MTN Uganda Delivers on Promise to President Museveni, Successfully Mobilizes South African Investors to Invest in Uganda

MTN Uganda has fulfilled President Yoweri Museveni’s call to action, rallying South African investors to explore opportunities in Uganda. 

This remarkable achievement follows the successful conclusion of the second leg of the Uganda-South Africa summit, held at the prestigious Speke Resort, Munyonyo.

In February of this year, during the first leg of the Uganda-South Africa trade and investment summit in South Africa, President Museveni issued an impassioned appeal to MTN and other South African businesses operating in Uganda. 

He urged them to collaborate in attracting more South African companies to invest in Uganda, particularly in the critical sectors of Agro-Industrialization, manufacturing, and tourism. The objective was clear: to bolster the Ugandan economy, create new employment opportunities, and enhance the country’s trade balance.

Hon. Evelyn Anite, the State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization, commended MTN Uganda for its unwavering commitment to this cause.

She said the telecom giant successfully mobilized 40 South African companies to participate in the summit, fostering greater trade and investment cooperation between the two nations.

Several South African enterprises, including Tiger Brands, SADC Grains, Radco Holdings, and Brand South Africa, have expressed their intent to establish businesses in Uganda, reinforcing the significance of this collaboration.

During the summit’s closing ceremony on September 06, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni extended his gratitude to MTN Uganda and its partners for their instrumental role in helping the government attract foreign direct investment from South Africa.

He emphasized Uganda’s abundant resources in minerals, agriculture, and forestry, which present a wealth of opportunities for investors.

President Museveni reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring that Uganda’s products are not exported as unfinished goods, emphasizing the importance of private sector participation in attracting more South African investors. 

He also lauded MTN Uganda for its pivotal role in transforming the nation’s mobile phone landscape, taking it from around 28,000 users in the 1990s to over 30 million customers today.

Ralph Mupita, the Group President and CEO of MTN Group, pledged continued support to the Ugandan government through various initiatives aimed at boosting the economy of the east African nation.

These include among others financing for locally produced smartphones to the population to increase internet penetration and catalyze economic growth.

In a parallel development, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), in collaboration with South African firm Hexagon Engineering, signed a memorandum of understanding to produce electricity transformers in Uganda, with the goal of reducing imports.

Likewise, the Uganda Investment Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with Invest South Africa to fortify their collaboration and promote trade and investment.

This summit builds upon the groundwork laid during a similar event held in South Africa earlier this year. President Museveni’s call to South African businesses in Uganda to mobilize more of their compatriots to invest in Uganda, particularly in Agro-Industrialization, manufacturing, and tourism, continues to bear fruit.

Recent statistics from the Bank of Uganda reveal that the value of Uganda’s exports to South Africa has steadily increased, doubling to US$21.24 million over the past decade.

In contrast, the value of South Africa’s exports to Uganda decreased from US$251.6 million to US$127.6 million during the same period.

Uganda’s exports to South Africa encompass cotton, gold, fish fillets, tobacco, coffee, and fresh flowers, while South Africa’s exports to Uganda include machinery, vehicles, plastics, chemicals, electronics, parts and accessories, petroleum, live animals, books and newsprint, textiles, footwear, aircraft, and household goods.

MTN Uganda led the charge in organizing the second leg of the Uganda-South Africa summit, partnering with key South African businesses in Uganda and collaborating with essential local institutions, including Absa Bank Uganda, Sanlam, Nile Breweries Limited, Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, DFCU Bank, MultiChoice Uganda, and Woolworths and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

MTN Uganda remains dedicated to fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships between Uganda and South Africa. This achievement reflects our unwavering commitment to driving progress and prosperity for all.

Bridget Nanteza