Ministry of Trade, Industry and cooperatives (MTIC) in partnership with development partners, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through the UK Aid is planning to help small and medium enterprises in Uganda to attain sustainable growth and become the tool through which inclusive economic growth can be achieved.
Yesterday MTIC launched the National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) strategic plan to enhance to the operations and growth of MSMES.
The new strategic, formulated in November 2017 will run for five years and will be implemented under the MSMEs policy that was approved by Parliament in 2016 under the theme “critical mass of viable, Dynamic and competitive MSMES significantly contributing to social-ecomomic development’ and will be implemented by the Directorate of MSMES under the ministry of trade.
Speaking at the official launch at the 9th Annual sector Review conference for the MTIC, the Trade Minister, Amelia Kyambadde said Uganda’s economy largely depends on the private sector, 90% who are largely MSMEs hence the need to emphasize and focus on helping them achieve sustainable growth.
“MSMEs employ over 90% of all working Ugandans. It also contributes 75% of Uganda’s GDP. However these MSMEs are still largely challenged with most of them still operating informally with no sustainable growth plan” she said.
The minister listed some of the main challenges facing MSMEs as low competitiveness of SMEs, unfavourable laws and regulations, low productivity, limited access to affordable finance and limited access to markets.
“I therefore believe that effective implementation of this strategy will overcome the overarching challenges facing the sector so as to effectively contribute to sustainable social, economic and environmental development” She said
According to the Minister, the strategy will be implemented in partnership with the private sector and other related government ministries and agencies.
Joshua Mutambi, commissioner Directorate of MSMEs at the Ministry of trade said the new strategic policy aims at achieving a conducive environment for the operationalization of the MSMEs and addressing most of these challenges that are affecting the sector
“We want to help MSMEs to access affordable credit, markets and also help to link them to agencies that can help them improve their businesses like easily certifying their goods to access bigger markets” Mutambi said
Moses Sabiiti, the TMEA Uganda Country Director said TMEA through the UK Aid has in the pastparticular to years been working with EAC countries and particularly Uganda to help SMEs trade better by helping government Agencies like UNBS and URA to improve their systems and enable faster and more convenient ways of service delivery to the business community.
“We have been working with UNBS to credit SMEs to enter into the quality Mark for their products so that they can enterInto bigger markets and improve their competitiveness. In our second phase, we are focusing on creating trade logistic hubs on specific blocks to help SMES improve quality of their products and access regional markets” Sabiiti said.
Sabiiti further asked government to continue working on the challenges and bottlenecks to trade to make it easy for the private sectors to perform better putting in place conductive