Stanbic Bank Uganda has launched Trade Barometer, a dynamic and insightful survey that seeks to help and inform how to support trader, and small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) on how to upscale their operations.
Being Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank (trading in Uganda as Stanbic Bank) has leveraged its presence and expertise across the continent to create the Stanbic Bank Africa Trade Barometer (SB ATB).
Africa Trade Barometer is a trade index that measures the tradability attractiveness of 10 African countries including an in-depth analysis of Uganda’s trade trends.
Doreen Kironde Namagembe, the head of trade and Africa-China Stanbic Bank said that Stanbic Bank Africa trade Barometer was conceived out of the intent of trying to make sure that they create Africa’s leading trade index.
“We realized that indeed there’s a vacuum when it comes to the information on the chain when it comes to the Africa regions and Uganda in particular.” She said.
Namagembe added that the information is skewed by large businesses that trade specific commodities in large
volumes leaving small businesses not adequately represented.
“We thought we’d take advantage of getting a magazine or survey that now takes a look into what the small businesses do and how they look at trading in the countries in which they trade.”
“We took a direction of having an in-depth look to the smallest SMEs because usually the trade surveys that had done in Uganda on the African continent are skewed by the corporates.” She added.
On his part, Aaron Akampa, the head of the consumer sector at Stanbic Bank said SMEs rely on infrastructure to operate.
“For SMEs to generate any money, there has to be easy movement of goods, whether it’s across the border, or internally.”He said.
Akampa added that SMEs are now struggling with feeder roads, the ones linking to the well-built highways.
He added that over the past 10 years, the Ugandan government in particular has had mass infrastructural development, where a lot of investment has been put into the construction of highways.
“If you take a picture of 10 years before or eight years ago and now, it’s much easier to get good interest than that it’s much easier to get goods into Congo, the highways into Congo are well built, so there’s been investment in the highways,” Akampa said.
Trade in the context of the SB ATB is the process of production and transfer of goods and services that is enabled by solutions that effectively connect the supply chain domestically and internationally to create economic value.