Building a Strong National Economy – Aired February 2008
Known as the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda has long been renowned for its immense beauty. The country has significant natural resources and geographic diversity.
But which are the main challenges this eastern African country is facing?
Are there any advantages the country can profit from?
What has been done so far to improve the general social and economic situation in uganda?
Join Asia Business Channel as we explore the emerging country of Uganda.
Located at the heart of East and Central Africa – a region that includes some of Africa’s most economically important countries – Uganda offers a strategic location.
With the keen support of the government, the nation today has great potential to become the business and investment hub of the East African region.
Uganda’s developing economy is the result of one man’s vision – His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. In power since 1986, he has been lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders.
One of the most economically liberal countries in Africa, Uganda is becoming a leader in the region for privatisation and industrial projects.
Uganda has consistently attracted people from all over the world. Apart from its open, friendly and hospitable population, it has a secure environment and a history of religious tolerance, and moreover, the weather is great.
The country today offers a number of advantages for interested investors both from Asia and the Middle East.
Uganda has several economic assets. Asia Business Channel’s made a list of the five most important export products.
At number 5 is tobacco. Uganda is one of the few countries in Africa with tobacco to rival that of the Caribbean. It’s known for its smooth, gentle flavor.
Ugandan tea makes it to number 4. It is now exported to many countries all over the world. With a landscape as fertile as it gets, this is no surprise.
The scarcity of Ugandan gold has only increased its value globally. Ugandan Gold is at number 3 on our list.
At number 2 are fish products. Lake Victoria is rich in marine life, and freshwater fish not only sustains the millions of inhabitants of the country, but the continent as well.
And what is the number one export product of Uganda? Coffee. Known for its bitter overtones yet overly pleasant aftertaste, it is one of the finest coffees in the world.
Although still relatively young, Uganda’s emerging financial sector is vibrant and well supported by banking, legal, accounting and insurance support services.
The Central Bank of Uganda controls the country’s monetary policy. It has controlled inflation very successfully, and the Ugandan shilling is now a stable currency.
The capital or equity market in the country comprises mainly of the recently launched Uganda Securities Exchange Limited and stock broking firms. Investors can rely on the country’s world-class financial services sector for local expertise.
Uganda’s rich red dirt employs over 80% of the labour force, and accounts for over 90% of export earnings.
This rich red dirt is often referred to as “blood dirt”, as it is said that anything you put in the ground will flourish.
As Uganda forms part of the East African plateau, favourable conditions for food and cash crop cultivation are found in most areas.
Nearly 75% of arable land that receives reliable rainfall is continuously cultivated or used as pastures, but large areas of the country are still under-utilized.
One of the most important products for the country is coffee. It turns out to be the biggest foreign exchange earner. Coffee is also important socially and economically.
Uganda grows both types of coffee that are cultivated around the world: robusta and arabica. In fact, Uganda is the country where the robusta coffee trees come from. It is grown throughout the year, which makes Uganda unique in terms of coffee production.
Uganda is gifted with various water bodies such as lake Victoria. No wonder it has a wide variety of fish. At the moment Uganda exports around 100 mil worth of fish but there are possibilities for expansion.
Known for its beauty, Uganda is surely worth visiting. Here is Asia Business Channel’s top 5 of the tourist activities you can’t possibly miss.
At number 5 we have shopping at the local craft markets. Not only can you buy very nice souvenirs, but while doing this you also support the local economy.
A visit the source of the Nile is at number 4. The legendary river flows from here all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Dream away of its great historical significance.
Enjoy animal spotting in a beautiful nature setting. A visit to one of the many national parks makes it to number 3.
At number 2 is white water rafting on the river Nile. The really adventurous can enjoy up to class 5 rapids. Not for the faint-hearted.
And what is the top tourism attraction? Gorilla tracking. Experience an eye to eye meeting with our closest relatives in their natural habitat. You will never forget it.
Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, with fantastic natural scenery.
Visitors to the country will find some of the region’s most peaceful national parks – home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population and a wide variety of bird species and wild range.
There are also numerous opportunities for mountain climbing and water sports such as white water rafting.
The country is already gaining a steady reputation as a premier tourist destination in Africa.
With its rich eco-tourism potential, Uganda is the ideal choice for tour operators targeting niche market areas such as bird watching, gorilla safaris and mountain trekking.
The country can be marketed as a new destination with tailor-made packages that are different from the mass tourism that other African countries have been offering.
Uganda offers an exceptional opportunity for business in the heart of Africa.
With a strategic location and a government keen on developing the economy to its full potential, interested investors can rest assured that their ventures into this East African country will be fruitful.