Category: Events

Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, Speaker of the House of Peoples Representatives

MENTORSHIP 2024: Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo’s full keynote speech

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Gyebale Ko

Greetings,

First of all, allow me, Your Excellency, to extend my sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Uganda for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and My delegation since our arrival to Uganda, the pearl of Africa. I would particularly seize this opportunity to appreciate Honorable Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, for welcoming me from the moment I disembarked from the plane.

Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to my brother, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, and his government for establishing a national platform to recognize public servants who served their country with integrity and courage that future generations of this great country will undoubtedly look up to as modeling a character. We must acknowledge African role models and create avenues for them to shine, inspiring African youth and beyond.

We must empower and pave the way for African youth to assume their rightful positions through the right mentorship and guidance. As we strive for Economic growth, innovation, peace, and stability, we must not just include young African leaders but also actively engage and empower them. Their unique perspectives and talents can significantly contribute to these vital goals of our well-being. We must also acknowledge their outstanding achievements publicly on such a decorated platform.

I know that the Right Honorable Dr. Jacob Oulanyah is a brilliant and ambitious young African who has dedicated himself to improving his nation and Africa. I would also like to congratulate the family of the late awardee for leading by example. Regrettably, he could not accept this honor in person and spend more time with his loved ones while serving his beloved country.

But his loved ones, those who survive him, are honored by his services, and I believe they will carry on his legacy. Seeing Hon. Andrew Oulanyah, his son, following his father’s example filled me with immense pleasure. This is a testament to his father’s leadership and values passed on to the next generation, who deserve recognition.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Such recognition platforms spearheaded by His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also the storehouse of Wisdom of Africa, empower African youth to learn from relatable role models to demonstrate the distinctiveness of African heritage, values, and societal fabric. Africa’s vast and diverse heritage, shaped by thousands of years of history, traditions, and practices, has significantly influenced agricultural, medical, and architectural industries worldwide.

This legacy displays the innovative thinking and inventiveness of its citizens. The great achievers have had. The current African generation needs to get the great lessons from our ancestors and bring Africa to its rightful position in the world. With the current global situation, young African leaders must adopt a unique and practical approach to lead their communities to a brighter future.

In order to achieve success, we must strive for excellence by setting a grand vision and putting in the necessary effort with impeccable time management Skills. Let us aim high and work diligently to reach our vision. I can assure you with the right eye, provision comes. My message today for African Youths is to celebrate and honor our distinctive African values, no matter what challenges come our way. Let us follow in the footsteps of Ugandans who are making every effort to preserve these values with utmost dedication. Let us not forget that our values define our very being and form the foundation of our cultural heritage.

They are the essence of our identity, and we must honor them by passing them on to the next generation. With pride and reverence, let us hold our values close, for they are the key to our future. It is high time to trust in our abilities to solve African Issues. We know what goes wrong with us better than anyone else, so why should we invite foreign interference? Let us embrace African solutions for African problems and take control of our destiny. By implementing this concept in Ethiopia, we overcame challenges and reap the benefits. Similarly, having 60 percent of the population without access to electricity is a problem.

To address this problem, we envision building a magnificent Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dame, and to make it a reality, we invested 4.7 Billion USD from our coffers. It wasn’t an easy feat- we encountered numerous challenges, including accessing international organizations’ finances. However, we persevered and overcame the issue of finance coordinating our population. Now, we are proud to say that we are exporting electric power to our neighboring countries as a testament to the success of our efforts. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the only Peace Prize winner among African leaders, is a young leader like you. He got the prize for his capacity to bring African solutions to African Problems. Problems are meant to be solved, and instead of being discouraged by difficulties, we should embrace them as opportunities. We have several tangible African testimonies that can inspire the present youths. As our world-class long-time athletic legend Haile Genresilassie said, “It’s possible. I repeat it: it is possible.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a known fact that we Africans are a continent that is a cradle of civilization, from Ethiopia’s monolithic churches of Lalibela to Uganda’s Kasubi tombs, from Kushite Egypt’s and Sudanese pyramids to Great Zimbabwe ruins, from Ashanti to Timbuktu, every one of which speaks to our magnificent past. This demonstrates Africa’s significant contributions to world civilization in critical areas such as science, technology, and education, all of which our young should learn from.

To unify Africa, the founding fathers had first to break free of colonialism. They had to pay the price for winning a long and difficult battle against exploitation. The battle of Adwa dealt a crushing blow to colonialism and became an emblem of hope for black people in Africa and around the world. In gold letters, history chronicles the names of our ancestors who fought to transition the continent from colonialism to independence and union. Their anti-colonial souls sang to the tune of Pan-Africanism. The founding forefather envisioned a united continent adorned with solidarity, where generations lived their passions to the fullest and worked for the betterment of their children while bound by sovereignty and cooperated.

The Adwa of our time, a battle we must win, is to overcome the bleak legacy of colonialism and neocolonial practices by steering a new version of Pan-Africanism to free Africa from the shackles of underdevelopment. Governments should circumvent the neocolonial system and adequately address the continent’s ongoing challenges of economic reliance, corruption, and stagnant development. We must work together to capitalize on Africa’s immense natural and human resources to benefit her children.

It is our collective responsibility to leave a better Africa for the next generation through the execution of the following fundamental measures:

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First comes achieving tangible prosperity by establishing a solid national and continental identity, promoting the rule of law, committing to a peaceful transition of power, establishing competent administration, and prioritizing growth.

They are cultivating industrious and inward-looking youth with indigenous ideals such as Medmer/synergy so that they are conscious of their communities, countries, and continents, as well as the strength and resources they have to succeed in a changing world. Today’s Leaders are expected to demonstrate Pan-Africanism and educate our youth that we flourish in unity and collaboration.

Targeting Universal Education is one technique for creating a knowledgeable generation. Restoring religious institutions, schools, and media is crucial for the holistic development of our youth. Our students should benefit from technology literacy; thus, broadening their experience in this area is vital.

Second, it is vital to develop open economies and domestic asset bases while encouraging trade and commerce. We must continue to deepen regional integration, such as expediting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) and increasing infrastructural connectivity among our countries to connect communities, enhance trade, and enable economic integration. Building roads and expanding rail networks, communication networks, and pipes to fulfill the rising need for clean water and energy is a critical step toward realizing the benefits of regional and continental integration. Import substitution, industrialization, and strengthening regional trade ties are also essential.

Third, we strive to realize the Africa we want by meeting Agenda 2063 milestones and other continental and global strategic frameworks. While we appreciate and acknowledge our accomplishments thus far, we must guarantee that we remain on track for the future. In this way, our struggle against neocolonial systems will be on the right track.

Fourth, sustaining peace and stability is critical to economic and social progress. We must use more innovative and indigenous approaches to dispute resolution that align with our maxim “African solutions to African challenges.” In today’s post-fact circumstances, young people need to be able to recognize legitimate and advantageous information. This empowers our young people to promote peace and stability by addressing problems and grievances through appropriate channels.

The National Leadership/Mentorship Award is an excellent reminder to leaders and public servants of their responsibilities. Today’s awardee has been dubbed a “man of three principles” because he made decisions by asking the three questions: “Is it okay with God? Is it okay with the law; will I sleep well if I do that?” He wanted his children to be proud of “using his name and was focused on doing good, winning fairly, and eating only his share.” The Ethiopian proverb “ስም ከመቃብር በላይ ይውላል” translates to “reputations outlive graves.” This award demonstrates that the late Right Honorable Dr. Jacob traveled the path of integrity until the end, which is the kind of character to model for youth.

Public servants should exemplify such integrity by addressing injustice and unfairness, refraining from power abuse, and prioritizing the next generation. We consider ourselves a steward of a magnificent country and content, passing them down to future generations. Our civil service systems and government structures should allow for significant youth representation and co-creation of solutions, hence contributing to sustainability.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Being a public servant is an honor as it is a service to the nation and its people. Let us keep this in mind while we serve our nations and continent with dedication.

Congratulations again to the late Right Honorable Dr. Jacob’s loved ones on this outstanding award.

Thank you! Weebale

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Odrek Rwabwogo’s full speech at the 2024 National Mentorship Awards Luncheon

Mr. President

The visiting speaker of the House of People’s Representatives of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, the Honorable Tagesse Chaffo Dullo.

The elders who will be awarded today,

Cabinet Ministers

Members of Parliament,

Young people, who joined us at this year’s mentorship luncheon

I thank you very much Mr. President for allowing to host this luncheon and to award the crop of old people we chose for 2024. Last year, you were kind enough to send us the retired PM Hon. Amama Mbabazi (who is here) to preside over the mentorship dinner at Sheraton.

I thank the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hon. Ahmed Abiy whom Your Excellency sent us to, for in turn sending us Speaker Tagesse to be our keynote speaker today.

Some of the yardstick we use to arrive at cohorts to award annually include the following traits:

  1. The years of service a person has put into work for Uganda,
  2. The quality of decisions they made when they had authority,
  3. The depth, intensity, and character of the person,
  4. The kind of changes or reforms they instituted
  5. The impact they have even in retirement

As you might notice, the categories we choose cut across science and technology, art and culture, enterprise and manufacturing, politics and religion, and many other areas of life. Uganda has many good people who have laid foundations for our country but few are known and even fewer are celebrated. I got to know this when we began with nominations last year that ran into 60 + people yet we wanted few. We were not sure who to pick and who to leave out.

That gave me hope to know there are many people out there who build in silence but in the end, our country keeps united, stable, and growing.

To mentor is to guide; to illuminate a path for a young person by an elder, a sort of apprenticeship in life by the older to the young. Often it can be reversed given where one has knowledge and the young can mentor the old too. Mentorship is a good classroom for young people in leadership but sadly we haven’t been deliberate at it. We have not been intentional in creating seedbeds of leaders to guide institutions and the country in a world so competitive and set against Africa.  I woke up to this reality years back when I would be teaching and young people ask questions that show they are unhinged from the reality of what it takes to build a home, a business, an institution, or a country. Many come into leadership without preparation and they often confuse leadership with positions and titles.

There are about four mental architectures I get from young people especially because of the changes wrought by the internet and social media.

The first category is Avoidance. Young people severely reduce quality relationships for fear of opening up to causes that are bigger than them. They do not want to be hurt; they pretend all is well using clean-cut social media images of themselves; they appear strong on the outside but pretty weak inside; they do not want to be vulnerable by consulting elders on what they don’t know. They assume they know it all. In the end, they do not fulfill their purpose, and their potential remains underutilized. This category I meet regularly and they are full of criticism and less knowledgeable on what to do.

The second category is those who suffer from what psychologists call Deprivation. These were raised by self-centered caregivers who showed them that their needs do not matter. They develop an inner critic that tells them, ‘You don’t matter to the world, you are on your own’. These youth often have unworthy feelings and they struggle to fit in. This category is easily abused by peers and led into alcohol or drugs because deep in their hearts they have a yearning to fit in.

The third category is the ones we call overreactive youth. Often, they were abused when they were young and threatened by circumstances. Those thoughts stayed with them through life. They see no neutrality in anything. Everything that doesn’t take their view is menacing and should be fought!

The world to them is a dangerous place and there should be no compromises. They overreact and lash out at small inconveniences. They don’t want to wait. They are impatient and confuse time with seasons. (Cronos versus Kairos). These miss the calling on their lives and rush into instant gratification and kill their tomorrow.

The fourth category I meet is passive aggressors. This group has repressed anger over the years, probably against parents or their caregivers and peers. They sidestep open communication to avoid conflict and confrontation even when this confrontation might heal them of this anger. They have trouble dealing with negative emotions; they turn this passive aggression into a subtle power play. They manipulate others so that they can make them feel guilty and in return get their affection.

All the above categories need mentoring because these are the young people who will come into leadership with these emotional, social, and political deficits. These mental frames are the raw material a country has to produce leaders of tomorrow. It is the reason we use these mentorship sessions annually to create a bridge between the young and the old. A bridge is a good metaphorical example in life. It helps you cross to the other side so you can understand it better. If you keep this side of your river, you will never know that life has to be lived on both sides for a sense of maturity and leadership to emerge. These old people have crossed that bridge of life and returned and they are good examples to study from. Mentorship isn’t just verbal. It is also watching the actions and reading the thoughts of those ahead of you and discerning what to do for your time.

Take Mzee Kintu Musoke as an example. At age 14, he watched his uncle Simeoni Kintu, arrested in 1949 simply for asking to be allowed to go in his cotton farm. He saw a force of Turkana men imported by the British to quell the Katwe riots, descend on fellow Africans, and beat them badly. Kintu Musoke would join Ignatius Musaazi as a young boy to campaign for independence. When he got to India for his studies, he mobilized two other young men – Kirunda Kivejinja and Bidandi Ssali and; together they forged a bond that helped them deal with the politics of Uganda over the years, as a team. They remained committed to Uganda and each other’s ideas. Why don’t you as young people ask them the questions of life, parenting, ideology, and how to keep a country united even if there are political pressures from all corners, internal and external to not work together?

These values of commitment to something higher are partly why we remember Jacob Oulanyah too today. I thank his family for allowing us to use him as a point of connection to illuminate the path for young people and to celebrate the life of these old people when they can still hear and see us. Every time we celebrate the life of old people when they are alive, I feel a burden lifted off my shoulders, a sense of relief. This is because speeches at funerals aren’t helpful to the ones you would have told when they were alive so that they can know you value(d) their life.

Jacob Oulanyah and his first wife Jennifer, were my friends and I know they cared much about the quality of institutions for the country. They also had a deep sense of fairness and justice. Jacob in particular knew how to suspend judgment and hold two opposing opinions and still walk gingerly through life. He had a sense of commitment to what he chose to do. Commitment to something higher than self is what brings true meaning and significance to life. When you commit to something, you are not just making promises. You are re-ordering your life to fulfill this commitment. Jacob understood that choices mean depth and not superficiality and that each choice we make has costs.

For example, when he left one side of the political spectrum, he was not liked where he left. Some members of the group he joined were suspicious of him preferring to keep a distance. It is standing at half-way house and not knowing who to trust. He moved on nevertheless. He was also a peacemaker and without him in the Juba peace talks, perhaps, we would have missed the very compelling voice of some diaspora groups that didn’t understand the war in northern Uganda yet kept pushing for its continuation out of selfishness. He spoke plainly and convincingly when he took a stand on an issue. This is why we use his example this year as a connecting bridge between the young and the old.

Perhaps Jacob picked his reconciliation and forgiveness pathway through his suffering as a student and beyond – both mentally and physically. I know very much that those who suffer forgive most. The playwright Thornton Wilder in his short poem from the play, ‘The Angel That Troubled The Waters’, says “Without your wounds, where would your power be? It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve”.

I am glad we celebrate you, old people and remember Jacob on a day just before Good Friday. May the example of unity of generations we see today, mend our broken areas and keep us strong as a country.

Now to you, young people who came to witness this occasion, keep doing the right thing even if you are under pressure to digress, to join the crowd of wrongdoers in your offices, farms, or the private sector. Last night I was listening to a country singer called Johnny Cash, who died in 2003. Its words say, “No, I won’t back down, there is no easy way out, I will stand my ground, I won’t be turned around, because, I know what is right. I got just one life and, in a world, pushing me around, I will still stand my ground. You can stand me at the gates of hell but I won’t backdown”

I ask that you look at those who have done well by serving our county and learn from them. Don’t back down from doing the right thing.

And to our elders, it is in the sunset of our lives that we get tired and make mistakes. We ask you to remain a shining example to our young people to the end in your word and deed. It is in your good example that together with young people, we can create a RAFT to help us cross to a brighter future for all of us as a country and a continent.

Once again, I thank H.E. the President for allowing us to do this here and for gracing this event with his presence

Speaker Tagesse for being with us

Speaker Anita Among who came to the airport to receive our gest with us

The state house team that helped us with this work

PACEID team of young people

Thank you and the Lord God bless you all.

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Mentoring plays a vital role in nurturing individuals to achieve excellence- President Museveni 

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has emphasized the importance of understanding the story of nature, society, and the human race to provide accurate and effective mentorship.

Museveni revealed this on Thursday evening March 28, 2024, during a National Mentorship luncheon that he was hosting at State House-Entebbe to recognize the invaluable contributions of elderly and retired men and women who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of Uganda. These 16 esteemed individuals, recognized for their incredible achievements and long-standing service, were awarded for their immense role in shaping the country’s progress. The luncheon was also an opportunity to pay tribute to Jacob Oulanyah, the former Speaker of Parliament for his dedication and commitment to public service.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addressing guests at the luncheon

The 2024 Mentorship luncheon ran under the theme, ‘Modeling the right behavior for the youth of Africa in the 21st Century” and was attended by high-ranking government officials, diplomats, and esteemed guests from various sectors.
“Having a deep understanding of the human race, its history, and evolution helps mentors comprehend the unique strengths, weaknesses, and potential of each mentee. This knowledge forms the foundation for providing personalized and impactful mentorship.” President Museveni noted during his speech.

He also urged guests to embrace science and technology in mitigating societal challenges. “To receive accurate guidance in mentorship, individuals must understand the role of humans as agents of societal change and the significance of science and technology in addressing societal challenges. I salute Odrek Rwabwogo and his team (Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development- PACEID) for recognizing senior citizens. If you don’t reward those who do well, then you are letting down society. I am happy Odrek Rwabwogo and his group have taken up this responsibility. Congratulations to all the awardees for their contributions and recognition of the late Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah.”

President Museveni with Mzee Christopher Gala, one of the awardees

The sixteen recipients of this year’s National Mentorship/Leadership Award were; Justice George W. Kanyeihamba, Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, Hon. Kintu Musoke, Prof. Ezra Suruma, Amos Nzeyi, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, James Rwehabura Tumusiime, Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Mzee Christopher Gala, John Wycliffe Karazaarwe, Prof. Frederick Kayanja, Moses Matovu, Pastor Gary Skinner, Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare, and Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

John Wycliffe Karazaarwe with family receiving his award from President Museveni

Museveni welcomed and thanked Rt. Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, the Speaker of Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives for gracing the occasion and accepting to deliver a keynote address at the National Mentorship Awards ceremony.

Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko receives her award, accompanied by Dr. Rev Florence Muranga and Dr. Eve-Kasirye Alemu

In his keynote speech, Hon. Tagesse extended his sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Uganda for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and his delegation upon arrival. He took the opportunity to appreciate R. Hon. Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, for welcoming him from the moment he disembarked from the plane.

“We must empower and pave the way for African youth to assume their rightful positions through the right mentorship and guidance. As we strive for Economic growth, innovation, peace, and stability, we must not just include young African leaders but also actively engage and empower them. Their unique perspectives and talents can significantly contribute to these vital goals of our well-being. We must also acknowledge their outstanding achievements publicly on such a decorated platform.”

Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, delivering his keynote speech at the National Mentorship luncheon at State House-Entebbe

“I would also like to congratulate the family of the late awardee (Jacob Oulanyah) for leading by example. Regrettably, he could not accept this honor in person and spend more time with his loved ones while serving his beloved country. But his loved ones, those who survive him, are honored by his services, and I believe they will carry on his legacy. Seeing Hon. Andrew Oulanyah, his son, following his father’s example fills me with immense pleasure. This is a testament to his father’s leadership and values passed on to the next generation, who deserve recognition.” Stated Hon. Tagesse.

Oderk Rwabwogo, the Senior Presidential Advisor Special Duties who doubles as the PACEID Chairman highlighted that mentorship extends beyond just words.

Odrek Rwabwogo with Vice President H.E Maj. Gen Jessica Alupo at the awards ceremony

“Mentorship involves observing and understanding individuals’ actions and thoughts to provide effective and meaningful guidance. This observation allows mentors to assess mentees’ strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, enabling them to tailor their guidance toward specific needs. Rather than simply imparting knowledge or advice verbally, mentors should actively engage with mentees’ experiences, encouraging growth and development through hands-on guidance.” he remarked.

Prof. Ezra Suruma, accompanied by his wife Specioza Suruma, receives his award from Vice President Jessica Alupo

“The National Mentorship Awards ceremony is to remind the young generation of the value of dignified and exemplary service by the older retired public servants, who exit Uganda’s public service to pave the way for the young ones,” Rwabwogo added while urging youths to strive to achieve a national collective ethic.

Archbishop John Baptist Odama prayed for the smooth running of the ceremony. He was one of the awardees. Besides him is Matthew Bagonza, Head of Secretariat-PACEID

Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, son of the late speaker, revealed that Jacob Oulanyah always wanted to do the right things, the right way and at the right time implying that he was committed to ethical behavior and always acted in the best interest of the people he served. “Our father was no doubt a mentor to many which aligns with today’s theme of ‘Modeling the eight behavior for the youth of Africa in the 21st Century’. Thank you, Your Excellency, for opening your doors to not only hosting this ceremony but also making sure so many young people are involved”.

Atim Karen Oulanyah (C), Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah (L) and Harold Oulanyah (R) gave moving speeches about their late father, Jacob Oulanyah

Karen Atim Oulanyah, daughter of Jacob Oulanyah said, “Our father was a man who always strived for unity. We, as young aspiring leaders, have to strive for the same. Thank you all, it doesn’t go unappreciated. I hope we all immerse ourselves in my father’s values. Thank you, Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo for this initiative”.

Yubu Onyong (C) mobbed by Gen. Katumba Wamala (L) and Hon. Mmary Grace Mugasa

Yubu Onyong, one of the young people mentored by Jacob Oulanyah paid tribute by encouraging young people out there to emulate the late Speaker of Parliament. “A plan without action is just a gamble. The future of this country is dependent on the youth. And the youth need to be mentored. Let’s stick to the mentorship values that Jacob instilled in us. I would like the youth to encourage themselves that everything is possible.”

Brenda Ker, Jacob Oulanyah’s Press Secretary for many years remembered the late as a forgiving man and never vindictive. “What I learned from my boss (as we always called him) is to forgive, nothing you can ever do on this earth is worth it if you don’t forgive one another”.

H.E Etsegenet Bezabih Yimenu, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Uganda

Some of the guests included; Hon. Norbert Mao who revealed that Jacob Oulanyah mentored so many people and always surrounded himself with young people, H.E. Maj. Gen. Jessica Alupo, H.E Etsegent Bezabih Yimenu, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Hon. Mary Grace Mugasa, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama, Rt. Hon. Kasule Lumumba, Hon. Richard Todwong, Hon. Rose Namayanja, Hon. John Nasasira, a considerable number of legislators, family members, religious leaders, friends and well-wishers from all walks of life.

Belinda Amanya, speaker of the EACYC got the opportunity to address the audience.

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PACEID Loses Valued Partner as UNDP Uganda’s Elsie Attafuah Departs

It was an evening of mixed emotions as Ms. Elsie Attafuah, the Ugandan United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative, bid farewell to the country after her four and a half years’ tour of duty came to an end. In a heartfelt farewell dinner held at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel on Thursday evening, speakers celebrated her remarkable achievements and contributions towards the nation’s development agenda while at the same time expressed a genuine sense of sadness at her departure. 

Attafuah leaves Uganda to head the UNDP program in Nigeria, a country with the biggest economy in Africa.

Elsie Attafuah with UNDP Uganda Deputy Resident Rep Sheila Ngatia and Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) team; Brenda K. Opus, Head of Markets, Allan Mugisha- Team Lead Infrastructure and Rowland Bon Nkahebwa- Communications attended the farewell dinner to honor Ms. Attafuah, following the end of her successful tenure. Recognizing her immense dedication and transformative impact, PACEID expresses gratitude for her service and commemorates her achievements.

Attafuah’s work aligned closely with PACEID’s objectives, as her initiatives within the UNDP focused on advancing sustainable development, poverty reduction, and promoting environmental responsibility. In August 2023, UNDP Uganda partnered with PACEID to launch an export preparedness training programme designed to help Ugandan exporters successfully penetrate the highly competitive US market considering it offers tremendous opportunities for businesses looking to expand their reach given their USD18trillion consumer expenditure.

The farewell dinner, attended by senior government officials, heads of different UN agencies in Uganda, prominent private sector players and prominent individuals, celebrated Attafuah’s accomplishments during her tenure as UNDP Uganda Country Representative.

UNDP Uganda Deputy Resident Representative Sheila Ngatia thanked guests for honouring Attafuah before waxing lyrical about her passion and deep affection for Uganda. “It’s hard to imagine it’s four and a half years since she assumed her role in Uganda. It’s a time of mixed feelings. She has often asked important questions and positively challenged us to be bold, visionary and seek to end poverty in Uganda and the continent. Attafuah is passionate and deeply affectionate about the Pearl of Africa. We would have wished her to stay longer but such is the nature of our work. I am proud that she heads to Nigeria, the country with Africa’s biggest economy where she will become Uganda’s tourism ambassador.”

Ugandan banker, economist and academician, Prof. Ezra Suruma delivered the keynote speech at the dinner starting by referring to Attafuah as ‘a distinguished daughter of Africa’. “Thank you for your commitment to improving the lives of the people of Uganda, especially the poor and underprivileged. Thank you for your efforts in skilling the youth and fostering the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Uganda. Please, rest assured that your efforts have not been in vain. We greatly value your selfless efforts to better Uganda and Africa. We are sorry that you must leave us. We wish you a prosperous career in Nigeria. Come back, Uganda will always be your home.”

At the farewell dinner, Attafuah extended her appreciation for the support and collaboration of PACEID and other partners during her time in Uganda. She highlighted the significant progress made in various sectors and reiterated the importance of sustained efforts in realizing Uganda’s economic potential.

“The spirit of partnership with Uganda will endure, I have full confidence in all partners to continue the work we have started. As I leave Uganda and all our development partners, let’s do development unusual with a fire in our belly. For a development agency like UNDP, it’s inevitable to take risks. Let us be bold and ambitious and do something different. I challenge all of us to do things differently.” Attafuah told guests.

She leaves having been honored to serve Uganda saying that it will aways be her home. “Uganda has everything it takes to prosper, and yet people are poor. Let’s disrupt this. We must have a fire in our belly, and that is what has kept UNDP, kept me going. I am deeply thankful to Uganda for the privilege of serving Uganda. My heart is here, Uganda is home.”

Attafuah paid tribute to the government of Uganda and President Yoweri Museveni and UNDP donors including USA, Germany Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, France, Belgium, India, China and Finland among many others.

“As my time comes to bid farewell to Uganda, I find myself celebrating now more than ever Uganda’s spaces, people, ability, renaissance and knowledge – what I term Uganda’s SPARK. In my last 4 years serving this country and her beautiful people, I continue to be enthralled by the people, landscapes, cultures, communities, women, men and young people who have inspired me since my arrival in 2019.” noted Attafuah whose successor will be coming in two weeks’ time.

World Health Organization Representative to Uganda Yonas Tegegn Woldermarian thanked Attafuah for challenging the UN system to deliver on their commitment to help Uganda achieve its development goals. “Attafuah is passionate and Africa requests passion from each of us. We have the duty to do our best for Africa. The Peal of Africa is not only at the center of Africa but at the center our commitment for partnership in Africa. You have shown how passion for development can make a difference.”

Elsie Attafuah with Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Norbert Mao

Justine Kasule Lumumba, Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Office of the Prime Minister represented Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabajja who was the Chief Guest.

Minister of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Justine Kasule Lumumba represented Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabanjja

Lumumba expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Attafuah before reading out the PM’s speech to guests which recognized the latter’s commitment and love for Uganda.

Nobert Mao- Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Vincent Bagiire- Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Jan Sadek- Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda also gave brief but moving tributes to Attafuah and wished her the best in the next chapter of her career.

Jan Sadek- Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda

Other prominent guests at the event were; Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe- Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Uganda Airlines CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki, Amos Wekesa CEO Great Lakes Safaris and many others attended the farewell dinner.

During the event, UNDP Uganda and partners launched the UNDP Coffee Table Book celebrating 51 years accompanying Uganda’s development agenda.  

Elsie Attafuah’s departure leaves a lasting legacy, but also paves the way for new opportunities and partnerships as the organization moves forward.

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Uganda Airlines boosts exports with new direct route to Lagos

Uganda Airlines, on Thursday October 19, 2023, made history with its first ever direct flight from Entebbe International Airport to Lagos, Nigeria, landing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.  

Lagos becomes Uganda Airlines’ thirteenth (13th) destination. This new direct route is expected to open up more trade and investment opportunities between Uganda and Nigeria.

There were extraordinary scenes as the Uganda Airlines team led by Captain Isaac Ogoyi skillfully navigated the skies on the national career’s inaugural flight. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnered with Uganda Airlines on this milestone. Uganda Airlines hailed UNDP team for their dedication to enabling trade, investment and tourism in Uganda.

Uganda Airlines CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki says the aim is to open more routes on the continent to enhance efficiency, and expediting transit of both passengers and commodities every Sunday, Monday and Thursday. This development comes after the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August.

She highlighted the impact of this air brigade not only in Nigeria but across Africa, “Our Entebbe-Lagos flight is the gateway to immense opportunities. It connects Uganda and Nigeria through business, tourism, culture, entertainment and more.”

UNDP Uganda Resident Representative Elsie Attafuah expressed her excitement at the milestone saying, “This is an exciting opportunity for us to connect more within the continent and create more opportunities for trade. This is an airbridge for trade, for jobs, for wealth creation, and for ensuring Africa takes its rightful place in the global world.”

The decision to introduce a direct flight from Entebbe to Lagos comes as Uganda Airlines strives to expand its network and increase connectivity within Africa. With the new route, travelers will now have easy access to one of Africa’s most populous and vibrant cities.

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo

Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) has applauded Uganda Airlines CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki and her team for the initiative. “This new direct route to Nigeria has significant implications for promoting exports and enhancing trade relations between the two countries. The new route offers immense opportunities for Ugandan businesses to expand their export activities into one of Africa’s largest economies.” Noted Rwabwogo.

He further notes that Ugandan products, such as agricultural commodities, textiles, handicrafts, and processed foods, have a competitive advantage in terms of quality and uniqueness. “With the direct connection, these goods can now reach Nigerian consumers and businesses more quickly and reliably. This increased accessibility will raise the profile of Ugandan exports in Nigeria and pave the way for stronger bilateral trade ties.”

H.E Ismael Ayobami Alatis with Uganda Airlines team

H.E. Ismael Ayobami Alatis, Nigerian High Commissioner to Uganda has encouraged Ugandans to visit Nigeria and take advantage of the incredible market potential that is there.

The move reinforces Uganda Airlines’ commitment to becoming a leading carrier in the region. Since its relaunch in 2019, the airline has steadily expanded its network and upgraded its fleet, which now includes two brand new Airbus A330neo aircraft. The addition of the Lagos route is another milestone in its ambitious growth plans.

The launch of the direct flight comes at a time when African nations are seeking to boost intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. The AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent, fostering economic integration and enabling African countries to trade among themselves more easily.

The direct flight will also provide a convenient connection for passengers traveling from other parts of the world. With Entebbe International Airport serving as a regional hub, passengers from Europe, the Americas, and Asia can now easily reach Lagos with a seamless transfer in Uganda. This will undoubtedly boost Uganda’s standing in the global aviation industry and further enhance its reputation as a gateway to Africa.

Uganda Airlines will operate flights to Nigeria three times a week with flights on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, using its 258-seat state-of-the-art Airbus A330-800neo.

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Uganda-Algeria Trade and Investment MoU presents opportunities for both countries

The Uganda-Algeria Trade and Investment Forum & Exhibition took place last week from 30th September to 2nd October at Hotel Africana in Kampala as a follow up to the directive made by Presidents; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and Abdelmadjid Tebboune of the People’s Republic of Algeria in March 2023 where the latter led a delegation of 150 business people and entrepreneurs from Uganda for a business forum in Algiers.  

Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Francis Mwebesa

Hon. Francis Mwebesa, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Hon Tayeb Zitouni Minister of Trade and Export Promotion for Algeria held Bilateral discussions and officially opened the first ever Uganda-Algeria business forum witnessing the signing of an MoU between the two chambers of commerce and later the establishment of the Uganda-Algeria Business Council that will spearhead and oversee trade between the two countries.

Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives

The forum was attended by Hon Francis Mwebesa, Hon Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade, Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), Hon. John Mulimba, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi, Minister of State for Trade, MS. Olive Kigongo-President of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry among other prominent leaders.

Odrek rwabwogo, Chairman- Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development

Hon Teyeb Zitouni leader of the Algerian delegation was accompanied by Mr. Kamel Moula-President of the Algerian Economic Renewal Council Employers Foundation, Mr. Zaoui Hoicine, Director General Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ms. Ahlem Rahmani, Deputy Director in the Algerian Ministry of Trade and Export Promotion among others.

H.E. Oualid Cherid-Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda

The forum was also attended by Uganda’s Ambassador to Algeria H.E Alintuma Nsambu, Algeria’s Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Oualid Cherif, senior Government officials and captains of industries and private sector from both countries.

Uganda’s Ambassador to Algeria, Alinyuma Nsambu

The ministers restated the commitment of their respective countries in resolving challenges to businesses in Uganda and Algeria, among these are;

  1. Strengthening corporate relations between private sector and governments
  2. Strengthening trade business linkages for favorable balance of trade between Uganda and Algeria
  3. Removal of all trade barriers and enhancement of free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.
  4. Operationalizing of the Algerian Ugandan joint business council established to handle challenges of existing business communities.
  5. Revenue authorities of both countries to hold regular meeting with the private sector to address challenges.
  6. Accelerating processes of mutual recognition of standards and compliances for goods and services.( A draft agreement was drafted and was submitted by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to  IANOR in this regard).

The following are the commitments welcomed by the forum;

  1. Bilateral cooperation in the field of education as one of the strategies of consolidating Uganda’s human resource development efforts with an addition of 500 scholarships.
  2. Further discussions to implement visa free entry between Uganda and Algeria in partial realization of the African continental free trade area (AFCTA)
  3. Direct air linkage between Uganda and Algeria to facilitate trade through conclusion of a Bilateral Air services agreement (BASA). The ministers agreed that the two countries can start by using the existing infrastructure of Ethiopian airlines which has direct flights from Addis Ababa to both Entebbe and Algeria.
  4. Rectification of the concluded agreements and memorandum of understanding in the fields of trade, energy, agriculture, animal health tourism, higher education and scientific research
  5. Uganda asked for duty free access for its powdered milk worth USD 700m, coffee, beef, fruits, and tea in line with quality and standard requirements of the Algerian market.
  6. Adhering to the guided trade initiative (GTI) of the African continental free trade area (AFCTA), a frame work for adopting reciprocal tariff offers on the agreed upon products originating and traded between Uganda and Algeria.
These were some of the business people that signed partnership agreements

Through the PACEID frame work, during the Business to Business (B2B) sessions, business deals and partnerships were welcomed;

  1. A poultry factory in Uganda that also produces and packaging materials for poultry products, all eggs produced from this factory to be exported to Algeria in a period of 1 month.
  2. An irrigation and water reservoirs demonstration facility in western and northern Uganda effective immediately.
  3. Collaborations in production and exportation of Shea butter from Uganda to Algeria.
  4. Power distribution and street lighting in northern Uganda

In addition, investment projects in Uganda agreed for further discussions through the joint business council were proposed in the production of pipes, cement, poultry, steel and iron, oil and gas, cosmetics, assembling of cranes and machinery, manufacture of irrigation systems, shoe manufacturing and manufacture of equipment for sewage.

Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze

Furthermore the two delegations applauded the commitment by 14 Ugandan companies to export to Algeria as well to 17 Algerian companies who agreed to export products to Uganda, the Algerian delegation appreciated the government of Uganda on its progress and its promotion of the and exploitation of the oil and gas industry during a tour of the Kabalega Industrial Park located in Albertine Graben in western Uganda.

The Algerian delegation commended the government of Uganda for convening the Uganda-Algeria trade and investment forum and exhibition, and expressed gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to them, the delegation also appreciated Uganda’s cultural diversity displayed during the welcome working dinner hosted by the Presidential Advisory Committee on exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) on 30th September 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.

PACEID’s Brenda Katarikawe moderating a session during the forum

The sponsors of the forum were; PACEID, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, National Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Housing Finance Bank, African Export Import Bank, Pearl Dairy, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda Marketers Society and other stake holders were applauded by the 2 delegations for their role in the making of the forum possible and further noted that this kind of partnership between the government and the private sector is critical in growing business between the two countries.

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PHOTOS:  PACEID treats Algerian Business delegation to networking dinner

On the sidelines of the Uganda-Algeria Trade, Investment Forum & Exhibition that was held at Hotel Africana over the weekend, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) hosted the Algerian delegation to a dinner, with the aim of fostering collaboration and expanding trade opportunities between business groups from both countries.

Guests respecting national anthems at the dinner

The dinner, at Sheraton Hotel Kampala on Saturday evening at the end of Day One of the three-day forum, kick-started an evening where the Algerian delegation led by their Minister of Trade and Export Promotion, Tayeb Zitouni, were treated to a bit more of Ugandan culture and hospitality.

At the dinner, guests were presented with an opportunity to have further business discussions with Ugandan exporters who are interested in their sectors.

There were brief speeches from PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo, Olive Kigongo-President National Chamber of Commerce, Geraldine Ssali-Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Alintuma Nsambu-Uganda’s Ambassador to Algeria, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi-Minister of State for Trade and Prof. Rev. Florence Muranga from the Ugandan side. H.E. Oualid Cherif- Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda and Zakaria Bourennane spoke on behalf of the foreign delegation sharing insights and potential collaboration prospects.

BIRDC Director General Prof. Rev. Florence Muranga

Uganda’s Trade Representative for the Balkan region, Bratislav Stoiljkovic was present and thanked PACEID Chairman Rwabwogo for the initiatives the committee is putting in place to grow exports and achieve the USD6B target by 2028.

Uganda’s Trade Rep in the Balkans region Bratislav Stoiljkovic (L) addresses guests

At the end of the night, Algerians were not only treated to a sumptuous meal but also presented with gifts from PACEID about Uganda.

The head of the Algerian delegation was gifted a hand-woven banana fibre design of an Ankole long-horned cow from Western Uganda while others got hand woven banana fibre gift boxes that can be used as a centerpiece for fruits or ladies jewelry.

In each package, there was a hand woven throw-on and samples of Ugandan products for export like coffee from Great Lakes Coffee, Tooke flour from Banana Industrial and Research Development Centre (BIRDC), powdered milk and dried pineapple from Zahra Food Industries Ltd, all packaged in 100 percent cotton bags branded with a strip of bark cloth. On the gift cards, there were some of Uganda’s animals including Buffalos, Crested Crane, tree climbing lions, Gorillas and Elephants among others.

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Uganda-Algeria Business Forum: Producers and exporters encouraged to embrace Value Addition

Day one of the Uganda-Algeria Trade and Investment Forum & Exhibition kicked off today, Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Hotel Africana with delegates from both countries advocating for value addition and mutual respect for quality requirements. The forum will run throughout the weekend until Monday, October 2, 2023, under the theme; “Harnessing Benefits of AfCTA; Strengthening Bilateral Trade Relations Between Uganda and Algeria”.

The forum is being organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives in partnership with the National Chamber of Commerce, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support from the Uganda Marketers Society.

Odrek Rwabwogo with Dr. Francis Mwebesa, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives

The Uganda Algeria-Business and Investment Forum aims to unite trade & investment policymakers, key business groups, trade institutions, and regional organizations from both Uganda and Algeria.

Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives thanked the Algerian government for their cordiality. “Whenever we come to Algeria, we feel at home. I began to say Algeria is a home away from home for me. Thank you so much. We would like you to also feel at home.” she said.

Geraldine Ssali-Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives

She also expressed willingness to give Algerians free economic zones so that they can enjoy competitive prices from Ugandan producers so they don’t feel the pinch of high costs of production when they come.

“If we work with Algeria, gone will be the days of looking for a funder for our oil because they are self-sufficient in the oil and gas sector.” H.E. Alintuma Nsambu, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Algeria noted.

H.E. Oualid Cherid-Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda

H.E. Oualid Cherif, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda was pleased that the efforts between the two countries were crowned with the holding of what he referred to as a ‘historical’ forum. “This development comes as a translation of the strong will demonstrated by our two heads of state, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Mr. Yoweri Museveni, to further enhance these relations in the commercial and investment fields. Like Uganda, Algeria advocates for value addition to its raw materials and the diversification of its economy and its earnings by promoting the non-hydrocarbon exports and boosting the local production of goods and services,” he said.  

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo

Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman- of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development reiterated H.E. Oualid’s point regarding value addition as this will go a long way to boost trade relations between the two nations.

He also urged Ugandan exporters to be intentional by researching new markets to avoid entering them blindly.  “We need to be very intentional, very deliberate from studying the tastes & preferences of our brothers in Algeria & other markets we want to export to & ensure we know what to supply them in terms of standards, quantities and certification”. PACEID is tasked with growing Uganda’s exports to USD6Bn by 2028.

PACEID’s Odrek Rwabwogo with National Chamber of Commerce’s Olive Kigongo

The President of the National Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Olive Kigongo encouraged Ugandan business people to explore Algeria and discover the opportunities it offers to gain a competitive advantage.

Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said, “Opportunities abound in Uganda. We invite you not only to engage in trade with us but also to actively participate in the value-addition process.”

Miss Ndstefai Khaoula from the Algerian Investment Promotion Agency guided Ugandan traders through the company registration process for trading with Algeria, including the duration of the investment period offered to licensees. “The Algerian Investment Promotion Agency is actively engaged in promoting investment, providing information, streamlining registration procedures, and managing the associated benefits.” – she said.

Miss Ndstefai Khaoula from the Algerian Investment Promotion Agency

Others present were Dr. Francis Mwebesa- Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi, Amb. Katureebe Tayebwa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, John Mulimba-State Minister of State for Regional Affairs.

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Uganda-Algeria Business Forum launched, to propel intra-African Trade

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda, H.E. Cherif Oualid is optimistic that the upcoming Uganda-Algeria Trade and investment Forum scheduled to take place from September 30, 2023 to October 2, 2023 at Hotel Africana in Kampala, will mark a critical step in propelling business relations between the two countries and fostering intra-African Trade which is still weak and standing at no more than 16% of the continent’s global trade.   

H.E. Cherif Oualid revealed this on Wednesday afternoon at the official launch of the Uganda-Algeria Business Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He added that, Algeria, under President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has set out as a matter of priority, to focus its trade and investment endavours within the African continent, especially with countries such as Uganda.

H.E. Cherif Oualid, Ambassador of People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda

“Uganda and Algeria have a huge potential and complementarities to harness for the mutual benefit of their respective peoples. They are both endowed with tremendous natural resources waiting to be tapped. They can also both leverage markets offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Just like Uganda, Algeria is in discussions with the AfCFTA Secretariat with a view to integrating the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI). Both countries can partner with each other to be part of the GTI.” H.E. Cherif Oualid noted.

The Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi officially launched the business forum after making her keynote remarks during media briefing held at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Katureebe Tayebwa, Head-Regional Economic Affairs moderated the session inside Wapakabulo Auditorium.

Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi officially launched the business forum

Ministry of Trade, National Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) partnered to organize the two-day forum.

According to Vincent Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the business forum offers an opportunity for the Algerian economic operators to explore the investment potential and business climate in Uganda as well as the reciprocal needs of the markets in both countries.

Vincent Bagiire, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Chamber of Commerce president Olive Kigongo

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) Odrek Rwabwogo reiterated the value of having a Buyer-Seller Session during the business forum to match-make companies from both countries sector by sector and capacity by capacity. He called for regional cooperation and removal of the bottlenecks that hinder intra-African Trade. “Algeria has a huge economy that comes with huge opportunities”.

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo

Geraldine Ssali, the Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade urged the Ugandan business community to take advantage of the opportunities that this business forum presents as Algeria offers big opportunities for off-takers in trade.

Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives

The President of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, Olive Kigongo announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is due to be signed by the Chamber of Commerce of the two countries on the sidelines of the business forum.

Over 60 Algerian companies in various sectors; agri-food, leather, textile, marble, poultry equipment, fertilizers, steel processing and electrical appliances, have already confirmed their participation at the forum. Uganda expressed its interest in getting Algerian investors established in Uganda, particularly in the fields of energy and mining, agriculture and packaging.

Olive Kigongo, President National Chamber of Commerce

Other members present at the presser were Shadrack Wasike, Humphrey Mutaasa from The Grain Council of Uganda, Matthew Bagonza, Brenda Karatikawe, Allan Mugisha (all from PACEID), Cleopas Ndorere from Ministry of Trade, officials from National Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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