Strengths of the market 1. Stable, liberalised economy 2. Strong Natural Resource Base 3. Government commitment to private sector 4. Low-cost and trainable workforce 5. Investment Incentives and security with total repatriation of profits 6. Re-export Support Schemes
With new stability in Southern Sudan and demand increasing in the DRC and Rwanda, Uganda has seen its regional trade grow strongly.
Uganda’s traditional agricultural exports continue to present opportunities. Coffee, tea and cotton, Uganda’s largest exports have increased both by quantity and value over the past several years. Non traditional goods such as fish, flowers and vanilla now account for significant shares of Uganda’s Exports. Uganda’s agricultural potential and untapped mineral resources have also attracted foreign investment.
The banking industry has also seen strong growth recently. Financial services are becoming more efficient with the presence of major banks and an increasing number of new commercial banks.
Opportunities by Sector:
Oil & Gas: New but fast growing – commercial viability of reserves is confirmed and reserves are estimated at 2bn barrels. Production will begin in late 2010 or early 2011 with an early production scheme of 3000 – 5000 bpd, building up to 150,000 bpd in 5 – 10 years. The government is in talks to build a refinery and pipeline to the Indian Ocean coast. Important opportunities lie in both upstream and downstream activities including exploration, refinery, engineering consultancy and services, construction and civil works and training
Non Oil & Gas Energy: Comprising of hydro-electric power, new and renewable energy sources. Important areas are the design and construction of hydro electric power stations, consultancy and engineering, and generators
Education: The education sector has undergone rapid transformation from government funding to private investment. With this development Uganda is becoming a regional hub for education and knowledge ranks as the best in the region (UNDP Education Index). Important opportunities lie in setting up institutions, construction, educational materials, security printing of certificates and ICT.
Health: The government spends 7.4% of GDP on health and works closely with international organisations and donor agencies to ensure the development of the health sector. A Ugandan company as now been certified by the WHO to produce HIV and malaria drugs. Important opportunities lie in supply of medical equipment and consumables, production of drugs, consultancy services, building of private hospitals, provision of e-health services and other related opportunities.
Foods – processed and foods processing/packing: Agricultural processing is growing and there are investment opportunities in processing and packaging coffee, edible oils, tropical fruits, fruit juices and non-traditional crops. Sales opportunities exist for food processing equipment, storage facilities, chemicals and additives, preservatives, canning, bottling and other packaging equipment and related materials.
Infrastructure: There is a pressing need for road and power improvements and international financial institutions are interested in these projects. Also with an estimated 300,000 housing units needed per year, commercial construction and residential construction are growing. Products to consider include; infrastructure design, construction and operation – particularly energy related, environmental consultancy and analysis, architecture, construction equipment, generators and transformers.
Telecommunications: The telecommunications sector boasts five internationally owned operators. Important products to consider include; cellular telephone systems, data transmission equipment, fibre optic equipment, truncated mobile phone systems and paging systems, switchers and routers, wireless access equipment, voice over internet telephony, VSAT; computers and peripherals.
Travel/ tourism services: The tourism sector is growing at 20%. Uganda boasts several national parks, for game and gorilla watching. There are opportunities for tourism management, travel agencies, hotel design, construction and management.
Light Manufacturing: Manufacturing has increased significantly in Uganda over the past 5 years with a focus on exports to regional markets of products such as plastic goods and consumer products. Important opportunities exist in cosmetics, used clothing, footwear and beverages.
Mining: Uganda is endowed with a diversity of geological formations and structures. Mining activities may offer good investment opportunities for experienced firms. Important products to consider are mining equipment, power generation equipment, civil engineering services, pumps, valves and related materials.
Fisheries: Uganda has stocks of Nile perch and tilapia which is locally processed and exported. However, the industry has been hit by diminishing sources of fish in Lake Victoria. Important products to consider are fishing equipment, processing equipment, materials related to construction and operation of fish processing facilities and chemicals used for value added fish products.
Agriculture: Uganda’s land is considered among the best in Africa, with low temperatures and two seasons of good rainfall for the Southern half of the country. Important products to consider are processing equipment, bio fuels, fruit and vegetable processing, edible oil production, staple food crops processing, flowers, livestock and food products.