Court to rule on Mbarara Gatsby application in late June

MBARARA– An application filed on May 11, 2022, by Mbarara Gatsby Small Scale Enterprises Association Limited [MGSSEAL] seeking to join Uganda Investment Authority [UIA] in a court suit against the tenants of Gatsby industrial park, is set for ruling on June 28, 2022.

Lady Justice Joyce Kavuma of Mbarara High Court said court would determine whether MGSSEAL is free to join UIA in the main case where tenants are challenging UIA for handing over the Gatsby industrial park’s land title to MGSSEAL, also operating in the same industrial park.

David Kamukama, lawyer for the respondents, said, “Filing the rejoinder to our case is unnecessary because for us we sued Uganda investment authority, not MGSSEAL”.

“They are seeking court to permit them to be on the record to be heard for which we object because we know whom we sued and know where our remedy lies but they cannot provide that remedy,” Kamukama added.

Kamukama’s prayer is that MGSSEAL’s application is dismissed by court as his clients battle with UIA in the main case.

However, Abbas Advocates, representing the applicants [MGSSEAL] did not show up in court.

The applicants submitted, “If the applicant is added as a defendant/respondent, it would avoid multiplicity of suits as all questions involved in this matter would have been completely settled.”

“Unless the applicant is joined as a defendant/respondent in the matter, this Honourable Court risks being misled by the Respondents/applicants,” reads the application

Background

Victor Kansiime, of Millionstars Health Products Limited says tenants under their umbrella Ankole Small Scale Industrial Association [ASSIA] are challenging the manner in which UIA made MGSSEAL a landlord of industrial park when they are part of the many business operating in the same premise.

Other eight aggrieved tenants include; Agribusiness and Real Estate Investments, Active Living Uganda Limited, Bontao [U] Limited, Bold Energy Limited, Esperanza Distributors Limited among others.

On August 17, 2021, the state minister for investment and privatization Evelyn Anite oversaw the handover of the park land title to MGSSEAL.

Kansiime said MGSSEAL issued letters and threats to the rest of the tenants threatening to evict them from the industrial park, a thing they are challenging in court.

“As tenants we were subjected to intense pressure, intimidation and threats before we ran to court and a temporary court injunction was put,” he said.

Kansiime said they are 24 companies under ASSIA operating from Gatsby Industrial Park.

MGSSEAL occupies 5.1 hectares of the contested land that has 60 housing units and accommodates 60 different enterprises.

ASSIA was unable to pay back the loan of shs 2.09 billion secured from East African Development Bank [EADB]. President Museveni would ask the government through UIA to pay off the loan to secure the association’s property from attachment.

And in 2021, Museveni ordered UIA to give back the land title to ASSIA. However, UIA, alongside minister Anite would hand over the land title to MGSSEAL, which made ASSIA run to court.

https://thecooperator.news/mbarara-city-district-clash-over-court-of-appeal-ruling-on-allocation-of-premise/

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Amuru district trains stakeholders on PDM

AMURU– Stakeholders of The Parish Development Model [PDM] in Amuru district have been sensitised on the latest government programme launched to fight household poverty across the country.

Under the PDM each parish in the country will receive Shs 100 million per year for five years to fund group income-generating activities. Government, through the PDM, aims to move 3.5mln households from a subsistence economy to a money economy.

The PDM funds are expected to be wired to the districts’ accounts in the new financial year that kicks off on July 1, 2022, two weeks after the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija would have read the proposed Shs 48.1trn national budget.

Days ago stakeholders including LCII chairpersons, Parish and Sub County Chiefs, Sub County and Town Council Chairpersons of the National Resistance Movement [NRM] and extension workers were sensitised about the programme Pabo Town Council.

The PDM stakeholders in Amuru district were drawn from the 58 parishes and 13 sub-counties and town councils.

During the training, the Amuru district Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], Thomson Obongo warned the stakeholders against collecting money from community members during the registration period, adding that this is a free government programme.

He said that there`s growing concern that members would be charged fees for registration and photocopying of documents among others.

“Usually during such engagements, chances are high that the committee tends to put some charges for members to pay before being registered. If we learn of this, the entire Parish SACCO will face the consequences,” Obong warned.

Obong noted that by June 9, 2022, all the parishes should have established their Parish Development Committees [PDCc] who will be charged with identifying, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the enterprises that groups would have chosen to embark on.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru district LCV Chairperson said that after forming the parish committees and eventually SACCOs, members would be trained on financial management.

Lakony noted that the aim of the training was to equip the members with knowledge and explain their roles in the programme.

https://thecooperator.news/will-the-parish-development-model-end-household-poverty/

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EAC boss to concentrate on regional trade and peace next year

ARUSHA– Deepening economic integration, strengthening regional peace and security mechanisms, and implementing the road map for the attainment of the East African Community [ EAC ] Monetary Union are some of Dr. Peter Mathuki’s key priorities in steering the regional integration agenda in the next year.

The EAC Secretary General underscored these priorities during a virtual forum dubbed, ‘State of the EAC Forum – SG’s 1 year in office,’ seeking to share the progress, achievements, and challenges of the EAC in the last year, and the way forward.

He listed the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] into the bloc, adoption of 35 percent as the 4th Band of the EAC Common External Tariff, and resolution of 23 pressing Non-Tariff Barriers [NTBs] among the key achievements the Community registered during the last year.

“On November 12, 2021, the EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment [SCTIFI] finalized and adopted the review of the EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Act, 2017 and referred it to the EAC Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs for legal scrubbing,” noted Dr. Mathuki.

Further, he shared that five EAC Partner States had launched their own Trade Information Portal [TIP]. The portals map out all imports, exports and transit procedures, including fees and time in the respective Partner States in an effort to enhance regional trade.

“The Secretariat is currently mobilizing funds to enable the Republic of South Sudan develop its own Trade Information Portal so as to minimize trade bottlenecks in the region,” he added.

On the Monetary Union, the Secretary General shared that four EAC Partner States; Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have expressed interest and submitted their applications to host the East African Monetary Institute [EAMI].

“A verification Committee undertook a verification mission to the Partner States that have applied to host EAMI, to verify their suitability, and compiled a report that will be tabled before the 42nd Meeting of the Council of Ministers scheduled for later this month,” said the Secretary General.

On the EAC Political Federation, Mathuki revealed that national consultations for the drafting of the EAC Political Confederation Constitution have so far been held in the Republics of Burundi and Uganda, and plans are at an advanced stage to hold similar consultations in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan in the 2022/2023 Financial Year.

In highlighting the challenges faced by the Community in the last one year, the Secretary General pronounced the Covid-19 pandemic as a major challenge. “The Covid-19 pandemic grossly affected the implementation of the Community’s activities, projects and programmes,” said Mathuki.

He also noted that efforts where underway to ensure the conclusion of the process of developing a sustainable funding mechanism for the Community.

“The conclusion of the sustainable funding mechanism will address the financial challenges that the Community is experiencing, as we continue to engage with development partners to support EAC projects and programs,” he added.

“The EAC will in the coming year focus on strengthening regional governance, political commitment, and inclusivity to improve peace and security in the build-up to an EAC Political Confederation. In addition, the EAC will also prioritise Infrastructure development and increased participation of different stakeholders such as the private sector in the regional integration process,” Mathuki said.

https://thecooperator.news/eac-needs-to-create-120mln-jobs-think-tank-says/

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Gulu RDC urges landlords to help reduce land conflicts

GULU– Gulu Resident District Commissioner [RDC], George Owanyi Akuman has advised owners of large expanses of land to help reduce land conflicts by surrendering some of their land to squatters for the sake of peace.

This follows the arrest of businessman Geoffrey Otim who allegedly was behind the eviction of over 100 households in Loyoboo village, Unyama Subcounty in Gulu district over the weekend

The affected families took refuge at Unyama Subcounty headquarters after they were forcefully evicted from their homes, according to Justin Kidega, LCIII Chairperson of Unyama Subcounty.

Properties worth millions of shillings including 14 houses, over 20 acres of crops were destroyed as cattle, sheep, chicken and goats were said to have been looted during the violent eviction on Saturday.

“You may have legal ownership of over 500 hectares of land; but of what use is it if u cannot enjoy vacant possession of this land if over 30 families who are your immediate neigbours and have lived there for over 30 years are in conflict with you?” He wondered.

He advised the landowners to instead find amicable ways of co-existing with their neighbours.

“If it was me, I would rather forfeit some 30 acres to “buy my peace” and productively utilize and enjoy the residual land. That is just my personal opinion, I’m not speaking as RDC,” he said in an interview with this reporter on Monday.

Akuman said he has recently handled about four such cases where landowners want to evict many people who have lived on a particular piece of land for a long time.

Otim is being charged with malicious damage to property, defying Presidential directives on eviction of people who have lived on an area for several years and personally effecting a court order without the involvement of district security committee.

In February 2022, President Museveni banned all land evictions that are not cleared by respective District Security Committees [DSCs].

District Security Committees are chaired by RDCs.

Reports say that the suspect, Otim has since 2014 been wrangling over ownership of the 2,000 acres of land with the over 100 households.

Otim was arrested on Sunday on the orders of the RDC, Akuman.

https://thecooperator.news/bunyoro-kingdom-security-agencies-meet-over-land-dispute/

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Okello, Kyambadde join Uganda Cranes camp in Tunisia

TUNIS– Uganda Cranes camp has been boosted with the arrival of Allan Kyambadde and Allan Okello. The duo joined the rest of the team at their base in Tunisia.

Kyambadde plies his trade at El Ghouna in Egypt while Okello features for Algerian outfit AC Paradou.

The team is Tunisia for a four-day training camp and arrived in Tunis on Sunday morning before having a light training session later where both Okello and Kyambadde took part.

It should be noted that Uganda Cranes contingent departed Entebbe International Airport on Saturday afternoon and had a stop over in Dubai, UAE before moving to Tunisia.

Currently, the team is residing at Hotel is called Mouradi palace hotel Sousse Marina and will have a practice game against Hammam Sousse FC on Monday.

Uganda is preparing to face Algeria in the first game of the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers with the game slated for 4th June 2022.

Four days later, Uganda will host Niger at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

Uganda last played in Afcon finals in 2019 where they remarkably beat Dr Congo before they were dumped out of the competition by finalists Senegal.

Squad
Goalkeepers
: Lukwago Charles and Nafian Alionzi

Outfield players
Bevis Mugabi, Allan Okello, Allan Kyambadde, Elvis Bwomono, Aucho Khalid, Abdu Aziz Kayondo, Derrick Kakooza, Steven Serwadda, Kizito Mugweri Gavin, Lwaliwa Halid, Muleme Isaac, Walusimbi Enoch, Musa Ramathan, Hakim Kiwanuka, Byaruhanga Bobosi, Karisa Milton, Kizza Martin, Miya Faruku, Okwi Emmanuel, Begisa James Penz, Marvin Youngman Joseph Fahad Bayo and Jagason Muhammad Shaban.

Team Officials
Mpiima Samuel – Leader of Delegation
Sredojevic Milutin – Head Coach
Basena Moses -Assistant Coach
Kajoba Fred – Goalkeeping Coach
Massa Geofrey -Team Manager
Nakabago Emmanuel – Team Doctor
Sewanyana Ivan – Physiotherapist
Nyakana Ram – Fitness Coach.
Balyejusa Ayub -Kits Manager
Mulondo Samuel – Kits Manager
Mutebi Julius – Media Officer
Kindha Musa Shaka – FUFA Tv Production
Lukambi Denis – FUFA Legal Manager
Kacumu Stephen – Team Official
Tamale Haruna – Team Official

https://thecooperator.news/the-power-of-co-operatives-europes-elite-football-clubs-are-owned-by-fans-uganda-has-long-way-to-go/

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Bitature accepts USD10mln loan, says negotiations with Vantage ongoing well

KAMPALA– Kampala businessman, Patrick Bitature has finally accepted that he indeed borrowed US$ 10 million from Vantage Mezzanine Fund in December 2014 and is willing to pay, as negotiations, including arbitration, as agreed in the agreement, are ongoing.

Currently, Bitature’s loan obligation to Vantage, which he was claiming to be illegal, has accumulated to US$ 34 million, the last repayment period having elapsed in December 2019.

Bitature in the latest statement says the money was borrowed to complete his Protea by Marriot Skyz Hotel and working capital for Electromaxx subsidiary.

The agreement had a 3-year moratorium [freeze] for repayment of both the principal and interest.

In the statement, he says he based his loan on the economic prospects in the country then.

“Simba was confident of economic prospects in the country as Uganda had discovered 6.5 million barrels of oil reserves. Like many other business players in Uganda, we were expecting economic upturn, and therefore in line with our innovative plans, groundbreaking and forward vision, we explored opportunities to generate value in the economy with sustainable investment,” Bitature says.

In the statement, he also says the delay in making the final investment decision [FID] also had an effect on his investment plans, leading to failure to meet his debt obligation whose date of repayment was to come around December 2017, but was pushed to December 2019, having discussed with Vantage.

Recently, High Court threw out Bitature’s application seeking protection from prosecution, the ruling saying his application “catastrophically lacks a legal basis.”

His lawyer Fred Muwema was ordered to meet the costs of the application for wasting the court’s time with his useless application.

Much as Bitature says he is in further negotiations with Vantage, the latter has not come out to say whether its intention to sell Bitature’s properties still stands.

Below is Bitature’s full statement:

https://thecooperator.news/vantage-lawyers-insist-on-selling-properties-of-bitature-to-recover-u34mln/

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Roads: Leaders demand increased funding

Leaders in the Acholi sub region have asked the central government to increase funds for the roads, saying most roads in the region are impassible, especially during the rainy season.

This comes at a time when most roads in the region are in a very poor state, hindering accessibility to various social services such as hospitals.

In Omoro district, the district manages a total of 303km with 518km under the direct management of the sub-counties. However, hundreds of kilometres of roads in the district are in a very poor state.

Some of the roads in a sorry state and affecting accessibility include Awere –Awaliwanglobo to Abela Health Centre II, Odek to Lakim, Acet-Orapwoyo-Idure to Laminladera among others.

Douglas Okello Peter, the Omoro district LCV Chairperson, while addressing NRM supporters on the last day of the campaign for the Omoro County by-elections at Odek Primary School on Tuesday, said that the district has suffered a financial shortfall of Shs 158 million in the financial year ending June 2022.

Okello said that the meager road funding has hindered rehabilitation processes as well as opening of new roads which would boost agriculture and access to other social services.

According to Okello, the government should increase funds under the Uganda road fund to at least 1 billion shillings per district and Shs 500 million per sub-county so that roads and rehabilitation and accessibility improved.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru district LCV Chairperson told this reporter that with heavy trucks plying the various roads, the condition of roads has worsened. He said that there is need for improved funding in the road sector so that the roads are maintained to avoid being damaged more.

According to Lakony, Amuru district receives not more than Shs 400mln for road works, yet several bridges and culverts are broken, needing replacement. Coupled with the inadequate funding, Lakony notes that the government has on several occasions delayed remitting the funds to the district accounts.

Museveni while speaking to told Omoro district locals said that the government would study the late Oulanyah`s proposal and possibly modify it.

He said that from his movements across the country, most of the districts have road work equipment but lack fuel. Museveni said the government will look into increasing funding for road works since they play a huge role in community development.

“We had agreed to have a standard formula for funding marram roads. I don’t know why the issue of road funding keeps coming up, because you hear each district has equipment but lacks fuel to do their work. We will look into the road sector to see that funding is improved,” Museveni said.

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Roads: Leaders demand increased funding

Leaders in the Acholi sub region have asked the central government to increase funds for the roads, saying most roads in the region are impassible, especially during the rainy season.

This comes at a time when most roads in the region are in a very poor state, hindering accessibility to various social services such as hospitals.

In Omoro district, the district manages a total of 303km with 518km under the direct management of the sub-counties. However, hundreds of kilometres of roads in the district are in a very poor state.

Some of the roads in a sorry state and affecting accessibility include Awere –Awaliwanglobo to Abela Health Centre II, Odek to Lakim, Acet-Orapwoyo-Idure to Laminladera among others.

Douglas Okello Peter, the Omoro district LCV Chairperson, while addressing NRM supporters on the last day of the campaign for the Omoro County by-elections at Odek Primary School on Tuesday, said that the district has suffered a financial shortfall of Shs 158 million in the financial year ending June 2022.

Okello said that the meager road funding has hindered rehabilitation processes as well as opening of new roads which would boost agriculture and access to other social services.

According to Okello, the government should increase funds under the Uganda road fund to at least 1 billion shillings per district and Shs 500 million per sub-county so that roads and rehabilitation and accessibility improved.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru district LCV Chairperson told this reporter that with heavy trucks plying the various roads, the condition of roads has worsened. He said that there is need for improved funding in the road sector so that the roads are maintained to avoid being damaged more.

According to Lakony, Amuru district receives not more than Shs 400mln for road works, yet several bridges and culverts are broken, needing replacement. Coupled with the inadequate funding, Lakony notes that the government has on several occasions delayed remitting the funds to the district accounts.

Museveni while speaking to told Omoro district locals said that the government would study the late Oulanyah`s proposal and possibly modify it.

He said that from his movements across the country, most of the districts have road work equipment but lack fuel. Museveni said the government will look into increasing funding for road works since they play a huge role in community development.

“We had agreed to have a standard formula for funding marram roads. I don’t know why the issue of road funding keeps coming up, because you hear each district has equipment but lacks fuel to do their work. We will look into the road sector to see that funding is improved,” Museveni said.

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Museveni roots for 4-acre farming approach to boost household incomes

OMORO– President Museveni is rooting for small-scale commercial farming approach in order to boost household incomes in northern Uganda.

This comes at a time when the Acholi Sub-region, according to a survey by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics [UBOS], is the poorest in the country, despite boasting arguably of the most fertile land in the country.

While campaigning for Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, the National Resistance Movement Candidate for the Omoro County Parliamentary by-election, Museveni said the government is currently looking to boost household incomes using the 4-acre farming approach where a farmer can get at least Shs 100 million per year.

“Our mathematics of the 4-acre module, 1 acre for coffee, fruits (citrus and mangoes, pineapples, pasture for feeding the livestock and 4th acre for the food crop growing. In the backyard, one would put piggery, chicken for eggs, and fish farming for those around swamps,” Museveni explained.

According to Museveni, this approach will directly be assisted under the Parish Development Module under which each parish in the country will be getting a total of 100 million every financial year.

“We have had several interventions like NAADs, Operation Wealth Creation. But now we are giving money directly to your SACCOs to fund your various projects. This is aimed at improving household income in your homes,” the president noted.

He also noted that the government will support Andrew Ojok, if elected to replace his father and see that a few farmers are taken to Fort Portal for benchmarking to gain more modernized farming skills focusing on the various high income generating enterprises.

“We shall help Ojok to take some few people to Fort Portal to see how people are getting 250m in small pieces of acre in farming,” he said.

In recent interviews, locals in the district demanded the local leaders make deliberate efforts to establish cooperative societies for soybean farmers.

Catherine Lamwaka, the Omoro County Woman MP, appealed to Museveni to help direct the government to invest in improving the value chain in soybean production. In his response, Museveni said that the government would get investors to invest in the soybean value chain.

https://thecooperator.news/museveni-to-farmers-dont-overprice-milk/

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UIA organises Uganda-DRC Investment Promotion Summit and Market Access Expo

KAMPALA– Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, through Uganda Investment Authority [UIA], is organizing the first ever Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]Investment Promotion Summit and Market Access Expo slated for June 27- 29th 2022.

The Summit, under the theme “Uganda-DRC Investment Promotion and Market Access”, will be held in the Congolese capital city of Kinshasa.

UIA is working with ACOPA-ONGd, the Congolese liaison entity that promotes investment and cross-border business in eastern DRC. The overall objective of the Summit and Expo is to promote and show case investment opportunities, create networks and joint venture partnerships aimed at enhancing investment and market access between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to promote products manufactured in Uganda.

Speaking on May 23, 2022 at a press conference on the Summit at Uganda Media Centre, State Minister for Investment and Privatization, Evelyne Anite, said: “We are going to the DRC not for fun but very serious business of promoting investment and trade with Uganda. We are targeting five key sectors, namely, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, services, real estate and trade”.

Minister Anite said the Summit is also aimed at promoting the formalization of informal cross-border trade between Uganda and DRC that has been going on for years.

The State Minister for Regional Cooperation, John Mulimba, said “the entry of the DRC into the East African Community family provides an opportunity to Ugandan investors to access new markets and opportunities for growth”, adding that “the new EAC now offers a combined market-driven economy of 300 million people and a GDP of 243 billion dollars”.

The State Minister for Trade, Harriet Ntabazi, called on Ugandan investors and business to seize the investment and trade opportunities to make money and develop Uganda.

The UIA Director General, Robert Mukiza, said through the Summit and Expo, Uganda aims to attract a significant number of Congolese investors to come and set shop in Uganda, taking advantage of Uganda’s strategic location in the heart of the EAC bloc, as well as popularize Ugandan products in the DRC and expand and deepen their market share.

Mukiza said the Summit also aims at attracting more Foreign Direct Investment into Uganda, as the investors would use Uganda’s strategic location to access the expanded East African Community market of over 300 million people, from the Indian Ocean coast to the Atlantic Ocean coast.

Mukiza added: “We invite Ugandan investors and businesses to participate in this first ever Uganda-DRC Investment Promotion Summit and Market Access Expo because the dividends would be greater.”

The Chair of the Board of UIA, Morrison Rwakakamba, said the DRC provides the best investment and trade opportunity for Uganda, pointing out a catalogue of Ugandan products that need to get traction into the huge DRC market.

On April 9, 2022, UIA organised the highly successful West Nile Investment Summit in Nebbi District under the theme “Mobilisation of local investment for industrialization, market access and job creation”. The Summit attracted a high-powered delegation from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – the National Oversight Mechanism of the Framework Agreement, MNS, and members of the provincial Government of Ituri, and the ACOPA-ONGd, the liaison entity for promoting investment and cross border business in North-Kivu Province.

The West Nile Investment Summit connected with the political will of our two leaders, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and his Congolese counterpart, Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi.

The West Nile Investment Summit accelerated a new era in the economic and commercial relations between our two respective State entities at this historic moment when the DRC joins the East African Community.

The Summit agreed on a number of key resolutions, worth noting is Resolution 4, which states thus: “To organize a reciprocal Investment Promotion and Market Access Expo in Kinshasa, on 27th and 28th of June, 2022, and an Investment Promotion summit on

June 29, 2022, in Kinshasa”. It is against this backdrop that Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, through UIA, and in collaboration with ACOPAONGd, is organizing the Uganda-DRC Investment Summit and Expo, that will take place in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, from 27th to 29th June, 2022 under the theme “Uganda-DRC Investment Promotion and Market Access”.

The overall objective of the Summit and Expo is to promote and show case investment opportunities, create networks and joint venture partnerships aimed at enhancing investment and market access between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to promote products manufactured in Uganda.

The DRC, a new Member of the East African Community, has a market of over 100 million people, and is an important and growing market for Ugandan products. Through the Summit and Expo, UIA aims to attract a significant number of Congolese investors to come and set shop in Uganda, as well as other foreign direct investors, taking advantage of Uganda’s strategic location in the heart of the EAC bloc.

Through the Summit, UIA also aims at popularizing Ugandan products and services in the DRC, expand, and deepen their market share. Investors and businesses are invited to register in order to participate in the first ever Uganda-DRC Investment Promotion Summit and Market Access Expo because the dividends would be greater.

https://thecooperator.news/nebbi-district-to-host-west-nile-investment-summit-in-march-19-2022/

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