Local Content Bill to promote import substitution - PSFU position

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
On May 20, this year, Parliament passed the Local Content Bill 2019. The bill, which is currently awaiting formal assent by President Museveni is expected to support all efforts towards entrenching import substitution. Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), explains the benefits of this bill to the private sector and economy. Below are the excerpts:

What does the Local Content Bill 2017 that has just been passed by Parliament entail?
The major objective of this bill is to maximise value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, businesses, and financing in all undertakings where public funds are used.

Currently, about 75 per cent of our national budget is focused on public procurement and until this law is put in place, 60 per cent of taxpayers’ money has been externalised through civil works contracts, purchase of goods and services as well as the procurement of international consultants.

This bill therefore, is intended to ensure that certain goods and services are exclusively procured from within Uganda as well as require that civil works are subcontracted to Ugandan firms. This intervention will help build local capacities but also drastically reduce the externalisation of Uganda’s meagre resources.

Which goods and services does this law talk about?
Some of the goods and services which shall be procured exclusively from Uganda and supplied by the local companies and individuals, include coffee, cotton, maize, mangoes, onions, groundnuts, eggs, oranges, lime, wheat, beef, potatoes, sunflower, cassava, tomatoes, flowers and live animals.

The list of services that shall be procured locally, include personnel transportation, security, banking, services, foods and beverages, hotel accommodation and catering, human resource management, stationery, and office supplies, emergency response services, customs clearance, fuel supply, land surveying and public works, in accordance with the threshold determined by the Minister.


By Dorothy Nakaweesi - Daily Monitor, Tuesday, 14th July 2020