This morning, the whole nation was stricken with the sad news of the death of a great industrialist, husband, father and philanthropist, James Mulwana. Every child knows Mr. Mulwana, those who don’tat least have enjoyed the fruits of his labor. May be like me, you have (and still use) a nice toothbrush every morning to clean your teeth, or you have used a Nice clear pen to write your exams, notes and letters. For the adults, you have used Uganda Batteries Limited products in your car engine. A very big number of the current generation has used these products and for this reason we celebrate the life of this great entrepreneur who eased certain burdens in our lives.
To clearly understand the outstanding contribution of this great businessman who started out in the import and export business as early as 1961, I highlight major milestones in his fruitful life.
§ In 1967, Mr. Mulwana established a partnership with Chloride Group (UK) which led to the establishment of Associate Batteries Manufacturers Limited. The company was renamed Uganda Batteries Limited when the UK company sold all its interest to indigenous Ugandans enabling Mr. Mulwana full control of the company in 1991.
§ In 1970, he founded Ship Tooth Brush factory, currently Nice House of plastics, the country’s leading manufacturer of toothbrushes, household products, writing instruments and packaging products.
§ He is also credited for reviving the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) in 1988 and served as its Chairman until the year 2000. He has been serving as the Chairman UMA Advisory Committee.
§ 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the Private Sector Foundation.
§ Member of the International Finance Corporation Business Advisory Council.
§ Member of the Board of Directors of Insurance Company of East Africa.
§ Chairman of East African Business Council an Apex body for the five East African Committee partner states of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
§ Chairman Board of Trustees of Eskom (U) Ltd a company responsible for the generation of Hydro Electric Power in Uganda.
The lives of men like James Mulwana a not only an inspiration but a motivation to the young industrialists of today, the next generation of entrepreneurs to work hard in their pursuit of their dreams. To aim at not just making money, but solving consumer needs. By building products that make a difference in people’s life, to pursue the Ugandan dream ruthlessly like it was the last thing we did with our lives.