EGYPT IN BIG INVESTMENT DRIVE IN UGANDA
The Egyptian government has developed an ambitious industrialization strategy targeting Uganda and other African markets, especially in manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
This has been disclosed by the First Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Eng. Ahmed Taha, who has led a high-powered trade and investment delegation to the Africa Now Summit that has just ended in Kampala.
While on a visit to the Uganda Investment Authority, Eng. Taha, who headed an eight-person delegation, said Egypt has developed a strategy that aims at linking and strengthening the Egyptian economy with other African markets, including Uganda.
The strategy, according to Eng. Taha, focuses on enhancing Africa’s industrial base through a special programme dubbed “Africa’s Industrial Integration: From Africa to Africa and Africa to the Word”.
To achieve the goal of an enhanced African industrial base, Eng. Taha revealed that they have got three elements, one of which is skills development through vocational training in areas like irrigation and internship in industrial settings.
The skilled manpower, explained Eng. Taha, would be used as the main pillar in the supply chain for components and parts needed in various industrial processes.
Eng. Taha, said their model involves initially exporting to Uganda semi-knocked down (SK) parts of home appliances like fridges, gas cookers and washing machines, transforming into exportation of completely knocked down (CKD) materials.
The second element of the Egyptian strategy, explained Eng. Taha, involves processing of food and textiles from cotton.
On textiles, for example, he explained that initially the cotton will be produced in Uganda and processed in Eqypt, adding that as capacity improves garments factories will be established in Uganda.
The third strategic element, said Eng. Taha, involves construction and infrastructure development.
Eng. Taha, who revealed that Uganda is the first country he visited to promote the strategy, said his experiences in Uganda have been very encouraging, also pointing to the country’s greenery, beauty and hospitality of the citizens.
UIA’s Director for Investment Promotion and Business Development, Sheila Karungi, described the visit as “timely because there is already a working relationship with Egypt through UIA’s partner agency, the Uganda Free Zones Authority”.
The Egyptian delegation engaged in deeper discussions with the UIA management, including representatives from the different entities that form part of the One Stop Centre.