Invest instead of lecturing us, Museveni tells Europeans

President Museveni. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • President Museveni says Indians and Chinese have aggressively invested in Uganda yet many Ugandans don’t speak their language 

President Museveni has told European Union to copy Chinese and Indians in regard to investing in Uganda instead of giving lectures. 

Speaking during the second Uganda-European Union Business Forum, President Museveni said Indians and Chinese have aggressively invested in Uganda yet many Ugandans don’t speak their language. 

“They have been very active yet we don’t speak their language. I have heard that the Export-Import Bank of China finances their nationals to invest into profit making venture in Africa. Why can’t Europe do the same thing the Chinese are doing instead of giving [us] lectures?” he wondered, noting that almost every week, he has commissioned  factories, all of which, belong to either Chinese or Indians. 

“I don’t remember commissioning any for Europeans. There are opportunities here,” President Museveni said. 

The President also noted that because Uganda and the European Union have a number of common issues compared to Chinese and Indians, they should use this relationship for mutual benefit. 

The forum sought to discuss mobilisation of higher levels of quality investment into priority sectors of the economy as well as exploring avenues to increase trade between Uganda and the European Union. 

Amb Jan Sadek, the European Union head of delegation, said trade and relations between Uganda and the European Union will get stronger, urging government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement to have unrestricted access to European Union markets.  

President Museveni, said investors from the European Union have an opportunity to access a raft of incentives, among which include tax holidays and exemptions. 

“All we want is for you to set up your production for goods and services here,” he said during the forum that hosted more than 1,500 stakeholders. 

Mr Robert Mukiza, the Uganda Investment Authority director general, said the forum sought to attract value addition to Uganda’s raw materials to support creation of employment.  

Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director Stephen Asiimwe, said they had secured a deal that will sort out financing for export challenges with interest on loans for exporters not exceeding 12 percent. 

About 50 bankable projects in agriculture and agri-processing, mining, manufacturing and value-added services, from Uganda and a dozen high-ticket public projects were pitched to local entrepreneurs, the Ugandan diaspora and foreign direct investors from EU member states. 

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