Businessman and author Andrew Rugasira has promised major reforms as he announced his intention to stand for president of what he has described as an ineffective Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI).
“The chamber is a far cry from its original mandate. It is institutionally ineffective, and it has fundamentally failed to deliver on the expectations of its members,” Rugasira said as he announced his bid on Sunday.
He seeks to replace Olive Kigongo who has been at the helm of the private sector body since 2001.
Rugasira said that while he recognizes the many years of service and contribution that the current UNCCI president Kigongo has made at the chamber, it is his “intention to build on that contribution and transform the chamber to better serve its members and wider private sector community.”
Rugasira is best known as founder of Good African Coffee, the first African-owned coffee brand to be stocked in UK and US. He is author of the book, A good African story, that shows how a small company built a global coffee brand.
“Our government cannot solve all our economic problems. However, a well organised, effective and respected chamber can play its patriotic role and make a significant contribution to our economy.”
Rugasira promised to strengthen the chamber leadership, grow and strengthen chamber membership,
focus on enterprise development, strengthen linkages and partnership, support government, focus on the youth and rebuild the chamber brand.
The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce was set up in 1933 as an umbrella institution to bring businesses together, promote trade and investment, and enhance business networking and partnerships among others.
While elections are due this year, the chamber is yet to confirm the exact dates of the next Annual General Meeting.