By Prossy Nandudu
Manufacturers have appealed to the Government to formulate a policy that compels all government ministries and departments to buy goods made in Uganda.
The move is aimed at encouraging the consumption of locally manufactured goods by Ugandans to boost the manufacturing industry in Uganda.
The call was made by the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) executive director, Ssebagala Kigozi, at a dinner for manufacturers at the UMA conference hall recently.
“They should give us priority so that there is a deliberate percentage of an item to be sold to government institutions. This should allow us grow,” said Kigozi. Kigozi explained that goods bought in bulk locally provide quick capital that could be ploughed back into the business to increase efficiency and timely production of the required goods.
“An individual will buy only a box or even one pen, but a government ministry will purchase in bulk. Once goods are purchased in bulk, the manufacturer will speed up production, and at the same time there will be efficiency because he is able to receive cash and reinvest it in the businesses,” said Kigozi.
Ugandan goods claim between 30% and 40% of the market share, which is not big enough compared to the variety of goods manufactured in Uganda.
“We believe that if the Government accepts our proposal, we should be able to command a market share of 50%, which is currently being claimed by imported goods and products,” Kigozi said.
He noted that the manufacturing sector contributes greatly to the economy through taxes and employment of both skilled and semiskilled youth, thus the need for government support.
The dinner that was held under the theme “Buy Ugandan, build Uganda,” was attended Katikiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga and the minister of trade, Amelia Kyambadde.