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UN base in Entebbe is good business for Ugandans, says Mwebesa

Francis Mwebesa, the minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, has rallied Ugandan businesspeople to take advantage of business opportunities presented by the presence of the United Nations Regional Service Center (RSCE) in Entebbe.

Mwebesa was speaking during a UN business seminar that took place at the RSCE recently. With approximately 80 participants in attendance, the seminar was aimed at helping more Ugandans benefit from doing business with the UN.

In 2022, the UN procured approximately $32 million worth of goods and services from Ugandans. This is roughly one per cent of the total procurement volume processed by the UN. Mwebesa insisted that $32 million is “a drop in the ocean” and there is a need for more Ugandans to aim higher in doing business with the UN.

“When Ugandans are well organized, the amount of money they get from doing business with the UN could increase,” Mwebesa said.

He added: “The ministry is trying to reorganize the private sector in Uganda. This shall be in the form of a strong chamber of commerce. If we had an organized private sector, all people who sell goods could freely take advantage of such opportunities as the base is in Uganda. A strong private sector also augments the capacity of Ugandan businesspeople during bidding.”

To encourage the production of goods for export, Mwebesa said the country had opened a free zones authority near Entebbe International Airport. Under the free zones, individuals who produce goods with 80 per cent of the total output exported are entitled to several advantages that the free zones offer to producers.

“The proximity to the airport will encourage Ugandans operating in the free zone to ship their goods to the international market easily.”

Paulin Djomo, the director of the RSCE, said Ugandans are primarily involved in the security, transportation, industrial, and construction sectors. Djomo noted that there are more opportunities for Ugandans to benefit from doing business with the center.

“We procure a little for us as the base in Entebbe, but more for the entities that we serve. We transact over $5 billion dollars at the base in Entebbe per year. Uganda only gets one per cent of the total transactions. This can grow if Ugandan businesspeople are guided,” Djomo said.

He added, “We look for products that our different operations need. When you work in war-torn areas like Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we shall be interested in military hardware. A peace mission like that in the DRC can cost approximately $400 million a year. It is a huge operation. Ugandan businesspeople
can benefit from such missions when they are well guided on how to do business with the UN.”

Balakrishnan Amirthalingam, the chief of the Global Procurement Support Section (GPSS), said: “Any Ugandan business that intends to do business with the UN should register on the UN global marketplace. Once they register, they will be notified whenever a solicitation is uploaded. If it is your area, you will be able to compete. Ugandan businesses should also show proof of registration in Uganda, proof of financial stability to supply the demand for the goods in demand.”

Among the areas for improvement, he recommended that Ugandan contractors comply with contractual commitments when executing contracts. He also requested that companies struggle to get both national and international quality certifications to give them a competitive advantage over their counterparts.

Comments

+1 #1 kabayekka 2023-05-17 19:53
If only these officials can tell the people of this country how much does this UN pay to rent the whole of the old Airport of Entebbe.

And where does all that dollar money go now over 50 years as this organization continues to flourish in the misery of never ending African civil wars!
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0 #2 kabayekka 2023-05-17 19:53
If only these officials can tell the people of this country how much does this UN pay to rent the whole of the old Airport of Entebbe.

And where does all that dollar money go now over 50 years as this organization continues to flourish in the misery of never ending African civil wars!
Report to administrator

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