The wave of the global recession that started in May 2007 swept through all corners of the world and Uganda was certainly in its path. The knock-on effects were considerable ... still challenges to face but we can comfortably say; Ugandan business weathered the storm.
The economy experienced a decline in external demand for traditional exports, in particular coffee coupled with the global increase in fuel prices which led to the increase in consumer commodity prices and a fall of the Ugandan shilling to the US dollar.
... But don't write-off Ugandan business yet. In spite all this, the regional demand for Uganda's exports has remained high.
With so many companies and small businesses expanding each year, Ugandan business consistently attracts the highest level of foreign direct investment in the East Africa region.
A predictable investment environment, a fully liberalised economy, good access to the market, a strong natural resource base and a commitment to the private sector by government are some of the several reasons why Ugandan business continues to thrive.
The un-rivalled surge in demand for consumer and capital goods, and with its tax incentives for goods from the Sub-Saharan region, Uganda remains the gateway lucrative market in the region. And for some time now, the Ugandan Economy has been one of the fastest growing economies in the region.
Agricultural products account nearly for all Uganda's foreign exchange earnings. Coffee in particular (of which Uganda is one of Africa's leading producers) contributes about 27% of the country's export. Hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, flowers and fish continue to grow while cotton, tea and tobacco continue to be foundations.
Investing as a partner with a business in Uganda or starting your own company or small business enterprise has always been straight forward but of course be certain to do a thorough research - like you would do before embarking on any investment of time or money, find out more about Ugandan business.
Investment opportunities are considerably of high potential in different sectors:
Agribusiness - for commercial farming and adding value. This is the golden opportunity that Ugandan business offers. Good fertile land for agriculture and with the help of government, land can be acquired for highly potential investors.
Fisheries - for fish processing and fish farming. This is first becoming a major sector. You will be pleased to know that fish farming is still a relatively virgin area that evidently still needs technical know how and training.
Forestry - for timber processing and manufacture of high quality furniture products.
Mining and Exploration - for the under exploited mineral deposits of gold, high grade tin, tungsten/wolfram, salt, beryllium, cobalt, kaolin, iron-ore, glass sand, vermiculite, clay, gypsum and phosphates (fertilizers). The discovery of oil in Lake Albert has further widened the potential of this sector.
Infrastructure development - particularly in the areas of transport, logistics and energy. You will be amazed at Uganda's potential to generate hydro electric power and other power generation alternatives. This sector is wide open.
Financial Sector - emphasis would be in the international multinational banking to provide new and innovative financial products like Mortgage finance, venture capital, merchant banking and leasing finance. Such would take Ugandan business and the economy to greater heights.
There is a good potential for Micro finance saving institutions particularly in the rural areas, let alone insurance that is still relatively a virgin area with massive opportunities in Ugandan business.
Tourism - There is no reason why this sector should not blossom. Uganda is endowed with abundance of a variety of game stock and its indigenous scenic beauty. There is evidently an investment gap in high quality accommodation facilities, tour and travel trail operations and development of specialised eco-tourism.
Manufacturing - this cuts across the board virtually in all sectors; beverages, leather, tobacco processing, paper, textile and garment ( bear in mind that Uganda produces one of the finest cotton in the world), pharmaceuticals, fabrication, ceramics, glass, fertilizers, plastics/PVC, assembly of electronic products, hi-tech and medical products.
The opportunities that Ugandan business offers are great.
Education - Uganda has for long been the hub for high quality and relatively cheaper education in the Sub-Saharan region and continues to be the destination for many.
Opportunities exist in setting up private Universities and branch universities, technical and vocational training, technology - based education and distance education and in all this; student loan financing.
Printing and publishing - The gap is evidently there for the printing of high quality text books, magazines and more; screen printing, off-set printing, digital printing, flexography and more. The list is long - talk about printing and publishing!
Information Communication Technology - What can I say! With the invariable global development in ICT, Uganda can only be part of it and what a way that Ugandans embrace new and modern ICT! The vibrancy of this sector is un-rivalled in the region and the investment opportunities are wide open.
The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), a semi-autonomous government agency that works in partnership with the private sector and Government of Uganda is tasked with driving national economic growth and development through promoting and facilitating investment projects, assisting in acquiring serviced land and advocating for a competitive business environment among other objectives.
The good news is that for potential investors, UIA will ably guide you through your investment plan giving you all the vital information you need on investment in Uganda.
And of course once you are set and off running, to promote and grow your business, you will have chance to showcase your products or services in the Ugandan trade shows. This will give you chance to explore and take advantage of the vibrant local and regional markets.
If you love finance, you will want to explore the Uganda Security Exchange. It is efficient and always open to foreign investors and other participants - it is something to keep an eye on while you weigh your options in Ugandan business.
Looking for your own home? Or better still from the investment point, the Uganda real estate will hold your interest in as far as making some good decisions on investing in Uganda.
This can be quite profitable in the long run. Properties in Uganda range from buying land for construction of your dream home or commercial property/homes, to buying ready homes.
Here is your handy currency converter to help you work out the math.
Uganda will welcome you with open arms with out too much hassle whether you want to start your own business or moving to Uganda to live.
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