The Uganda Embassy in Brussels is the first point of contact for European travellers and investors seeking information about this dynamic African nation. The Embassy’s Head of Mission is Stephen T.K. Katenta-Apuli, Uganda’s Ambassador to Belgium since 2006. His role includes representing Uganda to the EU Community and to International Organisations based in Brussels.
The Ambassador is bullish about his country. He explains, “after 50 years of independence, uganda is now ready: ready to serve as a high-potential investment target, ready to be a reliable business and trade partner, ready to welcome tourists, ready to be an ideal retirement home, and ready to provide an education for young people.”
Stephen T.K. Katenta-Apuli cites opportunities in Uganda’s mining, petroleum, energy, agriculture, fisheries and bio-diesel sectors. According to a recent aerial survey of the country’s minerals resources, uganda has significant precious and base metals ready to be exploited as well as around 2.6 billion barrels of economically exploitable oil in the albertine Grabine region, only 40% of which has been explored so far. The Ambassador says, “We are looking for partners to build an oil refinery in the hoima region which will produce 60,000 bpd to 150,000 bpd, starting with 20,000 bpd in a mini-refinery. We welcome investors.”
Wide range of investment opportunities
The Ambassador notes that the Uganda Government also encourages investment in value-added agricultural production and processing, including creating coldstorage facilities at entebbe international airport. Fish farming is another growth activity. Uganda is already cooperating with Belgium’s university of Ghent in a fishfarming initiative involving cutting-edge technologies.
The Ambassador welcomes partners in bio-diesel projects. One project already in the works in partnership with a French engineering firm will support the production of bio-diesel-powered generators. Another project aims for Ugandan and East African farmers to grow jatropha, candlenut and castor-oil trees and then sell their production to bio-diesel plants. The Government of Luxembourg and the Clean Development mechanism of the Kyoto protocol are potential funding sources for bio-diesel projects in Uganda.
As uganda’s main representative office in the EU, the Uganda Embassy in Brussels is affiliated with a number of European and International organisations, including the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of states, the World Customs organisation, the organisation for the prevention of Chemical Weapons, and the international Courts in the hague, including the permanent Court of arbitration. Stephen T.K. Katenta-Apuli served as president of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors from august 2011 to January 2012, the first time a Ugandan had held this post. He is currently Chairman of the Commonwealth partnership for technology management, smart partnership Brussels hub.
Addressing travellers and investors, Stephen T.K. Katenta-Apuli concludes, “With its oil coming on line in the next three to four years, Uganda has the potential to become a middle-income country by 2018. now is the right time to explore and invest in Uganda, one of the world’s most exciting tourism and business destinations. uganda is truly the ‘Pearl of Africa’.”