Innovators Deserve better from Government, say experts

Principal of Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Prof. Waswa Balunywa

Kampala | RedPepper Digital – The Principal of Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Prof. Waswa Balunywa has asked the government to make access to funding easy for young innovators if it wants to overcome the unemployment problem in Uganda.

He made the remarks while speaking at the launch of the 3rd edition of Kampala Innovation Week 2021 at Design Hub in Kampala.

The five-day event is running from November 22 to 26.

Balunywa said although Uganda is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, a good number of Ugandans are still poor because most of the time the government wants to fund huge projects which at times have other forms of access to money.

“We don’t need to finance huge car projects. We have many innovators who can create jobs for millions of Uganda but I must tell you, there are too many regulations and policies in this country, you cannot do anything in this country as a businessman. Unfortunately, there are lots of government programs to do this but to my feeling, they are not right. Government should fund these innovations at all levels,” he said.

Balunywa said although the government has put up funds and infrastructure for the private sector, it has put up so many restrictions in accessing such incentives.

Richard Mubiru, the manager, Enterprise Growth Development at the ministry of Finance said the funds are available but at times some start-ups don’t have the required qualities.

“We appreciate the fact that access to finance is a challenge, however, there are mechanisms that the government has put up to support start-ups such as innovation funds in the Central Bank. Very soon the SMD recovery funds will be rolled out and UDC is already moving on looking for projects to support, therefore we are working towards the lasting solution,” he said.

Bart Cornille, the digital for development expert from Enable noted that for innovations to thrive in the country, funding must be accessible to upcoming businesses.

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