Investing in Uganda

Uganda is located in eastern Africa, west of Kenya, south of South Sudan, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north of Rwanda and Tanzania. It is in the heart of the Great Lakes region, and is surrounded by three of them, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, and Lake Victoria. This land linked position, gives the country a strategic commanding base to be a regional hub for trade and investment. Uganda enjoys pivotal trade partnerships that create a viable market for business.


In the whole African nations, Uganda's economy is the fastest rising due to its political stability and sound economic policies. Political stability is the main success of business in Uganda. The country's political and economic environment has been consistently improving and stable since 1986. Under the leadership of the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda has been able to be a political stabilising force in the region, which has provided a secure environment for private businesses to thrive. Security of investment is also  guaranteed under the Constitution of Uganda and the Investment Code 1991, as well as the major international investment related agreements / treaties to which Uganda is signatory.


A potential investor considering investing in Uganda, will find a highly liberalized economy in which all sectors are open for investment and there is a free movement of capital to and from the country. Uganda's economy rose because of the implementation of structural development programs. Agriculture continues to dominate the business bringing at least 80% of its export earnings. Uganda has the unrivalled potential to be the food basket of the East African Community, as well as the Great Lakes regions, with the capacity to export processed food to the wider COMESA economic bloc if more investment is targeted at processing more of the agro products. Uganda is among the leading producers of coffee and bananas. It is also a major producer of tea, cotton (including organic cotton), tobacco, cereals, oilseeds (simsim, soya, sunflower, etc), fresh and preserved fruit, vegetables and nuts, essential oils, orchids, fish, flowers and sericulture (silk).


Efforts have been made to ease investments, consequently, in the Ugandan Parliament in 1991, they came up with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), a One stop centre/shop for all investors into Uganda. The mission of the UIA is to promote and facilitate investment projects, provide serviced land, and advocate for a competitive business environment. The UIA works with the Government and the private sector to promote the economic growth of Uganda through investment and infrastructure development.

Companies need to meet the minimum capital threshold i.e. US$ 50,000 for domestic investors and US$ 250,000 for foreign investors. Please note that some sectors require secondary regulatory licenses e.g. mining, manufacture of drugs, before applying for an investment license. These secondary licenses can be obtained from other government agencies, facilitated by the One Stop Centre at UIA.

Persons intending to engage in trade do not require a licence from UIA but must prove they have access to operating capital of US$100,000 before trading licences and the recommendations for work permits can be issued by local authorities

The Investment license is free of charge and issued within 48 hours if the application meets the stated criteria. These are made online at the ebiz portal:

 Opportunities that investors can take on in Uganda include commercial farming and value addition, as well as the manufacture of inputs (fertilizers, pesticides etc.), supply of agricultural machinery and the establishment of cold storage facilities as well as the production of packing materials. Public Private Partnership investment opportunities exist in the commercial production of cereals (maize and rice) and beans.        

Manufacturing sector is also gaining success. Uganda has large under-exploited mineral deposits of gold, oil, high grade tin, tantalite, tungsten/wolfram, salt, beryllium, cobalt, kaolin, iron-ore, glass sand, vermiculite, phosphates (fertilizer), lithium, Uranium and rare earth elements. Uganda provides special incentives to the mining sector with some capital expenditures being written off in full. 

Other viable investment opportunities that can be explored are in Services - Education, Finance, and Health.


For more information regarding investing in Uganda and the necessary steps to register your investment, contact;