Uganda has been recognized as the best investment destination in the East Africa region at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Mr. Robert Mukiza, received the award at the ceremony held on May 8, 2023, at the Emirates Palace Hotel. The AIM Global 2023 Investment Awards aimed to recognize the best performing investment promotion agencies across the globe.
Mr. Mukiza expressed his joy in receiving the award and said that Uganda is the premier investment destination in the region. He thanked the President of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for making Uganda a safe and secure country for investment, thereby making it the premier investment destination in the East Africa region.
“Uganda Investment Authority has won the award for the Best Investment in East Africa. This is because we brought the best investment in the region,Uganda is the premier investment destination in the region as per this award. I am very glad that we have been recognized at this level for bringing the best investment in East Africa,” said Mr. Mukiza after receiving the award.
He added: “I would like to thank the President of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for making Uganda a safe a secure country for investment, thereby making us the premier investment destination in the East Africa region.”
Uganda has attracted over US ($)1 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from the UAE over the past 18 months, according to the Ugandan embassy in the UAE. A delegation from Uganda, led by the Ugandan Embassy in Abu Dhabi, participated in the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) from May 8 to May 10. The event aimed to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote Uganda’s exports and tourism.
“We are participating in this global event to promote Uganda’s economic and commercial diplomacy,” Zaake W. Kibedi, the Ambassador of Uganda to the UAE said to the press at Uganda’s booth at the AIM.
He further said :“We have also invited other government institutions, including the Uganda Export Promotion Board, Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and Uganda Wildlife Authority to work with us to achieve this goal.”
The theme of the AIM Global 2023 was “The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities to Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity and Prosperity.” Over 170 countries took part in this global investment meeting and exhibition.
Uganda’s participation in the AIM Global 2023 aimed to attract foreign direct investments to the country’s vital economic sectors, increase the private sector contribution to boosting sustainable development, and increase the nation’s GDP.
“We are attracting investments in agro-industry, infrastructure, energy amongst others. But also trying to make contacts that can help us to enhance on our markets for Ugandan exports as well as promoting tourism,” added Mr. Kibedi.
Dr. Elly Twineyo Kamugisha, Executive Director, Uganda Export Promotion Board, said the trade relationship between Uganda and the UAE has grown tremendously, with Uganda’s exports to the UAE exceeding $2 billion. The country is diversifying the export base by introducing new products such as fish (Nile Parch), promoting fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea, minerals, and value addition.
Peter Balimunsi, Chairman Board of Directors, Uganda Free Zones Authority, said their vision is to encourage export-oriented products in the country. “It’s fairly a new concept in the country. We are trying to establish free zones and we are mandated to regulate them. We want to make conditions easy for investors coming to Uganda,” said Mr. Balimunsi.
“The government has secured land and built structures where investors can start business right away”, he added.
Now in 12th edition, the Annual Investment Meeting is an initiative of the AIM Foundation, an independent international organization committed to empowering the world’s economy by boosting effective promotion strategies and facilitating opportunities for economic productivity and expansion. The meeting has attracted decision-makers, investors, experts, and academic figures from all over the world to discuss the shift in the global investment landscape in a global environment characterized by geopolitical and economic challenges and its impacts on the attraction of foreign direct investments, and financing vital economic sectors as entrepreneurship, startups, and SMEs.