By John Mulokwa
Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, the Minister in Charge of the presidency has commended the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) for being a focused, results-oriented and business-minded government enterprise. She said UPPC’s celebrations are a turning point for the institution to showcase what it is doing, what it is capable of producing and how it is structured to offer the best service to all categories of clients in the market.
Hon. Babalanda said unlike in the past, UPPC is now strong and can move on independently with less of government worry.
She was speaking during the flag off of the Walk and official opening of an exhibition, which are part of the activities to mark 120 years of UPPC existence. The event was held in Kampala on Thursday, 17 November, 2022.
“I am happy Mr. Kenneth Oluka and your team are moving UPPC to the right direction. UPPC of yester years was dying because the leadership had no vision for the UPPC of tomorrow,” she said.
“The celebrations are very timely, coming at the time when UPPC has just acquired very powerful and versatile equipment in form of the 4-colour printing machine and with plans to acquire the 5-colour machine,” she said. Hon. Babalanda added,
“Other old machinery has been repaired or generally replaced. For this I thank the current leadership at the UPPC for solving most of the challenges that we had here.”
On t;he newly acquired machinery, she said has propelled the UPPC into a world-class printer capable of handling any volume of work and maintaining the highest quality of outputs possible on the market.
“Even as the UPPC has brought itself to the highest standard possible in the printer industry; the potential clientele of the UPPC has been slow to respond to the Presidential directive that requires all the MDAs in Uganda to surrender all their printing jobs to the UPPC and the New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation,” she said.
She urged the public and private entities to support UPPC because supporting it means contributing to growth of the country. “It is to curtail the haemorrhage of foreign exchange through external printing by individuals and local companies,” she noted.
“I therefore wish to appeal to the Managers of the MDAs and the Private Sector to consider partnering with the UPPC because of the above factors, including the more important reason that we now offer a standard, quick and competitive output, probably unmatched in the industry,” she added.
UPPC Acting Managing Director, Mr. Kenneth Oluka said the walk was aimed at raising awareness about what they do and sharing the joy of the long journey with clients and stakeholders. “We invited you here today not only to share with us the joy of this long journey, but more importantly to express our appreciation to those who have sustained us in business,” he said. “We also wanted to showcase our printing and publishing products and services and to appraise you with the kind of printing solutions UPPC can offer.”
Mr. Oluka said the Corporation is leveraging the milestone to “to tell you a story of our journey; a journey of 120years of printing and publishing. This journey has sometimes been bumpy, but in most cases it has been steadfast.”
UPPC, the government chief printer, was started in 1902 by the colonial government and after independence, it became a department in the office of the president. In 1992, it was transformed into a state enterprise by an Act of Parliament.
As chief government printer, the Corporation’s main functions are; to provide printing and publishing services to the government ministries, departments, parastatals and to private individuals and organisations. The corporation is mandated to print and publish all government legislation and documents, publish books, booklets or other publications which enhance the culture, welfare and unity of Uganda. In other words, UPPC is mandated to print and publish legal documents for the general public.
Mr. Oluka noted that from the outset in 1902, UPPC has been instrumental in shaping Uganda’s printing industry and serving government in printing and publishing laws (Acts, Bills, Statutory Instruments, Legal Notices, Ordinances, and Orders), The Uganda Gazette, policy documents, information educational and communication documents, reports among others.
“UPPC’s success lies in the uniqueness of its mandate of security printing, and the corporation’s ability to deliver on it effectively. Throughout the 120 years, the Government Printer has contributed immensely to the printing of Uganda’s history, be it from the legal perspective by printing laws and the gazette or the printing of other historical documents, reports, photographs, among others,” Mr Oluka said.
To preserve the history, it has printed since inception better and make it more easily accessible, Mr. Oluka revealed that UPPC is in the process of digitizing the vast amount of information and documents in our stores and will build a national archive.
The Corporation planned a number of celebratory activities in the last few months from July including; publishing a souvenir Magazine, a walk, a thanksgiving ceremony which will be held on 25th November 2022, stakeholders’ dinner, exhibitions, hosting industrial institutions of learning, visiting legal institutions of learning, special parliament motion, carryout corporate social responsibility initiatives among others. The general public is invited to attend and participate.