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Covid-19: Uganda’s Gross Output Reduced from Shs 7.3Trillion In March To Shs 5.8t In April – UBOS Report

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A recent report by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has revealed that between the months of March and April 2020, Uganda’s Gross output went down from 7.3 trillion shillings to 5.8 trillion shillings, representing a 21% reduction.

The report was drafted from a High Frequency Phone Survey by UBOS with support by the World Bank to assess COVID-19 impacts on the social economic wellbeing in a wide range of areas including food security, job loss, reduced aid, increased domestic violence, loss of remittances and negative coping strategies.

The findings are based on two surveys, that is households and businesses.

The survey on households collected information on knowledge, behavior and concerns related to COVID-19 transmission in addition to access to basic needs, employment and livelihood, safety nets, shocks, agriculture and other businesses.

The high frequency phone survey was launched in June 2020 and had it’s first round of findings released today Wednesday 19th August 2020. It will be implemented for 12 rounds on a monthly basis meaning that it will take a period 12 months.

SURVEY FINDINGS ON BUSINESSES

The survey about COVID-19 impacts on business covered formal business establishments and has two modules, that is production module (Gross output) and business operations dynamics module.

William Anguyo, the acting Director Business and Industry Statistics at UBOS who presented the survey findings on businesses said that an administrative data for 25,616 formal establishments and 324 public institutions were covered under production module while 2,377 private business establishments and key areas of employment, capacity utilization, coping mechanisms and introduction of new products were covered under business operations dynamics module.

Anguyo revealed that the overall estimated Gross output went down from 7.3 trillion shillings in March to 5.8 trillion in April 2020 representing a 21% reduction.

On the issue of operation status, Anguyo said, “about 29% of the businesses closed operations during the period, with majority being in Real Estate, arts and entertainment and recreation sectors. Majority of the businesses that remained operational were agriculture and forestry, public administration and defense, social security, human health and social work. We are all aware that hospitals, clinics remained open.”

On capacity utilization, the report revealed that for the manufacturing sector, about 34.8% and 34.5% of establishments operated between 26% to 50% and 51% to 75% respectively.

However, 4.8% of the establishments operated between 76% and 99%.

2.1% of the establishments introduced new products during the period. At sector level, the percentage of businesses in manufacturing, information and communications and finance and insurance that introduced new products in the reference period was at 5.1%, 8.1% and 6.8% respectively.

On the issue of payroll size, the survey established that 51.5% of the establishments reduced their payroll size as a result of the lockdown.

The most affected sectors were accommodation and food service at 77.4%, transport and storage at 62.2%, administration and support at 79.7%, manufacturing at 59.4%, trade (wholesale and retail) at 45.1% and arts, entertainment and Recreation Sectors at 50.2%.

However, the utilities sector such as power generation and distribution, water and sewerage, public administration such as policing, defense, tax bodies and civil service were least affected by the reduction of payroll size.

On the issue of safety measures, the report revealed that over three quarters (85.8%) of businesses put in place safety measures in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

SURVEY FINDINGS ON

Stephen Baryahirwa, the acting Director socio economic surveys at UBOS who presented the findings of COVID-19 impacts on household level said that topics such as knowledge, behavior and concerns about COVID-19, access to goods and services, employment, agricultural activities, income losses, food service, shocks and coping strategies and safety nets were tackled.

Baryahirwa said that 83% of respondents reported dry cough to be COVID-19 symptom and there was no significant differences in reporting by the level of respondent’s education.

“On the other hand, while fever was mentioned by 67% of respondents, the awareness of this symptom was significantly lower among those that never attended school (48%). Only 36% of respondents named shortness of breath as a COVID-19 symptom and almost nobody mentioned loss of smell or taste (4%),” said Baryahirwa.

The respondents were well informed about the important preventive measures such as hand washing (100%), avoiding gatherings (98%), wearing of face masks (95%), social distancing (91%) and avoiding touching the face (86%).

On the issue of access to basic needs, less than 1% of households had issues accessing water while almost 18% struggled having enough soap to wash hands. This share is largely in rural areas (20%) and among the poorest households (30%). The absolute majority of those who did not have enough soap, point to economic reasons; 67% could not afford it, 13% had no cash to buy while 8% said high prices.

On access to staple and non-staple food, most households needed to buy the main staple food, but the ratio is lower in rural areas (72%) than urban areas (85%).

Concerning employment and livelihood, the report revealed that 70% of the respondents were still working the week before the interview, more than half of the non working respondents stopped working after the restrictions were put in place in response to COVID-19 transmission.

More than 17% of respondents in central and Eastern Uganda stopped working after 20th March when the government closed schools and public offices.

Since COVID-19 outbreak, 87% of households have reported reduced income or no earnings from at least one of their sources of livelihood.

90% of households involved in non farm family business suffered income losses subsequent to COVID-19 outbreak.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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