The Observer (Kampala)

25 March 2014

Uganda: Govt Seeks to Endear Uganda to Investors

Government will next week host investors from across the world and try to sell Uganda as the best choice for investment.

The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is to hold an investment forum aimed at attracting investors to areas such as agriculture, oil and gas, infrastructure, and the hotel and hospitality industry. The forum will take place at Speke Resort Munyonyo, on April 3 - 4. It will be organised by CWI summit, an international events organiser.

Hope Awira, a senior investment executive at UIA, said: "Uganda is beaming with opportunities. And investors ought to know that we have a friendly business environment and friendly people, among other things."

More than 200 investors are expected in the country. The local entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend the forum and mingle with world investors with a view to exploring business partnerships.

CWI Executive Director Christopher Higgins said: "The summit aims to showcase Uganda's investment potential in key sectors where numerous opportunities abound like mining, ICT, tourism, manufacturing, and infrastructure."

Higgins said they invited investors from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. The World Bank's Doing Business report for 2014 ranks Uganda at 132nd out of 189 countries in having a good environment for business to thrive. The country is said to have unnecessary bureaucracies that make starting a business tedious.

Uganda scored dismally on such benchmarks as reliable electricity, cheap credit, and road infrastructure, which are necessities for a business to break even. Awira says, however, that by the end of this financial year, Uganda will have a one-stop centre where one can go and register a business very fast.

She says a process that now takes about 30 days would be completed in seven days.

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