The Speaker of Jinja City Council (JCC) Hon. Bernard Mbayo has appealed to foreign investors to invest in Jinja, arguing that authorities have deliberately put in place an enabling environment.
Jinja, the capital of Busoga sub-region, is one of the seven cities that commenced operations on 1st July 2020.
Speaking to our reporter on Tuesday, Mbayo said in order to position Jinja as an ideal investment destination, the city has introduced several initiatives “to enhance and improve the locational attractiveness and advantages to domestic and international investors”.
“Jinja has adopted a posture that is welcoming to strategic partnerships and private sector investments. We want the world to know that we are the preferred destination for investment in the great lakes region’’, Mbayo described the city as business-friendly and suitable for investments.
He revealed that investing in Uganda City of Jinja is a ‘sure deal’ to the success of projects because of the prevailing excellent investment environment in the country.
‘’ Jinja City is Uganda’s right investment destination and boasts a skilled but cheap labor force, a large market from the East African region, Africa, the American market under AGOA and access to free markets in China and Europe. Government is working on reducing the cost of power as well as the cost of transportation to lower the cost of doing business’’, said Mbayo.
The city is in the process of developing its Investment Policy, which would focus on investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare which he identified as their priority.
Mbayo added that the city is also piloting an investors’ portal, e-Jinja.
Through the implementation of phase one of the investment portals, potential foreign and local investors would be able to ask for general investment information, load investment proposals and submit investment applications online, he said.
“This will assist the city in taking a decision to fast-track a project primarily based on its socio-economic impact.”
In addition, the city would also steer an employment facilitation centre “to assist and empower Jinja’s unemployed residents find and take advantage of employment and/or business opportunities.” Mbayo further said.
Although a partial lockdown was re-imposed last month that included the closure of schools and the suspension of inter-district travel to help beat back a surge in COVID-19 cases , Mbayo says the government continues to safeguard investment opportunities and this explains why foreign tourists are allowed in the country.
As in many countries on the African continent, vaccination against Covid-19 is progressing in Uganda and so far registered cases, including deaths, remain low compared to other countries on the continent.
Recently, Jinja City Mayor Alton Kasolo told reporters that they have a target to move the region to another level and the main focus for economic growth is making Jinja the manufacturing hub of Busoga.