Digital, mobile and educated – Uganda as an investment destination for Finnish business
By Sara Tabrizizadeh-Haavisto, Deaconess Foundation
What makes Uganda a compelling investment destination for Finnish entrepreneurs?
This is a question that the Uganda Forum: Harnessing Diaspora and NGO know-how for opportunities for businesses is putting forward to a panel of knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs and sectoral experts. The Uganda Forum to be help on 5 December 2023 is a collaboration between The Partnering for Change project (PARC) of the Deaconess Foundation and Filantropia ry, and Finnpartnership.
While Uganda offers enormous investment potential for Finnish businesses, it’s not talked about as much as its neighbour, Kenya. However, as companies such as Block Solutions oy and Kaffa Roastery have shown, Uganda is ready for Finnish investment.
For investors seeking geopolitical stability and to build economic resilience after the economically tumultuous events of the last year in Europe, a country such as Uganda offers immense opportunities. Uganda has a market economy, ideal climate, ample arable land, a young and English-speaking population and ongoing development of oil fields.
Uganda has experienced consistent economic growth over the past decade, with a stable GDP growth rate averaging around 6%. According to the Band of Uganda, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by 37% to $1.4 billion in 2022 compared to $911 million in 2021 strongly influenced by project-related spending in the oil sector. The Bank of Uganda forecasts that pre-oil investment will average $2 billion annually until first oil is achieved in 2025. Additionally, Uganda’s parliament passed amendments to existing laws to improve accountability, especially aimed at improving anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism.
Of particular interest to the Finnish service economy is the potential for digital services. Indeed, with increasing internet penetration and mobile phone usage, access to technology is widespread and growing. Many Ugandans are already familiar with digital platforms and mobile apps, creating a fertile ground for tech-based businesses to thrive.
Moreover, Uganda has a youthful population. Over 78% of its citizens are below 30. This translates into a tech-savvy and innovative workforce that is eager to embrace digital entrepreneurship. The young entrepreneurs that are making the most of their skills and creativity to develop solutions and services aimed at local and global markets would make prime partners.
Finally, Uganda’s in nestled in East Africa making it a gateway to regional markets. Uganda is a member of the East African Community which facilitates trade with neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.
The Ugandan government and authorities are welcoming of foreign investment and celebrate its ability to create jobs. In addition to a sizable consumer market, a diversifying economy, and a commitment to pro-business reforms, Uganda stands as an attractive destination for Finnish entrepreneurs. As such, PARC has decided to make Uganda the focus of the event Uganda Forum: Harnessing Diaspora and NGO know-how for opportunities for businesses. Representatives both from the NGO and private sector are warmly welcome to participate. We’ll be providing the latest updates and the most thought-provoking experiences on how to conduct sustainable business in Uganda.
Written by Mwila Agatha Zaza, Partnering for Change
Uganda Forum: Harnessing Diaspora and NGO Know-how for Opportunities for Businesses, 5 December 2023 at 9.00-12.00.
For more information contact
Programme Coordinator, International Affairs
Expert, Corporate Responsibility and Private Sector Collaboration
+358 50 563 8657