Uganda’s economy has been growing steadily and for the last two decades, the country has seen stead investment progress. Uganda has seen an influx of foreign investors in the country in addition to the already existing local ones who are taking advantage of the ever increasing Uganda investment opportunities. The government is so much friendly and welcoming to foreign investors. Ugandans themselves are also very hospitable. In the middle of the Great Lakes Region, Uganda is in position to exploit the bigger local, regional and wider international market. The following reasons explain why it viable and feasible to invest in Uganda:
1. Vibrant Economy
Uganda’s economy has been growing at a rate of 5 – 9% per annum for the last 26 years, one of the fastest growing in sub-Saharan Africa. The country has achieved macroeconomic stability, characterized by single digit annual inflation rates and stable exchange rates over a period 1993-todate. Uganda has a sound financial sector, with the shilling up and down and at times fairly stable and fully exchangeable into bigger foreign currencies like the dollar, pound sterling, the euro and others.
2. Fully Liberalized Economy
Today Uganda’s economy is fully liberalized and open to foreign investors, with no restrictions on remittances of dividends. Foreign investors can freely invest in Uganda as long as they have the capital. Uganda government has a lot of interest in having foreigners invest in the country as this creates jobs, widening the tax base and increase consumer goods and services in the country. For any investor who wants to put his money in Uganda, the sky is the limit.
3. Access to Regional and International Markets
Industrial producers in Uganda have a wider access to the East African Community market which has a population of over 100million people. Uganda is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) consisting of 23 member states and a population of over 400 million people. The country is strategically located on the continent and shares borders with Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. This geographical positioning in the middle of many countries gives Uganda an easy and smooth international trade. Ugandan products enjoy preferential access to the European Union, the US and other regions. Uganda also has bilateral trade and promotion arrangements with the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Italy, Tanzania and many other countries.
4. Abundance of Natural Resources
Uganda is endowed with reliable rainfall, favorable temperatures, fertile soils, vast under exploited water bodies and a wealth of mineral deposits which offer unrivalled investment opportunities. Uganda also boasts of a wealth of beautiful natural scenery.
5. Availability of qualified Labour Force
There are over 30 Uganda’s public and private universities and several polytechnics offering quality education in over 50 fields of study producing over 10,000 graduates and thousands of diploma and certificate holders in various fields annually. Ugandan graduates are responsive to the needs of the private sector and it partly tells why they are highly sought for globally. A number of Ugandan graduates are proficient in English, their traditional languages and a little bit of international languages like French and Germany to some few.
6. Developed Infrastructure
Uganda has a relatively well-connected road network linking the country to its trading partners and has a rail link to the seaport of Mombasa. It has road networks to all its neighboring countries, something that favours trade. The international airport at Entebbe has developed into a hub for regional trade and tourism. Uganda also has power in reasonable amount that can support well especially industrial investors. Installed capacity for power generation has risen to about 400MW through the extension of the Owen Falls Dam and combining hydro and thermal power. The construction of Bujagali Power Dam expected to generate over 200MW is also underway, other power projects are expected at Kalagala, Isimba along the River Nile and Nyagak Power Project in Nebbi district. The telecommunication industry has also developed where all rural areas are also covered especially by the mobile telephone providers. The Uganda Government has so far licensed
over 6 telecom companies are already serving Ugandans.
7. Support from Government and International Development Partners
The Government of Uganda has the Uganda Investment Authority, which is a one-stop facility for private investors. The Uganda Government values private investors as partners in efficient and productive development. Numerous International Development Agencies such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and African Development Bank (ADB) have invested millions of dollars in promoting the private sector investments in Uganda.
8. Security of Investment
Uganda is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) under which foreign investors can insure their investment in Uganda against a wide range of non-commercial risks. Uganda also has bilateral investment protection arrangements with a number of countries. Uganda’s constitution and other legal provisions guarantee the right to property by both citizens and foreigners. Uganda has a strong and independent judiciary to cater for the commercial and legal requirements of investors.
9. Good Quality of Life
Uganda has a wealth of natural and man-made attractions that makes it one of Africa’s greenest and most scenic countries. Uganda has friendly people and a rich cultural diversity. There is high quality medical facilities, first class hotels, restaurants, resorts, beaches and many entertainment facilities like clubs, theatres, and casinos among others. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is a government body that promotes investments in the country by private local and foreign investors.