Uganda’s State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite has tasked the New Board of Directors of Uganda Investment Authority to attract high-quality Foreign Direct Investments saying such investments will attract decent jobs and add value.
The Minister said for many years, Uganda has attracted some quack investors who, instead of carrying out investments on land freely given to them in the different industrial parks, are mortgaging it in different banks.
“Uganda cannot be transformed to middle-income status with quack investors and speculators. We have been attracting investors of poor quality, some of which were mortgaging our land in different parks. Please ensure that you attract quality investors after doing thorough due diligence on them,” said Anite.
She said Uganda has 32 different types of minerals that need serious investors to add value too. Anite also noted that 12 ‘companies/investor’ were found to have mortgaged the land in Uganda’s industrial parks.
The Board, which will last the next three years, is headed by Emile Kugonza. Other members are Morrison Rwakakamba, Gertrude Lutaya, Godfrey Byamukama, Dr Joshua Mutambi, Naima Obombasa and Fred Opolot.
Anite said the new Uganda Investment Authority Act trimmed the Board of directors from 13 to 7 in order to have quality and improve efficiency.
“Our target is to create one million jobs annually. This means that your task is to license 100 new investors per week. Make sure that the One Stop Centre is functioning,” stressed Anite.
She urged the new board to be efficient by taking not more than 1 hour after all the necessary paperwork and due diligence are done to register a company.
Lawrence Byensi the Acting Uganda Investment Authority Executive Director and the Secretary to the Board said Uganda last year licensed 350 companies/investors both domestic and foreign, of which $500 million was got as Foreign Direct Investment.
Anite emphasized that the new Board must fight corruption within the Uganda Investment Authority.
BY PAUL TENTENA