New Delhi: Ruhana Rugunda, minister of internal affairs of Uganda, assured the Indian business community that his country was doing all that was necessary to promote foreign investment and enterprise and welcomed Indian investments in various sectors, including tourism, hospitality, education, banking and information technology.
“The road is clear and smooth now. It was rough before… come and help us galvanize our resources and expand our economy… to catch up with India in terms of growth,” said Ruhana Rugunda, minister of internal affairs of Uganda in an interaction with the Indian industry on 4 May 2007.
He added that the Indian community has played a pivotal role in the development of Uganda and that his country was ready to provide all facilities and a secured business environment to the Indian investors.
A delegate from the country is on a goodwill mission to India to dispel fears following the recent killing of a 24-year-old Indian in mob fury in Kampala, and to promote business and bilateral relations ahead of a business conclave to be held in late June in the Ugandan capital.
The delegation included two persons of Indian origin — Sanjay Tanna, member of parliament in Uganda and Sanjiv Patel, representative, Indian Association in Uganda. Both of them also assured Indian businessmen about the secure and supportive environment. They said Indians form a 17,000 strong community in the African nation, with 70% being first generation people who have prospered and flourished in the country.
Uganda is in the heart of Africa and can become a hub to leverage on the markets of east and south African countries like Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Congo, the minister mentioned.
He stressed on the need for developing the energy sector in his country and invited Indian companies to invest and set up hydro-electric power plants in the country. The present power requirement is about 2,000mw, while the country produces only around 1,000mw.
Regarding visa problems in the country, the minster said the Uganda Investment Authority is the one-stop-window for all the investment and business needs and investors can get their administrative and legal documents processed within the stipulated time through the authority without any hassel.
The delegation would also make a trip to Ahmedabad, Gujarat to visit the family members of Deval Rawal and pay some compensation. Rawal and two Ugandans were killed when a mob, protesting against an Indian sugar company’s bid to expand its sugar estates by developing a part of Mabira rainforest, went berserk.