Government of Uganda has been advised to rethink its Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy.
Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) is a government policy that was approved by Cabinet in 2014 and launched in 2017 to promote the consumption and procurement of goods and services produced locally.
Speaking at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) E-Bomba Ya Business summit 2021, Francis Otyama the Executive Director CEROMA Limited noted that BUBU is breeding unfair competition with products from other countries, and these may also retaliate with blocking Ugandan goods from accessing their markets.
“If we keep saying Buy Uganda Build Uganda(BUBU), What will other states in the region say, It will bring unfair competition where by they will also decide to block our goods from entering their counties,” Otyama noted.
He added, “I suggest we rebrand BUBU, other countries are also forming their own sort of Buy Uganda Build Uganda, and that’s why our products aren’t being sold to nearby countries. We need to all operate as brothers because it gives us a bigger market, let’s emphasize on Quality such that we are able to compete favorably for example because of Quality, Lato Milk was able to penetrate the Kenyan, and Zambian market.”
Geraldine Ssali, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives, (MTIC), revealed that the law of nature is that human beings are supposed to protect each other first, and that’s why in terms of policies, agricultural trade policies & agro-businesses start with promoting Ugandan goods.
“The law of nature is that we are supposed to protect each other first. That’s why in terms of policies, agricultural trade policies & agro-businesses start with promoting ourselves that’s why we still have Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU),” Ssali said.
Frank Muramura the Managing Director, Jofra International Traders Limited, said “We are trying to promote production capacity in Uganda so that we can consume what we produce and also export to other countries. Whether its import or export the Clearing function is still needed.”
Thaddeus Musoke Nagyenda, the acting Chairperson Kampala Capital City Arcades Traders Association (KACITA) advised local companies to focus more on producing quality and Standardised products if they are to compete.
“When I was making a survey with UNBS, I found out that Quality and Standardisation is vital. Local companies should focus more on producing Quality and Standardised products,” Nagyenda said.
Asadu Kigozi Kisitu, the URA, Assistant Commissioner Field said that all information needed to facilitate import substitution is readily available to both local and foreign persons that would like to invest, and carry out business in Uganda.