This is Wednesday’s Morning Intelligence Briefing on events making headlines in the East African region. For tips, leaks and articles, please contact us on Whatsapp/Telegram contact +256 778 146 841 or email email@example.com.
Police Food Contractors Terminate Supplies
Uganda Police Force slipped into deeper financial crisis on Wednesday morning after food contractors withheld their supplies to the troubled institution.
During a heated meeting yesterday night at Speke Hotel, Kampala, the food contractors resolved to “immediately terminate” their supplies to the law enforcement body due to accumulated arrears amounting to over Shs 125bn.
Comprising mainly suppliers of posho, beans, sugar and printing materials from across the country, the contractors raised concerns over the heavy indebtedness of the forces that keeps growing on a daily basis.
The suppliers’ action came after Police boss General Gen Kale Kayihura had just asked the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odong to convince Cabinet to clear the debt.
Amidst the crisis, the Police’s Planning and Advisory Committee reallocated it’s quarterly financial release to fund the office of the Inspector General, leaving other key units starved of finances.
Police regions under the limited quarterly budget are Kampala Metropolitan Police, East Kyoga, Sipi and Rwenzori East.
However a special budget for sting operations has been maintained to fight criminals.
Kayihura recently promised that Police would cut it’s dependence on food suppliers.
He said the force would embark on growing it’s food just like the Uganda Prisons
Kenya Eyes Crypto Currencies
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed technology will be a major driver for delivering his Big Four plan for growing the country’s economy.
Speaking when he delivered a speech at a symposium on digital technology at the Strathmore College, Nairobi, President Kenyatta said he was confident that the digital revolution will help Kenya achieve the Big Four plan and ensure that growth transforms the lives of the people.
The Big Four include the expansion of manufacturing, affordable housing, food security, and universal health care.
President Kenyatta said technology will support affordable healthcare by driving access to information, better financing, stronger training for health workers, and, ultimately, broader access to services.
He said digital technology will also support efforts to increase food security by playing a key role in agricultural value chains through better access to inputs, more reliable weather and crop information, tracking of counterfeit inputs, more transparent access to markets and fair pricing.
“Digital technology also underpins a range of agro-financing services that are essential for equipping smallholder farmers across the country,” said the President.
He said Kenya was also positioning itself to reap the most out of the global digital revolution.
He observed the government will set up a committee on Blockchain and Internet of Things technologies that will study the benefits and challenges associated with the latest digital innovation trends.
Blockchain is the technology used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and refers to a continuously growing list of records that are linked and secured using cryptography.
A blockchain, by design, is resistant to alteration or modification and some countries have already started applying the technology for official business.
“We need to better understand the opportunities for Blockchain Technology, the risks of cybersecurity and the essential education and skills that our young people will need to make new technology work for them,” said the President.
He said the country has been a leader in digital innovation and would not be left behind in the latest trends.
“To this end, the Ministry of ICT will set up a taskforce on Blockchain and Internet of Things Technology – because, as a country, we cannot let these opportunities pass us by,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said the potential for digital dividends is enormous if its transformational potential is harnessed by creating the right policy framework.
“As a matter of fact, the internet and associated digital trade of goods and services have led up to 10 percent rise in employment in Africa,” said the President.
President Kenyatta made the comments when he delivered a speech Africa’s Digital Syposium at the Strathmore College in Nairobi whose theme was “Digital Drivers, Enabling the Growth of the Digital Economy in Africa”.
The Head of State said new innovations from Kenya have trended in the world, showing that the country Kenya has the potential to continue leading in the digital revolution.
“MPESA, M-Kopa, GroIntelligence, Andela and others, show that we can lead the world with innovations that drive financial inclusion, access to energy, better data to drive our agriculture, and the essential skills required to support the young innovators of the future,” said the President.
Uganda Moves to Boost Oil Palm Project
Cabinet discussed and approved the proposal to borrow up to US$ 75.82Million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to support the National Oil Palm Project (NOPP) and authorised the Minister of Finance to proceed to parliament to seek approval.
ICT and Information Minister Hon Frank Tumwebaze said the overall goal of the project is to “contribute to sustainable poverty reduction” in the project areas.
“The development objective of the project is to increase the domestic production of vegetable oil and it’s byproducts, thus raising rural incomes for smallholder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers and neighboring regional markets,” said Tumwebaze during a press briefing in Kampala on Tuesday.
The project will invest in what they call Oil Palm Investment Hubs defined as agro-climatically suitable areas within a radius of approximately 30km around crude oil plan (CPO) mill, in which at least 3,000 ha of small holder oil palm production cab be assured.
The beneficiary areas are; Buvuma Island, Mayuge, Masaka/Rakai.
In Kalangala, the project will consolidate the investments undertaken under vegetable oil project, phase 2 and support oil palm communities with activities complementary to oil palm investment, but will not expand the area under oil palm production.
Kampala Sanitation Programme Approved
Cabinet has discussed and approved the proposal to borrow up to $19.0Million as Supplementary Loan from the African Development Fund Financing to support the Kampala Sanitation Program Phase 1.
The programme aims to improve the sewerage situation in Kampala city through the implementation of selected measures for the rehabilitation and expansion of the sewage system, improve collection of faecal sludge from onsite Sanitation facilities in unsewered areas and construction of waste water and faecal sludge treatment facilities for the metropolitan Kampala.
This comes at a time of increased demand for water and sewerage services in Kampala.
ICT and Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze said the project will see the construction of a waste water treatment plant of capacity 45000 cubic metres per day constructed at Bugolobi Wankoko.
31Kms of sewer networks will be constructed within Nakivubo and Kinawataka catchment areas.
Notably, a pre-treatment plant and pumping station of Capacity 9000 cubic metres per day will also be constructed in Kinawataka wetland.
NWSc Executive Director Dr. Silver Mugisha recently said the Projects were in line with the Corporation’s Five Year Strategic Direction 2016-2021 whose focus is on: Smart Systems, Business Continuity, Infrastructure Growth, Financial Growth and Sustainability, Customer and Stakeholder Delight, Productivity and Capacity Building.
“We shall not rest until we achieve 100 percent service coverage in Uganda,” he pledged.