The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has signed an agreement called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). They want to connect businesses along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Mr. Michael Otonga Ochan, the Director of Finance and Administration at PAU, signed the MOU on behalf of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development. He explained that the MOU’s main goal is to create a good marketplace for goods and services among small, medium, and large companies. The signing took place at the PAU offices in Entebbe on Thursday.
Mr. Otonga believes the MOU will open up significant market opportunities for small and medium enterprises to do business with the larger enterprises that already have contracts with PAU.
The MOU aims to connect small and medium enterprises with larger ones, making it easier to trade goods and services. So far, they have trained 400 companies, including those led by women and youth. However, the formal registration of SMEs remains a challenge, and their numbers are still relatively low.
The Enterprise Development officer at PAU, Mr. Peter Kenneth Bintu, expressed their intention to foster collaboration between small, medium, and large enterprises. This collaboration will enable small companies to supply big ones and improve the quality of their products.
The MOU creates an avenue for small businesses to trade with big ones that already have contracts with the oil and gas industry. It also requires large enterprises to share knowledge with small and medium enterprises about the standard goods and services.
The Director of Kasirabo Holdings Ltd, an enterprise with a contract with PAU, welcomed the MOU, seeing it as a significant opportunity for big enterprises to work with small and medium ones, particularly to enhance product quality.
Mr. Kasirabo emphasized their plan to work with PAU along the East African crude oil pipeline to provide disease-free seedlings and safe animal genetics. These initiatives aim to ensure continuity of trade between enterprises. The seedlings are expected to yield good harvests, while the genetic animals will produce more milk.
Dr. Paul Kyalimpa, the Director of Esteem International Consultant Services and the Deputy Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), believes the MOU will create strong business connections in several districts where the East African Crude Oil pipeline will pass through to Tanzania.
Dr. Kyalimpa also mentioned their efforts in supporting SMEs through training and conducting surveys on registered small and medium companies that can supply goods and services to large companies. Their main objective is to build the capacities of SMEs, encouraging them to form groups that can supply goods and services to large companies with contracts from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.