Manpower will determine recovery - experts

Monday July 6 2020

Mr Ocici (R) and Microfinance State Minister

Mr Ocici (R) and Microfinance State Minister Haruna Kasolo, listen to an entrepreneur at a training in Kampala recently. Mr Ocici says recovery from the current slump will be determined by preparation and skilling. Photo | File  

By JUSTUS LYATUU

Uganda’s economic recovery will be determined by how fast government invests and reinforces businesses with relevant business development skills in addition to capital, business experts have said.
In a country where Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on enterprises, some of which have collapsed, experts say there is need to ensure that such entrepreneurs know that it is possible to get up again.

Mr Charles Ocici, the Enterprise Uganda executive director, said last week that as government deals with the negative effects of Covid-19, the skilling component will be key in preparing entrepreneurs, especially in small and medium set ups.
“Many businesses had a picture of surviving using internally generated resources, however, now that they have depleted internally generated resources, we hear government wants to give out some assistance, but how prepared are businesses?” he wonder, noting there should be a comprehensive approach that involves counselling and coaching.
According to the Uganda Business Impact Survey 2020, 85 per cent of small and medium enterprises, experienced distress after three months of the Covid-19 related lockdown.

However, although government has eased the lockdown, many companies have been struggling especially with access to cash-flow.
“This is the time skills are needed most, whether it is your money or government money. What we are saying, while other businesses look for capital, the state should support in business skills development,” Mr Ocici said.
Many experts have argued that government should have a careful plan from which it will assist businesses to recover but at the same time ensure that all money lent out to such businesses is recovered.

Recently, Mr John Walugembe, the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises president, said that whereas government has put aside money to assist small and medium enterprises, its was not clear how they will access the money.
Thus, he said, there must be a deliberate plan in which such businesses under how to access it and the repayment terms.

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