In 2017 when the government first announced that it was taking a deliberate step to promote Ugandan-made goods through an initiative called Buy Uganda Build Uganda (Bubu) many economic analysts didn’t buy the idea.
However, since its launch,several local companies have thrived due to the presence of the initiative.
In the same stream, the rebirth of Uganda’s national carrier was a sounding move and a possibility to the promotion of BUBU far from Uganda to all destinations where the airline has secured routes.
On April 23rd, 2019, when President Yoweri Museveni received the first two Bombardier CRJ900 jets from Canada at the Entebbe International Airport, it was the official commencement of a new milestone to promote BUBU.
Three years down the road, Uganda Airlines has vehemently promoted the ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’ (Bubu) policy that is being promoted by Government.
First and foremost, the national carrier employs over 300 Ugandans at the hub and about 60 foreign nationals in different departments (where a particular skill set is not available in Uganda) as well as in the destinations Uganda Airlines operates.
Secondly, it’s understood that in Uganda Airlines flights, mainly locally manufactured Ugandan products are used. These include Kakira Sugar, Bond 7, Uganda Waragi, Wava water, Endiro Coffee, Mukwano tea bags, Jesa Yogurt and Jesa milk, not forgetting the recently recognized Uganda’s Rolex chapati.
What the airline considers before using Ugandan products/services:
According to the official from Uganda Airlines, the national carrier management in the first place first considers the certification from Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and quality of the product and packaging are very key.
“Whatever we take on board should not be bulky for efficient use of space,” the source said, adding: “Whatever is taken on board should not have combustion ability to minimize fire hazards.”
The government has been encouraging Ugandans to fly their own (Uganda Airlines) as their first choice to show patriotism. The national airline is also expected to promote the country’s tourism sector.
At the recently launched Johannesburg route, the Airline partnered with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to promote Destination Uganda by showcasing the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
It’s understood that talks are underway with the Tourism body to firm up the partnership.
Uganda airlines joins other sectors which have also embraced the idea of Bubu especially in the oil and gas sector where local companies and players registering on the National Supplier Database are gaining more ground. Currently, figures from the Petroleum Authority show that 1,329 persons and entities out of the total 1,967 are registered in Uganda.
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