Uganda, UAE companies close deals in key sectors

New Vision | 24 November 2023

Uganda, UAE companies close deals in key sectors

The senior presidential advisor on special duties, Odrek Rwabwogo, announced the news on Friday, a day after meeting the officials from the Abu Dhabi-based companies.

The Ugandan government and several companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have made major deals in key sectors, including agriculture, railway transport, and oil and gas.

The companies include E20 Investment Limited, which is an agribusiness investment company; Etihad Rails, which operates UAE's national railway network, and ADNOC, a leading diversified energy group owned by the Abu Dhabi government. 

Others are G42, a technology group operating internationally, and ADQ, an investment and holding company.

The senior presidential advisor on special duties, Odrek Rwabwogo, announced the news on Friday, a day after meeting the officials from the Abu Dhabi-based companies.

The two-day meeting between the UAE delegation and officials from the Ugandan government and key private-sector players took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala from November 20-23. 

"In a landmark engagement, Uganda's wheels of progress have been further set in motion with the successful visit of the UAE delegation," Rwabwogo said on X, formerly Twitter.

The UAE delegation was led by Saeed Al Ameri, the head of the E20 group of companies, and it included the representatives of all the above-mentioned companies.

He stated that a testament to the foresight of their leaders, the discussions birthed promising outcomes across sectors. 

"In the spirit of advancement, Etihad Rail's contemplation of our Standard Gauge Railway project paves the way for transformative infrastructural development," Rwabwogo, who is also the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), said.

He explained that the agriculture sector witnessed potential funding avenues for their esteemed coffee transactions and a propitious development of a coffee fund, which he said is a leap towards bolstering Uganda's exports.

"The exchange with E20 revealed a possible $20m investment in beef feedlots, aiming to elevate our beef export capabilities significantly," said Rwabwogo, a farmer and entrepreneur.

He also said their vision as Uganda for oil and gas, aerodrome development, and ICT sectors saw equal enthusiasm, with ADNOC and G42 aligning with their strategic goals. 

Rwabwogo said the commitment to enhancing their national security through rapid ICT deployment and a partnership for animal vaccines with G42 Hayat Biotech stands as a beacon of their resolve to secure a healthier future.

"Notably, discussions on mineral sector information with IHC (mining company) and tea and solar initiatives with Masdar have been initiated, heralding a new era of diversified economic growth," he said.

He noted that this visit has not only strengthened bilateral ties but has also showcased Uganda's readiness to embrace global partnerships for a prosperous tomorrow. 

"Our concerted efforts today set the stage for a future ripe with opportunity and shared success. Let us harness this momentum and continue to stride confidently on the path of progress and unity," Rwabwogo told Ugandans.

New Vision also heard from sources privy to the information that E20 Investment Limited met Fresh Cuts Limited director Amos Tindyebwa and discussed a plan on the beef feedlot worth $20m with a projected output of 5250MT per year of beef export ( $35m).

Fresh Cuts Limited is a meat processing industry in Uganda.

A source privy to the discussion told New Vision that E20 Investment Limited also expressed interest in Uganda's coffee.

"They discussed with Great Lakes Coffee (GLC ) and indicated the possibility of financing the current coffee transactions. GLC will clearly indicate the markets and costs involved," the source said.
Other members of the UAE delegation included Omar Al Sebeyi, Erol Yagiz, Ghanem Ahmed Ali, and Omar Jamal Naser- all from Etihad Rail.

Those from E20 Investment Limited were Pramendra Garg, Sultan Al Jaberi, Balamurugan, and Pandian, while Martin Asenov came from ADQ, which deals in aerodromes and airports.

Ahmad bin Thalith and Daniel Kalumba were from ADNOC, which also deals in oil and gas.

Key sectors identified

PACEID, which was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in March 2022, identified 13 key exports that will be targeted for aggressive growth in production and revenue over the next five years.

These are coffee, sugar, grains, fruits and vegetables, poultry (meat), tourism, beef, dairy, cement, steel, fish, banana flour, and flowers/plant materials.

According to PACEID, all these 13 are exports where Uganda has sufficient comparative advantage in target markets that if grown, sustainable industries and manufacturing structures can develop around each, creating employment and driving the national economy.

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