Foreigners have concerns about Ugandan business ethics
September 5—Many foreign investors, who want to form joint ventures with Ugandans, still have concerns about how locals do business and the issue of transparency.
“There many investors willing to partner with Ugandan firms in the private sector, but the challenge is, some of them are not embracing corporate governance which is essential in the managing both SMEs and big companies. Where there’s corporate governance– automatically there will be transparency in management,” Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Executive Director said early this week.
He was announcing the 7thEdition of the Annual Private Sector Development Awards set for September 14, 2017. Badagawa asked Uganda’s private sector to embrace the principles of corporate governance if they are to attract partners to help finance expansion of their enterprises.
In late 1998, a group of widely respected professionals set up the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU), but its impact has been muted, because Ugandan business is dominated by people who dislike close scrutiny by authorities.
Badagawa said although the country is experiencing growth in the private sector, many of the firms are failing to attract influential business partners, especially those who can inject new capital, due to questions marks about corporate governance.
He cited the fact that few Ugandan companies are listed on the local stock exchange. This is because of fears surrounding full disclosure which is vital for measuring the transparency in the way owners conduct business.
During the news conference, Badagawa said the PSFU will be awarding the best enterprises in the private sector and government agencies which have supported the development of the private sector in Uganda.
“PSFU will be recognizing companies whose corporate social responsibility supports community development and particularly those that increase benefits to younger children .The awards will recognize government agencies that have improved services delivery and developed innovative products that benefit the private sector in Uganda,” Badagawa said.
All registered business or professional associations, community development groups at village, sub-county and at district level qualify to be vetted.
The 7thEdition will have categories for the Business Association network of the year (National Level), Excellence Award in Rural Economic Development, CSR Champion for the Children, Government Agency of the Year, SME Women champion awards, among others .