Ten Top Tips for Attending Business Meetings in Uganda

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Ten Top Tips for Attending Business Meetings in Uganda

If you’re travelling to Uganda for business purposes you may be surprised to learn that there is a wealth of help and information available to business travelers as the country is committed to welcoming inward investment.  Here are a few tips that should help you begin to prepare for your journey:

  1. Uganda Local Time is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and office hours in the country are typically from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. However, in practice, it’s often the case that office hours vary and workers frequently leave by noon on Fridays in many businesses.
  2. Uganda enjoys several official holidays and the Ugandan government does not celebrate a holiday on the workday before or after the actual holiday if it should fall on the weekend.
  3. Your first encounter with a potential Ugandan partner requires that you formally introduce yourself, your company and your investment objectives in the Ugandan market. Any correspondence should conclude with polite greetings and an invitation to continue the dialogue.
  4. Any successful investment in Uganda will necessitate several business meetings and face-to-face meetings are preferred over phone calls or email communication.
  5. Because Uganda is a hierarchical society, it’s advised that you request your initial meeting with the top official in any organization with which you hope to do business.
  6. When it comes to business meetings, the senior officer from the host company will sit at the head of the table.
  7. Business meetings tend to be informally structured and often lack a fixed agenda – it’s not unusual to see other people called into the meeting after the meeting begins.
  8. Before your introductory meeting, it would useful for you to identify the business official who is in charge of the decision making.
  9. When attending a business meeting, Ugandans dress formally – a suit and tie for men or a suit or dress for women. For more informal meetings, open collar shirts and slacks are deemed acceptable.
  10. On Fridays, most office staff will wear corporate shirts and generally dress down as the weekend approaches.