In Summary

Since a large percentage of government’s budget goes to procurement, the procurement authority wants government to offer local suppliers more contracts. Joseph Bahingwire explains how this will boost the economy

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) wants government to give local suppliers a priority while awarding contracts.

PPDA through the Inter Institutional Task force has developed a draft implementation Local Content strategy with a raft of interventions for the government to adopt in promoting local content.

According to PPDA spoke person Sylvia Kirabo, the interventions have been aligned to the ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’ (BUBU) policy implementation strategy.

She says the strategy recommends policy measures such as reviewing existing legal frameworks to harmonise local content definitions across all sectors and providing for mandatory sub-contracting and joint ventures to promote local content, among other initiatives.

“This is geared towards increasing competition and contributing to domestic industry development through capacity building of the local providers, reservation of local contracts under specific sectors, simplification of bidding documentation for SMEs and enforcing the use of competitive methods in Entities,” she adds.

Ms Kirabo calls for conducting an inventory of locally produced goods and services to identify BUBU products.

The move is aimed at encouraging the consumption of locally manufactured goods by Ugandans to boost the manufacturing industry in Uganda.

Boosting economy
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Ssebagala Kigozi, the executive director Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), said the country’s currency volatility is largely as a result of being a net importer.

The counter measure should be for Ugandans to rise above the mentality that imported goods are superior to locally manufactured ones.

He said government should give them priority so that there is a deliberate percentage of an item to be sold to government institutions to allow them to grow.

According to Uganda Export Promotion Board, Uganda’s total merchandise exports in 2014 were $2.6b (Shs8.7 trillion) and by close of last year, they had hit $2.7b (Shs9 trillion).
On the other hand, merchandise imports into the country reached $6 billion (about 20.2 trillion) by end of last year.