Friday, December 18, 2009
Some of the diplomats who attended the Launch
Various new Movies and documentaries were available at Nyakuron cultural center courtesy of European Film Festival from 7th-11 December 2009.
Talking to Nile Fortune during the launch of the Festival, Ms Monika Neuman (Sweden) explained that the European festival was also brought to Juba so as to allow people of South Sudan to get to know about the European lifestyle.
“These festivals have been taking in Sudan but only in Khartoum, now it’s a chance for people of Juba to share with us”, Neuman noted.
Showing at Nyakuron, Viewers had a chance to have some of the award winning films and documentaries which include; Krabat (German), Seraphine (France), Non Pensarci (Italy), La Flaqueza (Spain), Let the right one in (Sweden), Love is all (Netherlands), Slumdog Millionaire (UK) and Fighter (Denmark).
The Festival is a selection of most creative and entertaining films coming out of Europe recently. “It’s a chance to reconnect with European filmmaking and at its best” said H.E Carlo De Filippi, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of European Commission to Sudan and H.E Mr. Jan Sadek, Ambassador of Sweden, in a joint statement.
Strong shilling hits local tax revenue
THE strong shilling has hit customs revenue collections, resulting into an estimated loss of sh39.39b in the first quarter of the financial year, a Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) report shows.
The revenue body had projected tax collections based on a weaker shilling against the dollar.
“Using the annual estimated average exchange rate for 2009/10 of sh2,292.9, customs tax revenue will have been sh193.77b, sh181.79b and sh180.53b for July, August and September 2009,” noted the report.
However, due to fluctuations in the exchange rate, customs revenue was lower than predicted.
“Therefore, the estimated revenue loss as a result of the appreciating shilling was sh9.27b, sh13.99b and sh16.13b for July, August and September.
“Therefore, the exchange rate coupled with other factors affect tax revenue.”
Contrary to URA’s projections, the shilling has since June appreciated against the greenback, trading at 1,860/1,870 to the dollar after shedding off over 35% of its value between August 2008 and May 2009.
It traded around 1,945/1,950 rate around the same period last year.
The central bank attributed the appreciation to a combination factors including dollar inflows from offshore investors who have returned to the market, remittances from Ugandans abroad, increased export receipts boosted by improved regional trade and commercial banks unwinding their long dollar positions.
But the governor Tumusiime Mutebile announced recently that the central bank was planning more frequent interventions in the foreign exchange market to minimise the negative impact of a fast-appreciating shilling on the economy.
“In addition to intervening to smoothen out volatility, we will until further notice intervene to stop excessive appreciation of the exchange rate,” he said.
Mutebile said the central bank was determined to ensure that the appreciation of the exchange rate would not lead to an unnecessary reduction in aggregate domestic demand.
“I have said before that we are not committed to a particular exchange rate in the economy, but because of the problems that are happening now which lead to a reduction in domestic demand, Bank of Uganda will for some time now attempt to ensure that the appreciation of the exchange rate does not worsen the situation regarding aggregate demand,” he explained.
Following these comments, the shilling shed some of its gains to trade at a three-month low of 1,935/1,940 per dollar over the weekend.
The shilling depreciated due to US currency purchases by offshore investors and telecom companies. Commercial banks also made purchases to cover their short dollar positions.
Dealers said the central bank intervened on Tuesday, buying an estimated $10m from the market. The local unit had opened trading at 1,914/1,919 to the dollar but the central bank action pushed the rates to 1,925/1,930.
“Following the central bank previous comments on frequent interventions, their action to buy dollars is sending a signal that the local unit will head lower,” said Denis Mushabe, a trader with Standard Chartered Bank.
Market sentiment is for a weaker shilling trading in the 1,950-2,000 range.
While a strong shilling favours importers, exporters suffer because for every dollar earned, they get fewer shillings.
The dollar is one of the major currencies that affect Uganda’s trade with the rest of the world and resultant fluctuations in foreign exchange market impact on trade and tax revenue.
URA, however, expects the impact of the stronger shilling to boost import trade since importers bring in more goods at lower prices.
“Assuming all factors remain constant, a strong shilling is expected to lead to increase in the volumes of imports and subsequently tax revenue from international trade in the short-run, while these gains will also be felt in the domestic taxes after trade in the domestic market has taken place.”
Performance of imports
Importers have brought in more goods in the run up to the festive season with home consumption goods for the August to October 2009/2010 financial year up at sh1,897.05b compared to sh1, 466.95b over the same period last year.
However, on a month-on-month basis, imports have been in a declining trend.
For example, imports for August were at sh515.76b before declining to sh480.20b in September and to sh469.33b in October.
URA said the top 17 imports were classified as raw materials, plant and machinery and petroleum.
Some of the major raw materials imported included wheat and melsin for the milling and bakery industry, palm oil for the edible oil industry as well as cane or beet sugar for the beverage industry.
Indicating increased activity in the services sector, plant and machinery imported over the same period included base stations, electrical transformers and drilling equipment, structures as well as telecommunication and transmission machinery.
Vehicle imports dip
Data shows that the total number of motor vehicles imported between August and October was 8.8% lower at 11,280 compared to 10,283 imported over the same period last year.
“This decline was reflected in all the classes of motor vehicles with the exception of trucks and trailers, whose growth could be attributed to incentives on importation of goods vehicles,” said the report.
However, the month-on-month figures, show that the number of motor vehicles for August and October were less by 1.3% and 11.2% respectively compared to the same months last year.
On the other hand, September car imports were higher by 21.6 % compared with 2008.
The vehicles imported included tractors, passenger service vehicles, saloons, trucks, special purpose vehicles and trailers.
Adopted from New Vision
• Invests USD 50 Million
By Mugume D. Rwakaringi
INVESTMENT/JUBA-SOUTH SUDAN, DEC 2009
The managing Director for South Sudan Beverages Limited (SSBL) a subsidiary of SABMiller plc, Mr. Ian Alisorth has praised South Sudan as a conducive Country for investment noting the existence of virgin market, Nile Fortune has reliably established.
With less than one year since SSBL started production, the sales and production has more than doubled.
Mr. Ian said that SSBL will benefit the government through taxes and citizens directly by providing employment opportunities to citizens.
“We directly employ in our factory over 1200 workers who include 200 factory technicians and 500 distributors and stockers”, noted Mr. Ian.
SSBL has also promised to encourage farming in a bid to have food security in South Sudan in particular for those communities neighbouring the factory.
He added: “We give the factory waste inform of manure to the farmers such that they can be able to improve their livelihoods”.
The community has been advised to invest in agricultural products which will fetch ready market for this factory.
Soghurm, Cassava and Sugar Canes have been earmarked as the mostly needed raw materials for SSBL.
SSBL makes about 3000 litres of beer per hour when operational which generates a growth income of at least 2.5 Million SDG per month. SAB Millers through Southern Sudan Breweries Limited (SSBL) a looping Fifty Million worth of United States Dollars ($ 50 M). The factory donates 0.50 Sudanese Pounds (SDG) from each Litre of beer sold by SSBL as a sign of giving back to the community.
“Our production has now more than doubled within this short time”, said a seemingly happy Mr. Deng Mading Mijak, SSBL Corparate Affairs Director in an exclusive interview with Nile Fortune as he shows me around the factory.
Tasked whether these investors are not scared by similar products especially those imported from other Countries and other Companies with related products, SSBL Managing Director Mr. Ian expressed confidence since he believes that they (SSBL) stand a comparably bigger advantage by providing quality products at an affordable price.
“We are a multinational company thus have a comparative advantage”, noted Mr. Ian quickly adding that they also lobby from GoSS to protect them especially protection against dumping.
SSBL started with White Bull lager (Beer) but has now started producing soft drinks (Club Minerals) and plans are underway for bottled water (commonly known as Mineral water). It also supplies other SAB millers plc products from her sister companies from other countries such as South Africa, United States and South Africa a move aimed at providing quality.
SSBL becomes a Largest manufacturing Investor in South Sudan with fifty Million United States Dollars ($ 50 M USD) and is optimistic to making profits after pioneering a beer factory in South Sudan.
“We have as international standard laboratory in South Sudan”, noted Bismark Oroma, SSBL Quality control Manager (QCM) while pointing at a $ 200.000 Alicoliser Beer Plus (ABP)which is used to control the level of alcohol in beer.
Mr. Deng Mading noted that SSBL should be credited for coming at this time to invest such amount of money in South Sudan. “This becomes a good example for other intending investors in South Sudan”, he explained.
SSBL donates 0.5 SDG from each litre sold to benefit the surrounding community as a give back to the community.
It also provides safe drinking water for the community and pays different taxes to both Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and Central Equatoria Government (CES).
“We allow students and other experts to use our laboratory facilities”, noted Mr. Wadada Davidson. Adding that Students and other researchers in Sudan should feel free to come and do their experiments in SSBL Factory without any costs.
SABMiller plc, is one of the world’s leading brewers with operations and distribution agreements across six continents with group revenue including the attributable share of associates’ and joint ventures’ revenue of US$4,509 million as per September 2009 unaudited report.
In Africa, SABMiller has brewing or beverage interests in 32 countries in addition to South Africa. This includes 18 countries through a strategic alliance with the Castel group, and several countries where SABMiller is a Coca-Cola bottler, including Angola, Botswana and Zambia.
South Sudan has had a relative stability after the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 which brought an end to over two decade war between mainly Sudanese People’s Liberation Army/Movement and the Khartoum government. South Sudan remains depending on imported goods especially from her neghbouring Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and others from Khartoum.
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- THE NILE FORTUNE Expanding Business beyond the Horizons • The Nile Fortune Magazine is a business Magazine published by The Active Nation Ltd committed to effective communication through Newsprint. The Nile Fortune Magazine Circulates in the 10 Countries that form Nile basin organization of Southern Sudan and North Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Burundi, Egypt and DR Congo with the circulation of over 5000 copies for a population of over 200 million people. VISION Sustainable social-economic development within Nile basin region and Africa in general. Clientele: Governments in the Nile Basin, International and local Investors, Private sector and the upcoming middle class, Local communities, International Humanitarian and relief agencies, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Government Institutions, The business community. MUGUME D. RWAKARINGI MD, NILE FORTUNE MAGAZINE +249-955003929