President Yoweri Museveni has said there is a need to sort out the business roles between the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) and KACITA, a business support association in Uganda in order to promote trade and development.
“KACITA is a business group. They buy from others and bring here. Ours is to do production ourselves, do import substitution and export promotion for tangible economic transformation,” he said.
The President was today commissioning the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) intended to generate the necessary consensus across key government institutions, the private sector, exporters, producers, lawmakers, technical staff and all categories of leaders on deliberate actions to make exports a key growth weapon.
“I will also support and boost the Uganda Air Cargo Corporation to transport our exports in the region and beyond,” he said.
Uganda Air Cargo is Africa’s biggest C-130 operator and second to none on the African continent and offers reliable, high quality cargo service to regional and international partners.
The President commended what he described as volunteers and patriotic Ugandans who agreed to come in and fill the gaps, a responsibility which should have been done by the Ministry of Trade.
“It’s good that the stakeholders are getting engaged. Once something is built by stakeholders, you are surer,” he said. Using a local saying, the President said if the owner of a cow does not know what to do about his cow, the vet wastes his time. “We now have both the vets and the owners,” the President said referring to the newly commissioned committee that is focused on doubling Uganda’s total exports from the current USD$6.6298bn to US$12bn by 2026.
The Committee has stakeholders from the private sector dealing in Beef, Cement, Grains and Pulses, Flowers and Plants, Fish, Coffee, Steel, animal feeds, Tourism, Bananas, Poultry, Sugar etc. It also includes members of the public sector technical support team.
The Presidential Advisor, special duties Odrek Rwabwogo said while governments strategic initiatives including Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA), OWC, NAADS etc have led to increased agricultural and industrial production, its presence in regional and international markets shares is still limited.
“The establishment of the PACEID does not create a new institution but is using administrative interventions to revitalize institutions already in existence which may be underperforming for various reasons,” he said.
Rwabwogo said the committee will act as a Think Tank to advise the President on strategic and systematic interventions aimed at accelerating exports growth and industrial development for national transformation.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze and that of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives David Bahati among others.