UGANDA-EU Business Forum 2022

Reported by: Gtrade21 Commissioner Joseph Pangarasio Onek

Uganda is located in central part of Africa, boarding South Sudan in the North, Kenya in the East, Tanzania & Rwanda with lots of natural resources, good climate all year round that is why its’s referred to as the pearl of Africa with a Population of over 45 million with the majority under the age of 35yrs and $42,685 GDP and $995.3 per Capita. Land size of 241,038km2.

Uganda boasts of enough electricity supply for production, improved road networks, youthful workforce, peace and security and good climate all year round.

Uganda’s top 7 export destinations in Europe

  • Italy 25%
  • Germany 20%
  • Netherlands 17%
  • Belgium 13%
  • Spain 7%
  • Portugal 5%
  • France 4%

Attendance: The forum was both physical and online and it registered over 1,500 participates.

The second Uganda-European Union business forum 2022 was hosted by Uganda private sector foundation and European union delegation to Uganda. This two days forum was held at Commonwealth Speke resort, Muyonyoyo, Kampala from 26-27th October 2022.

The forum was officially opened by the president of Uganda, his Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, where he talked about the good relations that Uganda-EU has shared on other fronts over the years and re-echoed that the forum should emphasis on doing business on a fair grounds as brothers and sisters, because Uganda is ready and open for business.

He also welcomed entrepreneurs to partner or locate their production to Uganda, because of the advantages Uganda has in offering. i.e Peace & Security, Tax & other incentives, The largest youthful population, low labour costs and market for products: Uganda Population of 45m+, East African Market of 300m+, Comesa Market of 560m+ and Africa free trade area Market of 1.6bn+.

The forum had lots of activities i.e panel/workshops sessions in different sectors, Exhibition, pitching sessions from different start-ups/business and dinner. The forum was closed by the vice president her Excellency Jessica Alupo.

GTRADE21, a Global Trade Organization, was invited as one of the companies that would help facility Ugandan companies export their products to European market and the rest of the world. At the forum I met and talked to a number of directors of government agencies and minister of state for investment in relation to number of trade related issues and Gtrade21 services.

The government of Uganda has put more emphasis on some key sectors notable Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT & innovations and Tourism with a list of potential products namely Coffee, Fish & shellfish, Cocoa beans & Products, Live Plants, flowers, foliage, Skins, leather & Products, Spices, Fruits, Dairy Products, Pulses, Oil seeds, Sugar, Wood, Tea & mate, Cereals (except wheat & rice), Vegetable oil & fat, Pharmaceutical components, Vegetables, Ferrous metals, Precious metals.

My take away for the two days was that agriculture accounts for up to 75% of the most exportable products from Uganda and are exported in their raw form. So there is still a lot of investment opportunity in value addition, tourism and ICT.

I will continue to engage with different stakeholders in the ministry of Trade, industries and cooperatives, different government agencies, associations/cooperatives and the business community to champion the activities of Gtrade21.