Maxima Nsimenta one of the Ugandans who went to Dubai to participate in the Expo has taken to her LinkedIn to show her disappointment in the Ugandan organizers .
Her statement read,
So, I traveled to Dubai to exhibit my innovation and brand Livara to the world. I went with the sole intention of showing the world the value of the naturally amazing Shea tree and what we have done with the nuts we get from it. I needed to show the world that we are more than just a cosmetics manufacturing company, we are a movement and a trendsetter in an area that up to now has been paid minimal attention: natural and organic products for the African person – or person with African origin.
Did I mention that I was invited by Uganda Industrial Research Institute and Uganda Investment Authority to exhibit at this expo?!
On invitation, I expected to have a brief sent to me about what to expect at the expo, the set – up requirements, the recommended hotels, the transport options, travel requirements, etc. Nothing was shared even after several requests for information. I ended up booking a hotel through Booking.com only to be scammed by a Nigerian. On reporting this to the Minister of Trade and organizers present, all I was told was, “Sorry.”
That aside, I got to our Ugandan Pavilion and I had no space allocation to exhibit yet I had submitted my list of exhibition items. Need I point out that I was the only local manufacturer with catalogues and magazines full of information about us and Uganda’s Shea butter greatness? I had to fight for the little box that I was eventually given.
Come Uganda day, the few exhibitors were clearly told not to set foot in the pavilion. Apparently the Ministers would do the talking for us! 🤦🏾♀️These people have very limited insight (technical and otherwise) into what we do! We needed to have worked together. They should have let our young energy speak for the country just like other countries are doing.
So, we are in Dubai ready to meet investors and potential trade partners….Uganda has only organized one business forum at which again it is going to be a political show! Our neighbors Kenya, Rwanda and the rest have numerous business forums at which they let the entrepreneurs and innovators speak and pitch but we, as a country, are eagerly ready to act like fools and not use real experiences of real tangible innovations and products.
Uganda, you have disappointed me. I am sad to be part of such an irresponsible lot of people who are not ready and willing to go the extra mile to add very much needed value to our nation.
Livara employs over 60 people and directly impacts over 240 family members daily. We work with over 2,000 organized farmers who will suffer if we do not buy the Shea nuts. We have 49+ product SKUs that are selling like hot cake on the market. We are made up of young, driven, energetic and committed youth who are adding real value to the country. We desperately want to do more and are ready and willing to do more.
But why doesn’t Uganda first look inward and develop our own by creating platforms that support our growth?!