South African enterprises in Uganda, along with key local establishments including MTN Uganda, Absa Bank Uganda, Sanlam, Nile Breweries Limited, Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, dfcu Bank, MultiChoice Uganda, and Woolworths, have formed a collaboration to back the Ugandan government’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment through the upcoming Uganda-South Africa trade and investment summit.
Scheduled for September 5th to 6th at Speke Resort Munyonyo, the two-day summit is a follow-up to a similar event held in South Africa last February.
Sylvia Mulinge, the CEO of MTN Uganda, a subsidiary of South Africa’s MTN Group and the lead sponsor of the summit, stated that MTN’s involvement was in response to President Yoweri Museveni’s appeal to encourage more South African investments to support Uganda’s social and economic development.
Mulinge emphasized, “MTN is dedicated to assisting the Ugandan government in attracting additional South African companies to invest in sectors such as agro-industrialization, manufacturing, and tourism, which will enhance the economy, generate jobs, and improve the country’s trade balance.”
She added that MTN’s theme for the year, “together we are unstoppable,” emphasizes their belief in the potency of collaboration and underscores their conviction that private sector cooperation with the government will expedite social and economic transformation.
The summit aims to draw South African investors to Uganda, focusing on areas such as agro-industrialization, steel manufacturing, tourism, and the energy sector.
Bank of Uganda data reveals a gradual growth in Uganda’s exports to South Africa, reaching US$21.24 million over the past decade. However, South Africa’s exports to Uganda decreased from US$251.6 million to US$127.6 million during the same period.
The Uganda Investment Authority reports that Uganda exports items like cotton, gold, fish fillets, tobacco, coffee, and fresh flowers to South Africa, while South Africa exports machinery, vehicles, plastics, chemicals, electronics, petroleum, live animals, textiles, and more to Uganda.
Absa Bank Uganda’s Managing Director, Mumba Kalifungwa, highlighted their role as a banking partner in both markets and their intention to use financial solutions to foster business connections between organizations from both countries.
dfcu Bank’s CEO and Managing Director, Charles Mudiwa, pledged the bank’s commitment to facilitating partnerships by providing financial advisory services, access to capital, and networking opportunities.
Nile Breweries Country Director, Adu Rando, lauded the opportunity to showcase Uganda’s potential in agro-industrialization, emphasizing the company’s investment in local agriculture.
John Mulimba, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Affairs, praised MTN Uganda for spearheading the collaboration and assured that the government is working to eliminate non-tariff barriers and create a favorable business environment.
South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Lulama Mary-Theresa Xingwana, expressed commitment to enhancing trade and relations through the removal of trade barriers in collaboration with the Ugandan government.
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