A new Board of Directors of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has been inaugurated.
The State Minister of Finance (Investments), Evelyne Anite, presided over the inauguration ceremony which was well-attended by the UIA management, led by the Director-General Lawrence Byensi, and dozens of journalists.
The seven-member Board, chaired by Dr. Emely Kugonza, has Godfrey Byamukama Kereere, Gertrude Kateesa Lutaaya, Dr. Joshua Mutambi, Naima Obombasa, Fred Opolot and Morrison Twesigye Rwakakamba as members.
The new Board came against the backdrop of President Yoweri Museveni assenting to the new Investment Code Act of 2019 on February 201, 2019 bringing the term of the old board to an end.
In the new Act, the number of UIA board members reduced to seven from the 13 under the old Code. The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Planning reappointed Dr. Kugonza to chair the new Board.
Minister Anite, in her remarks, described the new Board members as “a small but high quality personalities” tasked with transforming Uganda into a better country by attracting high quality investments which would create decent jobs.
According to Anite, UIA, as the primary investment promotion agency of the Government of Uganda, is key in attracting investments and tackling unemployment, especially of young people.
Anite advised the Board to be vigilant by carrying out due diligence of all potential investors in order to attract the best, emphasizing the need to attract and grow good domestic investors.
The minister hailed UIA for doing a great job, highlighting how the agency has now transformed into a One-Stop Centre offering over a dozen investment services. The minister encouraged UIA to harness inter-agency linkages with the likes of Uganda Development Bank in order for investors to access cheap credit.
She re-echoed Government’s plan of developing 25 industrial parks, urging UIA to ensure even distribution of the parks, including in places like Karamoja and West Nile.
She urged the Board and management to uphold the highest integrity and execute their roles well, adding that “country must come first”.
The UIA Board Chair, Dr Kugonza, appreciated the minister for putting trust in them, promising to do the very best in order to boost investments and transformation of the country.