By Paul Watala
Ugandans living in the Diaspora have been advised to invest in the construction industry in the country.
State Minister for Industry, James Mutende made the call recentlyat the 6th home is the best summit, organised by Uganda Investment Authority at Mt. Elgon Hotel in Mbale town.
“Last year over $ 750 million was sent in remittances from Ugandans living in the diaspora. This was far better than what we got from coffee that is grown in the country,” Mutende said.
Mutende said that number Ugandan investors living in diaspora who intend to invest in Construction industry has grown, adding that the country is targeting to receive over $1billion dollars next year.
“The biggest challenge frustrating Ugandan living in the Diaspora is that their relatives and friends swindle the money that that is sent. They send money through their relatives and friends to purchase property but the people they give it to, swindle it,” Mutende said.
Mutende said the government through Uganda Investment Authority is working out a mechanism to ensure that such money is not swindled.
“We are working towards protecting our brothers and sisters who intend to invest in the country from being cheated,” Mutende said.
He also revealed that project housing requirement in the country by 2020 in Kampala will be at 750,791 units, other towns 1,092,318 units, rural areas 8,482,889 units and nationally 10,325,990 units, adding that it would be very hard to achieve the target unless these people invest in housing projects.
Mutende advised them to inject their money in residential construction, Hotels, Office construction, Cement factories, Brick making, roofing materials and Electronics, adding that this area is still very virgin and that raw materials are in abundance across the country.
“You can imagin with all the raw materials in Karamoja and other parts of the country we only have three cement factories, two clay factories and yet the demand is growing each and every moment. What companies export and consumed locally is still very little compared to the demand,” Mutende said.
He said that 50% 0f the country's export goes to Sothern Sudan, Kenya and that another area where they should invest their money is in mining phosphates in Tororo district.
“Phosphates that are in Tororo hills can serve COMESA region for the next 50 years and that is about 40m people,” Mutende said.
Karanguka Kayondo from Uganda Investment Authority who represented board chairperson pledged for protection of all Ugandans living in diaspora and intends to invest in the country.
“Please some of you make lots of money outside countries but fear to invest that you will be duped. Take advantage of the stability in the country and develop our mother country together,” Karanguka said.
Karanguka said that billions of shillings sent by Ugandan living in diaspora intended to develop country have been swindled by deferent people.