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The awards, organized by the Uganda Export Promotions Bard (UEBP) are meant to recognize manufacturers that have earned the country a great deal of foreign exchange through exporting some of their locally made products.
Allan Ssemakula, the Acting Country CEO, Hima Cement says that the cement maker’s continued focus on providing customers with innovative propositions combined with effective cost management have enabled the firm cater to the diverse needs of the markets that they serve.
“We are very honored to receive this award from the exports board; a sign of recognition for the service we are offering the nation. As Hima Cement, we are committed to being the preferred provider of cement and concrete based building solutions in East Africa with a strong focus on customer experience,” he stated.
Ssemakula also added that Hima Cement clients benefit from the technical expertise and product innovation that are the hallmark of LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in the building materials industry.
Hima Cement received the Platinum Award, making the cement maker the overall winner after exporting products worth USD56million in the regional markets.
A total of 50 companies were evaluated by UEPB, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Coopratives, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the Uganda Investment Authority in 18 product lines. The companies were assessed based on export performance, contribution towards Uganda’s socioeconomic development, product diversification and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Prime Minister who officiated at the awards on behalf of the President, lauded the companies involved in the exports sector which he said was a sure way to earn the country much needed foreign exchange, jobs as well as improving the quality of lives.
He also encouraged exporters to work in groups and cooperatives in order to consolidate international trade gains such as sustainability of quality, quantity and timely delivery to international markets and also to continue investing in value addition.
Hima Cement offers a range of innovative and high-performance products that are highly adaptable. The cement firm lends itself to all kinds of projects like the Bujagali Hydro Power Project, Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Karuma Dam, the new Jinja Nile Bridge among others. It currently serves its core markets of Uganda and Rwanda and exports to Eastern DRC and South Sudan.
East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with an average GDP growth of c7%; the construction sector is growing at a higher pace of over 10% per annum. Cement demand in Uganda and in the region is projected to remain strong supported by the resurgence in infrastructure development and key Mega Projects.
“We are very positive about the long-term prospects of the cement industry in Uganda and the region, and LafargeHolcim is keen to solidify its position in the region as the leading producer of building solutions providing its customers with innovative value adding propositions,” he explained.
The Platinum Award given to Hima Cement followed a thorough evaluation exercise held towards the close of 2017 that required firms to submit information on their export activities including revenue, marketing activities, innovations, among others.