UGANDA – The Uganda Alcohol Industry Association (UAIA) has appointed Juliana Kagwa as the association’s new Vice Chairperson, taking over from Manish Kalla of Grays Uganda, leading distributors of alcoholic drinks in the country.

Juliana Kagwa, who was the Secretary-General of the association prior to the change of leadership is currently the Corporate Relations Director at Uganda Breweries Limited.

She joins Nile Breweries Limited’s Legal & Corporate Affairs Director, Onapito Ekomoloit, who has retained his position as Chairperson of UAIA and Srinivasa Reddy of Premier Distilleries, who remains the association’s Treasurer.

Other committee members include John Magara of Beedee Eff; Raghavendra Reddy Ganesh of Blue Nile Distillers; G. Uwa Maheshwar Reddy of Hema Beverages; and M.S Harinath Reddy of King Albert Distillers, reports NilePost.

Juliana has a wealth of experience having held various leadership roles in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, ranging from marketing, strategy, commercial and innovation.

UAIA is an umbrella body bringing together the registered and regulated producers of alcoholic beverages in Uganda.

It was formed in 2006 to align the interests of the manufacturers and promote responsible drinking.

Rampant illicit alcohol trade dents economic gains

The association recently unveiled a report highlighting the social and economic impact of illicit alcohol trade.

The report titled Understanding and Sizing Illicit Alcohol Consumption in Uganda contains findings from research conducted by Euromonitor International.

It highlighted that between 2017-2021, the value market size of illicit alcoholic drinks in the East African nation, increased at a 18.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from US$577.8 million in 2017 to US$956.8 million in 2020.

During the period, total consumption of illicit alcohol recorded increased volume growth at a 9.1% CAGR to over 1.5 million hectolitres in 2021, impacted by high inflation rates, low disposable incomes, poverty and a lack of regulation enforcement.

Further shedding light on the impact of the rise in illicit alcohol trade, the report found that the Government of Uganda loses approximately UGX 1.6 trillion (US$443m) in unrealized taxes due to evasion of tax by the illicit trade as well as lax enforcement of existing laws that govern the production and sale of Alcohol.

The Illicit alcohol currently makes up 65% of the total market volume, meaning the rest of the law-abiding industry players account for 35% and yet, they are among the top 10 tax payers in the country due to the heavy taxation imposed on the products.

To this end, the association advocated for a fairer and more balanced approach on equitable taxation of the industry to ensure positive ripple effects across the entire value chain such as support more farmers, invest more in industries and create more employment opportunities across the board. It also called for enforcement of law to curb the illegal alcohol trade.

Bralirwa appoints new Marketing Director

Crossing boarders to Rwanda, Heineken has appointed Martine Gatabazi as Marketing Director of its local brewery Bralirwa.

Gatabazi who assumed the position in September previously held a similar position in Côte d’Ivoire at Heineken’s subsidiary Brassivoire based in Abidjan.

Gatabazi has worked for the beer major for about 15 years in Rwanda, Amsterdam and Côte d’Ivoire.

In Amsterdam, she served as Regional Brand Manager between June 2015 and July 2018. She also previously worked for Bank of New York in Brussels, Belgium.

As Marketing Director, she sits in the management team and is tasked to oversees marketing and promotion efforts of the multiple brands (beers and soft drinks) as well as overseeing overall brand positioning.

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