The Ministry of Finance has hailed Uganda Breweries, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary for its immense contribution to growing the country’s economy through taxes and other activities.
The commendation was given by Hon. Henry Musasizi, the State Minister of Finance for General Duties during a high-level dinner hosting various stakeholders that have been a part of the brewer’s journey in Uganda.
“Uganda Breweries spends over shs45 billion annually in farming communities all over the country. This contribution to the agriculture sector is truly transformative in its impact on reducing unemployment in the country and also is a good push for the modernisation of agriculture which the government continues to champion,” said the State Minister for Finance in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi.
He was speaking during a high-level dinner where UBL hosted various stakeholders who have been part of the brewer’s journey in Uganda.
The minister said the beer company has made tremendous strides towards its socioeconomic agenda, leveraging on strategic partnerships to increase the scale and impact of its local sourcing initiative.
According to Alvin Mbugua, UBL’s outgoing Managing Director, the company has made several partnerships throughout the years which have benefitted many people.
“As we turned 70 years, we had one transformative partner in local sourcing – the Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers Association (KACOFA). Today, we have onboarded Kakira Sugar, Operation Wealth Creation, NARO, Africa Innovation Institute, Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) and more, all of which are supporting our Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) and local sourcing agendas under NDP III,”Mbugua said.
He added that in the last five years, the brewery has increased the number of farmers supplying sorghum, barley, cassava, corn start and sugar from 14,500 to 31,000 presently.
Japheth Katto, UBL’s Board chairperson applauded the government for the Buy Uganda
Build Uganda (BUBU) policy and called for its consistent application across the patch.
“It is only through this that the country we will be able to attract and increase investments in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing which are key pillars in driving Uganda’s socio-economic development,”Katto said.
He lauded the UBL team for the significant milestone of marking 75 years of consistent operations in Uganda despite the various challenges experienced over the years.
“We are among the top five largest taxpayers in Uganda, having paid over shs 420 billion in
taxes in 2020 and have a strong regional presence.”
He noted that the company’s operations are built on strong governance, as part of East African Breweries Limited which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and cross-listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and Dar-es-Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE); and Diageo Plc which is listed on the London and New York stock exchanges.
According to Japeth Katto, the company has planted over 4.7 million trees planted since 2005, and under its scholarship program, its sponsors disadvantaged students to progress to tertiary education with an annual expenditure of shs 1 billion.
Earlier this year, the UBL extended support to over 2,000 outlets including bars, restaurants and their employees worth $1 Million through the Raising the Bar program to put in place safety practices under stipulated SOPs.
The support included hand washing kits, masks, temperature reading equipment and point of sale materials among others.