Main theme: “UNLOCKING UGANDA’S INVESTMENT POTENTIAL”
Sub theme: “Fintech – Why is it trending right now?”
I take the pleasure to thank all those that were present for sparing their valuable time to attend this important event and those that couldn’t make it in their absence ,for the tremendous support to the 9th Uk-Uganda convention.
This year’s theme was “Unlocking Uganda’s Investment Potential” and it fitted well with some of the core objectives which were:
Promoting and facilitating bilateral trade between the United Kingdom, Europe, the Diaspora and Uganda
Facilitating foreign direct investment in Uganda
Providing a platform for businesses to expand into new markets
Promoting British businesses exporting to Uganda
Encouraging and exposing business and investment opportunities to Ugandans living in the UK.
This year, we added an extra day and also a dedicated session on Fintech, with the aim of increasing inward investment to Uganda within this booming sector. With the support of a Fintech expert in London, the Managing Director of the agency Full Reach, Mr Martin Best, it was our mission to use this annual forum to open up opportunities for British and Ugandan firms to establish deeper relationships and unlock new economic Fintech partnerships. London raised £1.8bn in venture capital and public listings in 2018, almost twice that of Berlin, its nearest European rival.
We were happy to welcome our partners in this sector, VISA Inc, WorldRemit, International Trade Centre, Lord Popat’s office, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry, The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Department for International Trade (British High Commission, Kampala), Copenhagen FinTech and Pangea Accelerator, FITSPA, Africa FinTech Network, among others.
We continue to recognize and thank some special people who particularly gave dedicated support to the Convention, ensuring that it did not only succeed but also attracted the right people. These included: Mr. Subhash Thakrar, General Kasiita Gowa, Mr. Ibrahim K Bogere – Group Chairman, KPG, Martin Best, Ade Daramy, who flew all the away from Sierra Leone, Eric Olanya, the dedicated volunteers and the organising committee team.
This year, the Convention became a member of The British Exporters Association (BExA), to be able to encourage and expose the vast opportunities offered to British businesses and investors in Uganda.
One of the main focused sectors at this year’s convention was infrastructure and were happy to have Lars Peter Jensen, from COLAS sharing his knowledge on challenges and opportunities for delivering major projects. Colas UK, through a local company, SBC (Uganda) Ltd are constructing a new airport in Hoima, thanks to the largest ever UKEF loan made to an African government. Ladies and Gentlemen, this showed confidence the UK government has in Uganda, to award them a loan of such magnitude.
We had over five established real estate companies showcasing and looking for Ugandans and investors to invest in this fast-booming industry in Uganda.
We had the general manager of Pearl Marina and Executive Director, Housing Finance Bank, also sharing on the construction of affordable housing market; what the current sources of funding are; what the plans/initiatives to make housing credit more affordable are; and which alternative financing solutions are available.
I am happy to note that H.E. the President, established the State House Anti-Corruption Unit as a channel for his direct involvement in the fight against corruption. We were happy that Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, The Head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit presented on how the government, and specifically the unit she is heading, was doing to combat corruption.
Corruption continues to harm not only Uganda but Africa at large, hampering democracy, development and the ability to bring people out of poverty.
Chairman – Founder, Uganda Convention-UK
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”