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  • Training on quality standards to address low competitiveness of food suppliers in Uganda

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    Tuesday 5th April 2016, Kampala—“In line with the Vision 2040, Uganda’s development is constrained by low competitiveness in producing goods and services that can be favourably traded at the local, regional and global markets, hence the need to improve quality control as well as consistency in supply of local products.”

    This was said by Ms. Sandra Uwera, the Chief Executive Officer of the COMESA Business Council (CBC) ahead of the Local Sourcing for Partnerships (LSP) training workshop convened by CBC in partnership with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda from 5th till 8th April, 2016 at Protea Hotel Kampala, Uganda. The workshop seeks to; build inclusive growth of SMEs in business processes, establish job creation of SMEs, contribute to overall improvement of intra-trade development in COMESA as well as promote and facilitate international market access of local products.

    The significance of the training to Uganda’s development trajectory is exemplified by the emphasis put forward by Vision 2040, that supports the development of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) such as agricultural based MSMEs to automated hi-tech industries. Furthermore, as indicated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Buy Ugandan Build Uganda Policy (BUBU), Uganda’s private sector comprises of 90% (MSMEs). These MSMEs provide employment to approximately 2.5 million people, contributing 75% of the Gross Domestic Product. However, in order to grow MSMEs sustainably and increase local sourcing as per the BUBU policy target, 20% of Government procurement by value should consist of local products and services. 50% of shelf space in supermarkets should be populated by local products while 50% of local products should conform to national standards.

    Therefore, efforts such as the LSP training by CBC augment the BUBU policy that encourages growth through increased local sourcing is a positive step that will help address Uganda’s trade deficit, which has experienced a deteriorating trade balance from $2.4 billion in 2010/11 to $2.5 billion in 2011/12 (UBOS). The drop is attributed to reduced export earnings estimated at $2.4 billion compared to the increasing imports estimated at $5.0 billion. The increase in imports signifies the need to encourage the production and consumption of homegrown quality products from Uganda.

    Anchored on the theme “building sustainable sourcing partnerships between SMEs and corporate companies”, CBC has successfully conducted similar trainings on quality and food safety standards that benefited 80 agro-food suppliers in Zambia, 97 in Rwanda and 120 in Kenya. The project which is supported by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), USAID-IPAA, in collaboration with the public and private sector bodies, is being implemented in six countries. Additional trainings will be held in Ethiopia and Malawi.

    It is anticipated that over 80 participants will be trained on the Hazard Analysis Critical Points (HACCP) and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) management system. The training approach will include both in-house classes and field tours to various businesses operating in the Ugandan market such as SERENA Kampala.

    So far, CBC has entered in buyer agreements with a number of private sector companies, namely- Serena Uganda, Serena Rwanda, Protea Kampala, Protea Lusaka and Taj Pamodzi Zambia, Inyange Industries and Bralirwa Ltd. The objective is to link them with the successful local suppliers who have undergone training, thus supporting them to increase their share of local sourcing. At the end of the project a local sourcing recognition certificate will be awarded to corporate companies that promote local sourcing as practitioners of the Responsible Procurement policies in Africa such as the current Uganda Public Procurement & Disposal of Assets Act (PPDA).

    Notes to Editors:

    About the COMESA Business Council (CBC)

    The CBC is the recognized apex business member organization in the region, and a private sector institution of COMESA. The CBC represents private sector interests at the highest levels of decision making in the region. The CBC provides key market driven services to its membership, namely- business advocacy, business support services- linkages, partnerships and market intelligence, and lastly membership development – technical and productive capacity building.

    For more information about LSP future activities and current updates follow CBC’s social media platforms or contact comesabusinesscouncil@comesa.int.

    Twitter: @COMESABusiness;
    Facebook: COMESA Business Council;
    LinkedIn: COMESA Biz Council
    Website: www.comesabusinesscouncil.org

    About the Investment Climate Facility for Africa
    The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) is a pan-African development organization whose aim is to reduce barriers to doing business in Africa. ICF works with businesses and African governments to create a conducive legal, regulatory and administrative environment for businesses, both big and small, to invest and grow. Based in Tanzania, ICF is a unique partnership between governments, the private sector and development partners. ICF believes that an improved investment climate is critical for job creation, income growth and poverty reduction across the continent.

    For more information please visit www.icfafrica.org
    Twitter: @ICFAfrica_org
    Facebook: @icfafrica
    LinkedIn: @icf-africa

    About the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU)

    PSFU is Uganda’s apex body for the private sector. It is made up of 185 business associations, corporate bodies and the major public sector agencies that support private sector growth. Since its founding in 1995, PSFU has served as a focal point for private sector advocacy as well as capacity building and continues to sustain a positive dialogue with Government on behalf of the private sector.

    For more information about PSFU visit http://www.psfuganda.org

    For media enquiries please contact:

    Martin Namasaka
    Communications Officer
    COMESA Business Council (CBC)
    Mobile: +256/+260971804018
    Email: mnamasaka@comesa.int

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  • Posted by Agnes Audax Baguma on July 27, 2016, 6:52 PM

    How can I be of use in this initiative? It is true that quality as well as product presentation are the main hindrance.

    Reply →

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