President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Tuesday 16th January held a meeting with a delegation of Egyptian investors at State House, Entebbe.
The delegation was led by H.E Dato Arshad Mahmood, the Chairman of the International Investment Consortium Inc.
The consortium is a global design and finance investment consortium that is driving economic growth across the planet.
During the meeting, the President warmly welcomed the group, emphasising the crucial link between business success and robust infrastructure such as roads, railways, and water systems.
President Museveni also highlighted Uganda’s wealth of raw materials, including diverse agricultural products, abundant electricity, and ample capital.
“Then you need the natural resources and Uganda has got a wide spectrum of these resources from which you can produce a good or a service. As you can see, we have got very good agriculture. We have got everything here, we have got food, raw materials for everything else in agriculture. Our agro-processing sector is a huge area; to process grains, milk, beef, fruits and everything, the raw materials are there. We also have forest products. The trees here grow very quickly and it is very easy to produce forest products here like papers and furniture,” he said.
He emphasised the country’s need for entrepreneurship to capitalise on its abundant resources and favourable weather conditions.
Enthusiastically discussing Uganda’s potential, the President showcased the vast market opportunities, boasting a population of 46 million Ugandans, 300 million East Africans, and access to a potential 1.5 billion consumers across Africa through the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
President Museveni further assured the Egyptian investors of existing trade arrangements with major partners including China, European Union, and United Arab Emirates.
Highlighting Uganda’s commitment to facilitating business, the President also affirmed that all necessary infrastructure, such as roads, electricity, and water, is either in place or under development.
“The infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, among others helps to connect the producer of the good or service to the consumer. Now all these are in place or are being put in place here,” he noted.
President Museveni also encouraged investment proposals in sectors like coffee roasting, textiles, fruit processing, dairy, and mining, pointing out abundant resources like marble and granite for various applications.
On the other hand, he shared the success story of bringing back the Indian community, which was expelled by former leader Idi Amin, which now contributes significantly to the country’s economy.
“Our leaders made a mistake with the private sector, they confiscated private property in the name of nationalisation. This is one of the main reasons why Africa lagged behind. You can imagine that here in Uganda we had our Indians who had come from India and became Ugandans, and they were very active in business but one of our leaders Idi Amin chased them and stole their property. Why was he chasing these people, yet they were working for the country? But when we came, we brought them back.”
He informed the businesspeople that out of 8,000 factories in the country, the Indian community owns 900 establishments saying that most of them had been chased away but are now boosting the economy.
“You cannot say that you’re attracting the private sector when the old people who came first are crying and cursing? How will you attract new ones? That is just madness,” he said.
In response, H.E Dato praised President Museveni’s leadership and expressed the investors’ commitment to contributing to Uganda’s economic growth through substantial investments.
“Uganda is a linked country where you can reach many countries because of its diverse market; that gives us morale. Your Excellency, you are currently advocating for value addition and that is what we are interested in and assure you that we are here to invest in fully.”
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State for Investment and Privatization Hon. Evelyn Anite.