UGANDA: AN INVESTMENT DESTINATION
Uganda is strategically located at the heart of Africa, a region that includes some of Africa’s most economically important and resource rich countries with a substantial market and immense future potential.
Because of its courteous people, scenic beauty and natural endowments, it has been variously described as:
– The friendliest country
– The Pearl of Africa
Lies astride the equator
– Has a total area of 241,000 square metres
– Is 1,000 metres above sea level
– Has a temperature range of 12 – 30 degrees Celsius
– Receives adequate annual rainfall of 1,380 mm.
– Has a population of 35 million
– Literacy rate of 68%
– Official language is English
– Its capital city is Kampala
– Currency is the Uganda Shilling
Uganda is a land-locked country. It borders South Sudan to the north, D.R. Congo to the west, Kenya to the east, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south.
The region has Africa’s most economically important and resource-rich countries with a substantial market and great future potential.
This strategic location between East and Central Africa offers Uganda exceptional business opportunities as the best investment location in the region.
In business terms, Uganda has a competitive strength in the region because of the following positive factors:
– Strategic Location at the heart of Africa
– Excellent Climate and strong Resource Base
– Government Support to Private Sector
– Educated, Trainable and Affordable workforce .
– Security of Investment and Property
– Predictable Economic Environment
– Strategic Market Access
– Fully Liberalized Economy
– Exceptional Quality of Life
B. WHY INVEST IN UGANDA (ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS)
1. Strategic Location
– Located at the heart of East and Central Africa, a position that makes it as a regional trade and investment base.
– Shares borders with other resource-rich and economically important countries.
2. Predictable Economic Environment
Good Macro-Economic Policies, hence;
– a stable economic environment
– Manageable Inflation Rate
– Political Stability and Security
3. Liberal Economic Regime
– Free in-flow and out-flow of capital, for current and capital accounts.
– 100% foreign ownership of Investments.
– Exchange Rates freely determined by the Market.
4. Strategic Market Access
Uganda belongs to and benefits from strong Regional Economic Groupings;
– The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) with 20 member countries and a market population of 380 million people.
– East African Community (EAC) with 5 member countries and a market population of 120 million people
5. Excellent Climate and strong Natural Resource Base
Uganda has significant Natural Endowments.
Astride the Equator, the country has the best climate in the world:
– Receives rainfall all the year round
– Abundant arable and fertile soils.
– The best temperature range of 12 – 30 degree Celsius
– Leader in Organic Agriculture in Africa.
– Production of food free of harmful chemical in-puts.
– Plenty of Mineral Deposits, both metallic and non-metallic Minerals.
6. Government support to Private Sector
In a deliberate effort to support and promote the Private Sector, Uganda government;
– Established the Uganda Investment Authority, a one-stop facilitator for foreign and local investment
– Permits importation of capital goods free of VAT and duty, Initiated a Presidential Round Table Forum chaired by H.E. the President.
– Facilitates Government – Private Sector Dialogue in Policy Formulation.
– Created Business Development Strategies such as –
– Investment Climate Strategy (ICS),
– National Export Strategy (NES) and
– Public – Private Sector Partnership
– Coordinates with Private Sector Lobby Groups such as –
– Private Sector Foundation,
– Uganda Chamber of Commerce and
– Uganda Manufacturers Association
7. Affordable, Trainable and English speaking Workforce
– Produces over 25,000 University graduates every year.
– Has high quality training through the country’s inherited British System of Education.
– Is a regional base for manpower training in East Africa including Information Technology
– Has low labour costs and trainability.
– Has one of the best English Language speaking in Africa. Good English Language skills are vital for Global Business Management.
8. Protection of Investments
Uganda applies both Local and International Laws to protect private investments and business, through enactments and ratification. These Protective Laws include:
– The Ugandan Constitution, 1995
– The Uganda Investment Code, 2000
– Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
– Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the United States
– Convention on the Recognition & Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award (CREFAA)
D. UGANDA’S MAJOR INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Uganda’s existing comparative advantage is heavily concentrated in Agriculture, Forestry, Mineral Resources and their primary processing. Other key investment areas are Tourism and Information and Communication Technology.