Hima Cement has been named the Exporter of the Year in the 2018 annual Presidential Exporters Awards held on Thursday.
Several small and large scale businesses were recognized for their exceptional performance in boosting Uganda’s export sector and earning the country foreign revenue.
Hima Cement was handed the Platinum Award making the cement manufacturer the overall winner after exporting products worth a whopping USD 56 million in the regional market.
A total of 50 companies were evaluated by Uganda Export Promotion Board, Ministry of Trade, Private Sector Foundation Uganda and Uganda Investment Authority, in 18 product lines.
The companies were assessed based on export performance, contribution towards Uganda’s socioeconomic development, product diversification and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Categories included Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Cosmetics, Cocoa, Metal, Dairy Products, Fish, Flowers, Cement among others.
Among the night’s other big winners in the Gold Category were; Nile Breweries, Tororo Cement, Movit Products, Brookside Uganda, Cipla Quality Chemicals Limited, Kakira Sugar, Kyagalanyi Coffee and Roofings Uganda Limited.
Speaking at the Awards dinner held at Imperial Royale Hotel, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who officiated on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni lauded companies involved in the exports sector which he said is “a sure way to earn the much needed foreign revenue, jobs and improving the quality of lives”.
He appealed to the businesses to double their efforts especially now that government is investing in creating a more enabling environment.
“Today, our electricity generation capacity is 60 megawatts. Upon the completion of Isimba, Karuma and Ayago hydro power dams, our capacity will rise to 2,600 megawatts. This means we shall have affordable and reliable power to drive our industrialization,” the Prime Minister said.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) together with other government agencies like Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), UNBS and NEMA were awarded for their interventions in growing Uganda’s exports.
The regional Awards went to; Muhumuza Wilson and Sons Ltd (East), Rushekyere Tea Factory (West) and Be Natural Uganda Ltd (North) while the Innovation Award was taken by Pearl Dairy Ltd.
Betty Kabahenda of FFP Company Ltd and Celina Nakamate of Shaga Green Ltd won the Woman Award and Youth Award respectively.
In an interview with SoftPower News, Patrick Mwesige, the Marketing Manager for Movit Products said the company is currently exporting to 8 African countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, DRC, Zambia, Tanzania and South Sudan.
He attributed Movit’s success story in the foreign markets to its high compliance levels to standards and ensuring that all their products get certified.
But he pointed out foreign exchange fluctuations, lack of standards for new innovations, expensive and unstable electricity as some of the challenges the company is faced with in exporting.
“The challenge is that for some of our new innovations, there are no standards in UNBS which then requires us to borrow foreign standards to harmonize which is a limitation to us,” Mwesige said.
The event was also attended by Minister of Trade, Amelia Kyambadde and several local companies that manufacture a cross section of products.
Nile Breweries (Beverages)
Tororo Cement (Cement)
Movit Products (Cosmetics)
Brookside Uganda (Dairy and Dairy Products)
Cipla Quality Chemicals Limited (Pharmaceuticals)
Kakira Sugar (Sugar)
Kyagalanyi Coffee (Coffee)
Roofings Uganda Limited (Metals)
Capital Reef Uganda Limited (Cereals)
Eco Uganda (Cocoa)
OLAM Uganda (Cotton)
Fresh Perch (Fish)
Wagagai Limited (Flowers)
McKeon Rusself (Tea)
Leaf Tobacco and Commodities Limited (Tobacco)
BIDCO Uganda (Soaps, Detergents and Edible Fats)
Steel and Tube (Metal)
Africa Trade Wings Ltd (Cocoa)
Lake Eco Fish (Fish)
Royal Van Zanten Ltd (Flowers)
Hopoo Trading Co. Ltd (Hides and Skins)
Abacus Drugs Ltd (Pharmaceuticals)
Mayuge Sugar Ltd (Sugar)
Mukwano Industries (Soaps, Detergents and Edible Fats)
Trademark East Africa
Swiss Contact Uganda
Uganda Fish Processors Association
Uganda Fruits and Vegetable Exporters Association
National Environmental Management Authority
Uganda Revenue Authority
Uganda Investment Authority
Ugand National Bureau of Standards.