Africa set to evolve into most attractive consumer market – Rwakakamba

By David Rupiny

Mr. Morrison Rwakakamba on May 25, 2021, delivered a keynote address to Brand Africa 100, in which he predicted that Africa is the Next Big Thing for business. We bring you the speech verbatim.

I congratulate top Brands in Uganda and Africa.

Africa’s middle class is now 170 million people and expanding. As a result, Africa is set to evolve from an increasingly important sourcing hub into one of the most attractive consumer markets and catapult for agile brands to the rest of the world. Africa will require relentless innovation, enabling environment and deepened integration in order to move its brands from good to great.

Africa is endowed with almost immeasurable resources and we continue to discover more. African Young people are getting more skills and nimble. Africa is endowed with beauty and pristine ecosystems. The task for brands in Africa is how to tap into this and deliver ambassadorship of this great continent. This will build a strategic fit and resilience of Africa brands.

At Uganda Investment Authority, with guidance from President Museveni and roll out from national development plans, we have identified strategic sectors that brands can tap into and leverage.

i) Trade Subsector

ii) Agriculture & Agro Processing

iii) Tourism

iv) Power & Energy

v) Oil and Gas

vi) Mines and Minerals

vii) Information Communication Technologies

Governments have a key role to create an environment that nature and spring brands into the World. Samsung, the number 3 most admired brand in the world was initially natured by the South Korean government. African governments will need to work with the private sector and universities to create our own version of Samsung in our key strategic sectors as outlined above.

 African brands will do great in Uganda. This is why;

• Uganda is stable and secure. An umbrella that offers security of person and property with lowest crime rates on the continent. Investors are allowed to own 100% of their businesses.

  • Uganda retains an effective state/government evidenced by way the Country handled #Covid-19 with very low fatalities and cases compared with the rest of the world. This delivers strong confidence to established and prospective investors.
  • Uganda is strategically located in Eastern Africa accessing a growing regional market of over 160 million people;
  • Uganda Airlines and direct flights. This is important for advancement of brands on the continent.
  • Uganda is an energised and a vibrant economy growing at an average rate of over 6% annually over the years. Uganda is on a strong recovery emerging from shocks of Covid -19.
  • Investors in Uganda benefit from liberal economic and foreign exchange policies; Despite Covid-19 pandemic, Uganda’s value of domestic investments increased by 20% between 2019 and 2020, implying covid-19 did not diminish the level of domestic investments especially in agro processing, manufacturing and medical supplies and equipment.
  • Uganda has the highest adult literacy in East Africa and the literacy for young people entering the workforce (people aged to 24) was almost 90% in 2015 and has been increasing. This is further reflected in the World Economic Forum Human Capital index ranking Uganda 3rd globally in the workforce deployment.
  •  Investors enjoy a range of investment incentives including; 75% import duty reduction on factory equipment, depreciating start-up costs over four years, and a 100% tax deduction on research and training costs as well as mineral exploration costs.
  • Additionally, 100% of training costs are also deductible on a one-time basis. Investors engaged in export-oriented production can also enjoy a 10-year tax holiday. Harness abundant opportunities for partnerships with domestic investors;
  • Investors are welcome to exploit abundant oil and gas discoveries, a rich untapped minerals potential and agricultural raw materials coupled with an amenable climate.
  • Selection of countrywide infrastructure of Industrial Parks and Business Innovation/ Incubation Centres;
  • Investors are facilitated by a dynamic One-Stop Centre for registration, licensing and other business support.
  • Uganda has employable, well-educated and skilled young people;

I congratulate the best brands and encourage emerging and youth driven businesses to learn from greatest brands and advance.

Thank you very much.

Date: May 25th, 2021