On August 7th, 2023, Gudie Leisure Farm, a trailblazer in transforming African agribusiness, played host to the Teso Region Business Symposium and Dinner. This enlightening event showcased the abundant business opportunities within Teso, Uganda, and shed light on the potential for growth and development in various sectors. With an impressive lineup of speakers from both government institutions and the private sector, the symposium served as a platform to inspire and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Opening Address and Business Opportunities:
Professor Gudula Naiga Basaza, the visionary Founder and Managing Director of Gudie Leisure Farm, inaugurated the symposium by highlighting the vast array of business opportunities available in Teso, particularly in the agriculture and farming sectors. Her opening remarks set the tone for a day of exploration, discussion, and collaboration.
Investment Opportunities in Teso:
Mr. Francis Kisirinya, a seasoned expert from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, shared insights into investment prospects within Teso and Uganda as a whole. He emphasized the potential of lucrative ventures like tour and guide businesses, which require relatively low investment yet yield high returns. This revelation encouraged attendees to consider diversifying their investment portfolios.
Government Support and Trade Platforms:
Mr. Stephen Kirya, the Assistant Commissioner of the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives, elucidated the support structures established by the Government of Uganda to foster an enabling environment for local and foreign investors. He highlighted the significance of industrial hubs and the trade portal, which provide valuable resources for those interested in entering the business landscape.
Preserving Heritage and Developing the Private Sector:
Hon. Otekat Moses, the Youth Minister for Iteso Cultural Union, captivated the audience with the captivating history of the Teso region. He underscored the connection between a thriving private sector and national development, encouraging attendees to actively participate in shaping the future of their communities.
Empowerment at the Grassroots Level:
Mr. Julius Kapwepwe, the Technical Advisor for the Parish Development Model, shared insights into the government’s initiatives to empower local communities through the Parish Development Model program. This approach aims to bring tangible benefits to the grassroots level, fostering community engagement and sustainable growth.
Unveiling Tourism Potential:
Ms. Nakami Esther Linda, the Tourism Development Officer from the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife & Antiquities, passionately highlighted the untapped potential of Teso’s tourism sector. She urged attendees to explore the wealth of opportunities in this industry, which allows individuals to become self-employed while contributing to the region’s economic growth.
Esther urged attendees to explore the wealth of opportunities in the tourism industry, which allows individuals to become self-employed while contributing to the region’s economic growth.
Support for Entrepreneurs:
Mr. Kabuye Francis from the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises-Uganda shed light on the support and guidance available to entrepreneurs through business development services. He encouraged young business owners to formalize their operations to unlock the benefits of formal recognition and access to resources.
Cultivating a Culture of Hard Work:
Mr. David Eboku, the Director of Edgeline Solutions, delivered a motivational address, advocating for a culture of hard work among Uganda’s youth. He emphasized the need to fully exploit existing and emerging business opportunities through dedication and determination.
Youth Agriprenuer Champions (YACs) Manifesto:
The symposium provided a platform for the Youth Agriprenuer Champions (YACs) to share their vision for the future. Through a manifesto, they committed to partnering with local investors, addressing soil fertility issues, supporting farmer networks, delivering quality products, and creating employment opportunities. Their pledges demonstrated their dedication to transforming their region’s business landscape.
Cottage Show and Investment Pitches:
The event culminated in a vibrant cottage show, led by the YACs, showcasing 25 cottages representing Gudie Leisure Farm’s diverse industries. From Feedmill to Nutraceuticals, Animal Industry, Bistro Franchise, and Services, the YACs pitched their services to potential investors, demonstrating their innovation, passion, and readiness to contribute to Teso’s economic growth.
The Teso Region Business Symposium at Gudie Leisure Farm encapsulated the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and empowerment. As speakers from various sectors and backgrounds shared insights, stories, and opportunities, attendees were inspired to forge a path toward sustainable growth and development in Teso. With the youth of Teso demonstrating their commitment to transforming their region, the symposium marked a pivotal moment in the journey towards a prosperous and vibrant future.