NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL BUSINESS IN UGANDA
Dr. Jason Mochache
Officer in Charge
Uganda Field Office
African Development Bank
July 11, 2013
Honourable Minister of State Mr. Ruhakana Rugunda
Professor Waswa Balunywa, Principal of MUBS
Distinguished Guests and Participants
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the National Conference on Social Business in Uganda and to launch the Bank’s new program called the Holistic Social Business Movement in Africa here in Uganda.
This conference is the second National Conference organized by the Bank to create awareness and sensitize various stakeholders in Africa on Social Business, drawing on Professor Mohammed Yunus’ successful social business model. This model has gained immense success in Bangladesh, India, Haiti, Albania and other countries. By bringing the model to African countries we hope that it will have a similar success in reducing poverty by encouraging the poorest to participate in socially and environmentally sound businesses in order to generate income, develop entrepreneurship and create jobs.
The program of Holistic Social Business Movement for Africa will be piloted in Togo, Tunisia and Uganda. If these pilot programs are successful, the Bank aims to scale up the Holistic Social Business Movement to other African countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This initiative on social business will compliment existing efforts by government, development partners and other stakeholders in tackling employment especially among the youth, improving basic service delivery and enhancing incomes of the poor. As an institution, the African Development Bank has partnered with the Government of Uganda to improve skills for the youth through our investment in Higher Education, Science and Technology, improve access to finance for the poor through the ADF funding to the Microfinance Support Centre and to create an enabling environment for the private sector operations through various operations, the Bank has invested heavily to help provide the infrastructure needed to support the country’s growth and development efforts.
The Bank has previously and currently supported infrastructure projects including roads, rural access roads, energy and agricultural infrastructure. It has also supported technology and research improvements for agriculture…
Hon. Minister, the Bank has launched a 10 year strategy for 2013-2022 which focuses on inclusive and green growth as the main objectives. The strategy will focus on 5 key pillars; Skills and technology, governance, private sector, infrastructure and regional integration. The aim is to address the economies of Africa on a suitable manner and that will lead to attainment of the vision that the governments have.
Through deliberations in this conference and subsequent social business, we look forward to continued partnership with the Government of Uganda and promote entrepreneurship.
The Holistic Social Business Movement will be one of those innovations and will target youth employment and to improve livelihood of the poor and vulnerable. This calls for joint efforts with government, development partners, private sector, NGOS, local communities, youth and women. Participation from the social business investors, practitioners and other key stakeholders is critical for the success of the programme.
Permit me to end by thanking our partners who have made this conference a reality and I believe will make the initiative to realize results in Africa. This programme would not have been possible without the expertise of the Yunus Social Business and the support of Makerere University Business School.
I would also like to thank you, all for being here and giving us your support and the Government of Japan for their generous contribution in financing this two year pilot programme.
On this note, I wish all of you a very successful conference and attainment of the objectives of the forum. We look forward to insightful presentations, fruitful discussions, exchange of opinions and knowledge sharing.