KAMPALA – Uganda is forging a working relationship with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) to deliver the highest value to her members and the wider business community, Ms. Olive Kigongo, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry – UNCCI President has said.
Ms. Kigongo was speaking at the private sector stakeholder dinner with the Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council [CWEIC), Lord Jonathan Peter Marland held at Serena Hotel on Wednesday.
She noted that the much-heralded Ugandan trait of enterprise and industry is now being met with innovation and a dynamism driven by the world’s youngest population.
“The Ugandan business landscape is very dynamic, with many different players from sectors as diverse as agriculture and digital services. Uganda’s business spectrum extends from small to medium enterprises,” she noted, recognizing stakeholders from manufacturing, construction, the extractive industry, pharmaceuticals, tourism, financial services, among others – all eager to take advantage of market opportunities not just in the region, and African Continental free trade area but across the entire span of the commonwealth Member Countries.
To achieve this, Ms. Kigongo noted that the Chamber has fully recognized the need to weave ‘headwinds’ into its strategy over the next phase of its journey but also focus reconciles with the global template provided by the Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 63 at the African Union, as well as country’s National Development Plan.
“We plan to continue supporting our membership and economy at large by infusing sustainability to support our members in the achievement of sustainability by designing products and services with environmental impact taken into consideration.”
On the other hand, Madam President said they will ensure the equitable participation of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and the impaired but also provide opportunities for businesses to showcase products and services in markets beyond Uganda and encourage innovation in product and process development.
Officiating at the event, Francis Mwebesa, Minister of Trade, Cooperatives, and Industry commended the government for prioritization of the private sector and providing a suitable fiscal monetary and regulatory environment for the private sector to invest.
“Human capital and infrastructure investment provide a strong backbone for the private sector to thrive. The shift towards sustainable practice in most sectors is evident. The global economy is transforming, and there’s a growing focus on sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices,” he said.
According to him, these practices will help Uganda’s private sector take advantage of opportunities that speak to her unique attributes.
“The annual food imports bill of USS 35b in Sub-Saharan provides a ready export market for Uganda, particularly on the back of the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Minister says the chamber is such important that it will enable the government to develop policies to improve the business environment.
“To progress, we need to have an ideal exchange with global counterparts such as the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council,” he called, tasking the Chamber President, to fast-track this engagement with Lord Marland and his team.
About Jonathan Peter Marland
Born on 14 August 1956, he is a British businessman and politician, having served as Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Business, Innovation and Skills, and Treasurer of the Conservative Party. Marland is currently the Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
Marland was one of the founding directors of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc, a multinational insurance business. He led the acquisitions or investment of Janspeed Ltd, Hunter Wellington Boots, Insurance Capital Partners, Jubilee Holdings Ltd, The Cricketer magazine, and Eco World Management and Advisory Services (UK) Ltd.
He is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the Kuwait Investment Authority.
He was one of the owners of SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica, having been convinced by Nigel Oakes to invest in a company that should focus on “security and military advice”.
In 2010, Marland was made a Minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
In May 2011 he was appointed as the Chairman of the British Business Ambassadors by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
In 2012, Marland was made a Minister for Intellectual property in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
He was the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy between 2011 and 2014.
In 2014 he became Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.