What you need to know:
- The business summit is a multi-sector engagement that seeks to attract investment, promote tourism and revitalise trade and commerce.
Authorities in Jinja City have rallied investors ahead of the first-ever business summit.
The summit, organised by Africa Centre for Economic Dialogue, in partnership with Jinja City, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, is expected to be held between November 11 and 12 as a multi-sector engagement to attract investment, promote tourism and revitalise trade and commerce.
It will also seek to galvanise solutions for the local economy with the delegation expected from local and the international private and public sectors.
Participants will include real and prospective investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, civil society, diplomats, urban authorities, small and medium enterprises, government agencies and ministries among others.
Led by Jinja City deputy mayor Fazira Kauma, authorities have named some opportunities, which they say are key for any prospective investor.
“Nakabango has one the best soils, while Budondo, and Butagaya are not only food baskets, but also have fertile soils. For that reason, one can venture into agriculture and agro-processing,” Ms Kauma said in an interview at the weekend, rallying Ugandans in the diaspora, to invest in real estate.
Jinja, she said, had for long been Uganda’s industrial hub but many factories have since collapsed while others have been relocated. However, she said the city remains a catchment area with huge potential for industrial prospects.
The city also has potential in other areas such as tourism and hospitality, travel and recreation, among others.
Jinja has some of Uganda’s most famous tourism sites, among which include Source of River Nile, Bususwa Falls, tourism caves, in Mayuge and Kagulu Hill in Buyende.
Jinja’s industrial and investment prowess dates back to early 1950s.
The business and investment summit will seek to help bring to light existing challenges, ideas and solutions while positioning Jinja as a an investment, innovation and business hub.
Mr Nasser Ashraf, the Jinja Southern Division mayor, said Jinja City is home to several factories, which makes it favorable for both the working class and investors.
Mr Moses Guloba, the deputy Town Clerk, said Jinja City has “everything” and is only looking out for investors with the right business plan.
Ms Christine Kayongo, the economic planner for Jinja City, said the summit was scheduled to take place in 2020 but couldn’t because of the Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns.
Mr Julius Kazibwe, the AfCED chief executive officer, said Africa has the fastest rate of urban growth, with about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) produced in Cities.
“By 2035, more than half of the population will be living in cities, with over 400 million people added to the urban population; therefore, we need swift actions and plans for formal job creation, adopt a plan with minimum carbon footprint on the environment, scale formal housing among other actions for a sustainable urban ecosystem,” he said.