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Domestic Manufacturers Celebrate Growth of UMA Trade Fair

To protect domestic manufacturers from undue regional and international competition, Uganda Manufacturers Association recently introduced Innovations, Quality and Best Exhibition Awards among others to inspire members to innovate and showcase their progress. Some of the awards include Best Food Exhibitor, Best Exhibitor in Metal Category and Overall Best Exhibitor of the year.
Students Go To The Trade Fair to Learn Manufacturing Processes and The World of Work

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Ugandan manufacturers are celebrating the growth of the annual Uganda-International Trade Fair. They say that the Trade fair, held annually in October, is a major success in expanding their customer base, unveiling new products, exposing budding small scale manufacturers to new sources of raw materials and creating international market opportunities.      

Aloysius Ntambi, the Public Relations Officer of Steel and Tube Industries says that the trade fair has been bringing together industry players to interact with each other, learn new market opportunities showcase new products and build confidence in their customers.    

Ntambi says that the gathering remains strong on its core clout including demonstrating the production process to potential clients and students.  

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To protect domestic manufacturers from undue regional and international competition, Uganda Manufacturers Association recently introduced Innovations, Quality and Best Exhibition awards among others to inspire members to innovate and showcase their progress. Some of the awards include Best Food Exhibitor, Best Exhibitor in Metal Category and Overall Best Exhibitor of the year.

Exhibitors hope to “derive value from the exhibition during and after the trade fair. Aloysius Ntambi says the practice is that their marketing team will liquidate the numerous potential customer contacts they accumulate during the trade fair”. 

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Some domestic manufacturers use product promotions, gifts and discounts to entice customers to buy from their exhibition or factories.    

Rashid Jaffer Omar, the Sales Manager of Mandela Group, the franchise owning Café Javas, Mandela Millers and other enterprises, says the trade fair is helping to address the challenge of limited supply of raw materials to domestic manufacturers.  

Omar says his company had been expensively importing fortified wheat from Canada and other US countries until it encountered another supplier from Egypt at the annual international Trade Fair.  

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  Cue out…. compared to last year.”//

   Business analysts say the Trade Fair has been reduced to a mere market of imported products and juice makers for traders selling imported second hand products. They say the manufacturers trade fair should be one to demonstrate manufacturing antics, skills and technologies to inspire the young and potential entrepreneurs. 

But a section of exhibitors at this year’s trade fair disagrees. Clovis Musimbi, the Madhvani Group of Companies’ Business Coordinator says the need to inspire budding entrepreneurs is well taken care of in the interaction between juice extractors and the experienced manufacturer in an exhibition arena such as Lugogo.  

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At the ground, exhibitors conduct manufacturing demonstrations using pictorials taken from their factories, digital visual aids on projectors and Academy classes for registered show-goers. For Uganda Manufacturers Association, the Trade Fair presents an opportunity to grow the number of members.      

Nkuutu Kirunda Mubarak, the Director Membership Services at Uganda Manufacturers Association says the Trade Fair has grown in numbers and innovations over the years.  

//Cue in; “Twenty-seven years…  

Cue out…. stronger and stronger.”//    

Currently, the Uganda Manufacturers Association has more than 1,300 members.          

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