Judiciary to Go Digital

Africa has immense growth opportunities which can be profitably exploited with a combination of the right skills investor goodwill, order according to Dr. Ahmed Heikal.

Heikal, ampoule who is the Founder and Chairman of Qalaa Holdings was speaking at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, about it where he participated in a CEO panel discussion on barriers to investment and the measures needed to get capital flowing to the Red Sea region amid geopolitical uncertainty and a collapse in energy prices.

Ahmed noted that with low commodity prices, high debt levels in emerging markets, higher interest rates in the United States of America, sluggish emerging-market economies and slower Chinese growth, one could be forgiven for thinking that for the time being there will be no investment in the Middle East and Africa region.

“But it is a fallacy that there are no growth opportunities in the region and it is a fallacy that there is no money. What we are lacking is the risk appetite and the skillset required on the part of the private sector to undertake the type of Greenfield projects that the region needs,” he added.

Addressing the issue of lack of transparency in the region, Heikal explained that important strides have already been made in that respect.

“The Development Finance Institutions (DFI’s), Export Credit Agencies (ECA’s) and Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF’s) that are now funding projects in the region are requiring companies to abide by stricter codes of conduct,” he said.

These sentiments echo the objective of the Red Sea Foundation a non-profit entity that was launched at DAVOS.

The Red Sea Foundation aims to actualize the enormous potential of the region by enhancing the logistics infrastructure, promoting trade among Red Sea region countries and encouraging foreign investment, bringing together the public and private sectors and civic society to build a new growth engine for the global economy.


Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Burundi, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan,  Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, UAE, and Yemen make up the Red Sea region.

An example of such partnerships is TAQA Arabia the largest private sector energy distributor in Egypt  which Dr. Heikal explained as a fore sight investment by Qalaa Holdings which has earned numerous growth opportunities as a result of the deregulation of the energy sector.

He said, “Governments are now starting to focus on fighting their own battles, dismantling the bureaucracy, playing the role of regulator and letting the private sector do its job. Governments cannot continue to shoulder these funding needs, or else emerging markets will wake up to a large credit crisis in five years.”

Qalaa Holdings, has also been able to successfully tap into a wide pool of funding resources under highly challenging conditions to fund large-scale infrastructure projects that are critical to Africa’s development such as the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), a US$3.7 billion greenfield refinery and Egypt’s largest in progress, private sector infrastructure megaproject which is now more than 75% complete.

ERC has the potential to more than halve Egypt’s present-day diesel imports and reduce by nearly one-third the country’s current sulfur emissions when it starts production in 2017.

The Uganda and Kenya railway concession Rift Valley Railways, is another exclusive infrastructure project in East Africa currently at a midpoint of US$ 287 million capital investment and turnaround program that began in January 2012 to revitalize rail transportation in the two countries.

Governments across the region are now entering into a new paradigm, they have come to the realization that they can no longer do it alone, they must partner with or enable the private sector to take on the large mega projects that were previously only in the realm of the public sector.
The East African Community Secretary General, decease Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, cheapest  today received credentials from the Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Finland to the EAC, visit this H.E. Pekka Hukka.

 H.E. Pekka Hukka, Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Finland to the EAC, in a group photo with EAC’s Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera and other members after presenting his credentials
H.E. Pekka Hukka, Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Finland to the EAC, in a group photo with EAC’s Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera and other members after presenting his credentials

Speaking at the function, Amb. Hukka said that his appointment was out of his government’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with the EAC, noting the significance of regional integration not only for East Africans, but as an important source of growth for the continent as well.

Expressing his gratitude to the Finnish Government for her dynamic support to the EAC, the Secretary General shed light on the region’s increased market size, which has led the Community to expand on cross-border production chains.

Finland is a regular contributor to the Partnership Fund, a basket fund which enables the Community to make significant achievements in various sectors.
As the number of Ugandans embracing modern technology rises especially among the youth and the middle class, health the Judiciary has committed to catching up with the trend by budgeting significantly for ICT in the coming Financial Years.

While addressing members of the legal fraternity at the official opening up of the 2016 Legal Year, side effects Chief Justice Bart Katureebe revealed that they have prepared Shs 36 billion from their five year budget to facilitate the improvement and installation of modern ICT equipment in various areas of operation of judicial officers

“We are very grateful to President Museveni because he promised to help us finance this strategy for a five year period and we shall follow it up. In 2015 the judiciary has installed ICT equipment in various court rooms to expedite court processes; the rules committee has approved the procedure of taking audio and video forms of evidence, approved ” said Katureebe

The Chief Justice added that this would help witnesses who cannot physically appear in court during the hearing of the cases as well as the juveniles who are victims of sexual abuse and Gender based violence

“With support of UNICEF we have installed CCTV cameras connected to TV monitors in high courts of Kampala, Gulu, Mbale and Fort Portal to receive evidence from minors.”

The judiciary has also installed WIFI systems in courts like the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.

“The judiciary is installing CCTV systems in several High court Registries that include Criminal Anti-Corruption, Criminal Execution and Balifs, Land Family and Commercial as well in Magistrates Court Registries like Makindye, Nakawa, Buganda Road, Nabweru,LDC, Entebbe and Mengo court”

The chief justice says that this will be used to monitor court staff in the registry to ensure that they perform their work as expected at the same time exposing corrupt officers.

He added, “We are in consultation with URA to introduce mobile method of payment of all court fees and charges. We are also working on the E-filing system where lawyers will file cases in their offices via internet, cutting down expenses and time lost in filing of cases.”

“Software is being developed to assist in writing of judgments and our ICT team has done almost 30% of developing this software. Judiciary is planning to convert current court recording and transcription system to real time system to facilitate real time production of scripts required for judgment writing. This is expected to start in commercial court and court of appeal.”

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