The popular annual Uganda Convention UK (UCUK) returns for the 7th time this year with the aim of facilitating strategic partnerships among participants that will lead to wealth creation in Uganda.
The one-day event is aptly themed "partnering for wealth creation". It will be held at the Troxy in London on Saturday 16 September 2017. This year's UCUK is expected to include a strong business-to-business dimension, with a large number of exporters and importers from Uganda, UK and mainland Europe. It's expected to feature a selected line up of distinguished speakers and panellists from diverse businesses and organisations across East Africa.
The UCUK will collaborate with government institutions like DFID and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to present actual bankable projects, and signpost a range of attractive investment opportunities emerging from national programmes and multinational development plans as well as highlight new opportunities arising from BREXIT and bilateral trade between UK and Uganda.
Mr Mutenza explained the UCUK's reasons for the adopted theme as two - fold:
i. Firstly, in order to align it with the current direction of the country. Uganda is currently emphasising an export promotion strategy where the government is boosting and supporting initiatives that open channels to an export-oriented economy.
ii. Secondly, in order to reinforce UCUK's Objectives. One of the objectives of the UCUK is to brand and market Uganda as a profitable destination for investments, business and as the land of entrepreneurial/innovative people.
He added that "This is intended to be the most pragmatic and effective investment conference of the year to date with discussions being centred around:
1. Key International transactions and business partnerships.
2. Access to Finance and
3. Flagship bankable projects in Agriculture/Agribusiness & Agro-processing; Tourism; Minerals/Oil & Gas; Science and Technology & Innovations (STI) including Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).
Agriculture is the major economic backbone of Uganda employing over 80% of the country's labour force but contributes less than 30% to the country's GDP. There is a big need to add value to the increased output and attracting investment in Agro processing for export and packaging.
Most recently, Uganda has received various accolades for its tourism potential and with increased governments investment in marketing the sector we predict more tourism interest. There is a lot of viable investment potential in the creation of new tourism products, good affordable accommodation and all the other businesses that surround tourism i.e. crafts, culture (lifestyle experience, theatres, drama, food, etc.).
"Kamuntu said the tourism sector is among the 23 sectors which the president wants to be promoted because of its capacity to create more jobs in the Economy."
The other priority sectors are adding value to minerals and ICT. All these are sectors detailed for focus in Uganda's National Development Plan. Government has even gone ahead to provide sector specific incentives in these areas in order to attract investment.
In regard to the above, "Facilitated networking opportunities and one-on-one meetings will be available to help companies explore and discuss future partnerships in agro-processing, horticulture, textiles and clothing, tourism, information and communication technology, business process outsourcing and other services sectors. The Event will also feature a number of exhibitors who will showcase themselves and serve as points of contact for their organisations and businesses. This is reinforced by the Chairman's statement that "At UCUK we aim to seek the way forward for international trade and development,"
Any potential investors (both local and foreign) can access the UIA online One Stop Centre, eBiz via www.ebiz.go.ug which contains a number of modules like the Business Registration System (BRS), the online application for an investment licence (UIA), the online application for an environmental impact assessment (NEMA), the interface to the e-VISA to process online applications for Visas and special permits and passes, and the online application for the City Operators Identification Number (COIN).
The UCUK brings together over 1000 delegates annually including representatives of governments, the private sector, Diasporas and as well as Entrepreneurs and Investors to debate on ways to achieve trade-led inclusive sustainable development through Entrepreneurship, SME competitiveness, employment and economic growth.
In the past six years, notable names such as Rt. Hon Edward Ssekandi - Vice President of Uganda, Lord Popat-Trade Envoy to Uganda, Rt Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga-Speaker of Uganda Parliament, The Lord Sheikh, Hon. Eng. Irene Muloni-Minister of Energy, Patrick Bitature - CEO Simba Group, Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni - 1st Lady and Minister for Education and the Queen of Buganda - Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda have all addressed the UCUK. Last year, for the first time, former Forum for Democratic (FDC) presidential aspirant DR Kiiza Besigye attended the event.
You can get access to the Conference and Exhibitions which provide opportunities for business to business (B2B), government to business (B2G) engagement and buyers and sellers to:
1. Strengthen entrepreneurship in the UK and Uganda.
2. Utilise this annual one-stop conference to tap into investment and trade opportunities in Uganda.
3. Share experience and lessons learned by others in their quest for international trade.
4. Engage and network with prospective business partners.
5. Engage with decision makers and government representatives to specific sectors.
About The Ugandan Convention
The Ugandan UK Convention, a Trade and Investment Forum has now become firmly established as an annual event in the UK.
The forum brings together experts, business leaders, professionals and representatives from prominent organisations based in Uganda, the UK and internationally. Delegates have access to up-to-date information on the vast potential for investment that Uganda offers to both the domestic and international community. They can acquire business tips, obtain relevant literature on priority sectors for investment, take part in an interactive Q & A session and hear about the realities of doing business in Uganda.
The convention will be held at the Troxy Arena in London on Saturday 16 September 2017. For more information, please see http://www.ugandanconventionuk.org.