Harambe is Swahili for “let’s work together.”
In my 2019 trip to Uganda, I met some amazing people, one of whom was Bwambale Gilbert. At the time he was working with his family on a pineapple wine company. Since then, he and I cofounded the Harambe African Art Exchange, where we imported beautiful, original Ugandan paintings into the US. Later, Gilbert joined Sokowatch, an African distribution and warehousing company similar to Amazon. He quickly shot his way to the top of the company and now manages a team of truck routes. He saw an amazing opportunity to invest in a growing economy in Uganda and we have started a new venture together: Harambe Logistics.
Harambe Logistics is formed as an LLO, an experimental, open source business structure that does not require the recognition of government to operate. While there are still other requirements that do interact with the government, like registering our vehicles, the principal company itself can operate independently. We hope that this will be a model for bright future of free enterprise, not bound by the restrictions of government bureaucracies.
This week, after months of reviewing the available stock, we picked up our first truck. It’s off to the mechanic for a few upgrades so it will be worthy of carrying heavy payloads. This wasn’t an easy process. Because of high taxes on imports, only used trucks are available. In fact, these taxes are so high, there isn’t a single new car dealership in the country for personal transportation. Instead, only used cars and trucks are available, and the cost is relatively high. We have a mechanic on our team who made sure the truck we chose was worthy for our purpose. As soon as the upgrades are complete, our first truck will be ready for the road, and we can start working towards the next truck in our fleet.