News from the Dubai Expo 2021 is not good. The irony is that expos especially of international nature are supposed to showcase the nation’s industrial innovation and human ingenuity.
However, reports from the Dubai expo show that our participation didn’t come close to showcasing our ingenuity and industrial innovations.
First, we learnt stalls were unmanned. There was nobody to explain what a gem Uganda is as an investment destination. While we may not believe many things, the testimony of the frustration of the person who runs Livara is very riveting.
Livara processes many organic items such as Shea butter. First, the Livara boss says she was invited to the expo by Uganda Industrial Research Institute and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). She adds that there was little assistance from these organisations. She was conned by some Nigerians who promised to offer better accommodation
This was an opportunity squandered. For a country like Uganda, which looking to cement and stamp its identity and economic future as a diversified centre of global business and innovation, the expo 2021 could not have come at a better time. Alas, Uganda looked like those legendary animals they cast gems to but couldn’t grab them because they had no value for them.
Part of the problem is that, the exposition of Uganda was supposed to be done by ministers as opposed to professional and real investors. UIA recently got a new management and board team.
Many of the members on this team are fairly exposed and one would have thought they cannot frown upon an opportunity to lure investors into the country. What happened? The institutions of government need to style up.
There seems to be a laissez-faire attitude in everything done and, this is at the expense of the development of the country. If people in charge of marketing Uganda are not interested, they should quit and give room to those interested.
The auditor general and the inspectorate of government should get involved. Those who neglected their duties and caused financial loss should be made to make good on the loss.