Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) sponsored the 1st Annual Jinja Business & Investment Summit and Exhibition in Jinja under the theme, “Attracting investment & sustainably revitalizing business in Source of the Nile City”. The summit that was organized by the Africa Center for Economic Dialogue (AfCED), in conjunction with Jinja City, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of East African Community Affairs was held on 11th – 12th of November 2022 at the Civil Service College, Jinja.
The Summit that brought together both public and private sectors of Jinja city and other stakeholders from Busoga sub region and beyond was graced by the Minister of State for East African Community Affairs, Hon. James Magode Ikuya who represented the Chief Guest, Rt. Hon. Rebbeca Alitwala Kadaga.
Jinja’s Industrial and Investment prowess dates back to the early 1950s. The city had long been Uganda’s industrial hub, but many factories have since collapsed while others have been relocated. However, the city remains a catchment area with huge potential for industrial prospects.
Hon. Magode advised the participants that, in order to access market opportunities, they ought to improve on the quality of products, adopt international standards, embrace e-commerce and get acquainted with the relevant rules and regulations. He further committed that Government will continue to support the private sector to create new innovations, produce high quality products that can compete well in the domestic, regional and international markets.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of UFZA, Mr.Hez Kimoomi Alinda pointed out the need for the well positioned Jinja city to tap into the Free Zones Scheme which facilitates processing and manufacturing by providing tax and non-tax incentives for export-oriented investment. He said that Uganda has negotiated market access at regional and multilateral levels with access to the EAC market estimated at a combined GDP of US$305Bn with a population of about 283.7 million people, the AfCFTA market estimated at 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of US$3.4 Trillion, the European Union market (Everything but Arms), AGOA among others yet Uganda’s participation in global trade stands at 0.02%.