Speaker, US Ambassador discuss local content

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has reiterated the need for foreign companies investing in Uganda to support locally made materials and products in a move to promote local content.

According to Kadaga, many foreign companies have been given opportunities by the government to invest in Uganda but have failed to give priority on opportunities like jobs and raw materials to nationals.

“Our people in Bunyoro are not happy because most of the drivers of trucks for the companies in the area are foreign, yet there are able Ugandans who can do the job,” said Kadaga.

She made the remarks in a meeting in her boardroom with officials from the American Embassy in Uganda led by Ambassador Deborah Malac, on Wednesday, 13 November 2019.

Kadaga also expressed disappointment with many companies in Uganda that continued to import perishables like tomatoes and eggs from other African and South American companies for sale in Uganda, yet such products are readily available locally.

“We just need these companies to promote knowledge transfer so that our people can be empowered to provide such services because they can handle these tasks,” Kadaga added.

She also overserved that the legislation on the oil and gas sector in Uganda had many uncovered areas which Government had been tasked cater for in a general law, that ought to be presented to Parliament for approval.

Malac told the Speaker that as regards local content legislation in the oil and gas sector, the United States Chamber of Commerce had expressed interest in meeting with Ugandan legislators so as to give their input on how to push the sector forward.

She also called on Parliament and Ugandans at large to better appreciate the merits associated with the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill, 2018; that is set to be brought back to the Floor of the House for debate.

“I have seen the benefits that come from using genetically modified crops in a well-managed and conditioned way and thus we would no longer worry about inconsistent weather patterns,” said Malac.

She observed that the Government of the United States of America had funded many projects being undertaken by the National Agricultural Research Organisation which had yielded positive results, adding that dismissal of the Bill could affect continued funding to Uganda in that field.

Kadaga wished Ambassador Malac well as she approached the evening of her service as US Ambassador to Uganda. Her tour of duty ends in January 2020. 

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