This year, the Makerere School of Public Health- ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) joined in the 24th Uganda International Trade Fair (UGITF) to exhibit twelve of the innovation projects under incubation in the Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab. The Trade Fair, which is organised by the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association (UMA) is a greatly anticipated, multi-sectoral trade and business event which takes place at the UMA showground, Lugogo Kampala Uganda. It provides a wide platform and show window to display products/services to a large audience from all over the world and often ushers the Uganda National Independence Day celebrations.
This year, the fair which attracted participants from more than 30 countries took place over an eight day period from October Monday 3rd to Monday 10th 2016 andwas guided by the theme “Empowering Women Parity in Manufacturing”. Among the products represented at this year’s event were: Electrical Engineering & Electronics, Chemicals, and Petroleum products, Plastic, Rubber, Packaging, Leather, Wood business services, Telecommunications & Information technology, Agricultural products, Equipment and Machinery, Textiles, Construction & Construction materials, Tourism, Foods & Beverages and Education services. The 12 innovators currently being supported by the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) were each given two days to showcase their products to the community, other manufacturers and to potential investors, while at the RAN stall, which was strategically located in Hall 2 of the UMA Showground. The innovators were among the hundreds of Exhibitors from over 26 countries and also featured in the Trade Fair Catalogue that was distributed over the eight days. The RAN innovations showcased included;
- The BVKit– a reusable, portable screening and diagnostic tool for Bacterial Vaginosis- a condition that causes excessive growth of bacteria in the Vagina and increased risk of STIs including HIV and HPV.
- Wekebere- a hand-held self-diagnostic tool that enables pregnant women to monitor the development of their unborn babies.
- Pedal Tap– an affordable hands free foot operated water dispensing system.
- The Ebola Tent– a re-imagined “ergonomic tent” to keep Ebola (and other disease outbreak) medical workers cooler and safe.
- ‘KUNGULA’ – Thresh IT; a low-cost optimized post-harvest technology for mechanized threshing and winnowing of maize.
- Village Egg Bank- a new unconventional form of currency that cultivates a saving culture among small holder farmers.
- Light Bulb- which transcends city planning issues to provide a physical address for users registered on the platform
- RootIO- a community radio technology that uses a mobile phone for broadcasting and that has the potential to revolutionize last-mile communication in hard-to-reach and war ravaged areas.
- Solar Irrigation Pump- a solar-operated pump that eases irrigation of a field with water from a source to the field and by so doing improve yields.
- Eco-Cold Storage Facilities- a novel technology that uses plastic PET bottles for insulation and a solar powered refrigeration system for the storage of perishable goods.
- Fruiti-Cycle- a low-cost, biogas powered tri-cycle mounted with a refrigerated cabin for safe and convenient transportation of fruits and vegetable.
RAN also spread the word about some of its programs, like the RAN4Gals program, which aims to empower and encourage female participation in developing resilience innovations in an effort to respond to communities’ most pressing challenges, its ‘Pitch Tuesday’ and Innovation Garage sessions that are open to all innovators, regardless of their background and discipline.
The annual trade fair, which is frequently attended by key figures in government, was this year honoured by President of Uganda himself, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The president took a moment to motivate and encourage women who were actively participating in the fair noting that “This is the way to go, we all have to remain aggressive in order to manage the enormous community challenges we are facing. The Government is committed to supporting not only women to prosper in manufacturing and other sectors but also the men who are the heads of the families”. Other dignitaries that attended included the cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives- Mrs. Amelia Anne Kyambadde and the Chairman of the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association- Mr. Amos Nzeyi.
The RAN innovators learnt and shared a lot from their participation in this momentous event, including perfecting pitching their ideas to gain the buy-in of people and stakeholders from cross-cutting backgrounds. We believe that this was the first of many more trade fairs to further enhance RAN’s visibility among others.
Access the trade fair catalogue RAN pages here.