First deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East Africa Community Affairs, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has said that there is a need to support people, especially farmers in Busoga to add value to low hanging fruits to enhance transformation.
Kadaga also said that once people embrace value addition, they will penetrate international markets.
She was speaking while making a presentation about ‘The Busoga we want’ during the Busoga sub-region Investment Forum organized, at the Civil Service College of Uganda in Jinja City under the theme “Breaking the Barriers-Exploring Investment Opportunities in Busoga sub-region.”
Kadaga was welcomed by the Executive Director National Planning Authority and also Busoga Kingdom’s Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muvawala, The Minister of General Duties in the office of the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, Jinja City Mayor Alton Kasolo.
In her remarks, Rt. Hon. Kadaga requested government to avail capital money to people to add value to low hanging fruits like pineapples and sugarcane among others, in Tourism and mining activities among others,
“We want to develop the value chain in sugarcane, it’s not just about sugar, all that waste is a resource for our development. We want to produce sugarcane juice, toilet paper, syrup for medicine, paper and mats,” Rt. Hon. Kadaga said and added that if they develop that value chain, they will create employment for many people including those who are not very skilled and on this note requested for support from government.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga revealed that they can also support people to add value to pineapple leaves.
“In Busoga sub-region we grow a lot of pineapples but there is no factory to process these pineapples but in addition to processing the pineapple, we can develop the pina cloth.”
“In Philippines, the clothes which President Macos, and all the Philippines use on formal occasions are clothes made from pineapple leaves which we do not have to pay for in our Country,” Kadaga said.
She said that adding value to pineapple leaves is another low hanging fruit and through that chain, people can be able to manufacture pina clothes like wedding gowns and sell them at a higher cost.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga further requested government to support Busoga in developing all tourist sites by availing people with capital to construct accommodation facilities or to construct modern clean houses which they will be hiring out to tourists.
She urged Jinja City Council to make use of the Source of the Nile as a major income earner after re-developing it.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga, who is also the Kamuli district Woman MP further urged government to support Basoga in exploration and mining activities in Busoga since the region has a lot of different minerals.
Busoga Kingdom’s Second deputy Prime Minister Owek. Alhaji Osman Ahmed Noor, represented the Kyabazinga of Busoga William Gabula Nadiope IV at the ceremony.
In his remarks, the Kyabazinga was thankful to the government for responding to their call to take centre stage in reducing poverty levels in the region through increasing investment opportunities by supporting people’s businesses.
“Our people work hard every day, but with little impact due to lack of capacity to produce to a sustainable scale. The support government is providing will go a long way in bridging this gap in the productivity chain for our people,” said the Kyabazinga.
The Monarch further urged the Basoga to unite and work as a team or in teams if they are to benefit from any government support. He also told them to focus on issues that matter, add value, unite and bring them development and avoid over polarising people in political and other camps.
To government, the Kyabazinga requested them to invest resources in sensitization, education and give technical support to people especially those in informal sectors adding that the Obwa Kyabazinga Bwa Busoga institution is very well positioned to help government through its kingdom structures that infuse to village and family level.
The Minister of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister said she was the brain behind organizing the Busoga Investment business symposium.
The Executive Director National Planning Authority, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, told stakeholders that success is a good story but also success is a function of repeated actions,” he said.
Muvawala expressed anger over officials in the Jinja lands committee office who request for money (kintu kidogo) from people in order to process land titles for them.
Present at the Business Investment Forum was the Isabalangira of Busoga Samuel Zirabamuzale Nkuutu, Royal Chiefs, UTB chairperson Daudi Migereko, Namutumba district woman MP Mariam Naigaga, Buzaaya MP Martin Muzale, Kagoma County MP Moses Walyomu, Bunya East MP James Kubeketerya, Busoga Kingdom Ministers, Business community and FDC’s Salamu Musumba.
Busoga has a population of 4.3 million people spread across 11 districts: Bugiri, Bugweri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo, and Namutumba. The region offers promising investment opportunities in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and mining. Supported by favorable government policies and infrastructure connectivity, it presents a promising investment destination with diverse opportunities for businesses of all sizes catalytic to poverty reduction and sustainable economic development in the sub-region.