Automattic at CMS Africa Summit

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WordPress.com developers and Happiness Engineers head to Kampala, Uganda, next week to discuss open source, mobile, and business growth.

Source: Automattic at CMS Africa Summit

THE PROCEDURE AND FORUM FOR GRANTING CUSTODY OF A CHILD IN UGANDA

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The forum for applying for custody is the High Court, specifically, the Family and Children’s Court Division.
 The person seeking custody should file a petition to the Family and Children’s court supported by an affidavit. The petition the facts should indicate why you deserve custody of the child and how your custody request will be in the best interest of the child.
 The petition is then served on the other party who is expected to reply to the averments in the Petition.
 The order for granting the custody can be made on such conditions as Court may deem fit.

• In the petition for custody, one can make additional prayers luje supervisory orders, care orders and maintenance orders.
• Also if one has custody of the child, there is no need to apply for a custody order. However, one can apply for a maintenance order.
• The court may at any time revoke the grant of custody to one person and make the grant to another person, institution, or organization.
• The court shall in reaching its decision primarily consider the welfare of the child.
• Where the court is satisfied on the information from probation and social welfare officer or an officer of the local government that the parent who has custody of the child is willfully neglecting or mistreating the child, custody shall be granted to the other parent.

In conclusion, the party must prove by producing enough evidence that he or she has a relationship with the child akin to that of a parent that parental custody would clearly be detrimental to the child if not granted and the best interest of the child is paramount.

OBTAINING CUSTODY OF A CHILD IN UGANDA

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The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda stipulates that a child is a person below the age of eighteen years. A child is entitled to live with his or her parents or guardians unless it is not in the interest of the child whereof the best substitute care available shall be provided for the child. Among a child’s rights include the right to education and guidance, clothing shelter, food, protection from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect, harmful social or customary practices and employment in any activity that is harmful to his or her development.

The general rules governing the rights of the children regarding who to live with is that both parents have a right to live with their children and bring them up. However, where parents live apart, unmarried or divorced or one or both parents are dead, the question is who is entitled to the custody of the child?

Today in Uganda, it is increasingly becoming common to see single fathers looking after their children single handedly. Gone are the days when it was automatically assumed that a child is supposed to live and remain in sole custody of its mother.

The Children’s Act of Uganda, Cap 59, provided that the rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union) Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African child with appropriate modifications to the circumstances are applicable in Uganda.

The 1st Schedule of the Children’s Act sets out certain basic principles that govern all parts of the Children’s Act, which must always be considered before any decision, or action concerning a child is made. In the Ugandan legislation and courts of law, in determining who should have the custody, its well established that the paramount consideration is the welfare of the child. It provides that the welfare principles and the Children’s rights as set out in the First schedule of the Children’s Act shall be the guiding principles in making any such decision. The principles include: Time being of the essence, the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned.
Factors such as the father’s natural and superior right to the custody of the child as against the mother, the claims of the other relatives and the conduct of the parties among others, should be taken into account in determining the welfare of the child.

Consideration is also made of the child’s age and the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs; the likely effects of any changes in the child’s circumstances, the child’s age, sex, background and any other circumstances relevant in the matter, any harm that the child has suffered or is at the risk of suffering where relevant, the capacity of the child, parents, guardians or others involved in the care of the child in meeting his or her needs but where a child is taken away from one of the parents, the other should be free to visit the child as he pleases.

CHECKLIST FOR DUAL CITIZENSHIP APPLICANTS IN UGANDA

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1. FILL IN THE DUAL CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION FORM AND HAVE IT COMMISSIONED OR NOTARIZED BY A HIGH COURT JUDGE OR NOTARY PUBLIC.

2. A COVER LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION BOARD.

3. A LETTER FROM THE SPONSOR WHO SHOULD BE A CITIZEN OF UGANDA BY BIRTH. (A SPONSOR MUST BE AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, ADVOCATE BANK OFFICER, CHAIRPERSON OF DISTRICT, TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY, JUSTICE OF PEACE, MAGISTRATE, MAYOR, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, MEMBER OF MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, MINISTER OF RELIGION, NOTARY PUBLIC, PHYSICIAN OR SURGEON).

4. A LETTER OF GOOD CONDUCT FROM THE HOME COUNTRY OR INTERPOL.

5. EVIDENCE THAT THE APPLICANT WAS FORMERLY A UGANDAN (ONLY APPLICABLE TO UGANDANS IN THE DIASPORA)

6. PROOF THAT THE APPLICANT HAS BEEN GRANTED CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION (ONLY APPLICABLE TO FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE BEEN GRANTED UGANDAN CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION).

7. EVIDENCE THAT ANOTHER COUNTRY OTHER THAN UGANDA ALLOWS DUAL CITIZENSHIP. (E.G A LETTER FROM THE IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY OR HIGH COMMISSION OR CONSULATE OF THAT OTHER COUNTRY OR COPY OF THE PROVISIONS OF LAWS PERMITTING DUAL CITIZENSHIP OF THAT OTHER COUNTRY).

8. 3 RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE APPLICANT.

9. EVIDENCE THAT THE APPLICANT OR HIS OR HER PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS HAVE EVER RESIDED IN UGANDA FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS.

10. MEDICAL REPORT OF IMMUNITY OF THE APPLICANT.

11. PROOF THAT THE APPLICANT IS ABOVE 18 YEARS OF AGE, ( E.G BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF THE APPLICANT)

12. EVIDENCE THAT THE APPLICANT HAS ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH, KISWAHILI OR ANY OF THE PRESCRIBED VERNACULAR LANGUAGES.

13. PROOF THAT THE APPLICANT HAS NOT BEEN DECLARED BANKRUPT.

14. OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.

Benefits and Challenges of Investing in Uganda

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Why you should consider international expansion in Uganda

There has been a rise in the number of multinational and international companies setting up overseas in Uganda over the recent past. This can be attributed to many reasons especially liberalization of the economy allowing many multi national corporations to set up like in the telecom sector; MTN and Airtel Bharti, Orange, in the Financial Services sector ;- Citi Bank, Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, Barclays, Letshego, Oil and Gas Sector; Tullow Operations Pty, Total, Vivo Energy, CNOOC, Beverages Sector;- Diageo, SabMiller, Coca Cola, Pepsi; Fast Moving Consumer goods (FMCG);- Uniliver, Bidco.

Some of the benefits of setting up business in Uganda include;

  1.  Wide regional market including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.
  2. Easy and investor friendly labour/employment laws
  3. Conducive Investment Climate
  4. Positive income tax regime that provides incentives to investors including double taxation treaties
  5. Good physical climate
  6. Liberalized economy where there is repatriation without restrictions and there are no foreign exchange controls.
  7. Political, economic and market stability
  8. Emergence of the regional common market of the East African community. Uganda is a member of the East African Community common market with 5 member states
  9. State of infrastructure
  10. Availability of adequate energy
  11. Legal regulatory framework, there are no stringent laws to doing business
  12. Availability and the costs of raw materials and natural resources
  13. Attractive foreign investment policies
  14. presence of environmental laws and regulations

Some of the drawbacks of investing in Uganda include;-

  1. Dis economies of scale
  2. Limited skilled labour in specialized fields hence supervision of business becomes a challenge
  3. High interest rates

Top Investment areas in Uganda/ hotspots for overseas expansion

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HOTSPOTS FOR OVERSEAS EXPANSION IN UGANDA

There are several hotspots for overseas expansion and investment areas in Uganda. Some of the main sectors are discussed below:

Energy and Mining

Uganda has favourable geological conditions associated with a rich and diverse mineral resource base. Over 33 metallic and non metallic minerals are found in the country. Some of these minerals are currently being mined and others explored. Minerals found in Uganda include but are not limited to gold, iron ore, Tin, Copper, Cobalt, Phosphates, Vermiculite, Diamond, Petroleum, Limestone, Chronite, Magnetite, Uranium, Wolfram, Salts, Nickel, Glass and Sand.

Uganda has both renewable and non – renewable energy resources. Renewable energy sources include plentiful woody and non- woody biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydrological resources.

Oil & Gas

The discovery and confirmation of commercial oil reserves along the western border has put Uganda in the spotlight. In January 2009, Heritage Oil announced the discovery of an estimated 400 million barrels of oil in a field dubbed Giraffe1, in the Lake Albert region and that the wider field named Buffalo Giraffe is thought to have well over two billion barrels of oil in place. Foreign companies already involved in oil operations in Uganda include UK-based Tullow Oil, Tower Resources, China’s China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), France-based Total SA and Italy’s Eni Spa,

Real Estate, Construction and Infrastructure

The population of Uganda is steadily increasing and is currently estimated to be at 34 Million people. This has led to an increase in the demand for housing provision and construction services. Investment opportunities in this sector include the provision of low-cost housing for the population in urban and peripheral areas; the manufacture of prefabricated concrete systems and other fittings for the building & construction industry, supply of furniture & fittings among others.

Trade and Commerce

The recent economic dynamism has also opened up opportunities in manufacturing and services. Linked to almost all of the primary sector industries are opportunities in up-stream or down-stream manufacturing activities. These include, among other things, packaging and the construction of storage facilities. In addition, the extensive privatization programme of the Government has opened up industries that were formerly closed to the private sector, particularly in the infrastructure sector.

Agriculture and Food processing

Uganda is endowed with a good climate and fertile soil. Temperatures range between 15 and 30 degrees centigrade and annual rainfall between 750 and 2000 millimetres. Investment opportunities in this sector range from forestry to food-processing and the manufacture of inputs. Specific agriculture-related industries with attractive opportunities include food products and oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, forticulture, fish and fish products, livestock and dairy products, and commercial coffee and tea farming.

Transport and Communication

Uganda is served by road, rail, inland water and air transport. Road is by far the dominant transport mode in terms of scale of infrastructure and the volume of freight and people movements. The shortage of proper infrastructure facilities, in particular air, road and rail transport, is an obstacle to users but an opportunity for investors to get contracts in Road/Railway/Bridge construction. Opportunities in the Communications sector include provision of Technology Hardware and Software, Extension of Internet connectivity solutions, Software development, webhosting/Design solutions, Mobile telephone services

Other sectors include manufacturing, service delivery to mention but a few.

Doing Business in Uganda

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About Uganda

The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa. It borders Kenya in the East, Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, the United Republic of Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South West and Republic of South Sudan in the North.

Despite the limitation of being landlocked, Uganda has numerous opportunities created by its being land linked; as shown above, it has five countries bordering it. Its biggest opportunity is the ease of trade with all the five neighbouring countries.

Uganda has a population estimate of 34 million people which translates into a high market for manufacturing services, construction, leisure provision, infrastructure development, agriculture and potential for all sectors. It is blessed with ideal climate, green vegetation and indeed stands true by its motto “gifted by nature”. Uganda is said to have been called the “Pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchhill, the former British Prime Minister visited Uganda. Although certain literature and research suggests that it was first named the Pearl of Africa by Henry Stanley. See the interesting research presented by Jonathan Musere at http://mozambi5.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/winston-churchill-and-henry-stanley-who-named-uganda-the-pearl-of-africa/