By Alex Balimwikungu
As a result of their technical shortcomings and inadequate security, Ugandan companies have failed in their bid for the $18.6b for the reconstruction of Iraq, it was revealed recently.
This comes eight months after the US government invited countries, which had supported the US-led invasion of Iraq to participate in the reconstruction.
Ugandan companies which showed interest in the reconstruction included HL Investments, Roko and Mugoya Construction Companies.
â€œIt is not cost-effective for us to be there without security, because anything we do can be brought down at any time,â€ Leonard Kawuki of HL Investments said.
â€œWe seem to be losing it all considering the conditions set by the US congress under the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, â€ he said.
Kawuki said Ugandan companies first lost out on prime construction contracts last year after failing to beat the deadline. The contracts were later awarded to US, Japanese, Australian, Chinese and Kuwait companies.
However, Sam Omara core committee secretary charged with overseeing the reconstruction of Iraq says opportunities still exist through provision of sub-contracts.
â€œUgandans could secure contracts for the supply of products such as mineral water and honey,â€ he said.
However, according to sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda would still lose out because the technical requirements for sub-contracts are high.
Some of these entail the provision of a 24-hour rapid response when needed.