The inaugural Uganda-South Africa Trade, Tourism and Investment Summit has ended with calls from Presidents of the two countries for increased trade and investment.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa discussed a number of bilateral issues, particularly how to increase trade and investment between the two sisterly countries.
Talking to the media after the talks, President Museveni said “we agreed to champion deliberate efforts to reinvigorate and boost trade between our two countries as well as put in place avenues to facilitate increase in investment”.
President Museveni said Uganda should focus on what she can export to South Africa and explore third-party markets like the United States, the European Union and China.
The two principals also explored various issues including peace and stability in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, now the latest entrant into the lucrative East African Community.
The inaugural Uganda-South Africa Summit was organized with the objective of providing a platform for the private sector, government and business regulatory agencies to freely exchange views, ideas, and information on how to facilitate investment, trade and tourism between the two countries.
The two-day Summit was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Pretoria, Mid-Rand, South Africa from February 27 to 28, 2023.
In terms of investments, the Summit focused on agriculture and value addition, mining and mineral beneficiation, infrastructure development and services, amongst others.
The State Minister for Privatisation and Investment, Evelyn Anite, said generous sector-specific incentives exist for investors and appealed to South Africans to come and invest in Uganda.
Uganda Investment Authority showcased investment opportunities in various sectors as well as bankable projects including in iron ore mining.
Pitching to the South African businesses and potential investors, the Director General of UIA, Robert Mukiza, lured them to come and invest in the mining of iron ore found in commercial quantities in Uganda, including the Muko iron ore deposits in southwestern Uganda estimated at over 150 million tonnes.
Mukiza said Uganda is looking for joint ventures that could invest northwards of 500 million dollars in iron ore mining and processing. He said investment opportunities exists in many sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure development and services.
He said despite Covid pandemic, foreign direct investment inflow into Uganda has upped – from $807 million in 2019, $927 million in 2020 to $1.14 billion in 2021. He attributed the progression to stable and consistent macroeconomic policies, liberalized business environment and Uganda being a regional logistics hub
Mukiza told South Africans that in Uganda has guarantee of security of person and property and allows 100 percent ownership of investment projects and repatriation of profits.
The inaugural Summit was a success, with many business-to-business engagements as well as trade and investment deals.