AMERICAN COMPANY WINSENGINEERING CONTRACT
MWH, a global provider of environmental engineering,strategic consulting and construction management servic-es, announced in July that it had won a contract to provideengineering services for the Bujagali Hydroelectric PowerProject in Uganda.
Under the terms of the contract, MWH will provide tech-nical assistance, design review and contruction drawing re- view during the start-up and commissioning of the dam overthe 44-month engineering and construction phases of the$682 million project. e Colorado-based company will bepaid about $3.8 million over four years for its services.When completed in 2011, the Bujagali Dam will gener-ate 250 megawatts of electricity and is expected to doubleUganda’s energy capacity. e hydroelectric facility will pro- vide power from an indigenous and renewable resource withlow carbon-dioxide emissions, re-using water already usedfor power generation at upstream dams, thus contributing tosustainable development.e project is one of the largest private power sector invest-ments ever made in sub-Saharan Africa. MWH will be work-ing with the project sponsors, Industrial Promotion Servicesof Kenya and Sithe Global Power of the United States.MWH provides water, energy, natural resource, programmanagement, consulting and construction services to indus-rial, municipal and government clients around the world.e Bujagali contract is its ﬁrst in Africa.
COMPUTER REHABILITATIONPLANT OPENS IN KAMPALA
Uganda Green Computers Company, a computer refur-bishment and recycling center, opened in June in Kampala,making PC ownership more aﬀordable and accessible toowners of small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).
e company aims to refurbish about 10,000 quality-brand PCs a year and resell them for about $175, one-thirdthe price of a new business PC. Each recycled computer willcome with a one-year warranty and Windows soware pro- vided free by Microso under the Microso Unlimited Po-tential program.e center was made possible by a partnership signed in2007 between the United Nations Industrial DevelopmentOrganization (UNIDO) and Microso aimed at supportingbusiness opportunities and entrepreneurship among localSMEs in Uganda. Funded primarily by local private and pub-lic sector investors, its business model aims for commercialand environmental sustainability.“e opening of the PC refurbishment center in Kampalamarks a major step forward for the economic opportunitiesavailable to SMEs, the majority of employers in Uganda,”said the Honorable Ham-Mukasa Mulira, Uganda’s Ministerof Information and Communications Technology. “Access toaﬀordable PCs will help SMEsincrease their productivity,share information, grow theirbusiness, create local jobs andultimately help make Ugandaa more competitive, knowl-edge-based economy.”e center will refurbishPCs for resale to SMEs acrossthe country through a net-work of distributors that is ex-pected to grow from six to 20within one year. e qualiﬁedlocal staﬀ will train distribu-tors on aer-sales support and marketing. For its distribu-tor network, Uganda Green Computers will rely on Dis-trict Business Information Centers, established by UNIDOthroughout the country to provide SMEs with access to theinternet and business advisory and information and commu-nication technology services.e company also oﬀers a program for the return of therefurbished computers at the end of their useful life and theresponsible disassembly of the hardware. It will reuse work-ing components, resell high-value material including copperand circuit boards, and locally recycle materials like steel andplastic.
Worker at Uganda GreenComputers
ISLAMIC BANK TO OPEN INUGANDA
A banking group based in the United Arab Emirates hasannounced it will set up the ﬁrst Islamic bank in Ugandain the near future.
e National Islamic Bank of Uganda, formed followinga merger between the International Investment House (IIH)of Abu Dhabi and the local National Bank of Commerce, willoperate in accordance with Sharia law prohibiting interestpayments on both deposits and loans.e
reports that the bank will serve as a con-duit for equity investments, including from sovereign wealthfunds in the Middle East that will provide capital for big-ticket infrastructure projects in the country.e bank will focus on providing innovative ﬁnancing topeople who have so far not accessed banking services but whoare beneﬁting from Uganda’s economic growth. IIH oﬃcialsestimate that only one to two million Ugandans use banksout of about six million who are considered “bankable.”e bank will also not set up a traditional physical branchnetwork, but will instead rely on providing services throughmobile phones using Hits Telecom as the distributor. IIH isexpected to invest $50 million in the new institution. It willown 76% of the shares, while National Bank of Commerceshareholders will own the remaining 24%.e National Islamic Bank of Uganda will be the secondIslamic bank in East Africa following the opening of Gulf Africa Bank in Kenya in 2007.