Kabira Country Club To Add Luxury Apartments

Construction of fully furnished and serviced apartments by Kabira Country Club commenced early this month with a ground breaking ceremony.

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the proprietor of Kabira Country Club, told CEO East Africa that the 269 serviced apartments located on Old Kira Road, just next to Kabira Country Club, are targeting corporate, leisure and family travelers for both short and long stays.

“These will be fully furnished and serviced apartments built to British standards. They will have a fully fitted modern kitchen, double glazed sound proof windows, LED flat screen TVs with customized sets of channels, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi internet, air conditioning, ample parking space and 24 hour security,” Dr. Ruparelia told CEO East Africa.

The one, two and three bedroom apartments will sit on four acres of land. Two levels of underground parking are also being planned. Dr. Ruparelia said contruction of the luxury apartments will take about 30 months to complete.

Ruparelia Group has heavily invested in luxury apartments across Kampala that have significantly played a big role in boosting the country’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Some of these apartments include Bukoto Heights in Kamwokya, Speke Apartments Wampewo in Kololo, Kingdom Kampala on Nile Avenue, Kampala Boulevard on Kampala Road, Crane Plaza in Kamwokya, and Speke Apartments Kitante which was recently launched.

How Many Reports Will It Take To Start Acting On Climate Change?

By John Leary

Farmers feed the world. But they're doing it wrong – rather, big agribusiness is conditioning them to do it wrong. Farming methods are destroying the planet and leaving most smallholder farmers destitute.

On the deteriorating farmlands of Sub-Saharan Africa, I've seen mothers, fathers, and children work long, back-breaking hours on their small plots of maize, soy, cotton, rice and peanuts. And it pains me to know their hard work will ultimately prove futile. 

The widespread use of monocrop agriculture is obliterating the potential of farmlands around the globe and leaving a wake of environmental, social and economic ruin in its path. Deforestation done in the name of "feeding the world" is causing a breakdown in biodiversity and carbon stores, making it harder to grow food and contributing to a warming planet. 

I am not surprised by the findings of several major reports from the scientific community this past year. The UN has warned that immediate change is necessary to avoid more catastrophes; the UN-backed report in May announced that one million species are at risk of extinction because of land degradation; and last week the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change reported exactly what I wrote in One Shot: Trees as our last chance for survival two and a half years ago, that we must change the way we grow food. We must replace chemical fertilizers and processed animal feeds with trees that fertilize and grow food. We must diversify, not intensify. This way, we can bring agriculture closer to sustainability. 

These reports come from accredited institutions and offer real, scientific proof that our planet is in trouble and much of the problem is directly tied to farming and deforestation. While I am not surprised by what these scientists are saying, I am amazed at how the headlines convey this as a new realization, and that the fleeting concern they create still does not inspire people to action. 

Throughout the world, more and more monocropped fields are grown mostly for livestock feed. We're mowing down trees to grow food for our food, and both the fertilizers for the feed and the manure from the livestock are having negative effects on soil, water, and the climate.

For thirty years, Trees for the Future has championed the power of trees, agroforestry, and crop diversity. And for three decades, we've acted on that knowledge. We've transformed smallholder farming with the Forest Garden Approach – a methodology that guides farmers in strategically planting thousands of trees, shrubs, fruits, and vegetables. We're combining our agroforestry and permaculture expertise with farmers' knowledge and experience, and we have created a new form of agriculture that meets humanity's needs now and into the future.

In 30 years we've planted more than 160 million trees and we expect to add over 20 million more trees this year alone. We have proven that maintaining tree cover around our planet and across our agricultural lands is absolutely essential for our long term survival.

When trees flourish, so do communities. Farmers can feed their families healthy produce, send their children to school, and live fulfilling lives. All the while, these trees are sequestering carbon and revitalizing ecosystems.

So let me ask, how many more reports do you need to see before you act?

Trees for the Future has the solution and we are actively working with passionate and dedicated farmers to make the changes we need to see in our food system. 

It's time to start changing at every level. I challenge you to grow your own food, eat locally, reduce your meat consumption, and support organizations that aren't just talking about the problem, but that are doing something that affects sustainable change.

Our community of individual donors, business partners, and collaborating organizations has made the last 30 years possible. Their confidence in us has been a never-ending source of inspiration for our team to dig deeper and work harder, just like the farmers we serve. I thank each and every one of you.

Together, we enter the UN Decade of Landscape Restoration with all the right knowledge to make the meaningful global change we know is possible. Our sustainable and regenerative Forest Garden Approach is attracting more partners every day.

As we work closely with farmers on their land, we also share our Forest Garden Approach with the public, giving anyone with the will to learn the ability to plant their own Forest Gardens. 

Unfortunately, we still have to turn away farmers interested in our program because we don't have the resources to take them on. But you can change that. You can make it possible for us to say "Yes, let's get planting!"

John Leary is the Executive Director of Trees for the Future

Speke Resort: You Can Now Get Weekend Package Rates On Public Holidays

Customers of Speke Resort Munyonyo and Commonwealth Resort have more reasons to cement their loyalty to the five-star hotels seating at the shores of Lake Victoria idyllically.

Management at the expansive and luxurious hotels have said their customers can now weekend package rates on public holidays. This means that customers can pay for the price of weekend rates if a public holiday falls on a weekday.

The Rooms Division Manager, Speke and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Ajit Singh, said this offer is for the public holidays recognized and announced by the government of Uganda.

“Yes that's right, our popular Weekend Package Room Rates are now extended to Public Holidays falling on weekdays. So come and enjoy Public Holidays in style at Speke Resort & Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.” Ajit said in an email to customers.

Speke Resort has seven categories of rooms - 292 deluxe rooms (single + double), 11 one-bedroom suites, 10 Presidential cottages, 55 Executive rooms, 55 Executive suites, 04 Presidential suites. Executive suites and executive rooms are interconnecting and can together make 55 presidential suites.

The rooms have air conditioning, toiletries, telephone, internet, television, personal safe, daily cleaning service, 24 hrs room service, health club – free for guests, laundry service on charge, iron & iron board on request, newspaper on request, hairdryer, minibar on request.

The two hotels under the Ruparelia Group have other amenities like the Gym, Swimming Pool, The Spa, Sports & Fitness Center, Kids Activities, Indoor & Outdoor Wedding Venues, Conference & Meeting Facilities, The Marina Experience, Pony Camp, Restaurant & Bars, Lake Grill and an Olympic Swimming Pool.

Addis Ababa Leads Africa In Hotel Room Rates

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, posted Africa’s highest average daily rate (ADR), according to the most recent 12-month data from STR. The market will play host to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) on 23-25 September at the Sheraton Addis.

From July 2018 through June 2019, Addis Ababa registered an absolute ADR of US$163.79 when measured in constant currency, which removes the effects of inflation.

That figure was a 1.1% increase year over year. The next closest STR-defined markets in Africa were Accra Area, Ghana (US$160.34) and Lagos Area, Nigeria (US$132.51).

“Addis Ababa continues to maintain high ADR levels when compared internationally,” said Thomas Emanuel, a director for STR.

“The city has multiple demand drivers, such as a growing economy, successful airline and its status as the diplomatic capital for Africa. Air connections and ease of access compared with other cities also factor in the equation for strong demand, which provides hoteliers with the confidence to maintain rate levels.

“With healthy performance comes interest in investment. The market’s pipeline is strong with 22 hotels and 4,820 rooms in active development. We will continue to monitor these new openings to see how the market reacts once these additional rooms open.”

Emanuel will present the latest hotel performance and development insights on the Tuesday (24 September) of AHIF.

“Hosting high-profile international meetings like AHIF is one factor that has helped Addis to maintain its position as the city with the most expensive hotel accommodation in Africa,” said Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events.

“Our delegates will be looking carefully to see if the addition of a lot more high-quality accommodation and meeting space will depress room rates or help Addis become even more attractive as a destination.”

Addis Ababa’s occupancy over the same 12-month time period was 58.4%, up 6.5% year over year. Cairo & Giza was the continent’s occupancy leader at 74.5%. Cape Town Centre, South Africa (65.0%), ranked second in the metric followed by Accra Area (59.7%).

Khyber Pass Restaurant Goes Indian For Kampala Restaurant Week Menu

Khyber Pass Restaurant derives its name from the great mountainous pass way in the Indian sub-continent – particularly northern Pakistan, near the mountains neighboring Afghanistan.

And Khyber Pass Restaurant at Speke Hotel carries the Indian spirit right here in Kampala, Nile Avenue. It offers clients a fine dining experience and takes them on a culinary voyage quite unlike any other.

And this year, they bring the same Indian spirit as they participate in the ongoing Kampala Restaurant Week. They will be showcasing the best of Indian delightful cuisines and menus.

Their participating dishes include Chapati Gobhi, Tandoori Wings for starters and Chapati Sabzi and Kadai Murgh. For desserts, they serving Gulab Jamun with Ice cream and Malai Kulfi.

The Chapati Gobhi is made of cauliflower florets pan roasted, sauteed in onion-tomato and flavoured with pickled spices while the Tandoori Wings is a combo ofspicy tandoori chicken wings, grilled to perfection, are made with yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, red chili powder and turmeric.

The Chapati Sabzi, a mix of vegetables cooked in a combination of indian spices and Kadai Murgh, a delicious, spicy and flavorful dish made with chicken, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and fresh ground spices known as kadai Masala make up the main course.

Gulab Jamun with Ice cream, a make of fried cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup served hot and Malai Kulfi, an Indian frozen dessert made from whole milk, heavy cream, khoya and sugar make up the dessert.

The starters and dessert will come at a price of Shs20, 000 while the main dish will come for a cool Shs35, 000.

Khyber Pass today remains the top destination for experiencing its renowned Indian dishes – gosht sheek kebabs and the legendary tandoori chicken. A favourite with locals and tourists, the restaurant is a simple, no-frills and authentic dining experience.

#KlaRestaurantWeek: La Cabana Adds Brazilian, Chinese Touch

The glamorous Kampala Restaurant Week this year comes complete with a touch of Brazil and China courtesy of La Cabana Restaurant, located at Speke Apartments on Wampewo Avenue.

La Cabana Restaurant which hosted the launch of the 5th Kampala Restaurant Week is participating in the category of Signature Dining Restaurants will have to fend off competition from fourteen other restaurants.

Over forty restaurants are participating in this year’s competition. The other category is Casual Dining Restaurants. The 5th Kampala Restaurant Week will take place from 1st-10th Aug 2019.

To edge out its competitors, La Cabana Restaurant has set up a scrumptious special menu consisting of Indian, Brazilian and Chinese cuisines, some prepared using ingredients sourced locally.

For starters, La Cabana Restaurant is preparing Potato & Cheese Balls and Cabana’s Quesadilla. This will go for a paltry Shs20, 000.

Potato & Cheese Balls is a combination of golden fried crispy potatoes stuffed with assorted cheese & vegetables balls, served with chilli garlic sauce while  Cabana’s Quesadilla is a combination of chef marinated grilled chicken with onions and mozzarella cheese in tortillas served with salsa & guacamole.

For the main course, at Shs35, 000, customers will have a taste of China and Brazil. The taste of China will have a selection of Chinese teasers (chicken + beef + lamb + choice of fish or pork) cooked in a variety of flavours, served with vegetable fried rice.

And for the taste of Brazil, the restaurant has aligned the sumptuous Brazilian Roasted Kuku. This Brazilian style whole roasted spring chicken scented with cinnamon served with hasselback potatoes and grilled gonja.

The dessert is far more tempting. The famous Brazilian dessert made of layers of cookies and condensed lemoned creamy milk, fresh coconut, red cherries and gonja is strategically on the menu at only Shs20, 000.

Rajiv Ruparelia Rally Team, Speke Group Offering Hotel Discounts

The Rajiv Ruparelia Rally Team are teaming up with Speke Group of Hotels to offer discounts on accommodation at the Group's numerous hotels.

The Rajiv Ruparelia Rally Team announced the promo early this week. The partnership is intended at rewarding their unique customers and to promote domestic tourism.

To enjoy the discounts, customers are required to use a specific code when booking their stay at any of the Speke Group of Hotels and apartments.

The code is RAJIV RALLY TEAM. It gives you a 15 percent on accommodation. The promo is valid for a week - from 1st – 7th August.

Speke Group of Hotels has hotels like Speke Hotel, Kabira Country Club, Dolphin Suites, Speke Resort, Forest Cottages, Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, Speke Apartments, Tagore Apartments and Kampala Boulevard Suites among others.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the only driver of Rajiv Ruparelia Rally Team, has had a successful start into the world motor rallying – coming second on his maiden race, at Enduro Autocross Championship 2019 at Zion Estates in Ssisa.

He went on to win his second race, the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) 2019 Autocross championship in Kayunga in June.

He is set to take part in his maiden Pearl of Africa Rally Championship on 2nd and 3rd of August – in Busiika and Kayunga on respective dates.

Rajiv said participating in the Pearl of Africa Rally Championship will be an an immersive experience. He launched his motor racing career in May when he launched his rally car, a VW Polo Proto at Speke Hotel’s Rock Bar & Grill.

Small Holder Farmers Find Fault In The Agriculture Budget

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

Although government increased the Budget for agriculture sector to Shs1.05trillions in financial year 2019/20 which translate into 2.6% of the national budget up from the 2.4% of the national budget in the financial year 2018/2019, farmers say the increment will not support the transformation of the sector.

Farmers are saying the budget intends to benefit only large scale farmers in the country at the expense of the small holder ones.

Small holder farmers  who met last week  during the farmers  budget dialogue  that was hosted by the  Eastern and Southern Africa Small Farmers  Forum( EASFF ) Uganda chapter said most of the challenges affecting small holder farmers will not be solved by the budget as it was presented by the  Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaijja  during the budget speech.

They urge that the most important components in the sector were allocated little resources yet they play a big role towards supporting the small holder farmers in the agriculture sector. The most subcomponent that farmers believe are crucial include extension services, access to cheap irrigation equipment’s and scientific researches knowledge.

“We applaud the government for increasing the budget allocation from Shs893billion in FY2018/19 to UGX1.05trillions in FY2019/20 but the current budget may not solve the key issues in the sector because of underfunding of the key components in the sector,” Masudio Margret a small holder farmer from Adjuman said during the dialogue at EASFF head offices in Ntinda.

In the sectors budget (agriculture) government allocated Shs1.05trillions in financial year 2019/20 of which key subcomponent in the sector were under funded.

For example, agriculture research under the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) was allocated only Shs81.43billion yet the funds required in the financial year is Shs129.7billion. This leaves the organization with a funding gap of Shs48.3billion.

On the side of Recruiting Agriculture Extension Officers the central government allocated Shs107 billion yet the total budget in the financial year were budgeted to cost Shs230.2billion this leaves the Exercise with funding gap of Shs108.2 billion.

According to the cross section of farmers who attended the meeting such funding gap will impact farmers drastically because farmers in some parts of the country will not have access to agricultural extension services due to failure by the ministry to recruit extension services providers because of limited resources.

The current recruitment of agricultural extension workers stands at 3,827 of 5000.The current ratio of extension to farmer are 1:1800. The recommended is 1:500.This would require the government to recruit 12,000 extension staff.  The 5000 extension staffs were for 116 districts in 2015/16. The Districts have since increased to 128, an addition of 12 districts and 94 sub counties.

The approved structure is 13 officers at district level and 2+1 extension staff at sub county level (2 being crop and livestock and 1/3 being fisheries).

“As small holder farmers we need these technical people because they teach farmers how to improve their productivity. The extension officers are also critical to move research from the lab to the field and to ensure a return on investment in research by translating new knowledge into innovative practices” Explained Ngunga Tabula from Masaka.

Bagaga Ronald the Program Officer, Research and Policy at Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum (ESAFF) Uganda said the continued under funding in the agriculture sector will keep the majority of Ugandan under poverty which is big obstacles towards attaining sustainable Development Goals.

 He added that under funding priority key components in the Agriculture sector will also undermines Government to achieve the National Development Plan Phase II of the agriculture sector.

“The National Development Plan Phase II talks of increasing production and productivity of agricultural commodities and enterprises. Alongside strengthening the agricultural services institutions and the enabling environment however these objectives among other will not achieved if limited resources are allocated to the sector,” he explained.

In their final conclusion the farmers urged government in the upcoming financial year 2020/21 to ensure that   the budget for the sector are in line with the Malabo declaration which calls for African states to  allocate at least 10% of their National Budget to Agriculture Sector of which Uganda is signatory to the convention.

Other key issues which they want Government to do is to involve small holder farmers in the budget formulation process. According to the farmers who attended the meeting, government on many occasions has been sidelining them when it comes to budget process this has left their views not being considered in the final budget paper.

Among the key actions in the budget for Agriculture in the financial year, government will focus more on   Provision of storage facilities and linking farmers to agro-processing facilities to support agro-industrialization.  Delivery of quality inputs and services including seed and planting materials, mechanization, fertilizer, agricultural credit and extension services among other key action. 

Ruparelia Group Eyes Chinese Flower Market

Rosebud KPN Limited, a subsidiary of Ruparelia Group has expressed interest to export rose flowers to the Chinese market.

Speaking to Chinese journalists at the Kunming Flower Exhibition, Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Rosebud said China is a potentially huge market.

Rajiv told the Chinese that from their green houses in Uganda, they produce half a million roses a day using environmentally friendly technology.

“We currently supply to the European market. We are now looking at supplying our roses to China. It is a huge market,” he said.

He said they have a variety or roses species coming in different colors and stems. “We guarantee our roses for ten days from time they arrive in China,”

“If there is a problem with any of our roses we replace them for free. “Our main competitive advantage is our consistency in production and supply as well as quality assurance.

Under Rosebud and Premier Roses, Ruparelia Group has remained the leading exporter of rose flowers in the country.

It is believed that Rosebud exported close to 16m high quality Rose stems to the World market during this year’s International Mother’s day last year.

"Statistics emerging from the sector indicate that Rosebud did our country proud by way of increasing their export capacity down from the normal 13m stems per month to over 16m respectively just within that one month of International Mother’s day festive," state minister for trade and cooperatives Michael Werikhe said last year.

Rajiv last year said Rosebud is now well placed and has capacity to export more high quality Rose flowers to the World market because they have increased on their acreage output, fighting pests on farm and the deliberate introduction of new high quality flower species.

"Rosebud assures the country that they have developed full capacity that enables them to export more volumes of flowers to the world  and promised to continue creating more jobs especially  empowering the women who are vulnerable to poverty as they carry the biggest burden of nurturing their families" Rajiv observed.

The Ruparelia Group last year acquired more land for the flower growing business. This land was acquired in Mukono and Masaka districts.

Already the family runs flower farms and production centers in Entebbe, Wakiso, in Wakiso district, just outside the capital Kampala.

Rosebud Limited and Premier Roses have put in place the right modern technology to ensure that the environment is health and that their workers are not in danger of any pollution.

“Our farm is equipped with the most modern water recycling equipment's that has helped to reduce land filling, need for conventional waste disposal and emission of greenhouse gases in our farm,” Rosebud revealed to this website in an interview highlighting the investment the company has done to safeguard the environment.

“We are continually doing research and development to conserve the environment, reduce the use of agrochemicals and improve efficiency in the use of natural resources. Our goal is to continue to co-exist with the natural environment and ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees,” it added.

La Cabana Gets TripAdvisor Excellency Certificate

La Cabana Restaurant at Speke Apartment on Wampewo Avenue in Kampala, Uganda’s capital has won itself the prestigious Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

The certificate of excellence is in recognition of their good services rendered to and recommended by customers. TripAdvisor an American travel and restaurant Website Company providing hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings and other travel-related content.

TipAdviser says the Certificate of Excellence honors hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. Hotels, Lodges, Inns, restaurants, attractions, and vacation rentals worldwide are eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and listed on TripAdvisor for at least twelve months.

La Cabana Restaurant is Kampala’s premium and ritzy churrasco grill restaurant in Uganda. It offers all sorts of meat accompanied by well-prepared salads and an assortment of drinks in an environment that oozes class.

While it is largely and famously known for its exotic way of preparing meat, it also caters for vegetarians. La Cabana also has a great bar where the perfect blend of cocktails is the barman’s specialty.

The restaurant which is part of the Speke Group of Hotels recently announced it had started serving Chinese food.

“In addition, we have an array of home-made sides to accompany our meats and ensure you, our guests, relish your time with us. Keep your playing cards facing upright and let the food flow,” a manager told this news website.

“We entreat you to come delight and indulge in an evening of unlimited meats that have been marinated, cooked with full flavour and to perfection by our most senior grill chef.

Once you set foot into the expansive restaurant, the aura of finesse meat exuded from customer plates welcomes you. You don’t miss customers lip rollicking with sizeable masses of skewers of pork, top sirloin steak, lamb legs, rock salt pork cubes, BBQ chicken and beer marinated chicken.

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