This Saturday (tomorrow), all roads will lead to Kampala Parents Auditorium in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, where a panel of experts are at the forefront of making, investing, lending and saving money will talk about how to make money work for you. SEBIDDE KIRYOWA profiles the panel.
Francis Xavier Kitaka, chairman MTK Holdings Limited
He lives in the shadow of his son-in-law, Katongole, the MD, Quality Chemicals Industries Limited (QCi). But Francis Xavier Kitaka, 79, is the bona fide brains behind the $32m (sh80b) plant alongside a multi-billion business empire that constitutes six companies.
The first (British-trained) biochemist in East and Central Africa and the first Ugandan to run a private veterinary pharmaceutical in Uganda, Kitaka has built on his professional expertise over time, moving from a government veterinary officer and biochemist in the 1960s to setting up sub-Saharan Africa’s first ARV manufacturing plant. His MTK Holdings also runs Quality Chemicals Limited an associate of QCi.
QCi runs Mosquito Net Village Limited (formerly Caelestino and Monica Centre) that is located on Old Entebbe Road in Bunamwaya. The company fights malaria through manufacture and sale of mosquito nets locally. The company also runs Tinosoft Limited a technology solutions company, as well as commercial real estate.
Danstan Kisuule, CEO, Y-Save Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Ltd.
On January 24, 2000, together with 14 colleagues, who were all members of the congregation at Kampala Pentecostal Church (Watoto Church today), under the umbrella of Young Workers, Kisuule started a savings club with the objective of teaching themselves and others the culture of saving as a way to develop themselves.
Nine years later, in 2009, the club had grown so big that Kisuule, who worked as an engineer at National Housing Corporation, quit his job to concentrate on growing a savers’ cooperative.
Fourteen years after its inception and five years after Kisuule decided to concentrate on running it full-time, the club now called The Young Savers Association for Ventures and Entrepreneurship (Y-Save cooperative), a savings and investment scheme, that comprises about 4,000 members. Their savings amount to more than sh3b with share capital and reserves of more than sh3b and assets worth more than sh7b at cost value.
Y-Save was registered with the Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry in November 2004 when it changed its name to become Y-Save Cooperative Savings & Credit Society Ltd and its legal status to become Y-Save Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd on May 22, 2013.
Patricia Ojangole, CEO, Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL)
Patricia Ojangole, 37, apart from being the chief executive officer (CEO) is also a member of executive committee of UDBL. Ojangole has risen from the position of chief internal auditor; acting chief executive officer and now CEO of UDBL.
UDBL is Uganda’s only development finance institution established in 1972 to develop a niche market for long-term development finance of businesses.
Sudhir Ruparelia, chairman, Ruparelia Group
Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, 58, needs no introduction to the majority of Ugandans. The biggest private land and property owner in Kampala, Forbes recently reported that he earns $600m a year from property alone.
The founder of the Ruparelia Group, Uganda’s largest conglomerate, with interests in property, banking, education, insurance and floriculture, in Uganda, Rwanda, the UK, United Arab Emirates and South Sudan, Ruparelia, with an estimated net worth of $1.1b (about sh2.8 trillion), is one of the world’s 1,585 billionaires.
His group owns a chain of hotels, hundreds of commercial and residential properties in Kampala, Kabira country club, a chain of Crane foreign exchange bureaus, Kampala International School Uganda, Kampala Parents School and Crane Bank, one of Uganda’s top three commercial banks. In 2013 he acquired Victoria University, promising to invest $10m in the next few years to make it one of East Africa’s finest.
He was born in Uganda, but moved to the UK with his parents at age 16 after President Idi Amin expelled all Asians in 1972. He worked in the UK and returned to Uganda in 1985 with $25,000 in savings. He started a commodities trading business and foreign exchange bureaus. Currently, the number 24 on Forbes’ Africa’s Richest List, Ruparelia is undoubtedly the most successful businessmen in Uganda.
Charles Mbire, chairman MTN Uganda
No one is best placed to talk about how to let money work for you. Described by Forbes “as one of Uganda’s most revered boardroom gurus and investors” Charles Mbire, whose total worth Pakasa estimates at over $300m (over sh750b), is one of the largest individual shareholders in MTN Uganda’s operations with a 5% stake. MTN Uganda is worth $1.4b (about sh3.5 trillion) putting Mbire’s stake in the company at $70m (over sh175b).
His Bomi Holding Company reportedly owns a 15% stake in Rift Valley Railways (RVR). Partially owned by Egyptian-based continental equity fund giant Citadel Capital, the company is worth over $562.7m putting Mbire’s stake at about $85m (about sh213b). He has a 33% stake in ETC Kenya, which works in partnership with Aggreko Uganda, specialists in generator rental and temporary power plants in Africa. That stake is estimated at $16m (over sh40b). He reportedly has a 50% stake in the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Uganda estimated at about $3.3m (sh8.3b).
The CRB allows institutions like commercial banks, credit institutions and microfinance deposit-taking institutions to check and share information on the credit history of borrowers. It is a major initiative by Bank of Uganda and Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Mbire also reportedly owns a $60m (sh150b) stake in Rift Energy Corp, a privately owned oil and gas exploration company based in Toronto, Canada, with early stages projects in east and central Africa. His stake in Alpine Pharma Limited, the firm behind the artemether processing plant in Kabale, is estimated at $6.7m (sh16.8b) His investments range from telecommunications, finance, energy, real estate, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness and transportation.