By Jacob okwii
Manufacturers under their association- Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) have called upon the government to prioritize industrialization as a way of ensuring growth, economic development and creating employment opportunities in the country.
Mubarak Kirunda Nkuuta the association’s acting executive director made this appeal in an interview with The Infrastructure Magazine at the opening of the 2017 trade fair exhibition show in Lugogo, Kampala recently.
UMA organizes the annual Uganda International Trade Fair (UGITF), which is the largest trade exhibition in Uganda. This year the show ran from Tuesday 3rd to Tuesday 10th October, 2017 at the UMA show grounds Lugogo in Kampala, under the theme “Transforming the Economy through Industrialization.”
The exhibition brought together representatives from 20 countries was seen by UMA as one of the most successful.
However, Nkuuta believes that with the government support and commitment, UMA should be able to achieve much better results.
The trade fair show exhibited goods and services ranging from vehicles, building materials such as iron sheets, iron bars and others like equipment for health services, financial services, and household goods.
“Our economy needs to grow and we can not only rely on specific avenues such as industry for such growth. There is need for UMA and government to deliberately support more industries as a way of creating many opportunities to our people”. Nkuuta said.
He urged Ugandans to buy what is produced locally as a way of encouraging local production, and supporting local industry.
Nkuuta acknowledged that one of the challenges facing local manufacturers is low quality goods. “UMA is fighting hard to make sure that our members produce the right quality of goods to satisfy Uganda’s needs,” he said.
He said local industrialists face a number of challenges which include among others; heavy taxation, cheap low quality goods from Asian countries, the government policy on taxation that gives international companies tax holidays while local industrialists pay heavy taxes, among others.
UGITF has taken place every year since 1992 and now serves as an international marketing platform for multi-sectoral goods and services from within and outside the East African region.