The principle of non-indulgence in political activities is cardinal in order to render services equally.
By Olive Z. Kigongo
Globally under the auspices of the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) and the World Chambers Federation (WCF), national chambers in all countries foster business growth through diligent services to its members.
The ICC and WCF with observer status in the United Nations General Assembly guide member chambers to serve the business community in all sectors apolitically. The principle of non-indulgence in political activities is cardinal in order to render services equally.
Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UNCCI) being a member of ICC and represents Africa in the Board of Directors adopted the inclusive principle of serving all members apolitically and in all sectors.
The gist of UNCCI services to the business community in Uganda is to increase their profitability by creating better environment through lobby, advocacy, training, coordination of available opportunities, creation of awareness and nurturing business growth.
Since 1933 successive members of UNCCI, Board of Directors and the entire business community have immensely benefited from the fraternity. That is why our resilience during the colonial, the post-independent and even the turbulent 197Os-1980s has buttressed business growth in Uganda.
Businesses don’t know colour, tribe, region, political affiliation, religion and nationality but hinges on markets for goods and services to ensure profitability. Ask any business person whether he/she cares about politics? The answer shall be so long as it creates stability, security, harmony and peace, which are pre-requisites for economic prosperity.
Essentially therefore the business community should work together to ensure there is no disruption. Whether there are demonstrations, riots, strikes and any upheaval even for an hour disrupts businesses and lead to loss of profits. Politically therefore the business community must be friendly to a dispensation that ensures stability.
That is why globally the concept of business for peace is being advanced by all business entities. Herein Uganda, UNCCI and International Alert have been educating the business community that while you are doing, please do it peacefully and be mindful not to spur disputes, conflicts, antagonism, hatred and unfair competition.
Because when there is trouble, the people most affected are the business community. Those who benefit from war economy are uncouth, liars, conmen, mediocre and robbers. But genuine businesses bear the brunt of instability.
UNCCI therefore calls upon individuals, companies, associations and umbrella organizations of the business community to remain cordial to each other. When you malice and tarnish the image of colleagues for selfish reasons, you are not only fomenting trouble for others but for the entire business fraternity.
We further call upon business leaders that even when there is misunderstanding, it is better to solve it amicably. Remember what Americans say that: your net-worth is your network. Essentially meaning that, business interests are fulfilled through the vanguard of many friends but not enemies.
The relationship we cultivate as we move through the business ladder could rescue you during turbulent times. So the more associates you have the better for your business growth. In a nutshell it does not auger well for you to step on others toes since reciprocity could hurt you equally.
The writer is the Vice President of ICC and President of UNCCI