Over 100 Contractors and stakeholders in the Construction sector gathered this morning for a dialogue on, ‘Building strategic partnerships to foster sustainable growth in the Construction sector.’ The event hosted by dfcu Bank presented a platform to discuss challenges, opportunities and prospects for key players in the sector.
The construction sector plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of Uganda. Over the last ten years, the Gross Domestic product (GDP) from this sector has grown by over 35% and it is estimated that the sector contributes up to 40% of jobs created by the private sector. It also constitutes 16.9% (UGX 1,311Bn) of the commercial Bank’s loans to private sector (BoU annual report 2017/2018).
During his opening remarks, dfcu Bank CEO, Mathias Katamba spoke of the opportunities in the sector: “We expect construction demand from the public sector to remain robust, because there is a whole range of public sector projects that will progressively be put out for tender, be it transport infrastructure, utilities, specialist infrastructure in actors like oil, gas etc.”
“We also recognize that it is not easy for our local companies to fully take on big projects without experience, resources and track record. But the push for local content in all public sector projects is helping our local companies gain the required experience to scale up,” Katamba added.
Despite the increase in market demand, contractors still face a myriad of challenges with financing being the most prominent.
Arthur Bagarukayo, the Chairman, Construction Contractors’ Association of Uganda and also
Managing Director of Precise Engineering Services commended dfcu for this initiative. He noted that the numerous challenges faced by contractors in their daily operations calls for strategic partnerships within the sector and with Banks like dfcu in order to take up the opportunities presented by the local content agenda.
In addition to having a strong capital base, dfcu Bank is well positioned to offer tailor made solutions to small, medium and large companies; right from the bidding process, through financing to transactional and cashflow management.
“We understand the construction business and some of the ways we can help contractors include: support in winning new contracts, delivering on contracts within set timelines, provision of flexible financial solutions and an unbeatable turnaround time, “noted Godfrey Mundua, Head of Corporate Banking at dfcu Bank.
dfcu Bank has over the years developed partnerships with different stakeholders to enable it offer appropriate services to its customers. In the construction sector specifically, Insurance partners play a critical role.
“We have partnered with dfcu Bank to provide specialized insurance products for contractors. These solutions factor in the unique needs and risks faced by the players in the construction sector,” commented John Bukenya the Assistant General Manager, Jubilee Insurance Company Uganda.
The Contractors event comes on the heels of a similar dialogue held in July for Commodity Traders under the theme, ‘Stimulating growth through Commodity trade.’