Uganda named best investment destination in Africa

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Uganda has been awarded as the best investment destination for attracting some of the most significant foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Africa in the year 2023.

The prestigious award, the AIM Investment Award 2024, was presented to the State Minister of Finance (Investment and Planning) at a gala dinner at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) as part of the 13th edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) ongoing (May 7 – 8) in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The AIM Congress 2024 is being held under the theme “Adapting to a shifting investment landscape: Harnessing new potential for global economic development”.

The Uganda Investment Authority, in line with the theme, submitted three green investment projects following the successful Conference of Parties (COP) 28 last year in Dubai, UAE, which attracted over $400 million worth of FDI to Uganda. 

The winning projects include Spouts of Water, the largest manufacturer of ceramic water filters in Africa, producing a convenient and affordable solution using locally sourced materials.

Currently, its products reach over 200,000 households and aims to reach six million households by 2030. 

The current investment value is $10 million with extra $80 to $100 million planned in the next four years and the project employs 450 Ugandans.

The second project is 1MTN, a high-quality nature-based carbon removal project developer in Africa. 

It is on a mission to restore one million hectares of degraded land by 2030 through planting polyculture native bamboo with an emphasis on biodiversity management. 

Its current investment is $1.5 million and planned investment of $100M in the next four years.

The third entry is Nexus Green, a solar energy company which manufactures and supplies affordable solar-powered solutions designed for over 458 million people in the East African Region without access to reliable energy. 

It has invested, together with the United Kingdom Export (UKEF), over $100 million, with $10 million in the factory alone whereby it employs 200 Ugandans directly and over 1,000 indirectly.

The highly competitive award recognizes the accomplishments of a country in attracting the most significant investment projects which contribute to the economic growth and development of their markets.

Acknowledging the award, the Minister of State for Finance (Privatization and Investment), Hon. Evelyn Anite, said “the award is a strong recognition of efforts by the Government of Uganda and the Uganda Investment Authority in creating a conducive environment for investments and doing business in Uganda, including in the green economy”.

The Chairman of Board of Uganda investment Authority, Mr. Morrison Rwakakamba, said: “Sprouts of Water, 1MTN and Nexus Green are strategic green investments that demonstrate the commitment of Uganda to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and other world’s environmental challenges”.

The Director General of Uganda Investment Authority, Mr. Robert Mukiza, said the award is not only an affirmation of Uganda as the best investment destination in Uganda but also the strong and effective efforts the authority is making in attracting quality and relevant investments to Uganda.

This is the second time Uganda is receiving an accolade from AIM. 

In 2023, it won the award for the best investment destination in East Africa for attracting the best investment project, Modern Tiles. 

At the same event, the Uganda Investment Authority won the gold award for the best investment promotion agency in East Africa.

In the financial years 2021/22 and 2022/23, UIA licensed a total of 1,202 investment projects, with planned investment value of $16.516 billion and 142,524 planned jobs. 

AIM is an emerging markets FDI-focused event that offers a blend of features and activities aimed at enriching participants with a comprehensive view of the investment environment in high growth regions. 

Established as the new staple for FDI, AIM attracts a mix of high-profile government officials, private asset owners and project promoters from all across the globe.

The Uganda Investment Authority is charged with coordinating, encouraging, promoting, and facilitating investment in Uganda, as mandated by the Investment Code of 2019. 

It advises the Government of Uganda on investment policy and related matters.

UIA was set up under the Investment Code Act of 1991, which was later amended in 2005, and 2019. 

The Investment Code Act is the governing law that establishes UIA (in continuance) and sets forth its key objectives and functions. 

Its Vision is “A globally competitive Uganda profitable for business, investment and brimming with cutting-edge innovations” with the Vision “To unleash, promote, attract and retain value adding domestic and foreign investments through robust marketing, nurturing and aftercare services”.