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Launch of the Uganda Private Sector platform for the SDGs

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • PSFU NEWS

4 May 2021, Kampala – The Government of Uganda, the United Nations in Uganda and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) have today launched the Uganda Private Sector Platform for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The purpose of the National Platform is to mobilize the Ugandan private sector for implementation of the SDGs by providing continuous support and guidance to facilitate its effective contribution to achievement of the SDG targets and the NDP III objectives.

Speaking at the launch event at Serena Hotel Kampala, the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda noted that while the Government must take the lead in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is a journey hinged on partnerships, including with the Private Sector.

“The business case for the Private Sector is very clear,” said the Prime Minister. “Realizing the SDGs will improve the environment for doing business and building markets. As we continue on the journey of raising trillions of dollars to achieve the goals, this also creates huge opportunities for companies.”

Calling on companies to do business responsibly and then pursue new opportunities, Rt. Hon. Rugunda emphasized that it is necessary for every business in this country to align its strategies, policies and practices to the SDGs.

“This Private Sector Platform is a partnership strategy which will enable Ugandans not only to build forward more sustainably, fairly and equitably, but with renewed momentum towards achieving the vital SDG targets,” he concluded.

Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister for General Duties and Focal Point Minister for the SDGs in the Office of the Prime Minister pledged the Government’s commitment to supporting the Private Sector Platform, adding that the Government will involve the sector in implementation of the SDGs, ensuring that priorities are shared.

“The Government will facilitate effective SDGs progress disclosure by companies and develop a measurement and monitoring tool to track private sector input through sustainability reports,” she said. “Very importantly, the Government will enable regular dialogue between business, policy and investors through this very platform.”

The UN Resident Coordinator, H.E. Rosa Malango, noted that the Platform is envisaged as a multi-layered multi-stakeholder mechanism designed to serve its main objective – providing continuous support and guidance to facilitate private sector effective contribution to achievement of the SDGs, National Development Plan III and Uganda Vision 2040. She said that it is very encouraging that many private sector actors are joining the platform.

“While the private sector has been traditionally known to be profit oriented, we are witnesses to the fact that you have been key partners in ensuring that no one is left behind through your engagement in socially responsible businesses practices that promote inclusive growth,” she said. “When you take the right decision, youth and women entrepreneurs realize their potential and countries are able to grow while protecting the environment.”

According to the Chairperson of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Hon. Elly Karuhanga, many private sector actors in Uganda are doing a lot of work that is contributing to the achievement of the various SDGs within their mandates. He outlined areas like advocating and implementing national programs that enhance food security and sustainable agriculture, providing affordable primary education and promoting a lifelong learning, as well as adopting the Gender Equality Seal for private enterprises.

“Today, we commit to deliver the following objectives to support the implementation of SDGs within the private sector,” he said. “PSFU will support the private sector contribute to effective achievement of the SDGs through a number of interventions, support the effective reporting on SDG achievements at the national level and lobby for a conducive environment that will support the achievement of the envisaged SDGs.”

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About the Private Sector Platform for SDGs

Achieving the SDGs requires collective action across the government, civil society, private sector and dedicated individuals and communities and needs to be matched with the necessary resources, innovation capacity and partnerships to drive implementation. The private sector contributes to development by providing goods and services, financing social and economic investments through taxes, and creating innovative solutions to help tackle development challenges. In this regard, the Government and the UN in Uganda, working with the private sector developed a concept for the “Uganda Private Sector Platform for the Sustainable Development Goals”. The purpose of the platform is to mobilize the private sector for implementation of the SDGs by providing continuous support and guidance to facilitate its effective contribution to achievement of the SDG targets and the NDP III objectives.

Download the full speeches below;

  pdf Rt. Hon Ruhakana Rugunda - Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda (269 KB)

  pdf H.E Rosa Malango - UN Resident Coordinator (189 KB)

  pdf Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga - Chairman PSFU (579 KB)

 

PSFU signs Memorandum of Cooperation with Uganda Law Society

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • PSFU NEWS

Kampala, Wednesday, 14th April 2021 - Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), represented by Chairman, Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga and the Uganda Law Society (ULS), represented by President Pheona Wall Nabasa, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

The Memorandum of Cooperation reaffirms the long-standing partnership between PSFU and ULS, and builds on the previous partnership that we have built for 25 years now. The Memorandum will leverage each other’s comparative advantage to share experiences and expertise between PSFU and ULS mainly through Private – Private Partnerships; and establish regional trade, mediation and policy centers to handle legal trade and economic disputes among the traders and local communities and promote employment of young lawyers upcountry. 

Uganda Law Society will provide legislative interpretation and technical expertise, as well as promote and sensitize about alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to PSFU members. 

Prior to signing the Memorandum, Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga and President Pheona Wall Nabasa exchanged views on the importance of working closely together to promote and sensitize the private sector about the benefits of utilizing legal services.

pdf Download ULS President Speech (96 KB)

More information about Uganda Law Society, visit https://uls.or.ug/

 

PSFU in partnership with The Innovation Village organized a virtual policy consultation conference on 11th February 2021 to interact with the different innovators, policy makers, development partners and the academia. 

Innovation is synonymous with the youth and has been identified as a key driver for economic growth, enhancing competitiveness and stimulating productivity of businesses in developing countries alike. Startup entrepreneurs, play a critical role in innovation which includes, testing and validation of innovative ideas to create a sustainable economic model. 

The key note address was made by Mr. Eric Sempambo- Investment Specialist, Business Environment PSFU, whose discussion was shaped around the preliminary policy challenges that is affecting Start up entrepreneurs. The presentation outlined the following issues; 

# Challenge Possible Implications Possible Proposal 
 1 Inadequate levels of entrepreneurship (Business management, (business idea/model identification)
  • Results into high levels of business failure
  • Leads to stagnation of business
  1. Capacity building support in entrepreneurship development- Business management
  2. Support  incubation centers to scale up across the country
 2

Limited access to Start-up capital

  • Affects industry entry
  • Inhibits development of ideas
  1. Attract venture capital funds & seed funding
  2. Create grant scheme to support innovation
 3

High costs of internet & access to internet

  • Deters innovation
  1. Complete National Backbone Infrastructure to improve access to internet
 4

Lack of coordination & among players in the industry

  • Disorganization of the sector
  • Inhibits mobilization of funds
  1. Develop a start up policy, law and requisite regulations to regulate start up ecosystem
 5 Restrictions to accessing public market
  • Affects  scaling up of innovations
  1. Capacity building of start ups in e- procurement
  2. Preference schemes for start ups

 During the open discussion with participants, the following policy issues, implications and recommendations were raised;

#

Issue

Implications

Recommendation 

1

Weak levels of entrepreneurship: Business model identification, business administration, finances management.

  • Leads into high levels of business failure
  • Leads to stagnation of business

a)      Prioritize Business Development services such as Entrepreneurship skills, business management, planning for Start- up entrepreneurs

b)      Promote incubation/innovation centers to scale up across the country and also extend information to start ups

c)      Skill young entrepreneurs in soft skills areas such as integrity, emotion intelligence

2

Limited access to Start-up capital from both Equity and commercial banks

  • Inhibits  industry entry
  • Inhibits development of ideas
  • Limits growth of the innovation space

a)      Create (60:40) credit guarantee scheme working through incubation centers for the potential start ups in the sectors

b)      Develop a policy that organizes the Start ups ecosystem to achieve efficiency, address intellectual property issues and also attract venture capital funds

c)      Promote business mentorship program through concept competition campaigns that help identify potential products and interest mentors to join.

3

High costs and limited access to internet

  • Deters innovation

a)      Complete National Backbone Infrastructure to improve access to internet

b)       Reduce the costs of internet to compare with our EAC trade partners such as Rwanda

4

Restrictions to accessing public market and High costs of taxation

  • Affects  scaling up of innovations
  • Increases doing business costs

a)      Build Capacity of start ups in e- procurement and its requirements

b)      Subsidize the cost of UNBS certification for start-up entrepreneurs

c)      Provide preference scheme for start ups in the BUBU policy

d)      Harmonize the licensing regime for the start ups especially in IT sector

e)      Exempt the DTS costs on products of Start ups

The conference was closed agreeing to a way forward which includes among others; developing a position paper on the need for start-up policy to address the aspects below:

(1) organize the sector

(2)address intellectual property issues

(3) provide business development and;

(4) provide conducive business environment

 

ABOUT YOUNG AFRICA WORKS PROGRAM

PSFU is collaborating with the MasterCard Foundation to co-implement (anchor) Young Africa Works – Enhancing Lead Firm Structure for Youth Employment Program. The intervention targets creation of 300,000 sustainable work opportunities in 5 years for young people through strengthening the capacity of private sector to efficiently produce and sell their products in expanded markets, developing new diversified financing mechanisms as well as growing the capacity of business leaders and their support service providers to expand their enterprises. 

ABOUT THE INNOVATION VILLAGE

The Innovation Village is also one of the co-implementers of the Young Africa Works Strategy addressing the key challenge of youth job creation in the Uganda marketplace. Together with key strategic partners from public, private, academia and development communities, The Innovation Village offers a comprehensive ‘ecosystem’ approach to building Ventures (or Companies), i.e. making a market for entrepreneurs, which will, in turn, generate employment. The forecasted direct output of the program is 300,000 young people securing dignified and fulfilling work.

Private Sector consultations: National Budget Framework Paper

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • PSFU NEWS

PSFU through the Policy and Business Development Unit conducted consultations across the 12 sectors (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade and Commerce, Tourism and Hospitality, Skills, Education and Health, Financial Services, Logistics, Professional Services, ICT, Creative Arts, Oil and Gas and Construction) to identify strategic issues in the approved National Budget Framework Paper that require strategic response.

This paper is aligned to the 18 NDP III programs and the 18 PIAPS, the available literature by EPRC, implications of COVID 19 and the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026.  The objective for this paper is to;

  1. To identify strategic private sector proposals which require urgent consideration.
  2. To identify the challenges that inhibit creation of work opportunities for the youth and women.
  3. To propose measures that need to be adopted to support the business community respond, recover and be resilient to COVID 19 impacts.
  4. To propose measures that economy could use to generate revenue and revive and accelerate growth.

  pdf Click here to read more  (705 KB)

Dr. Mathuki has been instrumental in championing removal of NTBs, implementing the turn-around strategy of EABC and revitalized donor support in the sector among other issues.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, Arusha, Tanzania: The East African business community is hailing EABC CEO Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki, the incoming seventh EAC Secretary-General, as a transformative leader who pushed the business agenda and championed free movement of goods and services in the dire pandemic times.


Dr. Mathuki boosted cross-border trade by passionately advocating for the operationalization and functioning of One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP) across the region. His hands-on approach saw him visiting all EAC OSBPs, holding fora with small-scale cross-border traders and Trade Facilitation Agencies to assess trade barriers and in turn advocated for their elimination.

The former EALA member of Parliament has held firm on the business community’s appeal to EAC Heads of State to embrace a coordinated approach in handling COVID-19.

At the onset of the pandemic, he successfully urged the EAC Council of Ministers to allow free movement of cargo and drivers, called for fiscal and monetary incentives to cushion East African businesses from the impact of COVID-19 and resumption of air transport services in the EAC region.

Under his leadership, EABC fronted research policy papers and briefs on the impact of COVID-19 in various business sectors and proposed recovery strategies, the majority of which were adopted by the EAC Partner States.

Dr. Mathuki successfully pushed for the formation of the African Business Council and has played a pivotal role in overseeing the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in a bid to reposition the bloc to reap the benefits availed by the continental market.

pdf Click here for more details > (92 KB)

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