On the 10th of May 2018, the Chairman UMA M/s Barbara Mulwana hosted members to a networking luncheon which brought together manufacturers and stakeholders in the financial sector with the view of deliberating on financing options for manufacturers. Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, Minister of Trade Industry and Tourism was the guest of honor.
Commercial banks in Uganda with the interest rate of about 25% and being the highest in East Africa, poses a big challenge to industrialists in Uganda with regard to regional competitiveness. The luncheon, themed Financing options for the manufacturers: looked at sustainable ways of financing manufacturers’ initiatives towards growing their business in terms of capital investment, asset financing among others. This year’s first Business Networking Luncheon that took place on 10th May, at the UMA Multipurpose Hall.
Through a panel of discussants from Uganda Development Bank, Capital Markets Authority, NC Bank and ECO bank; the panellists deliberated on the other available financing options that manufacturers could explore; Uganda Development Bank (UDB) Susan Nangwaze of Uganda Development Bank assured manufacturers of money that is available and only dedicated for the industrialists. She noted that across Uganda regions like West Nile, Kisoro, Moroto, Eastern and Central comprised of UDB’s interventions in agro processing, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality.
Interventions in manufacturing have seen growth of UDB’s portfolio from 15% in 2014 to 35% in 2017. In addition, she said that UDB offers Business advisory, feasibility studies and business development strategies. Through a partnership with the ResilientAfrica Network RAN Innovation Lab) UDB introduced the i-Growth Accelerator For 2017/2018, focusing on the Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors that will drive the country towards Smart and Sustainable economy.
Capital Markets Authority Mr. Isaac Sekitoleko of Capital Markets Authority informed manufacturers about Capital markets being one of the avenues through which they can raise finances by attracting investors. He said that they could issue corporate bonds or equity to investors to raise finances. He added that through the Initial Public Offering, (IPO) the public buy shares and they benefit from the dividends. therfore its not only long term, but also requires no collateral. He however cautioned that “public disclosure if mandatory if one is to raise finances from Capital Markets Authority through the Initial Public Offering (IPO)”.
Asset based financing—NC Bank Mr. Kizito Willy of NC Bank noted that Asset-based finance is a specialized method of providing companies with working capital and long term loans that use accounts receivable, inventory, machinery, equipment and real estate as collateral. NC offers financing for the following: Saloon cars, Commercial vehicles,Buses, Trailers and Prime Movers, Tractors and related farm equipment, Construction equipment, Specialized equipment (ICT hardware, medical equipment, supermarket fittings etc.)
The Chief Guest, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives noted the various initiatives that are being undertaken by her ministry with the view of enhancing trade regionally and internationally.
She noted that as Uganda transforms into a middle income country, the government is finding multiple ways of championing the industrialists as they are the cornerstone to a better and sustainable economy; some of the initiatives include the DRC-UGANDA Bilateral arrangement and Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Hon. Amelia Kyambadde noted that the CFTA is a major initiative that will narrow Uganda’s deficit that currently stands at 16% GDP with Inflation of 7%. With a total of 55 member states across Africa, the CFTA will be the world’s largest free-trade area establishing a single market of more than 1.3 billion people that is expected to be about 2 billion by 2025 with a gross domestic product of more than $3 trillion. Uganda has been at the fore front in pursuing regional integration agenda, through the EAC, COMESA and the IGAD, the EAC-COMEA- SADC Tripartite trade negotiations which aims to consolidate our regional trade and therefore sees no contradictions in he need for manufacturers to venture into Capital Markets as an alternative to affordable financing because it doesn’t require any collateral. In conclusion she called upon for a paradigm shift especially with Ugandan’s mindset from sheer importation to suporting the locally made products that would fast-track backward and forward linkages to industrialists.