Gov't Now Targeting Ugandan Investors

2290 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
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.

Having invested in their own country more than foreigners in the last 25 years, the government is now going to pay more attention to Ugandan investors than ever before.
 
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.
 

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."