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Uganda Must Improve Agriculture To Fuel Growth: World Bank

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this geneva; font-size: small;”>The guys of Downville challenged each other to a friendly game of soccer on Monday.

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Kyle’s performance was extraordinary, leaving Downvillers amused.

All of the men were in good spirits which is especially pleasant to see considering that it was just yesterday when the South African Housemates learned that they would be up for eviction this week.

The lads showed good sportsmanship choosing instead to just have fun instead letting their competitive streak make them take the game too seriously.

Earlier in the day the troublesome SA duo were kicked out of their diary session for Keagan’s rudeness to Big Brother but this seemed to be the furthest things from the boys’ minds as they smiled and laughed while enjoying their match in the garden.

Keagan even made some animated facial expressions, sticking his tongue while kicking around the ball.

Except for their outburst in the diary room, Lee and Keagan seem to be taking their nomination very well. Good for you boys, keep it up Africa is behind you.

Bedroom Idols

The ladies of Upville kept themselves entertained in the middle of the night.

Barbz, Maneta and Lady May all had a blast singing and dancing the night away looking like they did not have a care in the world.

Although it looks like if the trio were a real music group they would be caught in a tug of war over who should be the leader singer.

After Barbz jokingly told Prezzo, “I am Beyoncé they are Michelle and Kelly,” the other women protested and shouted: “I am Beyoncé.” Meow, this is what happens when you have one too many big egos under the same roof.

The minor bout of cattiness aside, the women spent the rest of the night laughing and having a good time together.

With the exception of Namibian songstress Lady May, the women’s vocal abilities were questionable at best but that did not matter as they still managed to enjoyed themselves.

It is surprising to see how well the gossip buddies Barbz and Maneta are getting along with Lady May all of a sudden. Whatever the reason may be behind this united front, the ladies should keep it up. Well done ladies on finally taking the high road.

Keitta stayed in the bedroom with the girls and enjoyed the impromptu concert. Earlier in the day it was the men’s turn to show off their musical abilities. With no mp3 players allowed into the Big Brother House it looks like Upville have finally decided to take matter into their own hands and provide their own entertainment.

Do you like to see Housemates singing and performing in the House or should they just stick to playing the game?

order geneva;”>Official statistics show growth in east Africa’s third-largest economy is expected to tumble in the fiscal year ending this month to 3.2 percent from 6.7 percent in the previous year.

about it geneva;”>Analysts tie the sharp contraction to last year’s aggressive run of monetary policy tightening by the central bank to contain rampant inflation, which peaked at above 30 percent in October.

Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, World Bank country manager in Uganda, said in an interview that the slide in growth was undermining the country’s recovery from the 2008-09 global economic turmoil.

“Uganda must transform from low to higher productivity activities,” he said. “On the production side, agriculture, which is the bedrock for Uganda’s industrialisation … must transform and become more productive.”

Africa’s largest coffee exporter relies on agriculture for over 75 percent of its working population although mechanisation is limited and much of the output is sold in semi-processed form, severely limiting earnings from the sector.

President Yoweri Museveni’s government has long been criticised for underfunding the sector and the country’s banking industry has been wary of boosting credit to agriculture, citing its risk profile.

Ndiaye said average farm yields in Uganda were below 40 percent of those achieved at Uganda’s research stations and the country needed to step up industrialisation in agro-processing to “achieve convergence” with middle income countries.

Although the government says it’s keen on expanding Uganda’s manufacturing industry to add value to most commodity exports, those efforts remain largely stymied by insufficient power and poor infrastructure.

“Uganda also needs to create jobs outside of agriculture …

job creation is particularly urgent because Uganda has the fastest growing workforce on the planet,” he said.

OIL REVENUE TRANSPARENCY

The Bank of Uganda says the country’s economy is likely to rebound in 2012/2013 and expand at between 5 to 6 percent as high inflation continues to ebb, which would allow a loosening of its tight policy stance and private sector credit growth.

Ndiaye, though, said this year’s slump in growth, compounded by price pressures and exchange rate instability, was taking a toll on investor confidence.

“Investors like stable and predictable environments that allow for effective planning. To regain investor confidence, therefore, there should be stability, inflation at single digit level,” he said.

Authorities attributed last year’s spike in inflation to slowing food production combined with high regional demand, as well as global fuel price rises.

Somes analysts also blame increased public spending ahead of February 2011’s presidential elections for the price surge.

Ndiaye said the government’s “supplementary spending” was sidetracking budget planning from original priorities and that the bank was worried such spending was not producing better service delivery.

To guarantee transparency in the use of earnings from the country’s oil reserves, he said Uganda should join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a coalition of governments, companies and civil society groups that aims to improve transparency and accountability.

“EITI membership helps bring about an improved investment climate by providing a clear signal to investors and international financial institutions that the government is committed to greater transparency,” he said.

Uganda struck commercial hydrocarbon deposits in its Albertine rift basin along the border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 and the government estimates reserves at 2.5 billion barrels.

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