It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the third Ugandan Investment forum (UK Convention). It is usually said that whenever you meet more than three Ugandans they are discussing politics. I am glad to say that the history and basis of this convention is different, we are all here to discuss economic growth of Ugandan. Our country is, it is our duty as Ugandans to ensure that we develop it because every generation owes the next generation the debt of making life easier for them.
Unfortunately Africa in the past lost out on that score. We have got fifty years of wasted time. When Uganda got independence its GDP was 1.5billion dollars, Singapore GDP by that time was 1.7 billion dollars and Kenya was 1.6 billion dollars. Today Singapore is 320billion GDP, with the highest concentration of billionaires per square mile in the world and Uganda is now hardly 20 billion dollar GDP. Where have we been, these are issues that leads to find solutions for contributing to the developing of our country. People would say that Ugandan is under-developed because Amin intervened in the developing process but I say no because there was no Amin in Kenya, Tanzania or some of those underdeveloped African countries.
Fundamentally there must be something done wrong, either at policy level and this is where the new leadership in Uganda has got it right. Uganda has a national development plan which lays out what and where Uganda wants to go. The Vision 2040 expect Uganda to be a middle income country in four years and at the rate in which the economy is developing we are certainly looking at achieving GDP per capital of 900 dollars from the present 560 dollars. Vision 2014 raise it out well. Uganda noticed that we are under developed because we didn’t put the development drivers in place. And these includes infrastructure, roads, energy, the government has development plans for all these sectors, thus creating vast opportunities for investors to partner with the government of Uganda to take on some projects under private public partnership arrangements.
Ugandans need to look at the Madhvani story who left Gujarat India with nothing but now he has built a house-hold Ugandan brand and it is possible that this dream achieved by the Madhvani can be realised by anyone with little savings or just an idea.
Ugandans in the Diaspora are encouraged to start small partnerships among themselves and create cooperatives which can undertake some small projects like dams construction which do not need more than one million dollars and 100 people can contribute £10,000 and raise that money easily. Projects like this are guarantee as the main buyer is the government.
The onus is on us to give the next generation a better life than ours and I thank Willy Mutenza for the third time bringing us together to share, discuss and encourage each other to invest back home.
Ambassador Isaac Sebulime
Uganda High Commission
58 – 59 Trafalgar Square
Tel: 44 207 839 5783
Fax: 44 207 839 8925
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.ugandahighcommission.co.uk