The Executive Director of UFZA, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda and Ms Veronica Namwanje, the Executive Secretary USSIA after signing the MOU at Uganda UFZA Offices.

Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA).  The MOU is aimed at enhancing the backward demand linkages through building synergies for the development of the local manufacturing capacity of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to increase Uganda’s exports.

This partnership that positions members of USSIA who have the potential to supply goods and services to Free Zones and also enhance their export readiness, was signed at the UFZA Offices by the Executive Director, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda and the Executive Secretary USSIA, Ms. Veronica Namwanje.

The MOU seeks to facilitate suitable SMEs to export through the Free Zones Scheme which comes with various advantages “We exempt you from excise duty and stamp duty. All inputs into the production process that are not locally available in Uganda will be imported into this country free of customs duty” said Mr. Hez Kimoomi.

Among the many things in this partnership is the anticipation to align market availability, readiness to export and sustainability. Destination markets require certification, quality and specific standards that UFZA, together with other government Agencies like UNBS, work with, to enable the private sector to meet.

Mr. Alinda emphasized the need for proper packaging and branding by the private sector and that if Uganda sought to export anything, the label of ‘made in Uganda’ ought to be used to enhance market presence.

“Our biggest interest as we start implementing this MOU will be in working to profile small and medium enterprises that have potential to supply to existing Free Zones” said Ms. Rebecca Nalumu, the Director Business Development and Investor Support at UFZA.

The USSIA team expressed faith in their ability to compete “We have some of our members who are into value addition. Almost 80% of what they produce is taken to the European market, for example, one of our members in the leather processing is over whelmed by the demand in the European market” said Mr. Bob Reyman Kabango, a consultant with USSIA. He further highlighted the fact that these small scale industries dominate the manufacturing sector in Uganda and that they have the export potential if given the right information and sensitization.