State minister for Investment Gabriel Ajedra has blamed Uganda’s slow investment growth on government agencies and other sector players that create unnecessary bottlenecks to frustrate investors.
Speaking at the 2014 Investor of the Year awards gala organised by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) recently, Mr Ajedra said while there are policies which favour both local and foreign investment, some service providers delay the process making the country’s performance on the regional and global scene poor.
Mr Ajedra said: “Why should an investor make endless journeys trying to acquire a signature or certificate of construction from the city authority or power permit from the electricity service provider? This is absurd and it must change if we are to realise speedy growth in this country.”
The investor of the year awards are given in recognition to those investors who have performed excellently in the use of local material and creation of jobs to nationals, among others
Dr Frank Ssebbowa, the UIA executive director, noted that apart from the slow and complex process that investors have to face to get land titles, the Kampala City Council Authority also takes long to issue building permits.
“Umeme and the National Environment Management Authority also take long to meet their part in cooperating with investors. This does not apply only to foreign investors but nationals too. And it is cross cutting from small to medium and large enterprises.”
According to the 2014 World Bank investment index focusing on 189 countries, Uganda came in the150th position from 152 last year.
Experts say uncoordinated licensing of businesses is still among the bottle necks although there are favourable policies for investment in place. There are efforts to have all relevant agencies integrate their site inspection services for immediate results.