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EU outlines programs for Uganda’s struggling private sector


Ms Caroline Adriaensen the Head of Cooperation at the European Union (EU) has revealed that they (EU) have currently outlined a number of programs aimed at supporting Uganda’s private sector.

Ms. Adriaensen said these programs are aimed at supporting the growth of the struggling private sector, which she said should fully embrace and engage in.

“We have a number of projects in skilling that help to address the gap in demand and supply in the private sector plus also several initiatives that look at the legal forms, accountability, and governance environments, all aimed at developing Uganda’s MSMEs,” she said

She also reechoed that for Ugandans to export to the European Union market there is a criterion in terms of quality and quantity that needs to be fulfilled and she emphasized how it’s very important for candidate exporters to get access to information.

“As European Union we have set up a platform that provides an opportunity to share information, network, a space for dialogue and this platform involves the Ministry of Trade and other stakeholders that can help to facilitate this process,” she asserted.

The EU cooperation head made these remarks at the commemoration of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Day in Kampala on Tuesday this week.

The Sustainable Business for Uganda Platform (SB4U) together with other partners organized this day with the aim of finding solutions for integrating the regional and global marketplace.

Dev Chamroo a consultant with SB4U noted that MSMEs in Uganda play a critical role in terms of employment and contribution to the GDP but sadly they aren’t a major contributor to direct export.

“Today we are here to encourage local SMEs to think global by being competitive on the global market and also compete and win at the regional market, this was the learning and experience sharing we had today” He highlighted.

Dev also noted that on top of many being in the informal sector SMEs in the country lately want to win alone which doesn’t apply in the game of international trade.

“What we are telling the SMEs is that it’s time to cooperate and collaborate because the outside market is so competitive, on top of that, we are also advocating the government to set up an SME authority that will guide and assist them” he added.

Maxima Nsimenta the founder of Livara encouraged entrepreneurs to always have a goal and purpose along the journey as this will help them to be focused hence the growth of their businesses.

“The need to formalize your business has to come from you the entrepreneur, no one is going to come and tell you to systemize, leaning on systems and wanting to improve every day is important” she highlighted.

The head of trade and working capital at Equity Bank noted that as a bank they have several products tailored to meet different solutions of SMEs across the country

“We also know that some of the SMEs lack collateral, as a bank we have come up with products to allow SMEs access credits from Equity without collateral based on our parameters” He highlighted.

“Some of these products are contract financing, invoice discount, and easy stock preposition” he added.

Every year on June 27th the whole world comes together to celebrate MSMEs Day with the aim of raising awareness about MSMEs, promoting sustainable development, and creating a supportive environment for their growth and success.

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