Uganda Coffee Washing Station


On 14th July, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) posted a tender for Advisory Transaction Services for a soluble coffee processing plant in the papers – see below a copy of a tween from Robert Kabushenga

Tweet from @rkabushenga

The full tender document below can also be found here on the organisation’s website.

A number of key government officials, including President Yoweri Musoveni, have endorsed a contract between the Ugandan government, signed by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, and the Uganda Vinci Coffee Company (UVCC), chaired by Italian businesswoman Enrica Pinetti.

The ministers have maintained that the deal is legally binding as it meets all the criteria of the country’s Investment Code Act. In cross-referencing this Act in an earlier article, we noted that the government is very flexible in determining whether the requirements are met.

However, this law states that there must be a business plan or feasibility study. We pointed out in the same article that it would be relatively easy to publish the study in full transparency so that its arguments for UVCC could be supported by empirical evidence.

That did not happen; instead, the government now says it will tender for a consultant to do a feasibility study. The contradiction is obvious.

But as the Independent reports, the Turkish corporation Beyler also wants to throw its hat into the ring. Following a meeting with President Musoveni, the company expressed interest in a number of deals in the country, including a coffee processing plant. President Musoveni has also ordered that the company be given 15 hectares of land to build a hospital in Entebbe. This is déjà vu with Pinetti, whose company was also supposed to build a hospital in Lubowa in 2019. Three years later, the foundation has still not been laid.

Robert Kabushenga (follow him on Twitter @rkabushenga), is a coffee farmer and writes regularly for the Independent. Kabushenga wrote an article on 29 July with 12 excellent points that every observer of the Ugandan coffee industry should read.

If the Ugandan government is serious about its desire to develop the industry, it would be a good start to address the issues and questions raised in Kabushenga’s article.

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