“Twende” Uganda was organised by Africa Agribusiness Academy in Kampala, Uganda from 2nd to 5th October 2018.

The event was attended by over 150 participants from Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Its purpose has been to promote regional trade amongst agribased SMEs.

“Twende Uganda”, meaning, “Let’s go Uganda,” was initiated by one of the AAA Business Clubs in Kenya, which then expanded to the other Business Clubs and hence became an event which included all AAA Country Chapters.

Promoting regional trade is one of the Academy’s value proposition to its members.

Opportunities for agribased SMEs in the region are access to ICT opportunities, in that more farmers are a market for inputs, rural-urban migration has led to more land for farming in the rural areas, more funding opportunities have been availed to agribusiness companies and contracting farmers is s a win-win situation.

Quality assurance, development of business skills, attendance of value addition trainings and adoption of new processing innovations and technologies will help agribased SMEs to gain from the opportunities for trade within the region.

So far the main challenges which agribased SMEs face in the region are; inter-trade barriers, lack of access to finance, expensive raw materials, price fluctuations, poor transport infrastructure and road networks, lack of compliance to international processes like CAADP and poor produce handling.

It has been noted through Twende Uganda that the challenges can be solved by…

….the government providing support for farmers in provision of extension services, resource mobilization, involvement of agribusiness companies in police formulation activities, employment of skilled labour and bringing required services closer to the farmers.

The benefits of “Twende” Uganda were massive. These include;

  • Interlinkages between the members,
  • Formation of investment partnerships,
  • Mergers on supplies,
  • information sharing and,
  • Over 74 business to business deals were made to a tune of 1.7m USD.

Members of the Academy were quoted to have said that Twende Uganda has enabled them to;

  • share profound business knowledge with insights for #SMEgrowth
  • share insights that inspire one to think critically and being open to learning before investing in agriculture

The Twende Uganda event encouraged members to network through various activities such as farm visits, training activities, ie, grant writing and discussions on regional trade, exhibitions and promotion of mentorship between agribased SMEs.

The success of Twende Uganda was massive, so much so that members requested for it to be an annual event.

With approval from Secretariat, this year, all members of the Africa Agribusiness Academy from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Malawi, and other stakeholders and partners will gather together for “Twende Kenya 2019.”