10th Annual Entrepreneurship Conference: Remarks by EADB Director General
- The principal of MUBS, Prof. Waswa Balunywa,
- The family of the late Dr. James Mulwana,
- The Hon. Speaker, East African Legislative Assembly
- The Managing Director of DFCU Bank
- Distinguished guests
- Ladies and gentlemen
East African Development Bank is greatly pleased to dedicate this plaque to the memory of Dr. James Mulwana. I thank Makerere University Business School for giving us the opportunity and DFCU Bank for facilitating this event.
Dr. Mulwana was not just a Board Member of EADB. He was a remarkable, humble and innovative business leader and industrialist who was a mentor to many entrepreneurs world over.
In his life he taught us that it is possible for indigenous Africans to run successful enterprises with integrity. He demystified the scarcity mentality and left behind a rich legacy from which successive generations will draw inspiration.
As a champion of regional integration, I cherish Dr. Mulwana’s singular dedication to the unity of our regional economies. He understood that the common futures of our nations depended on regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, before I present this plaque to the family of Dr. Mulwana, I have three important messages to share with the audience in general and with the students gathered here, in particular.
During the last two decades, we have witnessed phenomenal developments in information and communication technology (ICTs). These technologies have made our world smaller and opened the doors to many opportunities and possibilities. However, in many ways we have not fully utilised the opportunities presented by these developments beyond social networks. We are extremely fortunate that we have platforms that Dr. Mulwana never had when he set out as an entrepreneur. My message to the younger generation is that you must go beyond networking with family and friends and use ICT as a tool for entrepreneurship. I need not remind you that thousands of multibillion businesses have been built on the ICT pedestal and indeed are ICT driven.
Secondly, our economies will be built on private sector lead entrepreneurship and not through foreign aid, grants and government involvement at all times. Our economies are rich in human and natural resources. But too many young people are afraid to venture into the exciting but otherwise uncertain world of entrepreneurship, often opting for the easier route of employment. We know that virtually all the world’s industrialised nations are anchored on small and medium enterprises, some of which have grown to the global giants you know today.
For you to succeed in today’s challenging world, you need a clear vision, you need courage, and you need people. But above all, you need innovation. It is that idea, which no one else has thought about, which will set you apart and attract financial institutions like EADB and DFCU to you.
Finally, the region is opening up and plenty of opportunities are available beyond our borders. You are not just Ugandans. You are East Africans and indeed citizens of the world. If you don’t succeed, the one to blame will not be your community, government or school. It will be you. In that way the legacy built by Dr Mulwana as a distinguished entrepreneur and industrialist will live on.
In the mould of Aldous Huxley’s 1931 novel, I welcome you to a brave new world.
I thank you and now
I take the honour to present the Dr Mulwana plaque