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  • Uganda To Commence ICGLR Mineral Certification

    Don Binyina is the Executive Director Africa Centre for Mineral Policy and the new Chair of the Audit Committee of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Protocol (ICGLR) against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources. Read More

  • AAU trains miners in waste recycling

    ActionAid Uganda together with Makerere Women Development Association skill miners in briquette making

    Nabaggala Annet is a member of the Singo artisanal small scale miners association women’s league (SASSMA). She is the pioneer of briquette making in Mubende District and was contacted by the miners to kick start a similar project for the association. ActionAid Uganda in partnership with Makerere Women’s Development Association (MAWDA) conducted a three day training for the women including an on site practical session in briquette making at Nabaggala’s home in Kitumbi sub county. She talked to Oil in Uganda about the project.

    What’s your name Nabbagala Annet

    Do you deal in gold too? No How did you join Singo artisanal small scale miners’ association (SASSMA)? These gold miners heard about me and my charcoal business. They told me they had a women’s league under their association who I could train in making briquettes. I even have a certificate in making briquettes. Some of them were also my customers. Their secretary Emma asked me to train them. The women were very interested in the business.

    Is your business just here? No; currently I’m training women in Busoga. I was taken to Namutumba to train. Who took you to Busoga? There was an agricultural show in Jinja where the women saw me and got interested. One day I got a call asking me to go to Namutumba, then Iganga and train.

    How did you learn the trade? There were some Arabs that came; they were under an organization called MODIFA. Then I was a big time farmer. I farm in Kiduuzi village; that’s my home. So these people came and mobilized farmers to teach them how to make briquettes. The idea was to protect the environment by not cutting trees to burn charcoal. The CDO Bukuya, Edward Ssenkusu, is the one who brought these MODIFA people. He told me I was an enterprising person and encouraged me to train. We trained for 12 days at Marvelous hotel. When the CDO approached me I felt like it was a calling. So I talked to my husband and told him I was going to train.

    Participants attending the Briqutte making training in Bukuya, Mubende District

    What does your husband do? He’s a farmer as well. We work together and even are members of a group in the village. So he told me if I fail to learn I will have failed Kitumbi sub county. So I studied hard. We even sat for exams. Do came top of the class and was rewarded with the briquette making machines. When I returned I mobilized a residents and told them we would get support as an organised group.

    So you started that group? No I mean the briquette business. I started that project in Mubende district. Everyone in the business learnt from me. And I don’t charge any money to teach. Even when I went to Namutumba I was given 100,000 shillings but I spent all on transport. Because I believe if we are many and people are learning from me government can easily support us. In fact at the Jinja agricultural show I brought a trophy for Mubende district. I also networked with some Makerere students who were in the same business to benchmark and learn more. So I partnered with them; in fact, they are the ones who helped me acquire a solar dryer. It costs 740,000 shillings but I had support from them. I’ve made many business acquaintances in this business. Where would you like to see this SASSMA women’s league in say, two years time? I would love to see an expanded market for our product. I would also love for those without machinery to be helped. Also, i would wish for AAU to reach out to those people I trained in Busoga. They have an association; I even have a copy of their constitution. With such support we shall grow stronger. Because they ask me what kind of support I have since I don’t get paid anything. I told them the acquaintances I’ve made in this business helped me acquire machinery.

    When did you first learn about AAU? I first heard of it from SASSMA secretary Emma. When they came from training in Tanzania he told us the way we were doing our things had to change. For example we had to use masks not to inhale the briquette dust. He assured me AAU are partners and could help us. You know that dust usually causes one to cough.

    What challenges are you finding in your work? In training? Both training and work I have a problem of storage. You see we’re 14 members in our group. We make a lot of charcoal and have run out of storage space. The house is all full. Then we also don’t have enough machinery for work. For example only 3 member can work at a time. If we could all work at once we could even make a ton in a day. We also have a problem with the crusher. It’s too mechanical to operate. For instance it’s cumbersome for a woman to make a bag of briquettes with that crusher. There are some advanced crushers but we cannot afford them. And also I’m always being called to train say to Mubende yet I don’t get paid or facilitated. But because I love what I do. How many districts have you trained people? I have been in Mubende in Myanzi, Kiganda; Mityana, Wakiso. Wherever I go many people get my contacts and call me to train. Yet all I ask for is transport.

    So in your work as SASSMA how have you benefited from the partnership with AAU? It’s very beneficial. For AAU to bring these trainers today has really helped in equipping me with more knowledge. For example we have been mixing 10kg of char with a kilo of clay and one of cassava flour and 10 liters of water. But what I have learnt today is different. In fact if market is available we shall earn more.

  • Grabbing the bull by the horns: GIZ skilling initiative targets 8,000 Ugandans

    Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (E4D) is a GIZ programme that seeks to boost local employment and raise incomes in eight African countries. Read More

  • We are mere spectators, says Nwoya District Chairman

    In an exclusive interview with Oil in Uganda, Patrick Okello Oryema, the Nwoya district Chairman complains about what he perceives as systematic exclusion of his people and region from participating in the oil and gas sector. Read More

  • We shall minimise costs and maximise production-Total Boss

    Mr. Adewale Fayemi 

    Adewale Fayemi is Total E & P’s third General Manager ever since the company started operations in Uganda in 2012. Mr. Adewale, a Nigerian, replaced Frenchman François Rafin who barely served a year. He has worked with Total E&P for 22 years. Before his appointment in Uganda, Adewale was the Managing Director of Total E&P in Ivory Coast. He spoke to Flavia Nalubega about his new deployment. Read More

  • “President Museveni’s Advisors misleading him on value addition”

    Mr. Sasiirwe Jonny

    Sasiirwe Jonny is the National Chairman of the Artisanal and Small Scale Miners Association in Uganda. He has been involved in mining for over 26 years and owns the Kasita Mining Company in Mubende District.  He talked to Oil in Uganda about working in an industry that he joined at the age of 24, shortly after the NRM regime came to power through a guerrilla war that he took part in. Read More

  • “Compulsory acquisition of land is the last option”

    Kato Vincent is the Principal Exploration Geologist in charge of designing and implementing exploration programs in the Department of Geological Survey and Mines in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. Oil in Uganda talked to him about the mining sector in Uganda. Read More

  • “Oil money should fund agriculture”

    Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira Mijumbi (Photo: Nalubega F.)

    Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira Mijumbi is the outgoing State Minister for Agriculture who has just been appointed Junior Fisheries Minister. He spoke to Oil in Uganda about how the extractives sector can facilitate the growth of agriculture and avoid the so-called Dutch Disease. Read More

  • “Ugandan farmers can reap big from oil”

    Dónal Cronin is the Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda and Rwanda who has had a long career in development and governance work. In this two-part interview, he spoke to Oil in Uganda about Irish efforts to improve the state of governance in Uganda, as well as the opportunities that are right under the noses of Ugandan farmers, as the country’s oil and gas industry prepares for take-off in the not-so-distant future. Read More

  • Taxes a bigger problem than poor infrastructure-Total Boss

     François Rafin is the new General Manager at Total E&P Uganda. He has worked for Total for over 35 years. Oil in Uganda spoke to him about his posting to Uganda and his plans to see first oil during his tenure. Read More