Hot off the Akamai Global Oven

Make Sense of Your Money - a best seller at Aristoc Booklex - at last a financial literacy book that is relevant to Ugandans and Africans. Direct deliveries are possible, send mail to: info@akamaiglobal.co.uk

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Akamai offers Personal Money Management Course


Don’t let yourself and friends miss the next Akamai Personal Money Management Course
Start Date:  Monday 18th February 2013 (6pm to 8pm)
Venue:       Akamai Global, 2nd Floor, B209, Amber House, Kampala
Duration:    9 Sessions held once a week every Monday.
Fee:             U Shs 300,000 per person (installment payments allowed)
Contact details:    Tel. 0701724783/0754472109/0414573506.
Topics covered
1:       Introduction to personal financial management
2:       Managing Savings and expenses.
3:       Managing Personal Debt
4:       Setting financial goals.
5:       Financial stuff you must know (inflation, compounding, leverage etc)
6:       Investment principles
7:       Street savvy business tips
8&9:   Interactive Sessions

What you get from the money course...
ü  learn how to manage money and achieve your life goals
ü  effectively save money and manage your expenses
ü  the real difference between the rich and the poor
ü  managing debt - how to succeed with debt & escape the debt trap
ü  how to invest whether you have little or much
ü  understand and speak the language of money

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The fall from corruption to money laundering


It is said that the authorities in 1920s and early 1930s Chicago knew that Alfonse “Scarface” Capone, commonly known as Al Capone, was involved in illegal activities but they could not prove it because no witness could come forward to provide the necessary evidence. Those who were close enough to Al Capone were either very loyal or feared death and therefore kept quiet.
Al Capone was also a very careful man who left little or no trace of any link between the criminal activities committed by his gang and himself. It is said that Al Capone only signed one cheque in his whole life and conducted the rest of this financial activities using cash. That one cheque was useful in convicting Al Capone on charges of income tax evasion. He was sentenced to a total jail term of 11 years.
The successful conviction of Al Capone, inadvertently led to the phenomenon of money laundering. People with money from illicit sources now had to find ways of passing it through legitimate channels. The man who took the lead in the early period of money laundering was Meyer Lansky who was an accountant for the gangsters. He was so affected by the conviction of Al Capone for something as simple as tax evasion that he set about to find ways of ensuring that a similar fate did not befall him. In less than a year, Lansky had discovered the numbered Swiss bank account. Illicit money could now first be banked then the bank would release it back to the gangsters’ business when it is disguised as a loan.
International efforts to fight money laundering is making the numbered Swiss bank account rather unappealing so the modern day Al Capone is forced to turn a respectable local company or non-profit organisation to be the front for laundering their loot.
Here in Uganda, recent stories of corruption are increasingly taking on the shape of money laundering. Just take a keen interest on some of the high profile probes some concluded and others ongoing and you will get the picture. Let me use a hypothetical company to paint the picture.
The republic of Boga is about to host a global conference on mudslides and landslides. The conference is heavily funded by donors and the ministry of finance. Some officials decide to appoint a sole supplier of toilet tissue for the guests coming to the conference; the figure for this tender is put at Shs 2.5 billion.
In truth no toilet tissue is meant to be supplied. The corrupt officials who came up with the toilet tissue tender set out on the task of finding a suitable business that can be used as a front. Careful to follow procurement procedures, the officials use selective bidding to identify Toilets and Sewage Ltd, a well known manufacturer of toilet tissue as their firm.
The officials tell Toilets and Sewage Ltd that since they are not making any actual supply, the tender money will be split so that two thirds go to the bureaucrats while the company receives one third.
The burden to account for the tender is passed on to Toilets and Sewages Ltd. This includes paying VAT of 18 percent of the Shs 2.5 billion; paying corporation tax at the end of the year and appearing before the Public Accounts Committee to explain any queries pertaining to the toilet tissue tender.
James Abola is a business and money coach. Email: james.abola@akamaiglobal.co.uk

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Bible and Business - Message to St Francis


1. Introduction
For the purpose of this message I define business as a commercial activity engaged in as a means of livelihood or profit, or an entity which engages in such activities. Our reference to business includes both self employment as well as owning an enterprise which employees other people to work on behalf of the business owner(s). We could also stretch business to include employment.
The bible is not a business book just as it is not a health or family book. However there are principles in the bible that apply to business just as there are principles that apply to health or family or other aspect of life.
Business is the most common means of livelihood in the bible. Biblical time vocations comprised: Priests; Levites; Self employed & Owning an enterprise employing others; Servants and slaves – equivalent to today’s salary earner

Church emphasis on employment at expense of business. Over the years and centuries the church has (perhaps unintentionally put a lot of emphasis on salaried employment (the equivalent of servant in the bible) and less on business. In the course of my involvement with church as a member and minister I have come across countless prayer requests for a job but can hardly recall when a person asked for prayers in order to begin a business.

We think that business is a lesser vocation that is pursued by people who are academic failures.

We think that business is dirty or sinful – true some businesses are dirty for instance some corrupt people use business as a front to launder ill gotten wealth but not all businesses are dirty.

In the next minutes we shall look at what the bible says about business and intersperse this with the business experiences of myself and other people.

2. Business is not evil or unchristian

The first man was self employed - Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Adam did not need money but engaging in the business of managing the first ever nature park gave Adam a sense of fulfilment. Even now when you participate in a meaningful business you get to create products and services that alleviate challenges faced by customers.

One of the converts in the book of Acts 16:14 was a businesswoman - One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.

3. Business is a means of gaining wealth and power – when Christians shun business then they are also handing over wealth and power to non believers.

Gen 26:12 – 16 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us." So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there.

o God blessed Isaac’s business – every Christian business person can testify about God’s favour and blessing

o Isaac ran a very profitable enterprise – his return on investment was 100%

o Isaac’s wealth grew until he was very wealthy – wealth is good because it represents how long you can survive financially without having to work for money

o Isaac became powerful – he had a lot of wealth and employed several servants

we need powerful Christian business people who can be mindful of the environment; give employment to young people; be listened to by politicians; who can contribute significant sums of money to ministry activities

4. Believers are called on to attend to their business. 1Th 4:11,12
This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.

Find a skill or knowledge base that enables you to earn a living.
o Don’t give excuses such as - I lack capital; I am not connected

5. Prioritise business before 1,2,3,4 end of thinking capacity
According to veteran educationist Fagil Mandy – most Ugandans count 1,2,3,4 etc i.e. 1 spouse; 2 children; 3 bedroom house and a 4 wheel drive – etc (end of thinking capacity).
Proverbs 24:27 tells us that our priority should start with business. Develop your business first before building your house.
Build your business first then build your house and buy your dream car
In other words – first earn the money then spend it; instead of spending the money then thinking about earning it.

6. Four business lessons from Jacob
i. Be passionate about thrilling your customers; under promise and over deliver. Gen 30:27 - 29 "Please don't leave me," Laban replied, "for I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because you are here.  How much do I owe you? Whatever it is, I'll pay it."  Jacob replied, "You know how faithfully I've served you through these many years, and how your flocks and herds have grown.
o Laban was thrilled because he had become wealthier as a result of Jacob’s service
o Jacob was sure that he had provided faithful (excellent) service to his client and uncle.
o How passionate are we about excellent service? Several times Christians offer lazy & shoddy service
sit around and gossip without output
do poor quality work and expect to retained simply because they confess Jesus
lack creativity yet claim to believe in creator God
ii. You will face setbacks and challenges – that is called risk. Laban cheated Jacob several times until Jacob learnt to manage that particular risk.
Customers will take your products/services and refuse to pay until you learn to manage that aspects
People (especially brethren will borrow money and not pay back
Market conditions will change and leave you stranded until you learn to anticipate those changes
iii. Be motivated and don’t be hindered by lack of capital
Gen 30:30 - 32 You had little indeed before I came, and your wealth has increased enormously. The LORD has blessed you from everything I do! But now, what about me? When should I provide for my own family?" "What wages do you want?" Laban asked again. Jacob replied, "Don't give me anything at all. Just do one thing, and I'll go back to work for you. Let me go out among your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the dark-colored sheep. Give them to me as my wages.
o Jacob was motivated to strike out into business in order to provide for his family.
o Jacob proposed a profit sharing plan to realise capital for his new venture
iv. Master your business. Jacob was an expert in the sheep business and was able to thrive even when Laban attempted different tricks to cheat him.
He optimised feeding and watering his sheep
Jacob understood the process of reproduction – how speckled sheep come about
v. Know the time to make your move.
Gen 30:26 Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them from you, and let me be on my way. You know I have fully paid for them with my service to you."
"He who waits until the whole animal is visible spears its tail."
What is the best time to jump into business
When is it time to stop flogging a dead horse and cut your losses
When do you get into a new product or market
7. Understand Cycles that affect your business – Joseph understood the cycle of the Egyptian economy and was able to plan for it.
Gen 41:28 "It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.
Gen 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt,
Gen 41:30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.

8. The noble wife is a business woman Proverbs 31: 10 – 28. This little portion lists several values of being involved in business.
She is a support and not a burden to her husband - Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant's ship; she brings her food from afar.
She is a planner and an investor - She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
o Some people in church hold to a false view that whatever a woman earns is to spent on desires (saloon, spa, clothing) – they even criticise any woman who chooses to invest
She is frugal and productive - She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night.  Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.  She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
She is generous - She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
She is a provider - She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes.  She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.  She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.
o How many of us are afraid of paying rent or school fees for next term? Not so the noble wife – the businesswoman
Her household enjoys her wealth - She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth.  Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders.
She is wise in speech and action - When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.
Success in business requires support of spouse and children - Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
9. The bible encourages ethical business
Pay your taxes Romans 13:7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
o Business woman who was said to lack innovation because she didn’t cheat taxes
Pay your workers - Lev 19:13 "Do not cheat or rob anyone."Always pay your hired workers promptly.
Don’t take advantage of the poor selling fake or expired products or collecting examination fees from students but remitting to UNEB – Amos 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Give time for worship and rest, don’t cheat using wrong scales - Amos 8:5   Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Don’t use business for oppression - Amos 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; [yea], and sell the refuse of the wheat?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Managing My Money Course - April 2012 Enrolment


Target Group: Adults between 20 and 55 years
Course Approach: Classes meet in 2 hr sessions, spaced a week apart, over a period of 8 weeks. Group
or Corporate Classes can be scheduled at your location.
Enrolment Details:

  • Start date: April 16, 2012
  • Fees Shs 260,000 per person.
  • Book with Akamai Global, B209, 2nd Floor, Amber House
  • Email: info@akamaiglobal.co.uk
  • Tel. 0414573506/0751516118/0754472109

Whose Mess is it? By Grace Makoko


In his teenage years, my elder brother got into trouble at school and daddy was asked to go over to the school to meet the headmaster and agree on appropriate disciplinary measures. Apparently, Alan had skipped class purportedly for health reasons and was caught smoking in the dormitory by none other than the headmaster. What irked the headmaster most is that Alan did not attempt to hide his cigarette and simply continued to smoke as he lay on his bed? When he was told that he had committed a grave offense and that the school would have to call in his parents the young man did not appear perturbed -there was a good reason for his indifference. Daddy was a chain smoker.
Have you noticed that Sovereigns or countries that are heavily in debt have citizens that are heavily in debt? Majority of populations in the developed nations in the West (with the Americans taking the lead) are in debt up to their eyeballs and guess what? These western governments are also heavily in debt and keep borrowing. In the case of the USA, they keep pushing up the debt ceiling to accommodate more borrowing. Most of Europe has this problem, with Greece making headlines and continuously having to get bail outs from the other Euro family members to avoid defaulting on their debt. Sadly the people being called to put them on the straight and narrow find themselves in daddy’s awkward position since for the most part they are just as addicted to debt as the Greeks. I must hasten to point out that just like friends and family of smokers are adversely affected by cigarette smoke, the Germans find themselves in the position of the passive smoker having to suffer the consequences of the behaviour of their errant neighbours. Germans have a strong savings culture and their government’s debt levels are well managed. Is this not a classic case of Like begets Like?
Let us come closer home; as our honourable members try to make sense of the public finances and government spending, as they attempt to bring much needed discipline and accountability to the way the executive handle tax payers’ money, should we not open our eyes to the fact that junior has also contracted daddy’s bad habit of financial indiscipline.
What does your personal balance sheet look like? Are you spending money you don’t have? Are you budgeting and not keeping within budget. Do you really need to take out that loan? Are you sure you are not living beyond your means? Are you investing for the future, saving before you spend? Do you know how much you are paying in interest on your mortgage, your car loan, your personal/salary loan? Are you aware that you are paying a floating rate of interest not a fixed rate of interest on these loans? Have you taken money meant for the road(s)to your financial freedom and spent it on fast cars, fast women and fast living?
What about spending UPE- Urgent Personal financial Education -money on flashy clothes and outfits. Clearly you want to look smart and dress well, more than you want to be financially smart and intelligent. Are you spending money meant for your health on an unhealthy lifestyle, eating fast food, not exercising, buying second hand reconditioned cars that pollute the air and putting personalized number plates on them?
Sadly (broadly speaking) even if I turn you in to the police or report you to your member of parliament, your LC3 Chairman, your RDC or even your government, to take disciplinary action against you, they are likely to have no moral authority because you see it’s a case of “like father like son.

My Head Start Experience by Andrew Semyalo


My very first memorable experience of earning money was at the age of four when my tooth was exchanged with money from the “rat”. After that, every time I felt a lose tooth, I got to work immediately and used tools like sugar cane to get it out and then got help to put it where the rat would find it; the business was not sustainable so I moved on to washing the car and made it a hobby to visit (once or twice I got donations).
Financial management grows with us and the habit and principles learnt in the process shapes our financial future; the headstart class coming in at the take off stage has a life transforming effect in various ways.
Previously, my inspiration for making money was the pleasure of spending the money I got  which vice grew as I became older. The course introduced me to the different money concepts such as saving, personal financial statements and investment which helped to break the “earn to spend” habit some of us had formed.
Mindset dictates how you view, understand and react to the different situations; headstart widens your mindset and gives you a clearer understanding of the different financial situations as you grow.
Headstart reshaped and built in me a stronger character and personality through the interactions and game filled sessions. In the competitive environment created during the games, skills such as assertiveness, goal setting and communication are strongly emphasized.This is especially so when using slogans like BE FAB (Back straight, Eye contact, Firm hand shake, Ask questions, be bold)
Thanks to the headstart class, I now understand financial statements. I follow the economic situation in my environment and make clear financial decisions along with planning and evaluating my business ideas.

From the teacher's heart by Joy Mirembe Abola


I have been working with young people in what we call “The Money Headstart” course for over 3 years. This was an endeavour that I took on quite reluctantly because sometime I really was not convinced there was much impact on the children. A number of incidents however made me change my mind and have seen me take this noble activity to another level.
I met a mother who commented that whatever I had instilled in her daughter was incomparable and that even at high school her daughter was not the same person. She was not only responsible but very industrious with regard to money.
Then I met a father whose twins had only been in my care for a few weeks. He told me his boy and girl now put him to task to be more accountable for the family resources something he found very useful though challenging at the same time.
The cream on the cake was when I observed my 5year old boy hanging onto every word his dear teacher said. At that point I realized that as the adult and mentor for these young people, they may not be hanging to my every word but a very big chunk of it. I realized that they believed in me and at that point the seriousness of this mentoring responsibility hit me and l looked at everything from a different light
I have observed and learned as I have worked with the “Head Starters’ that many though young are very intelligent and impressionable. Even as teens who want to prove their independence to the world, they are quite hungry for information whether it is right or wrong
Our class focuses on creating the right mindset toward money; emphasising that although money is very important, it does not guarantee success. We focus on wholesome success which involves a positive mental attitude, sound physical health, harmony in human relationships and financial soundness. We deal with communication skills and a lot of emphasis is placed on taking responsibility and self management
I cannot fully describe the value and fulfilment in impacting a life, more so a young life; when a parent calls to say thank you or refers their friend’s child to us. It’s an awesome honour and challenge. ‘Jazzing’ like they like to call it with the children and getting to understand issues from their level is deeply enriching.
Every parent needs to be encouraged that no matter how young they are, if you spend time talking and guiding your children it will be worth every minute but even more so, get us to work and talk to them about how they can be financially smart even at their tender age.

Editor’s Note— It is back by James Abola


“Where is the newsletter?” This has been a common question for several months. It was pleasing to know that many people had been quietly following the newsletter. We look forward to the time when readers post comments and replies so that the newsletter becomes an active platform for sharing business and financial information and knowledge.
SInce the year began, Akamai Global has undertaken a number of activities with clients which provide pointers to the hot issues and opportunities pertaining in our economy.
One of those activities is a research into business opportunities resulting from the nascent oil and gas sector in Uganda. The research report has not yet been formally released and I will only point out two findings, namely: a) the business opportunities arising from oil and gas developments are enormous; b) Ugandans are mostly unaware of and unprepared for these opportunities.
We have also been busy providing training and orientation to boards for non profit organisations as well as for profit organisations. One commentator once said that the only thing that is common to all governing boards (board of directors as we call it here in Uganda) is that they do not work. Another commentator said that “Board members are usually intelligent and experienced persons as individuals. Yet boards, as groups, are mediocre”. Akamai Global believes that boards can be transformed into effective bodies if the members are properly selected, trained and equipped with necessary governing tools.
At Akamai Global we believe that the key to economic development is when citizens are financially literate. Other things such as entrepreneurship training may be important but take second place to financial literacy. We have also been busy providing financial literacy to the Ugandan public. Our book Make Sense of Your Money has been of great use to fresh graduates and working people alike. We have partnered with corporations to offer financial literacy to their employees and have continued with the courses we offer at our office premise.
The next intake for adult personal financial management class will start on April 16, 2012 and registration is already in process.
We will also be running a class for teenagers starting in April. Parents and students are encouraged to register with us.

Bite Size Tip - Improving Execution Tip 1


People at the top of every profession share one quality — they get things done. This ability supersedes intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the size of your salary and the speed of your advancement.
Despite the simplicity of this concept there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at getting results. The action habit, the habit of putting ideas into action now, is essential to getting things done. Here is the first of seven tips on how you can grow the action habit:
Don’t wait until conditions are perfect 
If you’re waiting to start until conditions are perfect, you probably never will. There will always be something that isn’t quite right. Either the timing is off, the market is down, or there’s too much competition. In the real world there is no perfect time to start. You have to take action and deal with problems as they arise. The best time to start was last year. The second best time is right now.

Uganda, When Mere Talk is Cheap: By Akamai Team


The news coming out of north eastern Africa is that The Republic of South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya have joined hands to implement a massive infrastructure programme that includes design and construction of a new sea port and airport at Lamu, installing oil pipelines to South Sudan and Ethiopia and building new rail and road networks radiating from Kenya into South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The news of the tripartite efforts to develop infrastructure hit Uganda like a tootache that comes right in the middle of a feast. For years Uganda bore the aggression from Khartoum as it doggedly supported the self determination efforts of the people of South Sudan. Now that South Sudan has got independence, one would expect that Uganda would now settle down to enjoy the pieace dividend together with its neighbour only for the ‘meat’ to be snatched by Kenya.
Ugandans talk big then fail to act. In 1995 Uganda and Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding to extend an oil pipeline from the Kenyan town of Eldoret to the Ugandan town of Jinja. Two feasibility studies were later undertaken followed by news that a Libyan firm had got the contract to build the pipeline. Then in 2010, news came out that with the oil find in Uganda the pipeline would not be built. So is it any wonder that the Kenyans have now opted to move on with more action oriented countries?
Way back in 2010 Ugandan officials reported that the Gulu Nimule road would be upgraded to Tarmac. This is the main connection through Uganda to Juba and hauls a lot of passenger and cargo traffic. Now we wait for the actual work to start and then wait some more for it to be completed hopefully before the Lamu road is done.
The former Uganda Railways got up to Gulu then continued to Pakwach in West Nile. We could have worked on two railway lines one to Nimule from Gulu and another to Koboko from Pakwach if Uganda was serious but as we slept the Kenyans were wide awake.
Since the 1980s Uganda has talked until it lost its voice about upgrading the airfields in Gulu and Soroti to International Airport status. But talk is cheap when it is not followed by action.
The question must be asked: why is Uganda and Ugandans so sleepy? Why do we fail to grab opportunities that have been literally thrust onto our laps?
I do not think it is because Ugandans are more corrupt than the people in the neighbouring countries. It cannot be that Uganda is more resourced strapped than Ethiopia or even South Sudan, we just need to act more than we talk.

Money and Life in 2012 by James Abola


When we wrote about this topic in February 2011we predicted that the election year spending would drive the inflation above the 10 percent mark. That prediction came to pass but even in our wildest imagination we never expected that the inflation rate would go up as high as 30 percent!
We predicted that the Treasury bill rate would go up to 15 percent. While we were right about the upward movement in Treasury bill rates, we were way off the point on the percentage – the rates went up to 23 or 24 percent in the course of 2011.
The other prediction was that Libyan firms operating in Uganda would have difficulties as the Gaddafi regime got battered by internal rebels and allied aerial bombardment.
During 2012 the key economic issues for Ugandans and Uganda will be driven by three things: Oil, Government Accountability and Electricity Power.
Oil boom?
Tullow Oil has already earned US$ 2.9 billion from farming down 67% of its Ugandan licenses. One fact that this transaction brings out is that oil will in a short time expose Uganda to the kind of money that the economy has never seen.
The management of oil licenses, oil revenue and local participation are key issues that are covered in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012 which is being scrutinised by the parliamentary committee on natural resources.
If and when the petroleum bill is passed into law at least two institutions will be created, namely the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and the National Oil Company. You can be certain that several alert people are already warming up for board and management positions in these two “oily” organisations.
Oil provides employment and entrepreneurship opportunities as Uganda navigates the path from exploration to full scale production. Ugandans are currently being short changed on the two fronts of employment and entrepreneurship.
Ugandans are missing out on employment due to lack of skills and certification. For example there are many Ugandans who do welding and carpentry work but lack trade certification. The Oil sector places stringent requirements for certification because they don’t want to mess their insurance cover if ever there was a problem or disaster.
On the side of entrepreneurship, the biggest challenge is lack of information on available opportunities. There is no information clearing house about oil related business opportunities that Ugandan MSMEs can take up. Information blackout allows sharp and connected entrepreneurs to hog opportunities while oblivious Ugandans watch on.
Electricity
Load shedding will continue frustrating Ugandans in 2012.
The Bujagali generation plant will come online this year but it will not solve the problem of load shedding. Bids for Karuma are now being evaluated. Assuming no delays occur in the procurement process the earliest we shall get power from Karuma is 2017!
In the meantime the development of Karuma Power project presents both challenges and opportunities. There will be the challenge of maintaining and sustaining the rich bio-diversity in the area. There will also be opportunities to support the construction work.
Compensation for no work
Public displeasure on corruption will continue throughout this year.
In the last 3 months, the so called compensation paid to companies owned by Basajjabalaba for loss of tenders to manage markets in Kampala has been a focus for the public displeasure at the misuse of government resources. The head count from this saga is unprecedented in the history of the NRM government and graft: 2 cabinet ministers; 5state house officials have already fallen and there might still be some more to go.
The fight against corruption has entered another phase in 2012 but you can be sure that the corrupt are not sitting idle and twiddling their thumbs either. It will be good to hear that the URA is levying capital gains tax on the likes of Basajjabala too.
For those who are prepared, the year 2012 presents great economic opportunities but for the unprepared it will be a challenging year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6 reasons people know so little about money


  1. Financial literacy was not taught in school which was the only source of learning for many people.
  2. They did not know anybody who had applied principles that made them financially better off. The examples they had were of people who stumbled from one financial crisis to another or people who pulled themselves from one financial hole to the next. They therefore concluded that becoming financially content, stable or successful was impossible.
  3. They knew people who were financially better off than they were but these people might be unwilling to explain how they got to where they were. That made their watchers conclude that financial success was a matter of luck – being at the right place at the right time; (yateba dilo ne kafumbe)  – being the child or spouse of a wealthy person or having the right connections.
  4. Man was said to be a creature of habit. For instance, we take particular routes to and from work, eat particular foods, and sleep in particular positions. There were people who also managed their finances according to habit and would not have time to examine new information that could positively impact on their finances.
  5. State patronage going back to Idi Amin’s ‘magnanimity’ in expelling the Asians and allocating their fully stocked shops to the fastest-running Ugandans continued to foster beliefs that one had to get lucky.
  6. Success was often attributed to a corrupt deal with government, murder of a partner, robbery, going under water or detaching human heads. From this perspective unless one was connected or knew a good butcher, what hope was there?

More...
Read the book Make Sense of Your Money. Available at Akamai 
Global | B209, 2nd Floor, Amber House
P.O. Box 6742, Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256414573506|Cell +256754472109

Email: info@akamaiglobal.co.uk 


Friday, June 17, 2011

Kampala Personal Money Training

Learn how to beat inflation and more...

Akamai Global is happy to invite you, your family, friends and colleagues to the July 2011 intake for the Personal Money Management Course.
Benefits of attending the course
*         Achieve your life goals and stop being frustrated by unfulfilled New Year resolutions
*         Take control of your money
*         Understand the real difference between the rich and the poor
*         Know how to succeed with debt & escape the debt trap
*         Learn how to invest whether you have little or much
*         Understand and speak the language of money
Classes run from 6pm to 8pm for eight (8) consecutive Mondays.
The course fee is Shs 260,000 per person.
Booking and payment: Akamai Global, B209, 2nd Floor Amber House (opp. Workers House). Tel.0701724783 /0754472109 /0751516118. Email:info@akamaiglobal.co.uk   
Topics covered
  • Introduction to Personal Money Management (Wealth Mindset)
  • Managing Savings and Expenses
  • Personal Debt Management
  • Personal Vision, Values and Goals
  • Economics and your money
  • Investment Principles
  • Interactive Session - investment options
  • Interactive Session - investment options

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Be Wise, Be Hopeful

There is a lot of gloom around, courtesy of the roaring inflation that hit 11% during the period February to March 2011. The cost of living is going up as households lose purchasing power. A litre of petrol is costing Shs 500 more now than what it cost at the beginning of the year. The cost of food and other things such as transport has gone up too.

A story is told that one day mother bed bug and her children were resting in a mattress when they were suddenly hit by scalding hot water. A young bed bug was so scared by the water attack and cried out to mother bed bug who gave it this assurance, "every hot thing will eventually become cold." We can also take heart that the inflationary pressure will eventually ease of.

Economic challenges are like cold winds blowing into a room. An Arab proverb provides useful wisdom in response to this, "Close the door from which the wind blows and relax." Let us take encouragement from the current economically difficult times and acquire attitudes and habits that will lead to future financial success. Attainment of financial literacy is an effective way of closing the door through which the wind of financial challenges blows. We need to acquire knowledge about financial systems and services on the one hand and then go on to apply that knowledge to earn better income, save part of the earnings and invest effectively.

Just like the ressurection of Jesus gives hope of a better future to the christian, let us be hopeful as we look forward to the Uganda of tomorrow and begin to live out that hope by investing even if it is in a vegetable garden for starters.



To download the full April 2011 newsletter in pdf, please use this link
Akamai Newsletter April 2011