‘Empower communities to sustain businesses’

Monday December 7 2015

By Jonathan Adengo

Kampala. Entrepreneurs have been urged to empower the communities where they have investments to ensure sustainable growth of their businesses.
The call was made by the Brand South Africa chief executive officer, Ambassador Kingsley Makhubela, at the launch of the South African business forum in Kampala last week.

“The only way to ensure sustainable investment and sustainable profit making is to empower the local communities where you are operating. Brand South Africa, an entity of the state has been going around a few countries to address questions related to empowerment of local communities where they are,” he said.

In his keynote address, he said there are three pillars that work hand in hand in developing the communities. The pillars include the state, civil society and business.
“Under the circumstances, the state remains an institution for stability, peace and a tool for transformation of communities in any given nation.
“The other pillar, civil society, has become very outspoken on the issues affecting the day-to-day life of society, while the business pillar is responsible for jobs and wealth creation in any given nation,” he said.

He added that businesses require a functional state to be able to operate and the state also depends on success of businesses to generate revenue through taxes. “The strength of the state works in favour of businesses,” he said.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who was the guest of honour at the launch, said: “The creation of the forum is timely and will help strengthen trade and investment relations between the two countries.”
At the forum launch, seven Ugandan companies were sponsored to attend trade fairs in South Africa.

Export destination
Uganda is ranked as South Africa’s 15th export market in Africa with exports mainly in agriculture, petroleum and paper. A number of South African companies have established businesses in Uganda in ICT, financial services, retail, hospitality management, security, construction, marketing, communications and energy.