7 June 2006

Uganda: World's 5th Richest Man Signs Deal

Kampala — PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni and the world's fifth richest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud, have signed a memorandum of understanding to pave way for his investments in Uganda.

Alwaleed, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, who controls assets worth $25b, plans to build three hotels in Uganda. He met Museveni on Tuesday night at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, State House said yesterday.

The Saudi billionaire was recently given the 15.1 acres of land on which Shimoni Demonstration School stands to construct a five-star hotel on.

Alwaleed informed Museveni about the activities of his company, Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management Company (KZAM), whose investment wing is Kingdom Holding International. KZAM runs Norfolk hotels in Kenya and bought 96% shares in the Royal Palm Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam.

State House quoted Alwaleed as saying his visit had paved way for the first hotel construction in Uganda. He was optimistic that Africa would soon join other global economies like China and India because of its growing population and industrial output.

The prince has investments in banking, telecommunications, media, entertainment, hospitality, computers and electronics, agriculture, upscale fashion, retailing, supermarkets, tourism, travel and automotive manufacturing.

He has shares in 49 companies that include AOL Time Warner, Citigroup, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett Packard, Kodak Corporation, Motorola, Pepsi, Four Seasons Hotels and the Gillete Company.

Museveni urged investors to put emphasis on agro-processing in Uganda.

"He informed Prince Alwaleed and his delegation that there are other investment opportunities in the country, especially in the mining sector such as phosphates, iron ore and petroleum exploration," State House said.

Museveni was optimistic that the business partnership between Uganda and Saudi Arabia would benefit the people of the two countries in particular and the rest of the world.

In Museveni's delegation were Premier Apolo Nsibambi, ministers Ezra Suruma, Geraldine Bitamazire, Omara Atubo, Khiddu Makubuya, Ssemakula Kiwanuka and Serapio Rukundo.

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