Development partners and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) have committed to undertake joint efforts to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to develop into large enterprises.
This commitment was made last week during a Private Sector-led development forum organized by Swisscontact; a development partner that is celebrating twenty-five years in Uganda.
According to Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda’s private sector comprises over 1,100,000 enterprises which employ approximately 2.5 million people, an equivalent of 90% of total non-farm private-sector workers. The private sector continues to be dominated by micro enterprises (93.5%), small enterprises (4.1%), and medium enterprises (2.4%).
“Up to 98 of private sector is MSMEs. Where are the large enterprises? What are we not doing right, or what must we do to support and graduate these MSMEs into large enterprises?” Pavlos Troulis, the Uganda Country Director for Swisscontact noted.
He added: “We need to be sharing much more information, aligning and supporting each other. This event is about supporting the Private Sector to achieve its objectives. It is urgent that we work together with PSFU and other partners to support the transition from MSMEs to large enterprises.”
Further, Damali Ssali, the chief programs and projects officer at PSFU called for regular engagements; pledging that PSFU would be happy to host the secretariat that would spearhead the activities to fast-track MSMEs’ growth.
“As an output and a celebration of the 25-year anniversary of SwissContact in Uganda, I would love to see us here establish as a private sector-led development platform where we can meet regularly and share information, lessons and much more to ensure the rapid growth of the private sector. As PSFU we would be happy to host the secretariat of such a platform,” Ms Ssali said.
She urged stakeholders to enhance research so as to provide evidence-based policy and advocacy position papers that will spur economic development.
“We are happy to partner with anyone who is in this space as we have access to over 3.5 million enterprises through our associations that can provide valuable data collection points,” she said. Swisscontact is an independent non-profit organization established in 1959 by the representatives of the Swiss private sector and civil society. It has in the past 25 years invested massively in Uganda in areas of Agriculture and Value Addition, along the way creating opportunities for thousands of Youth and Women.