Col. Nakalema Encourages Ugandans to Back President Museveni's African Investment Bank Initiative

The 2023 UK-Uganda Trade Summit

Access to affordable capital has long been a critical hurdle in addressing funding shortfalls for major projects such as roads, railways, and power facilities, as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other vital sectors in Uganda and across Africa.

 

The economic progress of many African countries has been stifled by exploitative financial institutions from Europe, including banks and private equity firms, which impose exorbitant interest rates and set unfavorable financing terms.

President Yoweri Museveni, committed to his vision of a unified East Africa and, ultimately, a united Africa, has proposed a solution: the creation of a local, enduring source of capital through an African Investment Bank. This initiative aims to support long-term, sustainable projects and businesses that need time to grow and become profitable.

 

Colonel Edith Nakalema, who leads the State House Investors Protection Unit (SHIPU), is championing this initiative. She asserts that this strategy could be transformative for Uganda’s economy, potentially elevating it to the heights achieved by Asian powerhouses such as China and Singapore.

 

On Thursday, Col. Nakalema addressed leaders from various government agencies and private sector stakeholders at her office in Kampala. This was a preliminary discussion before a meeting with President Museveni scheduled for the following day at State House Entebbe.

 

The discussion included prominent figures such as the chair of the National Planning Authority, Prof. Pamela Mbabazi; NSSF Managing Director Patrick Ayota; Bank of Uganda’s Deputy Governor Dr. Michael Atingi-Ego; Tumubweine Twinemanzi, Executive Director of the Bank Supervision Directorate; and Samuel Were Wandera, the new Executive Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority.

 

Col. Nakalema explained that the primary goal of these gatherings is to lay the groundwork for a financial institution that could revolutionize investment across the continent. She stressed the importance of developing indigenous solutions to African challenges.

 

The meeting also included various other high-level participants, illustrating the broad support for this initiative. These discussions highlighted the potential of patient capital to drive sustainable growth and alleviate the constraints imposed by high interest rates and limited access to funding.

 

Several attendees, including BoU’s Deputy Governor and the Executive Director of the Bank Supervision Directorate, praised the concept. Former officials and leaders from various sectors also expressed their support, emphasizing the need for long-term investment strategies that focus on substantial rather than immediate profits.

 

The creation of African Investment Holding Ltd (AIHL) is proposed to manage the continent's mineral resources and establish the African Investment Bank. This entity will employ asset management practices to generate financial returns within a six-month timeframe, setting a foundation for sustained economic development across Africa.

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