HomeBUSINESSMbarara City leadership launches 2nd annual City Festival

Mbarara City leadership launches 2nd annual City Festival

Joshua Nahamya.

MBARARA – Mbarara City leadership and private sector foundation Uganda have today launched a campaign to prepare for the forthcoming city festival slated 21st and 22nd of June 2024.

Unlike the 2023 city festival where the city council allocated a total of about 50 mln, this time around the event is entirely sponsored by Businessmen, traders, and corporate companies operating both inside and outside Mbarara city.

This year’s festive city is under the theme “Celebrating Mbarara City as Regional Trade and Hospitality Hub”

The corporate companies behind this event include; Kazire Health Products Limited, Food Mart, Nile Breweries, Crown Beverages Limited, Vybz Lounge, Las Vegas Hotel, and Uganda Registration Services Bureau among others.

During the launch of the festival plans on Thursday evening at the Las Vegas hotel, Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, Mayor of Mbarara City, said the event is meant to celebrate the successes since Mbarara became a city on July 1, 2020.

Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, Mayor Mbarara City while launching the 2nd Mbarara City Festival at Las Vegas hotel. Joshua Nahamya

“This is not just a gathering of festivity it is an investment to mark the growth and resilience that Mbarara city holds as a thriving hub of regional trade and a paradox of hospitality,” he said adding that, our city has a rich history dwindled in trade and commerce with a diversity of business to support economic growth and prosperity of Mbarara with a shared vision” Kakyebezi emphasized

Unlike last year’s event which was cordoned off in Mbarara per se, Kakyebezi warned the organizers to involve people as far as the neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo for a broader celebration.

“We should not look at ourselves alone let us sell this event to the neighboring districts and countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo because Mbarara is a center of commerce connecting us to various regions through trade,” he said

Kakyebezi encouraged the public, especially the youth indulged in social media, to always post developmental things about Mbarara city. “Always put things which are developmental that will market Mbarara instead of attacking personalities”

Assy Abirebe Tumwesigire, Mbarara city Town clerk explained that the Mbarara city festival is going to be an exclusive event to unlock shared achievements in terms of infrastructure, hotels, industries, cottage factories, and real estate among others.

He added, “This festival is an opportunity to showcase our local businesses such as chapati making, chips, and meat roasting among others”.

Mbarara City Town Clerk, Assy Abirebe Tumwesigire (L) and Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi (R) launching plans to mobilise for the 2ND City Festival in Mbarara slated 21st June 2024. Joshua Nahamya

“This festival is not just a celebration it is an economic stimulant for local businesses to have a lasting impact on the local economy,” the Town clerk said

Economically, Tumwesigire stressed that the annual city festival that will attract over 15000 people will create about 5000 jobs thus aligning with the international goals of reducing unemployment and fostering inclusive growth.

“Mbarara city festival is not just a celebration but the festival aims to create over 50,000 jobs both for the youth and women of Mbarara,” he said adding that, the economic impact of Mbarara city festival is estimated to be substantial with the potential to generate over 300 mln annually from Mbarara,” he said

Tumwesigire said that this revenue influx is expected to catalyze local businesses and drive investment to elevate Mbarara City’s status as an economic powerhouse in the western region.

“The Mbarara City Festival 2024 stands as a testament to the city’s resilience and community scheme to celebrate Mbarara’s journey to become a thriving economic agricultural epicenter,” he said

Shallon Natukunda, the representative of the Mbarara City Women Entrepreneurs’ League, appealed to businesswomen in the city to come and showcase the products they are making in the city.

Seith Mwijuka, chairman Mbarara City Traders Association (MBACITA) asked the city leaders to extend the infrastructure development like roads, bridges, water, and electricity to create the real face of a city.

“We must pronounce and dress ourselves as a city. What do cities do? What businesses do we conduct from the city? And what do we have as a city? Let people not take us for granted that we are a city just by words and not by actions” Mwijuka said

He also challenged the city leadership to collaborate with investors, locals, and the business community for the business boom.

Mbarara City Town Clerk, Assy Abirebe Tumwesigire (L) and Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi (R) launching plans to mobilise for the 2ND City Festival in Mbarara slated 21st June 2024. Joshua Nahamya

“To become a growing city you don’t work in isolation, you must attract other people to come and do investment from the city which comes with revenue enhancement and the infrastructure development as well” Mwijuka explained

Sharin Atuhaire, representative of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) implored the business community to formalize their businesses.

“I have heard people talking about businesses, investors but you cannot talk about all this without formalizing your businesses so as a registration body, we appeal to the public to register their businesses so that they can fully compete,” she said adding that, investors would like to find when the companies are already established” Atuhaire emphasized

Last year’s event was celebrated at Boma grounds while this time it will be held at Mbarara Independence ground.

The colorful event will include activities like a street expo, exhibitions, medical camps, blood donation, Ankole cultural show, music, dance & drama among others.

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