Trade industry and local development
Trade is mainly characterized by sale of foodstuffs, household and personal goods which employs 1.3% of the District labour force. Trade activities are mainly concentrated in the Urban and Rural Growth centres all over the District. However, more business is in the 3 town councils of Kihihi, Kanungu and Butogota. Trading activities have also given rise various daily and periodic markets which are a source of Local Revenue to the District. Both men and women are involved in trading activities but women traders dominate the daily and periodic markets while men dominate trade in agricultural produce. Most of the trade businesses operate as retail sole proprietors while few are both wholesalers and retailers owing to the weak private sector, limited capital outlay and a relatively small market. Under trade and local economic development, 2242 new business have been registered and 20 new tourism accommodation facilities constructed by the private sector. There is a strong need for the District to follow up the tarmarcking of the tourism roads namely Kabale-Kanungu road, Kanyatorongo-Buhoma road and Ruhija- ifasha- Butogota road if trade is to be realised in the District.
Manufacturing in the District is characterized by the existence of small scale cottage industries mainly dealing in foods and beverages and other light manufacturing. Manufacturing employs 0.8% of the District Labour force mainly dominated by male youths. Over the last 5 years, the rate of industrial growth in the District has increased mainly due to the ongoing rural electrification Programme and agro processing of tea and coffee in the District. Currently, all the sub counties in the District are connected to Hydroelectricity which has promoted establishment of small scale industries such as maize mills, coffee hullers, and carpentry and Welding workshops among others. The level of industrial development in the District is generally low owing to the relatively small market, limited capital base and inadequate raw materials and increased load shedding and poor road network.
Cooperatives, SACCOS and Financial Institutions
The District has 14 active commodity cooperatives, and 21 active SACCOS. It is served with three banking institutions namely Centenary bank with the highest number of clients, StanBic bank and post bank Uganda. The population however is characterized with poor saving culture and mismanagement of SACCO funds by the Board of Directors.