EXPO 2020 DUBAI: FIRST BIG INVESTMENT DEAL ANNOUNCED BY UGANDA

Participant country starts Expo 2020 Dubai investment rush by signing deals worth USD 650m in the first big investment announcement of Expo

Investments are across sectors including healthcare, energy and transportation

Ugandan Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Hon. Matia Kasaija signs a series of investment deals that will generate jobs and economic growth in Uganda in the first major public investment deal of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Republic of Uganda became the first participant country at Expo 2020 to publicly announce a raft of new investment as the deals were signed by the country during a special ceremony held at the Expo 2020 Dubai today.

The deals come the day after Uganda celebrated its National Day at the six-month-long event that started 1st October. The total investments committed at the signing ceremony are worth a combined total of about  USD 650m.

The commitments included USD 500m for renewable energy and transportation projects; a USD 50m investment into mineral processing; and USD 50 million for a new pharmaceutical facility to manufacture high-quality diagnostics kits for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, and other POC diagnostic technology.

The announcement was hailed as a major first sign of the investment opportunities that the Expo 2020 Dubai will bring to participant countries. The Expo is being held under 3 sub-themes: Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility. Uganda is participating under the “Opportunity” theme, with Uganda’s Expo theme of ‘Right Place, Right Time’

Robert Mukiza, Director-General of the Uganda Investment Authority, said: “Today’s announcement of an investment of about USD 650m is part of our broader ambition to bring in USD 4 billion of new investment into Uganda to propel the country forward as it embarks on its post-pandemic recovery journey. This was the first trip abroad that our President has taken in over two years and it was undertaken to support this major announcement.

We are currently promoting about 79 bankable projects at different stages of development that are ready for investment. These projects can be actualized through  Public-Private Partnerships, joint ventures, private or public arrangements and some are greenfield, brownfield or expansion projects.  Our partners, therefore, have a wide variety of investment options to pick from.”

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and the Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said at the official ceremony welcoming Uganda to Expo 2020 Dubai for its National Day celebrations: “As one of the fastest-growing economies in East Africa and one of the country’s with the youngest population in the world, Uganda’s presence at Expo highlights a journey of growth and development. Under Vision 2040 Uganda is empowering its youth and putting them on the path to developing the country into an advanced economy which provides excellent opportunities for trade in the region.”

Referring to its involvement in Expo 2020 Dubai, he continued that “Uganda participation and its theme ‘Right Place, Right Time’ underscores it is a country of many opportunities” before concluding: “We do look forward to working together on recovering from the implications of Covid 19 and expect non-oil trade between our nations to surpass pre-Covid levels. Though Uganda’s presence at Expo 2020 and beyond we hope to expand the horizon of our partnership into new fields across biodiversity, agro-processing, renewable energy and tourism.”

 

The Letters of Intent were witnessed today by the Ugandan Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija, at a special ceremony, staged at the Uganda Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai at 14:00 local time.

The Letters of Intent signed were with:

  • Connect LLC: The UAE conglomerate has a raft of projects it will undertaking in Uganda including a renewable energy project that will generate electricity and provide smart energy storing, last-mile supply and billing of all utilities and the planning and building of innovative public transport routes. Planned investment: USD 500m
  • Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co: A high-tech company founded in 1992 and headquartered in Guangzhou, China, the company has set up manufacturing plants in China, USA, Mexico, Kazakhstan and Brazil. The company is to invest in a pharmaceutical facility to manufacture diagnostics kits for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, and other POC diagnostic technology. Planned investment: USD 50 million
  • Worldera Corporation: An industrial, manufacturing, shipping and commodity trading company, resident in Dubai. The company plans to invest in mineral processing focusing on gold, gemstones, limestone, gypsum, clinker, the agricultural sector, focusing on palm oil and the education sector and to set- up vocational training centres. Planned investment: USD 50 million
  • Modern Group: The conglomerate will make extensive investments in a number of areas that include the manufacturing of tiles, ethanol, pharmaceutical and agriculture as well as developing mining operations in Uganda. Planned investment: USD 50 million

Mohammed Hares, the CFO of Woldera Corporation, said: “Our team visited eight African countries and Uganda was the best. Our investment of USD 50m will grow.”

In addition Modha Investments, a global financing conglomerate investing in commercial agriculture, food processing, agreed a multimillion-dollar commitment under a further Memorandum of Understanding signed today. They will focus on the development and commercialisation of Cashew Nuts, Macadamia Nuts and Hass Avocado in Uganda. The company has established a wide market, in Europe, Asia and UAE for the supply of Hass Avocado and Nuts.

Modha Investments’ Director, Harshad Modha, said: “My family comes from Uganda and it is good to be back home. This investment will bring over 5000 jobs directly to farmers and allow raw produce to have added value prior to it being exported to a domestic and international market. I am delighted to be able to make this investment here at Expo 2020 Dubai.” 

The Turkish company Dog Yapı İnşaat Tur. Enerji Ur San. Ve. Tic. A. ş also signed a Letter of Intent to construct industrial and business parks that will include faculties such as fruit and vegetable wholesale market, truck station, cold stores, warehouses and slaughterhouses.

The Ugandan pavilion at the expo is located in the Opportunities area, which reflects the country’s stature as a key trade, transportation and logistical centre, in addition to its regional importance. The pavilion offers visitors a journey linking different times, eras and places, highlighting how adventure and opportunity converge in today’s Uganda. The pavilion also offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Uganda’s unique combination of natural scenery and attractive business climate. 

Through its participation in Expo 2020, Uganda will showcase its exports and its unique tourism and wildlife attractions as well as emerging investment opportunities, especially in agriculture, industry, energy, minerals, oil and gas. UIA is primarily concerned with facilitating the investment process and will be focused on promoting opportunities in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and ICT.  

Information Uganda Expo 2020 Dubai: www.expo2020dubai.ugandaexports.go.ug
Information Uganda Investment Authority: www.ugandainvest.go.ug

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