Under H.E. President Yoweri Museveni’s guidance, Uganda takes bold steps towards consolidating macroeconomic stability and providing optimal business conditions to smooth the way for an inclusive private sector-led and export-oriented economy.
Uganda’s unique land-linked location at the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, its ranking as eighth freest economy in the region according to the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom combined with crucial trade partnerships, such as the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), has set the nation in good stead in securing its role as a regional hub for trade and investment.
Under President Museveni’s reliable guidance, Uganda’s flourishing economy has been growing steadily and triumphantly at a rate of 6.3% over the past three decades with innovation driving its Vision 2040 to transform Uganda into a middle-income economy. “We have been largely riding on the model of regional business supporting and facilitating regional trade,” affirms Edgar Byamah, MD of KCB Bank.
With a focus upon securing road infrastructure (to and from Uganda) as well as energy supply, Uganda has opened up opportunity and powered its mighty potential. “With all the investments made in the electricity generation facilities, we have been able to guarantee the ease of doing business in Uganda,” confirms Dr Eng. Harrison E. Mutikanga, CEO of UEGCL.
Indeed, Uganda’s economy has continued to grow in spite of the challenges implicated by the current pandemic, with the Bank of Uganda projecting an impressive growth rate of 3.1% in 2020 and FocusEconomics panellists predicting a 4.7% growth in 2021. “We have a good and stable environment and Uganda has one of the highest growth rates and even now, post-COVID, it is still presenting growth and that represents good opportunities for any investor in terms of macro-economic prospects,” explains Michael K. Mugabi, MD of the Housing Finance Bank. “The environment for business is very good because the economy is linked to the private sector.”
According to the UNCTAD’s 2020 World Investment Report, Uganda also happens to be one of the countries in East Africa to have attracted the most Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), reaching an unprecedented record of US$1.3 billion in 2019 (a stunning 20% increase from 2018), the result of developing construction, manufacturing and agriculture projects. “Many industrial parks are being built and every time one comes up national water are very quick to provide water as part of the necessary infrastructure to enhance industrial development,” declares Dr Eng. Silver Mugisha, MD of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
However, crucial to engaging FDI in Uganda is its focus in expanding major oil fields and in September 2020, a host government agreement was signed with Total for the lucrative East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. The 1,445 kilometre long pipeline, developed in conjunction with the Tanzanian and Ugandan governments, is a joint venture between Total (66.7%) and CNOOC (33.3%) and will transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields in Hoima to the Tanzanian Port of Tanga; it is estimated it will be able to supply up to 216 thousand barrels of crude oil a day. The US$3.5 billion pipeline will be the longest electrically heated oil export pipeline in the world and the FID is due to be signed during the first quarter of 2021. Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu, has disclosed that the project will create as many as 10,000 jobs and that proceeds will be invested back into the economy in order to promote and develop other key sectors such as infrastructure, education and health.
Opening up to the immense potential inherent within interregional trade as well as reining in its vast capacity in generating economic growth, Uganda has taken a grain of sand and over the years has worked incessantly in order to produce a pearl whose lustre attracts and shines brightly, reflecting hope and boundless opportunity.