Stanbic Bank joins Tullow Oil to lift agri-business

Stanbic says the new centre will help farmers to deal with several supply side issues of doing agribusiness in the oil region.
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October 3—Stanbic Bank Uganda has opened an Agriculture Enterprise Centre in Hoima. This is in a […]

October 3—Stanbic Bank Uganda has opened an Agriculture Enterprise Centre in Hoima. This is in a bid to expand the reach of its business incubator programme and impact on small and medium enterprise (SME) growth across the country.

The Centre, which has been launched in partnership with Tullow Oil, will cater for strengthening farmers’ capacity in the 10 districts in the Albertine region and serve the oil sector better.

Speaking during the launch ceremony in Hoima on Tuesday, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa said they have so far invested over UGX500 million (about $136,000) in setting up and operationalizing the Centre. The basic goal is to take business incubation training countrywide.

“The Centre will help to deal with these issues of agribusiness enterprises in this oil region. Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. We have partnered with Tullow Oil to amplify our SME training programme in the Albertine region,” he said.

He said, “Tullow Oil has been at the forefront of the agriculture development project for the oil and gas companies. They have been doing studies over the past years to that the effect. The most current study was done by Self Help Africa which has been running an intervention project. So we are partnering with them to intervene in this area.”

As part of this cooperation, Tullow Oil will not only bring in the their knowledge and expertise through Self Help Africa, but also support to expand the project to ensure that it covers all the 10 districts of the Albertine area in western Uganda.

Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire said, “Stanbic Bank has pledged to support the SME sector growth and the transforming lives of the various stakeholders in this sector. As such, the bank has been running a business incubator programme that is purposed to support and nurture SMEs in order for them to develop and grow by bridging the identified gaps, in partnership and with the support of various stakeholders.”

Mweheire said, “As part of our commitment to growing SMEs in Uganda, particularly in the agriculture value chain, we have taken the business incubator programme to the regions, starting with the agriculture centre in Hoima. We shall also launch other regional business incubator centres in Gulu, Mbale, and Mbarara this year.”

Tullow Oil General Manager Mariam Nampeera Mbowa said, “Seventy five percent of the population’s livelihoods depend on agriculture. If revenues from oil and gas are invested in Uganda’s agri-processing, the country can transform its agricultural production capacity. The development and production phases of the project will create more direct employment and more jobs outside the boundary of the project. We will need welders, logistics people, caterers, service providers and more.”

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