Thursday May 17 2018

Togikwatako campaign affects investment performance

Uganda Investment Authority executive director

Uganda Investment Authority executive director Jolly Kaguhangire addresses journalists in Kampala recently. PHOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA 

By Christine Kasemiire

KAMPALA.

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has revealed that the government blows encountered during the togikwatako campaign affected the Investment performance for the first three financial quarters of 2017/18.

During a press briefing on Tuesday in Kampala, the director investment facilitation and aftercare division UIA, Mr Lawrence Byensi, revealed the results of the first three quarters of 2017/18 which indicated a drop in performance from 422 licensed projects to 193 projects in the same period as at 2016/17.

The drop in the results according to the executive director UIA, Ms Jolly Kaguhangire were in part attributed to the fall out between politicians during the Togikwatako campaign, which scared investors away.  The authority, during the second quarter only attained 49 per cent of its target goals with planned investments worth Shs745m, and creating 19,072 jobs.

“Our political issues last year, where our politicians fought in parliament, had some impact on investment because some projects delayed to come just because of looking at that scuffles,” she said.

The results also indicated that the highest investments were made in the manufacturing sector and agriculture with 49 and 14 per cent respectively with most in the central and eastern region.

However, wholesale, retail catering and accommodation garnered the least investment with only 1 per cent because the authority only licenses accommodation and others are issued by local government and KCCA.

According to Ms Kaguhangire, the low performance was an effect of a shift of operations from traditional methods to digitized records and system, which led to a lag, as people had to learn to use the new system in the licensing division.

The electronic licensing system (e-biz), she said was innovated in September 2017 to increase the ease of doing business in Uganda, which is vital in promoting investment into the country. This, Mr Byensi said is because licensing now lasts two days as opposed to the 8 days from before.

Uganda in 2017 fell seven spots to number 122 from 115 in 2016, according to the ease of doing business report 2018.

E-biz has since licensed 119 investors for the two quarters since its incorporation, contrary to the 90 usually licensed with the traditional system in the same period.

The authority seeks to improve its operations this year to attain its strategic goal of 1million jobs by 2020. At the moment, 118,567 have been created.

Furthermore, local investments superseded the foreign direct investments at 52 per cent and the latter with 48 per cent.

This, the ED said will work to sustain by incentivizing the investment climate.

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