By Francis Emorut
The new Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) has finally been inaugurated.
The 12-member committee, after taking oath of allegiance and to protect the secrets of the Board, will now make strategic decisions to increase the exports of the country.
Trade and Industry minister Amelia Kyambade who officiated at the inauguration ceremony implored the new board to come up with new ways of improving exports in the East African Community (EAC), Common Market in Central southern Africa (COMESA) and in Europe and Asia.
She said her ministry will embark on revitalising cooperatives and make credit facilities accessible to exporters.
The chairperson of the new board, Maria Odido, pledged to tackle the issues affecting the Promotion Board.
“We shall build on what has been achieved by the Promotion Board and take necessary steps as a team to make Uganda’s exports attractive to the outside world,” Odido said.
Odido, who is the chief executive officer of Bee Natural Honey, asked the minister and Government to give them the necessary support to propel the Uganda Export Promotions Board to a higher level.
The permanent secretary of the ministry of trade, Julius Onen, explained that it took long to appoint the new board due to new vetting processes and the demand by the Cabinet to have regional representation and take into account having balanced religious affiliations.
The new board comprises: Florence Kata who is also the executive director of UEPB; Frank Sebbowa from the Uganda Investment Authority, David Etuket from ministry of foreign affairs, Patrick Okilangole from ministry of trade, industry and cooperatives, Laban Mbulamuko of ministry of finance, planning and economic development.
Others are Henry Mutebi Kityo of Uganda National Farmers’ Federation, Jacques Schrier of Uganda Flowers Export Association, Aga Sekalala Junior of Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, Steven Rugumba Wakame from Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sujal Goswami of Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association and Okaasai Opolot from ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries.
New exports board takes office