Indian High Commission, Victoria University In Key Education Partnership

Ugandan students will now learn more about Indian culture without flying out of the country. This comes after the Indian High Commission in Uganda commissioned the ‘Indian Corner’ at Victoria University library with the aim of uplifting the standards of education in the country.

The Indian Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Ravi Shankar was recently at Victoria University to open the Indian Corner inside the University’s library. In the corner, you can find all sorts of books talking about the history and culture of India.

The Vice-Chancellor Victoria University Assoc Prof. Dr. Krishna N. Sharma said the partnership is ‘one of the steps we are taking for social integration and global citizenship.’ “You can visit our library to understand every detail about the Indian culture, health, education and life,” he said.

The Indian High Commissioner (ambassador) said Uganda and India have good bilateral relations. He noted that many Ugandan students have studied their higher level education in India. He noted that these students have overtime fallen in love with the country.

He added that the ‘Indian Corner’ at Victoria University Library will not only help Indians in Uganda learn more about Indian culture, and education among other things, but also Ugandans who like reading and adventure.

Victoria University Council Moves To Realize Much Needed Growth

Victoria University, as a leading private university, continues to grow and insists on tapping into the existing resources that can help its growth as a learning institution and trainer of young people.

This ambition to have a prospering university is made possible by an innovative management that has been able to lure young and enterprising young minds to join the university as a guarantee that the university is here to empower young people.

The recent development from the university is that seasoned journalist Andrew Mwenda and businessman Dr Chirag Kotecha joined as members of University Council of Victoria University.

The two joined others like Dr. David Byatike Matove, Chairman University Council; Joseph N. Biribonwa, Vice Chairman University Council; James Kelebo, Council Member; Justice Maintum, Council Member; Joram Francis Kahenano, another Council Member.

The University said the Council strives to achieve the educational objectives of the University and those matters that affect the common interests of faculty, staff and students.

It is authorized to initiate policy proposals as well as to express its judgment on those submitted to it by the administrative officers of the University and its various academic divisions.

With the guidance of the Council, Victoria University is building capacity of not only the teaching staff but also that of students graduating from the institution. Initiatives such as Total Graduate Program which was recently conducted are taking the university in the right direction.

The workshop training themed ‘towards a complete graduate training - after university, what next?, was aimed at teaching the University’s student who will be graduating in September the basics of formal employment and doing business.

The training which took place on Monday 15th and 16th Tuesday, July 2019, addressed issues to do with the social life of the students, the business world, religion, personal and community security and work-life balance.

Topics discussed at the workshop included career planning, job searching and retention, writing CV and undertaking job interviews, public speaking, business startup and registration, business etiquette, financial literacy, investment portfolio and social media for business.

The University is also looking at collaborating with institutions like Uganda National Council for Science and Technology to undertake powerful and purposeful research.

Victoria University under the stewardship of Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krishna N. Sharma has prioritized research as a cornerstone for their teaching and education delivery. This has been much more evident in the faculty of health sciences and ICT.

The faculty of health sciences published more research papers and journals than any other faculty at high rising Victoria University in Uganda. The Vice Chancellor of Victoria University Dr. Krishna N. Sharma said in the academic year 2018, 35 publications were released from the University.

Also, Victoria University recently offered free financial literacy training to the public. The two day training helped attendees to ‘possess the set of skills and knowledge that allows you to make informed and effective decisions with all of you financial resources.’

Participants got skills on informed and effective decisions on financial resources and also learnt the main steps to achieve financial literacy. The also learnt the skills to create a budget, ability to track spending, book keeping, techniques to pay off debts and effective financial planning.

I Want To Make Victoria University A Good Place For Learning – Guild President

The desire to improve the lives of students at Victoria University inspired Mark Serebe, the new crowned Guild President, to take up a leadership role at the Ruparelia Group owned university.

In this Interview, Serebe narrates his life’s story, ambitions and all that he plans to do for the University.

Tell us about your background, your childhood, time through schools and what you want people to know about you as the reigning Guild President of Victoria University.

I can say that my parents have done a great job in as far as educating me is concerned as I have gone to some of the best institutions in the country like Kings College Budo where I did my O' level and from Buddo Secondary School where I did my A' level.

Two things that I say about myself is that am an easy guy and I can easily get along with anyone and I respect everyone irrespective of where they come from so I believe that I will be the same for the students of Victoria University

What attracted and inspired you to join students’ leadership here at Victoria University and in schools that you have attended?

From my personal experience at Victoria University, there were issues to do with communication between university management and the guild especially when it came to the area of internship and defending of research and dissertation especially for those that are at the final stages of their degree programme.

So I decided to stand to resolve these issues and make university life easy for the ones that plan to join us.

How do you intend to balance being a student and a Guild President of a vibrant and growing university?

I set my priorities straight and I am making sure that my activities for the week are fully planned to ensure that am not caught off guard and that at the end of the day I am able to work both effectively and fulfil my commitments as Guild President.

How do you plan to deploy the skills and knowledge you have acquired from this University to grow the institution and to the public benefit?

With the knowledge that I have acquired while studying my course (Human Resource Management), I plan to use it to create harmony with the team and promote real human relations.

This will enable us to go forward as a university. I will use my knowledge to explain to guild members their roles so that they can be effective in the execution of those roles.

What are some of your plans for the University as Guild President? What do you want your tenure to accomplish by the end of the mandate?

I plan to ensure that the academic affairs of students are greatly improved by making sure students get their results on time and that they receive information from their deans as quickly as possible.

I have greatly emphasized the lack of information flow at the University, therefore, students couldn't take action; so my method to solve this is to often organize meetings to address student issues.

These are some of the few things I plan to accomplish during my tenure along with ensuring the school cafeteria provides food to students that is affordable. Right now it is not yet available.

You mentioned in an earlier interview that you want to bridge the gap between the students and University management – please describe the current state of affairs and the solution you intend to offer.

Currently, students get to know important information about the guild and the university through WhatsApp. This system is not enough as some students are not on WhatsApp and others lose their phones during the semester.

They end up missing out on that information. I plan to combat this by getting student numbers so that alongside WhatsApp, we can send them SMS in case they cannot access the social media platform.

What are some of the pressing challenges that the student leadership and university management need to address?

I must say this right from the start that the university challenges are not too big to be solved but for me, the challenges are communication between the two bodies (University Council) and the guild body to ensure that the students are served and that they acquire the best education in the best way possible.

Do you feel any pressure to perform as a Guild President – from your peers, university management or from yourself?

Yes, I do get that pressure. Sometimes from my peers who expect me to know every single thing about the guild yet sometimes, I also get information late from the university management.

Management must maintain a good public image to ensure that Victoria University is seen as a prestigious university in Uganda.

What do you hate and love about leading your fellow students?

I like leading these students especially when it comes to important university information or calling people to attend conferences outside the university.

The current challenge is when it comes to parties. They don’t turn up as expected which is really disappointing considering the time you take to budget and prepare the venue for the event.

Why did you choose Victoria University Kampala of all universities in Uganda and the world?

At first, I didn’t really see much importance which university I went to but over time, the more I got engaged in student activities and lectures, the more I got to see the true value of understanding the concepts that we were being taught.

In Victoria University, the student numbers are small so lecturers can easily explain better the concepts putting us at the advantage when the time of employment comes into play. So as of now, I don't regret the decision my parents made for me to join Victoria University.

How best can you describe your stay here, at Victoria University, as a student?

I don't exactly have the right words to say because I have had good days when I enjoyed myself like on International Day and very bad days like when under bad circumstances I was almost given a retake yet it wasn't my fault but that of the people that were correcting our exam timetable.

But what I can say is that I hope by the time I pass on the torch of Guild President to the next person, the university will truly be on a different level from other universities.

Would you join Victoria University if you had another opportunity and task to choose which university to join?

I wouldn’t mind joining it again though there is another university that truly interests me; that is the International University of East Africa.

I like it for its diverse cultural identities - with people from DRC, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania all studying in one university.

Did Victoria University meet your expectation once you joined and became a student?

At first, I wasn't satisfied with the university but over time I came to appreciate all that it had to offer. So I can say my current stand is fair with room for improvement.

Would you recommend parents to bring their children to this University?

Yes. I would. I know one of the things that scare them is tuition but the university management has enhanced scholarships that smoothen the burdens that the parents have to bear for their children.

The scholarships enable students to proceed through the semester without any delay or mishaps unlike some of the other universities where students lose between 2 weeks to a month because of strikes from students and teachers.

How This Graduate Program Is Preparing Students For Employment

In an era where jobs for fresh graduates are hard to come by, extra preparation and skills must be accorded to students completing university studies.

These skills should enable students to meet the standards required of them and to exceptionally perform if hired. For this to happen, universities are devising means to supplement what they teach in lecture rooms with tailor-made workforce training.

Well aware of the obstacles that fresh graduates face in the wake of looking for and sustaining jobs, Victoria University conducted a two-day workshop to prepare their 2019 graduate class.

The workshop training themed ‘towards a complete graduate training - after university, what next? Was aimed at teaching the University’s student who will be graduating in September the basics of formal employment and doing business.

The training which took place on Monday 15th and 16th Tuesday, July 2019, addressed issues to do with the social life of the students, the business world, religion, personal and community security and work-life balance.

Topics discussed at the workshop included career planning, job searching and retention, writing CV and undertaking job interviews, public speaking, business startup and registration, business etiquette, financial literacy, investment portfolio and social media for business.

Others were religious like spirituality, vision and discipline, body language, relationship and marriage. Also work etiquette, leadership skill, emotional intelligence, stress management, health and fitness were discussed.

Peggy Mariah Nabunya, one of the students who attended the workshop said it helped her to put a lot into perspective about how long she intended to be in employment and the various things she needed to do to maintain a job.

“It also showed me that I need to answer questions like 'how am adding value to the organization I'm working in?' and 'how is the organization adding value to me'. I also learnt so many basic skills that most times we take for granted that can make or break you.” Nabubya said of the workshop.

Another student, Marlie Keishamaza, a student of Bachelors in Journalism, described the workshop as insightful. “I learnt a lot of things that I wouldn’t otherwise have known in my own,” Keishamaza noted.

“They taught us about balancing work and personal life, being a good leader, spirituality, how to handle yourself in the work environment and what to expect from it. So much. The kind of things that most people only learn by experience,” she added.

Alice Akurut says the training taught her to be a change-maker in a way that adds value to society. She said learning about financial literacy has helped her private business and ‘improved my entrepreneurial and budgeting skills.’

Victoria University is using initiatives such as this training to ensure that their students have a competitive advantage in the job market. The University deploys as such initiative to build capacities of their students.

The workshop was facilitated by human resource experts from NFT Consult and Premier Recruitment. Other facilitators included the Dean Faculty of Humanities, the Academic Registry and other Victoria University personnel.

Benin Making The Most Out Of LNG To Power Projects

By Mickael Vogel

With a population of less than 12 million and a GDP of $10.35bn in 2018, Benin is often overshadowed by its massive neighbour, Nigeria.

Yet as African countries try to revitalize their energy sector, bring in private capital and develop gas-to-power, it is in West Africa and Benin that observers should look for positive developments.

With recent legislative reforms and a strong political will, the small West African nation is strengthening its place as the capital of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and positioning itself as a big hub for gas and power in the sub-region.

On July 24, French super-major Total signed a Gas Supply Agreement and Host Government Agreement with Benin and its state utility, the Société Béninoise d'Energie Electrique (SBEE). The agreement will see the development of a 0.5 mtpa Floating, Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), the first in West Africa. LNG supplies sourced from Total's global portfolio are set to start in 2021 and last for 15 years.

This is no small move for a region that has repeatedly tried to develop its gas-to-power infrastructure but has remained faced with financing, infrastructure and regulatory challenges. Between Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, up to 7,750MW of gas-to-power facilities could be installed by 2030 according to Power Africa.

In practice however, erratic supplies from the West Africa Gas Pipeline, lack of gas and transmission & distribution infrastructure, unattractive pricing structures and outdated master plans mean that such potential might remain under-exploited.

In this context, the recent signing of agreements with Total brings hope to a region hungry for power. It is first the result of a strong political will.

Under the leadership of President Patrice Talon, Benin has been implementing a strong Government Action Plan (PAG) since 2016 which places the revitalisation of the country's energy sector and private sector capital as a pillar of economic development.

The formula is working: Benin grew by almost 7% last year and is expected to grow by 6.5% this year (IMF), placing it in the top 15 of the world's fastest-growing economies. And political vision has led better ease of doing business.

Benin has been revising its Electricity Code, and its Council of Ministers approved last month the new framework of intervention for the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), improving investment and operating conditions for private investors in the country's power industry.

As a result, the agreement with Total will not only see the development of West Africa's first FSRU, it is also reviving hopes of seeing clean LNG powering future homes and industries across the region. The new gas import project will indeed supply power plants in Benin, such as the new 127 MW power station at Maria Gléta, with regasification infrastructure developed and operated by Total.

Senegal’s Energised Renaissance

By Sebastian Wagner

After decades of struggles against a deficient power generation system, Senegal is now at the verge of a paradigmatic shift that could put many of its troubles to rest. With the government's bet in recent years in new power generation facilities, power outages have greatly diminished, system reliability has improved and with it the opportunities for economic growth.

To be sure, many still live without access to electricity. On average, 4 in every 10 people are not connected to the national grid. The situation is worst outside the main urban centres, where 60% of the population remains unconnected, but the chance to improve this situation has never been closer.

At a production capacity of a little less than 1 gigawatt for a growing population of 15 million strong, investment in further generation capacity is paramount if Senegal is ever to develop its internal market and give its citizens a shot at a better standard of living. However, sustainability must guide decision-making as much as strategic need.

The imported heavy-fuels and coal used to generate most of the country’s power comes at a heavy cost for the state’s coffers. In 2016, refined and crude oil imports cost the Senegalese state over USD$1.5 billion.

Sustainable Power

The alternatives are obvious. Senegal is blessed with many hours of high solar exposure and wind flows. The opportunities are also there to be seized. French power company ENGIE and investment company Meridiam won a tender in April for a 60MW solar park.

This will build on the country’s previously established renewable generation projects, which now amount to 80MW. As the price of solar and wind technologies decreases, these technologies have become more and more appealing in recent years which also has a positive impact on the cost per MW for the consumer.

Engie’s park will cost around 40% less than the previous endeavours in solar in Senegal. Another 158MW of wind power are planned for development by the Lekela Power company in Taiba N'Diaye.

These developments build on a combination of factors. Senegal’s reputation for stability and positive business environment have made the West African nation particularly luring for foreign investors in recent years.

Investment has come not just from the country’s traditional partners in the West, particularly France, but from the East, with Turkey, China, the UAE, South Korea and India making sizeable investments in the country.

To the growing interest of private investors adds the support from international institutions like the United States-led Power Africa programme, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), or the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group. These organizations have helped finance many power generation-related projects throughout the continent.

In partnership with the Senegalese government, particularly through the Scaling-Solar scheme supported by the IFC, these projects, including the new 60MW solar park project won by ENGIE and its Meridiam, are progressively seeing the light of day and bringing relief to the country’s struggling power grid.

Since 2016, when the first solar power project was launched in Senegal, the country has seen a extremely fast development in renewable energy projects. If all goes according to plan, almost half a gigawatt of installed capacity will be available in 2020. That would be one of the fastest increases in renewable to fossil fuel generation ratio in the world.

Further, these projects bring not only power stability but answer concerns of climate change mitigation. Under the Paris agreements, Senegal committed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 21% by 2020, a goal that only through a sustainable energy policy can be achieved.

These combination of variables give Senegal its best opportunity yet to push for the modernization of its power generation industry, which in turn should potentiate the development of industries, creation of wealth, jobs and economic growth.

At the same time, moving away from expensive heavy oil-based power generation needs to be a priority.

The gas bliss

Kosmos Energy’s discoveries of large quantities of natural gas reserves in the offshore regions of Senegal has come as a game-changer for the country. Over the last couple of years, successive finds have risen the estimated in-place reserves of the country to up to 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, propelling it to the top 5 of Africa’s biggest natural gas holders.

Exploration license holders Kosmos and BP have already suggested a fast-track development using a floating LNG facility that could see first gas being commercialized as early as 2021 from Greater Tortue/Ahmeyin fields.

Additional discoveries in 2017 have made the companies consider two rather than one train of LNG processing capacity. This means that very soon Senegal can have access to an inexpensive source of energy it can use to power its homes and industries, not to mention a new and strong stream of income.

The political will also seem to be present for that to take place. February’s announcement of the agreement reached between Senegal and Mauritania for the exploitation of their shared natural gas reserves in the Greater Tortue Complex, which holds up to 25TCF of natural gas, is a symbol of the times. Quick decision-making among political leaders focused on economic development.

If the cards are played well, we could be witnessing a shifting moment for the country’s economic structure. President Macky Sall, himself an educated oilman, is well aware of what to expect once the natural gas starts to flow.

Already, plans are being made to convert heavy-fuel turbines to operate with natural gas. Just in April, the technology group Wärtsilä won a tender for the deployment of a 130-MW Flexicycle plant that can operate in a combination of different fuels so it can immediately be shifted to natural gas once the resource is made available. The country’s older power plants will soon follow.

By using natural gas as a power source, the national grid will be able to offset the intermittency of renewable power supply while saving millions in fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions.

Lessons learned

That is not to say that Senegal is not also at risk of making the same mistakes as many of its neighbours. When oil was first discovered by Cairn Energy in Senegal in 2015, there were more than a few voices that expressed concern for what an oil boom could do to Senegal’s fragile economy.

Nigeria’s and other’s battles with the oil curse is nothing to be envious of. Many of these concerns are well-founded. A major income stream suddenly being concentrated in a specific sector of the economy can reduce competitiveness in other sectors and produce inflationary pressures.

Further, expectations need to be managed carefully. The oil and gas sector is not a major employer. Most people will not find a job in it. Particularly with floating LNG solutions, there will be little place for integrating the local workforce, especially with a relatively low technical skillset.

However, if Senegal can learn from the mistakes of others, its natural resources can truly help the country develop economically.

There are quite a few examples to look at. Ghana has quickly established one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks for oil and gas income management the continent, even the world, has ever seen. Equatorial Guinea has managed to use its resources to invest in infrastructural develop and boost associated industries to create a thriving logistics hub in the Gulf of Guinea. European cooperation partners can also provide assistance in developing the necessary institutions to manage this income. Already, Senegalese lawmakers have partnered with the Netherlands and visited the country’s operations in the North Sea to learn from their experience.

To be sure, there will be challenges to governance and some issues will need to be addressed within the specificities of the Senegalese reality. However, if the government can stick to its plan of partnering with international allies to invest in a power generation sector it can create the foundation ground for the growth of a strong economy.

Balancing natural gas and renewables for power generation, maintaining a strict vigilance over the management of oil and gas income, establishing independent regulatory bodies and heritage funds to manage the revenue, can be the building blocks of a new era of economic growth in Senegal.

Kabira Country Club Lines Up Vegan Burgers, Braised Beef For Kampala Restaurant Week

The hunt for the best restaurants in the country is on and revelers can make their choices known by voting during the ongoing Kampala Restaurant Week.

Independent and hotel restaurants are doing their best to make sure they impress their customers with the most appealing and tasty menus.

And to outclass their competitors in the Casual Dining Restaurants category, Kabira Country Club, a member of the Speke Group of Hotels, has assembled classic starters, a beefy main course and fruity desert.

For starters, Kabira Country Club is serving their guests Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. These are perfectly grilled chicken satay skewers in the most flavorful marinade served with peanut.

The other starters’ option is the Beef Croquette – a small bread crumbed fried food roll containing grounded spiced beef, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Any of the two choices is served a price of Shs15, 000.

The main course is a little bit adventurous but normal. The hotel is serving a Vegan Burger made of which is a seasoned all natural patty onions and mushrooms, served on a homemade bun.

The alternative is Braised Beef with Pumpkin Mash, slowly braised in a rich gravy served with Pumpkin mash. This all comes at an affordable price of Shs25, 000.

Kabira Country Clubs goes for an Apple Pie for dessert. It is filled with crisp, tart Michigan apples and cinnamon and then baked to crispy flaky perfection and drizzled with caramel. The price for this is Shs15, 000.

The Kampala Restaurant Week is running until 10th August. You can vote for Kabira Country Club HERE.

Agribusiness Leaders, Fertilizer Suppliers Offer Support To 2019 AFAP Conference

Executives will gather to trade agricultural inputs and discuss investment, partnership, and innovation across the African supply chain. The premier fertilizer marketplace returns to Cape Town International Convention Centre from 1-3 October 2019.

The three-day conference is now established in the fertilizer trading calendar and is highly respected by those working in the region for the quality of the agenda and premium networking. The conference is a collaboration between CRU and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).

The CRU Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness conferences regularly attracts more than 300 attendees, including senior executives from the international fertilizer supply chain and key stakeholders in African agribusiness.

Omri Van Zyl, Executive Director, Agri SA is the voice of 28,000 commercial farmers across South Africa and will give the keynote presentation. He is joined on the agenda by other well-known thought-leaders and strategists in the African agriculture sector such as Dr. John Purchase, CEO, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) and Frans du Plessis, Managing Director of GWK AGRI.

Ma’aden is the conference’s lead sponsor and the global fertilizer supply chain is once again sending senior representatives to conduct meetings with traders and distributors. Companies such as Arab Potash, Dangote Industries, Evergrow, OCP Africa, Omnia, PhosAgro, Sabic, Sirius Minerals, Toyota Tshusho and many more, have already confirmed their participation.

The conference is officially endorsed by the Western Cape Government – Agriculture Department, and WESGRO, plus key industry associations such as: FERTASA, the Agrodealers Association of South Africa (ADASA), and the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).

The conference will be opened by Her Excellency Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Former Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at The African Union. Policymakers from across Africa, representatives of SME hub agrodealers from across the continent, and SME farmers from the Western Cape will be sponsored to attend, courtesy of our partners AFAP, and the support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

Attendees value the conference for excellent networking opportunities with hard-to-reach senior decision-makers. Networking opportunities are plentiful - during frequent networking functions in the lively exhibition, or in the many available private meeting rooms, all facilitated by an online networking platform including the delegate list with full contact details.

Tom Willatt, Portfolio Director at CRU Events said “We are delighted to be working so closely with key industry partners, and it will help ensure the discussions meet the needs of the whole sector, whether they are smallholder farmers, large commercial agribusinesses, fertilizer producers, or policymakers from across Africa. I am sure the 2019 conference will build on all of the excellent connections and discussions started at our previous events”.

Presentations at the conference will include: the latest updates on strategies to boost fertilizer trade, understanding the agribusiness landscape, key drivers of fertilizer demand, agri-input and finance strategies for smallholder farmers, case studies from major agribusiness stakeholders on how to boost trade, and supply chain developments.

This year will also feature a site visit to the Langgewens Research Farm, operated the Western Cape Government – Department of Agriculture, where visitors can see conservation agriculture in practise.

The event is supported by key sponsors such as Ma’aden, Bagtech and Evergrow for Speciality Fertilizers, and boasts a large exhibition which includes AGI, EMT, Ensymm, Global Conveyors, Kimleigh, Nectar Group, and the United Fertilizers Company.

Electric Vehicles Already Able To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Half

Critics have played down ability of current electric cars to reduce CO2 levels, but new analysis shows significant impact replacing a fossil-fuel-powered car with an electric model can halve greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the vehicle’s lifetime, this is to justify that investing in oil exploration will not be a good investment in the long run for Uganda, however, the finding challenges reports by the UK press, other transport research groups and the fossil fuel industry that have underestimated the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and their capacity for cutting emissions.

 Released ahead of the world’s first zero-emission vehicle summit in Birmingham, experts hope these results will drive a rapid switch to electric vehicles. It is well established that a transition to electric vehicles will immediately reduce toxic air pollution, but the impact on carbon emissions has been less clear.

Critics have pointed to the carbon-intensive process of battery manufacture and the relatively small share of Britain’s electricity supply coming from renewables as factors that stop EVs reaching their full CO2-cutting potential.  “The take-up of EVs in the UK, as elsewhere, continues to grow fast and sales have just passed 4 million globally,” said Andy Eastlake, managing director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.

“While no one doubts the air quality benefits of zero tailpipe emissions, critics often question the overall life cycle greenhouse gas impacts. “However, the new European Climate Foundation-commissioned report used 2017 data to demonstrate that owners of EVs – particularly smaller models – are already playing a big role in helping the climate.

Transport is now the sector that contributes most to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the Committee on Climate Change has urged the government to improve on their current plan to ensure all new diesel and petrol vehicles are banned from 2040.In their role as the government’s climate advisers, the committee has called for “more stretching targets” to ensure most new cars and vans are electric by 2030.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling revealed his “Road to Zero” strategy in July to make the UK “the best country in the world in which to develop and manufacture zero-emission vehicles”.Aurelien Schuller from French consulting firm Carbone 4, one of the report’s co-authors, said their new study revealed “there is no time to waste in the UK’s transition to EVs”.

“Thanks to an already-significant decarbonisation of its electricity generation through coal phase-out the UK is already in a position to make significant cuts in the greenhouse gases from its transport sector,” he said.

The research concluded that a smaller EV produces around 15 tonnes of CO2 from construction through to scrapping, compared to an average of 32 tonnes for the equivalent petrol or diesel car. Gains were smaller for larger sedan cars, which currently offer a quarter less CO2 emissions compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. Looking ahead to 2030 the reductions become even sharper, with a large electric car expected to produce half as much emissions as current models.

 These conclusions are more positive than previous reports, such as a far more conservative study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year. They also chime with a massive underestimation of the potential of EVs by the fossil fuel industry – as represented by oil company figures predicting the size of the future fleet.

“It’s clear that the large oil organisations have consistently underestimated the numbers and uptake of electric vehicles,” said Matt Finch “The question is, have these pessimistic forecasts been adopted as fact elsewhere and have they, therefore, slowed down the low carbon transition? 

As electric vehicles are set to play such an important role in tackling climate change, these forecasts should really be reviewed more carefully

 In Uganda, we ought to invest wisely since they have electricity almost in every urban town, its also an investment opportunity to set up charging point for electric cars since they are slowly taking over the world of investment and climate change.

Written by

Edwin Mumbere – Kasese District.

Social Inclusion Policies Improve Slightly In Africa's Poorest Countries

Africa's poorest countries saw little to no progress on average in improving the quality of their policy and institutional frameworks in 2018, according to the World Bank's annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) released today.
 
The average CPIA score in Africa's 38 International Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries in 2018 remained unchanged at 3.1 on a scale of 0 to 6, with some areas of social policy seeing improvements while macroeconomic management weakened.
 
The rule of law, accountability and transparency, and the quality of public administration remained major areas that impede the efficient use of public resources across the region.
 
This year's CPIA Africa report takes a closer look at debt management, as the median government debt-to-GDP ratio reached 54.9 percent of GDP in 2018, an 18.5 percentage-point increase since 2013.
 
At the same time, the share of foreign currency bonds in total external debt increased by 10 percent while the shares of debt owed to commercial and non-Paris Club creditors rose by 5 percentage points since 2010, and sovereign bond issuances have increased rapidly. 

"Some African countries are at risk of mortgaging their people's futures in favor of today's consumption," said Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank. "When countries spend most of their revenue servicing debt, fewer resources are left for education, health, and critical services for their people. This stops progress in its tracks." 
 
Taken together, the increase in debt levels paired with the shift of external debt toward more market-based, more expensive, and riskier sources of finance have increased debt vulnerabilities substantially among IDA countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report recommends that countries improve their debt management capabilities and systems, which can enhance transparency and help stabilize the economy in the long-term.
 
Rwanda continues to top the CPIA ratings both in Africa and around the globe with a score of 4.0, followed in the region by Cabo Verde (3.8) and Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda (all at 3.7). South Sudan remained the lowest-scoring country on the CPIA with a score of 1.5. 
 
Fragile countries in Sub-Saharan Africa improved slightly in the areas of gender equality, human development, and environmental stability, which bodes well for their ability to tackle the drivers of conflict and exclusion.
 
In fact, fragile countries in Africa saw stronger performance in social inclusion than fragile countries in other parts of the world. Non-fragile IDA countries in Africa performed on par with their global peers overall, with the notable exception of social inclusion policies, where they underperformed especially on the issue of gender equality. 
 
"Improvements in social inclusion and service delivery have historically been crucial elements of countries' transitions out of fragility, so even modest steps count," said Gerard Kambou, Senior Economist and Lead Author of the CPIA report. "African countries, fragile and non-fragile, need to keep the focus on gender, education, health, climate, and governance issues alongside macroeconomic management if they want to see true and lasting progress."
 
The report recommends that Africa's IDA countries accelerate business regulatory reforms to support private sector development and improve domestic revenue mobilization in addition to strengthening their debt management. The report team plans to hold discussions on this year's results and recommendations in several African countries in September 2019. 
 
 
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