Uganda hosted the 29th Uganda International Trade Fair at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Show Grounds, Lugogo, Kampala from 3rd to 10th October, 2023.
Organized under the theme, “Driving Manufacturing and Trade Efficiency through Digital Transformation and Innovation,” the expo attracted visitors from not just the African continent, but across the world.
Simon Kaheru, UMA chairperson communication, marketing and events subcommittee said the exhibition provided a platform for Ugandan manufacturers, innovators and startups to showcase their new products, services, and solutions that have the potential to revolutionize industries and drive economic growth in Uganda.
Kaheru who was speaking at the expo’s closing ceremony, said that the Fair emancipated the country’s private sector and encouraged it to be the basic creator of wealth in the economic.
He noted that the expo presented countless opportunities for Ugandan businesses.
“As we conduct this closing ceremony of yet another successful international trade fair, we need to congratulate each other as members of the private sector for being that essential ingredient of success. The 29th international trade fair has given us a very good opportunity to show Ugandans and the world that Uganda can manufacturer good quality products across a wide spectrum. We brought together almost 100,000 people to engage in interactions with Ugandan businesses,” said Kaheru.
He added: “We are confident that the 1,018 exhibitors got the opportunity to speak to all these visitors. They managed to create transactions that increased sales, gave their products visibility, open up new networks. We have seen international manufacturers sign up joint ventures with Ugandan business people to take up agencies and explore joint manufacturing. This is the purpose of a trade fair.”
The expo was also attended by tens of thousands of Ugandan school children whom Kaheru said are the future of Uganda’s manufacturing sector.
“These children are tomorrow’s manufacturers. They are the investors of ten years to come. And that means Ugandan manufacturing is going to keep on growing from strength to strength,” he said.
As Uganda’s private sectors positions itself to tap into the opportunities presented by the continental market, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, Kaheru, said the expo was organized at the right time.
“We have all the East African Partner States and we had delegations that are interested in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, including people as far as Ganha, meaning that Ugandan manufacturers have been exposed further to potential market out there,” he said.
Over 30 countries, including; India, South Korea, Taiwan, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, UAE, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, China, South Africa, Rwanda, among others took part and exhibited their latest products and technologies at the trade exhibition.
The exhibition was a multisectoral event with participation of sectors in ICT, Construction, Chemical & Paints, Foods & Beverages, Packaging Materials, Plastics, Health, Confectionery, Alcohol & Spirits, Personal Care Products, Logistics & Transportation, Stationery, Academia, Automobile, Furniture, Leather Goods Manufacturers, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Exporters among others.
The trade fair also erected an education Pavilion dedicated to empower students through mentorship, career guidance.
It provided a platform for Ugandan businesses to showcase their products and services to potential buyers from Uganda and around the world.
The exhibitors said the expo helped to promote trade and investment in Uganda.
The exhibitors further said that the fair acted as an engine to increase Uganda’s exports by showcasing Uganda’s products and services to potential buyers from around the world.