DUBAI: The Ugandan delegation at the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have fronted production of enough hydropower and security as some of the enabling factors that will investors from United Arab Emirates (UAE).
With the presence of enough hydropower, the head of Ugandan delegation Prime Minister Robina Nabbanja in her speech, which was read by Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, said during the launch of the Ugandan pavilion at the COP28 that started yesterday in Dubai that will reduce on the production costs of commodities.
“Already we have a very peaceful environment in the country with no security threats from anywhere, when we begin to produce our projected hydropower of close to 5000Mega Watts, we shall be the best in Africa,” Nankabirwa said.
She added, “We can only do these things as a country when there is climate funding from the climate enthusiasts. We are already ahead in the fight against global warming by adapting solar power energy, hydropower and fighting deforestation across the country. The investors from UAE in Uganda can already testify these things and we hope that many can come and invest.”
Uganda’s hydropower production potential has been put at 4500MW with the current production estimated to be at about 1000MW. The power in from majorly seven dams across the country including; Karuma dam, Bujagali, Kiira, Kiba hydroelectric power station, Oriang, Ayago, and Isimba.
A video shot by the Uganda Investments Authority (UIA) showcased the investment environment in the country with many sector players at the different industrial parks talking about the economic progress and stability of the country as some of the reasons they have put up businesses.
A World Bank report of 2023 indicates that despite a slight drop during the COVID19 pandemic period, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) had been “surging by a whopping 80 percent to USD 2.2 billion in 2021/22 and 2022/23.
The growth, according to the report, is attributed to Uganda’s power, agricultural, a young population, regional integration most recently enhanced through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, and good market size, as well as an enabling policy. But the report is also quick to point out challenges such as corruption and bad infrastructure.
The 2019 Investment Code Act (ICA) abolished restrictions on technology transfer and repatriation of funds by foreign investors, and established new incentives (e.g., tax waivers) for investment. However, the ICA also set a minimum value of USD 250,000 for FDI and a yet-to-be-specified minimum value for portfolio investment.
Mr Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water said that there are problems in the industrial parks which are being address to ease transportation of raw materials and other finished products for the investors.
“We need climate funding to improve technology and fight poverty as well as continue in tree planting, manufacture of gas cylinders in Uganda to realize good climate conditions and development for investors and Ugandans to enjoy gains together,” she said.
Sheikh Shakhbut bin Al Mahyan the representative of COP28 at the event indicated that the UAE is happy to invest in the country and that the environment has been conducive for many people from the region to work in Uganda.
“The environment and government policy towards investment are key, we shall continue to work with Uganda to make that we gain the best every day. UAE is happy with the welcoming nature of the government of Uganda and that some of the challenges are being addressed,” he said.