Museveni Urges French Firms to Invest More

President Yoweri Museveni has said limited entrepreneurship spirit among Ugandans is slowing down the country’s growth and economic development.

Museveni argues that given the stability in security and a good investment climate, the low levels of local entrepreneurship have slowed efforts to achieving higher levels of growth.

“The problem of Uganda today is shortage of entrepreneurs. The few entrepreneurs we have are busy dealing in small things like transport, hair salons and real estate, but we need more entrepreneurs in areas like manufacturing, tourism and others,” he said recently.

Museveni was speaking at celebrations to mark the 255th French Bastille day [French National day] at the French ambassador’s residence in Nakasero. The French Bastille day is marked on July 14 every year to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison, which sparked the French revolution. This year’s French National day coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the First World War.

Museveni used the occasion to invite more investors from Europe to invest in the country. Total EampP Uganda Limited is one of the bigger French companies operating in Uganda’s oil and gas industry. Museveni said: “The Chinese are coming here so, Europeans like the French, should have come yesterday, but it is never too late.”

Sophie Makame, the French ambassador to Uganda, lauded Uganda for its role in maintaining regional peace and security. The UPDF is in Somalia on a peacekeeping mission under the Amisom and also in South Sudan where it played a crucial role in stopping the collapse of the new state. Uganda is France’s second biggest trading partner in East Africa after Kenya.

Makame said there were more than 30 active French companies operating in Uganda today in a number of sectors, which include oil and gas, telecommunications and environmental conservation. She said French companies have invested $1bn over the last two years.

“These companies had created thousands of jobs and extended services to Ugandans,” she said.

Source : The Observer

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