Uganda - Country Information
Uganda’s rich natural resources support a range of industries. Significant deposits of copper, cobalt, gold and other minerals made for a booming mining industry in earlier decades. With a favourable climate and fertile soil, the country is ideal for agriculture which is an important driver of its economy. Uganda also has large, untapped reserves of crude oil and natural gas, which can potentially transform the economy. This will significantly reduce reliance on the agriculture industry.
At the heart of the continent
Uganda enjoys a strategic location at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, making it an important centre for regional trade and investment. Uganda’s regional ties also give it access to many markets. It is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) free trade region, with a market of over 400 million people in 19 countries. Uganda is also a member of the East African Community (EAC) along with Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The country also enjoys duty- and quota-free access into the United States (under the African Growth and Opportunity Act) and European Union (under the Everything But Arms initiative).
The Ugandan government is committed to maintaining and improving business-friendly policies. Several useful investment incentives have been introduced, including capital allowances, duty or tax removal, and subsidies.
As a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Uganda guarantees that investments by foreign investors will be protected against political and commercial risks. Uganda also has mutual investment agreements with other countries, further ensuring a safe investment environment.
The government is also a strong advocate for public-private partnerships to address the country’s infrastructure needs, for which they have pledged to make more than 2,000 hectares of land available.
Venture to Uganda
Uganda’s GDP grew rapidly at an average of over 6% from 2009 to 2015, but slowed to 4.6% in 20161. This followed the drastic fall in global commodity prices including coffee, tea and minerals. Things are picking up, and together with the country’s large population of youths, it suggests an expanding consumer market and a growing labour force. Uganda has one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing population with almost 70% of its residents under 25.
The government has also implemented sustainable business policies. Launched in 2009, the National Development Plan recognises the need to attract private investments and promote competitiveness within a liberal and open economy. The government’s agricultural policy, for instance, aims to make the industry competitive, profitable and sustainable, moving from subsistence farming into commercial agriculture.
1: World Bank, 2009-2016