The Northern Province’s trade fair has started with very few exhibitors and there are demands that organisers should bring forward the day for the official launch.
Exhibitors say delay in official launch of the expo has hurt business.
Exhibitors say that they stay in expensive hotels in Musanze and are afraid the more the expo delays to start the more losses they will make because clients are not coming to buy yet.
Organised by the Private Sector Federation, the expo is taking place at Ubworoherane stadium. Many tents are empty and the mood for an average expo hasn’t been felt yet.
Better Ssebadduka whose Ebenezer United Store deals with clothes from Uganda said he had lost time and money.
“Hotels charge money while we are not working. It is difficult to be in this condition,” he said.
Ssebaddka urged organisers to immediately launch the expo in order to meet the working days the exhibitors have already paid to be here.
Morrin Rugwiza, another merchant from Uganda, feels the same way.
“We pay for stands and when we come here we have no more time for installation. If I paid for 10 days and they are planning to launch it on Sunday, we are losing two days. People come from very far away. They need money for food and for servicing loans and delayed business affects us a lot,” she said.
Jean-Paul Niyitegeka who exhibits toys for children, bags, and other materials said that organisers should review the way the expo is organised because the same delays have happened for other districts’ trade fairs.
The president of the Private Sector Federation in the Northern Province, Jean Damascene Munyankusi, said that the official launch for the expo was postponed until Friday because officials have been attending TVET Expo that was launched on Monday and they would not be available for the expo launch in Musanze.
More than 50 cooperatives from all districts are expected to exhibit their various products and over 200 individuals are expected to attend the expo.
“Exhibitors know that the two first days are for them to get organised and arrange their goods and officials come to open it after. But some of them started showcasing their goods and we hope things will be fine,” Munyankusi said.
The Northern Province expo will last 10 days and more than 3,000 people are expected to attend the expo every day.