fbpx
Connect with us

Leader board

Local Business

How imported furniture is slowly killing local content

Published

on

When you play on Fortebet, you win big money.Play here.

Home furniture

Home furniture

By Moses Kaketo 

The famous British Prime Minister called Uganda the pearl of Africa. The landscape was simply amazing. This beauty has also extended the inhabitants. Foreigners, especially the whites who have visited this land have fond stories of the wonderful hospitality accorded to them by Ugandans.

But others think we give with both hands and then beg for the same things that we ‘donated’. This may hold some grain of truth especially if you look at the country’s balance of payments. It has perennially been in the negative side of the number line. We spend heavily on importing the same things that we could make locally make using local resources.

It’s excruciating to see Ugandans buy imported goods yet we could easily make the same products locally, sorry to say we are running low on some of the resources we once had in loads.

The latest, Ugandan market both high and low end (visit any suburb) is occupied by imported furniture- the so called white furniture – used in home furniture and office furniture. This is usually imported mainly from Dubai, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

The White furniture market in Uganda is booming as reflected in the ever-increasing number of big and small players joining the business: This trend has significantly contributed to a reduction in Uganda’s trade deficit rise from $ 4.5m (Ugx. 13bn) in 2013 to $ 4.7m (Ugx. 13.9 bn) in 2014.

Last year, the country’s imports increased to $6.1 bn (Ugx.18.1 trillion) from $6bn (Ugx. 17.8 trillion) over the same period. Exports on the other hand were estimated at $ 2.65bn (Ugx.7.8 trillion) last year down from $ 2.82 bn (Ugx. 8.3 trillion) in 2013.

A visit to Jinja road tells the story. Your eyes are engrossed by large shops selling imported home and office furniture-here you meet-Nina interiors, Footsteps, Prime Impex and host of other Chinese brand names.

Bukoto has also been invaded: Furniture City, ORCA Tex, High point Furniture, Biplous Uganda among others. That is just the tip of an iceberg. Nearly all leading supermarkets have a section for white furniture.

In the suburbs one gets to see White furniture for the low end. Regrettably, while some of this furniture gives the impression of being elegant, they easily break and the shiny supposedly leather covers peel off sooner than expected, hence this bad feeling of daylight robbery for a pricey item. At the end of it all, we are sending away money to someone in Malaysia and China and denying more Ugandans employment.

A survey done by this magazine revealed a set of home chairs costs an average of Ugx 6M. A visit to local stores-home made products reveals a big difference in the prices. One wonders how imported products can out compete local products yet the former has to meet certain costs including freight costs, taxes etc.

Kalangala forest give away-the missed opportunities.

The ‘bad’ decision the country took in 2007, is beginning to have an impact in form of heavy furniture importation, already February and March 2015, were extremely hot. Local media has been reporting that more farmers in Kalangala are abandoning palm oil growing citing low prices for the palms.

According to National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), an estimated 3,600 hectares of ancient and bio-diverse forest in Kalangala have been destroyed in last eight years to give way for palm tree growing.

The proponents of Palm Oil project argued that the project would bring in a lot of wealth opportunities for the locals and Ugandans in general. So we had to demolish Kalangala forests for the money making palm trees. Mabira forest was also going in a similar manner, but thanks to efforts of some foresighted environmentalists and Ugandans, it stalled, though we don’t know for how long.

The Kalangala, giveaway has been described as bad move. Something that destroyed the entire economy.

Eight years after the Kalangala give way, we are now importing furniture in tonnes.

In his 2015 State of the Nation Address, President Museveni noted that Uganda’s forests presents immense opportunities to Ugandan youth.

The president explained that a lot of products can be made from the country’s soft and hard wood: ‘‘From timber, there are many traditional products we can make out wood. I have been attending exhibitions. I have seen wood products made by young people. They are making wooden plates, cups, spoons, milk pots, combs etc. These products are long lasting. I have promised them support and encourage Ugandans to support them by buying these products. I have promised them government supports them when money becomes available.’’

In 2007, Palm oil Uganda Ltd, a subsidiary of Bidco–Uganda, cleared natural forest in Kalangala district to plant Palm trees. Several people came out to criticize the action.

Anne Van Schalk an official from Friends of Earth Europe was quoted in Daily Monitor Newspaper last month saying: ‘‘Forests have been torn down. People’s livelihood disregarded and devastated for short term profit of climate destroying oil palm industry.’’

Among others, the forest could be source of tourism attraction. How about if we built a five Star hotel in heart of Kalangala forest? This would not only preserve nature, but bring in foreign exchange. What do tourists/ visitors see when they come here? Tall buildings, eat European foods? Why not treat them to something different? And Kalangala forest would give them a different treat. Now that Oil production is threatening some of environment, what will be left?

According to experts, there are several sources of cooking which one could opt for and save our forests for other things.

Back then, Uganda Prisons used to grow a special tree called Esogasoga, which was used to produce cooking oil. The rest of the tree was used to produce soap, cattle feeds among others.

The oil Palm project currently covers 1,200 hectares on the mainland island of Bugala.

About the author:
Moses Kaketo works with Summit Business Review Magazine, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Uganda Management Institute, A professional diploma in marketing (CIM) and bachelor’s degree in Education. He sees business in everything. He loves writing business news, reviews and analyses.

Twitter: @mkaketo

Loading...
(Visited 1 time, 1 visit today)
Continue Reading

Featured

Fresh Dairy Re-Assures Families With Healthy and Nutritious Products That Contribute To a Balanced Diet

Published

on

When you play on Fortebet, you win big money.Play here.

By BigEyeUg Writer

Nutrition is fundamental to ensuring healthy development for children and families. Having a balanced diet is one of the basic requirements of nutrition. A balanced diet implies having a meal that contains different kinds of foods in certain portions such that the body’s requirement for nutrients is met.

While a balanced diet should be a must have in every family, in this fast paced era it can be a challenge for parents to ensure that their families are eating healthy and nutritious foods. The lack of time often forces families to either stick to one type of meal for long or to prepare quick easy to make junk food which doesn’t have sufficient nutrients required by the body.

Fresh Dairy, the leading producer of dairy products in Uganda seeks to address the need for balanced diets in families by producing healthy and nutritious products including Fresh milk, flavoured milk, Long life or UHT milk, powdered milk, Fresh Dairy flavoured yoghurt, Brookside Fruit yoghurt, ghee and butter all made with fresh milk from Ugandan farms. All Fresh Dairy products are nutrient-rich with Energy, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat and Calcium among others.

Commenting on the need for families to have a balanced diet, Marketing Manager Fresh Dairy – Vincent Omoth noted that Fresh Dairy takes pride in being a family brand that ensures that families enjoy dairy products, that are not only healthy but packed with nutritious ingredients. ‘At Fresh Dairy, we put the family dietary needs at the fore front while developing products. We ensure that all members of the family, from the children, teenagers, adults are catered for by producing a variety of products, in varying sizes and flavours to meet changing consumer needs.

Omoth added that both Fresh Dairy and Brookside products can be consumed according to individual consumer preferences. For instance Fresh Dairy Flavoured Yoghurt and Brookside Fruit Yoghurt can be consumed as healthy snacks, Butter can be used as a spread on bread or for baking, Ghee can be added to meals, Flavoured milk can be consumed on the go in between meals, while Long life milk can be consumed straight from the packages or cooked. All this is meant to meet varying consumer needs, he added.

All Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are available countrywide in Shops, Duukas, Kiosks, Supermarkets and Tricycle agents located near consumers. Customers can also place orders for free home delivery by calling Fresh Dairy’s customer care toll free line on 0800100020/21 or WhatsApp 0715744664.

Loading...
(Visited 1 time, 1 visit today)
Continue Reading

Celebrity Gossip

Sheebah names Ghetto Kids’ Patricia as Holic Pads brand ambassador

Published

on

When you play on Fortebet, you win big money.Play here.

By BigEyeUg Team

Young dance group, The Ghetto Kids’ Patricia Nabakooza has bagged a juicy gig as brand ambassador for singer Sheebah Karungi’s ‘Holic Pads’.

The good news crowning the young talented choreographer was shared on Wednesday afternoon by Sheebah herself.

The ‘Team No Sleep’ singer says there was no way she could miss-out working with Patricia bearing the fact that she has an outstanding work ethic and passion.

True Leaders Don’t Just Create Followers. They Create More Leaders. Meet Our Holic Pads Ambassador Patricia Sitya Loss 💜 I Love Working With This Young Queen, Her Work Ethic & Passion Is Everything!,” Sheebah wrote.

Patricia has also kick-started her new job in high gear with words endorsing the use of Holic pads by the girl-child during the menstrual days.

Every Girl, No Matter Where She Lives Deserves To Feel Comfortable During Her Red days. Have you used @holicpads Yet? What’s Your Experience?” stated Patricia.

Holic Pads are manufactured and sold under the ‘Nakyuka’ singer’s company, Sheebah Establishments.

Sheebah launched Holic pads earlier this year at Pearl of Africa Hotel witnessed by influential women in Uganda including; Barbie Kyagulanyi, Queen of Toro Best Kemigisha, Miss Uganda’s Brenda Nanyonjo, former Miss Uganda Brenda Abenakyo and many others.

At the event, Sheebah said she had been inspired by her past struggles to get pads to launch the business.

See more photos here;

Congratulations Patricia!

Loading...
(Visited 1 time, 1 visit today)
Continue Reading

Local Business

Cab driver wins big in MoMo Nyabo promo, to invest in fish business

Published

on

When you play on Fortebet, you win big money.Play here.

Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

By Our Reporter

Through its promotion dubbed MoMo Nyabo Together, MTN Uganda is giving out up to Ugx 5,000,000 shillings to two winners every weekday in a bid to support Ugandans as they rebuild from the financial devastations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the recent lucky winners is 34-year-old Ismail Ayebale, an airport taxi driver walked away with Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. The airport cab driver who has been out of business since the closure of the airport was overjoyed to learn that he had been chosen as a lucky winner in the on-going MTN MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

Due to his Covid 19-induced unemployment, Ayebale became a fish vendor to support his family. The young man that lives next to Lake Victoria in Entebbe buys fish from various fishermen and later on dresses and sells it to people in Kampala at a profit, to make ends meet for his family.

“Life has not been the same, the money I earn now is nothing compared to what I would make before the COVID pandemic,” Ayebale said as he narrated how tough the times have been for the past five months.

The MTN Marketing Coordinator for Central Region, Jimmy Ssempuuma congratulated Ayebale while handing over his cheque of Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. He empahises MTN’s commitment to supporting its customers though such promotions.

Ayebale chose to share the money he won with his mother Margret Nyakaisiki. An excited Nyakaisiki over a phone conversation ululated as she vehemently thanked MTN Uganda for giving back to her son who in turn shared with her.

Ayebale noted that he had always heard about the MoMoNyabo campaign but always thought it was a hoax since he had never won. He however confirmed in the presence of his family that having been named a lucky winner, he is now a strong believer of the MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

To take part in the promotion that was launched last month, MTN customers simply use the MyMTN app or dial *165# to buy data or airtime as well as paying for many other services using Mobile Money.



Loading...


(Visited 1 time, 1 visit today)
Continue Reading

Local Business

MTN MoMo: Your One-stop Payment Point

Published

on

When you play on Fortebet, you win big money.Play here.

By Our Reporter 

In March 2009, MTN became the first telecom operator in Uganda to launch a mobile financial service that would revolutionize the country’s financial fabric. More than a decade later, the service has evolved into a one-stop financial transaction point that is championing financial inclusion across the spectrum as it transforms the country into a cashless economy.

From the most basic feature of sending and receiving money, to performing simple tasks such as buying airtime and data in the comfort of your home or paying bills and school fees, you can now transact across the borders as well as pay taxes to the Uganda Revenue Authority, make Kampala City Council Authority Payments and make donations and so many other payments on your phone using MTN MoMo.

According to Stephen Mutana, the General Manager Mobile Financial Services at MTN Uganda, paying for goods and services is easy, safe and convenient when you keep some money on MTN MoMo.

He added that, “the experience of using MTN MoMo has been made even better with the MyMTN app.”

The MyMTN app is available and can be downloaded from both android and iOS app stores.

To ease the payment for goods and services, MTN Uganda launched MoMoPay, a digital payment platform that allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from their Mobile Money accounts, free of charge without having to withdraw it first.

Caroline Nakato, an ardent user of the MoMoPay service says that the payment method has simplified her life.

“I don’t have to stress with going to the bank to withdraw cash and carrying it around for shopping or paying for certain services. All I have to do is transfer it to my MoMo account and off I go. It saves me time yet it is safe secure and always available. Even when I lost my phone, my PIN number keeps my money safe,” says Nakato.

MTN MoMoPay is available in several supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, hospitals and all MTN Service Centers in towns across the country, meaning that even when one travels upcountry, they can still access the service.

Online Shopping with MTN MoMo

Another exciting innovation for people who love online shopping is perhaps, the MTN MoMocard. MTN in partnership with Mastercard offers customers the ability to make online payments using a virtual card known as the MTN MoMocard. The payments are made from the customer’s MTN MoMo account.

To enjoy this service, simply dial *165*70# and select option 1 (Create MTN
MoMocard). You will be prompted to enter your MTN MoMo PIN. The MTN MoMocard details are sent to the customer via SMS message. It costs UGX 1,000 shillings only to create the MTN MoMocard for a transaction.



Loading...


(Visited 1 time, 1 visit today)
Continue Reading
Loading...

Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

WHAT YOU MISSED

%d bloggers like this: