MUTENDE said the country has two chambers of commerce, with one being among the oldest trade-related organisations, but their existence can hardly be noticed by people involved in trade and commerce
By David Ssempijja
TRADE state minister Dr. James Mutende has criticised the local chambers of commerce for failing to vacate for an improved trade environment at country and regional levels.
Mutende said the country has two chambers of commerce, with one being among the oldest trade-related organisations, but their existence can hardly be noticed by people involved in trade and commerce.
The two bodies are the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) that has existed since 1933 and the three-year-old Uganda Allied Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (UACCIA).
“We have two chambers of commerce in Uganda, but they are not present among the people whose interests they purport to represent. We want to see them more vibrant in matters aimed at improving the nation’s trade environment for the good of the people,” he said.
Mutende was officiating at the closing of a two-day regional forum organised by UACCIA and the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to discuss issues related to promoting intra-East African Community (EAC) trade in services in Kampala.
The minister wondered how young bodies such as the Kampala City Traders Associations had gained a louder voice and proved to be more relevant to the traders than UNCCI, a body that has been in existence for decades.
UACCIA executive director Bernard Bangirana said being a new entrant, the organization was getting vigorous in advocating for the streamlining of trade across the EAC region.
UACCIA has managed to partner with other bodies in the region to identify key impediments to trade and commerce and propose actions that should be taken by the public and private sector.
From 2007 to 2011, business services grew at 85% per annum in Kenya, 14% in Tanzania, and 18% in Uganda.
Minister faults chambers of commerce