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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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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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