six months.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics on November 30 shows that that Uganda’s annual headline inflation has risen to 4.6 per cent for the year ending November 2016 compared to 4.1 per cent registered in the year ended October 2016.

In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, the PSFU executive director, Mr Gideon Badgawa, said: “We have had some challenges with markets both internal and external production of food in the country has been affected by the weather condition. The manufacturing sector has also been affected because projects are not buying goods from within.”

Mr Badagwa said the challenge of bad weather has led to less low production resulting into reduced supply of food in the market. Maize production has had a big hit because the maize growing areas have had drought.

Due to the prevailing bad weather, Mr Badagwa warned: “We are heading for doom (famine) in the next six months due to food supply shocks which have affected the Eastern region.”

Mr Badagwa stated that what is happening now is a recurrent situation of what happened three years ago when inflation was high following high food prices.

While releasing the CPI figures on Wednesday, the principal Statistician Price Statistic Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Mr Vicente Nsubuga Musoke, said the increased annual headline inflation was due to increase in annual food crop inflation that rose to 7.1 per cent for the year ending November 2016 from the 1.7 per cent recorded for the year ended October 2016.

“The rise in annual food crops inflation is attributed to fruits inflation that increased to 13.1 per cent for the year ending November 2016 compared to the minus 1.1 per cent registered during the year ended October 2016,” he said.

Causes of inflation

Key services. CPI figures reveal that the key services that pushed up the annual inflation include: education that registered an increase of 19.7 per cent plus restaurant and Hotels that recorded an increase of 6.5 per cent for the year ended November 2016.

Uganda

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Reduce Under-Five Mortality Rate, Says Unicef

By Nelson Wesonga

Kampala — Uganda will have to reduce the under five mortality rate among its poorer communities by 5 per cent annually to beat the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target on under-five mortality, says a United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) State of the World’s Children 2016 report.

Currently, Uganda’s under-five mortality rate is 80, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2016.

The 2030 Agenda’s Goal Three aims to reduce neonatal mortality to 12 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in every country.

The result

Beating the deadline would positively impact on the under-five mortality rate of Uganda’s richer communities, according to Unicef State of the World’s Children 2016 report.

“These targets are achievable, but only if governments keep a relentless focus on the most disadvantaged children. The deepest and earliest cuts in child and maternal mortality must benefit those facing the highest risks,” states the report released Monday.

“Some of the world’s poorest countries have made extraordinary progress. While the world missed the MDG target of a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality between 1990 and 2015, 24 low-income and lower-middle-income countries achieved it.”

If the rate is not reduced, there will be more under-five mortality rate, which Unicef defines as the probability of one dying between birth and exactly five years of age expressed per 1, 000 births.

Unicef says under-five-mortality is used as the principal indicator of progress in child wellbeing.

The decline

Over the years, Uganda’s under-five mortality rate has fallen from 203 in 1991 to 80 in 2014, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).

The decline is due to expectant women’s attendance of prenatal sessions and immunisation, among others.

One could, therefore, rightly say that expectant women who live in the poorer communities should regularly seek medical personnel services. And once they give birth, the babies should immediately get jabs for some of the killer childhood diseases such as Tetanus.

Uganda

Russian Firm Pulls Out of Uganda’s $4 Billion Oil Refinery

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Better Technology Drives Market Information, Business Links

opinionBy Humphrey Mutaasa

One of the biggest challenges experienced by smallholder farmers is a lack of reliable, timely and affordable information about the market so as to make a business decision.

This is compounded by access challenges. Either tools are not available, costly or complex for the farmer and other players in the agricultural value chain or it is the mode of dissemination and points of access.

However, there has been changes over the years with technologies that are affordable and readily available.

The introduction of technologies like mobile apps such as the Infotrade app has simplified access and dissemination of information and sealing business deals.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), which is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application programme in the network has helped farmers and other players in the sector to use information from content managers and disseminators such as FIT Uganda.

The different collectors and providers have also been formalised to have a unified standard for market information collection, production, packaging and dissemination. This is due to the efforts of different stakeholders together with Uganda Bureau of Statistics and support of development partners.

Partnerships make access, collection, packaging and dissemination of agribusiness market intelligence easier.

In turn, it necessitates players to position themselves and harness ICTs either as facilitating organisations, user/clients, promoters or collaborators to drive agribusiness. These include agro-input dealers, traders, processors, exporters, policy makers, researchers, consultants, as well as congregating organisations- farmer cooperatives and associations, financial institutions, support entities-NGOs, media and development partners, .

The writer is business operations manager, FIT Uganda.

Uganda

Interest on External Debt Rises to U.S$74 Million

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Inflation Blamed on High School Fees, Food Costs

By Martin Luther Oketch

Kampala — Higher expenses on education and exorbitant charges on food and services at restaurants and hotels are responsible for increasing inflation, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).

Dr Chris Mukiza, the UBOS director for Macro-statistics, said education inflation is caused by high tuition levied by administrators while meals at restaurants are overpriced.

“The rise in annual core inflation was due to the rise in the annual services inflation to 6.2 per cent for the year ended March 2016 compared to 5.2 per cent recorded during the ended February 2016,” he said while releasing the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2016.

CPI is the measure of change in the average annual price of selected consumer basket of goods and services.

Uganda’s educational institutions, particularly those privately owned, impose higher tuition and functional fees compared to public schools. Some additionally require parents to supply items including bags of cement, brooms and detergents at the start of each school term.

At Kampala Parents School, for example, each of the 3, 000 pupils pays Shs1.5 million per term, lasting three months, equal to or higher than tuition for some courses in a four-month semester at government universities.

“Expenditure on school management is what is high, not school fees, as it is being perceived,” said the school’s principal Ms Daphne Kafeero.

Such a spending pattern sparks inflation because the money is used on consumption, not production, thereby increasing the amount of cash in circulation against fewer goods.

Uganda’s annual core inflation rate, which Bank of Uganda uses to control the country’s inflation at 5 per cent, for two consecutive times, has continued to edge up beyond the monetary policy target of the Central Bank despite the tight monetary policy.

The CPI released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) last week revealed that Uganda’s annual core inflation rate increased to 6.9 per cent for the year ending March 2016 compared to 6.8 per cent registered in the year ended February 2016.

While releasing the CPI for March at Statistics House, director macroeconomic statistics Ubos Dr Chris N. Mukiza said: “The rise in annual core inflation was due to the rise in the annual services inflation to 6.2 per cent for the year ended March 2016 compared to 5.2 per cent recorded during the year ended February 2016.”

Dr Mukiza said during the period, education inflation stood at 14.4 per cent for the year ending March 2016 compared to 2.8 per cent recorded for the year ended February, adding that the other driver of the annual core inflation was restaurants and hotels that increased to 13.4 per cent for the year ended March compared 6.7 per cent during the previous year.

Dr Mukiza said the education inflation is high due to high school fees and in restaurants and hotels the meal charges are also high thus contributing to high core inflation rate in the country.

With the annual core inflation standing is 1.9 per cent higher than the BoU monetary policy target.

Meanwhile, Ubos said Uganda’s annual headline inflation has continued to decline due to low food crop prices.

The CPI figures show that annual headline inflation rate declined to 6.2 per cent compared to the 7.0 per cent during the year ended February 2016.

This was due to the annual food crops inflation which declined to 0.8 per cent for the year ended March 2016.

Uganda

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Mayuge RDC Blames Clerics Over Poverty

By Yazid Yolisigira

Mayuge — Mayuge deputy Resident District Commissioner Badru Ssebyala has lashed out at religious leaders in the district, accusing them of doing nothing to help their followers fight the biting poverty in which many of them live in.

According to recent surveys by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Busoga is one of the poorest regions in Uganda, with about 75 per cent of the population living on less than $1 (Shs3,300) a day, a scenario which has been worsened by unemployment among the youth.

“We have a number of religious groups but they are not educating our people on how to increase household incomes. Our clerics should not only preach about God. They should also preach about government programmes that should help their followers lead better lives,” Mr Ssebyala said.

Addressing journalists in his office recently, Mr Ssebyala said religious leaders should use their platforms to encourage their followers to engage in businesses and government programmes such as operation wealth creation to transform their lives.

Uganda

Judgment Day Tomorrow in Poll Petition Case

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URA Working Towards Broadening Tax Base – Commissioner General

By Ismail Musa Ladu

Kampala — Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has joined the race to end the informal way of doing business in a move to widen the narrow tax base.

Majority of businesses in the country are informal. This makes it hard for the tax collectors to have them within the tax bracket.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, informal businesses are normally characterised by: lack of proper books of accounts, having less than five employees, no fixed location, in most cases not registered and sometimes such businesses are operational for only six months or less.

Speaking last week at Daily Monitor offices in Kampala where she had paid a courtesy visit, URA Commissioner General Doris Akol said the tax body is doing its part in formalising the economy, particularly having informal sector register their businesses.

She said: “We are trying our best to formalise the informal sector, but this is something we cannot do alone.”

She added: “We are looking at how we can further that conversation–formalising the informal sector, and we would like to be part of that discussion that will see our economy formalised.”

The tax policy measures for financial year 2015/16, intended to increase revenue collections by roping in the informal sector and other hard-to-tax areas into revenue bracket will see businesses in informal sectors paying some taxes, no matter how small.

The measures, which empower URA to collect and widen the tax base, are also aimed at encouraging compliance, reducing the cost of doing business for small scale businesses through simplified tax processes.

In support, Monitor Publications Limited managing director Tony Glencross, said: “We believe that paying taxes is a duty.”

He continued: “We insist that all our suppliers and people we do business with have a TIN–Tax Identification Number.”

The measures

URA has also collaborated with Kampala Capital City Authority and Uganda Registration Services Bureau in a move meant to capture informal sector into the tax bracket.

Uganda

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Real Estate Sector to Rebound

By Prisca Baike

The real estate sector is expected to soar to great heights this year as players aim at providing affordable middle-class accommodation, according to a statement from property portal, Lamudi Uganda.

One of the factors that could spur the sector’s fortune this year is the country’s rapid population growth, which has created demand for infrastructure and housing, including affordable middle-class accommodation.

“With the increase in demand for affordable housing, we expect real estate investors to invest in development of affordable housing,” said Shakib Nsubuga, the country manager of Lamudi in Uganda.

Furthermore, the increase in foreign investment that was witnessed over the past year is predicted to go higher. This will create opportunities for different corporations to invest in the country, thus positively impacting on the economy in general, Lamudi noted.

Financial institutions such as banks continue to spend more money in the real estate sector. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, commercial banks lent more than Shs 1 trillion to the building, mortgage, and construction sector in 2014, up from Shs 650bn in 2010.

The real estate sector is expected to deepen its footprint online, offering solutions to a wider market, some as far as those in the diaspora.

“This year, we expect the real estate sector to take several leaps forward especially in the ICT sector. With the move to the digital era, I expect to see real estate stakeholders embrace this move in 2016,” Nsubuga said.

Uganda

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