Uganda’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs need to take the time to get counsel from those that are skilled and knowledgeable in the workings of the sector. This advice was given by Patricia Ojangole, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Development Bank, as she delivered a keynote address at the 9th National Competitiveness Forum (NCF) held at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya, Kampala.
‘Uganda’s budding entrepreneurs need to readily seek guidance and take advice from recognised professionals. Entrepreneurs need to adopt a culture of sustainability,’ Ojangole stressed.
Drawing on her experience as a professional accountant with over a dozen years of service to some of Africa’s largest multi-national financial institutions, with knowledge built in internal audit, risk management and governance, Patricia’s branching into development banking over the past half-decade has given her unique insights on what it takes for businesspersons to progress.
She illustrated the flaws in the current Business Development Service (BDS) in Uganda, and in an open discussion with other participants, also addressed implications for sustainable enterprises drawing from practical experiences. Patricia further elaborated on the need to regulate the sector, assuring that this will enable the delivery of tailor-made BDS initiatives that shall support local enterprises, making them attractive to partners, bankers and investors.
The National Competiveness Forum (NCF) is an annual event, organised by the Directorate of Economic Affairs (DEA) in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED). Since 2006 NCF events have helped shape policy interventions in Uganda’s development agenda, acting as a platform where the ministry, and other stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, development partners and academics gather and engage on matters affecting the business environment, drivers, growth and competitiveness.
This year’s theme was ‘Creating an enabling environment for enterprise growth and competitiveness’. Amongst its intended resolutions was to provide opportunities for participants to forge linkages in the business environment and to identify critical policy actions that shall help improve it. This will boost enterprise growth and competitiveness, acting as a basis for advances in job creation, exports and household incomes.
Other speakers included Allon Raiz (CEO, Raiz Corp, South Africa), Prof. Waswa Balunywa (Principal-Makerere University Business School) and Charles Ocici (Executive Director, Enterprise Uganda).