The move is contained in the new Uganda Investment Authority Strategic Plan 2016 2021 which has been aligned to the National Development Plan II and the Uganda Vision 2040. The strategy focuses on better investment generation within Uganda while also still pursuing foreign direct investments.
The move is contained in the new Uganda Investment Authority-UIA Strategic Plan 2016 - 2021, which has been aligned to the National Development Plan II and the Uganda Vision 2040. The strategy focuses on better investment generation within Uganda while also still pursuing foreign direct investments.
Speaking in an interview with Uganda Radio Network, Dr. Frank Sebbowa, the Executive Director of UIA, says 52 percent of investments in the last 25 years have been by Ugandans and this has led to the change in direction although foreign investors will also still be targeted.
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In the early years the investment body focused mainly on foreign investors because the target was on jobs, taxes, technology transfer, expert manpower and foreign exchange, among others. The foreign investors were pampered with numerous investment and tax incentives at the expense of Uganda. While some delivered, others exploited the incentives but never delivered the goodies.
In some instances the investors fled after expiry of the incentives, veered to other investment areas, scaled down the planned investments, produced less goods and services or even never took-off at all. The UIA also notes that foreign firms were more aggressive in pursuing incentives than actual investments.
Despite that, Ugandans still out did the foreign investors by investing 52 percent of the 20-billion-dollar worth of investments in the last 25 years. As result, UIA has now shifted attention to the small and medium enterprises segment which is the engine of Uganda's economic growth and development.
Dr. Sebbowa says in the new strategy the target is to create one million new jobs over the next 10 years, much of it will come from domestic investments. The UIA top honcho says foreign investors will also still remain high on the priority list because of the benefits they bring like transfer of knowledge and technology.
On whether UIA met its objectives by attracting licensed investments of just 20 billion dollars in 25 years, Dr. Sebbowa answers in affirmative, arguing that the terrain was rough and even then the catch was relatively ok.
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The Uganda Investment Authority started as a desk in the Ministry of Trade and Industry before shifting to Ministry of Finance as a unit. It gained autonomy in 1991 after the Investment Code Act was enacted.
Its mandate is to, among others, promote Uganda as an investment destination, provide a central place for investment information and ensure that investors have a place for guidance on investment matters.