An increasing number of foreign investors see Uganda as a place of opportunity within East Africa. It was ranked the eighth free-est economy of the sub-Saharan African countries in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom – and the outlook for the economy in years to come is extremely positive.
Uganda’s land area of over 235,000 square kilometresis home to 36 million people – 70% of whom contribute to the labour force. Domestic demand of imported services has given rise to an increase in FDI – with the services sector alone contributing to 52% of Uganda’s GDP. The growth of the services sector is largely a result of expanding retail and leisure industries, such as restaurants and hotels, and construction is growing at an annual rate of over 10%.
Uganda offers strong incentives to encourage foreign private investment, including 100% ownership of equity for several services. Retailers and manufacturers are in high demand, with specialised machinery and pharmaceutical products being popular imports. Consumer goods are also key business opportunities as recent economic developments have given Uganda’s population more disposable income.
Infrastructure in Uganda is in a developmental stage. Urbanisation has been given a priority under national policy – thereby providing an opportunity for commercial real estate investment. Demand is high for residential developments and the leisure industry has room for further expansion in line with the tourism sector. In addition, Uganda is being encouraged to invest more in agricultural processing plants. An oil refinery is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
“Uganda continues to lead East Africa in inward FDI over the last 5 years averaging over $900m per year”.
As the oil and gas industry develops further within Uganda, we can support growth with our experience of local construction in remote, difficult to access areas. Our use of local expertise, and strict standards of CSR, will help to ensure Uganda’s current development benefits everyone.