Uganda to host G-77 conference on chambers of commerce and industry

NAIROBI Feb - Uganda is gearing up to host this year’s general conference of the Group of 77 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (G77CCI) to be held in the capital, Kampala, with the participation of delegations from the132 member nations of G-77. The conference will be opened by President Yoweri Museveni.

G77CCI President Tariq Sayeed met with Museveni in Kampala in December, shortly before a message was faxed by the G77CCI secretariat in Karachi, Pakistan, nominating Uganda as the Group’s next host.

Museveni is credited with turning the economy around by sticking to a painful economic reform programme, which has earned him the title of ‘’star pupil’’ of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Museveni, who is widely regarded as a new generation of African leaders, is a strong believer in regional cooperation and South-South cooperation. In late January, he gathered colleagues from east, southern and west Africa together with the World Bank President James Wolfensohn for a two-day summit on Africa’s economic future.

The preparations for the October meeting in Uganda are underway as neighbouring Kenya adds the final touches for the opening of the headquarters of the G77CCI bank in the capital, Nairobi. The G77CCI, formed in 1987, acts as a platform for promoting economic and technical cooperation among its 132 member countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

William Anyenda, who is the East African representative of the G77CCI, says a greenlight has already been given by the government of Kenya to open the bank.
The chairman of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kenya, Kassim Owango, says the G77CCI bank will assist businessmen in developing countries to overcome the challenges in the international business arena.

‘’It will also inspire Kenyan enterprises to effectively contribute to the overall development of trade in the region,’’ he adds.

Owango says there is a great potential for a commercial exchange of goods and services between businessmen in the G77 member countries.

‘’Kenya is a gateway to East Africa and the bigger COMESA region and businessmen in this region welcome this move,’’ he says. COMESA is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which groups some 20 countries.

The Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York, Ambassador Makarin Wibisono of Indonesia, is expected to attend and address the general conference.