Post: Untapped investment opportunities Manufacturing | Agri-Business Health and Service industry

Untapped investment opportunities Manufacturing | Agri-Business Health and Service industry

Panel discussion:

untapped investment opportunities Manufacturing | Agri-Business | Health and Service industry

Discussed points

  • What are Africa’s Export Opportunities and Challenges to European and North American markets?
  • How can Uganda accelerate Industrialization and Manufacturing?
  • Investing in Uganda’s healthcare sector: How to strengthen health systems performance, increase investments in health, improve equity and address social determinants of health towards a sustainable healthcare future. Where are the investment opportunities? And what will it take to get more private sector participation? (Dr. John Paul Bagala)
  • What do UK exporters need to know about entering Uganda market? (Eric Olanya)


Some Focus Points

  • How industrialization and manufacturing can be accelerated in Uganda.
  • What are the key infrastructure and policy constraints to efficient manufacturing and job creation?
  • Is investing in media risky in Uganda, where are the opportunities? (Kin Kariisa)
  • NAADS: Has NAADS got any programme to influence and attract investment and participation by Diaspora Support?
  • What are the key industrial agricultural value chains suitable for investment in Uganda?
  • What are the challenges and requirements for agro-products from Uganda to access the European market?
  • What is the government putting in place to mitigate volatile commodity prices like the recent maize price drop? Does this pose any investment opportunity in post-production space?
  • What key policy and technical issues need to be addressed to enable small scale producers and traders to benefit from the growing demand for food within the East African region? How to promote uptake of new technologies on the ground?
  • Governance levels. What threatens longer term investment sustainability? (Mrs Kawooya)
  • Is political stability strong enough to make Uganda competitive on the global stage. De-risking investment through political change?


Moderated by: Ade Daramy, Writer, Broadcaster and Press Officer



  • Eric Olanya, Head of Trade, Department for International Trade, British High Commission in Kampala.
  • Samuel Mugasi, Executive Director, NAADS
  • Christabel Blanch, Africa Sales Manager at Alvan Blanch
  • John Paul Bagala, Country Coordinator, Uganda UK Health Alliance
  • Hon. Makumbi Kamya Henry, Member of Parliament Sectoral Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry
  • Christine K. Kawooya, CEO, Institute of Corporate Governance

The perfect gender balance panel was looking at the untapped opportunities in Uganda.

Dr. John Paul Magala, country co-ordinator for Uganda- UK Health Alliance

Dr. Magala first prevailed greeting from the Ministry of Health particularly from the permanent Secretary who co- chairs the Alliance. He emphasised the objective for the establishment of the Alliance which was to strengthen the collaboration between Uganda and the UK working very closely with the British High Commission in Uganda.


For many years the Uganda Health sector has been viewed more of a liability which has now begun to be perceived as an investment opportunity. This draws back to the current government agenda of building investment in infrastructure, human capital, supply of equipment and medicines as well as research& development.


Since I was a kid, I’ve suffered from chronic vertigo, which ruins my life. I’ve tried many medications, starting with heart drugs and ending with antidepressants. However, they didn’t help me much. My doctor recommended me to buy Klonopin at I prefer the dosage of 2 mg. I put a part of the pill under the tongue during an attack of dizziness.


Back in Uganda, the country is taking a path to work out how to lobby for investment opportunities through the sector especially through the High Commissioner.


The investment priorities that have been listed by the ministry of Health:

  1. Expansion of access to care services. With the just opened maternal hospital, Uganda is getting into the path of having specialised care. This requires enormous investment not only from Uganda but also from international stakeholders.
  2. Strengthening the network of medical laboratories and rapid response mechanisms. This is an aspect that has been so much left in the donor community. It is growing so first that it is a guarantee to accumulate a good reception and return on investment.
  3. The expansion on the capacity to produce skilled and professional workforce for Health. This is part if the growing agenda for Health sector to build the human capital. Putting up the infrastructure but not attracting the skills to enable the departments to address the service demands is losing a point.
  4. Increase access to safe and affordable medicine, vaccines and other medical technologies. IT and digital Health is evolving quite fast.
  5. Government is encouraging public private partnerships. It has put support in this area to ensure and liberate the progress of this sector.
  6. Upgrading of Health infrastructure and equipment is a national priority. The Uganda National Sector development plan aims to roll over Mulago hospital services country wide.
  7. Establishment of a strong Primary community service. This is a component that is available for investors with the ready.
  8. Expansion of the health insurance coverage and social protection which is now being discussed on the Parliament through the National Sector Bills. This is a vital area for investment therefore Uganda is inviting partners in this.
  9. Improvement of quality healthcare for sector efficiency and health statistics. provisional of medical reports for example is quite new therefore Uganda is inviting businesses to put money in this space.
  10. Strengthening research and development. This goes hand in hand with looking at the international standards of care in the UK. The Uganda UK Health Alliance analyses delivery system in the UK and see how that would work in Uganda.


Members who are considering to strengthen the health sector are assured support from the Uganda-UK Alliance and the ministry of health.

Dr Samuel Mugasi, Executive Director of NAADS

Dr. Mugasi highlighted opportunities in Agriculture and the safeguards for investing in this sector.


Dr. Samuel emphasised that Uganda is more ready for investment than ever before.


Agriculture has reached a ready stage for the various parts of the value chain. For example, coffee has reached 5,000,000 bags which most of it is exported unprocessed. He therefore invited investors to in one of the most profitable value chain in Uganda right now.


The government of Uganda has put a lot of effort to expand tea plantations especially in western Uganda currently hitting productive tonnes of 70,000,000 of green leaf. Unfortunately, most of this goes to waste because of lack if enough factories. He there argued investors to come and tap into this value chain. Uganda tea is beginning to fetch good prices in Mombasa because of its quality.


Looking at the value chain of milk, Uganda has reached production levels of 2.5 billion litres of milk annually however Only half of it is processed. Most of it is consumed raw. In Kampala one find all people buying g fresh milk. There are immense opportunities in this value chain with opportunities like yoghurts and cheese.


Another interesting value chain is grain where Uganda is producing 5,000,000 metric tonnes. There is a huge market in this value chain within East and Central Africa.


There is also commercial scale production. The Ministry of Lands assures investors if safe purchase of land therefore investors are encouraging to come and utilise production and large scale agriculture like in sugarcanes, tea, wheat, oil crops as well as soya beans.


Besides crops and live stocks, there are opportunities in the fertilizer industry. Uganda is one of the countries in the world with the lowest fertilizer use. Therefore, there is great potential in this area.


The East African market is growing for those who want to tap into the mentioned value chains with the community hitting 200 billion people in the region not to mention COMESA. He re-assured the audience that Uganda is ripe for investment.


Leading on from the food production it was only right that Christabel Blanch from Alvan Branch a company that provides quality Agro processing machinery from cleaning to storage. Siro systems, maize processing to mention but a few.


As the Regional Sales Manager for Africa, the company has found Uganda very welcoming and encouraging environment to do business in not to forget the always smiling faces!


In the last 2 years the company has thrown itself in the region. They have established sales offices in Kampala with a service engineer and various installations and trainings the company has worked with various government and Aid organisation encouraging the local team which has a knock on effect to open up various potentials.


The second part of investment is in agriculture which has attracted the younger generation in quite an aggressive way because they see the potential not only in Uganda.


Uganda has a potential to be the largest grain trader in East Africa. Alvan& Blanch is proud to be working with businesses and communities to put systems into place.


For bigger businesses to prosper, there is need to support the small farmers and cooperatives. Uganda has vast opportunities in Agriculture with one of the best natural environments which enable three harvests in a year.


There is a need to encourage small farmers not only to grow, but also to dry, peel and store minimising waste.


There is a frustration in exporting for example maize to Kenya only to buy it back in a processed form. Alvan & Blanch is very fortunate to be at the fore front of Agro processing in Uganda. With partnerships like NAADS, government programmes like the World Food Programme there is hope of an agricultural revolution in Uganda.

Hon. Makumbi Kamya Henry

Hon. Makumbi Kamya Henry

From the central committee of trade tourism and industry Hon. Makumbi Kamya Henry highlighted the responsibilities of the committee and how to encourage the Diaspora to invest in the various opportunities.


As a member of Parliament representing Mityana South Makumbi also represents the above committee. His role is legislating and make enabling laws that can attract prospective investors into the country.


The Committee analyses bills and its currently working on a bill about wild life and tourism which are potential areas of investment. The committee goes further to consider areas that can argument other potential investments like agro processing, manufacturing, morning and ICT.


The country is very stable so people should not waste time to come and invest. The infrastructure has been put into place, like roads, water, dams, standard gauge railways etc.


The Committee also considers the evolution of software. Things like licencing, corruption and lowering the cost of labour. The macroeconomic environment is stable and low.


The Parliament has successfully put the government to task of ensuring that there is enough resources in the Uganda Development Bank to make sure that potential investors can acquire capital at low interest rates to be able to invest directly.


He encouraged attendants to partner with the government through the PPI. The Parliament is also working on the local component to try and encourage Ugandans. He highlighted the stiff competition from China. Uganda is pursuing a private led sector economy therefore the country is open to any body. He insisted that it should be Ugandans to take up such opportunities.


The political scuffles are isolated and can be solved through dialogue and not through exchange. He encouraged Ugandans to come together for dialogue to see the best way forward for the country. There is no time to destroy what has been made!


As a legislator at a broader level, we only talk to build consensus to affirm and re-establish what has been achieved. He concluded.

Mrs Kawooya Christine, CEO from the institute of corporate governance

Looking at corporate governance, Christine highlighted the safeguards that protect people’s investments in Uganda.


She stated that Uganda has already got opportunities for investment therefore her role is to assure and ensure prospective investors who come to Uganda that there is sustainability in whatever they intend to do.


The institute trains and do board supervision in order to keep organisation in check. For the past year, the institute has worked together with the Parliament of Uganda. She identified Hon. Cecilia Ogwal for being there as the governance expert in the Parliament.


The institute is coming up with the bill which is going to be tabled by Hon. Cecilia. Corporate governance is a slow journey that requires time. Once one comes in, they journey requires adaptability and resistance to put systems with processes and procedures in place.


Corporate governance is defined as a way in which an organisation is directed, controlled and held to account. Once these three elements are lacking, there is no corporate governance.


The institute starts from the top which is the board. As the Chinese say “ when the fish starts to rot, it starts from the top” it is important to train board members and make them aware of their roles which is mainly a strategic direction. The institute ensures that there are manuals so that even if one is not there, they know and ready to work.


Christine assured attendants that it is her mandate as the CEO to ensure that there is good governance in every organisation.


There has been a number of organisations like SMEs where professor Mabirizi has looked at King 4 scenarios in the world. He looks at situations and analysis’s a way forward. He has for example identified the need for SME’s because they important stakeholders for the organisation. Family businesses like Roofing ltd are also taking on corporate governance.


Many generational organisations in Uganda collapse because of lack of corporate governance. Business begin and end in the bedroom with no board intervention. The husband is the chair and wife is an accountant. This cannot be sustainable. When you look at organisation that have transformed into corporate governance, they have become more stable. For example, Cipla chemicals has stayed with a vision and they are on Uganda’s stock exchange.


Corporate governance is a very slow journey but it is required for sustainability, prosperity and a good foundation for good governance.

Perez Ochieng, Director & CEO at SACOMA

With her immense experience in entrepreneur training and food processing the director of SACOMA Mrs. Perez Ocheng highlighted key points of the discussed points.


She summarised:

  • Health opportunity the key word was expansion.
  • Priority areas for investment: The coffee area, value chain, sugar cane and maize,
  • Agro processing
  • Mining & ICT


Ugandans in the diaspora must stop complaining about Chinese investments in Uganda. The country is an open field opportunity for every part of the world.


Corporate governance is an important part of the discussion forum.


She shared her experience of agriculture and information. This is a very important topic not only for Uganda but for Africa as a whole.


A few point that have been raised from the convention this being the 8th include: post-harvest technology and new product to be introduced to the market. She assured the audience that unless certain things are done, we will forever be talking about agriculture without adaptation or accessing new markets.


When we talk about technologies people think of movers of the world: Amazon, twitter, eBay however there is no presence of Agriculture. Unless we are willing to disrupt technologies we are forever just going to talking about the desired changes with no action. Technology is the only way forward from farming to changing consumer needs. We must have action plans that are utilising technology. Health, infrastructures. Innovations in technologies must be used to enable us to move products from the firm to the consumer’s plate. How? By educating our people.


The logistics which influence changes in the consumer markets. We must ensure that our farmers understand these chains. The opportunities exist but it’s going to be the technology to drive us.

John Doe
John Doe

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