Mutenza's presentation


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Mutenza's presentation

  1. 1. It is with great pleasure that I stand before you at the 3rd Ugandan UK Trade and Investment Forum. Allow me to start by thanking all of you for honoring our invitation and the spirit of endeavoring to drive economic growth to Uganda. I believe we are all here with one common desire not only to contribute to the development of Uganda but by also exploring ways on how to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in Uganda to make money for ourselves or companies. New data released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows Uganda topped the region in attracting FDI last year, thus showing the potential Uganda offers and that the time is now for serious investors to come on board. For those who are here with minimal knowledge of Uganda, allow me to inform you that Uganda is the “Pearl of Africa” that is “Gifted by Nature”. This has been attested by the Lonely Planet Guide; where Uganda has been declared as one of the wonders of the world that one must visit before they die. It is no surprise that when the Christian Missionary Churchill first came to Uganda, he could not miss this reality and, indeed, named Uganda the “Pearl of Africa”. In order to improve on the welfare of Ugandans, investment in the private sector is key and we urge you to take advantage of the forum and do not hesitate to ask any questions that might hinder your desire to explore emerging markets in Uganda. Ladies and gentlemen; this is the third investment forum and it provides us with the opportunity to engage the diaspora in promoting investments in Uganda. This is the only viable option and one that has worked in other diaspora success stories like the Israel and India, harnessing its diasporas. It was with this in mind that this year, we decided to shift the idea from aid to trade. The conference is also an opportunity to inform the investors and business community in this region of the vast potential for investment that Uganda offers to both the domestic and international community. Ladies and Gentlemen, we want to utilise your time here and Network; Share information and Knowledge; explore opportunities that will be presented here today. Ugandan Asians are one of the richest groups of people in the UK. Since we launched the Convention we have managed to lead delegations comprising Uganda Asians back to Uganda in a move of rejuvenating their spirit and love of their country. Last year, a group I led to Uganda met the President and the 1st lady and have since committed to invest more than $3million into a modern maize plant which will create a lot of jobs in Northern Uganda, an area that had been devastated by insurgency for a decade. Ladies and gentlemen; Uganda is Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits. We have a session on real estate and infrastructure; agriculture and general investment in the country. The Uganda Investment Authority is showcasing at the exhibition hall and the Buganda Land Board will 1
  2. 2. be presenting opportunities that exist in Buganda comprising prime land for infrastructure projects as well as agricultural land. Intra-African investment is a critical source of growth for the continent, but is often overlooked. Recently, reports have indicated that intra-Africa direct investment is growing and we are utilising this platform to invite other Africans to look at Uganda's vast investment opportunities to take advantage of, not to mention the Diaspora. This year we have reached more to brothers and sisters from the Diaspora community to take advantage of what Uganda can offer. To stress a few positive outcomes: 1. Last year a group of investors agreed to invest more than $3million in a maize processing plant in Gulu 2. The Nagrecha's, a Ugandan Asian family donated more than $50,000 to the 1st Lady foundation to build a school and buy two tractors for the women of Karamoja. 3. Too many Ugandans to mention have relocated back and these include Mr. James Mwesigwa who successfully started a health and safety consultancy, to name but one. 4. Through Hon. Christine Amongin, the Minister of State for Teso Affairs, River Flow Ministries is helping people on agriculture development. Another charity Ark Schools, has now constructed 12 secondary schools in the region and all these thanks to the effort of the convention 5. Our main achievement is to bring together investors and Diasporans. Such interactions are always personal and we won't impinge unless people ask us to become involved. 6. People have got jobs to as far away from Uganda as Nigeria, from delegates who comes to the convention I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to the organising team, UK Embassy, various government agencies, sponsors and my special thanks go to all of you, for having accepted to participate in this 3rd Investment Forums. For god and My Country Willy Mutenza Chairman-UGANDAN UK CONVENTION 2