NAM AND G-77 SUMMITS: Gen. Museveni Urges Ugandan, EAC Businessmen To Network With Foreign Investors To Expand, Improve On Their Business Empires

VP Alupo interacts with businessman Elly Karuhanga as others look on

President Museveni has advised Ugandan businessmen  and those from the EAC member states to seize the opportunity of NAM and G-77 Summits for them to collaborate with foreign investors to ultimately improve on their businesses.

Museveni says this is the chance for our investors and those in the region to build relations with foreign investors in order to optimize value addition and expand partnerships that enhance technology. Other opportunities they should look up to during these  Summits include skills transfer, financing, promote standards and further deepen access to the global market.

He said the summit demonstrates Uganda’s commitment to private sector development and a renewed focus to increase the promotion of Uganda’s abundant investment potential. 

“Additionally, it strengthens the partnership between the Uganda Business community and Foreign Investors” Museveni noted in his very powerful speech delivered through the Vice President Maj Jessica Alupo who represented him at the East African Investment Forum and Trade Exhibition of the 19th Non-Alligned Movement and G-77 Summits at Serena hotel.

Museveni also welcomed the day’s topic entitled “The Future of East African Trade and Investment Relations with NAM and G-77 member states” and described it as a very topical subject. 

“Trade and Investment are the bedrock for economic relations between economies, and thus a strong foundation for mutual prosperity. It is these two that enable countries to create wealth, and thus drive development” he noted.

Quoting the words of Adam Smith on The Wealth of Nations, Museveni emphasized the importance of specialization and exchange.

He explained that exchange is mutually beneficial as it is well demonstrated by the “double thank-you” at the marketplace. 

“Often when we conclude an exchange of goods or services, both parties say “thank you”. That’s symbolic of the mutual benefit, cooperation, and interdependency that trade creates. We genuinely thank each other for having made each of us better off. We (therefore), must work harder to harness trade and investment among Africans and our close allies” the head of state noted.

The president said that Africa is endowed with natural resources which he said offer the potential for prosperity. 

He said that with technology and innovation, these resources should be used to produce high value goods that countries are currently importing from the West and the far East. 

VP Alupo with ministers Kasaija, Nankabirwa, Bahati, Ntabazi at the summit

“This would also increase intra-Africa trade from 14.4 percent of total African exports to at least 50 percent, thus transforming the lives of our populations at a much faster pace. With support from our comrades in the Non-Aligned Member States, this transformation is within our reach” he noted. 

The president lectured that in the early 1990s, South-South trade surpassed North-North trade for the first time, and today 35 percent of global trade is accounted for by South-South merchandise trade, while only 25 percent by North-North. He said that South-South trade has enabled technology transfer and therefore transforming the manufacturing landscape in Africa. 


Museveni sprayed a good perfume on Uganda as he marketed it among participants asking them to choose the country as a suitable investment destination.

He said the country’s US$50 billion economy enjoys market linkages within the US$305 billion EAC economy which he described as the fastest growing and most diversified economic bloc on the African Continent.

In addition, he said Uganda is centrally located, providing access to the regional markets of the EAC, the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which boasts of 1.4billon consumers, making it the ideal partner for trade and investment. 

“Although starting from a very low base, Uganda has maintained a relatively stable and robust economic growth rate over the years at an average of about 6.2% in the past 37 years. Uganda’s GDP per capita, now at US$1,100, is fast rising and thus promising a sustainable market for local production of fast-moving consumer goods and services, making the country highly rewarding for FDI” he told the forum adding that the country continues to enjoy a stable macroeconomic environment characterized by low inflation (now at 2.6%), stable currency, and high sustained growth. 

VP Alupo and other dignitaries including PSFU vice chairperson Sarah Kagingo look on

“Uganda’s economic outlook is very optimistic. This is mainly because of the consistent support to the private sector through supportive policies that create a business-friendly environment. Uganda is part of the East African Community, which has a population of over 300 million with a combined GDP of US$ 305 billion. This offers a large market for exports within the region, and a growing middle class” Museveni said.

The president added that Uganda is a liberal economy with open trade policies and a liberal investment regime, and that all sectors are open for investment. He said the country allows free movement of exports and imports and free movement of capital with unrestricted transfer of dividends.

Museveni cited agribusinesses as a profitable area here with high returns on investment, adding that the current heavy investment in infrastructure is lowering the cost of doing business especially in transportation and energy, and creating business competitiveness.

In addition, Museveni told participants that Uganda is a resource rich country, which he said provides a significant opportunity for exports and light manufacturing. 

He named some of the available resources as oil and gas (with commercial production scheduled to start in 2025), Beryl, Chromite, Lead, Lithium, Silver, Zinc, Kyanite, Feldspar and Diatomite, Manganese, Diamond, uranium, iron ore, Vermiculite, Limestone and marble, gold, aluminous clay rich in Rare Earth Elements (REE), Phosphate, Iron and Graphite; a new material used for making electric car batteries, thermal sheets and steel foundries, flame retardants, gaskets and seals, lubricants and friction materials among others.

Museveni went on to market Uganda saying it has what he called a ‘very generous incentives regime’ to ensure profitability of investments and business growth. He named some of the Investment regime freebies as free land, serviced industrial parks and manufacturing zones, available and cheap electricity to manufacturers, good transport network, tax holidays for those adding value to our raw material and creating jobs in addition to other financial incentives. 

The president was also alive to the fact that Uganda is doing well in tradeable goods including animal products such as beef and milk, agricultural products especially coffee, tea, fish, sugar, fresh and processed food and industrial products such as cement, iron and steel products, light manufactured goods among others.

VP Alupo addressing the forum


Here, Museveni told the forum that Uganda has negotiated Quota free and Tariff free access to regional and global markets for investors to exploit among which includes the East African Community (EAC) with a population of over 300 million,  the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) with a population of over 600 million,  and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with a population of 1.4 billion. 

In addition, the head of state explained that his country has an “Everything but Arms” trade deal with the European Union, not forgetting the numerous trade deals it has with China and India and that, investors can access all these markets by domiciling in Uganda.

In terms of hospitality, Museveni said Uganda has an excellent working and living environment, an attribute manifested in world ratings which ranked it as the 3rd most welcoming country in the world and 4th best country in the world to visit. 

He added that Uganda offers the lowest cost of living with excellent housing, adding that the country’s fast-growing work force and flexible labour regulations provides a key advantage for companies investing in labour intensive operations. 

“Uganda is the most open economy to FDI. There are no restrictions on ownership of investments, movement of capital or foreign exchange. The World Bank’s data indicates that, on average, net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have exceeded USD 1 billion each year” he explained.


Museveni said that in order to expand regional trade and support regional development, Uganda is undertaking joint projects with DR Congo and Tanzania (oil pipeline), and implementing interventions to reduce transportation cost and also improve the border infrastructure to facilitate trade and financial services across the region. 

He assured participants that on Security of investments, Uganda is a champion of security in the region and therefore, investors are safe and secure in Uganda together with their property.

The president added that Uganda has enjoyed political stability for nearly four decades, something he said provides certainty to investors and has enabled uninterrupted business growth for a very long time.

“Therefore, the East Africa Trade and Investment forum will be a platform for increased business engagements and a dialogue to enhance private sector investments and businesses in EAC. It will also be instrumental in enhancing regional development, trade, diversifying exports and integrating African economies with the global economies” he sounded.

He explained that Uganda’s philosophy is to provide a One Stop Centre to investors across all Government services, ease the business environment and reduce the cost of doing business in Uganda.

He pledged on behalf of government that Uganda through its agencies will honor our commitments made at the EAC Trade and Investment forum and will continue to support its deliberations. He summed up the speech by urging visitors to create time and come and enjoy a wide range of excellent, unique and unmatched beautiful natural features Uganda offers in terms of birds, animals and many other things.



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