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EDITOR’S PICK PART II: 40 of my 57 reasons I am proud to be a Ugandan (#UGat57)

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Ugandans here and in the diaspora, welcome back from the 57th Anniversary celebrations!

This 57th Independence Anniversary, in a 3 part series, I chose to celebrate the fifty seven (57) things that have gone well; the things that have put a smile on my face and made me proud to be a Ugandan.

Behold, the second 40 of 57 my subjectively objective reasons that have varously made me stand tall and proud to be a Ugandan.

What are your reasons?

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 Abebe Dam in Karamoja can cater for 267,000 cattle, when at 70% capacity, for 4 months during the drought.  This is in line with the government’s development plans to industrialise Karamoja region which has been facing severe droughts due to the semi-arid nature of the region. President Museveni recently visited the area in June 2019 during his Wealth and Job creation tours and met regional leaders. Government has embarked on the contruction of a 132 KV power-line to support the industrialization of Karamoja sub-region. This will also fast-track the construction of a cement factory which is expected to create jobs in the area. Government also intends to build 20 valley dams for water security.
Abebe Dam in Karamoja can cater for 267,000 cattle, when at 70% capacity, for 4 months during the drought. This is in line with the government’s development plans to industrialise Karamoja region which has been facing severe droughts due to the semi-arid nature of the region. President Museveni recently visited the area in June 2019 during his Wealth and Job creation tours and met regional leaders. Government has embarked on the contruction of a 132 KV power-line to support the industrialization of Karamoja sub-region. This will also fast-track the construction of a cement factory which is expected to create jobs in the area. Government also intends to build 20 valley dams for water security.

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Arise and Shine Maize Millers Ltd was financed by Uganda Development Bank. The factory collaborates with farmer cooperatives in Kiryandingo district for the supply of maize grain namely Nyamahasa and Bweyale Area Cooperative Enterprises.
Through UDB support the company upgraded its silos and warehouses, and is currently overhauling it’s existing local grain handling system to modern low-power processing technology, which has boosted the factory’s processing capacity to 60MT from 40MT per day.
Arise and Shine Millers also collaborates with farmer cooperatives in Kiryandingo district for the supply of maize grain namely Nyamahasa and Bweyale Area Cooperative Enterprises. Bweyale is currently producing 9,000MT per season from 1,150 registered members while Nyamahasa has 1,350 registered members producing over 10,000MT per season
Government of Uganda by the end of FY2018/19 capitalised UDB to the tune of  UGX 272bn. An additional 103bn is planned for the FY2019/20 so as to reduce the cost of money for local entreprenuers
Arise and Shine Maize Millers Ltd was financed by Uganda Development Bank. The factory collaborates with farmer cooperatives in Kiryandingo district for the supply of maize grain namely Nyamahasa and Bweyale Area Cooperative Enterprises.

Through UDB support the company upgraded its silos and warehouses, and is currently overhauling it’s existing local grain handling system to modern low-power processing technology, which has boosted the factory’s processing capacity to 60MT from 40MT per day.
Arise and Shine Millers also collaborates with farmer cooperatives in Kiryandingo district for the supply of maize grain namely Nyamahasa and Bweyale Area Cooperative Enterprises. Bweyale is currently producing 9,000MT per season from 1,150 registered members while Nyamahasa has 1,350 registered members producing over 10,000MT per season
Government of Uganda by the end of FY2018/19 capitalised UDB to the tune of UGX 272bn. An additional 103bn is planned for the FY2019/20 so as to reduce the cost of money for local entreprenuers

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URA Commissioner Customs, Dicksons Collins Kateshumbwa (Centre) was recently elected as chairperson of the WCO Council in June 2019, ahead of the Russian contender Ruslan Davydov during the annual WCO Council session at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Uganda’s Kateshumbwa will preside over WCO’s Policy Commission that meets twice a year. He will also chair all council meetings that take place annually. Kateshumbwa takes over from Uruguay’s Enrique Canon who has been the Council Chairperson for the last 2 years. The WCO Council is the highest supreme body of the World Customs Organization shaping the global customs and international trade agenda.
URA Commissioner Customs, Dicksons Collins Kateshumbwa (Centre) was recently elected as chairperson of the WCO Council in June 2019, ahead of the Russian contender Ruslan Davydov during the annual WCO Council session at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Uganda’s Kateshumbwa will preside over WCO’s Policy Commission that meets twice a year. He will also chair all council meetings that take place annually. Kateshumbwa takes over from Uruguay’s Enrique Canon who has been the Council Chairperson for the last 2 years. The WCO Council is the highest supreme body of the World Customs Organization shaping the global customs and international trade agenda.

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The on-going airport expansion works include erection of a new cargo centre with a storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes, way higher than 59,000 tonnes of the former centre, this includes an apron plus an upgrade on the runway. Uganda Civil Aviation Authority projects that the Entebbe International Airport expansion will lead to an increase in passenger traffic to 3.5 million annually from the current 1.8 million which will boost the tourism industry in Uganda. The rehabilitation works for expansion of aircraft parking apron 1, are at 71.9% while the second runway is at 85% completion.  CAA is currently working on all airport access roads which are at 95% completion plus establishment of a new fuel firm and hydrant system. The expansion project aims to increase the passenger terminal's capacity from the current 410 arriving and 320 departing passengers to 930 arriving and 820 departing passengers during peak hours. The airport renovation will increase the availability and frequency of international flights. The expansion will also improve aviation safety and security
The on-going airport expansion works include erection of a new cargo centre with a storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes, way higher than 59,000 tonnes of the former centre, this includes an apron plus an upgrade on the runway. Uganda Civil Aviation Authority projects that the Entebbe International Airport expansion will lead to an increase in passenger traffic to 3.5 million annually from the current 1.8 million which will boost the tourism industry in Uganda. The rehabilitation works for expansion of aircraft parking apron 1, are at 71.9% while the second runway is at 85% completion. CAA is currently working on all airport access roads which are at 95% completion plus establishment of a new fuel firm and hydrant system. The expansion project aims to increase the passenger terminal’s capacity from the current 410 arriving and 320 departing passengers to 930 arriving and 820 departing passengers during peak hours. The airport renovation will increase the availability and frequency of international flights. The expansion will also improve aviation safety and security

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Fish Exports at Fresh Perch Limited, employees loading fish on a truck. Fresh Perch is a privately owned commercial Fish exporting company based in Entebbe, a small Lakeside town along Lake Victoria Shores within Uganda. Fresh Perch is among the leading exporters of Nile Perch from the Country.  Nile Perch products are well known for their freshness and consistently excellent quality. This is attributable to the natural, fresh, cooler waters of Lake Victoria in Uganda, and the small vessels which are unloaded frequently
The Nile Perch is a large fish found extensively in the rivers and lakes of Africa. In Uganda, It’s mainly found in Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater Lake in the world. The Nile perch is silver in colour with a blue tinge. It has distinctive dark-black eyes, with a bright-yellow outer ring, it’s one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
Fish Exports at Fresh Perch Limited, employees loading fish on a truck. Fresh Perch is a privately owned commercial Fish exporting company based in Entebbe, a small Lakeside town along Lake Victoria Shores within Uganda. Fresh Perch is among the leading exporters of Nile Perch from the Country. Nile Perch products are well known for their freshness and consistently excellent quality. This is attributable to the natural, fresh, cooler waters of Lake Victoria in Uganda, and the small vessels which are unloaded frequently
The Nile Perch is a large fish found extensively in the rivers and lakes of Africa. In Uganda, It’s mainly found in Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater Lake in the world. The Nile perch is silver in colour with a blue tinge. It has distinctive dark-black eyes, with a bright-yellow outer ring, it’s one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.

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An aerial view of the roads in Gulu. The government of Uganda was able to construct five roads totaling to 3.638km at a contract sum of 16,180,000= VAT exclusive.

They include; Alokolum road, Labourline, Acholi Lane, Cemetery road and ring road.
The roads constructed under phase 1(a) and 1(b) include, Kabalega road(0.160km), Adonga road(0.334km), Crane Avenu(0.195km), Philip Tarner(0.266), Odur min Odyek(0.336), Commercial road(0.364), School(0.355), Salvatore Alwoch(0.672), Opwonya Walter(0.670), Muroni(0.694), Lumumba Avenue(0.250) and Lango road(0.226).
An aerial view of the roads in Gulu. The government of Uganda was able to construct five roads totaling to 3.638km at a contract sum of 16,180,000= VAT exclusive.
They include; Alokolum road, Labourline, Acholi Lane, Cemetery road and ring road.
The roads constructed under phase 1(a) and 1(b) include, Kabalega road(0.160km), Adonga road(0.334km), Crane Avenu(0.195km), Philip Tarner(0.266), Odur min Odyek(0.336), Commercial road(0.364), School(0.355), Salvatore Alwoch(0.672), Opwonya Walter(0.670), Muroni(0.694), Lumumba Avenue(0.250) and Lango road(0.226).

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In Feb 2018, the construction site of Tororo central market was officially handed over to the contractors, Youngjin construction, a Korean based construction firm following a fire outbreak that left vendors counting losses. The project was a move by the NRM government to make sure that the vendors run their businesses normally again. 
Several vendors whose businesses were affected by the 27.7 billion shillings project jubilated over the new development that is expected to be completed in two years.
In Feb 2018, the construction site of Tororo central market was officially handed over to the contractors, Youngjin construction, a Korean based construction firm following a fire outbreak that left vendors counting losses. The project was a move by the NRM government to make sure that the vendors run their businesses normally again.
Several vendors whose businesses were affected by the 27.7 billion shillings project jubilated over the new development that is expected to be completed in two years.

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This picture was taken on Wednesday 25th September, 2019  in the Freedom Square while presiding over the Makerere University Agricultural Day and Exhibition. The event was held under the theme: “Enhancing Youth involvement in Agriculture to Mitigate Increasing Food insecurity and unemployment in Uganda”.
The Agricultural Day and Exhibition was a university wide event spearheaded by students from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) aimed at refocusing the youth towards active involvement in Agriculture.

The Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni  invited Makerere researchers to Statehouse after the Independence Anniversary celebrations this month to discuss how the University's technologies and innovations can be scaled up to cause transformation in the agricultural sector.
He also directed the line Ministries including the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations to be part of this meeting to forge a way of establishing a Government fund to support graduate training especially the science disciplines.
This picture was taken on Wednesday 25th September, 2019 in the Freedom Square while presiding over the Makerere University Agricultural Day and Exhibition. The event was held under the theme: “Enhancing Youth involvement in Agriculture to Mitigate Increasing Food insecurity and unemployment in Uganda”.
The Agricultural Day and Exhibition was a university wide event spearheaded by students from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) aimed at refocusing the youth towards active involvement in Agriculture.
The Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni invited Makerere researchers to Statehouse after the Independence Anniversary celebrations this month to discuss how the University’s technologies and innovations can be scaled up to cause transformation in the agricultural sector.
He also directed the line Ministries including the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations to be part of this meeting to forge a way of establishing a Government fund to support graduate training especially the science disciplines.

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The government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Works and Transport in conjunction with Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda are developing a new second International Airport in Kabaale Hoima.
Kabaale International Airport is to be the second international Airport in Uganda, developed with the aim of boosting the oil, agriculture and tourism industry in the Albertine Graben. Primarily, the airport will facilitate easy and quick transportation of the equipment’s and machinery for the development of the refinery, given the bulky nature of some of the components and delicateness of the refinery machinery. The construction works officially commenced on 18th April, 2018 under SBC (U) Ltd. The airport is being developed in two phases and is presently at 24.33% completion of overall construction works.
The first phase includes the development of a runway, taxi ways, apron, fuel farm, fire station, multipurpose hangar, perimeter fence, drainage facilities, water supply and sewerage disposal. Terminal building and landing instruments.
The second phase essentially targets airport capacity enhancement which includes the expansion of the passenger terminal building, establishment of permanent cargo complex, establishment of a permanent control tower and construction of a parallel runway.
The government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Works and Transport in conjunction with Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda are developing a new second International Airport in Kabaale Hoima.
Kabaale International Airport is to be the second international Airport in Uganda, developed with the aim of boosting the oil, agriculture and tourism industry in the Albertine Graben. Primarily, the airport will facilitate easy and quick transportation of the equipment’s and machinery for the development of the refinery, given the bulky nature of some of the components and delicateness of the refinery machinery. The construction works officially commenced on 18th April, 2018 under SBC (U) Ltd. The airport is being developed in two phases and is presently at 24.33% completion of overall construction works.
The first phase includes the development of a runway, taxi ways, apron, fuel farm, fire station, multipurpose hangar, perimeter fence, drainage facilities, water supply and sewerage disposal. Terminal building and landing instruments.
The second phase essentially targets airport capacity enhancement which includes the expansion of the passenger terminal building, establishment of permanent cargo complex, establishment of a permanent control tower and construction of a parallel runway.

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The construction works underway on the Kapchorwa-Bukwo road. The project, a multinational operation, is set to provide an important link between Uganda and Kenya by connecting the 2 countries at the border post of Suam.
The project runs from Kapchorwa Town to Suam on the Uganda side while on the Kenya side, the road project will connect Suam to Kitale on to Eldoret By-pass. The road project supports the regional integration objective of member countries of East African Community (EAC) and the Great Lakes Region, especially Uganda and Kenya, thereby making connection to Suam and further linking with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan and improve trade. 
The Uganda side project is being financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Fund (ADF) loans and the Government of Uganda’s counterpart funding. The project involves the upgrading of the 73-Kms Kapchorwa-Suam section road.
The 77km road project will be a game changer for this sub-region rich in agriculture and tourism potential. Don't forget cross-border trade with Kenya
The construction works underway on the Kapchorwa-Bukwo road. The project, a multinational operation, is set to provide an important link between Uganda and Kenya by connecting the 2 countries at the border post of Suam.
The project runs from Kapchorwa Town to Suam on the Uganda side while on the Kenya side, the road project will connect Suam to Kitale on to Eldoret By-pass. The road project supports the regional integration objective of member countries of East African Community (EAC) and the Great Lakes Region, especially Uganda and Kenya, thereby making connection to Suam and further linking with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan and improve trade.
The Uganda side project is being financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Fund (ADF) loans and the Government of Uganda’s counterpart funding. The project involves the upgrading of the 73-Kms Kapchorwa-Suam section road.
The 77km road project will be a game changer for this sub-region rich in agriculture and tourism potential. Don’t forget cross-border trade with Kenya

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Kampala’s nightlife, especially in the Kabalagala Nightclub district  is known all over Africa and attracts people here, Rwandans, Kenyans, South-Sudanese, and Tourists flock here for a night on the town in Kampala and the bars do not close at 2 am like in the West but stay open until dawn and beyond, some stay open for 24 hours a day, no wonder Kampala is the city that never sleeps.
The music is loud, mostly played by a DJ – not too many bars have live music, though it is becoming more fashionable.
The main thing is that people stay safe and secure while out on the Town – hitting Bars and Nightclubs in Kampala. This is due to the fact that security in Uganda has improved over time under the current government. 

Security at Bars and Nightclubs at larger establishments is good – all guests are scanned or patted down –Kudos to private security companies do this in many cases, and they are armed, at times there might even be two or more depending on the bar size. Bouncers are on duty – Armed Security and more is done to keep the places relatively peaceful so that clients can enjoy themselves.
Tourism Police are now also making the rounds to some Bars and Nightclubs, and you will also find police checking various bars for any illegal activities such as drug use.  Bouncers inside of the bars are no-nonsense kind of guys that quickly stop any situation not conducive to other clients.
Kampala’s nightlife, especially in the Kabalagala Nightclub district is known all over Africa and attracts people here, Rwandans, Kenyans, South-Sudanese, and Tourists flock here for a night on the town in Kampala and the bars do not close at 2 am like in the West but stay open until dawn and beyond, some stay open for 24 hours a day, no wonder Kampala is the city that never sleeps.
The music is loud, mostly played by a DJ – not too many bars have live music, though it is becoming more fashionable.
The main thing is that people stay safe and secure while out on the Town – hitting Bars and Nightclubs in Kampala. This is due to the fact that security in Uganda has improved over time under the current government.
Security at Bars and Nightclubs at larger establishments is good – all guests are scanned or patted down –Kudos to private security companies do this in many cases, and they are armed, at times there might even be two or more depending on the bar size. Bouncers are on duty – Armed Security and more is done to keep the places relatively peaceful so that clients can enjoy themselves.
Tourism Police are now also making the rounds to some Bars and Nightclubs, and you will also find police checking various bars for any illegal activities such as drug use. Bouncers inside of the bars are no-nonsense kind of guys that quickly stop any situation not conducive to other clients.

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Latitude Hotel- Latitude 0°- named after its position on the equator is located on the outskirts of the lively city of Kampala, atop the peak of the quiet, leafy suburb of Makindye, it just 45 minutes from the international airport.  This signals growth in the tourism sector.  According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda received 1.8 million tourists in 2018, up from 1.4 million in 2017. In 2017, the 1.4 million arrivals injected about $1.4billion into the economy. This contributed to about 10 percent of the GDP
Latitude Hotel- Latitude 0°- named after its position on the equator is located on the outskirts of the lively city of Kampala, atop the peak of the quiet, leafy suburb of Makindye, it just 45 minutes from the international airport. This signals growth in the tourism sector. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda received 1.8 million tourists in 2018, up from 1.4 million in 2017. In 2017, the 1.4 million arrivals injected about $1.4billion into the economy. This contributed to about 10 percent of the GDP

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On May 17 2018, @KagutaMuseveni commissions new municipality roads in Lira town. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is implementing Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program.
The roads sparked excitement among the locals, as they will boost trade within the region as well as with neighboring countries like South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) thus spurring social-economic development in the region. These roads have been constructed under the program called the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID).  The program implemented Land’s ministry is being funded by the World Bank and the Government of Uganda through a US$150m(  aboutsh549) loan and is running for a period of five years from 2013-June 2018.
The program was designed to enhance institutional performance of 14 municipal councils so as to improve urban service delivery. The project is also intended to expand urban infrastructure, and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local government to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.
On May 17 2018, @KagutaMuseveni commissions new municipality roads in Lira town. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is implementing Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program.
The roads sparked excitement among the locals, as they will boost trade within the region as well as with neighboring countries like South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) thus spurring social-economic development in the region. These roads have been constructed under the program called the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID). The program implemented Land’s ministry is being funded by the World Bank and the Government of Uganda through a US$150m( aboutsh549) loan and is running for a period of five years from 2013-June 2018.
The program was designed to enhance institutional performance of 14 municipal councils so as to improve urban service delivery. The project is also intended to expand urban infrastructure, and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local government to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.

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On May 19, @KagutaMuseveni commissioned Enyau Road 0.9km in Arua Municipality that cost UGX7bn under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program. 
This was the government’s initiative to rehabilitate the roads that are in a sorry state in Arua Municipality. Some of the roads in the municipality lacked designated vehicle stops, while sewage lines and drainage channels malfunctioned. Within five years after the project, the municipality will be able to generate high revenues and improve lives of the people out of this.
On May 19, @KagutaMuseveni commissioned Enyau Road 0.9km in Arua Municipality that cost UGX7bn under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program.
This was the government’s initiative to rehabilitate the roads that are in a sorry state in Arua Municipality. Some of the roads in the municipality lacked designated vehicle stops, while sewage lines and drainage channels malfunctioned. Within five years after the project, the municipality will be able to generate high revenues and improve lives of the people out of this.

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MV Vanessa, the new Vessel operated by Mwanza Maritime Department plys the Entebbe-Kalangala route. The vessel is supplementing MV Kalangala to transport people and cargo to and from the Island district.
Vanessa that carries 54 passengers docks both at Lutoboka pier in Kalangala district and waterfront pier in Entebbe municipality.  The high tech Yatch runs at a speed of 40 knots from Entebbe to Kalangala, which means it takes less than an hour to reach its final destination.
It travels to Kalangala on Friday Evening taking revelers to tour the island. The vessel returns on Sunday evening to Entebbe. It costs 35,000 for a single trip to Kalangala and UGX 70,000 for a return journey.
MV Vanessa started operation on May 31st, 2019.
MV Vanessa, the new Vessel operated by Mwanza Maritime Department plys the Entebbe-Kalangala route. The vessel is supplementing MV Kalangala to transport people and cargo to and from the Island district.
Vanessa that carries 54 passengers docks both at Lutoboka pier in Kalangala district and waterfront pier in Entebbe municipality. The high tech Yatch runs at a speed of 40 knots from Entebbe to Kalangala, which means it takes less than an hour to reach its final destination.
It travels to Kalangala on Friday Evening taking revelers to tour the island. The vessel returns on Sunday evening to Entebbe. It costs 35,000 for a single trip to Kalangala and UGX 70,000 for a return journey.
MV Vanessa started operation on May 31st, 2019.

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Raxio Data Centre Ltd a company is owned by Roha, a US greenfield investment company. It set up Uganda’s first state-of-the-art data centre in the Namanve Industrial and Business Park.
According to Robert Mullins, the Director of Raxio, its data centre is the “country’s first Tier III, truly carrier-neutral co-location facility.”
The data centre has been designed to global Tier III standards by Future-Tech, a UK specialist data-centre design company with over 30 years of experience.
Raxio's plan to build a data centre came at a time when the Uganda government was getting jittery about having its citizen's data in foreign data centres and is working on relevant laws to regulate the data collected by different companies in Uganda.
Raxio Data Centre Ltd a company is owned by Roha, a US greenfield investment company. It set up Uganda’s first state-of-the-art data centre in the Namanve Industrial and Business Park.
According to Robert Mullins, the Director of Raxio, its data centre is the “country’s first Tier III, truly carrier-neutral co-location facility.”
The data centre has been designed to global Tier III standards by Future-Tech, a UK specialist data-centre design company with over 30 years of experience.
Raxio’s plan to build a data centre came at a time when the Uganda government was getting jittery about having its citizen’s data in foreign data centres and is working on relevant laws to regulate the data collected by different companies in Uganda.

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Since April 2017, thousands of girls have benefitted from training in a project dubbed Presidential Initiative on Skilling Girl Child programme. 
They receive training for six months in different centers such as Nakulabye, Ntinda, Luzira, and Mutundwe among others according to project manager, Faridah Mayanja. 

The project, since its inception has reduced on unemployment levels since they are given hands-on skills as well as start-up capital. Even those who don’t have money to go to other established vocational skills have been helped with skills for income-generation. The Presidential Initiative of skilling the girl child started in April 2017 by the President of Uganda to empower the girl child and since then has benefited 12,651 girls.
It should be noted that when women are empowered, the whole community stands to benefit as they are in a position to contribute to the economic development of the country.  “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him a lifetime” this is a common adage we subscribe to as a program”
Since April 2017, thousands of girls have benefitted from training in a project dubbed Presidential Initiative on Skilling Girl Child programme.
They receive training for six months in different centers such as Nakulabye, Ntinda, Luzira, and Mutundwe among others according to project manager, Faridah Mayanja.
The project, since its inception has reduced on unemployment levels since they are given hands-on skills as well as start-up capital. Even those who don’t have money to go to other established vocational skills have been helped with skills for income-generation. The Presidential Initiative of skilling the girl child started in April 2017 by the President of Uganda to empower the girl child and since then has benefited 12,651 girls.
It should be noted that when women are empowered, the whole community stands to benefit as they are in a position to contribute to the economic development of the country. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him a lifetime” this is a common adage we subscribe to as a program”

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The Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Bemanya Twebaze has been elected President of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advisory Committee on Enforcement.  He is a Board Member of Capital Markets Authority (CMA). He is a Board Member of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).
He is a Board Member of URSB. He served as Chairman Administrative Council of the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
from November 2013 to November 2015.He has previously served as Director and Secretary to a number of other companies. As Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) since May 2017, he spearheaded its return to profitability.
Mr. Bemanya has re-aligned URSB’s operations with emphasis on use of technology to support and simplify registration operations.
Under his leadership, URSB has continued to register notable success in improving service delivery, promoting private sector growth through enterprise formalization and revenue collection.
The Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Bemanya Twebaze has been elected President of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advisory Committee on Enforcement. He is a Board Member of Capital Markets Authority (CMA). He is a Board Member of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).
He is a Board Member of URSB. He served as Chairman Administrative Council of the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
from November 2013 to November 2015.He has previously served as Director and Secretary to a number of other companies. As Administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) since May 2017, he spearheaded its return to profitability.
Mr. Bemanya has re-aligned URSB’s operations with emphasis on use of technology to support and simplify registration operations.
Under his leadership, URSB has continued to register notable success in improving service delivery, promoting private sector growth through enterprise formalization and revenue collection.

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The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) is the principal stock exchange of Uganda. It was founded in June 1997. The USE is operated under the jurisdiction of Uganda's Capital Markets Authority, which in turn reports to the Bank of Uganda, Uganda's central bank. 
The exchange opened to trading in January 1998. At that time, the exchange had just one listing, a bond issued by the East African Development Bank. Trading was limited to only a handful of trades per week. As of July 2014, the USE traded 16 listed local and East African companies and had started the trading of fixed income instruments.[4] The exchange is a member of the African Stock Exchanges Association. 
The USE operates in close association with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania, the Rwanda Stock Exchange, and the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya. According to published reports in 2013, there were plans to integrate the four exchanges to form a single East African bourse. 
Uganda All Stock Index (ALSIUG) is the benchmark Index of the Uganda Securities Exchange
The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) is the principal stock exchange of Uganda. It was founded in June 1997. The USE is operated under the jurisdiction of Uganda’s Capital Markets Authority, which in turn reports to the Bank of Uganda, Uganda’s central bank.
The exchange opened to trading in January 1998. At that time, the exchange had just one listing, a bond issued by the East African Development Bank. Trading was limited to only a handful of trades per week. As of July 2014, the USE traded 16 listed local and East African companies and had started the trading of fixed income instruments.[4] The exchange is a member of the African Stock Exchanges Association.
The USE operates in close association with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania, the Rwanda Stock Exchange, and the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya. According to published reports in 2013, there were plans to integrate the four exchanges to form a single East African bourse.
Uganda All Stock Index (ALSIUG) is the benchmark Index of the Uganda Securities Exchange

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Western Uganda music icon Reagan Muhairwe aka Ray G held a successful concert in June this year in Mbarara, western Uganda as he celebrated his 9th year of making music.
The talented Runyankore singer was born on June 12th 1992 in the Western Uganda District of Bushenyi. He started singing in 2009 while he was in senior three but rose to fame in 2014 after releasing his hit song Amarari which gained airplay across the country.
He has since released several songs, most of which are love themed.
Unlike other artistes from Western Uganda who when they rise to fame tend to change to singing English and Luganda, Ray G has maintained his style of singing which will predictably make him hard to dethrone from Western Uganda for a long time. Currently, he is signed under ‘Awesome Entertainment, a Mbarara based music label. Thanks to the NRM government for recognizing and supporting talent.
Western Uganda music icon Reagan Muhairwe aka Ray G held a successful concert in June this year in Mbarara, western Uganda as he celebrated his 9th year of making music.
The talented Runyankore singer was born on June 12th 1992 in the Western Uganda District of Bushenyi. He started singing in 2009 while he was in senior three but rose to fame in 2014 after releasing his hit song Amarari which gained airplay across the country.
He has since released several songs, most of which are love themed.
Unlike other artistes from Western Uganda who when they rise to fame tend to change to singing English and Luganda, Ray G has maintained his style of singing which will predictably make him hard to dethrone from Western Uganda for a long time. Currently, he is signed under ‘Awesome Entertainment, a Mbarara based music label. Thanks to the NRM government for recognizing and supporting talent.

Also read https://www.ceo.co.ug/editors-pick-20-of-my-57-reasons-i-am-proud-to-be-a-ugandan-ugat57/

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dfcu reportedly wants UGX47bn BoU refund, for Sudhir properties it acquired for a UGX10bn interest-free debt

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Doubtful about BoU’s ability to secure former Crane Bank branches, dfcu has started the process of vacating Sudhir properties. It wants the Central Bank to compensante them up to UGX47 billion. Soon we will see dfcu pull down all its branding on former branches occupied by Crane Bank

Tax payers are set to lose over UGX37bn, should a claim by dfcu Bank related to the contested sale of Crane Bank be honoured by the Central Bank.

According to confidential correspondence seen by this website between dfcu Bank and BoU, dfcu Bank has decided to exercise a clause in the Crane Bank buying agreement that said, if the central bank, failed to hand over to dfcu, vacant and freehold possession of 48 properties that previously housed Crane Bank branches with 24 months, dfcu bank had the right to return the leasehold titles to BoU and claim compensation.  

However a challenge has arisen within BoU circles, because, whereas the sale agreement said that on return of the properties, dfcu bank would be compensated a portion of the purchase price equivalent to the net book value of the properties, included in Note2.3.11 of the PWC Assets and Compilation as at 20th October 2016- estimated at about UGX47 bn, dfcu had acquired the said properties for only UGX10 bn.

Compensating them UGX47bn, would therefore make dfcu bank UGX37 bn richer- yet they have been occupying the properties for nearly 3 years without paying rent.

It shall be recalled that according to the Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC – COSASE) reported that bank of Uganda had not valued Crane Bank’s assets and liabilities as required by law and corporate governance and as such the purchase price of UGX200bn- payable over 30 months at no interest rate was unreasonable.

According to the MPs, BoU instead relied on a purported valuation by dfcu Bank who was “an interested party and eventual purchaser” of Crane Bank’s assets and liabilities.

Former BoU Executive Director, supervision Mrs Justine Bagyenda (left) and Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende who were severally named by COSASE for their role in the mishandling the sale of various banks, including the defunct Crane Bank.

The Auditor General in his report to parliament had earlier opined that not only was the UGX200bn unjustified, but the fact that dfcu Bank was allowed to pay over 30 months without any interest, had caused tax payers a loss of UGX39 bn in lost interest.

Dfcu Bank to quit all Ruparelia Group properties by January 24th 2020

Two weeks ago, we reported that dfcu had started an internal procurement process to relocate its branches that are operating in the said Crane Bank branches.

A confidential request for proposals document titled: “Consultancy Services for relocation of selected dfcu Bank branches – 2019”, issued to selected architectural firms, that CEO East Africa Magazine has seen, said that dfcu was looking for an architectural consultant to”setup new premises, relocate the existing premises, decommission the vacated premises and support vacant handover of the vacated premises to the respective property owners.”

The dfcu letter to Central Bank rescinding the offer to buy the 48 properties

When contacted for comment, dfcu bank at the time declined to comment, but days later said the branch relocations were within their business plans to realign their digital ambitions.

But a 12th September 2019 letter by dfcu Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Mathias Katamba and a one Agnes Mayanja, a Chief Risk Officer to the Governor and Executive Director BoU, confirms that indeed dfcu bank board has after several postponements, has moved to rescind the offer to  acquire the 48 properties and is in advanced stages of vacating and returning them to BoU as per the agreement.

“Following court’s dismissal of HCCS No 493 of 2017 on 26th August 2019, it is unclear how long it will take BoU to recover the reversion from MIL. This state of affairs creates uncertainty for the bank which is prejudicial to its business interests. In line with its strategic interests and risk management framework, the board has resolved that it is in the best interest of the bank to exercise the option to rescind the purchase of the MIL Properties,” wrote the dfcu senior executives.

Dr Sudhir Ruparelia addresses a media conference soon after Commercial Court dismissed the BoU case. He said everyone who participated in the illegal closure, takeover and sale of Crane Bank would be made to pay

“The bank hereby rescinds the purchase of the MIL properties pursuant to close 8.7 of the Agreement,” dfcu added.

In Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017, BoU and Crane Bank (in receivership) had sued Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments seeking to recover up to UGX397 bn and the 48 properties. 

In his ruling, Hon Justice David Wangutusi, said BoU “did not have jurisdiction to file HCCS No. 493 of 2017” and that the orders sought against Meera are “barred in law, rendering” BoU with no “cause of Action” against Meera.

Regarding the 48 properties, Hon Justice David Wangutusi said that “any orders awarding delivery of freehold title to the Plaintiff/ Respondent (Crane Bank (in receivership)) would be illegal and barred in law,” since Crane bank “cannot hold freehold and any pleadings seeking court orders to that effect amount to no cause of action.”

The Bank has filed a notice of appeal, an application for stay of execution and Memorandum of Appeal. The hearing of the application for stay of execution has been fixed for November 27, 2019.  

In their letter, dfcu’s Katamba and Mayanja said that accordingly, in line with clause 8.8 of the Agreement, it would immediately return to BoU the certificates of title for the MIL properties duly re-transferred into the name of Crane Bank Limited- a process that would be completed by 24th January 2020.

According to insider sources at BoU, rather than be paid in cash, which might cause more furore given that the Central Bank is cash-strapped, dfcu is exploring options of having the UGX47 bn, deducted from the balance remaining on the purchase price of Crane Bank.

As at June 30, 2019, dfcu Bank had paid UGX140 bn and the outstanding receivable amounted to UGX60bn- according to the Auditor General’s letter accompanying BoU’s annual report for 2018/19 ended June 2019. The amount due from dfcu Bank Limited is interest free and dfcu is supposed to make full payments by the end of January 2020.

This theory is supported by the last paragraph of dfcu’s letter to BoU which reads: “The bank acknowledges that the rescission process and the payment associated therewith may entail certain other modalities; we therefore consider a meeting to agree these modalities and the associated timelines important.”

Now that dfcu has elected to return the properties to BoU, the fate of several other court cases amounting to UGX35bn in claims, launched by the Ruparelia Group against dfcu Bank as the successor in title to Crane Bank (in receivership) is also unclear.

We reached out to dfcu’s Managing Director, Mathias Katamba and the Executive Director, William Ssekabembe for a comment, but both had not replied to our inquiry on Whatsapp. In fact Ssekabembe saw the inquiry but left it unanswered.

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UBL’s Busola Doregos wins 2019 Chief Finance Officer of the Year award

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Ms Busola beat Coca Cola’s Ivan Bombom and Centenary Bank’s Godfrey Byekwaso, to the coveted award. She is the first female CEO of the year out of three winners, since the awards were introduced in 2017

Uganda Breweries Limited’s Finance and Strategy Manager, Busola Doregos, is the 2019 Chief Finance Officer of the Year!

Judges, chose her over Coca Cola’s Ivan Bombom and Centenary Bank’s Godfrey Byekwaso, the other two finalists in what has now become probably the most prestigious individual meritorious award in Uganda’s finance managers’ profession. 

Byekwaso, however won the Strategy Execution Award for his role in spearheading the automation and the reconciliation processes of Centenary Bank.

In the only double win of the night, Busola, also tied up with Moses Kargbo of Tugende; a boda-boda microfinancing social enterprise for the Finance Transformation Award.  

Busola, also the first female CFO of the year, now walks the footsteps of Alvin Mbugua (then CFO but now Managing Director Uganda Breweries Limited) the winner of the very first 2017 CFO of the Year Award and Sam Mwogeza the Stanbic Bank CFO who won the 2018 accolade.

Busola holds a Bachelor of Science (Accounting) degree from the University of Lagos and an MBA from the University of Kent. She is a Chartered Accountant.

Between 2007 and 2014, she held various roles within Diageo in the UK and in Nigeria. In June 2014 she got appointed as the Business Supply Manager at Guinness Nigeria and rose to the position of Financial Controller in April 2016. In May 2018 she Joined Uganda Breweries Limited- a subsidiary of EABL, itself a subsidiary of Diageo as Finance & Strategy Director.  

Winners of the night, joined by other nominees and judges for a power shot

To win, judges were looking for finance managers that have exhibited excellence in the seven vital quotients or skills of an accountant i.e. intelligence, creativity, digital knowledge, emotional intelligence, experience, vision, and technical and ethical skills.

The 2019 CFO Awards were organised by ACCA Uganda and Deloitte Uganda and sponsored by Stanbic Bank and Uganda Breweries Limited.

Full List of Winners

  1. CFO Of the Year: Busola Doregos, Finance & Strategy Manager, Uganda Breweries Ltd.
  2. Strategy Execution Award: Godfrey Byekwaso, General Manager, Finance; Centenary Bank
  3. Not For Profit Awards: Martha Sebunya, Finance Manager, Mengo Hospital
  4. Young CFO of The Year Award: Brian Collins Amanyire, CFO, Bank of Africa 
  5. Finance Transformation Award: Busola Doregos, Finance & Strategy Manager, Uganda  and Breweries Ltd and Moses Kargbo, Finance Manager, Tugende.
  6. SME Sector Award:  Maxwell Odera, Finance Manager, Fiduga Uganda
  7. Public Sector Award: Joshua Karamagi, CFO, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) 

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Two years after Sadolin-Plascon paint wars; Plascon emerges nearly unharmed as the new Sadolin struggles to get a grip on the market

Kansai Plascon’s USD$126 mn (UGX452.5 bn) of the former Sadolin Paints (Uganda) Limited, Sadolin Paints (Tanzania) Limited and Sadolin Paints (EA) Ltd of Kenya was perhaps one East Africa’s biggest acquisitions in 2017. Even bigger, especially in Uganda, was the fight between Akzo Nobel the owners of the Sadolin brand and Kansai Plascon the new operators of the infrastructure and distribution network, left after Akzo Nobel had taken away its Sadolin name.
Two years, after the introduction of Plascon paints to replace the Sadolin brand and the re-launch of Sadolin into the market, CEO East Africa’s Muhereza Kyamutetera looks back at the contested takeover and who is winning the share of wallet war.

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Wim Bramer, Managing Director Kansai Plascon East Africa (left) and Chris Nugent, then Managing Director Kansai Plascon Uganda Limited display the new Plascon paints portfolio at the Kansai Plascon plant in Namanve on August 3rd 2017. This was at a press conference to announce Kansai Plascon’s acquisition of Sadolin Paints operations in East Africa. Mr. Bramer was a former Akzo Nobel senior executive in London, who only joined Kansai Plascon in January 2016 and is believed to have been instrumental in the takeover deal. Chris Nugent the man who built the UGX166.8 billion Kansai Plascon profolio in Uganda has since left the company.

For over 23 years, Sadolin Paints Uganda had been the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of paint under the Sadolin trademark by virtue of a trademark licence with Akzo Nobel Coatings International B.V. the Dutch owners of the Sadolin brand. 

The contract was renewed on the 1st of May 2015 till December 2019. Under the agreement, Akzo Nobel was entitled to royalty fees equivalent to 2% of net sales.

However, according to documents seen by CEO East Africa Magazine, around 2016, Akzo Nobel hinted that it planned to increase royalty fees to 5% after 2019 and also rebrand from Sadolin to Dulux- their largest global brand that already had good presence in South Africa.

Sadolin Uganda and their shareholders, who had a franchise to run Kenya, Tanzania,   Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Djibouti were not happy about the rumblings by Akzo Nobel.

There were also other complaints like- Akzo Nobel failing to meet their end of the bargain in especially marketing support.

Then an opportunity came if form of Kansai Plascon- the out-of-Japan paint manufacturer and one of the global top 10 giants- just like Akzo Nobel.  Kansai Plascon, as they are largely known- had been in South Africa for some time and was kin on expanding northwards.

To Kansai Plascon, a partnership with Sadolin Uganda owners, who also had operations in Kenya under Sadolin Paints East Africa Limited (SPEAL) and Sadolin (Tanzania) Ltd with ongoing export business to Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Djibouti was God-sent.

A deal was struck for Kansai Plascon East Africa Proprietary Limited (KPEA) to acquire 100% of Shalvik Investments Limited- registered in Guernsey that owned 85% of Sadolin Paints (Uganda) Limited and 80% of Sadolin Paints (Tanzania) Limited respectively. Along with acquisition of other minority shareholders KPEA, on 1st August 2017, secured 92.5% of Plascon Uganda and 90% of Sadolin Paints (Tanzania) Ltd. The two were immediately renamed Kansai Plascon Uganda Ltd and Kansai Plascon Tanzania Ltd (Respectively).

Wim Bramer (Left), Managing Director Kansai Plascon East Africa and Chris Nugent, then Managing Director Kansai Plascon Uganda Limited address a press conference on on August 3rd 2017 to announce the Kansai Plascon’s takeover of Sadolin Paints’s operations in East Africa.

KPEA also acquired 85% of Sadolin Paints (EA) Ltd and renamed it Kansai Plascon (Kenya) Ltd. The company in its 2017 report said it hoped to acquire all the remaining shares so as to acquire a 100% controlling stake in the Group.  

According to their 2018 Annual Report, Kansai Plascon agreed to pay USD40.8 mn for the three companies’ current assets, USD46m for non-current assets like plants, vehicles and buildings as well as USD83.1 mn as goodwill. Less theliabilities and cash acquired, the final price came to USD$126 mn (UGX452.5 bn).

All payments were made in cash!

The specific amounts for the Uganda acquisition is not mentioned in the report, but according to the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) and KPMG Private Equity Sector Survey of East Africa for the period 2017 to 2018, the Ugandan operation being the biggest of the three- was cashed out for an irresistible USD88 mn (UGX316 bn).  

But Akzo Nobel had gotten wind of the deal in its infancy stages and had moved to on 31st January, 2017 to  serve Sadolin a 12 months’ notice to terminate the contract. However on getting knowledge that KansaiPlascon had completed the takeover deal with Sadolin and that they were in advanced stages of ditching Sadolin branded paints even before the expiry of the notice period and were to launch their own Plascon paints brand, Akzo on 2nd June 2017- served Sadolin a 15 day notice to terminate the Trademark Licence Agreement.

Meantime, Akzo Nobel had hatched a master stroke up their sleeves- they were planning, following the termination to use their production facilities in South Africa and Zambia- which operate under the Dulux brand to manufacture and reintroduce into Uganda, Sadolin paint. Their bet, was hedged on the fact that Sadolin as a brand certainly had higher awareness and trust levels, that they would, working with some staff poached from the former Sadolin Uganda, use to penetrate the very same distribution networks that Sadolin Uganda had cultivated and hopefully crowd out Plascon who would no doubt need a little bit more time to gain traction in the market.   

You cannot approach Sadolin’s former distribution network- Court Tells Akzo Nobel

Somehow, Kansai Plascon managed to learn of this Akzo Nobel plan and went to work- putting their money, literary where their mouth was.

According to their 2018 Annual Report, Kansai Plascon reported spending another USD5.3 mn (UGX19 bn) on various consultants to complete the deal but also smoothen their landing and hit the ground running.

Having been stopped from directly importing and distributing Sadolin products on the Ugandan market, Akzo Nobel instead partnered with Regal Paints, a subsidiary of Kenya’s Crown Paints. In this September 28, 2017, photo Rakesh Rao the Crown Paints East Africa Group CEO (left) Johann Smidt (centre) and Deon Nieuwoudt the Managing Director and Africa Executive respectively, at South Africa’s ICI Dulux Pty Ltd- a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel are seen relaunching Sadolin paints at Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

In Uganda, Kansai Plascon hired TBWA Uganda one of the best advertising agencies to handle their market launch. They also hired Corporate Image Limited, a brand and reputation agency to manage both the awareness needs but also any potential image and reputation issues.

On the legal front they hired M/s Muwema & Mugerwa Advocates & Solicitors – a law firm known for their hard-hitting and unconventional approach to the law.

Fred Muwema, the firm’s founding and Managing Partner holds over 20 years of extensive experience in Commercial legal practice and litigation. He has handled numerous commercial transactions on mergers and business acquisitions, receiverships, legal audits, company formations and restructures for business ranging from banking, manufacturing and mining etc.

He is also known for handling some of Uganda’s major disputes in areas of trade, tax, telecom, broadcasting sector, banking, intellectual property and constitutional law and he didn’t disappoint.

Muwema advised Kansai Plascon to sue Akzo Nobel in the commercial court for seeking to unjustly enrich themselves by taking advantage of and grabbing Sadolin’s market profile and customer base, once the company ceased trading under the Sadolin brand.

He subsequently dragged Akzo Nobel to court for “actively and aggressively approaching former Sadolin Uganda’s (now Kansai Plascon Uganda) customers who have been grown over time, to switch allegiance and continue buying Sadolin products under a new arrangement.”

Commercial lawyer, Fred Muwema of M/s Muwema & Mugerwa Advocates & Solicitors was key to the legal strategy that thwarted Akzo Nobel’s plans to directly reintroduce the Sadolin brand into the market, thus buying Kansai Plascon valuable time to organise a knockout punch

In the case, Miscellaneous Cause No 163 of 2017, Muwema successfully argued that Sadolin Uganda (now Kansai Plascon) had “invested a lot of effort and resources in promoting Sadolin as the number one paint brand in Uganda with little help from Akzo Nobel” and that it was “therefore unfair for Akzo Nobel to take benefit of Kansai Plascon’ customers without compensating it.”  

On 07th July 2017, court granted a 3 months injunction against Akzo Nobel, up to 11th October 2017 upon which the two parties would enter into arbitration proceedings. 

“An interim measure of protection doth issue restraining the respondent (Akzo Nobel), its agents, assigns or licensees from: Directly or indirectly soliciting and or selling any Sadolin paint products to the distribution network or customer base developed by the applicant in Uganda under the trademark license agreement of 1st May 2015, between the applicant and the respondent pending a hearing and determination of the arbitration proceedings,” reads an extract from the ruling by the commercial court registrar.

With this injunction Kansai Plascon had secured a very important window and did not waste any single minute of it.

After closing the acquisition deal on 1st August 2017, two days later on 3rd August 2017, Kansai organised a press conference at their Namanve factory to announce the acquisition of the former Sadolin Paints Uganda and the rebranding to Kansai Plascon. A few days later they would roll over a nationwide radio, outdoor, online and TV campaign to announce the new brand name.

Sadolin is now Plascon, they told the market. They would also roll over a trade campaign that rewarded several distributors, painters and house owners.

According to audited results for Kansai Plascon Uganda that CEO East Africa has had access to, the company in 2017 alone increased their cost of advertising by 59.1% from UGX4.9bn in 2016 to UGX7.8bn.  

How Kansai Plascon managed to stay a step ahead of Akzo Nobel remains a mystery but a clue could lie in the a one, Mr Wim Bramer a senior executive who worked for Akzo Nobel for 11 years as Director International Business Development based in London- but but was involved in branding, distribution footprint, exports, licensing, joint ventures and acquisitions in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Far East and South America.

Mr Bramer had left Akzo Nobel and joined Kansai Plascon as the Managing Director for East Africa in January 2016.

Akzo Nobel revises plan, relaunches under Regal Paints

Paint companies- like all other construction supplies manufacturers, use the same distribution channels- hardware outlets and duukas. So it is not uncommon to find one hardware shop, stocking products, in this case, paint from over 15 paint makers.

So, thwarted by Kansai Plascon’s legal manoeuvre, Akzo Nobel, decided they would instead pick an existing company to manufacture and distribute their Sadolin brand.  An existing company would after all already be using the same distribution channels as any other paint maker. With this strategy, they could still ride on the popularity of their Sadolin name.

Akso Nobel couldn’t find a better partner than Crown Paints East Africa, to manufacture and sell their Sadolin paint in East Africa. 

Inside one of Akzo Nobel/Sadolin’s colour centres launched in Kampala. Despite such significant efforts, the market is yet to warm up to the new Sadolin.

The company had been operating in East Africa since in 1958 and in Uganda since 2006- under Regal Painnts- a company they own 100%.  In Kenya, Crown Paints is said to be a market with an annual turnover of about KShs7.4bn (UGX260.4bn) in 2017 and is the only paint company listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The Company also has presence in the three major East African markets- Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

In Uganda, Regal Paints, is among the top 10 paint brands with an already established distribution network across the country.

However, Crown Paints was a little bit cash strapped to fund the quick regional rollout of Sadolin products, but Akzo Nobel, desperate to make this deal work, had to lend an equivalent of KShs136,380,000 (UGX4.9 billion) to Crown Paints Tanzania Limited and KShs41,616,000 (UGX1.5bn) to Crown Paints Rwanda Limited as working capital- all because then needed to keep the Sadolin brand alive and present in every corner of the region.

With the deal, done and dusted, on September 28, 2017, Johann Smidt and Deon Nieuwoudt the Managing Director and Africa Executive respectively, at South Africa’s ICI Dulux Pty Ltd- a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel and Rakesh Rao the Crown Paints East Africa Group CEO put up a powerful relaunch of Sadolin at Kampala’s Sheraton Hotel, complete, with pomp and sabre-rattling.

Johann, according to The Independent, a weekly news magazine in Kampala, said that Akzo Nobel was putting up their own UGX10bn plant at Regal Paints’  Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve compound to produce Sadolin Paint for local and regional markets.

“Our Sadolin plant in the KIBP now under construction will be the primary site for manufacturing and distribution of Sadolin,” he told stakeholders and the media.

Rakesh Rao, on his part said that the partnership signalled a strong statement on Akzo Nobel‘s investments and continuity of the Sadolin brand in Uganda and the region.

“Sadolin brand has been a household name for many years,” he said, adding that the firm would sell its own Regal Paint products besides Sadolin Paints in the market. 

Sadolin strategy yet to bear fruits  

But how much of this Akzo Nobel/Sadolin strategy has succeeded?

(Left-Right): Chris Nugent, then Kansai Plascon Uganda Managing Director, Kansai Paints President; Hiroshi Ishino, Vice President; Kalpana Abe nd MD Kansai Plascon East Africa, Wim Bramer, during the launch of anti-mosquito paint in Kampala on February 2019.

To track how and if the Akzo Nobel/Sadolin strategy has succeeded in disrupting Kansai Plascon, we looked for Regal Paints’s financials to gauge the performance of the business before and after the October 2017 Sadolin partnership. 

According to the financials for Regal Paints that CEO East Africa Magazine has had access to, between 2015 and 2016, Regal Paints’ sales turnover declined by a minor 2% from UGX15.1 bn in 2015 to UGX14.8bn in 2016. However, even with the declining sales, Regal Paints managed to reduce their losses from UGX1.1bn in 2015 to UGX500mn in 2016.

But in 2017, Regal Paints turnover, rebounded by 14.86% from UGX14.8bn to UGX17bn- perhaps partly driven by the Sadolin portfolio. Regal Paints even declared a UGX100 mn profit that year.

2018 would have been the year when Sadolin’s full impact would be felt- but Regal Paints’ turnover, only grew by 8.82% to UGX18.5bn. The company also registered losses of UGX2.9 bn.

However, thanks to what is believed to be an Akzo Nobel’s investment and increased stock in the market, Regal Paints’ assets, doubled from UGX3.2bn in 2017 to UGX7.1bn- particularly, the value of plant and machinery grew from UGX2.6bn to UGX6.3bn a sign that perhaps Akzo Nobel was delivering on their investments into Regal Paints’ operations so as to fortify them against a raging Kansai Plascon.

Kansai Plascon progresses, largely unharmed

For Kansai Plascon Uganda, it appears they have maintained their previous growth levels with little or no visible impact as a result of Sadolin’s re-entry into the market.

According to their audited books, sales turnover for Kansai Plascon (then Sadolin Uganda) in 2016, grew by 3.9% from UGX146.6bn in 2015 to UGX152.3bn in 2016. That year, profits, grew by 60.8% from UGX16.6bn in 2015 to UGX26.7bn.

In 2017, Kansai Plascon grew slightly faster that in 2016- turnover improved by 4.6% from UGX152.5bn to UGX159.3bn. However the cost transiting from Sadolin to Plascon, took a toll on profitability.

According to information available to us, in 2017 total operating expenses nearly doubled, growing by 92.3% from UGX5.2bn in 2016 to UGX10bn in 2017. This was largely driven by a 59.1% rise in the cost of advertising from UGX4.9bn to UGX7.8bn. Administration expenses also shot up by 112.5% from UGX4.8bn to UGX10.2bn.

Consequently, 2017 saw a 69% dip in profitability to UGX8.3bn, from UGX16.6bn.

In 2018, turnover further grew by 4.7%, reaching UGX166.8bn. However, expenses remained high- operating costs, although they eased down by 15% to UGX8.5bn, driven by a 28.2% reduction in the advertising bill to UGX5.6bn, administration costs further went up by 10.5% from UGX10.2bn to UGX11.4bn.

But the company still remained profitable- although there was a slight 3.6% reduction in profit to UGX8bn compared to the previous year.  

Two years down the road, all odds seem to be in favour of Kansai Plascon; it remains to be seen how 2019 will pan out- but it is less likely that Akzo Nobel (Sadolin/Regal Paints) can cover up the huge gap between itself and its archival.

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