BY JOHNISANI OCAKACON
KAMPALA: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2021
The Uganda Investment Authority kicked off the Dubai Expo 2020 with signing of investment deals worth USD1,150m (sh5.51 trillion), officials attending the Expo have disclosed.
This is a fraction of the overall target to sign deals worth sh14.23 trillion (USD$4b) by the end of the grand Expo.
Morrison Rwakakamba, the chairman Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) said great work has started to be seen as Uganda became one of the first countries to seal deals.
He disclosed that the first agreement was a US$650m (about sh2.31 trillion) deal with Modha Investments, a global financing conglomerate investing in commercial agriculture, food processing, and commercialization of Cashew nuts, Macadamia and Avocado.
Also sealed was a USD500m (sh1.77 trillion) deal with Connect Limited Liability Company to invest in renewable energy to generate electricity, provide smart energy storing, last mile supply and utilities billing.
According to Robert Mukiza, the Director General Uganda Investment Authority, more agreements would be reached in the days coming, including a mooted deal with Elite Agro whose director Chandra Singh has already held initial meeting with Mukiza.
The company is set to pen an initial USD20m (sh71.16 billion) deal for agro-processing.
Mukiza touted that Uganda is endowed with fertile land and land for investors will be provided according to the investment land bank.
“We are here in Dubai for this Expo 2020 to tap investment opportunities for our country and as a young country we still need a lot of investors,” he said.
Matia Kasaija, the Minister of finance said the investment deals will open ways for investment licenses to foreign investors and Uganda is ready for business with whoever wants to do business and invest in the country.
Uganda’s representatives are eyeing to sign deals spanning the sectors of health, agri-business, energy, infrastructure and mining and tourism.
“We are making use of this great opportunity to market our country. We are one of the best investment destinations and we are in Dubai to give assurance to our potential Investors” asserted Kasaija.
UIA officials said they will work towards promoting investment and tourism in Uganda as they showpiece in the UAE.
Uganda’s Secretary to the Treasury, Ramathan Ggoobi said they are determined to promote local content and partnerships between foreign direct investors and local entrepreneurs.
He noted two of their binding constraints are capital and technology and so attracting them is a pragmatic step to achieving sustainable socio-economic transformation.
On the other hand, the Agricultural Sector continues to be the most important sector in Uganda; it employs approximately 72% of the population and contributes about 32% to the GDP.
However, Productivity is limited by reliance on natural weather conditions and widespread use of traditional methods and equipment.
Uganda is among the leading producers of coffee, bananas and oil seed crops (sesame, soybean, sunflower etc.)
It is also a major producer of other crops like tea, cotton, tobacco, cereals, fresh foods and vegetables, nuts, essential oils, flowers, poultry and freshwater fish.
The Ugandan Government is pushing for greater commercialization of agriculture by encouraging the use of irrigation and mechanized farming.