Private sector asks govt to fix loopholes in BUBU policy  

State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite (2nd right) visits Pearl Light Technology, a company assembling bulbs in Mbale Industrial Park. Industrial parks are expected to boost Uganda’s producion capacity to cut the country’s import bill. PHOTO | MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI | FILE

What you need to know:

  • The BUBU policy is an initiative of the Ministry of Trade that seeks to protect and promote the capacity of local companies to compete. 

Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has asked government to fix gaps in the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy.

Speaking at meeting with Trade State Minister David Bahati, Mr Rajesh Chaplot, a PSFU board member, said a number of companies that are registered here do not adhere to Bubu policy, which discourages importation of raw materials. 

“Many government ministries, departments and agencies that are supposed to protect this policy, give tenders to companies that suffocate these that adhered to principles of the policy,” he said, urging the Ministry of Trade to enforce principles, which especially bar international companies that do not have local partners from bidding for contracts, especially those that can be executed by local companies. 

The BUBU policy is an initiative of the Ministry of Trade that seeks to protect and promote the capacity of local companies to compete. 

Mr Chaplot’s call comes at a time when several companies, instead of buying locally produced raw material, are importing 80 percent of their raw inputs, denying Ugandan companies  an opportunity to boost their capacity.

Therefore, he said, government must, as a condition, emphasise local content as a condition for any new company seeking to invest in Uganda. 

During the meeting, which sought to find solutions for bottle necks that affected the private sector, Mr Bahati said it was important that Ugandan companies stop importing raw materials that can be sourced within the country. 

“I am happy that through BUBU we [have been] able to build capacity of some local industries, some of which have even started exporting to international markets. However, this issue of importing raw materials from else where should stop,” he said.

However, experts have previously argued that the success of BUBU cannot depend on goodwill but will require Ugandans to position themselves by playing roles that will help the country to build its industrialisation agenda. 

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