Uganda-south Africa Business Forum Opens in Johannesburg

Johannesburg will be a beehive of activity starting February 27, 2023, as the Uganda, South Africa trade, tourism and investment summit gets underway.

Gathering under the theme, Boosting Trade and Investment Relations between South Africa and Uganda, the summit has drawn hundreds of investors from the two nations to exchange ideas and showcase business potential for joint investments.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and his counterpart from Uganda, Yoweri Museveni are expected to address the forum on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

According to the programme, the summit will comprise of trade and investment presentations, a mini exhibition profiling businesses from Uganda and South Africa, business-to-business meetings as well as the Presidential session.

Earlier, Evelyn Anite, Uganda’s State Minister for Investment told local media the summit would present opportunities for Uganda to increase its export volumes and attract more investors.

“We have chosen to go to South Africa to get investors who are interested in coming to invest in Uganda and also to look for markets for our products. Our investment promotion agenda has expanded just beyond attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but also looking for markets for products,” the minister said.

Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa Paul Amoru expressed optimism that the summit would bridge the trade gap between the two countries.

A statement from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the lead agency in mobilizing the summit said the summit will “provide a platform for the private sector, companies and businesses to create new markets and ways of how to facilitate doing business and identify existing and emerging business or investment opportunities in  Uganda and South Africa”.

The statement quoted PSFU Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe, saying: “South Africa is one of the fastest growing sources of Foreign Direct Investment for Uganda as well as South Africa’s exports to Uganda.”

“In 2010 alone, Uganda attracted Foreign Direct Investment of up to US$848 million. We also intend to link up with the Ugandan diaspora in South Africa to create partnerships with them on the many opportunities they are engaged in. It is estimated that there are over 500,000 Ugandans living and working in Southern Africa,” the PSFU statement said.

Around 160 Ugandan businesses registered to participate in the summit with the highest percentage coming from the sectors of Agriculture and Agri-business, Tourism and Hospitality, Professional Services, Transport and Logistics, Energy and Minerals, and ICT, the statement said.

“Asiimwe said that the main objective of the summit is to market Uganda’s beauty and economic potential of becoming Africa’s leading destination for Trade, Tourism, and Investment.”

The summit will close on March 1, 2023.

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