Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | A New York State Judge Frank J. LaBuda has commended Uganda for coming up with a policy on promoting local content, saying this is the way to go if Uganda is to resuscitate her economy. LaBuda was meeting Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde at her office in Kampala on Wednesday 2nd August 2017, to discuss issues pertaining to development of trade related legal and regulatory framework.
Minister Kyambadde told LaBudda that Government introduced the Buy Uganda Build Uganda Policy (BUBU) to support the production, purchase, supply and consumption of local goods and services. She said the Policy provides for Government support to the Private Sector in the development and marketing of Ugandan brands and creating awareness and cultivating supportive measures in local sourcing of procurements in Uganda.
The Minister added that the ultimate for BUBU is to change the mindset and attitude of Ugandans towards locally produced goods and services.
“We want Ugandans to stop referring to Ugandan brands as the inferior brands. We agree that some of them are not yet there when it comes to meeting the required standards, and as Government in partnership with the Private Sector, we are working towards ensuring that the standards of our products and services improve”, explained Kyambadde.
Kyambadde added that trade starts at home before it goes regional and international, and it is the reason why Government is promoting domestic consumption.
LaBudda told the Minister that Uganda was on the right track in implementing the BUBU policy which is similar to USA’s campaign ‘Buy American Hire America’.
“The Buy American Hire American campaign has helped US to address the problem of companies that were outsourcing only foreign workers, rendering many Americans jobless”, explained LaBudda.
The Judge said many foreign companies were winning contracts to undertake major projects in the US, however, these companies would bring in foreign workers which would leave many Americans without jobs.
The Buy American Hire American campaign is an executive order that was signed by President Donald Trump with an aim of cracking down on skilled worker visa abuse and forcing US government agencies to buy more domestically produced products.
The two also discussed issues on policy formulation specifically on the management of local content policies and shared experiences on the procedures of developing Government policies. Minister Kyambadde told the Judge that Uganda is facing challenges of delays and bureaucracies in the development of Government policies, for which she asked him advice on how best to, shorten the process. She said some policies would take more than 3 years to develop, thus, delaying service delivery.
The Commissioner for Internal Trade in the Trade Ministry Raymond Agaba explained that these delays are mainly caused by the massive consultations of the stakeholders to ensure ownership of the Policy.
Judge LaBudda said the American process is shorter whereby policies are handled by the relevant Committees and later submitted for the executive signature. He said that if Uganda is to shorten the process, it is Government itself to change the rules of procedure and remove certain unnecessary requirements.
LaBudda is in Uganda to undertake a number of judicial related activities and to monitor the activities of Incredible Youth International, an NGO affiliated to Victoria University. Hon. Amelia Kyambadde is the patron of Incredible Youth International.