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Mr. Kyewalabye-Male David on Opportunities in Buganda Kingdom at the 2013 Convention

Investment Opportunities within Buganda region: Specific discussion on equity investment shared model,  opportunities in real estate, un-tapped potential in mineral rock deposits, agricultural land leasing, leasing prime land in Kampala and land acquisition & title issues.

I take this opportunity to present to you the investment opportunities in Buganda Kingdom. Buganda Kingdom  is within Uganda. It is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda, comprising all of Uganda’s Central Region, with an estimated population of 10 million people as a single tribe. Buganda Land Board manages 350sqm of Kabaka’s (King of Buganda) land and buildings spread all over the Kingdom through promoting regularization of tenancy.

The land board’s mandate has now been extended to include the recently returned square miles of land that government recently returned to the kingdom.

The  kingdom categorizes investments  into two;

Priority Opportunities

Real Estate Development
A few prime plots of land ranging from ½ – 4acres exist within a Road distance of approximately 3-7 Kilometers to the Central Business District. These are located within squatter settlements and are not totally vacant. However existing tenants can either be compensated/relocated or incorporated in the development under the PPP Model. Land for a mass housing project in Buswa-Wakiso District: this project would fill a gap in the housing sector.  According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Uganda has a housing deficit of 550,000 units. About 160,000 units of this backlog are in urban areas. Kampala alone has a housing deficit of 100,000 units.

Prime plots: a few prime plots of land ranging from ½ – 4 acres are available around Katwe and Mengo. These plots are not totally vacant but the tenants can either be compensated or incorporated in the development.

There is vast land available for agricultural purposes in Kyaggwe. This land however is not totally vacant. There are a few tenants with scattered temporally and semi permanent developments who can be compensated or incorporated in the development. Land for agriculture: Located  at Nanga- Kiwafu in Kimenyedde/Nagojje Sub Counties, 21Kilometre off Jinja High from  Namataba.
Approximately 30sqm

Stone Quarrying
Huge deposits of quality granite stone outcrops which can be used
for making hard core granite tiles, fabrication of kitchen/table counter tops, tombstones, bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi and fireplace surrounds, stone aggregate for road construction and reinforcing buildings.

Tourism potential
The Kingdom is endowed with a rich cultural heritage located in various areas in the Central Business District.

Modernising the Kabaka Lake, the lake is located in Uganda’s capital Kampala, a few kilometers from the city center, it was established by King Mwanga II (1884-1888). To date it is one of the only two excavated lakes in East Africa and one of the biggest of this kind in Africa.

Once again I thank Mr. Mutenza for inviting us and assuring us that there will be no partisan politics discussed in the forum, we are happy and we hope it continues that way.


For more information or the full presentation:
Nakayenga Daniella
Innovative Products Manager
Buganda Land Board

Chief Executive Officer
Buganda Investments and Commercial Undertakings Limited
Mob: +256 759 708 095

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Flashback: 2013 Feedback | Opinions and Questions

Opinion 1: Promoting Ugandan Constitution
The Ugandan Embassy should start promoting or giving access to the Uganda Constitution as a way of keeping Ugandans in the Diaspora aware of their constitutional rights. The same should apply to promoting National Development programmes like the Uganda Vision 2040.

Opinion 2: Annual Diaspora day
The government should setup a Diaspora day, an annual event that would involve Diasporans from all over the world and includes those already settled back in the country. The day will celebrate achievements, share experiences, showcase good cultural values from the west, promoting volunteer and philanthropy spirit. Most Diaspora events in Uganda are centred on individual interests and do not represent the interests of people in the Diaspora. To network and engage in various ways towards achieving the Vision 2040 and Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).

Opinion 3: Social media
Government institutions should have a presence on social media platforms like facebook, twitter and Google plus, this will ease the flow of information between Diaspora networks. Innovative technologies and social media have played a key role in bridging distances and changing diaspora relations with their home countries.

While low budget travel enables people today to move faster, more frequently and in many directions, the Internet and social media – with their real-time connectivity – have spawned a large and growing number of online or electronic Diaspora networks that have changed the nature of migration and mobility. Enterprising Diasporas can contribute their knowledge, experience and skills to the development of the country or community of origin without actually returning home. Temporary contract workers can stay abroad longer yet remain in close contact with their families.

Opinion 4: Diaspora industrial park and facilitating Diaspora investment
In order to encourage more Diasporans to repatriate skills especially in the manufacturing sector, an initiative to establish a dedicated industry park for small scale manufacturing projects by Diasporas is key. Uganda should setup a task force to assess the country’s skills needs, and is considering how skilled returnees could further fill some of the identified skills gaps in the manufacturing sector.

Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to have a policy to protect the rights of its nationals when they return, to enable them to participate in national affairs.

Opinion 5: Diaspora desk at Embassies
Uganda should set-up a desk at its foreign missions to focus on issues that affects Ugandans in the Diaspora, guide them on issues like doing business in Uganda, their constitution rights etc.Uganda can engage, enable and empower Diasporas for development purposes through appropriate communication, outreach and partnership policies and actions at home and abroad. Connecting with Diasporas, and leveraging their various resources for development, involves a multitude of government departments and other partners, and the interest and commitment of government at the highest levels to move such a cross-cutting agenda forward. A governmental ministry or entity dedicated to Diaspora issues can facilitate the necessary inter-ministerial coordination and ensure that these communities abroad are included in any national development plan.

Question 1: Douglas Oppong
Has the government thought of raising finance for projects mentioned under PPPs arrangements from Ugandans locally and in the Diaspora or from African investors within Africa? There is vast amount of finance within all these people which can be raised rather than waiting for the Chinese to land.

Hon. Muloni answered that it is about who gives favourable, lowest interest on the finance who gets the attention and the deal. China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China are lending billions of Yuan at interest rates several percentage points below the cheapest commercial loans available at international markets, some Chinese loans had a 2 per cent interest rate and a 22-year repayment period. It is our time in Africa to utilise this opportunity for cheap money.

Question 2: Robert Lutalo
What is the government policy for employment? Regulations stipulate that 80% of employers should be Ugandan but you find that most foreign companies especially the Chinese bring in all their employees.

Hon.  Muloni responded that in some new sectors like oil and gas a lot of effort is going into developing capacity and being new in the industry, it implies that other countries need to provide the expertise but also effort to develop capacity are being made in terms of professional competence and so far over 60 Ugandans have been trained in petroleum at  Masters level and other technicians sent to Trinidad and Tobago while courses in the sector are started at our local universities.

Before a work permit is issued to a foreign expert, initial checks are done to ensure no local competence is available. Let the local force participate in building capacity, know-how, knowledge and skills in this sector.
Question 3: Zorica Mowat (Gulu Independent Hospital)
As investors in Uganda we try to maintain international standards as enjoyed in the west. Thus, we employ and source specialists from all over the world to train local staff and also carry out some specialised duties.

As investors we encounter a lot of challenges especially the VISA and work permit system. The fees on work permits levied on foreign experts are too high and unjustifiable. The system should be made easier and also the fee should be more affordable.

Question 4: Ida Horner
In her 2013 – 2014 budget speech, Ugandan Finance Minister and Economic Planning, Maria Kiwanuka observed that one way of mitigating levels of unemployment and skills shortage amongst the youth in the country would be to tap into skills that exist amongst the Diaspora. She further noted that the Diaspora could potentially impart technical skills, transfer knowledge as well as lessons learned in job creation. Whilst the Minister of Finance recognises the need of tapping into the Diaspora skills set, Uganda’s policy in this area remains rigid and unfavourable for Diaspora that surrendered their Ugandan passports and not yet in possession of the dual nationality visa. Such people are still treated as foreign nationals, which means that companies looking to hire these people have to justify hiring such a people over Ugandan Nationals. This creates a policy conflict.

What is the government doing to mitigate this conflict in policy?

Question 4: Brain Drain-Gain/Incentives
What is the government doing to attract back thousands of skilled professionals and highly educated Ugandans who were lured by the Western dream? A programme needs to beput in place to facilitate and give incentives to firms in Uganda that are employing those professionals from the Diaspora.

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Flash back 2013: Mr. Patrick Bitature, CEO Simba Group keynote speaker at the UK Convention – 14th Sept

Patrick Bitature; Ugandan Businessman, Entrepreneur and Industrialist

Businessman and entrepreneur Patrick Bitature is a force to reckon with in Uganda. Listed among Uganda’s wealthiest, he, like many others before him had a humble beginning but has gone on to grow an empire that is the envy of many.

Unlike many of his financial status, he is known to be modest and down to earth. “I feel honored because I did not expect it”, said Patrick who was speaking at a function after being chosen among the five business leaders of the future in the Most Respected CEO survey conducted by PriceWaterHouse Coopers.
Bitature has since received numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to Uganda’s business and charity community.

Bitature is one of the individuals who were involved in the organisation of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda a while back that saw Uganda thrust in the spotlight; his hotel Protea in Kololo was one of the hotels that hosted some of the delegates.

All the wealth has not changed him a bit according to those close to him and in fact if one gets a the chance to meet him, one will quickly know that it is actually true. Patrick is ambitious and still looks out for the next best business venture all the while ready to learn and add to his vast wealth of knowledge; one of the things he deems very important if anyone is to survive in the business world.


Bitature says for him, success in business revolves around honesty, knowledge, hard work, loyalty, common sense, and sticking to the business code.

The birth of an Empire

Patrick Bitature started his business empire with a single company, Simba Telecom, then a retail chain dealership, in MTN airtime. When MTN came to town, people used to mock Bitature for being just a simple man who sold airtime; little did they know that they would soon eat their words; after all respectable most tycoons have been known to start small and end up big, having earned every penny and respect. Like fate would have it, from his first shop at Grand Imperial Hotel, Patrick Bitature built a chain of outlets and has since managed to amass himself a fortune. And like they say, the rest is history. He built an empire from scratch and is a now a proud owner of a number of businesses and properties all over Africa.


The Empire

Bitature owns Simba Telecom chain and is the very first Nokia Authorized dealer in Uganda. He also owns airtime dealerships in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. Protea, his plush hotel in Kololo, which is run by the South African-based Protea Group, was open in time for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and has since added another one to their group, Protea Hotel in Entebbe. Patrick also owns Simba Tours and Travels, Simba Distributors Limited, Simba Properties Limited and Simba Forex Bureau.

Not one to stick to one business field, he has gone on to expand into broadcasting, with the acquisition of Dembe FM radio station, followed by Simba Electronics, an upscale electronics chain of stores and ZUKU TV that is giving former market kings DSTV  a run for their money.


In addition to his private business interests, Patrick Bitature serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of UMEME, Directors of National Insurance Corpotaion, New Vision Group, Uganda Investment Authority.  He is an associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), in the United Kingdom.

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Hon. Edward K. Ssekandi, Vice President keynote speech at the 3rd UK Convention

The Vice President HE Edward K Ssekandi during his keynote speech stated that the UK Convention is an opportunity for all delegates to map out the social economic destiny of our country Uganda. He recognised and appreciated the very important role that Ugandans in the Diaspora play. The Vice President expressed his gratitude, on behalf of the government  and people of Uganda, for having been able to participate in this forum and gladly noted that a cross-section of experts, business leaders, professionals, representatives from prominent bodies based in Uganda, UK and everywhere had graced this forum. “I am convinced that the third Ugandan forum shall enable us to develop new business ideas, form business partnerships, create networks and suggest best solutions for Uganda’s development” he said..  He reiterated that the road to development and growth is partly vested in investment by local Ugandans and foreign investors.


He then proceeded to outline Government plans to establish a fully pledged department to handle Diaspora matters in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that a legal frame work shall be put in place to support the national Diaspora and that its policy key objectives will be:

“This is an effort by the government to be accountable to her people both at home and the Diaspora” he reiterated.  He informed delegates that the government has always endeavoured to ensure a safe, stable and conducive environment for business by instituting appropriate policies and putting in place physical infrastructure to ease the conduct of doing business in Uganda.

“In this regards therefore” HE Sekandi said, “ the government is working on the necessary legal framework to provide public private partnerships based on the desire to have public goods with private participation and meet efficiency in service delivery.  This will also save public funds for other priorities, hence a public private partnership bill 2012 is currently before Uganda parliament for appropriation.

The Vice President stated that over the years the government  has advanced much which Ugandans ought to be proud of. He shared  some statistics to illustrate the economic recovery as follows; tax collection has risen from 5 billion shillings in 1986 to 9475 billion in this financial year 2013-2014, which has empowered  the government to create an energy fund which has helped  fund a number of energy regeneration and transmission projects including a total of 17905 of electricity distribution lines  now being  put up while load shedding has become history. In the transport sub-sector, the Vice President said the government of Uganda has been able to fund reconstruction, rehabilitation and periodical maintenance of roads using internally generated funds.

He reported that the 2.3 Trillion Uganda shillings for roads in this year’s budget will enable government to upgrade a number of roads to tarmac, and with the discovery of oil, Uganda’s strategic importance has gone up and that the oil sector and related businesses shall enormously fast track the transformation drive of the country. He then called on those interested in the oil and gas  sector to work towards its success.

He also highlighted the main factors that make Uganda a prime investment destination:
Predictable business environment
A fully liberalized economy

He revealed that an investor can freely bring in and repatriate their money, market accessibility, security for investment, tax exemption, duty free import for plant machinery and many other incentives which all make Uganda today ripe for investment in the following sectors:
Agro- business, Fishery, Forestry, Manufacturing, Mining, Financal services, Tourism, IT and Infrastructure

Mr Ssekandi reminded delegates that significant effort is needed to develop physical and non- physical infrastructure as a way of ensuring faster development in the country and that given the cross-section of business minded people in the forum he was hopeful that a lot would be achieved through the UK Uganda Investment Forum 2013.

In conclusion, the Vice President  categorically stated that the government of Uganda and its people are proud of Ugandans in the Diaspora  because they have not forgotten their country by demonstrating their love and commitment to develop Uganda by the kind of investments they are making in Uganda.

He assured delegates that government will protect their interests and ensure that Ugandans in the Diaspora have a say in policy formulation of Uganda.

He reiterated that Diasporans have a right to have the kind government they want  He ended his speech by thanking the organisers for such a successful event and the sponsors for the good heart.

For God and My Country

Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi,
Vice President, Republic of Uganda

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Panel Discussion: Energy & Natural Resources, Real Estate…at the 3rd UK Convention

An overview on opportunities in Energy, Real Estate sector, Housing and Construction and infrustructure. Specific discussion on Land acquisition | Development costs | Finance Availability | Urban vs Rural Project Economics | Priority PPP Infrastructure Projects

The session was moderated by Ambassador Wanume Kibedi Zaake, Denmark and the Nordic Countries and panelists included: Hon. Eng. Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Sam Engola, Minister of State for Housing, Sebaggala M. Kigozi, Executive Director, UMA, Mrs Janet Mukiibi, KK Advocates and Roland Sebuwufu, CEO Buganda Investment.

Hon Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development started by thanking Patrick Bitature for the highlights in his presentation on mineral and energy opportunities in Uganda. We can’t talk about investment without finding a solution to the challenges of infrastructure,  energy. These are fundamentals and we need energy which is an engine for development. Energy to give you the power to drive the economy and Uganda is endowed by natural resources in plenty and it is your opportunity to harness those natural resources. Transforming them into goods and services so that we transform Uganda from where we are to a first country a few to come.
Hon. Muloni thanked the great leadership especially of HE Museveni for his visionary leadership, his focus which even highlighted especially focusing on what matters that is going to transform Uganda into a first world country. Right now we have confirmed 3.5 billion barrels of  crude oil. It is intended to refine and add a value to it to meet our country need in terms of petroleum products and serve the needs of East African market and then look beyond the outside world.

The government has now put new laws for the upstream and mid-stream and  is now trying to create a petroleum authority that is going to regulate the sector and also a national oil company that is going to take care of the commercial aspects of business on behalf of the country. Already three international companies are licensed; CNOOC (China) , Tullow (UK)  and Total (France) and all these are on the ground  working out development plans to start production. Within the next two years we could start producing oil and refining and going to be in a phased manner and expecting to produce about 30,000 barrels to 60,000 and later as exploration and production  might be stepped up to 120,000 barrels.

And the entire value chain of petroleum exploration brings a lot of opportunities right  from exploration where areas will be demarcated into blocks to welcome potential investors to bid for them competitively to join the exploration process. Logistics, facilities and services presents huge opportunities. Local content is encouraged as Ugandans into the sector. Despite the fact that all these involve huge investment capital but if you will be able to participate through joint ventures you will be able to participate in any of the opportunities in the value chain. Energy since the commissioning of Bujagali, load shedding is an issue of the past since we have enough energy to sustain Uganda but because of this development, the economy is growing very fast and many businesses are coming up and all require electricity, so the demand is growing so fast.

And plans are needed to increase the energy generation capacity, this presents opportunities in alternative renewable energy which ranges from hydro, solar, geo-thermal, wind and biomass  all these are potential with government guarantee to buy all generated power to the national grid as there is a feeding tariff that has been structured by the regulator, this gives an idea of what is the cost of electricity that you are going to sell to the national grid.
Various sites for hydro power generation are available for investors and the regulator has a compiled list of these sites with feasibility studies already done.

Minerals is another area and so far Uganda has discovered about 13 metal minerals and 17 industrial minerals across the country. Geo data is available and has been  carried out to about 80% of the country and readily available and the 20% which is in Karamoja are in the process of being surveyed. Investors are encouraged to invest in processes that add a value to minerals before they are exported out of the country.
Uganda new laws recognises local investors, emphasising that 48% of shares in any company that is investing into the petroleum must be Ugandan and opportunities within the value chain priority will be given to Ugandans companies with capacity. And this is an effort to ensure that all Ugandans are part and partial of the development process in harnessing these resources and take full advantage of the opportunities that exist back home.

Diasporans are encouraged to take advantage in order to transform Uganda into a middle income earning group.
Hon. Muloni invited investors to try Uganda as they are numerous opportunities. She assured that the legal, institutional and regulatory frameworks are all in place. Uganda is stable and your investment is guaranteed and the return on investment is very high comparing to other countries.

Hon Sam Engola, Minister of State for Housing highlighted the shortfall of 1.2 million houses. he invited investors to come to Uganda and  introduce new and affordable housing technology. Technology is now key to fill the gap of deficit. In 1962 Uganda had a population of 5 million and now we are over 33 million people and we are not gaining any more land and there is a need to start developing vertically as Patrick Bitature advised in order to utilise the vertical free space.

Uganda has new districts which all needs houses for its staff, the army, police, prison, health and civil servants all needs new houses. The government has new private partnership arrangements which investors can take advantage where the government can come in as partners and provide land and together you can invest.

The price for property in Uganda is liberalised and the returns are very attractive though the government is putting up measures to mitigate price hyping.

New opportunities at Karuma for new 50,000 houses to house people in the new proposed city and the hydro-power plant will attract a lot of service providers in the area.

Sebaggala M. Kigozi, Executive Director, UMA stressed the importance of industries in our lives because whatever we use is from the industry sector. Uganda industry sector is still virgin. Statistics shows that 75% of what we use domestically is imported. This shows the vast opportunities for the manufacturing sector. Further he said that existing factories in other industries besides water, sugar are producing under capacity to about 30% and the 70% and over are opportunities. Opportunities to partner with existing established companies can be the best market entry into Uganda as it poses little risk to your investment Kigozi added. Finally advised Ugandans Diasporans to start small and grow bigger once gains market confidence.

Janet Mukiibi, KK Advocates is one of the Diasporans that recently returned to Uganda and was one of the first team that organised the first convention whose main objective was to harness the potential of Ugandans in the Diaspora. It was on this basis that Janet decided to go back home and now practices at KK Advocates. Janet is a corporate lawyers handling large transaction investment and advise on most of the biggest investors into Uganda. Merge and acquisition, finance and banking and general litigation are some of the services that she advises on. Janet advised investors to do their due-diligence and seek legal advice before making final investment decision.

Janet advised Diasporans that the way to go is to return to Uganda. There is so much you can do in Uganda and as a country is wide open with full of opportunities. With the exposure, knowledge, skills of people in the Diaspora you can achieve much.

Sebuwufu Roland, CEO of Buganda Investments and Commercial Undertakings Limited (BICUL), a Holding company of Buganda Kingdom. Land is the key element in investment and as Buganda Kingdom the greatest asset we have is the land. Closely  Buganda work with the central government’s agencies like Uganda Investment Authority, the Ministry of land to cater for the needs of investors to avail land for various development projects. The Kingdom of Buganda has strategic plans to attract investment in the residential and commercial real estate. Uganda has a huge deficit in housing units. Also the kingdom is seeking investors in commercialised agriculture, natural resources value addition and mining.

The Kingdom embraces partnership arrangements like the private public partnerships and equity sharing models and all welcome to partner with the Kingdom.

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Buganda Kingdom woos UK investors

A delegation from Buganda Kingdom showcased the vast potential investment opportunities that exist within the Kingdom at the just concluded UK 3rd Ugandan Trade and Investment Expo held at Troxy Arena, in London’s commercial district.

In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kingdom’s holding company, Buganda Investments and Commercial Undertakings Limited (BICUL), Mr. Roland Sebuwufu, highlighted the vast investment opportunities in commercialized agriculture, rock mining, residential and commercial real estate and expressed the Kingdom’s readiness to partner with investors under the Public private partnership mode of cooperation.

Buganda Land Board, the Kingdom’s Land management agency exhibited at the convention where Ugandans in the diaspora were updated on the procedures of regularizing their tenancy on Kabaka’s land.

The trade and Investment expo, was opened by the Vice president of Uganda Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi who led the Government delegation that comprised of the minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Eng.Irene Muloni, the minister of fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa, State minister for housing Sam Engola, among others.


Kyewalabye David, CEO/Buganda Land Board remarks 2013

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Remarks by Amb.Isaac Sebulime at the 3rd UK Convention

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the third Ugandan Investment forum (UK Convention). It is usually said that whenever you meet more than three Ugandans they are discussing politics. I am glad to say that the history and basis of this convention is different, we are all here to discuss economic growth of Ugandan. Our country is, it is our duty as Ugandans to ensure that we develop it because every generation owes the next generation the debt of making life easier for them.

Unfortunately Africa in the past lost out on that score. We have got fifty years of wasted time. When Uganda got independence its GDP was 1.5billion dollars, Singapore GDP by that time was 1.7 billion dollars and Kenya was 1.6 billion dollars. Today Singapore is 320billion GDP, with the highest concentration of billionaires per square mile in the world and Uganda is now hardly 20 billion dollar GDP. Where have we been, these are issues that leads to find solutions for contributing to the developing of our country. People would say that Ugandan is under-developed because Amin intervened in the developing process but I say no because there was no Amin in Kenya, Tanzania or some of those underdeveloped African countries.

Fundamentally there must be something done wrong, either at policy level and this is where the new leadership in Uganda has got it right. Uganda has a national development plan which lays out what and where Uganda wants to go. The Vision 2040 expect Uganda to be a middle income country in four years and at the rate in which the economy is developing we are certainly looking at achieving GDP per capital of 900 dollars from the present 560 dollars. Vision 2014 raise it out well. Uganda noticed that we are under developed because we didn’t put the development drivers in place. And these includes infrastructure, roads, energy, the government has development plans for all these sectors, thus creating vast opportunities for investors to partner with the government of Uganda to take on some projects under private public partnership arrangements.

Ugandans need to look at the Madhvani story who left Gujarat India with nothing but now he has built a house-hold Ugandan brand  and it is possible that this dream achieved by the Madhvani can be realised by anyone with little savings or just an idea.

Ugandans in the Diaspora are encouraged to start small partnerships among themselves and create cooperatives which can undertake some small projects like dams construction which do not need more than one million dollars and 100 people can contribute £10,000 and raise that money easily. Projects like this are guarantee as the main buyer is the government.

The onus is on us to give the next generation a better life than ours and I thank Willy Mutenza for the third time bringing us together to share, discuss and encourage each other to invest back home.

Ambassador Isaac Sebulime
Uganda High Commission
58 – 59 Trafalgar Square
Tel: 44 207 839 5783
Fax: 44 207 839 8925

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Mr. Richard Kamajugo, Commissioner for customs remarks at the 2013 UK Convention

Mr. Kamajugo, Commissioner Customs and Bonds, Uganda Revenue Authority, informed delegates that URA was formed in 1992 to collect government reserve and to ensure sustainable service delivery by government. He said infrastructure development  has come out very clearly as one of the areas  of investment which require funding and most of the funding comes from the taxes that are paid. He emphasised that development cannot be achieved without taxes.

He said URA has made huge investment so as to provide information about taxes and to make it easy and convenient for the tax payers to pay taxes.

“Uganda is a land locked country and efforts are being made to develop Uganda into a trade  and distribution hub in the region, which requires that procedures and processes  be put in place to encourage people to trade within the region using Uganda as a base.” The Commissioner emphasised. He reported that there have been major improvements in the region, infrastructure investment services, improvement of the railway and road infrastructure as a region to ensure that the whole chain is seamless.

Mr.Kamajugo informed delegates that the cost of doing business has steadily been reduced in terms of  the time it takes to move goods through the process and also focus on compliance is very critical. He reiterated that sharing compliance information between federated states is being undertaken to accord compliance companies with similar treatment. “Six months ago a process that would take 15days to clear goods from Mombasa has been reduced to five days, with huge investment in automation.” He reported. He informed delegates that URA has improved service delivery and accountability and encouraged people in the Diaspora  to visit URA website for information to guide them to avoid misinformation by relatives and friends. He said there is need for systems to update them by email, SMS to boost confidence in using the systems that are put in place. Due to this confidence in the URA system, Mr Kamajugo reported that URA is able to collect 80% of the government budget and some of the government projects are financed through locally generated funds.

As he concluded his speech, the Commissioner shared that their  observation in the  forum was that people lack information. He ended by informing the delegates that before the budget process, normally consultations are carried out with various institutions and that they will work with the organisers of the convention to explore ways of  receiving views from Ugandans in the Diaspora as input in the budget process.

For more information contact:
Cell:+256(0)717440346  | Twitter@URAuganda

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