President Yoweri Museveni called on the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Agriculture to find land to facilitate the cultivation of rubber which is an essential raw material for the production of medical supplies.
“The Minister of Industry should be in contact with Agriculture about the cultivation of rubber. Because it is the link – the rubber which is agriculture, is linked with the oil industry, the factory is linked with the health sector, etc. ”Said Museveni.
Mr Museveni was speaking on Saturday after the official commissioning of East African Medical Vitals (EAMV), a local Ugandan company that manufactures high-quality powder-free latex medical gloves (examination and surgical), life-saving medical consumables in health facilities.
President Museveni said growing rubber would save a lot of money on importing medical supplies and raw materials. He congratulated East African Medical Vitals for this initiative.
“This is an import substitution effort. Stop buying from others what you can make yourself, ”he added.
The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in the Namanve Industrial Park has the capacity to produce over 10,000 pieces per hour and approximately 95 million gloves per year, ready to supply the markets of East Africa and South Africa. LIKE THIS.
According to the executive director of East African Medical Vitals, Mr. Ben Kavuya, they import latex – the raw materials used in the manufacture of surgical gloves and condoms – from Malaysia, adding that in the future the country must exploit the sector by introducing rubber cultivation, which he said would have a ready market and provide jobs for many Ugandans.
Minister of State for Investment and Privatization Evelyn Anite said she dealt a blow to the Development Bank of Uganda (UDB) which she said falls short of the standards. task to save local manufacturers, even after the government injected one trillion Ugandan shillings with the aim of supporting the production, processing and manufacturing of items essential for the country to be resilient amid supply chain disruptions. supply linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have summoned the Board of Directors and the management of the Development Bank of Uganda to come and explain to us and, Your Excellency, if they do not give a clear explanation, we will ask you to leave them. leave because they are not up to their task. “Anite said, drawing cheers from the audience.
This followed Kavuya’s complaint about the bureaucracy involved in obtaining capital from the UDB, which is not conducive to the rapid pace required by a growing company to be competitive.
“When we applied for funding to the UDB in early 2019, our request was not honored and there was never a response from the UDB. In the absence of a response from the UDB, we contacted the East African Development Bank (EADB) and contracted a loan facility of US $ 6.3 million at an interest rate. by 8%. This is similar to what commercial banks offer. We had no choice but to take out this expensive loan. We had to start and be part of the solution to Uganda’s health problems, ”he said.
Earlier, President Museveni and dignitaries visited the factory and witnessed first-hand the production and packaging of the medical gloves. He is committed to solving the problem of intermittent power supply to industries and improving the road network in the industrial park.
“We have a surplus of electricity, more electricity than the consumers. The only thing we are struggling to do is make it cheap by removing UMEME. The UMEM should go away because they make the cost expensive for nothing, ”Museveni said.
The Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. David Bahati, representatives of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the Ministry of Health, the National Drug Authority (NDA), the National Medical Stores (NMS) and the business community attended the ceremony.