Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on the 4th Meeting tof the Presidential Investors' Roundtable Meeting, Phase 3 due to take place on 25 November 2011 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Kampala, 23 Nov 2011, Media Centre
Kampala, 23 Nov 2011, Media Centre
On Friday 25 November 2011, His Excellency, The President of Uganda, will preside over the 4th meeting of the Presidential Investors Roundtable (PIRT) Phase 3. This will be the last meeting of the third PIRT phase which was launched in October 2009.
The Presidential Investors’ Round Table is an advisory body of 24 national and international corporate leaders. The Government of Uganda in conjunction with the World Bank and IMF took proactive measures in identifying and addressing the bottlenecks to private sector investment in the country. A top-level Business Advisory Council called the Presidential Investors’ Roundtable (PIRT) was thus launched - on September 30, 2004. The international and local investors who constitute the PIRT, have a mandate to advise the government on how to make Uganda a more competitive investment destination and increase its share of the international, regional, and local investments. PIRT meetings are also attended by The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and Permanent Secretaries whose mandate directly contribute to the investment climate. These meetings take place on a bi-annual basis contributing to the formulation of ideas for accelerating business related reforms.
When the PIRT was launched in 2004, four priority areas were identified for continued reforms; Agribusiness, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Infrastructure and improvements in the Regulatory Environment. The second phase was launched on June 21 2007, with Tourism, Mining/Petroleum, Agribusiness, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Business Climate as the priority sectors.
Since September 2004, members of the PIRT have made recommendations to the Government of Uganda on the type of reforms needed to improve the investment climate of the country. The Ugandan Government has, in turn, been implementing these reforms. The continuation of this forum is, therefore, an indication of the importance that Government of Uganda attaches to dialogue with the Private sector aiming at improving the investment climate.
At the launch of this PIRT Phase III, Five (5) sectors were prioritized namely: Agricultural Production and Value Addition (Cotton, Fish, Food and Leather), Competitiveness and Doing Business, E-Government and Creative Industry, Oil and Gas (Petroleum) and; Transport and Logistics. The phase comprises 25 international and domestic members who have met three times since the launch - October 2009, May 27, 2010 and May 27 2011. The Uganda Investment Authority, Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy Secretariat (CICS) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda work as the Secretariat to this Advisory Council. These PIRT meetings last a whole day and they are chaired by H.E The President of Uganda. Today we are pleased to announce that the next PIRT meeting will take place this week on Friday 25 November 2011 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Government has undertaken deliberate efforts to implement recommendations made by the PIRT Technical Working Group and these are some of the achievements.
The following are some of the achievements in Phase 3
I. The BTVET Act 2008 was passed and is under implementation. The law will transform skills development from the current input oriented training systems to the output or employment oriented approach
II. The Ministry of ICT- requested by the Private Sector, was put in place and 3 Cyber Laws – Computer Misuse Act, Electronic Transactions Act and Electronic Signatures Act were enacted to enhance investment in the ICT Industry. In addition, NITA – Uganda has been set up and is fully operation with a Board, Executive Director and more than 40 staff. They are already having an impact on development of ICT infrastructure in Uganda.
III. The Uganda Broadcasting Council and Uganda Communications Commission were successfully merged to enhance one stop licensing in the Communications Sector.
IV. Other Commercial Laws enacted include, Contracts Act; Partnership Act, Trademarks Act and Capital Markets Authority Act. Many other were identified and are being followed up.
V. Public Private Partnership Policy was developed;
VI. Uganda Registration Services Bureau was granted autonomy from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in July 2010. The Bureau has launched a website and automation of the register of companies and business names is ongoing.
VII. National Investment Policy for Aquaculture Parks in Uganda is being undertaken under the support of the International Development Research centre/Trust Africa;
VIII. Dual Citizenship law is operational
IX. Mineral Promotional Unit was created in the Department of Geological Survey and Mines at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development
X. Air Uganda was allowed to provide its own ground handling services.
XI. Civil Aviation Authority has developed plans to partner with the private sector to develop the Air transport industry and to expand the airport facilities.
XII. A feasibility study for the creation of the Uganda Infrastructure Fund has been done to fast track Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to finance infrastructure development.
XIII. Communication Strategy for the Oil and Gas Industry has been developed.
XIV. Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba commenced operations.
XV. Local Content Study of the Petroleum Industry has been undertaken.
I also wish to announce to the media that the Uganda Investment Authority is operationalising the One Stop shop for all investors (local and foreign). This unit handles immigration, Tax, Company registration and investment licenses swiftly, all in one location at UIA.
The meeting on Friday will once again bring together the together the Private Sector representatives and the GoU into a dialogue to discuss the impact of GoU actions since last May 2011 in respect of the agreed recommendations since then.
We have had detailed preparations for these meetings and yet another successful millstone is anticipated in the GoU/Private Sector Partnership.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY