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Kampala, Uganda, June 9, 2020 – Today the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) announced the creation of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. 

The program will extend immediate relief, recovery and resilience interventions to counter the impact of COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program, with a commitment of US$8.3m (equivalent to Ush 31bn) from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, will be used to;

  • Procure 30,000 PCR (Polymerise Chain Reaction)  test kits for use by the COVID-19 National Taskforce.
  • Purchase  personal protection equipment (PPE) and other critical items for frontline workers in the fight against  COVID-19.
  • Support the enhancement and adaptation of standards and quality certification and management by Uganda National Bureau Standards (UNBS) and qualifying private laboratories to improve the quality of goods for domestic and export markets.
  • Support Uganda Healthcare Federation to develop a digitised quality assurance system for the standardisation of services in private medical facilities across the country.
  • Support at least 200 qualifying enterprises whose operations have been affected by COVID-19 to survive and thrive in new and existing local and international markets.
  • Support government, through the National Planning Authority, to develop a post-COVID-19 recovery and growth strategy. 

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program  complements the efforts of the Government of Uganda to control the spread of COVID-19 and develop a post COVID-19 recovery and growth strategy to support the survival, recovery and resilience of enterprises impacted by the negative economic effects of COVID-19. 

“On behalf of all the stakeholders of the private sector, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mastercard Foundation for their support during this unforeseen time as we all fight to survive and thrive despite the undesirable effects of COVID-19. We are principally honored for the opportunity that Mastercard Foundation is partnering with PSFU to advance the development of the private sector in Uganda. We will honor our partnership by ensuring that we fulfill the responsibility they have entrusted us with to all our stakeholders,” said Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga, Chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda.

The creation of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program is aligned to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy. Young Africa Works, developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators, and entrepreneurs, is Mastercard Foundation’s strategy that aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years. 

“‘Young Africa Works is about connecting young people to opportunities, enabling them to build and sustain their livelihoods. We have to safeguard the work opportunities that already exist but are threatened by COVID-19 as we deepen our work in identified priority economic sectors and explore emerging opportunities that will create new pathways to work,’ said Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head, Uganda, at the Mastercard Foundation. 

The Mastercard Foundation is also responding to COVID-19 on a continental level. On June 4, 2020 the Foundation announced its partnership with Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Through its COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, the Mastercard Foundation is committing US$40 million to the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT). These funds will be used to purchase 1 million test kits, as well as train and deploy 10,000 community healthcare workers and 80 surveillance rapid responders to support contact tracing as well as strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity to oversee a continental response to the pandemic. 

Ends./

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) 

 

Allan Ssenyondwa

Project Manager; COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program

+256 784 358 654

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Francis Kisirinya

Deputy Executive Director

Private Sector Foundation Uganda

+256 772 438 539

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Mastercard Foundation

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications

Telephone: +27 76 166 5372

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Uganda holds first E-conference on COVID-19 and the Economy

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • PSFU NEWS

Kampala: May 3rd, 2020 - Private Sector Foundation in partnership with UN Women have today hosted the first E-conference on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Ugandan economy.


The two days’ conference was conducted using online ZOOM meeting tool and broadcasted live on NBS TV. The conference was conducted under the theme, “Inclusive Economic Stimulus Strategy, Opportunities and Linkages”. The conference attracted over 10,000 business owners and senior managers’ politicians, civil servants, civil society/religious leaders including people in the diaspora


The conference came as a response of the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic that has taken a heavy toll on global economies. In less than 6 months, there has been unprecedented contraction in economic activities, global deterioration of financial conditions, suspension of transportation, nose-diving of stocks, crumbling of health systems, loss of jobs especially for young people and women, cancellation/postponement of major events, and so many other far-reaching consequences on humanity and economies.


According to UN Women Country Representative Dr. Maxime Houinato, “COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a serious threat on the socio-economic development of Uganda. The spike in unemployment rate especially for young people and women makes planning for the post COVID-19 era very important.” Dr. Houinato noted that Women are often engaged in low-paying, informal work and businesses and as primary breadwinners for their families, disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 response will compromise their ability to meet their families’ needs.


  pdf Download detailed report here  (4 KB)

PSFU Business Barometer: COVID-19 impact on businesses report

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • PSFU NEWS

Kampala: 19th May 2020 – Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) consulted its membership to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on their enterprises through a survey dubbed PSFU Business Barometer. The business barometer looked at the overall business performance including operations, and employment status. The feedback from the analysis formed the proposed interventions to Government to resuscitate the economy. The recommendations on what businesses should be thinking about now and, in the coming months as the country looks to reopen business operations. 

The objectives for this survey include;

  1. Establishing the actual impact of COVID-19 on the members business operations
  2. Provide feedback for the development of policy recommendations and a business relief and recovery proposals to Government to alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the private sector and accelerate economic recovery.

  pdf Click here to download report details... (4 KB)

Kampala, Friday 8th May 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Jumia Uganda, the leading e-commerce company have launched an e-commerce platform to sustain supply chains for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and connect them with consumers online to sustain livelihoods as part of  the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In view of restrictions on movement and social distancing guidelines which were instituted as part of the measures to curtail further transmission of the disease, digital solutions offer some of the most powerful avenues to address current market challenges while boosting online trading and marketing. 

This initiative is a strategic opportunity to empower vulnerable groups and those hardest hit in the informal trade sector such as women, youth and persons with disabilities by connecting them with potential buyers. It will also connect rural farmers with the urban markets, keeping the supply chain for agricultural produce active and providing employment and mitigate effects of the COVID-19 on the economy. 

The lockdown measures such as restrictions on movement, stay at home guidelines have impacted business flow, cut off hundreds of informal market vendors from their usual customers, affecting incomes and straining sustenance of livelihoods, with many struggling to stay afloat. The lockdown also disrupted trade and affected business operations and supply chains of key sectors of the economy. 

The innovative e-commerce platform will benefit vendors in five (5) markets; Nakasero, Nakawa, Wandegeya, Bugolobi and Kalerwe, all in Kampala city. UNDP will provide smartphones, airtime and data to be used by the market vendors, and importantly, support the strengthening of an innovation ecosystem around e-commerce. 

On their part, Jumia Food will avail of its dedicated ordering platform via app and website that includes a last-mile distribution network, diverse set of payment methods, quality assurance, and facilitation of training for the vendors. 

While officiating at the launch held at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives - with strict adherence of social distancing requirements, the Minister of Trade, industry and Cooperatives; Hon. Amelia Kyambadde welcomed the UNDP-Jumia Uganda partnership saying, “This initiative will create convenient shopping, promote the growth of the ICT industry and usage, contribute to the decongestion and transformation of Kampala into a smart city that will be pleasant for all Ugandans and our visitors, the tourists.” 

The Minister also challenged Ugandans and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to embrace the  digital economy to connect businesses with a diverse customer base, “we cannot continue to sit and wait for consumers or even customers to find us in our markets; we need to go online to enable our customers and buyers to place orders and goods and services find them in the comfort of their homes or offices. This is the new reality!” 

On her part, the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah said that the partnership with Jumia Food, will provide, “a safe, convenient and fast service to the citizens of Uganda while boosting trade.”

She said the offer is part of UNDP’s broader effort to deploy digital solutions for business continuity through e-governance and e-commerce, as Uganda responds to the current disruptions and pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Such innovations, she noted, will also support the eventual realization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACfTA) Agreement by connecting Uganda to markets in the region. 

“COVID-19 presents not only a health but also a humanitarian and development crisis, that is threatening to leave deep social, economic and political scars for years. It is therefore important to build the national capacity to harness the digital economy to expand e-commerce to support supply chains to enable business continuity, support livelihoods and enable early recovery from the Pandemic,” Ms. Attafuah added. 

UNDP’s offer to the COVID-19 Response is three-pronged entailing supporting countries to prepare, respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis and at the heart of this, is concrete partnership and dynamic collaborations with both state and non-state actors including the private sector.   

Jumia Uganda Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Ron Kawamara, said both the market vendors and the buyers will find it easy to use the Jumia Food Vendor App and will offer the consumers a convenient, “Stay Home and Shop” service. “E-commerce digital platforms like Jumia are at the forefront of providing the informal sector and SMEs solutions to keep running and reaching customers during the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr. Kawamara commented. “We are very excited to partner with UNDP and offer our platform, delivery tools, training and experience to market vendors to access consumers in need of fresh produce and for consumers to be able to access the produce, safely,” he added. 

How it works:

The model employs market agents, who validate the goods and services, before they are dispatched. The agents ascertain that the goods meet the requisite quality, are hygienic and securely packaged to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. Jumia will use its infrastructure which includes, riders trained to provide safe and contactless deliveries, to provide a platform for the vendors to reach customers who are currently under lockdown. Consumers will have an option of giving feedback on the level of satisfaction of both the product and the service through the, Jumia Vendor App. 

#END

27th April 2020

KAMPALA, UGANDA – Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has had many discussions with Government, in particular Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister, various key players and partners to devise measures on how the economy can be revived during, and post COVID-19 pandemic. We see it as an opportunity to rethink and restructure our economy for a dynamic and sustainable future for Uganda, the region and Africa. It is a definite challenge to change our mindset and understand how the economy of the world is organized. Therefore, we are convinced that Government and private sector must work together in order to succeed.

Some of the intervention areas were proposed for Government’s consideration as listed below;

Pay all domestic arrears (money owed by Government to companies & individuals in Uganda). This will increase liquidity in the economy. A list has been provided to Government.

Under Domestic Tax:

  • Deferment of Payroll Tax payments to ease business cash flows for the next 6 months
  • Payment of Outstanding VAT refunds by Uganda Revenue Authority
  • Proposal of Turnover-tax (for those companies who file losses to URA) in the current budget proposal should be postponed to next FY (21/22).
  • Tax on rental properties be frozen for six months effective April 2020 and no taxes should be increased on rental properties.
  • Lower taxes on products produced with locally sourced raw materials.

Financing:

  • Restructure Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to manage the new development bank dynamics
  • Capitalize UDB so that it can effectively support the financing requirements of Ugandan entities.
  • Support the tourism sector with a line of financing through UDB
  • Improve the Administration and structure of the Agriculture Credit Fund
  • Enact the NSSF (amendment bill) 2019 to increase the supply of long term financing for a cheap source of resources.

  pdf Download the full press statement here >> (4 KB)