KAMPALA —Uganda will renew its bid to host the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in Kampala. The 20-member World Chamber Federation General Council, the governing body of the ICC will November 7 convene in Paris, France to deliberate on issues of the world body. During the sitting, Uganda will lobby fellow members to support her bid to host the centre in Kampala.
The country first expressed interest in 2019, following which the Covid19 pandemic changed dynamics of business across the globe.
Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari, the President of the Uganda National Chamber of Trade and Investment, was elected a member of the ICC General Council in 2019 and is scheduled to attend the meeting in Paris where he states that he will renew calls for international support to open the centre. Uganda and Nigeria are the only two countries from Africa that are represented on the 20-member governing council.
According to Rukaari, who is also the Member of Parliament for Mbarara City North, and the National Chairman of the ruling NRM’s Entrepreneurs League, while the meeting convenes to discuss a number of issues including selection of the next host for the ICC Conference, it also provides an opportunity for drumming up support for Uganda.
The Centre of Entrepreneurship works with various stakeholders, including businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, intergovernmental and governmental agencies, to connect local entrepreneurs to global markets and enhance regulatory conditions for SMEs to thrive.
“Through the centre, we will leverage ICC’s global influence to develop skills for young people who face uncertain employment prospects and help catalyse local entrepreneurship through deeper collaborations with companies, chambers of commerce and technology partners,” Rukaari says.
If successful, Uganda will host the second hub in East Africa and the fifth in Africa. The ICC working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) this year launched the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship, announcing hubs in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria to inspire innovation and improve the business environment for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
From developing the skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects to mentoring local start-ups and entrepreneurs, the various hubs are devoted to preparing the next generation of African business leaders. The hubs run programmes like the AfCFTA Cross Border Trade, Sensitisation programme, Start-up mentorship programmes among others.
The ICC, is global network of chambers of commerce from more than 100 countries, which has over the last 100 years been mandated with promoting international trade and global regulation of business activity. It brings together the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce, as well as representing interests of members at World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and the G20.
During the November 7 meeting in Paris, Rukaari who is a 14th World Chambers Congress (WCC) jury member, will also participate in the bidding process where China through the China Chamber of Commerce and Australia, through the Victorian Chamber of Commerce, will present their vision for the 14th WCC.
Live Presentations, which will take place in Paris after which members will vote later in the month.