6 January 2010

Uganda: Local Investors Want Fair Policies

Kampala — Ugandans living abroad have asked the government to extend equal opportunities to both local and foreign investors.

The development, they argue, will enable local investors to establish various investments in the country and also create employment opportunities.

"We have the potential to develop our country but some unfavourable policies are holding us back. The government should treat all investors equally if the country is to develop," Mr Flex Kabuye, president of the Uganda North America Association (UNAA) Atlanta Chapter, said.

Speaking to journalists in Kampala recently at the two-day Diaspora Investment Summit, Mr Kabuye, argued that local investors should also enjoy incentives such as tax holidays as their foreign counterparts.

"Here the word investor is more meaningful when referring to a foreigner but this is technically wrong. In developed countries an investor is respected no matter where he/she comes from and enjoys the same rights," he said.

Over the years, there has been public concern that Ugandan entrepreneurs are selectively denied some rights, which are enjoyed by foreign investors.

Huge chunks of land for investment and other key factors of production have in the past been given out to foreign investors, almost free of charge, something that has attracted public criticism.

However, the Uganda Investment Authority Executive Director, Dr Maggie Kigozi, said the government has helped various local investors with good intentions.

"The incentives which are available are given to all investors without discrimination," Dr Kigozi said.

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