“DICOSS project focuses on trade, tourism, industry and cooperatives sectors and the ability of both the government and local governments to deliver services at the grassroots
level,”says Ms Elizabeth Tamale, assistant commissioner, MTIC and coordinator of EIF programme.


In 2005/06 The Government of Uganda and the World Bank conducted a diagnostic trade integration study (DTIS) under the auspices of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) (www.enhancedif.org). The DTIS report details the main economy-wide and sector specific constraints to trade expansion in Uganda; and in an action matrix proposes the urgent actions that need attention in the short, medium and long terms. One constraint cited is the weak link between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) at the centre and the district commercial offices (DCOs) at the grassroots. This weak link affects adversely the ease with which MTIC can deliver on its mandate at the grassroots including delivery of trade and business services. The weakness of this link was confirmed by a consultancy study that MTIC had carried out in 2008 which also identified the main challenges faced by DCOs.

MTIC, working through the Second Trade Capacity Enhancement Project (TRACE II) itself funded by the EIF, has designed and secured EIF funding for the District Commercial Services Support Project (DICOSS) that is being implemented in 25 selected districts in Uganda. DICOSS is a pilot capacity building and training project to build capacity in target DCOs with the view to assisting the GoU deliver commercial services at the grassroots more efficiently and effectively.

DICOSS is a three year project with a budget of US $3,328,969 including a GoU contribution of US $ 330,850. The Memorandum of Understanding that triggers commencement and funding was signed between the Government of Uganda and the EIF Trust Fund Manager (United Nations Office for Programs Support - UNOPS) on 19th December 2011.


The overall objective of the project is to improve MTIC’s effectiveness in the delivery of commercial services at the grassroots level in the target districts.

The project aims at strengthening selected DCOs through training, equipping, retooling and facilitating them; and fostering the building of networks among them and with key stakeholders especially small and medium enterprises.


  • To equip and retool targeted DCOs


  • To facilitate DCOs deliver commercial and business services in their districts


  • To facilitate the building of networks between DCOs and other stakeholders

DICOSS project focuses on trade, tourism, industry and cooperatives sectors and the ability of both the GOU and the Local Governments to deliver these services at the grassroots level. In Uganda’s decentralized administrative system, the DCO is central in the delivery of the commercial and business services at that level. The DCO’s capacity in that respect is to be enhanced through redefinition of their functions and mandates, provision of equipment, training and facilitating and improving the links of the DCOs with MTIC, with other government agencies, and lower Local Governments and with the general public that they are meant to serve. DICOSS will also support the drawing up of work plans by the DCOs and contribute funds towards implementation of those work plans.

The project will support the capacity development of the 25 districts through the provision of equipment and training; clarifying their mandates and functions, and streamlining relations with MTIC including reporting requirements. The project will also facilitate regular contacts between MTIC and the districts.


The project has enabled the selected districts realise the need to support business from the grassroots level and train business enterprises in communities through monthly radio programmes.
DICOSS programme has been very helpful in the districts where it is implemented, According to the implementing District Commercial officers. The project has given support, which has made their operations easier and increased the ministry’s visibility at the grassroots level.Before the project was introduced, the district Commercial offices in the districts like Kabale used to operate from a single room but they have been able to renovate the office at Shs20m, got office furniture,including desk computers,laptops, motorcycles to ease movement, book shelves, Internet connection, mobile phones and notice boards for information dissemination.They also receive Shs33m for projects implementation, get airtime for communication and funds for monthly radio talk shows.
Commercial Officer Masaka district says DICOSS has enabled the development of business at the district level.Before the project, they were operating in a poor environment with limited facilities but the programme has enabled them get facilities that have empowered them serve the public better,The District Commercial Officers have also received a number of trainings to gain business skills ,ICT skills as well as networking conferences to facilitate sharing of knowledge with other participants


The project is to be implemented in some 25 districts across the country that were carefully selected with regional balance put in perspective and to avoid duplication of effort provided by other projects within the MTIC family. These include the following;

NORTH: Nebbi, Pader, Apac, Lira, Moyo and Kotido.

EAST: Iganga, Kapchorwa, Kaliro, Moroto Palisa, Serere, Soroti and Tororo.

WEST: Hoima, Isingiro Kabale, Kyenjojo, and Ntungamo.

CENTRAL: Kampala, Masaka, Mubende, Mukono, Nakasongola and Sembabule


  • The Public Sector especially MTIC, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries & Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Tourism Wildlife & Heritage (MTWH) etc


  • Private Sector


  • Partnering/participating Local Governments


  • Civil society


  • Other Public Agencies


  • Policy Implementation Agencies


  • General Public


The project is implemented by a small management team under the leadership of the Project Manager. The Project Management Committee comprising of high level individuals seconded by their respective organizations/institutions oversees implantation by providing policy guidance.

The following organizations have seconded members to the management committee:


  • Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives


  • Ministry of Local Government


  • Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development


  • The Integrated Framework Facilitator (European Union)




The Project Manager


Plot 6/8 Parliamentary Avenue

5th Floor, Farmers House,

P.O Box 7103 Kampala

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.










 Uganda Export Promotion Board Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority Management Training and Advisory Centre Uganda National Bureau of Standards Uganda Industrial Research Institute