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NAM: Day 2 of East African Trade and Investment Forum attracts more delegates

Investors at the forum are expected to seal about five investment deals worth Shs 378 billion

KAMPALA, January 16, 2024 – Day 2 of the East African Trade and Investment Forum in Kampala, which is part of the ongoing 19th Non-Aligned Movement Summit 2024 [NAM 2024] in Kampala, has attracted hundreds of delegates from East Africa and the rest of the world.

The forum which is expected to be graced by President Yoweri Museveni also brings together different business communities in the NAM countries. The three-day business forum, which began yesterday, is showcasing the immense investment opportunities in Uganda to our delegates, including amazing exhibitions of our products.

At the event hosted by Private Sector Foundation Uganda [PSFU] and government, business leaders, captains of the industry, and government officials are exploring trade, tourism, and investment opportunities in Uganda under the theme “Shared Global Affluence.”

Investors at the forum are expected to seal about five investment deals worth Shs 378 billion with Uganda Investment Authority [UIA], PSFU and, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry [UNCCI], among others. The deals are in the areas of agro-industrialisation, tourism, manufacturing, industrial parks, energy, mining, oil and gas.

Addressing delegates at the Forum on Tuesday, Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa said government wants to increase Uganda’s energy capacity by 2040, which calls for more investment. “We have our energy strategy, which has been passed by the cabinet, aiming to increase Uganda’s energy capacity from the current 1781 megawatts to 52,340 megawatts by 2040.”

Among others, she said government has in place all the necessary policies and legislations guiding investors in the energy sector. “Uganda has made sure that we have in place all the necessary policies and supportive legislations, so when you want to invest in Uganda, in whatever sector I can speak with authority that the supportive legislation and policies are in place,” she said.

The Minister said the country is learning from others who have more experience in clean energy production. “We are learning from our big brothers who are championing clean energy. We have identified sites for nuclear energy and we are ready to take it on. We have also identified sites for geothermal energy.”

She also said Uganda will continue to explore its petroleum resources. “Let the world know that Uganda is not going to abandon her petroleum resources. We are continuing to give more exploration licenses and we shall continue,” she said.

“Our key policy is to make sure that we benefit maximally from our minerals. This takes patience; investors want licenses to export them, there is a law against their exportation especially for minerals that will support industrialization,” she added.

Also, deliberate steps have been taken by Uganda to open the economy for investment, according to Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.

“In Uganda, we have adopted a deliberate policy of an open and liberalised economy. We have taken giant steps in regional in regional and international integration with commitment under the East African Community [EAC], Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa [COMESA], African Continental Free Trade Area [ACFTA], and World Trade Organisation [WTO],” Ssali told delegates.

She said the structure of Uganda’s economy comprises three sectors: agriculture, industry, and services with industry, contributing 27.4 percent to GDP, Services 42 percent, and agriculture 24.6 percent

On his part, Samuel John Mwandha, the Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] said the biggest area of investment in our protected areas is investment in lodges and hotels in the national parks.

Some of the foreign delegates listening to a presentation on Uganda's investment opportunities (Photo by Baker Ssenyonga Mulinde).
Some of the foreign delegates listening to a presentation on Uganda’s investment opportunities (Photo by Baker Ssenyonga Mulinde).

Meanwhile, Evans Jemba, Ag Commissioner Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Works and Transport said Uganda Railways Corporation has planned to expand passenger railway services within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.

“The service requires rehabilitation of the lines, and procurement of locomotives and coaches. This requires support from the private sector,” he said, adding also that there is a high demand for water transport on Lake Victoria to link Uganda to Kenya and Tanzania.

Patrick Ayota, the Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund [NSSF] told the delegates that: “The economic environment in Uganda is quite robust. One of the best indicators of economic growth is the stability of its trade exchange rates especially in a free economy.”

Addressing delegates, the CEO of National Housing and Construction Corporation [NHCC], Eng. Kenneth Kaijuka said Uganda’s real estate sector needs long-term financing as opposed to short-term financing. “Much of our real estate is being financed by short-term capital through commercial banks but real estate is long-term. We need long-term financing partners.”

He continued: “We want to invite those who will provide appropriate technology that will redeem our housing sector.”

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