The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) held a successful Board retreat to take stock of past successes and failures, set future goals, and put forward strategies for the development of the manufacturing sector. The Chairman of UMA, Mr. Deo Kayemba, welcomed Board members to the retreat, acknowledging the strength of the collective voice of the private sector and the association’s close working relationship with the President of the Republic of Uganda, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
The Board discussed several challenges facing industrialists, including market share, consistency in working with government Ministries Agencies and Departments (MDAs), and low commitment from members to attend critical engagements. To address these challenges, the Board prioritized strategic engagement with private sector partners and the government, conducting surveys on priorities, and re-prioritizing activities.
One of the key issues discussed at the retreat was the challenge of fire outbreaks, which poses a threat to the existence and sustainability of many industries. The Board proposed a proactive approach to mitigate this risk through fast tracking the amendment of the Health and Safety Act to mainstream fire safety management, incentivizing investment in the sector of fire fighting for industries, and making fire safety a part of the licensing requirement. The Board also proposed engaging with the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development for the accreditation of professionals to provide services leading to compliance.
The Board also discussed succession planning and transition which is key for business sustainability and growth. They recommended on-job trainings to give exposure to those under the succession line. They called for professionalization of family businesses and proposed adoption of external people to the Boards of especially family owned businesses. They said that this would reduce the risk of working under sentiments and would facilitate a contextual look at succession plan and long-term sustainability of the companies.
UMA’s key achievements were highlighted, including maintaining and enhancing UMA’s financial performance, creation of a clear value proposition for membership recruitment, evidence-based advocacy, local content mainstreaming, financial sustainability, and strategic partnerships. UMA has also been able to influence its relevance as evidenced from UMA’s participation in key decisions taken by Government on behalf of the private sector. Board members also applauded members for innovating under scarcity to maintain their production despite the effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War.
The UMA Board retreat was an important milestone and an opportunity for members to come together, share experiences and knowledge, and collaborate towards a common goal of supporting the competitiveness of its members nationally, regionally, and globally.
Board Members also toured the Madhvani Group and appreciated the forward and backward linkages made from the Sugar-Production.