Interview: Uganda Now Ready for Bigger Global Investors


sildenafil cialis 40mg geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Museveni will officiate at the event slated for 20-21 October in London along with the presidents of Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania.

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Together with a team of ministers and local heads of government parastatals and private asset owners, Museveni will meet some of the world’s top investors whom he will introduce to some of the available bankable projects in the country in which they can inject funding.

Chimpreports‘ Sam Waswa caught up with Mr Paul Sinclair, Director and organizer of the grand Summit and he spoke to us about the implications of the conference to the country and to Africa.

Chimpreports: What’s the thinking behind the Global African Investment summit?

P.S: It’s basically focusing on the global financial sector’s role in driving Africa’s social economy development. We are looking at the role of private sector in creating transactions on bankable projects across Africa and and how these projects will support the continent’s socioeconomic development.

Chimpreports: Is this summit any different from all the others that we have seen before?

P.S: It’s a bit unique in a sense that, most summits about Africa have tended to focus on policy reforms, governance, corruption, transparency; this one is looking at the private sector’s role in Africa’s Socioeconomic transformation.

Chimpreports: What are you here for now?

P.S: We just met the Prime Minister this morning. We are organizing for the final scheduling of the ministers who are traveling to the summit in October, together with the projects that we would like to work with them on.

Chimpreports: I see here that particular African presidents and nations have been invited. Is the conference focusing on certain countries first?

P.S: This is a Pan-African Event. Each time the event runs, it will have spotlight countries whose Heads of State will open the summit to the global investors.

Chimpreports: How would you rate Uganda’s efforts so far in attracting foreign investment?

P.S: The most important thing that Uganda has been working on is political stability which is a key factor for international investment. This is always critical in how investors see the competitiveness of the marketplace in comparison say with the BRICS or fast emerging Asian economies. Uganda is very much a success story in this area.

Secondly, Uganda has also performed greatly in terms of monetary and fiscal policy. Ministry of Finance has put up a policy that is very encouraging to international investors in terms of repatriation of money and tax frameworks.

That’s what the summit is putting emphasis on for the rest on the continent. We want to change the world’s long held perception about Africa.

Chimpreports: What sort of investors are you trying to pull to Africa or Uganda for that matter?

P.S: Structured finance companies, Banks, Pension Funds which can put together financing to do big projects like refineries, roads, bridges. We are also tracking private equity companies looking to boost private sector businesses say in agribusiness and industry.

Chimpreports: Who are you? What’s exactly is your organization’s area of specialization?

P.S: We run over 35 events around the world. We specialize in oil and gas and we also hold offshore construction technology shows in Middle East. We run there a construction event called Big 5.

We basically identify the needs of a particular marketplace and run an event there engaging all stakeholders.

Chimpreports: What would you say are the roles of foreign investors in enhancing domestic consumption?

P.S: Enhancement of local content. I think that the private sector has a role in development of power industries: developing power stations, manufacturing, and creating and strong workforce.

Once you have a powerful workforce, you can do what every African country is trying to do and that is developing a middle income economy.

Chimpreports: Can you name some of the projects in the pipeline particularly for Uganda?

P.S: We had a very interesting meeting today pertaining the Great Lakes Region. We are looking at developing hydro-power for Uganda, refinery, and strong infrastructure to help the country export products not only internationally but also inter-regionally.

Chimpreports: What more complaints keep coming amongst those big world investors, at the mention of investing in Africa?

P.S: Investors still think that emerging markets are very volatile. They don’t want to make mistakes. What they want is to quickly realize high returns.

There is definitely a continuous role to be played by project owners in Africa to see that their projects are bankable.

Chimpreports: A bit of your opinion here. When it comes to long-term foreign investment in say agribusiness, we have realized in Uganda some negative relations between investors and the local people, mainly bred by misunderstandings over land ownership and others. How would you advise government to better relations between foreign investors and the locals?

P.S: Definitely Africa is on a journey. I can’t speak myself for every local person here, but I am encouraged by government’s reforms to see that local people benefit more from global investment. There is a change and I think that local people are beginning to understand the benefits slowly but surely. These are first steps. I think people need to be patient as well.

Chimpreports: The East African region cannot deny now that its greatly threatened by growing acts of terrorism, how a threat is this to International investment you are trying to pull in?

P.S: My experience is not really on that topic. Terrorism is nowadays a global phenomenon; it’s not an East African problem. But the politicians we have spoken to are all eager to create a favorable investment landscape.


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