On Sunday 15th January 2023, H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni departed Entebbe to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a three-day working visit.
The President met different groups of investors interested in doing business in Uganda in the field of Oil and Gas, Agro processing, Electricity, real-estate among others. He also attended the Abu Dhabi sustainability week conference.
The conference was meant to accelerate sustainable development and advance economic, social and environmental progress. On 16th January, the President addressed the UAE, Uganda Presidential initiative on investment summit where one of his delegates, Hajji Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Group of Companies, gave confidence to Arab investors on Uganda’s significant untapped foreign investment potential.
On several occasions, a few senior civil servants and political leaders have been part of the President’s delegation on foreign events. This time round, the President considered it right to include a successful businessman and local investor who through his experience testified to Arab investors about Uganda’s investment opportunities.
Ham was a perfect choice by the President to travel with alongside other delegates because, Ham as a successful businessman and investor, owns a company that is worth a billion dollar. He started in the business of garments, real estate, commercial buildings, he is constructing over 500 houses here in Uganda, an Agro-processing industry and he is the main man behind the redevelopment of Nakivubo Memorial Stadium which is approximated at USD 500m.
While he was addressing the gathering during the Uganda Presidential initiative on investment summit, Hajji Hamis Kiggundu assured the Arab investors that Uganda has the opportunities for them as long as they have sufficient capital and integrated agro-processing zones to add value to Uganda’s agro-produce since Uganda has a bigger population with young energetic people which can put up the agro-produce.
One of his companies, Ham Agro-Processing Industries is an integrated agro-processing park which will prioritize in adding value on fresh fruits, vegetables and dealing in food processing which has comparative advantages in quality
Once this project is finalized, it will help Ugandans in the agro-produce to market their products regionally and internationally. Marketing goods internationally and regionally comes with value addition on the products in assessing, sorting, quality analysis and managing packaging which our local investors like Ham aim for. This agro-processing industry will also provide needed capital to local businesses, which helps to create and preserve local jobs and ensures healthier, local economies.
In order to bring more foreign investors, there is a need for local investors to discuss with them on where they can invest their capital in Uganda. Once given a chance to speak on investment, they are well fit to discuss the good business model since their local companies can prove to be profitable in the international market by showing how successful it has been in its respective countries.
Local investors like Ham carry a lot of research and data understanding how international markets and specifically how foreign investments will perform in both local and foreign markets. This inspires investor’s confidence and demonstrates how they can navigate through an extensive domestic and foreign market.
Local investors on the other hand are good at marketing their home countries since it’s the base of their initial capital and market. Ham was a good choice because he did not only speak about business but also talked about the beauty of the Pearl of Africa which is beatified with good fertile soils and climate which can attract more investors and tourists hence increasing Uganda’s foreign earnings, revenue and job creation.
By David Serumaga