President Museveni has told a group of African-American investors who are in the country to explore opportunities that investing in Uganda is a “sure deal” profitable venture.
The country, he said, has an “excellent” investment environment. The 16-member team was led by Senegalese-American celebrity and businessman Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, who met the President earlier in the week.
After the meeting, Akon, a musical star, left his wife Rozina Negusei with the business delegation that has been in the country for a week, scouring different opportunities.
President Museveni told the investors that Uganda is the right investment destination and boasts of a skilled, but affordable labour force, a large market from the East African region, Africa, the American market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – a legal framework for selected countries to export to the US tariff and quota-free.
He also said free markets in China and Europe are easily accessible from Uganda. According to the President, his government is working on reducing the cost of power and transportation to lower the cost of doing business in the country.
Flanked by the First Lady Janet, Mr. Museveni urged the prospective investors to take a keen interest in Africa which he said is their motherland, invest their resources on the continent, and develop Africa’s untapped potential.
“You need to study Africa your homeland closely and understand the cause of [its] under-development. Africa is the origin of man, pioneers of civilisation, a host of traditional religions and has more natural resources than any other continent in the world, but is the most underdeveloped of all continents,” he said.
The President told his guests that Africa’s under-development can be attributed to several things including foreign interference through slave trade and colonialism, but added that having a small population in a large continent also contributed to its underdevelopment.
Ms. Janet thanked their guests for having the trust in Africa and Uganda and deciding to venture and invest in the continent despite widespread negative publicity. She said that the African continent had suffered slavery for 400 years and the time was now for the continent to be free, develop and prosper.
The First Lady appealed to the African-American investors to invest in Uganda in sports and sports facilities, a sector with great potential as the country boast the youngest population in the world. The African-American investors expressed interest in investing in the sectors of education, health, music and recreation, housing, banking, manufacturing and tourism, and hospitality.
The meeting was attended by Lands Minister Beti Kamya, State Minister for Investment Evelyne Anite, and State Minister for Culture Peace Mutuzo.