Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga says they have begun engaging with various stakeholders within the city and neighbouring districts in Northern Uganda in early preparation as they lobby to host the event.
Gulu City Council Officials have
begun lobbying to host the 22nd edition of the East African
Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Trade Fair.
The21st edition of
the EAC trade fair was held in September last year at the Rock City Grounds in
Mwanza, Tanzania. This year, the rotational trade
fair that brings together the six East African Community partner states is expected to be held in Uganda.
cities of Gulu in Northern Uganda and Mbarara in Western Uganda have been
picked as possible grounds to host the trade fair. It's on this basis that Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga says
they have begun engaging with various stakeholders within the city and neighbouring districts in Northern Uganda in early preparation as they lobby to
host the event.
He says their engagement will help them raise
valid concepts and strategies to make a point in influencing the Trade Ministry
and the East African Community to grant them the opportunity to host the trade
fair. He notes that they have already
formed a committee that will be tasked with all the processes of lobbying for
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Okwonga says that while they are
lobbying for the opportunity to host the trade fair, the business community and
various stakeholders should now begin early preparations towards providing
services to the thousands of visitors who will come for the trade fair. He says the event once brought in
Gulu will help to export the rich culture of the Acholi people and the
available products locally produced.
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Some stakeholders within the city
have welcomed the move and believe this will have a positive impact on the region's economy once the city is granted a green light to host the
international trade fair.
Philip Emunot, the Bank of Africa
Regional Manager-North, however, suggests that its high time officials in the
city began aggressive positive marketing of the region using the various mass media channels. He says visual documentaries
about Gulu city and the region, in particular, will help attract visitors and
make them informed before the main event.
“Do some good pictures, do some
documentaries put them out in the international space, let people come and see
what Gulu looks like and have a positive image of Gulu before that particular
time comes,” he says. Emunot also notes that there is a need for early identification and preparation of exhibitors who will compete
well in representing Uganda.
Deputy Spokesperson James Ojok Onono says the University is warming to exhibit its covilyce-1
herbal COVID-19 treatment and share ideas on the use of indigenous knowledge on
curbing COVID-19. He says that the University during the
21st trade fair in Mwanza, Tanzania last year exhibited the
Covilyce-1 herbal medicine that helped to earn Uganda a second place in the
trade fair after Kenya.
The Covilyce-1 Herbal COVID-19
treatment drug was invented by a group of scientists at the Gulu University’s
Faculty of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Studies (Pharm-Biotech) headed by Dr Lamwaka last year.
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Onono says they have made
suggestions to Gulu City council authorities on their proposals to award East
African Head of States with Peace Awards in a bid to attract their
participation in the coming trade fair. He, however, says their proposal will
depend on the position of the city council to adopt it.
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The Trade exhibitions over
the years have benefited small traders in building capacity on value addition,
cross-border trade, the EAC Simplified Trade Regime among others through the
daily symposium. Over the years, the Region has experienced more traders
formalizing their businesses, adding value to their goods, expanding and
capturing new markets.