Uganda is a country blessed with natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, cooper deposits, gold, rivers and lake, many national parks. Uganda recently discovered 3.5 billion barrels of oil off Lake Albert, which is on the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Uganda’s emerging oil industry has attracted many investors to the country, including players like Total and Tullow Oil, as well as suppliers to the industry; many international companies are investing in Uganda and have helped to kick-start the economy.
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing more than one-third of the work force, there is many opportunities in Uganda; thousands of land that are currently unused and lying fallow, this substantial acreage can be used for farming and producing of essential food crops that be used for national consumption and exports. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Uganda has a small industrial sector that still depend on imported inputs like oil and equipment, the sector accounts for 21 % of Uganda's GDP and employs about 7 % of the national labor force.
Uganda has been rated the most attractive investment destinations Africa, this is according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016. The index developed by Quantum Global research lab, puts Uganda (12th) ahead of giants like Nigeria, ranked 19th, Libya 35, Ghana 35, Kenya 15. There are many facts and figures that make Uganda attractive as a business destination, many people frequent the Eastern African country to do business, there are lots of investment opportunities; you can start a business with any amount and make lots of profits. Kampala City is the capital of Uganda, is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa with a population of over 2 million people which make the city very attractive for business. The city is now characterized by a landscape of new infrastructures and buildings, banking, roads, schools, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, apartments and villas; these and more provides the business opportunities for entrepreneurs to start business. If you go into downtown Kampala there is an area called Kikubo where you will see real business buzz, there are all sorts of goods. Importers are importing everything you name it, you get it. From photo frames to postcards to furniture to clothing, shoes, accessories, building materials, and spare parts everything is imported in this country and most of these people that are importing are not big, large-scale companies like you would imagine; they are actually small and medium sized enterprises.
I encourage you to research your business or area of interests then visit any Ugandan embassy to get more information about opportunities in Uganda. But to give a little background, have a look at the following areas:
Agriculture is a core sector of Uganda's economy and the largest employer. Over 75 per cent women are employed in the sector and contribute about 75 per cent of agricultural production. Much of the food consumed in Uganda is imported from neighboring countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Congo including Asia; this means the country spends several millions of dollars annually on food import. Uganda has plenty of arable land that has been underutilized, this provide a great opportunity for investment in commercial; with a pleasant climate and very good water resources as incentives, there’s much profit for investors in Uganda’s agriculture sector, which contributes 18% to the country’s GDP.
Uganda is among the major world's producers of Robusta coffee, but Arabica coffee is also produced in regions such as Mount Elgon and Mount Rwenzori in western Uganda and coffee contributes between 25-35 percent of the country's foreign exchange. As the population of Uganda increases and the booming business in South Sudan, the demand for food is increasing on daily basis, this creates huge opportunities for businesses that can invest in Agriculture and tap into this market.
This is another priority sector in Uganda. Due to the country’s rapid growth, increased economic activities, and increased rural-urban migration, population and investors interests in the country, there has been an increased need for the construction of buildings and related facilities. There has been a rapid increase in the number of new buildings and structures in many places across the country, from Kasese to Arua; Kampala has sky scrapers there is a booming demand for construction products and services.
Banking and money lending business has boomed, it is easy to get a short or long term loan with small capital, you can start business. Ugandans are very supportive, they will support your business, government is also available to protect business, and encourages foreign investors to come in and invest.
The Ugandan economy has been booming as a result of peace and stability and a better macroeconomic situation in the country; this has created a number of business and investment opportunities in the real estate development. Development has been fuelled in some ways by big loans from banks established by investors; with few thousands of dollars, you can start a real estate business buying and selling properties. Buying a plot of land can cost around 5000$ in neighboring places around Kampala, in some parts of the country an acre of land can go for 500$ depending on the location.
The discovery of oil in Uganda has attracted has attracted many multinationals and other international organizations to come to the country, many international NGOs have been attracted to Uganda because of the warm welcome the country gives to Refugees from neighboring countries such as Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi. In response, the Government is investing heavily in infrastructure development, while taking steps to improve the legal, information access and the regulatory framework in key sectors of the economy.
The manufacturing sector in Uganda accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has been growing at an average annual growth rate of three (4) percent in the last five years. The sector is still very small and is dominated by small and medium enterprises, which make up 93.5% of the sector. The majority of firms are sole proprietorships with annual turnovers of less than UGX 5 million (1700$). Growth in the sector is largely driven by the agro processing (food and beverages), textiles and leather subsectors. Secondary processing of metals in another main activity in the sector, including the smelting and refining of copper, and this has led to the manufacturing of metal products.
Fertilizers, chemicals, explosives and construction materials such as cement are also produced in the sector. The manufacturing activities in the country are undertaken by the private sector with government playing a proactive role. The sector is of vital importance in relation to the country’ macroeconomic strategy for encouraging broad based economic growth. Government also promotes small and medium enterprises in rural and urban areas so as to enhance labor intensive light manufacturing activities in these areas.
Tourism And Hospitality
The Uganda tourism offer in its diversity, whose features include the world famous River Nile, vast wildlife resources, varied scenery, wilderness, diverse culture and national heritage, good weather, adventure activities, warm and friendly people on the African continent. There are many National Parks from the West to the North of the country. There are many things to do and see while in Uganda, the country has some of the best wilderness and wildlife on the African continent, its true Uganda is indeed the pearl of Africa. These natural wonders provide opportunities for investors to make money; the government has encouraged locals and foreign investors to invest in the sector. There is Uganda tourism board to provide you with all the information you need about Uganda tourism investment.
Being a land locked country, located in the East African Region; the country is heavily dependent on its transport network connoting it to various export and import destinations. Uganda transport includes, roads, airports, inland waterways and maritime. As population and tourism increases, there is a huge demand for transport services across the country.
If you have a big capital, you can start a business that offers transport services from place to place, car rental services is another area you should look at, including water boat sports on lakes to tap into the increasing tourism. Another area is the delivery services from door to door especially in urban centers using trucks or Boda Boda (motorcycle) transport.