NAM SUMMIT 2024: Museveni asks business community to seize Opportunity of investing in Uganda

NAM SUMMIT 2024: Museveni asks business community to seize Opportunity of investing in Uganda
VP Jessica Alupo delivering president Museveni's speech to delegates at the NAM SUMMIT held in Uganda. Photo/Courtesy

The president of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni has made case for investors to grab the opportunity of investing in a country that has abundant investment potential like Uganda. 

This was during the Non-Aligned Movement that is currently ongoing in Uganda at Munyonyo Commonwealth resort hotel.

In his statement, read by the Vice president Jesca Alupo, he notes that the summit demonstrates Uganda's commitment to private sector development and a renewed focus to increase the promotion of Uganda’s abundant investment 

He noted that; "The business community and investors of the East African Member states should seize this opportunity to collaborate with foreign investors in order to optimize 
value addition, expand partnerships that enhance technology, skills transfer, financing, promote standards and further deepen access to the global market."

He gave reasons why investors need to prioritize Uganda.

Coming home, Uganda’s US$ 50 billion economy enjoys market linkages within  the US$305 billion East African Community (EAC) economy – the fastest growing and most diversified economic bloc on the African Continent.

Uganda is centrally located, providing access to the regional markets of the EAC, the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with over 55 Member States.The African Continental Free Trade Area created a market of 1.4 billion consumers, making it the ideal partner for trade and investment.

Therefore, the Agreement on Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will increase trade among Africans by about 33 percent and boost investment in Africa.

Although starting from a very low base, Uganda has maintained a relatively stable and robust economic growth rate over the years at an average of about 6.2% in the past 37 years. Uganda’s GDP per capita, now at US$1,100, is fast rising and thus promising a sustainable market for local production of fastmoving consumer goods and services, making the country highly rewarding for FDI.

On account of prudent macroeconomic management, Uganda continues to enjoy 
a stable macroeconomic environment characterized by low inflation (now at 
2.6%), stable currency, and high sustained growth.

Uganda’s economic outlook is very optimistic. This is mainly because of the consistent support to the private sector through supportive policies that create a business-friendly environment. 

Uganda is part of the East African Community, which has a population of over 300 million with a combined GDP of US$ 305 billion. This offers a large market for exports within the region, and a growing middle class.

Uganda is a liberal economy with open trade policies and a liberal investment regime, and all sectors are open for investment. The country allows free movement of exports and imports and free movement of capital with unrestricted 
transfer of dividends.

High return on investment. For example, agribusinesses, unlike many other jurisdictions is very profitable here, with an average return on investment of about 14 percent.

The current heavy investment in infrastructure is lowering the cost of doing business especially in transportation and energy, and creating business 

Favourable medium term economic growth prospects of at least 7% per annum, supported by infrastructure development, skilled labour force, and abundant natural resources. Uganda is a resource rich country, which provide a significant opportunity for exports and light manufacturing. These include oil and gas with commercial production scheduled to start in 2025, Beryl, Chromite, Lead, Lithium, Silver, Zinc, Kyanite, Feldspar and Diatomite, Manganese, Diamond, uranium, iron ore, Vermiculite, Limestone and marble, gold, graphite, aluminous clay rich in Rare 
Earth Elements (REE), Phosphate and Iron.

In 2019, Uganda Government gave a Graphite mining license to Blencowe Resource from United Kingdom. Graphite is a new material for making electric car batteries, thermal sheets and steel foundries, flame retardants, gaskets and seals, lubricants and friction materials, etc.

Uganda has a very generous incentives regime to ensure profitability of investments and business growth. This includes, among others, free land, 
serviced industrial parks and manufacturing zones, available and cheap electricity to manufacturers, good transport network, tax holidays for those adding value to our raw material and creating jobs plus other financial
incentives. These are detailed in our tax laws and investment code.

Uganda has gained competitiveness in recent years in a number of tradeable goods including animal products such as beef and milk, agricultural products especially coffee, tea, fish, sugar, fresh and processed food and industrial 
products such as cement, iron and steel products, light manufactured goods.

Uganda is a beacon of security in the region and investors can be sure that they will be safe in Uganda and their property is secure. Uganda has enjoyed political stability for nearly four decades, and this provides certainty to investors. This has enabled uninterrupted business growth for a very long time.