Kampala. A new policy has been launched to address the challenges of standards, low production and market access among micro, small and medium sized companies.
While launching the MSME strategic plan during the ninth annual sector review in Kampala last week, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, the Trade minister, said one of the key sectors of the economy was not productive as it should be.
This, she said, had become a concerned to the government thus seeking ways through which it can be addressed.
Ms Kyambadde also named limited access to finance, high cost of power, low production capacity, irregular market access and standard challenges as some of the issues MSME are grappling with.
Micro, small and medium enterprises account for 95 per cent of business establishments in Uganda, according to ministry of Trade.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, about 57 per cent of MSMEs operate in the trading sector, employing more than 3.5 million people, which is an equivalent of 42 per cent of the country’s total employment.
The strategic plan, which will run upto to 2021, will address legal frame work and policy issues, research and innovation, promote standards and address market access challenges, the the commissioner processing and marketing at the MSME directorate Joshua Mutambi, said.
The MSME strategic plan will also be aligned to the country’s vision 2040 which seeks to transform Uganda from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.
It will particularly concentrate on the operations of individual MSMEs, assisting in growth of priority micro and small businesses and industries as well as improving the environment in which the MSME operate in.
Industry players expressed disappointment with the haphazard manner in which government implements key sector policies.
Ms Betty Kabahenda, the Ice Mark Africa managing director, said the MSME strategic plan has good intentions but it remains to be seen how issues such as standards will be enforced and sustained.