UDB launches innovations fund

Wednesday December 27 2017

Uganda Development Bank chairman Samuel

Uganda Development Bank chairman Samuel Sejjaaka (L) and chief executive officer Patricia Ojangole address the press at a recent function. FILE PHOTO  

By Stephen Otage

KAMPALA. Uganda Development Bank (UDB) and Makerere University Kampala (MUK) have asked Ugandans with ideas capable of accelerating manufacturing and agricultural productivity to apply for funding to help them grow their ideas.

Speaking at the launch of the I-growth accelerator programme last week, Prof William Bazeyo, the MUK Vice Chancellor in charge of finance and administration, said they have realised that Ugandans have ideas that must be nurtured to grow into goods and services.

“It is known globally that Uganda is the most entrepreneurial country. The rate at which these enterprises fail is part of research because to perfect an idea, you need to fail many times but persist on it,” he said.

“Some of the best innovators in the Silicon Valley are Ugandans. We have the capacity to create our own Silicon Valley in Uganda which could even be the best in the world,” he said.

Dr Dorothy Okello, the director innovations at the Resilient Africa Network, said for the last five years, they have been working with innovators from Makerere University who have created solutions to some of the post-harvest challenges.

“We held on to these innovators for all these years to ensure that their innovations solve some of the challenges that farmers face. They have now created products that solve problems for farmers,” she said.

Ms Patricia Ojangole, the executive director UDB, said the money they are giving out, is available for any Ugandan with an idea which has the capacity to transform manufacturing and agricultural productivity.

“The proposed solution should be scalable at different geographical scales preferably regional, national, sub-national and community level and should lead to creation of employment opportunities for the achievement of Vision 2040,” she said.