Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) registered over 150 bar owners from Kampala and Mukono to the Raising The Bar initiative over the weekend.
The initiative, which was unveiled in March this year, is meant to equip businesses in the entertainment and hospitality sectors with international best practices which will keep their staff and consumers safe when government restrictions are lifted.
Raising the Bar is adapted from the Diageo $100 Million Raising the Bar Program that seeks to facilitate Diageo affiliates globally to support their local business partners and boost their capacity to resume operations under the respective national guidelines. In Uganda, this program is being facilitated under UBL’s flagship Brand of Bell Lager which will inject a $1 Million fund towards the logistical and physical requirements of the program.
While addressing members of the Legit Bar, Entertainment & Restaurant Owners Association (LeBRA) at Casablanca Bar and Restaurant in Kampala, Ben Mbuvi, UBL’s Sales Director, said, “Thirteen months is a long time to be out of business, and we understand that it is very painful. We want to promise you that we will walk down this road with you to the end. It’s going to be painful, but you have a caring partner in UBL.”
In addition to the Raising The Bar initiative, he added that UBL understood that working capital challenges are being faced by businesses under this sector after such a long period of closure. He said the brewery had engaged several banks to provide funds at the lowest interest rates for these businesses to buy stock without collateral.
The initiative is being conducted in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Institute of Makerere University, which among other things, will drive awareness training for the personnel in bars, recreational facilities and similar establishments. They will also provide the requisite knowledge, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures that necessary to the prevention of COVID-19 transmission in establishments that carry Uganda Breweries Products.
Walter Arinaitwe, Deputy Director of Training at the Infectious Diseases Institute remarked, “We are partnering with UBL in this program because we have handled the other sectors in the economy and we believe that we should be able to demonstrate that reopening this sector is possible as well.”
Speaking at the end of the ceremony, Patrick Musinguzi, the Secretary-General of LeBra, encouraged more bar owners to sign up for the capacity building initiative, adding that the process is very seamless and will stand to benefit all the bar establishments that participate.