UIA registers drop in investment projects

By Christine Kasemiire

The number of licensed projects by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) dipped marginally from 512 in 2016 to 247 in 2017.

The dip represents an 82.3 per cent of the investment agencies 300 investors that it had targeted in 2017.
The drop, according to Mr Joseph Kiggundu, the UIA consultant director, was a result of global trends that have seen a decrease in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
“The way we attract FDI is not unique from other countries, so if the global trends are declining, you expect that we shall attract less,” he said.

The UIA private sector investment survey report released this week indicated that FDI flows to Africa continued to slide, reaching $59.4b, dropping by 3 per cent since 2015.

However, the survey indicates that East Africa’s FDI grew from $6.3b in 2015 to $7.1b in 2016.
Manufacturing attracted more investments projects (54 per cent) followed by mining and quarrying with 11 per cent.
Mr Lawrence Byensi, the UIA investment facilitation and aftercare division director, said the growth in the manufacturing sector was attributed to the favourable environment created in the industrial parks as well as incentives government has been providing to some investors.

Additionally, investments, mapped mainly in the central region districts of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso, made 81 per cent of the total investments for the period.

However, Mr Byensi said it was important that government puts in place investment amenities such as roads, electricity and water.

In the recent parliamentary committee visit to industrial parks, investors in Namanve Industrial Park decried the lack of sufficient power needed to run their industries at capacity.

Mr Basil Ajer, the UIA acting executive director, said Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited had commissioned a substation to counter power concerns specifically in the Namanve Industrial Park.
The substation, he said, is expected to start operating a year.

Much of the withdrawn land had been offered to companies that had shown interest in agro processing and manufacturing.
“Since 2013, 164 companies have had their land withdrawn after failing to demonstrate progress of any works in the pre start period, where an environmental impact assessment, surveyor and architectural planning takes place,” Mr Ajer said.

During the period, the Authority registered 23,816 planned jobs with the most in the manufacturing sector expected to have created 11,570 jobs.

During the period the UIA one-stop-centre had an estimated total of 11,336 transactions across various services. The centre registered both physical and electronic activities. The e-investment service was launched last year
The 247 licensed projects in 2017 have an estimated $877m in planned investment.


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