Improving coffee sub sector: Minister tasks new UCDA board to ensure good governance

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, inaugurated the new Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) Board of Directors in accordance to the National Coffee Act, 2021 that was assented to by President Yoweri Museveni on August 312021.

Speaking during the inauguration function, Tumwebaze urged the members to carry out their duties according to good governance principles. He challenged the Board to develop a coffee strategy to ensure the sub sector sustains the growing curve of production and export and, among others, to build capacity at the Authority to improve performance.

The inauguration was held at the Ministry’s Planning Board Room in Entebbe. In attendance were the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, the Permanent Secretary, Maj. Gen David Kasura Kyomukama, the Chairman of the Board, Charles Francis Mugoya and Board members Michael Nuwagaba (coffee processors representative), John Nuwagaba (coffee farmers representative), Martha Nalubega Wandera (coffee roasters representative) and Connie Masaba Magomu (MAAIF representative). Other Board members who were not in attendance are Fred Luzinda-Mukasa (coffee exporters representative), Dr. Sadik Kasiim (NARO representative), Maris Wanyera (Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development representative), and Richard Okot Okello (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives representative).

Kyakulaga welcomed the new Board, urging them to take deliberate steps to boost coffee production and export with specific emphasis on the provision of good planting material, specifically CWDr for the Robusta growing areas.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Maj. Gen Kasura advised the Board members to focus on and leverage the opportunities in the sub sector to drive it forward. He pledged total support to the Board and encouraged them to be mindful of the strategic importance of coffee.

The Chairman of the UCDA Board of Directors, Dr. Charles Francis Mugoya, while appreciating that the Board has come in at a time when Uganda has demonstrated high resistance despite COVID 19, said that the Board will take advantage of the environment to boost production and exports to meet the goal of production of 20 million bags by 2025.

Mugoya pledged the Board’s commitment to good governance, provision of value for stakeholders, respect for the environment and preservation of competitiveness in a reliable and safe manner in order to maintain and even exceed the current coffee production status.

The UCDA Board of Directors is industry-based as provided for in the National Coffee Act, 2021 and is a practical demonstration of public-private partnership with representation from nine key stakeholders from Government and the private sector. The UCDA Managing Director is an ex-officio member of the Board. The term of office of a member of the Board is three years and in case of reappointment does not exceed two consecutive terms.

The Board’s mandate is to formulate and review the policy of the Authority, set targets for annual performance of the Authority; appraise and evaluate the performance of the management of the Authority; determine the organisational structure and staffing; oversee the management of the finances and assets of the Authority and appoint and discipline members of staff.

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