International Women's day 2021

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda

In commemoration of the International Women's day 2021, PSFU in partnership with Inspire Africa celebrated women in coffee and shared about the diversity in coffee & the available business opportunities within the sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Africa, Nelson Tugume urged women in Uganda to leverage the abundant opportunities in the coffee sector. He emphasized that women participation in coffee business will enable them achieve financial independence.

During the event, Inspire Africa introduced the ‘Juzza’ initiative which is a mobile café. The mobile coffee kiosks which is one of the innovations under the Young Africa Works Program to be managed by Inspire Africa was officially launched at the event. Inspire Africa is one of the lead firms under Young Africa Works Program, supported by Mastercard Foundation.

These mobile coffee cafes will be stationed on several tricycles, also known as ‘Tuku tukus’ across the city. These facilities will encourage coffee consumption; provide convenience as well as create jobs for young people.

Kampala, Thursday, 11th March 2021 To continue supporting the health sector to address pandemic-related needs in the Country, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Economic Recovery, Response and Resilience Program is handing over six (6) PCR test machines to the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health has selected Kabale Regional Hospital, Hoima Regional referral Hospital and Jinja Regional referral Hospital as beneficiaries to receive these PCR test machines. These machines will support the selected hospitals to test for diseases such as COVID-19, Hepatitis B, C, and HIV among others, to ensure we curb the spread of the diseases.

To-date, Private Sector Foundation in partnership with Mastercard Foundation has contributed various medical items worth USD 1,850,000 (United States Dollar One million eight hundred and fifty thousand) to the Ministry of Health. This contribution is intended to complement the Government of Uganda’s efforts to manage and curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“We hope that this contribution will support the health sector in Uganda to be more equipped and ready to deal with pandemic related diseases, as well as for Ugandans to receive the care and treatment they need at the various treatment centers,” Said Mr. Gideon Badagawa, Executive Director, PSFU.

 “Supporting efforts to safeguard public health amid the pandemic remains a top priority for the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program,” said Simon P. Kasyate, Mastercard Foundation Country Lead, Program Communications. “Our collective work to enable the continuation of learning and the recovery of livelihoods is dependent on ensuring individuals are safe and healthy,” he added.

Alongside meeting emergency public health needs, the Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Program is working to ensure learning and businesses continue, economic recovery is supported, and innovation across sectors builds resilience within institutions, industries, and communities.

PSFU and the Mastercard Foundation are committed to supporting the Government of Uganda in its efforts in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda.



PSFU in partnership with The Innovation Village organized a virtual policy consultation conference on 11th February 2021 to interact with the different innovators, policy makers, development partners and the academia. 

Innovation is synonymous with the youth and has been identified as a key driver for economic growth, enhancing competitiveness and stimulating productivity of businesses in developing countries alike. Startup entrepreneurs, play a critical role in innovation which includes, testing and validation of innovative ideas to create a sustainable economic model. 

The key note address was made by Mr. Eric Sempambo- Investment Specialist, Business Environment PSFU, whose discussion was shaped around the preliminary policy challenges that is affecting Start up entrepreneurs. The presentation outlined the following issues; 

# Challenge Possible Implications Possible Proposal 
 1 Inadequate levels of entrepreneurship (Business management, (business idea/model identification)
  • Results into high levels of business failure
  • Leads to stagnation of business
  1. Capacity building support in entrepreneurship development- Business management
  2. Support  incubation centers to scale up across the country

Limited access to Start-up capital

  • Affects industry entry
  • Inhibits development of ideas
  1. Attract venture capital funds & seed funding
  2. Create grant scheme to support innovation

High costs of internet & access to internet

  • Deters innovation
  1. Complete National Backbone Infrastructure to improve access to internet

Lack of coordination & among players in the industry

  • Disorganization of the sector
  • Inhibits mobilization of funds
  1. Develop a start up policy, law and requisite regulations to regulate start up ecosystem
 5 Restrictions to accessing public market
  • Affects  scaling up of innovations
  1. Capacity building of start ups in e- procurement
  2. Preference schemes for start ups

 During the open discussion with participants, the following policy issues, implications and recommendations were raised;






Weak levels of entrepreneurship: Business model identification, business administration, finances management.

  • Leads into high levels of business failure
  • Leads to stagnation of business

a)      Prioritize Business Development services such as Entrepreneurship skills, business management, planning for Start- up entrepreneurs

b)      Promote incubation/innovation centers to scale up across the country and also extend information to start ups

c)      Skill young entrepreneurs in soft skills areas such as integrity, emotion intelligence


Limited access to Start-up capital from both Equity and commercial banks

  • Inhibits  industry entry
  • Inhibits development of ideas
  • Limits growth of the innovation space

a)      Create (60:40) credit guarantee scheme working through incubation centers for the potential start ups in the sectors

b)      Develop a policy that organizes the Start ups ecosystem to achieve efficiency, address intellectual property issues and also attract venture capital funds

c)      Promote business mentorship program through concept competition campaigns that help identify potential products and interest mentors to join.


High costs and limited access to internet

  • Deters innovation

a)      Complete National Backbone Infrastructure to improve access to internet

b)       Reduce the costs of internet to compare with our EAC trade partners such as Rwanda


Restrictions to accessing public market and High costs of taxation

  • Affects  scaling up of innovations
  • Increases doing business costs

a)      Build Capacity of start ups in e- procurement and its requirements

b)      Subsidize the cost of UNBS certification for start-up entrepreneurs

c)      Provide preference scheme for start ups in the BUBU policy

d)      Harmonize the licensing regime for the start ups especially in IT sector

e)      Exempt the DTS costs on products of Start ups

The conference was closed agreeing to a way forward which includes among others; developing a position paper on the need for start-up policy to address the aspects below:

(1) organize the sector

(2)address intellectual property issues

(3) provide business development and;

(4) provide conducive business environment



PSFU is collaborating with the MasterCard Foundation to co-implement (anchor) Young Africa Works – Enhancing Lead Firm Structure for Youth Employment Program. The intervention targets creation of 300,000 sustainable work opportunities in 5 years for young people through strengthening the capacity of private sector to efficiently produce and sell their products in expanded markets, developing new diversified financing mechanisms as well as growing the capacity of business leaders and their support service providers to expand their enterprises. 


The Innovation Village is also one of the co-implementers of the Young Africa Works Strategy addressing the key challenge of youth job creation in the Uganda marketplace. Together with key strategic partners from public, private, academia and development communities, The Innovation Village offers a comprehensive ‘ecosystem’ approach to building Ventures (or Companies), i.e. making a market for entrepreneurs, which will, in turn, generate employment. The forecasted direct output of the program is 300,000 young people securing dignified and fulfilling work.

Private Sector consultations: National Budget Framework Paper

  • Private Sector Foundation Uganda

PSFU through the Policy and Business Development Unit conducted consultations across the 12 sectors (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade and Commerce, Tourism and Hospitality, Skills, Education and Health, Financial Services, Logistics, Professional Services, ICT, Creative Arts, Oil and Gas and Construction) to identify strategic issues in the approved National Budget Framework Paper that require strategic response.

This paper is aligned to the 18 NDP III programs and the 18 PIAPS, the available literature by EPRC, implications of COVID 19 and the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026.  The objective for this paper is to;

  1. To identify strategic private sector proposals which require urgent consideration.
  2. To identify the challenges that inhibit creation of work opportunities for the youth and women.
  3. To propose measures that need to be adopted to support the business community respond, recover and be resilient to COVID 19 impacts.
  4. To propose measures that economy could use to generate revenue and revive and accelerate growth.

  pdf Click here to read more  (705 KB)

Dr. Mathuki has been instrumental in championing removal of NTBs, implementing the turn-around strategy of EABC and revitalized donor support in the sector among other issues.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, Arusha, Tanzania: The East African business community is hailing EABC CEO Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki, the incoming seventh EAC Secretary-General, as a transformative leader who pushed the business agenda and championed free movement of goods and services in the dire pandemic times.

Dr. Mathuki boosted cross-border trade by passionately advocating for the operationalization and functioning of One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP) across the region. His hands-on approach saw him visiting all EAC OSBPs, holding fora with small-scale cross-border traders and Trade Facilitation Agencies to assess trade barriers and in turn advocated for their elimination.

The former EALA member of Parliament has held firm on the business community’s appeal to EAC Heads of State to embrace a coordinated approach in handling COVID-19.

At the onset of the pandemic, he successfully urged the EAC Council of Ministers to allow free movement of cargo and drivers, called for fiscal and monetary incentives to cushion East African businesses from the impact of COVID-19 and resumption of air transport services in the EAC region.

Under his leadership, EABC fronted research policy papers and briefs on the impact of COVID-19 in various business sectors and proposed recovery strategies, the majority of which were adopted by the EAC Partner States.

Dr. Mathuki successfully pushed for the formation of the African Business Council and has played a pivotal role in overseeing the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in a bid to reposition the bloc to reap the benefits availed by the continental market.

pdf Click here for more details > (92 KB)