Henry Okello Oryem addresses the German Business Delegation
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Cooperation, henry Okello Oryem, has said Uganda has an open, diversified and robust economy.
“It has well-developed financial and banking sector. The economy is well regulated and highly liberalized, all sectors are open for investment and there is free movement of capital to and from the country. Uganda is located in the heart of Africa and offers a gateway to regional markets. The country’s strategic location makes it a gateway to diverse markets in Africa,” Okello Oryem told the German Business Delegation at the Serena Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.
Indeed, he added: “over the last 32 years, Uganda’s economy has witnessed an upward trajectory growing at an average of over six (6) percent. The Global Entrepreneurial Monitor ranked Uganda as the world’s most entrepreneurial country. Uganda offers opportunities to everyone across the value chain. The opportunities are in areas as diverse as; Agriculture, Energy, Minerals, Tourism, ICT, Oil and Gas, Real Estate, Pharmaceutical and many more. Whether one wants to utilize Uganda as their target market or as a regional getaway, investors and entrepreneurs will find a myriad of opportunities.”
He says Uganda and Germany enjoy strong and close bilateral ties with excellent political, social and cultural relations.
“Uganda values these relations and we are committed to deepening them further in all fields, for the mutual benefit and prosperity of our two peoples,” he said.
With regard to trade, Okello Oryem says Germany is one of Uganda’s most important trading partners.
“Our trade volumes have grown over the years and we have seen our exports to Germany pecked to $94,585 in 2018, then reduced to $79,728 in 2019 and registered exponential growth by $14,081 to $93,809.Uganda’s exports to Germany are mainly in agriculture products. These include coffee, tea, vanilla and pepper among others. We also import a number of products from Germany. These include Pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery, vehicles, textiles and plastics,” he noted.
He adds that Uganda is pursuing an ambitious development agenda, with the vision of transforming our country into a modern and middle income in a few years’ time.
In this regard, he explained, “Uganda has undertaken various reforms which have enabled us become one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. In line with Vision 2040, we have implemented several sector strategies in agriculture, manufacturing, industry, renewable energy, health, education, infrastructure, tourism and hospitality, food processing and financial services – to mention just a few – that have enabled the diversification of the Ugandan economy.”
According to Okello Oryem, government is placing great emphasis on infrastructure development as infrastructure is considered a critical enabler for socio-economic transformation.
For instance, he said, the construction of Uganda-DRC road will facilitate increase of Trade between DRC and Uganda but also within the Region.
The road will also contribute to regional stability in terms of security, he added.
“The country enjoys a stable power supply through its hydro power-generated schemes, reflecting the government`s push to promote industry and manufacturing. The telecommunications infrastructure is developed and supports a full range of domestic and international services comprising voice, video, data, and other advanced communications services by deploying wired and wireless bandwidth to provide high speed. Projects initiated by the government in the last few years have led to building and expansion of international airports and cargo facilities, highways and revamping the existing railway line to better serve along the length and breadth of the country and region,” Okello Oryem added.
However, he says that “we still have gaps to fill as we grapple with the challenges of high electricity and transport costs, an underdeveloped railway and road network. Government is investing in energy, railway and road infrastructure but it needs partners at both bilateral level and the private sector as these are large investment projects.”
Okello Oryem told the delegation that government has invested heavily in skilling and educating the young people and thus human capital development.
This, he says, is considered a fundamental enabler for socio-economic transformation of a country and Uganda is no exception.
“The Government has invested heavily in the education and skilling of its young people. Uganda has a skilled workforce with many young people that are well educated and highly adaptable to any work environment. Ugandans are also very friendly and hospitable people to work with,” he said.
As a destination, Okello Oryem says “Uganda enjoys a stable and secure environment and is a unique country to visit. It is multicultural country whose diverse landscape encompasses the snowcapped Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria-the second largest in the world and the principal source of the great River Nile. With abundant wildlife, Uganda contends for best destination in Africa for wild game drives. I hope you will find time to explore the beautiful nature and diverse cuisines and cultures that Uganda offers.”
The conference, as well as the events of the week, present an unprecedented opportunity for German businesses to connect with the peoples of Uganda as well as the relevant government entities.
“It is an opportunity to build partnerships and share experiences. I hope that this meeting will be one of many meetings that seek to foster deeper partnerships between Ugandan and German businesses,” he said.