Ireland’s new Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr Joe McHugh TD visited the Uganda Investment Authority accompanied by his delegation and Ireland’s Ambassador to Uganda, Dónal Cronin. The Minister is on his first trip to Africa.
Minister McHugh is in Uganda, along with the Director General of Irish Aid Michael Gaffey to launch Ireland’s new Country Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2020.
During the visit, they discussed the business climate in Uganda and UIA’s new 5 year plan which aims to create 1 million jobs by 2020 as well as Ireland’s priorities in Uganda in the area of trade and Investment over the next 5 years.
Earlier this year, Ireland supported the UIA staff training in the area of strategic investment and export promotion.
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister of State, Mr Joe McHugh TD, said:
Earlier this morning, I launched Ireland’s new 5 year plan for Uganda, I am delighted that for the first time this plan also includes our engagement in the area of trade and investment promotion. This shows how the relationship between Ireland and Uganda has matured, and moved beyond purely development assistance and towards a more multi-faceted relationship incorporating strengthened trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people links.
Enhanced trade between our 2 countries will complement our aid programme and support independent development, while ensuring that growth is as inclusive as possible.
We will continue to encourage linkages between Irish and Ugandan companies and institutions, with a particular focus on sharing some of the learning from Ireland in areas of great interest to Uganda (especially agro processing, tourism, ICT, aviation and pharmaceuticals).
He commended the work of the UIA on their new 5 year plan and the central role of the organisation in encouraging and facilitating increased two-way trade and investment between the 2 countries.
The Minister also met with Ms. Rukia Adam, an Investment Executive in UIA, who has been awarded a fellowship to study a Masters in Business Administration commencing 2016.
This award is in addition to a previous scholarship to Ms Cathy Nanfuka, a UIA staff, who is winding up her one year study in Strategic Management Accounting. Other members of staff have also benefited from Irish government support to participate in the capacity building programmes run by International Development Ireland (IDI). At the beginning of the year in February, IDI facilitated one week training in Strategic Investment Promotion in Uganda for 16 UIA staff. Eng. Dr. Frank Sebbowa, Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), appreciated all the support rendered to UIA in the past.
He said ‘this signifies great commitment by the Irish government to see increased trade and investment flows between the two countries. Supporting the Uganda Investment Authority is a very strategic way to enhance these relations and we are grateful’.
He said UIA was in the process of developing bankable projects, which he said would be marketed to potential investors in Ireland.