The Presidential Investors’ Round Table is a high level engagement between government and a selected group of both local and international investors from the private sector chaired by H.E the president of Uganda. In these round table discussions, concerns and issues from members of the private sector are raised and proposals targeting the improvement of Uganda’s investment climate are made.
PIRT phase five was closed in December 2017 and the launch of PIRT VI was braced by H.E the President of Uganda on 7th February, 2019. This phase will focus on six key thematic areas; Tourism, Agriculture and Value Addition, Oil and Gas, Minerals and Value Addition, Competitiveness and Ease of doing business and Transport and Haulage. The launch was attended by cabinet ministers, members of the private sector, and technical people from several government MDAs.
By the time of launch of PIRT VI, over 90%of the recommendations of the fifth phase of PIRT had been put into action and it was mentioned by the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister that the other 10% would be done by close of the current financial year (2018/2019). He added that failure to achieve the 10% was attributed to budgetary constraints. The Prime Minister commended the members of TWG OF PIRT V for the great work they did and requested that those of phase VI also work relentlessly
At the launch of PIRT phase VI a number of issues were raised and especially by members of the Private sector that government had to address to have the country’s economy moving, key among them were;
Emphasis on the need to boost Uganda’s tourism share in EA from 10% to more, minding the quality of tourists that the country gets, minding the key eco issues like animal–human conflict, ensuring certainty of the country’s investment climate, transparency and traceability, continued government support, protection of Ugandan manufacturers despite the recent development of Uganda signing the Agriculture Free Trade Agreement, the need to explore water abundance to mitigate the risks of climate change, the need to brand Ugandan products, ensuring certification of Ugandan mineral products, safeguarding and boosting Uganda’s competitiveness globally, establishment of a mineral exploration unit, digitisation of the various investment processes, full implementation of BUBU and setting timelines on delivery of government services.
H.E emphasised that the Round Table was a mirror for Uganda’s investment and thus there was urgent need to have the issue of cost pushers in the production process handled for example electricity prices, transport costs, the cost of money and internet services all of which the government intends to lower to ensure a better and competitive investment environment for Ugandan investors. He went ahead to retaliate that the export of unprocessed minerals was not acceptable in Uganda as this was subjecting the country to great loss of revenue.
Private sector members commended PIRT for solving a number of investment challenges in the country and it was mentioned that this dialogue should continue as it is beneficial to the country’s economic development.
By Nassali Aminah