Willy Mutenza, a Ugandan was presented with an African Diaspora Award for the services to the Community Development at the prestigious Conrad London St. James hotel, Broadway, Westminster, London UK.
Willy Mutenza (WM) has lived in London for the better part of three decades and in that time established himself as a successful businessman and an advocate for Africa-UK trade.
Mutenza was born in Uganda and is a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist who has turned his community hobbies into a successful business. He has lived and worked in London for the last 27 years. He graduated in 2002 with a BA in Digital Arts and Multimedia Computing from University of West London.
In 2003 he founded The Promota Group and has expanded its business interests in magazine publication, events management, and private equity bridging, printing and real estate development in Uganda.
“After my graduation from university I put to good use the skills I learnt in digital art computing and established Avidfx, a print and design agency which has so far expanded its business interests as I’ve said earlier. I run one of the biggest ethnic marketing agencies with headquarters in the UK and operations in Denmark, Sweden, Uganda and Norway, with clients including some blue chip companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Brussels Airlines, Lebara and WorldRemit. Over the past 15 years, I have also engaged the UK business community as a trade and investment consultant and advisor for the Ugandan Government and Uganda Private Sector,” he narrated about his early steps in business.
Mutenza has always wanted to join business from childhood but was mainly influenced by his father who was a successful industrialist and businessman during the 70s. He however believes that he could have done better if his father was still alive to guide him.
“I have managed to reach a level of success but I would have done better if my father was not killed during the second Milton Obote regime in Uganda in the 80s. I was left with no role model to shape me into the man I wanted to be. But with the grace of God, I managed to struggle through the hassles of life to become a responsible global citizen,” he narrates.
According to him, he believes than any entrepreneur can overcome all problems thrown at them if they have values like “Integrity and Patriotism”
“I have tried to do the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether being watched or not. I am man of integrity, honest with my words and actions to people, and this takes courage,” he said.
Mutenza added that building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose it and therefore calls upon all entrepreneurs to never allow themselves to do anything that would damage their integrity.
Nevertheless, Mutenza calls upon African governments to focus on the bigger market and improve on their competitiveness and identify the sectors where the country has the highest comparative advantages in the global value chains in order to allow for the private sector to engage with investments.
“African countries could position themselves on product ranges that Asian markets are slowly but surely abandoning due to the emergence and extension of a middle class among their populations, for example of the shoe manufacturing industry in Ethiopia, modelled on the Asian experience in this sector.
African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” he advised.
Some of his other achievements include starting the Promota Africa marketing agency which he believes has been one of the most successful ventures because it has allowed him to support and fund some of the successful community initiatives like the annual Ugandan Convention which is the only African investment forum in the UK that has survived the test of time and it is growing stronger every year.
He has achieved some awards that includes: Innovative Award (British Black Initiative) (2009); Common Wealth Business Innovation Award (2008); UCAA Awards Communications and Media (2008); Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award BB Awards (2014); GAB Award for promotion of the Positive image of Africa (2014); BE Mogul award as one of the most influential and inspirational black, and has also been named among the business role models in Britain for 2016.