Umeme Ltd will host a suppliers and contractors conference at the Kampala Serena Hotel from February 26 to 27. George van der Merwe, the General Manager: UMEME Capital & Contracts Division, explains what the two-day event will entail. Below are excerpts
RP: What are the objectives of the conference?
This is Umeme’s first ever such a conference. It will run from February 26 to 27 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. There will be a Business Day on February 26 where our contractors and suppliers will have an opportunity for a one-on-one with any of Umeme’s Senior Management Team and all the key officials.
RP: Is it only open to the current service providers or can non-service providers register?
All our local, international, small, medium and large contractors and suppliers are expected to attend. Our initial target was up to 200 contractors and suppliers, but by close of last week, we had already registered up to 110 participants through our online platform. The number is likely to shoot up. The online response is so far overwhelming.
RP: Give us a flavor of what one can expect to be discussed?
A cross-section of issues will be discussed and shared with a varied range of experts in the financial, technical and regulatory sectors. The agenda will be dynamic. We don’t want to leave any burning issues out.
RP: As a public listed company, are you committed to give local business a sizeable share of the cake?
Oh yeah! Last year, we spent up to sh59 billion through our engagements with local suppliers and contractors, which helped us improve customer service delivery. We have an average operational expenditure of sh38 billion per annum with an estimated capital expenditure of one trillion shillings from 2014 to 2018. We procure distribution transformers, conductors and line accessories, substations, power transformers switch gear and related components, operational equipment, advisory services and contracts for line construction, manpower supply and other services.