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Uganda risks electrocuting citizens to protect Entebbe Expressway

Should Uganda risk the lives of its citizens just so it could secure the newly built Entebbe Expressway which the administration of Yoweri Museveni prides as a legacy project?

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Should Uganda risk the lives of its citizens just so it could secure the newly built Entebbe Expressway which the administration of Yoweri Museveni prides as a legacy project? This is the question currently agitating the minds of many in the East African country where Yoweri has arm-twisted the legislature to extend the age requirement for the President to over 70 years.

Government is considering electrifying of Entebbe expressway fence to put to an end the vandalism of road infrastructure, according to a declaration by President Yoweri Museveni.

The President made the remarks while commissioning the Kampala Entebbe Expressway at Mpala toll station in Wakiso District on Friday evening. The function was also graced by Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Museveni notes that electrifying the fence will minimize the burden of maintaining the vandalized road infrastructures which costs a lot of funds to maintain. Cameras will also be installed to ease monitoring of activities along the road.

The equipment usually vandalized, according the Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA, includes guard rails and road signs.

The president also reminded motorists who wish to use the road that they will have to pay a yet to be determined amount of money because the expressway was built as a toll road, under the public private partnership.

The tolling section, according to Uganda National Roads Authority, measures 25 km running from Busega through Kajjansi to Abayita Ababiri (Mpala).

Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the state Minister for Works, says the toll fee will be fixed after enactment of the Road Toll Bill. Road tolling is a form of road pricing, on either a public or private roadway, typically implemented to help recover the cost of road construction and maintenance.

Wang Yang, the Chinese government official who presided over the commissioning of the Expressway is optimistic that the road will boost industrialization in Uganda since it would reduce time goods spend in transit from Entebbe to Kampala.

The 49.56 km highway connects Kampala city to Entebbe International Airport was constructed with a loan of up to USD 476 million (about 1.8 trillion shillings) from the Exim Bank of China constructed by the China communication Construction Company (CCCC).

According to the findings of Committee of Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), the road has costed Uganda $9.2 million per kilometer over and above the average $2 million per kilometer road.

Meanwhile, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians will not be allowed to use the newly constructed road when it is officially opened.

The government of Uganda is to put up more for expressway Enhance efficient passenger and freight operations, improve mobility, reduce travel times, vehicle operating costs and accident rates. The four includes the Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE), Kampala-Busunju Expressway, Kampala-Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala Outerbelt and Kampala-Bombo Expressway.

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Binance in talks with Nigerian govt over executive’s detention

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Following the arrest of Binance’s head of financial crime compliance by Nigerian authorities last month, the company’s CEO said Thursday that the company was working very closely with Nigerian officials.

The trial against Tigran Gambaryan, the executive, and another Binance employee, who are accused of moving more than $35 million, had been put off until May 2 in Nigeria, the country’s anti-corruption body said on April 8.

“What I can say is we are working very closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to resolve the matter,” CEO Richard Teng said, speaking about Gambaryan’s case during the Token2049 crypto conference in Dubai.

Former executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British Kenyan who works as a regional manager for Africa, escaped detention in Nigeria last month. While in Nigeria, Anjarwalla and Gambaryan were arrested by the country’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after arriving on February 26, after which the country banned several websites that traded cryptocurrencies.

Before they were arrested, the head of Nigeria’s central bank said that Binance was being investigated in Nigeria because of “suspicious flows” of cash through Binance Nigeria in 2023. The Securities and Trade Commission of the United States and other government agencies have susbsisting restrictions on bitcoin trade.

Besides the case brought by the EFCC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria’s tax office, has also charged Binance and the executives with tax evasion.

Sacheendran declined to comment on the charges against the company but stressed that “This was a one-off. It’s never happened to us before”. The Binance head of regional markets told Reuters on the sidelines of the Dubai conference when asked about the detentions.

Additionally, Binance revealed on Thursday that it had obtained a license from VARA, Dubai’s regulatory body. This will enable the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to target regular people in addition to qualified and institutional ones.

Bloomberg reported earlier Thursday, citing sources, that parts of VARA’s process to give the license included Changpeng Zhao, the founder and former CEO of Binance, giving up vote control of the Dubai unit.

“That’s pure speculation. Again, we don’t comment on media speculation… Our relationship, our dealings with regulators are confidential,” Teng told journalists.

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IMF says South Africa needs to do more to cut spending, lower debt-to-GDP ratio

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A top official from the International Monetary Fund has revealed that South Africa needs to do more to cut spending and lower its debt-to-gross domestic product ratio. The multilateral body stressed that the ratio is expected to rise from 74% in 2022 to almost 86% by 2029.

Era Dabla-Norris, deputy head of Fiscal Affairs, said that the government could cut back on transfers to state-owned businesses, make cuts to subsidies that don’t help specific companies, and make big changes to the way the economy works to boost growth.

She told a news conference that South Africa’s energy and logistics problems had to be fixed right away.

A Statista study shows that between 2023 and 2028, the South African national debt was expected to keep going up by a total of 163.3 billion U.S. dollars, or 59.99%.

The national debt is expected to hit a new high point of 435.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2028, after going up for ten years in a row. Notably, the national debt has steadily risen over the past few years.

The IMF says that the general government’s gross debt is made up of all its debts that need to be paid back with interest and/or capital at some point in the future.

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