Uganda Investment Authority assures investors of uninterrupted online services

By David Rupiny

The Uganda Investment Authority is assuring both foreign and domestic investors that its online (electronic) one-stop centre is fully operational, providing full access to dozens of investment-related services offered by 14 investment support agencies.

This is in addition to services offered at the physical one-stop centre located at Plot 22, TWED Plaza on Lumumba Avenue in the capital, Kampala. Sanitizing equipment is in place to ensure hygiene and no spread of germs.

Although Uganda has not yet reported any confirmed case of COVID-19, our immediate neighbours Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo have had cases reported. It is our hope that the private sector in Uganda and the business communities in our region develop resilience during this period.

At Uganda Investment Authority, our outlook is that the disease will negatively affect investments in the short term, but dependent on how long the pandemic takes to clear, not only in Uganda but also globally.

We are closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its impact on investment conditions in Uganda and globally. Specifically for Uganda, headwinds are already being felt in investment priority areas like tourism, transport and logistics and agriculture (particularly horticulture), amongst others.

As the secretariat of the Presidential Investors’ Roundtable (PIRT), we are participating in formulation of strategic interventionist proposals aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the pandemic on the business community and the economy. Some of the priority areas are tourism, oil and gas, agriculture, and transport and logistics.

The proposed interventions have been submitted to the Presidency, the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and other relevant ministries, departments and agencies.

In President’s address to the nation on COVID-19, H. E. President Yoweri Museveni outlined a raft of measures the government has taken to stave off the disease. These include, amongst others, suspending meetings with high population concentration like schools, religious, cultural and political gatherings, weddings and entertainment spots.

The government has also imposed travel restrictions on visitors from 17 countries with what it terms high cases of coronavirus. They are China, Italy, France, South Korea, Germany, United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Malaysia, Pakistan and San Marino.

Most of these countries are source countries for foreign direct investment in Uganda and as such almost all the business delegations that had planned investment exploratory visits to Uganda have postponed their travels until the pandemic peters out.

It is worth noting that in the period from December 2019, when the first COVID-19 cases were reported, to March 17, 2019 (the period that has seen exponential increase in cases of the virus), Uganda Investment Authority has been able to license 89 investment projects with planned investment value of 247 million dollars and planned employment of 7,873.

Given the potential impacts of COVID-19 on investments in Uganda, including travels, we note that many clients, particularly foreign ones, will have challenges in accessing services at our physical one-stop centre. We encourage you to access the same services online at www.ebiz.go.ug.  

For the period December, 2019 to March, 2020 (coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic), unique transactions on the one-stop centre electronic portal hit the 22,000 mark. Our target for 2019/2020 financial year is 30,000 transactions but in the first half of the year (June to December) we had already had over 40,000 transactions.

At Uganda Investment Authority, it has been our strategy to offer most investment services online in order to limit human-to-human interaction, reduce red tape, reduce processing times, and achieve maximum efficiency.

For emphasis, Uganda Investment Authority is a one-stop centre for investors, offering both physical and virtual accesses to a bundle of key investment-related products and services under one roof.

Investment-related services that are accessible online at www.ebiz.go.ug are the following:

  1. Business and investment advisory and investment license issuance (offered by Uganda Investment Authority)
  2. Reservation of business or company name; new company registration and issuance of certificate; processing of company forms; business name registration and issuance of certificate; registration of documents; registration of change of particulars; application for of records with search report; and advisory services on business registration, intellectual property, civil registration and insolvency matters (offered by Uganda Registration Services Bureau)
  3. Work permit issuance, special pass issuance, certificate of residence issuance, student’s pass issuance, Uganda visa issuance, and organizational code issuance (offered by Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control)
  4. Tax identification number (TIN) issuance and tax information (offered by Uganda Revenue Authority)
  5. City operator identification number (COIN) issuance and trading license (offered by Kampala Capital City Authority)
  6. Environment impact assessment certificate (with industrial parks and industrial areas) (offered by National Environment Management Authority)
  7. Cash deposits (excluding bulk cash) at the teller counter, issuance of duplicate statement of accounts (current year), drafts, issuance of personalized cheque book, issuance of personalized debit card, and stop payment (time spent in queue) (offered by Diamond Trust Bank)
  8. Tourism and conservation investment information (offered by The Giants Club)
  9. Product certification (within Uganda), Product certification (outside Uganda) (offered by Uganda National Bureau of Standards)
  10. Land verification (offered by Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development)
  11. Power supply services (offered by Umeme)
  12. Industrial water connection (offered by National Water and Sewerage Corporation)
  13. Free Zones license issuance (offered by Uganda Free Zones Authority)

Other investment-related information can be got on our website www.ugandainvest.go.ug, as well as our social media platforms Facebook: Invest in Uganda and Twitter: @ugandainvest 

For more information or feedback you can reach us by phone: +256(0)414 301100, or by email at info@ugandainvest.go.ug  

The Board, Management and Staff of Uganda Investment Authority reiterate their commitment to fulfilling its mandate of attracting quality and sustainable investments, both local and foreign, in order to boost economic growth and development by offering effective, efficient and relevant services.

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