Abacus Parenteral crowned 2009 investor of the year

Monday January 25 2010

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Mukono based Abacus Parenteral Drugs Ltd known for the production of Intravenous (IV) fluids was crowned overall gold winner for the investor of the year 2009 trouncing 23 finalists.
The company responded to the government’s call for increased investment in manufacturing of pharmaceutical Drugs in producing IV fluids commonly used in injections, eye and ear drops.
Abacus invested over $18.9 million (Shs36.8 billion) in acquisition of a plant and machinery to produce IV fluids thereby saving the country from importing the drugs from India and Europe.
Through its expansion the company created employment to 270 Ugandans, especially taking on fresh graduates of Industrial Chemistry from Uganda’s major Universities.
At the event annually organised by Uganda Investment Authority, both big and small investors countrywide, responded to the theme: ‘Competitiveness through science and technology’ which soughts to encourage excellence, efficiency and creativity in the field of science and technology. Chairman UIA, Mr Patrick Bitature said: “Uganda attracted investment worth $2.3 billion (Shs4.4 trillion) of planned investment and this came from 439 projects”.
“In the same planned investment 51,146 jobs were planned compared to the 40,000 jobs recorded in 2008.
MTN Uganda was crowned the first runners up thus walking away with a silver award. This company which over the years has outstandingly responded to the demand for a better mobile telephony, expanded its core business to ensure that greater coverage and services get to over 5 million subscribers.
MTN in this period invested over $97 million (shs189 billion) in plant and machinery for the Google SMS and Mobile Money Transfer service, created employment for 1,277 Ugandans at managerial, technical and sales levels and paid up to Shs194 billion in taxes to government.
“MTN eased money transfer service, with a record of over 46 million transactions carried out through its services and it has yielded a turnover of over $700,000 for the company,” said UIA executive director, Dr Maggie Kigozi.
In the medium scale category, Ecobank Uganda Ltd received recognition as the best investor of the year in the medium scale category. The project owned by Togolese and Nigerian nationals invested a total of $5 million into the provision of various wholesale and retail banking services as well as e-banking. In the small scale category, Astel Diagnostics a multi-national citizen owned project by Ugandans, Kenyans and Indians, manufacturing diagnostic kits for human diseases; invested a total of $1.3 million in the production of pregnancy test kits, rapid malaria, hepatitis B and Syhillis test kits was the overall winner in this category.
Arrow Aquaculture Africa (U) Ltd and Crystal Clear Software Ltd an ICT solution company were the first and second runners’ up respectively. When it came to the special category,Ms Sarah Kizito Developer of Centenary Park for her role in transforming this place which had become a hideout for criminals crowned the Best Woman Entrepreneur of the year 2009.
Uganda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, HE Joan Rwabyomere was recognized for her role in promoting Uganda’s investments in UK through organizing Inward and Outward missions.