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News analysis Health Business

Lubowa Hospital Drug-resistant TB: MTN Uganda revenue

controversy New study offers hope rises to Shs1.38trillion

Issue No. 565 March. 29 - April. 04 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Museveni doubles
military spending
Rwanda tension cited but why
does govt want Shs1.2 trillion?

Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 Fax: +256-312-637-396
E-mail:,, Website:
March. 29 - April. 04 2019

Issue No. 565 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Museveni doubles military spending
Rwanda tension cited budget but why does govt want Shs1.2 trillion?

4 The Week
Mystery dogs Minister
Nantaba assassination attempt
A case for a bold economics: Will
economists prove more helpful
9 The Last Word today, when the challenges are as
pressing as the Great Depression?
Uganda’s strategic dilemma
Part3: Why Uganda’s economy is
dominated by multinational capital
32 Health
and what cannot be done about it
Drug-resistant TB:
14 Analysis A new study offers
new hope
Lubowa Hospital controversy: How bad
can investing is specialized hospital be?

35 Arts & Culture

27 Business
What is African art?: University don
MTN Uganda revenue rises confronts subject of African identity,
to Shs1.38trillion: Telecoms neo-colonialism and decolonisation
subscriber base reaches 11.3million

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Flavia Nassaka, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Agnes Nantaba, Julius Businge.

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 | Fax: +256-312-637-396 E-mail: | | Website:

2 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


“People are now looking for meal cards in

form of an opportunity to be elected to
Parliament.”Norbert Mao, DP president on
those opposed to his 2021 presidential bid

Kenyan maths and

physics teacher
Peter Tabichi (C)
holding up the
Global Teacher
Prize (GTP) trophy
after winning “In the ongoing struggle for people of
the US$ 1 million
award during an Uganda to regain power and control
official ceremony of their country, I don’t have to be a
in Dubai attended
by the Dubai Crown presidential candidate, for it to be won.
Prince Hamdan However, I won’t leave the struggle till
bin Mohammed Al- it’s over or ‘I am over!” Dr Kizza Besigye
Maktoum (C-R).

President Yoweri
Museveni on March 22
held talks with the newly
elected Democratic
Republic Congo (DRC)
counterpart, Felix
Tshisekedi at State House,

EU supporters, calling “We have constructed many roads and

on the government will continue to construct many more.
to give Britons a vote But now our emphasis is on electricity.
on the final Brexit
deal, participate in the
And very soon, every part of the country
‘People’s Vote’ march will have electricity.” President Yoweri
in central London, Museveni on commissioning Isimba dam
Britain March 23, 2019

Job opportunities Residents of Kween Projected annual

127 created in new
500 district left homeless
after eviction
Shs150bn revenue from Isimba
hydropower dam

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 3


Students of Kololo S.S discussing career choices with Julian Namale Muweesi from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda (ICPA-U) at  the 11th National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) exhibition held in Kampala from March 21-23.

Mystery dogs Minister Nantaba assassination attempt Muntu’s new party

Minister of State for ICT National ID, a driver’s license joins the fray
Aidah Nantaba survived an from the scene of crime which
assassination attempt not very is a rare occurrence compared Alliance for National Trans-
formation (ANT), a new party
far away from Naggalama to the usual hit and run shoot-
led by Maj Gen. Mugisha Muntu
Police station in Mukono dis- ings in the city and surrounding
will soon be launched and out-
trict on March 24. Nantaba, also areas. Reports say Nantaba on
line its agenda. ANT was cleared
Kayunga Woman MP was driv- realising unknown people trail-
by the Electoral Commission
ing along Kayunga-Mukono ing her, drove to Naggalama
after months of correspondence
road returning to Kampala police station and it is more with the electoral body. In a
when two motorbike-riding unclear how police shot one of statement, ANT convener Alice
gunmen reportedly intercepted the assailants. This would mean Alaso, said the party will soon
her. However there have been that the men trailing the min- communicate the date and
queries on the incident with ister followed her to the police venue for the launch. Muntu
some observers questioning if station and probably in a fire started with New Formation in
there was indeed an attempt exchange with police, one of the September after country wide
on her life. Police picked up a gunmen was shot. consultations in his old party
FDC. Muntu and Alaso, a former
secretary general at FDC, are
Uganda developing plan for Universal Health Coverage- Minister the two faces of the party and
observers wait to see the moves
Ruth Jane Aceng, the minister Ministries, Departments and with the aim of bringing health they make as the 2021 campaign
for health, revealed that Uganda Agencies. The principles of care closer to populations. The takes shape. NRM endorsed
is in the process of developing UHC in Uganda are driven by partnership entails screening President Museveni as its sole
a comprehensive roadmap for the desire to achieve universal programs, health promotion at candidate for the elections and
Universal Health Coverage access to health care for the the family level, empowerment new kid on the block Bobi Wine
(UHC) over the long term. entire population by 2030. of community health workers is already in the 2021 race.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s Novartis held the conference and strengthening community
dialogue organised by Novartis under the theme ‘Sustaining insurance programs, a key
at Sheraton Hotel, Aceng the momentum towards UHC’ success factor in healthcare
in a speech read for her by and the minister announced financing. Harald Nusser, Head
permanent secretary Diana a partnership between the of Novartis Social Business
Atwiine, said the process is Ministry of Health, Uganda at Novartis called for more
led by the Department of Protestant Medical Bureau and collaboration especially in the
Planning at the ministry in close Novartis to build capacity and fight against No Communicable
collaboration with the National train health care workers at the Diseases (NCDs).
Planning Authority and other national and community level

4 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

USAID awards grants to 25 solar firms Prayers for
purchase options and solar Speaker Kadaga
loans. Sheila Desai, the
USAID director for economic Speaker of Parliament
growth office, said the event Rebecca Kadaga is currently
demonstrated the innovation admitted at Aga Khan Hospital
USAID supports through in Nairobi, Kenya where she is
Power Africa, which furthers being treated for fatigue-related
their partnership in improving illness. Shortly after returning
access to electricity, and from a trip to Morocco and the
ultimately helping to change U.S., Kadaga was taken ill at
the socio-economic wellbeing Nakasero Hospital. Speculation
of communities around the of Kadaga’s condition height-
world. Four grants each worth ened when President Museveni
nearly $100,000 were awarded paid her a visit a day after she
to four Ugandan owned solar was admitted. Kadaga’s press
firms to increase access to clean secretary Sam Obbo said the
A total of 25 solar companies East Africa’s Power and Energy off-grid energy in Bidi-Bidi, Speaker’s health condition is a
and eight financial institutions Sector’ the event showcased Kiryandongo and Rwamwanja private matter which only close
were the beneficiaries of products like grain mills, boda refugee settlements. The firms family members are privy to.
a USAID Power Africa bodas, irrigation equipment and are; Solar Today, Power Trust, Meanwhile prayers are being
co-sponsored exhibition at the lighting solutions.  Commercial Aga Great and Raising Gabdho organised for Kadaga who
Kampala Serena Hotel. Held banks were present to offer Foundation . is third in Uganda’s political
under the theme ‘Financing solutions including hire hierarchy. Rehema Watongola
Tiwuwe, the Kamuli Munici-
pality MP issued a statement
saying the Busoga Sub-region
EAC well represented at 2019 AFCON in Egypt was conducting prayers for the
Kamuli Woman MP. Kadaga is
Tanzania joined three the chairperson of Busoga Par-
other East African nations; liamentary group.
Kenya, Burundi and Uganda
after they beat the latter
3-0 in Dar-es-Salaam to
qualify for the Africa Cup
of Nations finals for the
first time since 1980. This
means an unprecedented
four nations from the East
African region will feature at
the Africa Cup of Nations to
be hosted in Egypt. The Taifa
Stars secured the victory
they needed to join already-
qualified Uganda from Group to Uganda in the group. The poured out in the pitch to
L. Lesotho drew 0-0 in Cape feat leaves Rwanda and South celebrate their country’s
Verde to confirm Tanzania’s Sudan as the odd members of return to Africa’s premier
qualification as runners-up the EAC region. Tanzanians football competition.

AfricellUG @AfricellUG

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Regulated by Uganda Communications Commission

for more bundles

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 5


Trump claims victory Danish NGO boost 500 refugee households

with Russia report Larsen, DanChurchAid
Country Director said
The long awaited report by US the project will benefit
Special Counsel Robert Mueller into over 500 households in
the investigation between the 2016 the pilot phase, creating
election campaign of Donald Trump over 2150 jobs especially
and Russia did not find ‘evidence for women and children
of collusion’. In a four page letter, in refugee camps and
US Attorney General William
host communities in
Barr wrote to the US Congress a
northern Uganda.
summary of the findings of the
“DanChurchAid received
report and stated whereas there
a 5 year grant from the
was no collusion, the report did also
Danish International
not exonerate Trump, the 45th US
President. The Mueller investigation Development Agency
has engulfed the Trump presidency (Danida) for the Fresh
for two years and after its findings Fruit Nexus project which
indicated no collusion, Trump and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Denmark in Kampala, Henrik will support sustainable
his allies seized the moment to Jespersen together with the LC V Arua District Chairman, Wadri Sam market development and
claim victory. Trump constantly Nyakua and DanChurchAid Country Director at the event. entrepreneurship in and
derided the investigation as a witch around refugee camps
hunt. For liberals and Democrats, DanChurchAid for refugees and in Northern Uganda
it was a crushing defeat which (DCA), a Danish members in refugee host and other neighbouring
many thought the outcome of the international NGO has communities by training regions as we progress.
investigation would be used to kick set up a development and smallholder farmers to With this project, we
start impeachment proceedings commercial project named grow certified organic aim to support over
against Trump who faces a “Fresh Fruit Nexus” fruit for export. Speaking 500 households in Arua
crowded field of Democrats in the aimed at supporting the at the launch of the project and in effect create an
2020 election race. development of decent held at the Heritage Park employment chain of over
employment opportunities Hotel in Arua, Peter Bo 2150 people.”

6 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

Humour Did you know?
Time seems to speed as
you get older

The good news is that time doesn’t

speed up as you get older, but the bad
news is that you simply experience less of
Uganda Federal Alliance party is planning to kick out Beti Kamya, it as the processing power of your brain
its founding leader and former presidential candidate. decreases – at least, that’s according to
a new paper published in the journal
European Review.
The older we get, the more it feels
like the sands of time are falling at an
exponentially increasing rate, accelerating
us all towards entropy. An explanation
for this phenomenon has now been put
forward by study author Adrian Bejan
from Duke University, who says that
discrepancies between “clock time”
and “mind time” are responsible for the
apparent hastening of our lives.
In a statement, Bejan said that “the
human mind senses time changing when
the perceived images change.” In other
words, “the present is different from
the past because the mental viewing has
changed, not because somebody’s clock
In his paper, he writes that “the rate
at which changes in mental images are
Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has declared hi interest o run for president in 2021. perceived decreases with age,” and that
because children are able to receive and
process more mental images per second
than adults are, their days feel like they are
packed with more time.
The human eye is constantly on the
move, and as soon as it has processed an
image it switches its focus to something
else. These rapid movements of the eye are
called saccades, and are separated by short
stationary periods called fixations, during
which the eye fixes its gaze on a particular
Previous research has shown that the
eye of an average adult makes three to
five saccades per second, punctuated by
fixations of 200 to 300 milliseconds. Yet
fixation times are significantly shorter
for children, who are therefore able to
make more saccades and take in more
The NRM parliamentary caucus has supported lining up images per second.
a mode of election for internal elections and primaries.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 7

News analysis Health Business
'World must stand with High blood pressure; Kansai Plascon’s top
Uganda on refugees' is it always bad? management shake-up

Issue No. 564 March. 22 - 28 2019

Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

The Museveni,
Kagame letters

Details and implication on
Follow us on Twitter @ border tension!/ugandatalks

Follow us on Facebook @

Letters are
welcome !
The Editor welcomes short and
concise letters from our esteemed
readers on topical issues. Please
send them to:
Correction Rwanda, Uganda conflict
The Editor, The Independent
Publications Ltd, Our story; “Museveni, Kagame Refer to: “Museveni, Kagame exchanged
P.O Box 3304, exchanged letters” (The Independent letters” (The Independent March 22). Very
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St, March 22) contained an error regarding the good article although a little leaning towards
Kamwokya. nationality of the EAC Secretary General Ugandan position, let’s hope both lead-
Libérat Mfumukeko. As one of our readers, ers come to their senses and find common
Email: Rwasabutare, has pointed out Mfumukeko ground, if there was a conflict everyone
is Burundian. We regret the error. Editor. would lose .
Herve Davy
The big dilemma
that Uganda faces When Chinese use hoes, spades, brooms to make road
Refer to: “Uganda’s strategic dilemma” Refer to: “Uganda’s stra- Today, 33 years later, the a Chinese company with
(The Independent march 15). This is yet tegic dilemma” (The Inde- picture is not different. The hand held hoes, spades
another attempt at explaining a Ugandan pendent march 15). Good taxes on basic items like and brooms I admit a feat
problem in solely quasi-academic terms. creative article. The catch salt, water, and electricity of ingenuity. Yet another
While it may make interesting reading it is lies in the last paragraphs. all serve to sanitize the non- by SBI, with modern earth-
only a small part of the big dilemma that Actually the often repeated productive expenditure that moving equipment is get-
Uganda faces. Frankly speaking, there is phrase that by 1986 the characterise government ting remade. Who foots the
no qualitative or quantitative local content economy was on its knees spending and corruption bill? Ironically, journalists
to speak of regarding these major projects and the coffers empty is the icing on it all. As a would have had a field day
or contracts. Ugandans companies have no serves only one purpose; citizen I am happy to see poking fun at the hand held
financial capacity, no technical capacity, no to prepare the readers for functioning infrastructure. tools if the contractor was
skills, most Ugandans are outright thieves/
the subsequent misdeeds The new Kyenjojo -Fortpor- say Mukalazi Technical
con people, no work ethics. At the bigger lev-
of the stewards that took tal – Kasese highway has Works.
el the Ugandan government itself is a mirror
over the affairs of the state. sections that were done by Godfrey Kambere
image of its people and worse. It has know-
ingly and unknowingly pursued policies
that ignore or prevent the growth of viable
local capacity – deferred payments to local
companies(many die off from the fatigue
How multinational capital New mental
of waiting for years to be paid for goods dominates our economy healthcare
and services supplies to government), rent
seeking by government official on contracts
awarded to local contractors, cronyism in
Refer to: “Uganda’s strategic dilemma” (The
Independent march 15). I am employed in the
hospital welcome
awarding contracts in many cases to unquali- coffee industry and often times I hear President
fied contractors. Many Ugandans in the Yoweri Museveni speaking about processing Refer to: “Fixing
diaspora have tried to return to Uganda with our raw materials e.g. coffee. The dilemma Uganda’s mental health-
their acquired skills and technical capacity comes when our biggest consumers (Europeans) care” (The Independent
but are discouraged by unimaginable tax are more interested in raw beans than roasted or March 15). It’s an excit-
levels on equipment bought from their sav- processed ones and are ready to look elsewhere ing development. Metro
ings. Why tax wealth and equipment being to countries such as Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Health International
brought into the country even when Uganda Ethiopia, etc. which leaves us with no choice that is setting up the
has never invested even a cent on them? Rich but to sell our raw beans to make ends meet. In country’s first private
countries like America and those in Europe conclusion,I n support of the article, I largely mental hospital in Ttula-
are offering huge tax waivers so that their agree that multinational capital will continue to Kawempe in Kampala
nationals bring home all wealth and techni- dominate our economy; especially in fields that brings the sort of exper-
cal skills they may otherwise be holding in we don’t have monopoly over which largely tise we need today. It is
foreign lands. define our economy. long overdue.
Warren Mwesigwa
Sebina Simon Kigudde

8 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

The Last Word Opinion

Uganda’s strategic dilemma Part3

By Andrew M. Mwenda
Why Uganda’s economy is dominated by multinational
capital and what cannot be done about it

o we come to our third and last in- So they have a vested interest in continued Consequently, the contradictions of
stalment on how post-1986 Uganda reliance on multinational construction Uganda’s growth trajectory are becoming
cultivated groups and interests firms. These became the local business increasingly manifest. For instance, as the
hostile to local firms. First to be dis- magnets. They contribute to NRM’s elec- country invests tens of billions of dollars
credited were local banks, followed by lo- toral campaigns and hence have the most in infrastructure, it is also losing a lot of
cally owned construction firms. They were effective local voice in policy-making circles foreign exchange through paying interna-
accused of doing “shoddy work” at a high – alongside donors. tional contractors. At the beginning of every
price. New procurement laws requiring in- The results are obvious today. Uganda year, the shilling comes close to collapse as
ternational competitive bidding effectively is investing large sums in energy and foreign firms repatriate profits. These con-
locked them out of key contracts. transport infrastructure – railways, roads, tradictions are forcing a discussion on local
The same fate befell local manufacturing bridges, airports, dams, transmission and content within policy-making circles. How-
firms. The old arguments of infant industry distribution lines, water treatment plants ever, this is largely as an intellectual exer-
protection were labelled “corruption and etc. However, there are hardly any local cise. Without a strong vested local interest
favouritism.” Museveni could be heard firms winning tenders in these multi-billion with a politically weighted voice backed
saying it does not matter who produces dollar contracts. Why? They were either by the correct ideology in decision-making
a product; what matters is its quality and killed and/or stifled by reforms empha- circles, it is difficult to design and sustain
cost. But how could a young and small local sising international competitive bidding the right policy responses.
construction or manufacturing firm fairly over local ownership. Today, local construc- Textbook theories tell us little about Ugan-
compete against big multinational firms? tion firms, if they exist at all, lack political da’s current situation. Rather, it is in under-
Yet an indigenous/national/local/domestic clout to influence public policy. standing the specificity of Uganda’s reform
business class did grow during this period; Local manufacturing firms are in the same process and interplay between politics, insti-
especially in trade and real estate. This was boat. They are finding it difficult to supply tutions and the economic policy-making
not by design. Multinational capital, with Chinese firms that are winning these con- that we can explain why our country is in
its footloose approach, is least interested in tracts for the same reason. On the face of it, the situation it is in now.
real estate as it ties down working capital. locals look like they lack better quality steel The reconstruction process in post 1986
With trade and foreign exchange liberalisa- at competitive prices. The real reason, how- Uganda was driven by local and inter-
tion, traders could fly to Dubai or China ever, is they lack political clout to influence national interests with a very definite
and import goods at low prices. This under- public policy. So when Museveni complains ideological orientation. The policies they
mined local manufacturing. that Uganda is a supermarket for foreign pursued empowered (both economically
Capitalism is at its core an ideology of manufactures, he is unaware of how he and politically) particular business groups
greed: that everyone should go to the has spent 33 years promoting policies that and individuals (traders and commission
market and pursue that which is to their undermined local manufacturing. agents). It also empowered civil servants,
best monetary advantage. Hence as the ide- This is not a moral judgement on the Pres- civil society actors, journalists and aca-
ology of money and riches as the supreme ident. Rather it is to explain how the policies demics with a particular ideological bias.
value took root, corruption became an of the last 33 years effectively weakened, The process also weakened, displaced and/
attractive and large economic sector. Mul- displaced and stifled the growth of local or stifled particular groups and individuals;
tinational firms lack social ties with local manufacturing and construction firms. And most especially local manufacturing and
officials to negotiate bribes. So they began this did not happen to them just as busi- construction firms.
hiring local intermediaries as the bridge. nesses. Rather the biggest problem is that The resultant political settlement
There emerged a large class of what Marx- they were killed as a political force within imposes constraints on the ability of
ists call compradors but whom we call com- the decision making structure. Instead the Museveni or his successor to successfully
mission agents – wheeler-dealers who make reforms gave economic and, therefore, polit- pursue a project promoting local content
money connecting foreign firms to local ical power to traders (importers) and com- policies. The dominant business and
politicians and bureaucrats. mission agents (the comprador capitalists). political groups are hostile to local content
Hence, the business groups that con- But this ensemble of forces is beginning to laws. Equally, the ideology of key players
solidated under this reform process i.e. the choke the country. For example, the failure in politics, the civil service, mass media,
traders and compradors were those that to grow manufacturing has made it diffi- academia and civil society is hostile.
have no interest in, and are hostile to local/ cult for Uganda to close her trade deficit in No amount of altruism can change
domestic/national/indigenous capital in absolute terms. While since 1991 Uganda’s this. Only a change in the dominant
manufacturing and construction. exports have grown faster (at an annual ideology, accompanied by a change in
Traders make money by importing high average of 70%) than growth in her imports the social groups that dominate political
quality products at low prices for the (at an annual average of 31%), Uganda’s power and influence public policy can
domestic market. So they are enemies of trade deficit has reduced in relative terms bring about a real change in Uganda’s
national/local/domestic/indigenous manu- but grown in absolute terms. This is con- economic direction.
facturing firms. Commission agents make trary to East Asian countries like Taiwan,
money by acting as agents of multinational South Korea and now China whose growth
construction firms to local power-holders. was characterised by huge trade surpluses.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 9

cover story

Museveni doubles
military spending
Rwanda tension cited but why
does govt want Shs1.2 trillion?

President Yoweri Museveni presides over the Special Forces Command

(SFC) combined arms exercise at Karama Armoured Warfare Training
School in Kabamba, Mubende district on July 23, 2017.

10 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

cover story

By Haggai Matsiko the budgets of most ministries. and discussed “tensions with Rwanda”,
Part of this money, The Independent said a source familiar with the details of
he government intends to understands, is $100 million (Approx. the meeting on conditions of anonymity
push over US$320 million Shs370 billion) extra that President Yoweri because of the sensitivity of the matter.
(Approx.Shs1.2 trillion) worth Museveni has directed the Finance After this meeting, the source added,
of supplementary budgets Ministry to allocate towards the defence Museveni then summoned officials from
through parliament in the next budget. the Finance Ministry who he directed to
two months, The Independent This means that instead of the usual make the allocations.
can exclusively report. The money must supplementary budgets that many see as The $ 100 million is marked as classified
be passed urgently before the current part of Museveni’s pre-election planning expenditure under the defence ministry,
FY2018/19 closes in June. which includes building a financial war insiders say.
Source familiar with the details of the chest for the 2021 elections, the portion for Given that initially the allocation
government move say the supplementary Defence could be part of preparations in towards defence was about Shs.2 trillion
budgets were expected as has become the case of a war with Rwanda. (Approx. $600 million), the new allocation
norm before an election year. However, the The directive to increase defence brings to about Shs 2.6 trillion, the total
size and components of the supplementary spending followed two meetings this defence budget for the financial year
budgets are raising eyebrows. month; one with security chiefs and ending this June. That is a one percentage
The anticipated $320 million is about another with officials from the Finance point rise on Defence spending in the FY
5% of the Shs32.7 trillion total resource Ministry, The Independent understands. 2018/19.
envelope for FY2018/19. It is bigger than Museveni first met the security chiefs Details indicate, however, the Defence is
likely to get significantly bigger allocation
in the next FY2019/20 budget that Finance
officials are putting together. The total
resource envelope for next financial year
was projected to be about Shs.35 trillion
In this budget, Defence spending was
set to drop to Shs.1.9 trillion according
to National Budget Framework Paper
Now, The Independent understands,
the Finance Ministry will add another $270
million (Approx.1 trillion) to the defence
budget for 2019/2020 alone. This will bring
Uganda’s defence spending to close to $1
billion dollars again.
Uganda last spent $1 billion dollars on
defence in 2011. That year, Uganda even
surpassed regional giant Kenya’s defence
spending for the first time.
Of the US$ 1.02 billion, US$270 million
was spent on its usual defense budget
items (food, salaries etc) and US$ 750
million on acquisition of 6 Su-30MK
Russian jets.
The acquisition of the jets elevated
Uganda’s air force to one of the most
advanced combat aircraft squadrons in
East and Central Africa, the Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute
(Sipri), which tracks conflicts and military
spending globally, reported.
In its recent report, Trends in
international arms transfers, 2011, SIPRI
notes that the purchase of the fighter
jets and other arms increased Uganda’s
military expenditure by 300%, dwarfing
Africa’s 9% and the world’s 24%
expenditure on arms.
Given that this time the budget for the
financial year 2019/2020 has only increased
by Shs.2 trillion from the current financial
year, Defence, it appears will swallow half
of the national budget increment.
The Defence budget is skyrocketing at a
time when allocations to other sectors are
For instance, the Health budget is

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 11

cover story

President Museveni on March 15 passes out 6239 Local Defense Unit (LDU) trainees at Kaweweta Training School in Nakaseke District.

reducing from Shs2.3 trillion to Shs2.2 standby, and recruiting and training more. into a modern fighting machine with proper
trillion and Education is equally facing a Both Museveni and Kagame have recently systems. There have not been reports
cut from Shs2.7 trillion from shs2.6 trillion, been seen spending time with their armies. of ghost soldiers on the payroll and in
according to details in parliament’s Budget While addressing a National Leadership recruitment, promotion, deployment, and
Committee report on the NBFP. Retreat (commonly known as Umwiherero) procurement are said to be professionally
It is also growing at a time debt is piling at Gabiro in Kigali recently, President handled.
and the taxman is facing tough times Kagame said the tensions with Uganda Officers in specialised units such as
meeting its revenue collection targets. could mean reallocating more resources to artillery, armored and air defense, have
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has defence. undergone a lot of training locally and
registered over a Shs1 trillion revenue Insiders say Uganda is increasing abroad. The units have also been reinforced
shortfall and debt now stands at Shs41.3 its defence spending in the face of the with personnel and modern equipment.
trillion or 41.5% of national Gross Domestic likelihood of a war with Rwanda. Most of the training happens at the Senior
Product. But Museveni has always wanted to be Staff and Command College at Kimaka in
As a result, Treasury Operations, which seen as the military giant of the region. He Jinja. Previously training of officers was
deals with domestic debt refinancing, has wanted a strong well-equipped army slow because Uganda was sending one
was allocated a total of Shs9.5 trillion. The ever since his government formulated its or two officers a year to command and
other lion’s share Shs5.3 trillion up from security policy in 2001. staff colleges in Ghana, USA or UK. With
Shs.4.7trillion went to the Works Ministry. Initially, Museveni needed to defeat Kimaka, the country can output 40 officers a
the Joseph Kony Lord’s Resistance Army year, sources say.
Rwanda tension (LRA). Then he entered Somalia to fight The UPDF leaders say increased
The doubling of the defence might not against the al Shabaab. But he has also professionalism; including deploying right
come as a surprise; especially for those been in competition for regional military officers in the right command positions, has
following tensions between Uganda and superiority with; especially Kenya. But he led to increased operational effectiveness.
Rwanda closely. has feared being caught unprepared by The UPDF was able to break the back of
Rwanda escalated tension in late spill-over of war in South Sudan and Sudan, the Joseph Kony Lord’s Resistance Army
February when it introduced new stiff and now Rwanda. (LRA) rebellion in Northern Uganda, and
guidelines at its border with Uganda Part of the reason, some experts say, is deploy peace-keeping and stabilization
at Gatuna. Uganda’s Foreign Minister, that President Museveni has been keen to forces in Somalia and South Sudan.
Sam Kutesa, explained that Rwanda has be seen as a major player in pacifying the Also, as a result of these deployments,
imposed a trade embargo and ordered a raft reason. Uganda’s military proved to be double-
of high cost and non-tariff barriers. But the other is that he has been keen to blessing for Museveni; keeping Museveni as
The Rwanda move saw Kenyan President keep the UPDF in battle in order to keep a strategic ally of the U.S in the war against
Uhuru Kenyatta travel to both Kigali the soldiers busy while improving their terrorism and earning him dollars.
and Kampala on March 11 to meet with experience and resources. Between 2012 Under the United Nations and African
Museveni and Rwandan President Paul and 2013, Uganda reportedly ordered new Union peacekeeping agreements, troop-
Kagame as part of diplomatic efforts to calm batches of weapons, including tanks and contributing countries are reimbursed if
tensions. ant-tank missiles. they deploy with their own equipment,
Despite these efforts, however, Uganda As a result of Museveni’s efforts, both lethal and non-lethal under an
and Rwanda are said to have armies on observers say, the UPDF has been chiseled arrangement named reimbursement of

12 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

cover story

Contingent Own Equipment (COE). In 2015, Finance Minister, Matia political electioneering. It happens,” he
At some point Uganda was being Kasaija requested for a Shs847 billion said.
reimbursed up to US $7million and the U.S. supplementary budget of which, only Basing on the trend of previous elections
has severally donated equipment to the Shs11.9 billion was for development spending and estimates by insiders, The
Ugandan military. expenditure and a whopping Shs728.1 Independent estimated that the ruling
These handouts have in turn allowed billion for recurrent expenditure. party spent over Shs350 billion in 2011.
President Museveni to use some of the Critics said it was a slush fund for That figured went up to over Shs500 billion
money budgeted for the army to fund his Museveni’s 2016 bid. in 2016 and is set to increase further in
politics. One of Kasaija’s predecessors, Syda 2021. The consequences are always dire
Bbumba, delivered supplementary as such spending often diverts resources
Election money budgets of close to a trillion shillings--with from critical areas. Also, to fill the gap,
That is why even now, the rest of the the last round coming in December 2010 the central bank is always forced to sell
Shs1.5 trillion that will soon be passed by right in the middle of campaigns. treasury bonds to the private sector,
parliament as supplementary budgets is Bbumba first got parliament to approve sucking money from it and crippling
seen as money intended to fund NRM a supplementary of Shs600 billion then private investment.
campaigns. another of Shs380 billion. After the 2011 elections, Uganda’s
It might appear early days to the 2021 Around that time, President Museveni inflation rate jumped to about 30%. And
elections, but preparations have already had got Central Bank Governor after the 2016 elections, economic growth
kicked off. The NRM rolled out its electoral Tumusiime Mutebile to draw from the fell to slightly over 3%.
road map and recently at the retreat of reserves a staggering Shs1.7 trillion for Other factors, such as the civil war in
its MPs at Kyankwazi selected President acquisition of six Russian-made jets and South Sudan, which cut off Ugandan
Museveni as their flag bearer in the 2021 their accompaniments. traders, might have contributed to the
polls. Supplementary budgets have a major It later emerged the six jets cost poor economic performance but diversion
concern, especially before elections. The Shs108billion each or Shs654 billion in of resources was critical. For instance, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) had a total and not the Shs1.7 trillion passed government failed to pay some Shs400
major fall-out with President Museveni over by parliament. That left Shs1.1trillion billion owes to local entities. These in turn
supplementary budgets; especially the ones unexplained. failed to meet their loan obligations. Many
requested towards elections. While some of these funds might have of them folded. A few left standing were
But the supplementary budgets have been spent on the other weapons, as this crippled.
grown year on year. And if the past is was classified expenditure, central bank It is because of such consequences that
anything to go by, ahead of the 2021 Governor Tumusiime Mutebile later experts say that while the government
elections, more supplementary budgets are said this “not completely transparent” is entitled to this arrangement,
in the pipeline. expenditure might have found its way into supplementary budgets should, under
Year on year, President Museveni’s funding Museveni’s campaign. current regulations, not exceed 3% of the
government has been tabling more and Mutebile said they might be the reason entire national budget.
bigger supplementary budgets. They have the economy was thrown into “total chaos But with elections looming and a
been increasing from 4% in 2008/2009 of almost after the last elections”. threat of war with Rwanda, that is the
the national budget, to 7.2% in 2009/2010 “I cannot determine how much of the last caution President Museveni might
and over 30% in 2010/11. money that I have created ends up in want to consider.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 13

news analysis

President Museveni meeting with officials from Finasi.

Lubowa Hospital
How bad can investing in a specialised hospital be?
By Ian Katusiime dubbed No Risk Investor (NRI) – since the instant coffee. She said she would set up

government appears determined to cover a company called Uganda Vinci Coffee
ring them in. Give them free any risk an investor could face. Company Limited in Namanve Industrial
land. Offer them Tax exemptions. In this case, the anti-investor sentiments Park in Kampala. It is not clear how far
Guarantee their financing. Don’t appear to be because the investor is an this project went.
bother them with minimum opaque Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) On the face of it, the Lubowa Hospital
wage. Then allow them to take their involving a known construction company; transaction appears rather straight
profits back home.” Roko Construction Ltd and an unknown forward. Finasi/ Roko Construction SPV
That is how one unhappy commentator firm called Finasi. The SPV is called Ltd would design, construct, and equip
reacted on the decision by the Ugandan Finasi/Roko Construction Ltd and the the International Specialised Hospital of
government to guarantee a loan for the government has made little effort to lift Uganda (ISHU) in Lubowa, Kampala.
construction of a specialised hospital the veil on those behind the venture. In return the government of Uganda
in Lubowa, Kampala by an investor – a When the ground-breaking for the undertakes; through promissory notes
blanket term for any foreigner with a hospital happened in June 2017, the or a written promise to pay up to $379.6
commercial venture in Uganda. investor behind Finasi was identified as million to Finasi/ Roko Construction SPV
Investors are usually feted by the a woman named Enrica Maria Aristidina Ltd.
government and Parliament which Pinetti. Since then, there has been a The assumption is that Finasi/ Roko
is mandated to vet such government frenzy, especially in the media to unveil Construction SPV Ltd aims to raise money
decisions, passed the deal recently, albeit the woman who appears to be favoured for the venture using the government of
with heated debate from opponents. by President Yoweri Museveni. Uganda’s promissory notes as a guarantee
The commentator said tongue-in-cheek In 2014, the same Enrica Pinetti excited of payment. The hospital will be the
that Uganda should formalise a concept Museveni with a proposal to produce property of the Republic of Uganda. It

14 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

news analysis
will contain 264 beds, doctors and nurses’ African Development Bank loans have Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy.
accommodation, a 9 MW powerhouse and been used to put up Kiruddu and UMA urged government to prioritise
a National Ambulance Control Centre. It Kawempe hospitals so that the main refurbishment of Mulago Hospital
will be located on 72000 square metres all Mulago hospital can be used for the core Complex which has 900 beds and is likely
availed by the government. referrals of cancer and others can go to to afford more services to Ugandans than
However, the government is expected the new Women’s Hospital and others,” the Lubowa Hospital. Mulago needs only
to provide over $5-6million to Finasi each Kapwepwe said. Shs24 billion to complete its renovation.
year over the eight year period when He adds that Uganda has already sent
Finasi will be managing the hospital. out several medical doctors in several Hospital overpriced?
But the decision has stirred a lot of places across the globe. Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president
controversy and Museveni had to write There is also a view that the government of UMA, told The Independent that the
to the Speaker of Parliament to ensure the should be focusing on injecting more Lubowa Project is over-priced. He said, for
venture is passed. resources into the Mulago National example, phase one of the Lubowa project
Whereas President Museveni thanked Referral Hospital; Uganda’s premier health will take $379m for 264 beds, which is
MPs for approving the loan guarantee facility located in Kampala. $1.1m per bed.
for the investor behind the hospital, some “Such hospitals cost about $100,000 to
observers think that the decision may $300,000 per bed,” he said.
have far reaching financial implications One of the reasons the government
even long after the hospital is operational. cited for the establishment of an
One of the internationally credited health facility
Deal shrouded in smoke
reasons the
like the International Specialised Hospital
Julius Kapwepwe, the programmes of Uganda is to counter the growing
director of the Uganda Debt Network, an
organisation that advocates for prudent and government burden of Non Communicable Diseases
(NCDs) like cancer and heart and kidney
transparent resource utilisation, told The
Independent that he is worried about the lack
cited for the complications among other things.
But Okwaro said more effective ways
of transparency of the procurement and establishment of of curbing the endemic problem of NCDs

an internationally
financing of the project. involve primary prevention since NCDs
“The problem with this hospital is that it are diseases of lifestyle.
is shrouded in smoke. We don’t seem to see
transparency,” he said. According to him credited health “Otherwise for the treatment of NCDs,
we need to strengthen the Regional
the actual figure of $379million has been
queried because it shifted from the initial
facility is Referral Hospitals with doctors and
diagnostic equipment,” said Okwaro said.
figure of $354 million. to counter He added that since treating NCDs are

the growing
But Syda Bumba, the chairperson of costly, the government needs to quickly
the National Economy committee which institute innovative financing mechanisms,
inquired and scrutinised the project and
eventually gave the promissory note a go burden of Non key of which is a public health insurance
ahead, told The Independent that there was
no scam in Parliament’s resolution.
Communicable He said the government should have
weighed the opportunity cost for investing
“That project was started in 2013. Even Diseases (NCDs) in Mulago, the Uganda Heart Institute and

like cancer
the initial figure for the project going up is Regional Referral hospitals.
justified due to the costs of financing.” But Lawrence Bategeka, an economist
Bumba says there is controversy about and vice chairperson of the Parliamentary
the promissory note arrangement because Committee on National Economy says
many commentators are not familiar with boosting existing medical facilities is not
the type of transaction. Bbumba says the same thing as building a specialised
promissory notes are a standard mode of hospital of the proposed Lubowa
payment in investment and have been used standards.
before by previous governments in Uganda. “No matter how you improve your
“This is an acceptable method to be paid The Uganda Medical Association hospitals, you may lack the capacity or
at an agreed time,” said. (UMA) says this would have been a better even the incentive to do the right thing.
Some critics have argued that the money approach. Mulago has been undergoing Therefore, this hospital is the right thing
going to the new hospital could have some major infrastructure renovations, for us Ugandans,” Bategeka told The
been better used elsewhere. And the list of equipment upgrades, and human resource Independent.
better options, according to critics, appears improvements. But the government has He says not many countries have such
endless. It includes going into enhancing been criticised for failing to release all the facilities and, therefore, Ugandans should
the salaries for nurses and doctors, money needed for Mulago’s renovation to look out for this opportunity.
improving existing facilities such as district be completed. Some estimates indicate that “To the Ugandans who go to Kenya for
hospitals and health centres, and ensuring $379million, the cost for the construction treatment, why do you think they don’t
that government health facilities do not of the hospital is roughly half the annual go to Nairobi Hospital and go to Aga
suffer drug stock outs or instead get an budget of the Ministry of Health. Khan Hospital?” he said, “It is because
equipment upgrade. The doctors’ umbrella body in Aga Khan has that rating and Nairobi
Kapwepwe of UDN says the mid-March petitioned the Speaker of does not.”
government should be working on Parliament and President of Uganda, Bategeka chose to look at the medical
improving Uganda’s existing facilities. saying the lack of consultation of Ugandan benefits accruing from the hospital once
“Uganda has already moved towards medical professionals on the project it is completed and not bother so much
the improving of its referral systems. undermines government’s stated Buy about the financial implications.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 15

news analysis

Cyclone Idai: Mozambique’s

historic tropical storm
Hundreds killed and over 800
square miles covered in water
By Agencies three years in Mozambique, according to the final casualty figure once the flood

the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction waters have receded.
ropical Cyclone Idai struck the So- and Recovery. It also reports that Mozam- Meanwhile thousands remain trapped by
fala ‘province of Mozambique in the bique ranks third among African countries the floodwaters, and many of the Mozam-
waning hours of March 14, causing for exposure to weather-related hazards. bican government’s relief centres have only
damage and flooding that could But the “inland oceans” created by Idai just started receiving food supplies.
make it one of the worst weather disasters surpass those created by any previous Some 1.7 million people are said to be
to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere. storm. A total of 836 square miles were affected across southern Africa, with no
Idai left Sofala with what resembled an covered in water as of March 20, according electricity or running water in areas where
inland ocean stretching more than 30 miles to the United Nations Institute for Train- homes have been swept away and roads
wide and potentially about 20 feet deep. ing And Research (UNITAR). If the entire destroyed by the floods, according to the
The tropical storm destroyed 90 percent country of Bahrain were covered in water, BBC. The International Federation of Red
of Beira, a port city of more than a half- it would only be roughly a third the size of Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
million people. The confirmed death toll the area flooded in Sofala. were warning of the risk of other outbreaks,
as of March 21 was 557 in Mozambique Land and Environment Minister Celso already noting an increase in malaria.
and neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi, Correia said on March 24 that over 700 peo- “We are living an unprecedented natural
but with thousands still missing or at risk ple were across Mozambique, Zimbabwe disaster. A disaster that only matches major
Mozambique’s president Filipe Nyusi said and Malawi; 417 of them in Mozambique. disasters,” Correia said. “Unfortunately,
the death toll could reach 1,000. The number of dead was expected to rise no-one in the region and in the world could
The Sofala province is historically prone as many people remained unaccounted for. predict a disaster of this size.”
to flooding, and floods occur every two to The officials will only be able to determine

16 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

news analysis

Timber company workers stand stranded on a

damaged road in Chimanimani, eastern Zimbabwe,
on March 18.

Stranded residents gather on the stands of

a stadium in a flooded area of Buzi, central
Mozambique, on March 20.

A man with an injured foot arrives at a temporary

medical treatment camp after he was rescued by the
Zimbabwean air force in Chimanimani on March 20.

People collect metal sheets from a damaged

supermarket to rebuild their destroyed homes
following devastation caused by the storm in Beira,
Mozambique, on March 21.

Trees damaged by the storm in Beira, Mozambique,

on March 20.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 17


I can’t believe Museveni and

Kagame want to destabilize
each other -- French envoy
Stephanie Rivoal, the outgoing French Ambassador
spoke to Ronald Musoke about her
highs and lows of her two-and-half year stay in Uganda.

Uganda was your very first post in to talk directly to Uganda’s women, the
your diplomatic career. How have youth, and everyone else. I am getting out of

you found your stay here? Uganda having learnt so much.
t is my belief that modern di-
plomacy touches three an- At the start of your diplomatic engage-
gles and, obviously, politics ment, you noted that you were particularly
is number one. A diplomat attracted to Uganda because of its geo-pol-
has to maintain bilateral rela- itics, business prospects and humanitar-
tions between his or her home ian challenges. Do you still maintain you
country and the country where made the right choice in coming here?
you are posted. It has been very I am 100 percent sure that I made the
interesting to get close to the people right choice because Uganda is one country
in positions of power in this country from where you can observe many activities
and to push through our messages. in the region thanks to its strategic location.
The second aspect is the relationship Since I have been here, so many things have
with the private sector; you want to get happened in the region; from Uganda’s
to know the business opportunities involvement in the peacemaking process
that are present in in South Sudan, the elections in Congo, the
Uganda and see relationship between Uganda and Rwanda
how French which of course is a big topic at the moment,
companies the Burundi situation that is linked with
can benefit. Rwanda to the relationship with Kenya
The third and Tanzania; especially when it comes to
aspect is the the business relations. In terms of business,
relationship Kenya is more mature and Tanzania offers a
with civil lot of opportunities but it is a bit bureaucrat-
society— ic and tough to work there while Uganda
where you has positioned itself as an outsider wanting
connect with to attract foreign investments. But for that to
the people di- happen Uganda needs to be more attractive
rectly without and we have had many discussions with
going through the authorities on how to realise that. On
authorities or the humanitarian front, Uganda remains
official bodies. the number one African country in terms of
Thanks to com- receiving refugees. The open door policy in
munication tools Uganda has been something instructive to
like; social media watch. In spite of some corruption issues,
networks, televi- we hope that this globally acclaimed policy
sion and radio, I can still continue.
Give us some highlights of your stay in
The increase in development projects and
the strengthening of the defence relation-
ship between the two governments were
very important but I think the Women for
Women Awards initiative we held in June,
2018, together with other female ambas-
sadors here is something I am particularly

18 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

proud of. I launched this initiative to put Over the last two decades we have seen be very much on the (government’s) agenda
women into the spotlight. I think, at the the French Development Agency (AFD) so that foreign businesses can feel welcome
beginning, the benefits are not obvious almost triple funding for development here. There is also an element of corruption
because it is not a cheque but I believe projects in Uganda to about € 1bn. What here. I think Uganda has to understand
the ladies who received the awards in the has made France sink so much in these that businesses have options elsewhere.
long run will change the place of women projects? It is a competition and if the environment
in the private sector in Uganda thanks to I was lucky when I got here to find a very is unstable, uncertain and unpredictable,
the network they have created. I am also good AFD country representative in Virgin- investors dislike that.
extremely proud of the Kampala Geopoli- ie Leroy. She really focused on Uganda and
tics conference that we did last year. That she managed to push for more and more What’s your comment about the endless
was some huge amount of work and to do projects because they were well-structured diplomatic spurts between Uganda and
it within Makerere, a university which has and were also answering Uganda’s devel- Rwanda and how do you suggest these
a reputation on the continent; to be able opment needs. The quality of the relation- two neighbours resolve their disagree-
to bring here researchers from France and ship she had with the Ministries of Finance, ments?
Germany and, of course, local thinkers Water and Environment, Energy and Trans- When you look at the feud that is going
and researchers was great. The Kampala port made it easier for her to present these on right now, we can only be sad because it
Geopolitics conference was about freedom good projects to AFD. But also France’s is having negative results for both countries.
of expression, debate and also positioning strategic focus has been shifting towards There are lots of rumours at the moment
African students mentally in a place where eastern Africa. and it is very hard to get to know what is
they need to care and have an opinion on true, but, I cannot believe fundamentally
everything in the world. I want the things that there could be a will to destabilize each
that I initiated here to have an impact when other because looking at what Presidents
Iam gone. It is not about me here; it is about Museveni and Kagame have said about
France in Uganda looking ahead.
Uganda has regional integration, it is in their interests to
resolve this. A French philosopher (Montes-
How would you describe the current rela- to understand quieu) once said that when two countries

that businesses
tions between France and Uganda? meet, they can either fight and they both
When I first arrived here, I really had lose or they can trade together and they
no idea how good France’s relations with
Uganda were. I thought we were way
have options both win. This is the situation here. We are
hoping the situation will not deteriorate
behind the UK or the U.S. but in fact, I
discovered that we already had a very
elsewhere. It is a further.

strong relationship with Uganda in terms of competition and if What will you remember most about
development and military cooperation, the
collaboration with universities, and Alliance the environment is Uganda?
The people are number one and then
Française. I would describe the relations as
excellent. But like I said at the beginning,
unstable, uncertain the countryside— the wildlife and nature.
I am someone who wants to live my life to
the relationship between two countries goes and unpredictable, the fullest and for that I need to have many
beyond the relationship between the two
governments. investors dislike experiences; I need to go in many places
and meet many people as much as possible

One of your key performance indicators

that so that when I die or when I look back in
my old years I can say, “Oh my God I have
was to increase the presence of French done so much. I visited many places and I
business in Uganda. How have you fared? got in contact with so many cultures and I
Out of ten, I would say I scored seven. I can die in peace.”
did three presentations in France to French
businesses and for the first time ever, we What have been some of the achievements Where are you headed next?
attracted many delegations here. MEDEF, from the military collaboration between I have been appointed General Secretary
the largest syndicate of the private sector in France and Uganda in the fight against of the France-Africa Summit which will take
France came here for the first time in 2017. terrorism in eastern Africa? place in Paris in June, next year.We shall
Now we are waiting for concrete projects. Well, I am very happy that there has not invite the 54 Heads of State of the entire
We have been very active to make sure been a terrorist attack in Uganda since 2010. African continent.The theme is “Sustain-
that the technology of Airbus is selected I think that is proof that our collaboration able Cities” and it is very relevant. The cities
for the new Uganda Airlines. Of course the between Uganda; us and many other part- right now are much larger with a bunch of
oil project is a big one; it was there before I ners, is working. I believe the collaboration issues—pollution, congestion, slums, elec-
came but I believe it is taking too much time against the Al Shabaab threat in Somalia has tricity and jobs. I would like this summit not
because Ugandans are not benefitting from been effective and I think it has been benefi- to be about the Heads of State only because
this oil yet the needs are huge in terms of cial for both countries. they cannot do everything when it comes to
education, health and jobs for the youth. We cities.The mayors are extremely important,
have so many French companies waiting What were some of your frustrations and the ministries, the private sector and the
to come here to support the project because disappointments during your stay? people or the citizens of the city as well. So
they are in the oil industry. Many are also I am a bit concerned about the evolution I will invite a wide range of people to come
positioning themselves for infrastructure, of the business terms here. I would have to France to lay on the table their concerns
transport and energy. We already have wanted these terms to be friendlier to ben- and solutions as citizens, politicians or the
about 40 French companies here— from efit the Ugandan economy but it does not private sector.
the super large ones like Bolloré, Total, and seem to go in that direction. There is a lot of
Lafarge, to mid-sized ones up to the small uncertainty on project decisions, especially
ones. the oil project. The business climate needs to

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 19



2 20
UMEME POWER: TransformingMarch.
Uganda29 - April. 04 2019

Umeme is a top
grade performer

T 80%
he Electricity Regulatory Authority Tibalwa says Umeme has even surpassed
(ERA) was established by the 1999 its targets on containing power losses.
Electricity Act to license and regulate Umeme found the losses at 35.2% and has
operations in the electricity sector. reduced them to 16.5% and is targeting
Its mandate includes setting 14.9% at the end of this year.
operating standards and appropriate end user The only challenge the regulator still has
supervisor. OVERALL PERFORMANCE  #    #
    %     Also the reliability of supply is not yet
Tibalwa Waako is happy with Umeme’s work. at the level it should be and the regulator
She rates Umeme’s perfomance at 80% and encourages the entity to channel more
says that the power distributor has contributed #  
"       “Although they have improved the
For instance, she says, the entity has reliability and quality of supply,” she says,
increased the number of customers connected “They can make it even better. There is still
to the grid by more than 200% from 280,000 room for improvement.”
to 1.2 million. As of 2018, the growth rate in
Tibalwa also says Umeme should help
connections stood at 138%.
government in accelerating growth and
Indeed Umeme's 2017 annual report demand stimulation.
indicates that connections increased “Over all,” she says, “Umeme has done
monumentally to 8,431.
tremendously well and if I were to rate its
performance, I would give it 80%.”

Drop in power
200% 138%
Increase in
losses from number of people Growth rate in
35.2% on the grid connections

March. 29 - April. 04 2019

POWER: Transforming Uganda 3
MTN Uganda revenue
rises to Shs1.38trillion
Telecoms subscriber base reaches 11.3million

By Isaac Khisa the Group sees significant opportunity
to grow subscribers and voice revenue in
TN Uganda has record- the near future as it also taps into the large
ed a 4.4% rise in revenue mobile data opportunity.
to Shs1.38 trillion for the “We will also extend our BRIGHT strat-
year ending December egy to build MTN into a digital operator
2018 owing to increase with a major focus on the fintech, digital,
in customer numbers, enterprise and wholesale business areas,”
data and fintech services. he said.
The company’s financial statements MTN’s BRIGHT strategy that the com-
shows that its customer numbers rose from pany unveiled in 2017 comprises seven
10.7million in 2017 to 11.3million as data pillars: Best customer experience; Returns
and fintech services recorded a 23% and and efficiency focus; IGNITE commercial
10% increase in revenues respectively, dur- performance; Growth through data and
ing the same period under review. digital; Hearts and minds; and Technology
MTN currently holds a 54% market share excellence.
among the country’s eight telecom firms.
This comes at the time MTN is in negotia- Firm to exit low growth markets
tion with the Ugandan government to have In a bid to change the company’s for-
its operating licence renewed. The licence tunes, MTN Group said it has embarked
expired in October 2018. on a Shs 3.68billion (US$1bn) divestment
It is currently operating on an interim program in the next three years, a move that
licence to allow for the conclusion of nego- Rob Shuter will reduce Africa’s largest telco and focus
tiations around the terms for the licence on high growth markets.
renewal and other issues surrounding even half the level MTN reported in 2015, The Group said it has drawn up a
national security. the year before it agreed to pay a Shs turnaround plan that includes shedding
Since January, the government has 6.25trillion (US $1.7 billion) fine in Nigeria loss-making e-commerce assets and exiting
deported the firm’s top four expatriates – for missing a deadline to cut off unregis- countries where MTN has no prospect of
Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte tered SIM card users. reaching second position by market share.
, a Belgian national, General Manager for The fine was a reduction from the initial On the other hand, it is also pushing the
Mobile Finance Services Elsa Mussolini an Shs 19.12 trillion (US$5.2 billion) after MTN company into mobile financial services,
Italian, Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier made concessions, including a promise to music streaming and mobile gaming, bet-
Prentout a French national, and the General list its Nigeria unit. ting on a burgeoning young tech-savvy
Manager, Sales and Distribution, Annie The flotation of MTN Nigeria, which population to offset falling prices for basic
Bilenge Tabura, a citizen of Rwanda – on accounts for a third of MTN’s core profit, telecoms services.
accusations of compromising national secu- is likely to take place by the end of June, MTN Group has agreed to sell its minor-
rity. according to company executives. ity stake in Botswana’s Mascom for Shs
The Nigerian unit has also been 1.1trillion (US$300 million) subject to regu-
MTN Group performance embroiled in other rows with Nigerian latory approvals. Last year, it sold MTN
Meanwhile, MTN Group recorded an authorities. Cyprus for Shs 1.1 trillion (260 million
increase in revenue from Shs34.35 trillion in For instance, in December last year, it Euros) to reduce holdco dollar debt. At the
2017 to Shs 34.76trilllion in 2018 driven by agreed to pay $53 million to resolve a dis- same time, it also listed MTN Ghana on the
increase in customer base and data services. pute with the Central Bank of Nigeria and is Ghana Stock Exchange after an Initial Public
Last year, MTN Group had 233 million sub- involved in a court battle with the Nigerian Offering aimed at introducing a broad base
scribers, up by 16million. attorney general over $2 billion in back of Ghanaian investors.
For that the company reported an 85% taxes. MTN said its investments in tower com-
surge in headline earnings per share, the However, the firm’s net profit more than panies and e-commerce platforms such as
main profit measure in South Africa to doubled from 4,550 million rands to 9, pan-African online retailer Jumia would be
Shs871. 578million rands. sold over time as they were not long-term
Nevertheless, the bottom line is still not at Rob Shuter, the MTN Group CEO said strategic assets.

22 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


US$567million Isimba
dam switched on
Private sector players ask for cheap electricity to power industries
By Julius Businge

n March 21, President Yoweri
Museveni commissioned the
Isimba Hydropower Dam, adding
183MW to the national grid. But
the private sector, who consume most of the
electricity accounting for 20% of their pro-
duction costs, have reservations.
“…for private sector though access and
cost remain a challenge,” Gideon Bad-
agawa, the executive director at the Private
Sector Foundation Uganda told The Inde-
pendent by telephone.
He said the electricity costs will come
down if in addition to the refinancing of
Bujagali Hydropower Dam, the country
works to improve demand through attract- Museveni (R) flanked by UEGCL officials at the official commissioning of Isimba power station on March 21.
ing most value adding investors especially
in the manufacturing sector. executive officer of Uganda Electricity manufacturing.
He hopes the government will address Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), He urged the people to start up ventures
this soon. He said it is time for the Rural the official overseer of the project, described that would use power from Isimba dam to
Electrification Agency (REA) to up its game the commissioning of the dam as a ‘major improve their wealth, create jobs and sup-
under the ERT III project so that most of the milestone’ that is in line with government’s port social transformation.
Ugandans can have access to electricity and promise of generating 17, 000MW of elec- Irene Muloni, the minister of energy and
eventually drive the cost south. tricity by 2028. mineral development said that the 4.16 US
Currently, Uganda’s electricity access With the country’s average annual GDP cents cost of electricity from Isimba will
stands at about 20%, according to Uganda growth forecast to exceed 6% and electricity apply for the first 15 years of its operation,
Bureau of Statistics, leaving the rest of the demand growing at 9% per annum, Muti- but will further reduce to 1.1 US Cents for
population relying on biomass and kero- kanga said the inauguration of Isimba has the following 23 years – equivalent to the
sene for lighting and cooking. come at the right time to power and drive cost of Nalubaale-Kiira dam.
Badagawa, however, also said the private the country’s industrialisation.
sector needs to invest more in energy effi- “The increased power generation capac- About Isimba dam
cient technologies to lower the electricity ity enhances the country’s energy security The power station is located 4km
costs. The private sector views appeared and reliability of supply that is a key driver upstream of Isimba Falls on the River Nile,
to be directed towards the government for Uganda’s social economic transforma- Approx. 50KM downstream of the source
officials including President Museveni, tion,” he said. of the Nile.
who in their remarks never spoke on how Available data indicates that UEGCL The run-of-river plant station is about
the additional electricity will drive the cost will sell electricity generated at Isimba to 21km from Kayunga town as the nearest
downwards. The additional electricity sup- Uganda Electricity Transmission Company town and about 65km from Jinja town.
ply puts the country’s installed electricity Limited at US$ Cents 4.16 per kWh. The Construction of the dam started in 2013
generation to about 1000MW amidst the annual projected revenue from the plant is with a commencement date of April 16,
current demand of approximately 600MW. over US$41.6million (approx.Shs150bn). 2015 and project duration of 40 months.
A government official , who preferred Mutikanga said that this revenue is ade- It was constructed by China International
anonymity to speak freely, told The Inde- quate to cover operation and maintenance Water and Electric Corporation (CWE).
pendent that the launch of Isimba dam will costs, depreciation, debt servicing, and a It experienced some delays because of
not in the short term drive down the cost reasonable return vital for financial sustain- land compensation conflicts and procure-
of electricity currently averaging at around ability of UEGCL. ment related challenges.
8-9 US cents per kWh because government President Museveni, who did not speak The project was jointly financed by the
buys expensive power from other genera- much about the dam, said the launch of government of Uganda (15%) and the Exim
tors way above 8 US cents per kWh. Isimba is a blessing to Uganda as it would Bank of China (85%) that extended a soft
However, the official said that with the ensure there is more power to supply to loan. It is the third largest hydropower
coming onboard of new power plants and areas that are currently off the national grid. plant in the country, increasing power
anticipated increase in demand especially He also said that the power station generation from the current 984MW to 1,
from commercial consumers will gradually would in many ways support key govern- 167MW. The plant has increased elec-
drive down the cost to the desirable figure ment interventions in the areas of security, tricity generation by 30%, generating an
of 4-5US cents per kWh in the long term. education, infrastructure, health, informa- average of 1.062bn kWh per year at a load
Eng. Harrison Mutikanga, the chief tion and communication technology and factor of 70%.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 23


Inside Coca-Cola Beverage Africa manufacturing plant at Namanve. Museveni says manufacturing is one of the key sectors facilitating economic growth.

Museveni’s dream youth and women to join the four sectors by

forming SACCOs so they are supported by
the government.

on the economy
He said government would cut adminis-
trative expenditure to save money for youth
and women formations.
He said Uganda Development Bank will
be allocated more money to lend to play-
Expert views on how the economy ers in the four sectors at affordable annual
interest rate not exceeding 12%.
could be put on the right growth path “We want to have a more investor free
atmosphere,” he said, “with no corruption,
delays and confusion.”
By Julius Businge ing in Kyankwanzi on March 15.

He added that oil and gas sector will in
“The future of Uganda is bright in terms the coming years add to the growth of the
here is a general consensus that of building an integrated economy,” he told
Uganda’s economy has recently im- economy.
the MPs, “we need to conduct an audit and The good thing, he said, is that there is
proved and now is doing well. see which sectors are integrated and inte-
This is coming from highly a good economic, working environment
grate those that are not.” supported by good roads, electricity sup-
respected institutions like the International Museveni’s future definition of the econo-
Monitory Fund, World Bank, Bank of Ugan- ply, peace and tightened security and an
my is now about strengthening the integra- improved ICT infrastructure.
da, the Ministry of Finance Planning and tion of key sectors of agriculture, industry,
Economic Development, Uganda Bureau of Museveni’s new dream is workable
services and information communication according to economic experts.
Statistics and some people within academic technology.
circles. However, they are saying that tariff barri-
He explained how this works. For ers and economic disruptions like the recent
This reasoning is coming at a time the instance, he said that a sector like agri-
economy is reported to have grown at 6.1% closure of the Uganda – Rwanda borders
culture supplies raw materials to another – which is suffocating businesses and the
in FY2017/18, up from around 5.6% a year sector like industry or industry supplies
before – levels that were unheard of in the recent poor corporate governance exposed
agriculture sector with machinery to ease at BoU by Parliament and other challenges
past five financial years. production.
It is expected to further grow by 6.3% in must stop.
Also, a sector like ICT would offer tech-
FY2018/2019 and 6.5-7% over the medium
nology that eases production in manufac- Expert views
turing, agriculture or in other sectors and Musa Mayanja, an economist told The
This growth, according to BoU data is the reverse is true. He also said that sectors
supported by accommodative financial Independent that the President’s dream is
like education would produce skilled and fine.
conditions, the multiplier effects of public talented labour to support growth of key
investments, higher foreign direct invest- He said that sectors are supposed to
sectors. work as a connected system, where say
ment, increased agricultural production He said supporting these sectors is essen-
supported by good weather and, increase agriculture can supply or receive from other
tial for creating more jobs and leading to sectors; financial sector can offer credit to
in consumption and investment as private social and economic transformation. The
sector lending improves. agriculture sector as the latter borrows from
IMF argues that Uganda needs to create the former. He says this has been working
President Yoweri Museveni, who is at 600, 000 jobs per year to tackle the growing
the centre of this growth sounds impressed but ‘what is lacking is the magic bullet’for it
unemployment problem. to boost production and productivity.
about the performance but appears to now Museveni said, to date, 4026 factories in
focus on what would keep this momentum The magic bullet, he said, is about offer-
Uganda are employing 600, 000 people, ing affordable credit, inputs, and training of
going ahead. with ICT employing 2, 000 people and com-
“I am quite happy with the momentum,” farmers on better farming practices, invest-
mercial agriculture employing7.8 million ing in water for production which would all
Museveni told the National Resistance people.
Movement Members of Parliament retreat- link to the economic growth agenda.
He emphasized the need to support Mayanja said that if a sector like agri-

24 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

Key facts, figures about the
 Lending rates on shilling denom-
inated loans remained relatively
stable in Quarter to December
2018, averaging 20.3%, with the
weighted average lending rate
falling to 20.2% in Dec 2018 from
20.5% in Nov and 20.4% in Oct.
 The lending rates on forex loans
stood at an average of 8.2% in
Quarter to Dec 2018, with the
Weighted Average Lending Rate
of 7.8% in Dec’ 2018, 8% in Nov
and 8.7% in Oct.
 Average annual growth in PSC
in quarter to Dec. 2018 was
11.3% compared to 11.1% for the
culture is well supported and more output is outlook remains strong going by IMF’s recent Qaurter to Sept. 2018.
produced, the country would have enough to statement.”  Average annual credit growth to
supply to industries for further processing. This According to the IMF statement released on different sectors averaged 9-10%
would create more opportunities for growth in February 14, Uganda’s economic growth has in the Quarter to Dec. 2018.
terms of jobs and exports to outside markets. recovered, while progress on social indicators is  The current account position
Commenting of economic disruptions like mixed and poverty reduction has stalled. remains weak, with the cur-
the Uganda-Rwanda border standoff, he said It says that fiscal and external vulnerabilities rent account Deficit widening
that these “are with us for some time and they have increased, reflecting scaled-up infra- from US$1,272million in 2017 to
will affect us” in the short to medium term. structure investment, but also weaknesses in US$2,465million in 2018 largely
He said trade barriers leads to business fail- the budget process. To achieve more inclusive driven by the trade deficit which
ure where borrowers fail to pay loans, jobs are growth, the Fund says that the trend towards increased by 40% ($692million).
lost, and farmers failing to pay suppliers, and reduced budget allocations for social sectors  Import bill grew by 17%
the local shilling depreciating against foreign should be reversed. ($881million) on account of a
currencies. It acknowledges that BoU’s monetary policy $785million increase in private
As a solution, he says there are frameworks has maintained low inflation (headline inflation sector imports for investment
in place that should guide authorities on how stood at 2.7% in January—core inflation was (machinery and equipment,
to solve grievances at hand, on time so as not to 3.4%) and can stay the course. It adds that core gold, base metals,) reflecting a
suffocate the economy. inflation, the main target for BoU’s monetary pick-up in economic activity.
Fortunately, Stanbic Bank’s East African policy is projected to accelerate and converge  Oil imports grew by $215million,
Regional Economist, Jibran Qureishi says that to the BoU’s target of 5% over the next 12 to 18 reflecting the increase in oil price
amidst challenges, overall activity in the private months, with a gradual shilling depreciation, in calendar year 2018, and rela-
sector remains robust. higher food prices, and demand pressure from tive to FY17.
He says that improving domestic demand fiscal spending.  The impact of the import growth
has not been a coincidence considering that However, it raises concerns on the country’s on the current account deficit
the banking sector non-performing loans have debt that is currently around 40% of GDP. To
was partly moderated by a 5%
eased which has in turn boosted private sector counter further increases in projected debt and
($188 million) increase in export
credit growth. provide a buffer against shocks, it suggests that
receipts; driven by increase in
Enock Twinoburyo, a senior economist at the the authorities could set an operational debt
gold exports which increased by
Sustainable Development Goals Center for Afri- ceiling of 50% of GDP in nominal terms.
23.2% to $514.9 million. The net
ca based in Kigali, Rwanda said the Uganda “This ceiling would then determine the
and Rwanda border impasse are far beyond the annual budget deficit and define a binding exports of gold were estimated at
trade balance or trade channel. He said there expenditure,” it says, adding that this frame- US$52.5million.
are several other mechanisms to look at this work could guide fiscal policy until oil produc-  Reserves stood at
in which either the economy – trade, financial tion starts at which time the authorities plan to US$3,414.5million (which is
flows in form of FDI and remittances – all of adopt a fiscal rule for managing oil revenues equal to 4.3 months of import
which have implications for the financial sector. and their inherent volatility. cover) at end Dec-2018, up from
He warns that a prolonged standoff could US$3,292.6million (4.3 months of
shed off Uganda’s projected GDP growth in the Positive prospects ahead import cover) as at end Sep-2018.
range of 1-2%. Going forward, over the next five years,  Current account deficit is project-
Commenting on BoU’s scandal on sale of growth could reach 7%, if infrastructure and ed to widen by US$882Million
commercial banks, Twinoburyo said that is a oil sector investments proceed as planned, and between Jan to June-2019,
minor issue that can easily be rectified for the private sector credit remains supportive. building up to a deficit of
bank to operate normally. It adds that key open issues in the nascent oil US$2.1billion at end-FY2018/19
However, he said, the central bank credibility sector have recently been resolved in principle.  Year-on-year, the shilling
is neutral in the eyes of Ugandans and policy It anticipates oil production to start in 2023. depreciated by 1.7% in Janu-
makers. “What weakens its position is the lack It says that risks to the economy include fur- ary 2019 compared to 2.5% in
of sufficient capitalisation and negative income ther delays in oil production, weak implemen- December 2018.
statements which means the bank is not healthy tation of infrastructure projects, political ten- Source: Bank of Uganda MPR –
to manage its monetary policy effectively,” he sions, adverse weather conditions, health con- February 2019
told The Independent. “That aside, the growth cerns in the region, and global trade tensions.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 25


Fight over proposed sugar bill

Big sugar producers insist government their foreign exchange reserves.
Earlier, the government had proposed
must incorporate zoning clause a radius of 25km between sugar mills and
out-growers in that area supplying cane
to only one mill.
However, the legislators scraped
By Patricia Akankwatsa encourage big sugar producers to venture off zoning of sugarcane growers by

into production of refined sugar to be sugarcane millers, giving cane growers
he fight over the proposed Sugar used in the manufacturing of medicines. more power to sell their products
Bill 2016 seems to be far from over Though the manufacturers have to any sugar mill. A proper pricing
as President Yoweri Museveni welcomed Museveni’s views, sugar methodology was also set to protect out-
promises to return it back to growers are opposed to the new decision. growers. 
Parliament barely four months since it “This is the best bill in the country Parliament also voted to double the
was passed in November last year. compared to other countries,” Michael number of out-growers on the Uganda
Museveni, who was speaking during Mugabira, the coordinator for Uganda Sugar Board from two to four since they
the recently concluded National Sugarcane Growers Association told The are the majority in the sugar cane growing
Resistance Movement retreat at the Independent in an interview. industry.
National Leadership Institute in “It disputes monopoly of these big The passing of the bill fueled fights
Kyankwanzi, is reported to have said he manufacturers. If they are not ready for between the out-growers and the millers
will not sign the Sugar Bill in its current competition, then let them drop out of the as well as the giant sugar manufacturers
state into law. business.” and new players in the industry. 
“The way you (Parliamentarians) are Mugabira said he would like to see The big sugar companies argued that
behaving, you are antagonizing our President Museveni sign the Bill into law. they funded the out-growers in terms of
old sugar people and I don’t know the On the other hand, manufacturers, provision of raw materials and fertilizers
relationship you have with small sugar want the Bill to be revised especially with in anticipation of purchasing the cane
people. Some of you have got a suspicious the issue of zoning so as to restore sanity once it is mature.
relationship with the small sugar people in the industry. But out-growers said the situation led
and now you are sabotaging my plan,” “MPs need to be aware of what has to domination of sugar territories by the
he said. transpired in neighboring countries big companies, leaving small and new
“Because now when I tell Madhivani he where zoning was halted, the sugar companies struggling to get supply and
says you are sabotaging me, I am about to industry collapsed,” Kenneth Barungi, the ultimately leading to cane poaching.
close. They aren’t lying (and) even if they spokesperson Kakira Sugar Limited said Dating back to the 1920s, Uganda’s
are lying; you need to know where your in reference to the Kenya’s sugar industry sugar industry currently boasts of more
interest lies.” in which majority of the sugar factories than 13 sugar manufacturing firms dotted
“Some of you leaders get mixed up like are struggling to remain afloat as a result across the country, making it one of the
the way you handled the sugar bill which of cane poaching that has resulted to most attractive investment destinations.
I am going to send back to you…The way under-capacity. The sugar production has increased
you passed the sugar bill, this industry Barungi said some of the countries from merely 240,000 tons in 2008 to
will collapse,” he added. in the region are now importing vast 386,000 tons in 2017 amidst local demand
Museveni said he had plans to quantities of sugar overseas and depleting of approximately 350,000 tons.

26 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

Executive Style

Xsabo Group pioneers

biodegradable sanitary pads
Briefly tell us about port, the future of this
the Fancy Pad proj- country is really bright.
ect. Why did you
decide to come up Franziska What is the future out-

with such a project? look of this project and
he “Fancy
Leischker is the related products?
Pad” project is the director While noting that over
an innovative
at Xsabo the past two decades,
Uganda has seen incred-
Ugandan answer Foundation ible strides in primary
to ensuring good in Uganda. and secondary school
personal Menstrual enrolment across the
Hygiene Manage- She spoke country with a significant
ment with continuous to Isaac increase in the enrolment
availability of sani- of girls, a policy recom-
tary pads to all Ugan- Khisa mendation of the Gov-
dan girls and women. about the ernment of Uganda enti-
It is the product of tled National Menstrual
my workshops with
opportunities Hygiene Management
Bukoto Art Group at of their new in Ugandan Primary
which I taught the
artists in Kirimya
product and Secondary Schools:
Gender, Health and
Village near Masaka dubbed Development carried out
how to make paper Fancy Pad. in 2017 documents that
out of banana fibres, the retention rate for boys
papyrus and such remains significantly
other fibres. I had met higher. The study states
the team for the first fibres). Its production and dis- What has the “Fancy pad” unequivocally that one
time in June 2016 and bought posal therefore produce zero impacted on the local com- of the primary determinants for
arts and crafts from them. I waste. It is clean and hygienic munity? this observed gender difference
returned to the Bukoto Art (one-time use). The “Fancy The immediate impact in the in school retention rates is poor
Group on behalf of the Xsabo Pads” are low cost as they are communities is that our initia- menstrual hygiene manage-
Group in January 2017 which cheaper than the commercial tive is now enabling many girls ment in schools. As you know,
had decided to provide fi- pads in supermarkets. in those areas to stop missing in some areas up to 86% of girls
nancial support to art groups, In concrete terms, a set of school during their menstrual in Uganda miss school because
youths and women in selected 8 “Fancy Pads” would go for period. What I have also been they cannot afford sanitary
areas. Soon I learnt that many Shs 2,000 compared to a set of noticing is that while the vast pads and lag behind in class as
girls in Uganda miss school 8 commercial sanitary pads majority are making the Fancy a result. The national average is
during their menstrual period that currently cost at least Shs Pads independently for them- more than 40%.These girls skip
due to the lack of sanitary 4,000. selves, many have opted to 4 to 5 days of school for every
pads. I thought I could do make extra sanitary pads and 28-day cycle. It is, therefore,
something about it. Alas! The What is the performance of sell them to those who prefer very clear that the “Fancy Pads”
idea of self-made sanitary the “Fancy Pad” on the Ugan- to buy rather than make them project is addressing a matter
pads out of local Ugandan dan market? themselves. It is very easy to of paramount importance for
banana fibres, maize, papyrus The “Fancy Pad” project is make the Fancy Pads in any current and future generations
and other vegetable fibres was still in the pilot phase. To-date, size. of girls and women in Uganda.
born! over 1,000 samples have been That is why our implementa-
tested by girls and women of What is your assessment of the tion concept envisions roll-out
Why should one consider all walks of life in Uganda, level of innovation in Uganda? in various parts of Uganda with
buying your pads compared Germany, USA and Croatia. The people of Uganda are women being given the skills
with the manufactured pads? All these girls and women very friendly, open-minded to make the self-made sanitary
The “Fancy Pad” is an are extremely happy with the and eager to learn. I see this pads and in turn equip other
easy to make Do-it-Yourself Fancy Pads and many say especially in the children and women with the same skills
sustainable 100% biodegrad- they are much better than the the youths. The eagerness to and same responsibility.
able sanitary pad from local commercial sanitary pads they learn is one of the most impor-
raw materials (banana fibres have been buying up to now. tant prerequisites of innovation!
and other Ugandan vegetable Therefore, with the right sup-

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 27


Plascon to launch Airtel pays out Shs400m to winners

anti-mosquito paint n March 19, Airtel Uganda and health.
in Kenya, Tanzania officially ended its ‘Beera
Millionaire with Airtel Money’
The company’s Managing Director
V.G. Somasekhar said over Shs400

promotion. The company million was paid out to lucky customers,
aint Maker, Kansai Plascon, executives said the promotion that winners.
plans to unveil the anti- was launched in December 2018, has “I encourage all the winners to use
mosquito paint in Kenya and changed the lives of over 400 Ugandans this money to improve their lives
Tanzania subject to regulatory through employment opportunities and and create a positive impact in their
approvals. enabling them meet costs of education communities,” he said.
Kansai Plascon Uganda
Co-Managing Director, Chris Nugent,
said the company has submitted
application to the authorities in the two
countries to allow launch the product.
“Once these two countries approve
the product, then, we shall be ready to
launch our product there,” he said at
the company’s premises on March 19.
Plascon launched the anti-mosquito
paint in Kampala on Feb.05 preceding
Zambia. It is estimated one to two
million people die in Africa as a result
of malaria. Winners pose for a photo opportunity with V.G Somasekhar.

dfcu Bank donated Shs 150 million towards Rotary Hospital Xsabo Group holds

D medical camp for

fcu Bank has con- health education. Maternal/Child Health,
tributed Shs150m to dfcu Bank’s CEO Mathias Environmental conservation,
the Rotary Club of
Kampala towards
Katamba said in much as dfcu
Bank strives to reach the high-
Community development,
Emergency intervention and
Gomba residents

the construction of the 170- est level of service delivery Financial Literacy training.
bed Mukono hospital project. to its customers, it is always Lwanga K. Stephen, Rotary sabo Group, the pro-
The hospital will also provide moved by compassion to Club of Kampala president ducer of a 20MW solar
training facilities for the Ugan- respond to interventions in the 2016/2017 commended dfcu power in Kabulasoke in
da Christian University stu- communities it operates. for its continued contribution partnership with the Of-
dents based in Mukono town He said the Bank’s main towards the Rotary Club ini- fice of the Vice President, held a
and any other institutions of areas of concern include tiatives. two-day Mobile Medical Camp
in Gomba District starting March
21 as part of its Corporate Social
CSR Responsibility.
The medical camp aimed at
UBL sinks Shs360m in new campaign putting extra emphasis on the
treatment of malaria, diabetes,

pressure, ulcers as well as provide
ganda Breweries said discouraging underage various health services including
Limited is running from drinking alcohol would family planning and health care,
a campaign dubbed put them at the centre of HIV testing and counselling, eye
‘cool teens don’t Uganda’s economy as key care and dental services among
drink’ for the next two years players in the long term. others to the communities.
targeting 100, 000 youth with He said the new campaign Xsabo Group CEO David Alo-
messages discouraging the is in response to the various bo said their interest is to boost
underage from alcohol drink- surveys including the recent- the living standards of the com-
ing. ly concluded by Uganda munities in which they operate.
The campaign will be Youth Development Link “We are part of this community
implemented in partnership (UYDEL). and thus have a role to play to
with Topowa Youth Mentor- Ocitti (L) hands over a dummy cheque UYDEL study shows improve their lives,” he said.
ing Uganda, a youth empow- to Sulaiman Katongole of TYMU. among 1,134 individuals Xsabo Group is also the spon-
erment and support center that were selected in Kam- sor of various youth income gen-
organisation. at the company’s headquar- pala’s slum areas, 46% aged erating activities, art groups and
Speaking during the launch ters in Luzira, the UBL Man- between 12 and 17 were alco- the Annual Football Tournament
of the campaign on March 19 aging Director Mark Ocitti hol consumers. in greater Masaka District.

28 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


Solar online portal goes live

By Patricia Akankwatsa biomass and kerosene for

cooking and lighting.
rospective solar Sheila Desai, Director
energy consumers for Economic Growth,
in Uganda will USAID Uganda, said
now be in position access to cleaner and
to access vital information productive energy is
easily following the critical for addressing
launch of an online portal. poverty and economic
Joyce Nkuyahaga, the development.
Chief Executive Officer at She said access to
the Uganda Solar Energy clean energy to rural
Association (USEA) said community could enable
the platform will serve the east African nation
as a knowledge hub for achieve Goal Seven
USEA’s members and of the United Nations
Orient Bank MD Julius Kakeeto hands over a dummy cheque to
other key stakeholders Sustainable Development
the President of the Rotary Club of Muyenga Breeze- Rosette Arinaitwe 
interested in the solar Goals on access to energy
Baroraho recently. The donation is a contribution towards the Club’s annual
sector. for all by 2030.
surgical camp to be held next month for children with brain and spinal
She said the platform “Solar energy has the
ailments at CURE hospital in Mbale.    COURTESY PHOTO.
will help the Association potential to meet the
to reach many industry energy needs of Ugandans
actors such as investors including women and
and financiers as the girls especially those in
population embrace solar rural areas,” she said.
energy. With solar energy,
This development communities can store
comes at the time medicine in rural health
electricity access in centers and can improve
Uganda standards at the quality of education
merely 20%, according children receive.
to Uganda Bureau of So far, more than
Statistics. 500,000 units of solar have
This implies that been sold in Uganda over
majority of the country’s the past years.
population still relies on
Tonny Ssimbwa, the managing director for Power Trust Uganda Limited,
a solar firm, receives a grant from Sheila Desai, the Director for USAID
Economic Growth Office. The grant would support the company to
extend solar power to a refugee settlement.

Weekly share price movement (March. 05)

Security March 05 Feb.15 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 134 134 00
CENT 1,190 1,242 4.2
QCL 292 200 46
DFCU 670 690 00
EABL 7,181 8,154 11.9
EBL 1,515 1,568 3.3
JHL 15,585 16,090 3.1
KA 224 328 31.7
KCB 1,541 1,607 4.1
NIC 14 14 00
NMG 2,221 2,526 12.0
NVL 336 336 00
SBU 29 28 3.5
Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA) CEO, Joyce Nkuyahaga giving UCHM 22 27 18.5
her remarks during the launch of an online solar energy platform at UCL 17 18 5.5
Kampala Serena Hotel on March 21.   COURTESY PHOTO.
UMEME 292 300 2.6
ALSI -- -- --

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 29

A new study
offers new hope

By Andrew Nunn & I.D. Rusen dence for the effectiveness and safety of the The findings on side-effects were also
nine to 11-month regimen when compared interesting. There were very similar rates
uberculosis (TB) is the leading to the much longer 20-month regimen. The of severe side-effects during treatment
cause of death in the world results are as good and the fact that the and follow-up between the two regimens.
from a single infectious disease, regimen is shorter should make it much But there were differences in the types of
causing more deaths than HIV/ more acceptable to patients. It is also likely side-effects. The most common side-effects
AIDS. In 2017, 10 million people to result in cost saving to both patients and were cardiac conduction disorders, which
developed TB disease globally health services. increase the risk of serious and potentially
and an estimated 1.6 million died. fatal arrhythmias, in the nine to 11-month
One of the biggest blocks to beating the The trial regimen. In the 20-month regimen the most
epidemic is the growing resistance to drugs The STREAM trial (Standardised Treat- common side effects were metabolic disor-
that have previously cured TB. ment Regimen of Anti-TB Drugs for ders, particularly hypokalemia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Patients with MDR-TB) is the world’s first A health economics data analysis is ongo-
has declared drug-resistant TB a global multi-country randomised phase III clinical ing and will assess potential cost savings to
health crisis. Worldwide in 2017, an esti- trial to test the efficacy, safety and economic patients and health systems when the nine
mated 558,000 people developed TB that impact of shortened MDR-TB treatment to 11-month regimen is compared to the
was resistant to the most effective first-line regimens. The randomised nature of the 20-month regimen.
drug – rifampicin (RR-TB). Of these, 82% trial means that patients were assigned to
had multidrug-resistant TB. the long or short regimen in such a way as Conclusions
But treating drug-resistant TB is still so as to avoid bias. Treatment allocation is The final results from the trial are encour-
hopelessly inefficient. The 20-month to determined by chance not by the choice of aging because they show that the nine to
24-month regimen used in many countries a physician. Phase III trials are designed to 11-month treatment regimen is comparable
to treat people is costly and has signifi- assess the effectiveness and safety of a new in efficacy and safety to the 20-month regi-
cant side effects. In addition, the length of intervention in practice. men. This supports the use of a shorter regi-
the regimen makes it hard for patients to Stage 1 of the trial was designed to assess men for patients with rifampicin-resistant
adhere to, as well as for health systems to whether a nine to 11-month treatment regi- TB. The nine to 11-month regimen presents
sustain. Globally, the regimen has an aver- men that demonstrated promising cure substantial advantages. It reduces treatment
age treatment success rate of little more rates during a pilot programme in Bangla- times, may improve patient retention under
than 50% in real-world treatment settings, desh, is as effective as the longer regimen programmatic conditions, and reduces the
although there is considerable variation when assessed in other settings under number of pills patients have to take.
from country to country. rigorous control trial conditions. Seven sites However, the required ECG monitoring
As a result researchers around the world in Vietnam, Mongolia, South Africa, and is an important consideration.
have been urgently exploring shorter, more Ethiopia participated. In its latest guidelines issued last year the
effective, and safer treatments for patients The results from Stage 1 show that the WHO again highlighted the need to con-
who have drug-resistant TB. shorter regimen is as good as the 20-month tinue to look for regimens that are not only
One of these efforts has begun to bear regimen. Nearly 80% of patients in the trial shorter, but are also less toxic for the patient.
fruit. Results from Stage 1 of a clinical trial showed a favourable outcome after two and The STREAM Stage 1 results suggest that
have recently been published. The news is a half years of follow-up from entry into some progress is being made.
encouraging. The trial provides evidence the trial. The percentage was 79.8% in the STREAM Stage 2 is currently evaluat-
that a shorter treatment regimen – of nine to 20-month regimen. In the nine to 11-month ing an all-oral regimen that is potentially
11 months – is as effective for the treatment regimen the percentage was 78.8%. as effective as and more tolerable than the
of multidrug-resistant TB as the longer, Results in participants with HIV, injectable-containing regimens currently
20-month treatment recommended by the although not as good as in those who were used some countries. This, too, would be
WHO in 2011. HIV-negative, were very similar in the short another major step forward in the battle
The STREAM trial presents robust evi- and long regimen. against MDR-TB.

30 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


Preventing tragic suicides

Depressed people use language Pronouns produced a similar distribu-
tional pattern as absolutist words across

differently. Here’s how to spot it the forums, but the effect was smaller. By
contrast, negative emotion words were
paradoxically less prevalent in suicidal ide-
ation forums than in anxiety and depression
By Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi

forums. Our research also included recov-
rom the way you move and sleep, ery forums, where members who feel they
to how you interact with people have recovered from a depressive episode
around you, depression changes write positive and encouraging posts about
just about everything. It is even no- their recovery. Here we found that negative
ticeable in the way you speak and express emotion words were used at comparable
yourself in writing. Sometimes this “lan- levels to control forums, while positive emo-
guage of depression” can have a powerful tion words were elevated by approximately
effect on others. Just consider the impact of 70%. Nevertheless, the prevalence of abso-
the poetry and song lyrics of some artistes lutist words remained significantly greater
who killed themselves after suffering from than that of controls, but slightly lower than
depression. in anxiety and depression forums.
Scientists have long tried to pin down Crucially, those who have previously
the exact relationship between depression had depressive symptoms are more likely
and language, and technology is helping us to have them again. Therefore, their greater
get closer to a full picture. Our new study, tendency for absolutist thinking, even when
published in Clinical Psychological Science, there are currently no symptoms of depres-
has now unveiled a class of words that can sion, is a sign that it may play a role in caus-
help accurately predict whether someone is ing depressive episodes. The same effect is
suffering from depression. seen in use of pronouns, but not for nega-
Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this person pronouns – such as “they”, “them” tive emotion words.
field have been carried out by researchers or “she”. This pattern of pronoun use sug-
reading and taking notes. Nowadays, com- gests people with depression are more Practical implications
puterised text analysis methods allow the focused on themselves, and less connected Understanding the language of depres-
processing of extremely large data banks with others. Researchers have reported that sion can help us understand the way those
in minutes. This can help spot linguistic pronouns are actually more reliable in iden- with symptoms of depression think, but it
features which humans may miss, calculat- tifying depression than negative emotion also has practical implications. Research-
ing the percentage prevalence of words and words. We know that rumination (dwelling ers are combining automated text analysis
classes of words, lexical diversity, average on personal problems) and social isolation with machine learning (computers that
sentence length, grammatical patterns and are common features of depression. How- can learn from experience without being
many other metrics. ever, we don’t know whether these findings programmed) to classify a variety of mental
So far, personal essays and diary entries reflect differences in attention or thinking health conditions from natural language
by depressed people have been useful, as style. Does depression cause people to focus text samples such as blog posts.
has the work of well-known artistes who on themselves, or do people who focus on Such classification is already outper-
killed themselves. For the spoken word, themselves get symptoms of depression? forming that made by trained therapists.
snippets of natural language of people with Importantly, machine learning classification
depression have also provided insight. Tak-
Style will only improve as more data is provided
The style of language relates to how we and more sophisticated algorithms are
en together, the findings from such research
express ourselves, rather than the content developed. This goes beyond looking at the
reveal clear and consistent differences in
we express. Our lab recently conducted a broad patterns of absolutism, negativity
language between those with and without
big data text analysis of 64 different online and pronouns already discussed. Work has
symptoms of depression.
mental health forums, examining over 6,400 begun on using computers to accurately
Content members. “Absolutist words” – which con- identify increasingly specific subcategories
Language can be separated into two vey absolute magnitudes or probabilities, of mental health problems – such as per-
components: content and style. The content such as “always”, “nothing” or “complete- fectionism, self-esteem problems and social
relates to what we express – that is, the ly” – were found to be better markers for anxiety.
meaning or subject matter of statements. It mental health forums than either pronouns That said, it is of course possible to use a
will surprise no one to learn that those with or negative emotion words. language associated with depression with-
symptoms of depression use an excessive From the outset, we predicted that those out actually being depressed. Ultimately, it
amount of words conveying negative emo- with depression will have a more black is how you feel over time that determines
tions, specifically negative adjectives and and white view of the world, and that this whether you are suffering. But as the World
adverbs – such as “lonely”, “sad” or “mis- would manifest in their style of language. Health Organisation estimates that more
erable”.More interesting is the use of pro- Compared to 19 different control forums than 300 million people worldwide are now
nouns. Those with symptoms of depression (for example, Mumsnet and StudentRoom), living with depression, an increase of more
use significantly more first person singular the prevalence of absolutist words is than 18% since 2005, having more tools
pronouns – such as “me”, “myself” and “I” approximately 50% greater in anxiety and available to spot the condition is certainly
– and significantly fewer second and third depression forums, and approximately 80% important to improve health and prevent
greater for suicidal ideation forums. tragic suicides.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 31

By Dani Rodrik
A case for a bold economics
Will economists prove more helpful today, when the
challenges are as pressing as the Great Depression?

t the end of 1933, John Maynard liberal democracies. The rules that underpin – the most elementary institutions required
Keynes sent a remarkable public globalisation are badly in need of reform. to make markets work – are legal constructs
letter to U.S. President Franklin And climate change continues to pose an that can be designed in any number of
Delano Roosevelt. FDR had taken existential threat. ways. As we grapple with new realities
office earlier that year, in the midst of an These problems demand bold responses. created by technological innovation and
economic slump that had pushed a quarter Yet, for the most part, mainstream econo- climate change, questions about the alloca-
of the labour force into unemployment. He mists seem preoccupied with marginal tion of property rights among different
had launched his ambitious New Deal poli- fixes – a tax-code tweak here, a carbon tax claimants become crucial. Economics does
cies, including public works programs, farm there, perhaps a sprinkling of wage subsi- not provide definite answers here, but it
subsidies, financial regulation, and labour dies – that leave untouched the structures supplies the tools needed to identify the
reforms. He had also taken the U.S. off the of power underwriting the rules of the eco- relevant tradeoffs.
gold standard to give domestic monetary nomic game. A common theme running through our
policy freer rein. Economists can rise to the challenge by initial set of policy proposals is the power
Keynes approved of the general direction adopting a broader vision. Last month, I asymmetries that shape the functioning of
of these policies, but also had some sharp joined a group of prominent economists the contemporary global economy. Many
criticism. He worried that FDR complicated to launch an initiative that we have called economists dismiss the role of such asym-
the economic recovery effort by broadening “Economics for Inclusive Prosperity” (EfIP). metries because there is little scope for
his policy agenda unnecessarily. FDR From labour markets and finance to innova- power under conditions of perfect competi-
was doing too little to increase aggregate tion policies and electoral rules, the goal is tion and perfect information. But in the real
demand and too much to change the rules to advance ambitious policy ideas that pay world that we examine, power asymmetries
of the economy. Keynes took particular much closer attention to inequality and abound.
aim at the National Industrial Recovery exclusion – and to the power imbalances Who has the upper hand in bargaining
Act, which, among other things, greatly that produce them. for wages and employment benefits? Who
expanded labour rights and fostered inde- As Suresh Naidu, Gabriel Zucman, and I dominates markets and who must submit
pendent unions. He fretted that the NIRA explain in our “manifesto,” neither sound to market forces? Who can move across
would sap business confidence and weigh economics nor convincing evidence sup- borders and who is stuck at home? Who can
on the federal bureaucracy, without making port many of the dominant policy ideas of evade taxation and who cannot? Who gets
a direct contribution to recovery. He won- the last few decades. What has come to be to set the agenda of trade negotiations and
dered whether some of the advice FDR was called “neoliberalism” is in many ways a who is excluded? Who can vote and who is
getting “is not crack-brained and queer.” derogation of mainstream economics. And effectively disenfranchised? We argue that
Keynes did not think much of FDR’s eco- contemporary economic research, appro- addressing such asymmetries makes sense
nomics, but at least he was a sympathetic priately deployed, is in fact fully conducive not only from a distributional standpoint,
critic. Because much of the New Deal ran to new ideas for creating a fairer society. but also for improving overall economic
against the prevailing economic orthodoxy, Economics can be an ally of inclusive performance. Economists have a powerful
FDR’s policies had little support from prosperity. But it is up to us economists to theoretical apparatus that allows them to
leading economists of the day. For example, convince our audience of the merits of these think about such matters.
as Sebastián Edwards explains in his fasci- claims. Although economists are well positioned
nating recent book `American Default’, the Our network is made up of academic to develop institutional arrangements that
predominant view among economists was economists who believe new ideas can go beyond what already exists, their habit
that breaking the dollar’s link with gold be developed without abandoning scien- of thinking at the margin and sticking close
would create havoc and uncertainty. The tific rigour. The catchphrase of our day is to the evidence at hand encourages an aver-
only bona fide economist in FDR’s “brain “evidence-based policy.” Accordingly, our sion to radical change. But, when presented
trust” was Rexford Tugwell, a little-known policy briefs are based on empirical anal- with new challenges, economists must envi-
41-year old Columbia professor who did ysis, using tools of mainstream economics. sion new solutions. Imagination is crucial.
not even teach graduate students. But, for us, an “evidence-based” approach Not everything we try will succeed; but if
Will economists prove more helpful today, is not one that reinforces a conservative we do not rediscover the value of FDR’s
at a time when the challenges we face are bias in favour of policies at the margins of credo – “bold, persistent experimentation” –
nearly as pressing as those during the Great existing institutional arrangements; it is one we will certainly fail.
Depression? Unemployment may not be a that encourages experimentation. After all,
severe problem in most advanced countries how can we develop new evidence without Dani Rodrik, Professor of International
currently, but large segments of the labour trying something new? Political Economy at Harvard University’s
force seem cut off from economic progress. Markets rely on a wide range of institu- John F. Kennedy School of Government, is
Record levels of inequality and poor earn- tions to create, regulate, and stabilise them. the author of Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas
ings prospects for younger, less educated These institutions do not come with pre- for a Sane World Economy.
workers are eroding the foundations of determined forms. Property and contracts Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.

32 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

By Bhavtik Vallabhjee
Closing Africa’s energy gap
Developing economies across Africa are in a unique
position to invest in cleaner sources of power at a lower cost

frica is a continent blessed of the Li-Fe battery. A growing market
with an abundance of natural will justify the creation of a local
resources – water, wind,
thermal coal, natural gas, and There’ve battery production plant, but serious
investment is first needed for a large-
of course plenty of sunshine – but the
electrification rate across the continent
been massive scale facility.
Mozambique has the 9th largest gas
remains extremely poor. investments reserves in the world while Tanzania

in the field
Of the 1.2 billion people who live in shares the same gas-rich
Africa, it’s estimated that more than Rovuma Basin. One of the region’s
650 million have no access to energy,
relying instead on fossil fuels like of battery largest project financing transactions
(Coral LNG) closed recently in
diesel for electricity generation and
harmful cooking fuels like wood,
storage Mozambique with a deal value in
excess of USD30 billion, with two
charcoal, and kerosene. research and more similar deals imminent.

This sets Africa back on meeting Many other countries in Africa like
energy access goals and diminishes Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, and South
the continent’s economic growth by
two to four percent every year. We by leading Sudan have impressive oil and gas
reserves. The spin-off effects from
have much to learn from developing
countries across Asia that are making
global this will be huge for local economies
with the possibilities of cracker plants,
significant progress, with many on companies fertiliser and petrochemical plants,

like Samsung,
track to reach universal energy access pipelines, gas-to-power plants, and
by 2030. LNG export terminals posing sizeable
India, with a 1.34 billion population,
will reach universal access by the early Tesla, and opportunities for Indian corporates.
The political and economic climate
2020s. We believe Africa presents a
compelling energy investment case
Total over the across Africa has steadily improved
over the last two decades, and
for our long-standing Indian trade past five years despite the frustratingly long lead
partners, for many reasons. times for infrastructure projects, on
Developing economies across Africa a risk-return adjusted basis, Africa
are in a unique position to leapfrog boasts better returns than developed
more developed nations by investing markets. With the right investment in
in cleaner, environmentally friendlier the right infrastructure, and with the
sources of power at a lower cost - key energy while overcoming Africa’s right partners, Africa is well poised
factors contributing to improved use infrastructural challenges, this form of for solid socio-economic growth and
of renewable energy power across the energy would still need to be stored. sustainable development.
continent. Countries like Morocco, That is why lithium ion batteries could
Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, be a game changer for Africa. Bhavtik Vallabhjee, is the Head: Power,
Mauritius, South Africa, Uganda and There’ve been massive investments Utilities and Infrastructure at Absa
Ghana have taken initiatives in the in the field of battery storage research Corporate and Investment Banking.
development of renewable and clean and development by leading global
energy projects, particularly solar and companies like Samsung, Tesla, and
gas to power. Total over the past five years. As the
With the current low cost of gas costs of Li-Fe battery storage falls,
compared to several years ago coupled with already low cost of solar
(through the shale gas revolution photovoltaic modules, the future of
in the USA), gas power plants have the electricity market could be solar
increasingly become more competitive photovoltaic plants.
compared to clean coal technologies South Africa alone holds almost
and are an affordable solution. 80% of the world’s known reserves of
Although renewable energy resources manganese (producing 5.3 million MT
hold great promise and can provide per annum) – an important component

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 33

By Alexandra Borchardt
Journalism’s risky tech attraction
Why news organization strategists must not allow
themselves to be swept up by every new tech trend

echnology was supposed to solve it. And that does not mean just audiences. For example, the data might show that
some of the world’s biggest prob- After years of chasing the latest tech trends, more content means more page views; but
lems. Connect everyone to the the media industry is increasingly con- if audiences long for fewer distractions
Internet, it was once assumed, and fronting burnout among existing manage- and higher-quality reporting, flooding the
democracy would follow. Collect enough ment and staff, and a shrinking pool of new market with robot-produced content will
data, and all of our questions would be talent. not satisfy them. Likewise, users might click
answered. Put everything online, and algo- According to the Reuters Institute report, on a larger share of articles if algorithms are
rithms would do the rest. The world would some 60% of media leaders are concerned used to personalise their experience; but if
practically run itself. about burnout on their teams, and 75% now users become bored by the same topics and
Instead, we now know that digital tech- worry about retaining and attracting staff. perspectives, personalisation will not help.
nology can be used to undermine democ- Another report, Lucy Kueng’s Going Dig- Tech-based solutions are a means, not an
racy; that it raises more questions than it ital. A Roadmap for Organizational Trans- end. That is why The New York Times, for
answers; and that a world that runs itself formation, shows that middle managers, in example, is leveraging its digital success
seems more like an Orwellian nightmare particular, have been exiting the industry. to invest more in journalism. Last year, the
scenario than a noble goal. But while tech- This should not be surprising. Journalists company added 120 newsroom employees,
nology isn’t the solution, it isn’t really the have always faced pressure in managing bringing the total number of journalists
problem either; our single-minded focus on the churn of time-sensitive, demanding, and there to an historic high of 1,600.
it is. constantly changing news situations. But, For organisations without the clout – and
Consider the experience of the media in the past, they could at least count on the digital revenue – of the Times, a people-
industry, where the digital revolution has news organisations that employed them oriented approach may also be needed
wreaked havoc on prevailing business to offer stability and consistency. Now, to secure investment. With the limits of
models over the last decade. Publishers they must also navigate relentless, tech- the ad-driven business model becoming
and editors responded by putting all their driven organisational change – often poorly increasingly apparent, many media leaders
faith in technology: tracking all manner of explained and hastily introduced. The level – close to one-third, according to the Reuters
metrics, embracing data journalism, hiring of uncertainty can drive away even the most Institute survey – believe that in the future
video teams, and opening podcast studios. loyal staff. foundations and non-profits will play a cen-
More recently, media organisations have To be sure, change is unavoidable; the tral role in supporting the media.
shifted their attention toward artificial- digital age demands constant adaptation. But persuading foundations and phi-
intelligence solutions that track audience But making needed adjustments without lanthropists to open their hearts and wal-
preferences, automatically produce desired destroying morale requires implementing lets will require human connection and
content and translations, alert journalists a people-oriented approach. This is not a engagement, not algorithms or AI-enabled
to breaking news, and much more. In the straightforward process. For tech solutions, software. Potential funders need to be con-
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journal- managers can attend shiny digital confer- vinced that journalism is as noble a cause as,
ism’s latest annual report on media trends, ences, take some sales team’s advice, sign a say, cancer research.
78% of respondents in a non-representative contract, and dump the new tools on their Technology alone cannot encourage
survey of international media leaders said newsrooms. With people, they have to democracy, help answer important ques-
that they planned to invest more in AI this listen carefully, acquire an in-depth under- tions, and facilitate effective leadership
year. standing of the problem, and then devise by boosting accountability. But, to some
But the final frontier in the quest to save their own strategy. extent, high-quality, responsible jour-
journalism, many believe, is the blockchain A good place to start is leadership. In nalism can. If it is to fulfill that purpose,
– the distributed ledger technology that any industry, the key responsibilities of an however, news organisations must not
underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. organisation’s leaders include making their allow themselves to be swept up by every
That remains to be seen: the first attempt to employees feel secure and appreciated. new tech trend. If they treat technology
leverage the blockchain to free journalists That means paying attention to employees’ as more than a tool for implementing
from ad-driven business models, by Civil needs and fostering an organisational people-centered strategies, the people
Media Company, had a bumpy start. culture that provides them with a sense of they need – both staff and audiences –
There is nothing wrong with using tech- belonging and purpose. will continue to vote with their feet.
nology to solve problems, including those A similar approach must be applied to
created by technology, or to give a company audiences. Not even the most accurate
a competitive edge. That is what The Wash- metrics can provide the needed guidance, Alexandra Borchardt is Director of Leadership
ington Post, for example, has been doing in if nobody understands what they actu- Programs at the Reuters Institute for the Study
the six years since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ally mean, why they were chosen, or what of Journalism.
purchased it (at a time when it was hemor- their psychological impact would be (on
rhaging money and shedding jobs). audiences or staff). While data can deliver
But not even the most advanced tech will useful insights about audience preferences, Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
save the media industry, or anybody else, listening to people can lead to very different
if there is no regard for the people using impressions and conclusions.

34 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


What is African art?

University don confronts subject of African identity,
neo-colonialism and decolonisation

By Dominic Muwanguzi design at Nagenda Inter-
national Academy of Art
he question and Design.
of African His works are perfect
identity in platforms to reflect on the
art has been subject of African identity
very topi- in the midst of a huge
cal recently. wave of neo-colonialism.
Africa does not produce Art education, he says,
art and all the art created required urgent decolo-
by African artists - in the nization of art training
Diaspora and on the con- in schools to encourage
tinent - is inspired by the learners embrace what is
West. Oh, really? indigenous before they
Dr. Kizito Maria become part of a wider
Kasule, a university global identity.
lecturer, does not think He believes this will
so and emphatically salvage Africa’s artistic
attempts to dismiss the identity, notwithstanding
stereotypical claim in an cultural conversation and
exhibition titled `Reflec- preservation that appear
tions’. His focus is to to be his inspiration.
demonstrate that Africa `Reflections’ is about
has its own art and is as Kizito’s view of African
creative and innovative as identity, his personal
other places. In his work, the artist avoids the narra- experiences of it and what
He, for example, uses a painting of four tive of colonialism as a detractor to Africa’s he sees in his social surrounding.
female figures posing in the nude titled success, but rather provides fertile grounds Where’s the African position in this and
`Garden of Eden 2019’. It undoubtedly par- for varied dialogue on what should be done what has he done about it? To answer the
odies Picasso’s famous painting `Les Des- by the continent to overcome western influ- question, the artist revisits topics of colonial-
moiselles d’Avignon’ (The young Ladies of ences in the social, political and economic ism, post colonialism and decolonisation
Avignon). The irony here is that in painting spheres. His technique of invoking African figuratively invoking what is indigenous
such `Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon’, Picasso traditional artistic practices like sculptural in his paintings. The paintings on display
was inspired by African artistic practices forms and gestural expressionism- strong invoke African geometrical patterns. The
and symbols; including the African mask. use of the colour palette- immediately con- subjects in the paintings are voluminous to
However, while Picasso’s art is continu- jure up the argument that what we think symbolise views beauty and vitality of the
ously taught to art students in the class of is western actually started here on the con- African body and the palette is earthly to
Art history, the African masters that existed tinent. suggest the concept of the origin of man
at the time and inspired him are ignored. “My African identity and being a post- on the black continent; more so nature’s
The contradictory ideas around art teach- colonial era artist has been influenced by vibrancy.
ing; especially in these contemporary times, my formal art education,” he says. Reflections exhibition is showing now
bother Kizito. He is troubled by the continu- Kizito has been at the forefront of initiat- at Makerere Art Gallery located within
ous praise of western art education and ing projects to decolonise art education in Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and
negation of African indigenous art. Uganda under Zurich’s Institute of Art and Fine Art campus

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 35

Messi could be cloned, genetic scientist says
Genetic scientists believe they again. According Arcadi Navarro, is only one component. Others
could clone Lionel Messi in the genetic specialist and Head of are educational, environmental.
future by using current scientific the European Genome-phenome “Messi isn’t just Messi because of
practices. Messi has spent his Archive, producing a double of his genetics, but because of every-
entire senior career at Barcelona Messi is a possibility. “It would be thing he has lived through, his
to date, and has risen to global very similar in appearance to Mes- education, his time at La Masia,
stardom after bagging 591 goals si, it would look like his twin,” the treatment he received.
in 674 appearances. But will the Navarro told journalists. “This “Genetics only gives us
footballing world will ever see individual would have the same potential, it’s up to us to complete
another player of Messi’s quality potential as Messi, but genetics the job.”

Human zoo – football fans forced to watch match from metal cage
A football match between
two teams from Poland’s third
division received a lot of inter-
national attention recently, not
for the quality of the football
displayed by the players, but
for the shocking photos of a
group of around 100 support-
ers crammed in a large metal
cage that some media outlets
described as a human zoo. The
supporters of Hutnik Krakow
accompanied their team for large metal cage for the entire team hosting the game, but
an away game against Spar- 90-minute game. According Spartakus Daleszyce, is one of
takus Daleszyce, in the Polish to Polish rules, supporters of several Polish teams that have
third football division, and the away team must be kept opted to keep away fans in
found themselves locked in a separated from fans of the metal cages.

Overweight policemen sent to Fat Camp Makeup artist

Police stations all around program, At the Central Police transform herself into
Thailand are sending their
chubbiest officers to a weight-
Training Center in the city of
Pak Chong, the fatties take whoever she wants
loss camp as part of a nation- part in intense physical activity
wide program aptly called designed to adjust the size of He Yuhong, a 27-year-old
“Belly Destruction”. It follows their bellies. They also adopt a beauty blogger from China,
success of a two-week pilot healthy, protein-rich diet. has become an online sensation
Montenegro’s thanks to her amazing ability to
transform herself into a doppel-
tree of water ganger of celebrities and iconic
characters, using makeup.
The small village of Dinoša, Yuhong, who posts photos
in Montenegro, is home to an and videos of her work on vari-
old mulberry tree that turns ous social networks under the
into a water fountain every pseudonym Yuyamika, shot
time it rains heavily. As we all to fame last year, when she
know, water doesn’t normally used her makeup skills to turn
gush out of living trees, so this herself into a real-life version
phenomenon begs a reasonable of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona
explanation. It is that where the Lisa. Since then, Yuhong has
tree grows has many under- been entertaining her growing
ground springs which flood fan base by turning herself into
during heavy rainfalls, and the doppelgangers of celebrities like
tree has a hollow trunk. So add a Johnny Depp and Taylor Swift,
little pressure underground and as well as Albert Einstein or the
water gushes out of the tree. Girl with a Pearl Earring.

36 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

How to calculate fuel
consumption the right way
By Agencies multiply by 100 and the result is a rounded fault.

range of 601.5km. With the potential for Driving style can also impact fuel con-
ne of the most important aspects varying fuel consumption in normal on- sumption; if you accelerate and brake hard
of planning a trip into remote road driving conditions, you’ll want to sub- you’ll use more fuel than if you try to main-
locations is to calculate your ex- tract about 50km from this result to come tain a relatively constant speed by looking
pected fuel usage, your vehicle’s up with a ‘safe’ touring range, which in this ahead, predicting traffic flow and slowing
range and how much extra fuel you’ll need case would therefore be 551.5km. gradually and accelerating smoothly as
to carry. Here’s how… Once you know your vehicle’s touring required.
Calculating a vehicle’s fuel consump- range, you’ll be able to plan your trip by A heavily laden vehicle will require more
tion is not difficult. Simply note down the seeing if you can safely cover the distance energy to accelerate than an unladen one
distance travelled since the last top-up and between available fuel stops along the and will, therefore, use more fuel. And a
then take a note of how much fuel it con- intended route, or whether you’ll need to vehicle with bulky goods loaded high on
sumed to travel that distance, then divide carry additional fuel. a roof rack will not be as aerodynamically
the litres used by the kilometres travelled efficient.
and multiply by 100 to calculate consump- What are some of the variables? The terrain you drive in will also have a
tion in litres/100km. Ascertaining your vehicle’s true aver- huge impact on fuel economy. Low-range
For example, if your vehicle consumed age fuel consumption is best done over a driving in soft sand will use a lot more
60-litres of fuel to cover 450km, divide 60 by period of time – the longer the better. This is fuel than cruising down the highway at
450 and then multiply by 100 and the result important as there are many factors that can 100km/h.
is a rounded fuel consumption figure of affect fuel consumption, including vehicle Weather conditions can also have unex-
13.3L/100km. condition, tyre pressures, load, driving style, pected consequences when it comes to fuel
Armed with a fuel consumption figure, fitment of roof racks, and the terrain. usage. On the road, driving into a headwind
you’ll now be able to calculate the touring Mechanical factors that can affect fuel can result in increased fuel consumption,
range of your vehicle by dividing the vehi- consumption can be as simple as incorrectly but on the flipside a tailwind can aid fuel
cle’s fuel tank capacity by the fuel consump- inflated tyres or a clogged air filter through economy. For these reasons, you should
tion and, again, multiplying by 100. to something more complicated that might always carry more fuel than you’ll need – in
For example, if your vehicle has an require a mechanic’s attention, such as other words, build a safety margin onto
80-litre fuel tank and it uses 13.3L/100km (as blocked injectors or some other mechanical your calculations.
in the example above), divide 80 by 13.3 and

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 37

David Masanso of talking cartoons
`I don’t admire anyone because our journeys are different’
By Agnes E Nantaba was becoming a florist; taking on from his sity to pursue a degree in computer ani-

father. But they were cut short by the excite- mations. To sharpen his skillset, Masanso
avid Masanso is an animator ment from talking cartoons after an uncle worked in several animation studios for six
who has mastered the art and brought a DVD player from the UK and years before returning home.
science of making computers and two toy stories. “I returned to fulfil my dream of moving
cartoons work together. He runs Masanso says, “I was wooed by how car- Africa to the next level through anima-
Crossroads Digital Multimedia, a local toons can talk as human beings”. He imme- tions,” he says. He started Crossroads
animation production studio in Kampala, diately saw that incorporating an African Digital Multimedia in 2012. But his break-
Uganda. setting could actually work better. through was showcasing at the Amakula
Masanso rose to fame after this short ani- Masanso’s parents were liberal and Kampala International Film Festival.
mation film, ‘Imitate’ won an award at the allowed him to pursue his interest in car- Masanso is the first of the five children
2009 edition of the Amakula Kampala Inter- toons and animations at Amersham and of Daniel Luyinda Mukasa and Margret
national Film Festival. It was also the first Welkom College in Buckinghamshire. He Nakimuli (RIP). He went to Nkoyoyo
Ugandan and African computer animated says the initial stage was tough. Boarding Primary school and Bombo SS
film to screen at Swansea Metropolitan Uni- He says, “I was coming from a back- before joining Amersham and Welkom Col-
versity in the UK, where Masanso attained ground where computers were scarcely lege in Buckinghamshire.
a degree in Computer Animation. heard of”. His interest was reinforced by He says developing animations in Ugan-
`Imitate’ is a four minute film based on visits to animation studios to have a feeling da has largely been individual effort in sell-
a story of a hawker of hats who takes a of the reality. Two years later, he applied ing the idea and its opportunities.
nap under a mango tree after a long walk. to pursue a degree in computer anima- “Government only came on board after
He places his merchandise close to him tions but was instead given multimedia. realising that I was winning international
and not long before, two monkeys steal He pursued the degree in multimedia but awards,” says Masanso.
the hats leaving him with one on his head. kept applying for his dream course. For two He says there are still
Upon waking up, he sees the monkeys times, he failed to secure a placement until no polices to guide
playing with the hats and in trying to get he thought of an alternative. work of animations
his merchandise back; he tosses his hand to “I attached a letter of interest to my and animators are
the ground and sure enough the apes copy application stressing my failed attempts rarely considered
him. And that is how he gets his merchan- and continued pursuit of my dream”, for government con-
dise back. says Masanso. tracts. But Masanso
Masanso has done several other short “I also emphasized the fact that if is happy that his ani-
animation films like Maiden of Ja-luo and given the opportunity, I would return mated cartoons made
Mzee Ddiba. He is also the brain behind the to Africa and build the same industries as the government to
ICEA TV infomercial featuring the popular those built by Disney in America”. realise that policies
Tommy Tombo and Know your world The university was impressed by are needed.
animated TV series. Although anima- his desire to share animation skills
tions seem a new and scarcely appreciated back home. He joined
phenomenon in Uganda and East Africa, Swansea
Masanso is still determined to make it work Univer-
in Uganda. He was the first black student
at the University of Swansea in the UK to
study computer animations.
“Most people were doing just graphics
designing and others feared that I couldn’t
make money from animations in the Afri-
can market,” says Masanso.
“I believe that the next big thing for Afri-
ca is animations because we have so many
stories to tell to the world and how we tell
them matters”.
In animation, the pictures are made to
appear as though they are moving images.
And Masanso goes an extra mile to give the
cartoons an African touch.
Masanso is well aware that for digital
multimedia to grow, there has to be a seri-
ous investment in skills, training as well
as exposure of Ugandans to the global
His zeal to pursue a career in computer
animations dates as far as his early years in
secondary education. His initial career path

38 March. 29 - April. 04 2019


David Masanso’s Liteside

Any three things that because our journeys are Everyone needs to as part of life. It’s from
we don’t know about different. keep in their spaces such that we learn to do

you? and not to bring others better.
am a workaholic What is your greatest down.
person; I just want extravagance? What is your favourite
to work and achieve. Internet connection is What is the quality you occupation?
I want to wake up my life; it’s where I get most like in a man? I can’t imagine myself
one day knowing that inspiration to kick-start Keeping in his space. doing anything outside
I have a legacy in the my projects. animations.
animations industry in What or who is the
Africa. I don’t work for What is the greatest greatest love of your What do you most value
only money but pride thing you have ever life? in your friends?
in the opportunity to done? I love the people I Working together
train other people and Training young work with in creating to achieve our dreams
see them thrive. I love to people in animation; we animations. even when destination
see a positive change in are growing together and background may be
people’s lives guided by and the changing trends When and where were different.
my animations. in technology, content you happiest?
and the dynamics point 2003 when I received Who are your favorite
What is your idea of to animations as Africa’s the letter of acceptance writers?
perfect happiness? next big industry. for admission into Robin Sharma in his
Every time when we Swansea University book ‘Who will cry
work on a project as a What do you consider to pursue a degree in when you die’; I have
team and it turns out the most overrated computer animations. taken many lessons from
successful. Happiness is virtue? his book communicating
that inner joy achieved Success is overrated; Which talent would you about the realities of life.
from satisfaction and working towards most like to have?
success. achieving success is a I used to like riding Which historical figure
team effort but at the bicycles but the work do you most identify
What is your greatest end, few people are pressures can’t allow with?
fear? credited. There are that anymore. I would love to
My fear lies in what people who are equally identify with the many
I would do without the working hard but lack If you could change one unseen heroes who
creative industry. such inspiration in thing about yourself, work tooth and nail to
their areas. We should what would it be? change the world. Many
What is the trait thus have the stories of I am so much times, we focus on few
you most deplore in back benchers shared immersed in doing individuals yet their
yourself? to inspire more young animations but believe rise was a result of team
Sometimes I work so people. that there is a lot more work. Most stories about
hard without leaving than I can do. I haven’t such people are untold.
‘me time’. What does being only explored my other
powerful mean to you? strengths but would What is your greatest
What is the trait you The ability to love to. regret?
most deplore in others? overcome fear for the I wish my parents
We only need to unseen. Where would you most were still living to
appreciate others; like to live? witness me walk and
I don’t mind about What do you most Uganda is my home. live my dream of
traits in other people dislike about your positively changing
because we are human appearance? What is your most Africa through
beings and therefore Not any. treasured possession? animations. They
bound to change. We My career journey in believed in my dream.
are not programmed Which living person do animations.
like machines or other you most despise? How would you like to
artificial things to work I don’t despise anyone What do you regard die?
in a certain way. but hate those who fake as the lowest depth of It doesn’t matter.
life. misery?
Which living person do As long as one is a What is your motto?
you most admire? What is the quality you human being, expect Rise as a team or fall
I don’t admire anyone most like in a woman? low and high moments as individuals.

March. 29 - April. 04 2019 39

Global comment
By Angus Deaton
Wrongs of contemporary capitalism
It has become unfair, unpopular because, as median
incomes stagnate, more wealth goes to the rich

ather suddenly, capitalism is vis- The success of social democracy in the viding local schools where children of all
ibly sick. The virus of socialism postwar era weakened the market’s power talents and economic backgrounds learned
has reemerged and is infecting the to act as a moderating influence on the state. together. And when elementary education
young once more. Wiser heads, According to Rajan, these weakened actors, became insufficient, communities started
who respect capitalism’s past achievements, in both Europe and America, were in no providing access to secondary school for all.
want to save it, and have been proposing position to deal with the revolution in infor- Today, however, when a college degree is
diagnoses and remedies. But their proposals mation and communication technology a prerequisite for success, the more talented
sometimes overlap with those who would (ICT) that they were about to face, leaving kids pursue theirs far outside of the com-
tear the system down, making nonsense of ordinary people to face the threats on their munity, ultimately self-segregating in fast-
traditional left-right distinctions. own. Rather than helping their workers growing cities from which the less talented
Fortunately, Raghuram G. Rajan, a former manage the disruption, corporations made are excluded by the high cost of living.
governor of the Reserve Bank of India who it worse by using their employees’ vulner- Ensconced in their glittering cloisters, those
teaches at the University of Chicago Booth ability to enrich their shareholders and who succeed form a meritocracy in which
School of Business, brings his unparalleled managers. their kids – and almost exclusively their
knowledge and experience to bear on the And how they enriched themselves! With kids – do well.
problem. In his new book, The Third Pillar: median household incomes largely stagnant Collier tells the same story for Britain,
How Markets and the State Leave Com- and a growing share of wealth accruing where talent and the share of national
munity Behind, he argues that the cancer to the rich, capitalism became manifestly income have become increasingly concen-
afflicting contemporary capitalism is the unfair, losing its popular support. To trated in London, leaving gutted and angry
failure neither of “Leviathan” (the state) manage its opponents, Behemoth called on communities behind. Yet as Janan Ganesh
nor of “Behemoth” (the market), but of Leviathan for protection, not understanding of the Financial Times points out, these
community, which no longer serves as a that a right-wing populist Leviathan eats metropolitan elites now find themselves
check against either monster. Rajan thus Behemoth in the end. “shackled to a corpse.”
prescribes an “inclusive localism” to rebuild Two points of Rajan’s story need to be For his part, Rajan sees the meritocracy
communities that can furnish people with emphasised. First, declining growth is a as a product of the ICT revolution. But I
self-respect, status, and meaning. key, albeit low-frequency, cause of today’s suspect it is older than that. After all, the
Rajan’s book, like Oxford University social and economic distress. Second, the British sociologist Michael Young published
economist Paul Collier’s The Future of Capi- unfortunate consequences of the ICT revo- his prescient dystopia, The Rise of the Meri-
talism, is part of a rapidly growing genre of lution are not inherent properties of techno- tocracy, in 1958. Indeed, Collier and I are
critiques by capitalism’s friends. Rajan is a logical change. Rather, as Rajan notes, they among the first British meritocrats. And just
proponent of capitalism who has accepted reflect a “failure of the state and markets as Young predicted, our cohort broke the
that it no longer works in the interest of to modulate markets.” Though Rajan does system for subsequent generations, while
the social good, and must be brought back not emphasise it, this second point gives us continuing to extol its virtues. In Scotland,
under control. cause for hope. It means that ICT need not where I grew up, the local community
The Third Pillar offers deep historical con- doom us to a jobless future; enlightened talent, the intellectuals, writers, historians,
text to explain the current moment, but it is policymaking still has a role to play. and artists have all gone in search of wider
most successful when it retraces develop- Rajan’s account of corporate misbehavior pastures, or simply given up competing
ments after World War II to explain why is very well told, and it is all the more effec- with mass-market superstars. We are the
everything started unraveling around 1970. tive coming from a professor at a prominent poorer for it.
Until then, the world had been busy recov- business school. From the start, the near- Like Rajan, I think that community is a
ering and rebuilding, and economic growth absolutist doctrine of shareholder primacy casualty of an elite minority’s capture of
had received an added boost from the has served to protect managers at the both markets and the state. But unlike him,
adoption of frontier technologies through expense of employees, and its malign effects I am skeptical that stronger local communi-
replacement investment. have been exacerbated by the practice of ties or a policy of localism (inclusive or not)
But trend growth has decelerated since paying managers in stock. can cure what ails us. The genie of meritoc-
1970, accounting for many of our current In The Future of Capitalism, Collier gives racy cannot be put back in the bottle.
difficulties. Through it all, governments a parallel account from Britain, telling the
have had no idea how to address the slow- story of the most admired British company
down, other than to promise a restoration of his (and my) childhood, Imperial Chem- Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in
of the lost postwar paradise. In most cases, ical Industries. Growing up, we all hoped economics, is Professor of Economics and
that has meant additional borrowing. And someday to work at ICI, whose mission was International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton
in Europe, elites have pursued continental “to be the finest chemical company in the University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public
unification with the great aim of stopping world.” But in the 1990s, ICI amended its and International Affairs. He is the author of
recurrent episodes of carnage. Yet in their primary objective by embracing shareholder `The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the
rush to secure the obvious benefits of inte- value. And in Collier’s telling, that single Origins of Inequality’.
gration, they forgot to bring their citizens change destroyed the company.
along. They have since learned that after What of community? The United States Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
hubris comes nemesis. once led the world in public education, pro-

40 March. 29 - April. 04 2019

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