Uganda will from April 25 to 27 host what is being billed as the biggest logistics expo ever as the country strategises to transform into a logistics regional hub. The expo, to be attended by close to 2,000 delegates, is aimed at showcasing logistics potential, opportunities and status with the major objective being translating Ugandas land-linked nature into a regional logistics hub.
The expo, to be attended by close to 2,000 delegates, is aimed at showcasing Uganda's logistics potential, opportunities and status with the major objective being translating Uganda's land-linked nature into a regional logistics hub.
The expo, which will be held at the Serena International Conference Centre in Kampala, is the brainchild of Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) in conjunction with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP).
According to the organisers, the gathering will bring together freighters, bankers, insurers, oil companies, food suppliers, importers and exporters, clearing agents, airline operators, hoteliers and many other stakeholders involved in the logistics value chain.
Addressing the media in Kampala Monday, UFFA's Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Mwijukye, said it is amazing that Uganda's natural and strategic location in the heart of Africa has not been exploited to ensure the country is the heartbeat of the continent.
Mwijukye said through the expo they want to not only announce Uganda to the world but use it as a stepping stone to turning the country into a logistics hub for the region.
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Mwijukye said transforming Uganda into a regional logistics hub has a string of benefits including economic transformation, job creation and urbanisation.
She said regional towns like Gulu, Tororo and Kasese have the potential of transforming into big cities feeding neighbouring countries.
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The Chairman of Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Elly Karuhanga, said they intend to make the expo an exceptional event bringing the world to Kampala and Uganda.
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Karuhanga said the expo would be used to discuss and explain the full import of the oil and gas sector, especially what the next three to four years towards the First Oil in 2020 means for logisticians and all other stakeholders.
According to Karuhanga, the run up to the First Oil will see the injection of over 20 billion dollars, an amount of investment never witnessed in East Africa, 50 percent of which will go into logistics.
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He appealed to logisticians and all Ugandans to turn up in droves at the expo, the very first of its kind in Uganda.
The Chairperson of PSFU's National Logistics Platform, Dr Merian Sebunya, said they are working on a private sector logistics strategy to help in the development of the logistics sector in Uganda.
Gerald Eninu, a Principal Economist in the Ministry of Works and Transport, said the government is committed to supporting the growth and development of the transport and logistics sector.
The transport and logistics sector is largely private sector-led. The sector also operates without an enabling policy, the draft of which has been gathering dust for years.