Uganda’s industrial capacity has grown from 400 to more than 5,000 manufacturing entities, according to Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA).
Speaking during a manufacturers’ business forum organised by Standard Chartered Bank yesterday, Mr Allan Ssenyondwa, the UMA head of policy and advocacy, said UMA records show that Uganda has grown its industrial capacity from just 400 manufacturers in 1986 to more than 5,000 industries.
“The state of manufacturing in Uganda is on the rise. Uganda’s GDP is about $40b of which the industrial sector contributes about 29.5 per cent,” he said.
Uganda, according to details presented at the forum, generates much of its income from manufacturing followed by construction at about 7.1 per cent and mining, which contributes about 2.1 per cent.
“We [have been undermining the industrial sector] but data coming out [indicates] industrialisation is beginning to take root,” Mr Ssenyondwa said, noting that 33 per cent of Uganda’s tax is generated from the industrial sector.
The sector, he noted, also consumes much of Uganda’s electricity with a consumption capacity of about 67 per cent.
About two millions Ugandans, he added, are employed by the industrial sector.
However, Mr Senyondwa cited a number of challenges key among them, poor infrastructure, high cost of production and limited access to financing mechanisms as some of the major threats.
In addition, he noted, the increase in substandard goods and counterfeits, poor linkage between trade and industrial development and lack of support systems to nurture innovation to full commercialisation are also impeding industrial growth.
Mr Albert Saltson, the Standard Chartered Bank managing director, said businesses that will survive the 2020s must build capacity for continuous reinvasion to spur growth.
“What it takes to succeed for tomorrow will be very different. How to play and be exceptional relative to your peers matters much more than where to play,” he said, noting that some of the current trends such as technology have affected business thus requiring consistent and efficient innovation.
According to Mr Saltson, current trends such as change in the needs of customers and global externalities, must be watched because they affect business.
Globalisation, which has increased access to information and products and opened up markets for trade, is another trend that is going to impact the businesses.
Mr Saltson also said as a bank, they must deliver relevant, insightful and incisive views to the manufacturers to deliberate on trends affecting business growth in Uganda.