Uganda Investment Authority welcomes Robert Mukiza as new Director General

By Faith Ekudu

Mr Robert Mukiza officially took office today as the Uganda Investment Authority’s Director General. Mukiza’s role involves promoting, attracting and facilitating investment in Uganda, advising the government on investment policy and advocating for a competitive business environment in Uganda.

“We welcome Robert to the UIA. I am confident that he, under the guidance of the Board steered by the Chairman, Mr Morrison Rwakakamba will fulfil the Institutions core function- attracting investment in and to the country. Robert, we expect that you will follow through on the assignments already handed down from His Excellency, which include establishing 25 industrial parks across the country, the creation of more jobs- with a target of 2 million jobs- and coding land in the industrial parks across the country. We are confident that you will deliver, especially given that you are taking over from a team that has been ably led by Lawrence Byensi who helped stabilize this institution and is corruption free,” said Hon. Evelyn Anite, Minister of State of Finance for Privatization and Investment speaking at the handover ceremony at the Authority today.

In his remarks, the Board Chairman, Mr Rwakakamba thanked the out-going Director General for his patriotic and dedicated service to the Institution and to public service over the past 28 years. He attributed the stability of the Institution, particularly over the past two years, to Mr. Byensi leadership and expressed confidence that, given its stability, Robert would more effectively achieve the Authority’s mandate.

“One of our core functions is to deliver important and rewarding jobs and investments for this country. The time to do so is now and UIA will deliver on this and report to the country the results of our efforts. Our goal is to report on jobs created every quarter,” Mr Rwakakamba added,” We have already started working towards securing land for industrial parks across the country, started on the coding of land we already have and are committed to the further operationalization of the One Stop Centre so that we can fully provide the services that our investors require and expect. It is also important that local investors get equal attention to the incentives that we have. Plans are in place to educate and publicize these incentives as well as the opportunities for investment in this country.”

In terms of the achievements of the Authority over the past two years in which Mr Byensi served as the Acting Director General, Mr Byensi noted improved confidence in staff to perform their duties, increased funding to support the Authority’s activities and the enactment of the Investment Code 2019. The Code, among others, clearly extends the mandate of the UIA to ran the Institution as a One Stop Centre, establish and manage industrial parks in this country and nurture the Small and Medium Enterprises in this country.

“Under my leadership, the UIA will, under my leadership, will play a critical role in awakening Ugandans into the modern money economy, in order to “secure their future” through, pursuing a number of priorities which are in line with the National Development Plan III and the current UIA strategic plan. Accelerating the Government’s industrialization agenda by aggressively operationalizing our industrial parks and promoting import substitution, doubling our efforts in attracting investors into Uganda and play a pivotal role in the roll-out of the parish model in order to help the 68.9% of Ugandan households currently stuck in subsistence agriculture to transition into value addition. We will also prioritize the needs of our domestic investors and Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, focus on creating jobs and wealth for our youth and improve the agility and customer responsiveness of the UIA- to the needs of investors, “said Mr Mukiza, while accepting the terms of his office.

Prior to joining the UIA, Mr. Mukiza was Deputy Director for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Representative to Ethiopia, the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Robert served as a Director of Hong Kong-based Acadia Energy; Head of the United Nations Country Team Coordination Unit in Botswana; Lead Economist for the United Nations in the Maldives; and a researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Switzerland. 

He has vast experience in international investment and the private sector and holds a Master of Science degree in International Finance and Economic Development from the University of Kent; a Batchelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics from Makerere University; and has studied Strategic Leadership at the Said Business School of Oxford University.