The Minister of East African Affairs Kahinda Otafire has asked the private sector to put government to task, especially in regard to putting in places policies that will enhance regional integration and investment.
He said government runs on interests that are advocated for by the people, noting that: “Private sector players must wake up because they are prime movers of development that is rational, reasonable and responsive to economic needs.”
“You have the Trump card which you are not using. You have the money and power in production. Put government on its knees if you think it is what will cause it to act,” he said.
Mr Otafire was speaking at a partnership meeting and the launch of the Great Lakes Private Sector Forum that seeks to ease business in the region, navigate key challenges and constraints that hinder promotion of cross border trade and investment.
Ms Olive Kigongo, the president of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said government was not blaming the private sector for failing to put to account but was only asking players to do things in a certain way.
“The minister is telling us what we should be doing. We should be the ones to tell government what we want. He is advising us to pick up ourselves and to stop complaining,” she said, noting that it is through such platforms that the privates sector will channel complaints across the region.