In order to boost local content, ministry of Trade has agreed with supermarkets to dedicate 40 per cent shelf space to locally manufactured products.
The State minister of Trade, Mr Michael Kafabusa Werikhe, revealed the ministry’s efforts during the Uganda Bureau of Standards (UNBS) 15th annual quality gala awards dinner held in Kampala last week under the theme: Promoting Ugandan Made Products.
He said local producers should be cautioned on the quality of products because they will not benefit from the 40 per cent if the products do not meet UNBS standards.
“I must add, the 40 per cent we have been able to negotiate should not be taken for granted. Local companies must make a deliberate effort to improve the quality of their products and this can only be achieved through standardisation of their production processes,” he said.
However, the ministry has only brought Shoprite Supermarket on board as others approached have since made no commitment to the cause.
The ministry, nonetheless, is optimistic that the others will join, which will now give local producers a wider platform to sell their products to foreign and local consumers in supermarkets
From the start, the local content policy has been a heated subject for both foreign investors and local manufacturers over the rules and their practicability.
The executive director Private sector Foundation Uganda, Mr Gideon Badagawa said as per the new private member’s bill concerning local content, accountants will be liable when in violation of the policy.
“As per the private member’s bill on local content, accounting officers will take responsibility if they offer contracts to foreign firms where they should have offered to companies from within the country and it’s demonstrated that indeed the companies had the capacity to supply,” he warned.
Mr Badagawa lauded local manufacturers for quality products citing steel used in Isimba Dam as made from Roofings, approved by the standards body to be effective in construction.
Speaking to journalists after the function, Ms Racheal Luwedde, Head Publications Ltd, Hariss International, said, “We instilled quality standards from the very beginning of our operations as Hariss International. Quality changes and we need to continuously improve the quality of our standards to continually meet quality expectations of our stakeholders.”