Uganda signs business deals worth $650m at Expo 2020 Dubai

The East African country seeks to attract $4bn investment to jumpstart growth in the post-pandemic era

Matia Kasaija, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, signs an investment deal at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: UIA
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Uganda said on Monday it had signed a number of new business deals worth $650 million at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The commitments included investments in fields such as renewable energy, transport, agriculture, mineral processing and manufacturing medical kits.

The East African country hopes to attract $4 billion of new investment to fuel its post-pandemic recovery, Robert Mukiza, director general of the Uganda Investment Authority, said.

Uganda is promoting nearly 79 bankable projects at different stages of development, all of which are ready for investment.

“These projects can be actualised through public private partnerships, joint ventures, private or public arrangements … some are greenfield, brownfield or expansion projects. Our partners therefore have a wide variety of investment options to pick from,” Mr Mukiza said.

Abeine Abdul Adam, chief executive of Imagine Pharmaceuticals (from left); Morrison Rwakakamba, UIA chairman; Matia Kasaija, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Robert Mukiza, UIA’s director general; and Leon Lin, Worldera’s general manager; at the Uganda pavillion . Courtesy: UIA

The UIA signed a letter of intent with the UAE-based company Connect, which will invest $500m in the country. Connect will pursue a variety of projects in Uganda, including a renewable energy initiative that will generate electricity and provide smart energy storage.

Wondfo Biotech, a company based in Guangzhou, China, will invest $50m in a pharmaceutical plant in Uganda to manufacture diagnostics kits for HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, and other point-of-care diagnostic technology.

The UIA has also teamed up with Dubai-based Worldera Corporation – an industrial, manufacturing, shipping and commodity trading company, which plans to invest $50m in various areas including mineral processing, agriculture and education sectors.

The UIA said it had signed a deal with business conglomerate Modern Group, which will invest $50m in manufacturing, agriculture and mining.

The Ugandan pavilion at the Expo site is in the ‘opportunities’ area, which is intended to promote the country as a destination for trade and a transport and logistics centre. It is showing the emerging investment opportunities, especially in the areas of agriculture, industry, energy, minerals and oil and gas.

As one of the fastest-growing economies in East Africa and one of the countries with the youngest population in the world, Uganda’s presence at Expo highlights a journey of growth and development, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and commissioner general of Expo 2020 Dubai, said.

“We do look forward to working together on recovering from the implications of Covid-19 and expect non-oil trade between our nations to surpass pre-Covid levels … we hope to expand the horizon of our partnership into new fields across biodiversity, agro-processing, renewable energy and tourism,” he said.

Modha Investments, a global financing conglomerate that invests in commercial agriculture and food processing, also agreed a multi-million-dollar commitment in Uganda, UIA said. This investment will bring more than 5,000 jobs directly to farmers in Uganda.

Updated: October 05, 2021, 4:00 AM

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