Uganda Named Africa’s Best Destination for Investment

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Uganda has been named and awarded the best investment destination in Africa for attracting some of the most significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects on the continent in 2023.

The esteemed AIM Investment Award 2024 was presented to the Minister of State for Finance in charge of Investment and Privatization, Evelyne Anite during a gala dinner held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on March 8, as part of the 13th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

To win the award, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) 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 Nexus Green, a solar energy company that 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. It employs 200 Ugandans directly and over 1,000 indirectly.

Nexus Green has constructed over 400 solar-powered water irrigation sites in Northern and Eastern Uganda. The company is also constructing hundreds of solar-powered water supply and irrigation systems in other parts of the country to provide clean water for domestic consumption as well as irrigation.

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 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 an extra $80 to $100 million planned in the next four years. The project employs 450 Ugandans.

This is the second time Uganda has received an accolade from AIM. In 2023, the country 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 a planned investment value of $16.516 billion and 142,524 planned jobs.

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

Acknowledging the award, 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”.

According to data from the Ugandan Embassy in the UAE, Uganda has attracted more than $1 billion in Foreign Direct Investment from the UAE over the last two years.

Foreign Direct Investment net inflows in Uganda were reported at 6.4% of the GDP in 2022 by the World Bank.

WILL THIS AWARD SCALE UP FDI IN UGANDA?

Uganda’s recognition as the top investment destination on the African continent signals a surge in investor confidence, translating into increased capital inflows and heightened business activities.

With the country positioned as a favored destination, both domestic and foreign investors are likely to channel resources into diverse sectors, ranging from agriculture and manufacturing to infrastructure and technology. This influx of investment holds the potential to stimulate job creation, foster innovation, and propel economic growth

Uganda’s economic growth is projected to grow from 5.3% in 2023 to 6.0% in 2024.

Additionally, Uganda has significant untapped foreign investment potential. Factors such as a young population, regional integration most recently enhanced through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, and good market size offer advantages.

The recognition also enhances Uganda’s attractiveness to investors, and elevates its profile on the international stage, paving the way for strategic partnerships and collaborations with global players.

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

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