Title: Advancing Value Addition and Competitiveness through Standardization to Promote Manufacturing
Authors: J. Mutambi
Keywords: Clustering, Competitiveness, Innovation, Manufacturing, Value addition
Issue Date: June 2008
Abstract: The Manufacturing Sector is one of the main sectors in the Uganda economy and it is divided into formal and informal manufacturing. The total contribution of the manufacturing sector to GDP was 8.4 percent in 2006. (Business Register Report 2006/07-UBOS). Overall there was an increase of 32% of the manufacturing businesses in 2006/07 compared to 2001/02 in Uganda. Manufacturing is the process of taking resources and through packaging, processing, fabrication and/or assembly transforming the resources to a physical product demanded in the market place.The businesses in this sector include those engaged in the following activities: Processing of meat, fish and dairy products; coffee processing; grain milling; tea processing; bakery and manufacture of other food products; manufacture of beverages & tobacco; manufacture of textiles and leather products; sawmilling, printing & publishing; chemicals and chemical products; manufacture of plastics; manufacture of metal products; and manufacture of furniture.A thriving manufacturing sector is vital to the developing economies and their citizens as manufacturing businesses generate jobs, hence incomes to support service industries and public services. However, the sector is faced with changing challenges, and advancing value addition and competitiveness through standardization will respond to the sector’s value and opportunities, which will promote high performance practices, Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as building the skills of the manufacturing workforce.

Manufacturers in Uganda like their counterparts in the region face stiff global competition and must continually improve their products and processes to stay competitive. Their success will depend on continuously integrating new technologies and innovations, adding increasing value to products, reducing waste to processes and having access to resources such as capital, raw materials and most importantly a high skilled, flexible and involved workforce. (Supply chain).

To maintain the growth of the manufacturing sector, both the public and private sectors need to respond by creating new high performance work environments (infrastructure development) and providing flexible, responsive education and job training programs that are competency-based, responsive to the demands in a rapidly changing labour market and are tied to new technologies, customer needs, and evolving production processes.

From the commonly available indicators and factors of competitiveness in comparative framework, it is evident that most African business environments still have serious short comings compared with their international competitors. This paper will discuss factors needed to improve productivity, value addition and competitiveness for the African and the global markets. To achieve manufacturing that meets customer specifications and delivery dates (value addition and competitiveness), the paper suggests broad benchmarks and initiatives that are linked with the solution of problems.

Presented at: 2008 Annual International Standards Conference (AISC)

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