AMIN MAWJI, Diplomatic Representative – Aga Khan Development Network gave his insight on doing business in Uganda at the12TH UGANDA-UK TRADE AND INVESTMENT SUMMIT.
With improved infrastructure and the potential spur from natural resources, Ugandans are facing the future with fresh hope.
This mood of optimism is, understandably, tempered with some caution. Floods, locusts, unpredictable weather patterns, the pandemic and international conflicts have all combined to expose frailties and exacerbate inequalities. These crises are not over. But as the country lives through these challenging experiences, Uganda is learning from them.
As businesses weigh up the new opportunities in Uganda, they will also be assessing the risk environment. There are certainly external risks emerging from regional and international conflicts which bring higher food and oil prices and continued supply chain disruptions. Policy makers recognise these factors. At the same time, to support an enabling environment for business, the Government has prioritised the enhancement of security, the rule of law and fighting corruption.
Another factor which weighs heavily on policy makers is the impact of climate change. It is recognised that unless action is taken to address the impacts of climate change, Uganda could suffer from new economic shocks. This calls for more investment in adaptation and mitigation measures. There is an opportunity to tap into global environmental and climate change financing sources.
So, as Uganda stands at the foothills of expansion, the opportunities go beyond the discovery of oil and gold. The admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo into the East African Community now opens up a local market of 300 million people with a combined GDP of cUS$250 billion and access to the larger African Continental Free Trade Area. The future is not without risk. But it is certainly not short of opportunities.
Some of the key lessons from the recent past have involved global supply chains. This has prompted a renewed push to support local manufacturing and value-addition.
The capitalisation of Uganda Development Bank will help medium and large-scale businesses.
Similarly, for private-sector enterprises in strategic sectors – such as agro-processing, manufacturing and minerals beneficiation – the Uganda Development Corporation’s commitment to provide joint venture investments is encouraging.
Looking to invest in Uganda:
For businesses looking to invest in Uganda, this also opens up opportunities to invest in agro-industrialisation, such as improving warehousing, reducing post-harvest losses and strengthening value chains. Government policy recognises that promoting this sector, enforcing product standards and enabling market access are key aspects to creating wealth and jobs.
It is too early to tell how well the new Parish Development Model will work but the aim is clear: to support over 3 million households in the subsistence economy and integrate them into the money economy.
• Photos for 2022 Summit: https://ugandanconventionuk.org/2022-…
• Videos for 2022 Summit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
• Registration for 2023 Summit open now: https://ugandauksummit.com/
• Bankable Projects: https://ugandanconventionuk.org/Bankable_projects2022_2023.pdf
Date: 09 Sept 2023 | Time: 09:00 – 1700. (After Party: 20:00-01:30)
Venue: London UK (TBC)
Join prominent industry leaders, investors and ministers from the UK and East Africa to forge new business deals, invest in bankable projects and reinforce economic relationships between the UK and Uganda, including the East African Community.
The theme of the 2023 Convention is “Opportunities in East Africa”
The targeted sectors for this trade summit include:
1. Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy;
4. Real Estate;
7. Health and
8. Tourism and anything else in the Oil, infrastructure ecosystem you care to think about.
Twitter Hashtag: #ucuk2023