Over 50 investors to set up multi-billion projects in Uganda 

Over 50 foreign investors have expressed commitment to invest in Uganda this year, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) board chairman, Morrison Rwakakamba, has revealed. 

He made the disclosure at the end of the East African Community (EAC) investment Forum, which the Government organised to run concurrently with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit that ended on Saturday at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. 

According to Rwakakamba, the investors from Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, India and Morocco expressed interest to invest in the country’s key areas like infrastructure, manufacturing and agro-processing. 

“I thank the investors for participating in the summit and the commitment to invest in the EAC region. We had fruitful engagements with investors from Egypt, Turkey, UAE and EAC region. We discussed investment projects with potential to create thousands of jobs for Ugandans,” Rwakakamba explained. 

Uganda is relying on the NAM and G77+China conferences in Kampala to attract at least $1b (about sh3.7 trillion) worth of investments in various sectors of its economy that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The sectors include energy, commercial agriculture, trade, infrastructure, mining, industrialisation, tourism, oil and gas. 

The NAM summit ended on Saturday, while the G77+China summit started yesterday in Kampala. President Yoweri Museveni has since taken over the leadership of both NAM and G77. 

Investors speak out 

A group of 17 Egyptian investors led by Dato Arshad Mahmood, the chairman of the International Investment Consortium, expressed interest in investing in infrastructure such as roads, railways, and water systems. 

“Uganda has potential and we can work together to tap into the investment opportunities presented by UIA,” Mahmood said. 

India was represented by a delegation of 11 high profile investors, and Turkey, which expressed interest in Information Communication Technology (ICT) , agro-processing, manufacturing and energy sectors, was represented by a delegation of 25 people. 

Robert Mukiza, the UIA director general, said the delegates had an opportunity to learn more about the enormous investment opportunities in Uganda. 

“We encouraged the investors to explore the lucrative investment opportunities available, particularly in sectors such as coffee roasting, textiles, fruit processing, dairy, and mining,” Mukiza said. 

He revealed that the EAC investment agencies jointly agreed to form an investment association to enhance partnerships and collaborations to increase investments in the region. 

Last week, members of Parliament on the Finance Committee recommended the allocation of sh263b towards industrial parks development as part of efforts to boost industrialisation through setting up organized factories in different parts of the country.   

The committee chairperson, Amos Kankunda (Rwampara County) said financing of the infrastructure activities is critical for the Kampala Industrial and Business Park. 

Last year, President Museveni launched several factories across the country and urged Ugandans to embrace value addition and industrialisation as the main way to fight poverty and unemployment. 

In line with industrialisation strategy and job creation, the President directed for creation of regional industrial parks using 12.5 square miles of land donated by local governments in different parts of the country. 

In his New Year’s address to the nation, Museveni outlined key priorities including industrialisation as a driver for the country’s transformation. 

Museveni pledged sustained efforts towards getting more Ugandans out of poverty through the state’s elaborate programmes on wealth creation tailored towards creating industries and four-acre commercial farming model. He noted that 829,668 jobs from about 8,000 factories had been created within a short time. 

Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba, an international consultant on economic transformation, agreed with Museveni on his push for industrial revolution to create jobs and economic transformation. He said agriculture needs transformation from production of raw value goods to value addition. 

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