Brenda Katwesigye, a Ugandan woman entrepreneur bringing affordable eye care to school children by harnessing the power of virtual reality technology
- Published: Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:25
- Sourced by SolutionsTeam
Seven years ago, while visiting her family in the town of Gayaza, in central Uganda, Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala couldn’t help but notice the garbage on the streets. Having grown up in Canada, this was an unfamiliar sight for her. She began to wonder if the trash could be used for something productive. “When I noticed all the garbage, I became curious. Something about all the garbage really struck me. That was how I started Bakulu Power,” says Lucia. Bakulu Power is a Uganda-based renewable energy company that designs, installs and operates systems for residential and commercial clients. “We operate at the micro and macro level,” Lucia explains. “At the micro level, we design systems for homes, hotel or manufacturing companies to help reduce their reliance on fuel or the grid, which is technically unreliable in our country. At the macro level, we develop mini grids and sell the electricity to the entire community per unit.”
African leaders frequently pay lip-service to the virtues of regional integration but have yet to implement any meaningful change. One green shoot is the one-stop border post (OSBP) concept, where two countries jointly operate a border crossing to remove the usual, more time-consuming two-step process. Backed by some of Africa’s most influential economic blocs, the second edition of the OSBP Source Book was launched in March and has been lauded as an important toolkit to help governments improve cross-border trade. However, much more is required if Africa is to solve its regional integration issues and live up to its promise.
Gold exports from Uganda recorded an 89 per cent increase in the year ending 2016, a Bank of Uganda (BoU) report has shown. Although Uganda is not a big miner of gold, experts said the re-exports saw the country register $340 million (Shs1.2 trillion) revenue up from $36 million (Shs129 billion) exported the previous year.
This performance makes the commodity the country's second largest export product after coffee. According to the report, most of the gold was destined to United Arab Emirates (UAE). Because of this, UAE became the leading export destination recording 20 per cent of Uganda's exports. Responding to this performance, Mr Adam Mugume, the director of research at BoU, said: "The increase in exports to UAE is largely because of the increase in gold exports."