Uganda crowned best investment destination in Africa

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Uganda has been named the best investment destination in Africa at the recent prestigious Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The State Minister for Investment, Evelyne Anite, expressed her pride in Uganda's achievement when she announced it on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. She noted that the award is a recognition of the government's and the Uganda Investment Authority's relentless pursuit of excellence in investment facilitation.

“Uganda has been awarded a recognition award of best investment destination in Africa,” she said.

Over the past two years, Uganda has attracted over $1 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the UAE alone, showcasing the international business community's growing confidence in the nation's economy.

The country's strategic approach to attracting FDI has been diverse. It has focused on establishing a stable business environment characterised by reliable electricity, efficient transportation infrastructure, tax incentives, and high-quality internet connectivity. These elements have been crucial in positioning Uganda as a top investment hub on the continent.

The World Bank has also recognised Uganda's economic prospects, projecting an increase in the country's GDP growth from 5.3% in 2023 to 6.0% in 2024 despite Western sanctions. This growth is partly fuelled by FDI and contributes over 4% to Uganda's GDP.

Sanctions from the West

Uganda has faced a series of sanctions from Western countries, primarily the United States and the United Kingdom. These sanctions have been imposed due to various concerns, including human rights violations and corruption.

The US has targeted individuals and entities in Uganda for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses and corruption. For instance, the US Treasury Department in 2022 sanctioned a Belgian businessman, Alain Goetz, behind African Gold Refinery (AGR), a Ugandan-based company as it accused him of contributing to armed conflict through illicit gold trade from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In April 2024, the UK also imposed sanctions on Ugandan politicians, including the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Annet Among over allegations of corruption and stealing from vulnerable communities. This move was part of the UK's Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions regime.

Despite these sanctions, Uganda's economy is projected to grow. The World Bank predicts an increase in Uganda's GDP growth partly due to infrastructure investments ahead of new oil production in 2025.

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has also stated that US economic sanctions will not derail the country's economy, emphasising Uganda's resilience and self-reliance.

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