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Why Dr Ongom Morris is seeking mandates as chair Chamber of Commerce Lira branch

(Last Updated On: 25 October 2023)

Lira I Uganda National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) Lira branch which serves the entire Lango sub-region will be getting a new management team soon, this publication has been told. 

The chambers exist to promote and protect the interests of the business community, particularly its members who are represented in all sectors of the economy.

Deo Kibirige is the current chairperson of the Chamber for Lira branch, Lango sub-region. He’s potentially going to be replaced by Dr Ongom Morris Chris – the founder and CEO of GLOFORD Institute of Innovation, the business arm of GLOFORD Uganda.

As an economist and entrepreneur, Ongom says the “struggles of very common people here in Lira and Lango are evident in our economy”, adding that “such endeavours must be galvanized, supported and protected through visionary and true leadership”.

“I have sat down several times and listened to very inspirational mothers and fathers, women and men, girls and boys who through thick and thin of life have traversed life and today they are proud of the trails of hard work that has finally landed them in the congregation of great and rising achievers.

“Those struggles are shaped by huge convictions that inspired them to act on what many may have considered worthless and today, we all enjoy the fruits of their labour,” the aspirant tells tndNews.

The national and global indices and burden of urbanization and the need for a stronger private sector

Dr Ongom adds that leaders of businesses and people, the United Nations projects that the world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050.

“Consequently, the ratio of the world’s urban population is expected to increase from 55% in 2018 (approximately 4.2 billion people) to 68% by 2050, meaning that the world’s urban population will nearly double. Uganda is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate of 5.2% per annum, putting a major strain on central and local governments to meet the developmental needs of the urban population,” he notes.

Also read: GLOFORD’s Ongom calls for youth mentorship at the transatlantic conference in Zambia

“Also note that Uganda is one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in Africa. The total number of people residing in urban areas is expected to quadruple from about six million people at present to more than 20 million people by 2040. This is already causing various urban challenges for policymakers, implementers and citizens themselves and certainly, we must turn them into opportunities for prosperity and posterity.”

Below are his additional observations and why he’s contesting for the office

The strategic roles of Lira City in transforming Lango’s private sector into a vehicle of regional development

When Lira City was granted city status and celebrated here in Lira on the 6th of August 2020, many people jubilated but I also heard from many who felt and thought otherwise. At that time, we had 56 large, medium and small industries and I was privileged and elected to preside over the city development forum as its President.

As an industrial and commercial city, Lira City is meant to mobilize, organize, galvanize and position itself and Lango for regional economic conquest amidst the giants of our time. The truth is evident in the rapid economic boom we are witnessing in the city and region bolstered by our agricultural backbone centred on oil-seeds and grain production which to date continues to attract many local and foreign investors into the region.

Also read: Fuel prices, constant power outages in Lira annoy business operators 

As I have argued before and I still hold this thinking that Lira city must be the leader in inspiring and leading regional transformation through organized and regional leadership taking advantage of the pivotal business success trajectory of Lango people whose industriousness is unmatched in agriculture and now headed to innovative business ventures in technology, sports, leisure and other service industries including tourism.

Why Dr Ongom for the Chairmanship/Directorship of Uganda National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) Lira Branch, Lango Region (North East)?

Through the accomplished leadership I have had, Lira and Lango in general are poised to galvanize opportunities and growth through the following 10-point strategies:

  1. Develop a 10-year Private Sector Strategic and Business Development Plan (PSSBDP) to provide the roadmap for organizational/institutional capability strengthening which will spur the private sector as the key sector for sustainable and rapid economic growth. This private sector development strategy will help to expand and strengthen private sector participation in the development of the members of the chamber and the institution.
  2. Increase the membership of the Chamber from about 100 members to at least 500 in 3 years and create a digital directory of all members and their business profiles.
  3. To consolidate the historical business struggles and progress the Lira/Lango business people have made towards building the Lira from a trading centre to a municipality and from a municipality to a city status in 35 years.
  4. Strengthen the Chamber as the advocacy vehicle that will lobby and defend the business community from individualized, targeted, single attacks that continue to impact the efforts that our people put into building our economy.
  5. Further the good work of the outgoing leadership in organizing, promoting and protecting the business community and their interests. Our business community faces uphill tasks in the already dumbfounded local, national and global business environment that requires true leadership to work together in handling individual and community issues that accrue from the space including those compounded by legal regimes and corruption among others
  6. Forge unity in diversity through the chamber. Lira city/Lango is not a monolithic and cultural home of the Lango people only. From our forefathers, we have remained welcoming, hospital and networked with local and global groups of people and nations and we must utilize the strategic position of the chamber to broker peaceful coexistence among the business community starting with our people and other foreign communities who are now resident in Lira/Lango region.
  7. Create and domesticate platforms that will draw opportunities from central and local governments (Uganda Development Bank, Bank of Uganda) and, the COVID-19 Business Recovery Fund. I shall also engage global development bodies like (USAID, European Union, DANIDA, Embassies etc). We shall organize meetings with these entities to expose our business community to the available business opportunities including requirements for a successful applicant.
  8. Together, we shall create a savings and investment fund under the chamber to create the needed low-cost capital for SMEs. Members will buy and own shares as well access such patient capital for business development
  9. Strengthen the communication and visibility of the chamber (website, membership directory, and social media, among others).
  10. Popularize and reinforce the work of the chamber locally, nationally and globally with a focus on marketing Lango’s investments in agriculture (oil seeds and grains), agro industrialization and commerce, green economy, technology (ICT, television), sports development, tourism, hospitality and leisure among others.

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