By Jeff Andrew Lule
A total of 100 companies including small and medium enterprises were honored at the second edition of the East African Brand Quality Awards (EABQA), for their brand and quality excellence in both products and services they offer in the region.
The colorful event which was held at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday, was officiated by former Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, now the Presidential Advisor on Trade and Investment, Amelia Ann Kyambadde.
The EABQA regional awards are instituted by Brands Impact to encourage brands and quality improvement in both the manufacturing and service industry in the East African region.
The event recognizes brands that have contributed to quality excellence and services under the partnership of the Chartered Quality Institute and Alconext.
Stabex International Limited was voted the brand with the best oil and gas products in the region; Uganda Halal Bureau as the platinum winner for the best service delivery, while ISBAT University was awarded as the best ICT, Engineering and Business Solutions University in the region.
Other awardees include: Lato Milk; Bella Wines, International University of East Africa, DIDCO, Dembe Enterprises, Modern Tiles, Riley Packaging, Movit Products Limited, Plascon Uganda, Chandaria Group-Kenya, Peptang-Kenya, MeTL Group Tanzania, Master Beauty Products Ltd-Rwanda, Mayondo Engineering Works, Global Vet, and Dr, Agarwals Hospitakl among others.
In her remarks, Kyambadde noted that there is a reason to celebrate because it was not possible in 1986, to hold such a function.
“I salute President Yoweri Museveni for coming up with the 10-point program which highlighted creation of a self-sustaining, independent and integrated national economy, and that is where we all started,” he noted.
Adding that: “I was privileged to be his principal private secretary for all that time. And I could see the President burning midnight candles to ensure that this country is transformed to what we are celebrating now”.
She noted that previously Uganda was talking about 80 industries, which have not increased to over 8000.
Kyambadde said because of the regional integration, all industrialists have access to a market of 380 million population and can easily export to the global markets like to the European Union.
“That is why we continue to emphasize the issue of branding and quality of our products to ensure they meet the global standards,” she added.
She further thanked the government for the improvement in policies that encourage local industrial growth, and increase in the quantity of goods and services.
“Industries employ at least 13% of the population. We should not forget the power of policies such as Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) that have helped improve standards, quality and quantity of local production,” she added.
She called for the need to harmonize policies and encourage cross border trade.
The event organizer of the EABQAs Patrick Nsubuga said the event is an opportunity for other brands to export their products and brands to countries where they do not exist.