Uganda the pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Traveling through Uganda, you will be captivated by its beauty, safety, accessibility and friendliness. The natural beauty of its people and its landscape are outstanding. It is one of the most appealing nations and Africa's friendliest country.
Uganda lies astride the Equator in Eastern Africa between longitudes 29 ½° East and 35° East and between latitudes 4 ½° North and ½° South, at an average altitude of 1,100 meters above sea- level. The total area is 236,580sq.Km. Uganda is bordered by the Arab Republic of Sudan to the North, the Republic of Kenya to the east, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and the United republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Rwanda to the south.
Ecologically, Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in this impossibly lush country can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a mountain gorilla? Certainly, Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes. And this verdant biodiversity is further attested to by Uganda’s status as by far the smallest of the four African countries whose bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark.
People and Culture
Situated at the geographical heart of the African continent, Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 30-plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The country’s most ancient inhabitants, confined to the hilly southwest, are the Batwa and Bambuti Pygmies, relics of the hunter-gatherer cultures that once occupied much of East Africa to leave behind a rich legacy of rock paintings, such as at the Nyero Rock Shelter near Kumi.
At the cultural core of modern-day Uganda lie the Bantu-speaking kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro, whose traditional monarchs – reinstated in the 1990s after having been abolished by President Milton Obote in 1967 – still serve as important cultural figureheads.
According to oral tradition, these centuries-old kingdoms are offshoots of the mediaeval kingdoms of Batembuzi and Bachwezi, which lay in the vicinity of present-day Mubende and Ntusi, where archaeological evidence suggests that a strongly centralised polity had emerged by the 11th century.
Three former kings of Buganda are buried in an impressive traditional thatched building at the Kasubi Tombs in Kampala.
• English(Official language)
• Runyankole,Rukiga or Rutoro
• Roman catholic (41%)
• Anglican (40%)
• Islam (5%)
• Other beliefs (14%)
Uganda boasts of temperate climate even though a bulky of its area is in the tropics with varying temperatures of 16 - 26°C (April - November), and over 30°C during warm seasons (December - March) . It also harbours the world's second largest lake the victoria, the source of the world's second longest river, the Nile.
Officially named The Republic of Uganda, headed by the President guided by the republican constitution. Voting qualifications are universal but for those above 18 years of age.
Economic profile and Currency
Consistently ranked among Africa’s fastest growing economies since 1986, Uganda has experienced a steady expansion infrastructures, and a corresponding increase in international tourist arrivals and upmarket facilities. We use the Ugandan Shilling (UGX) denominated with /= sign.
• New Year's Day - 1 January
• NRM Liberation Day - 26 January
• Easter Sunday, Good Friday - March - April
• Martyrs' Day - 3 June
• Heroes Day - 9 June
• Independence - 9 October
• Christmas Day - 25 December
• Boxing Day - 26 December
Investment In Uganda
Uganda: A new Investment Destination
Uganda lies astride the equator and enjoys a unique location at the heart of Sub-Saharan African within East African region. The country is bordered by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the East, and United Republic of Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. This location though landlocked gives the country a commanding base for regional trade and investment.
Why invest in Uganda?
1. Predictable Environment:
Uganda has been able to achieve macro-economic stability when clouds of uncertainty rocked many regions of the world.
2. Fully Liberalized Economy:
3. Market Access:
4. Strong Natural Resource base:
5. Government Commitment to Private Sector:
6. Trainable Labor:
7. Security of Investment:
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPICA) of USA.
- Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award (CREFAA).
- Islamic Corporation for the Insurance and Export Credit (ICIEC).
- ICSID, TRIMS, GATS and TRIPS.
8. Investment incentives:
a) Investment Capital Allowances
and Industrial buildings. 20%
Depreciation rates of assets range 20-40%
buildings and hospitals 5%
b) Investors who register as investment traders are entitled to VAT refund on building materials for industrial/commercials buildings.
c) Duty and Tax free import of plant and machinery.
d) First Arrival Privileges in the form of duty exemptions for personal effects and motor vehicle (previously owned for at least 12 months) to all investors and expatriates coming to Uganda.
e) Export promotion incentives and Facilities.
Uganda is one of the leading producers of coffee and bananas in the world. It is also major producer of tea, cotton (including organic cotton), tobacco, cereals, oilseeds (simsim, soya, sunflower, etc), fresh and preserved fruit, vegetables and nuts, essential oils, orchids, flowers and sericulture (silk). Opportunities include commercial farming and value addition, as well as the manufacture of inputs and supply of agricultural machinery.
The sector is the second highest foreign exchange earner for Uganda with export revenues amounting to an estimated US$ 124 million in the year 2008. Large fresh water expanses are home to a wide variety of fish products. Opportunities are available for fish farming and establishment of more fish processing factories on other lakes other than Lake Victoria. Uganda’s fish is a delicacy in Europe and has recently penetrated the US market.
With over 4.9 million hectares of rich forest vegetation, Uganda possesses abundant potential in areas like timber processes for export, manufacture of high quality furniture/wood products and various packaging materials. There are also opportunities in afforestation and reforestation especially of medicinal trees and plants, soft wood plantations for timber, pulp & poles.
Uganda’s manufacturing output has been expanding by more than 10% annually over last 8 years. Opportunities exist in virtually all areas ranging from beverages, leather; tobacco based processing, paper, textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, fabrication, ceramics, glass, fertilizers, plastic/PVC, assembly of electronic goods, hi-tech and medical products.
Uganda has large under-exploited mineral deposits of gold, oil, high grade tin, tungsten/wolfram, salt, beryllium, cobalt, kaolin, iron-ore, glass sand, vermiculite and phosphates (fertilizers). A discovery of petroleum wells in the Lake Albert region has enhanced the sector. There are also significant quantities of clay and gypsum. Uganda provides special incentives to the mining sector with some capital expenditures being written off in full.
Although significant efforts have been made to develop and rehabilitate the existing physical and non-physical infrastructure, potential investment opportunities still abound. In particular, transport &logistics and energy sectors still require further investments. With less than 10% of the mainstream capacity of 2.700 megawatts of power exploited, Uganda has the potential to be a major supplier of hydro electric power to the entire east African region.
Opportunities for investment exist for international multinational banking groups particularly promoting new or innovative financial products (i.e. mortgage finance, venture capital, merchant banking and leasing finance) and also micro finance saving institutions, which propose to operate in rural areas. Insurance, in particular, is still a relatively young sector and offers several opportunities for investment.
The distinctive attraction of Uganda as a tourist destination arises from the variety of its game stock and its unspoiled scenic beauty. Within a relatively limited space of just over 240,000 sq. kilometers, Uganda offers an interesting contrast ranging from the wide East African plains and expansive savanna grasslands to the impenetrable, mountain rain forests and snow peaked mountains in the south western parts of the country.
Uganda offers a wide range of bird species for viewing in addition to numerous sporting opportunities such as mountain climbing and water sports including white water rafting. The opportunities in tourism range from constructing high quality accommodation facilities, operating tours and travel circuits to the development of specialized eco-tourism.
Printing and Publishing
In the printing and publishing sub-sector, opportunities exist for the printing of textbooks for schools. Currently, imports supply over 90% of Uganda’s textbook requirement (estimated at over US$ 7 million a year). Investment opportunities therefore exist in the various type of printing including flexology, screen printing, ion deposition printing and direct charge deposition printing.
Uganda runs high quality courses at a relatively cheaper cost than other education destinations and is dedicated to making investment in the country’s knowledge hub a unique experience and a win-win situation for both investors and students. Investment opportunities therefore exist in Uganda for setting up of independent private universities, branch universities and offshore campuses. Other areas of investment include technical & vocational training, technology-based education & distance education and student financing.
Information Communication and Technology
Uganda’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is not of the most vibrant within the region. This vibrancy hinges largely on the good legal and regulatory frameworks. The supportive investment climate therein has exposed numerous opportunities in ICT innovation services leading to maximum utilization of the existing youthful human resource base. The newly developed and highly qualitative ICT infrastructure is also ready to accommodate more future investments.
Opportunities in the ICT include establishment of information and communication infrastructure and broadband services, business process outsourcing services, computer and related equipment hardware assembly, high level ICT training facilities on international standards, ICT business, services incubation, hardware repair training facilities, software development niches, setting up Information Technology Virtual Zones (ITVZ), and setting up Internet service provider facilities in other parts of Uganda.
Uganda in Brief (Basic Country Data)
Water and Swamps
199,808 Sq. Km.
41,743 Sq. Km.
241,552 Sq. Km.
4° 12’N & 1° 29’ S
29° 34’E &35°0’W
Minimum (above sea level - Albert Nile)
Maximum (above sea level –Mt Ruwenzori )
Kampala: Annual Mean Temperature
Kampala: Annual Rainfall
Forests and Woodland
Total Population (2009 midyear)
Percentage Urban (2009 midyear)
Population of Kampala City (2009 midyear)
Population/Aged under 18 years (2002)
Population/Aged 65+ (2002)
Population Density (2002)
Inter-Censal Annual Population
Growth Rate 1991-2002
Infant Mortality Rate (2002 census)
Life Expectancy at birth (2002 census)
Population per Physician (Doctor)
3.2% per year
76 per 1000
English, Luganda, and Kiswahili
Literacy Rate (2006)
The Role of Uganda Investment Authority
UIA is the agency set up by an Act of Parliament (Investment Code 1991) to promote and facilitate private sector investment in Uganda. The agency serves to:
1. Provide first hand information on investment opportunities in Uganda.
2. Issue investment Licenses.
3. Assist in securing other licenses and secondary approvals for investors.
4. Help investors to implement their project ideas through assistance in locating relevant project support services.
5. Provide assistance in the acquisition of industrial land.
6. Help to obtain work permits and special passes for investors and their expatriate staff.
7. Arrange contacts for potential investors and organize itineraries for visiting foreign missions in the country.
8. Assist investors in seeking joint venture partners and funding.
9. Review and make policy recommendations to Government about investment.
Foreign investors can apply for loans from the local banking sector. Investors can also list their companies on the local stock exchange. A number of financial support initiatives exist to support investors in given sectors. UIA can advise potential investors on the how and where to access existing financing options for their planned investments.
GETTING STARTED – A BRIEF GUIDE
Foreign investors require minimum of US$ 100,000 in planned investment in order to secure an investment license from the UIA, whereas for local investors, the minimum planned investment requirement is US$ 50,000. Local investors, however, may proceed with their investment without licensing with the UIA. The license is very crucial to foreign investors as it is the instrument that legalizes their investment in Uganda. Traders do not require a license from UIA but must demonstrate operating capital of US$ 100,000 before trading licenses and entry permits are issued by local authorities.
STEPS TO REGISTER YOUR INVESTMENT IN UGANDA
Step 1- Register your company in Uganda
Register your company in Uganda at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and obtain the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and a Certificate of Incorporation.
Step 2 - Get your Investment License
Apply for an investment license using UIA Form 1 and attach the documents in step 1 plus a brief Business Plan. Normal processing time for an investment license is 2 – 5 days.
Step 3 – Secure necessary secondary clearances
Certain sectors require other secondary licenses e.g. for mining activity, air transport, banking, forestry. UIA will assist you to secure these licenses within reasonable time, obtaining suitable industrial land and work permits for your expatriate staff. Utilities like telephone, electricity and water can easily be secured from the relevant offices.
The one stop shop has now been implemented permitting investors to obtain all these services at the UIA. This initiative saves the investors both time and money to have their projects licensed and implemented expeditiously. Representatives from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Department of Immigration and Ministry of Lands are already housed at the UIA for this cause.
In Kampala, there are several high-class hotels to choose from. A chain f hotels and lodges of a consistent standard, which are well distributed in major towns and in national parks, exist. Reservations should be made in advance whenever possible.
Main ones are British Airways, KLM, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Emirates, Kenya Airways, SN Brussels, Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Air Uganda and Dairo Air (cargo).
There are several local and foreign owned commercial banks under the supervision of the Central Bank. The banks are open to the public from 8.30 am to Saturdays. Foreign currency may be exchanged at different banks and forex bureaus. No limitation on the amount of foreign currency traded.
Light summer clothes throughout the year around. Jacket and tie ordinarily required in official meetings.
We recommend that you drink previously boiled water and bottled water.
A wide range of restaurants exists including continental, Chinese, English, Italian, Japanese, French, Lebanese, Korean, Indian and several other cuisines.
Inoculation requirement of yellow fever and cholera are mandatory in Uganda. Anti-malaria medication is necessary in most parts of Uganda, though malaria is rare in most highland areas.
The official language is English. Luganda and Swahili are commonly spoken in most parts of the country.
There are a variety of sports available in the city centre – squash, golf, tennis, badminton, football etc.
The roads are generally in good condition. Four wheel drive vehicles are only necessary in the game parks or up country during the rainy season. Public transport is readily available.
Visa/Entry (Work) Permit:
A visitor is given a single journey visa to Uganda and on arrival he/she is issued with a visitor’s pass for purposes of either spending a holiday, traveling, or investigating the possibilities of carrying on any business, trade or profession in Uganda. Please bring spare passport photographs. Multiple entry visas can be granted to business executives, who expect to make numerous visits either for business meetings or organization.
Entry Permit Classes:
A1 Persons in government services, UN organizations, OA, PTA and other institutions approved by the minister
A Contracting companies of the for said organizations
B-F Investors in various disciplines
Investors and employees are required by law to execute a security bond equivalent to the cost of a single economy class ticket to their country of origin. The money if necessary, is used for purposes of defraying expenses incurred or may be incurred by Government in connection with maintenance and/or repatriation of the person of whom the deposit has been made.
No entry permit fee is charged for class A1. For all other classes, the payments at the published rates are made in foreign currency or its equivalent in local currency. Renewals of entry permits are provided at annual rates.
Effective March 1, 1999, Government of Uganda introduced visa requirement for all visitors entering Uganda. Underlying the Uganda visa policy is the principle of reciprocity, that is, all countries that require visas for Ugandans are also visa prone in Uganda. Therefore:-
From the 2007/2008 budget, the following fees are being charged:
Single entry US$50
The fees structure for the multiple entry visas (6 months) & multiple entry visas (12 months) are currently under review. Multiple Visas are obtainable only from Uganda Missions Abroad.
Visa requirements for countries are based on a reciprocal arrangement. The following countries are exempted:
Uganda Registration Services Bureau
Plot 5 George Street, Amamu House 4th floor
P.O Box 6848 Kampala, Uganda
Bank of Uganda
37/43 Kampala Road
P.O Box 7120 Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-41-4258441/6. 341223
Uganda Manufacturers Association
Lugogo Show Grounds
P.O Box 6966 Kampala, Uganda
National Environment Management Authority
NEMA House, 3rd Floor
Plot 17/19/21 Jinja Road