By Moses Kizito Buule, Makerere

A network for medical practitioners, health researchers, business professionals and Rotarians, in the bid for improvement of people’s quality of life has been launched at a conference  held at Makerere University’s Food Science conference hall.

The conference held on Saturday was organized by Business Friends Africa and the Rotary Club of Mengo and was addressed by speakers including  the Director for Research at the National Chemotherapeutics Research Institute
(NCRI) Dr. Nambatya Grace Kyeyune, the Executive Director for Enterprise Uganda Charles Ocici,  Dr. Deo Musisi Apollo of Datagrid International USA, and other guest speakers.

Explaining causes for enterprise failure, Charles Ocici blamed entrepreneurs for not sticking to set  rules of the game of going to the private sector and remaining there, and in effect succumb to subtle, detrimental yet solvable issues.

He cited great brands like Nakumatt and Uchumi, saying that in 2012, although at shs. 3,700bn/= Nakumatt was rated second biggest in Africa after  Nigeria’s Dangotte, it could not withstand such forces, adding, “if such a giant could come down, what about dwarfs?”

Enterprise Uganda ED Charles Ocici making a presentation

On government cash bail out to such collapsing enterprises, Ocici observed  that this is ineffective and that besides making infliction on the state coffers, it cannot address issues like behavioral and attitudinal change which he said are the leading causes of enterprise collapse.

Listing other causes, he cited lifting of business money to cater for lavish lifestyles, disrespect to professional advice, neglecting  to seek acquaintances with leaders, bankers and suppliers, ambitions like hurried expansion without first ensuring a solid base, taking customers for granted, mistreatment of clients and a host of others.

Justifying integration of traditional medicine in national health systems, Dr. Grace Nambatya said the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014 – 2023 strategy  on institutionalization of traditional medicines is a supportive tool in this direction.

Dr. Grace Nambatya displaying some of the products of her health research

Elaborating, she said that besides having been in use since time immemorial, traditional medicine is accessible, affordable and acceptable, and that the missing component is liaison with other countries to legally accept the trend.

“At the moment there is no centralized information system on traditional medicine, no documentation, no funding and very limited capacity building of human resource to help us researchers make a headway”, she lamented.

In his presentation, the main conference organizer,  Chief Executive of Business Friends Africa Dr. David Dan Mayanja blamed non qualitative education for a situation where graduates have turned into lumpens while people who stopped at lower levels are thriving.

Business Friends Africa CEO Dr. David Mayanja opening the conference at Makerere on Saturday

“At Business Friends Africa, we believe that one doesn’t have to study for sixteen years to be useful; we believe that coupled with quality health, a clean environment and space to operate from, someone given quality education for a year can be more useful”, Dr. Mayanja noted.

On why businesses fail,  Dr. Deo Apollo Musisi of Datagrid International USA lamented that Uganda’s economy is driven by politicians and not businessmen, which he said has killed vibrancy and flamboyance in the entrepreneurship world.

The representative for Datagrid International USA Dr. Deo Apollo Musisi stressing a point during the Saturday entrepreneurs’ conference at Makerere

He said that coupled with businessmen’s failure to set incentives for clients, the situation is made more compound.

Explaing, he said, “It is not rare to hear  travelers saying,”I want the boda boda cyclist who wears a black jacket” because of the customer care they expect from such a cyclists, and vendors sending away customers with statements like “You are not the one who finishes my stock” simply because the customer asked for a price reduction.