By Edward Kayiwa
Continued improvement in the macroeconomic environment enabled a 15% improvement in growth of actual capital investments during the fourth quarter of 2013/14.
The growth, which was mostly driven by a boom in finance, insurance and real estate, accounted for 44% of actual investments, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has said.
Addressing journalists in Kampala recently, the executive director of UIA, Dr. Frank Ssebowa, said the authority registered an 8% growth in actual investments to $46.8m, compared to $43m recorded in the previous quarter.
He added that the business service sector recorded the highest investment to the tune of $17m, while agriculture recorded $10m and the manufacturing sector followed with $9.1m.
“Investment performance continues to do considerably well in spite of an 11% decline in the number of licensed projects,” he said.
The authority also said the value of investments licensed during the fourth quarter led to a reduction in planned investments by 69% to $310m, compared to the planned $1b.
India remained the largest source of foreign direct investment projects, accounting for 20% of projects, with planned value of investment amounting to $12.5m in the fourth quarter.
Ssebowa said the authority also registered a 6.5% increase in the number of jobs created during the fourth quarter of 2013/14, although a 38% decline in planned jobs was also registered in the same period.
“During the fourth quarter, we registered an increase in jobs from 2,124 to 2,563, but also registered a 5,199 shortfall in the number of projected jobs,” he said.
The concentration of services in the central region, especially Kampala, attracted the biggest share of jobs and contributed to 78% of actual investments in the fourth quarter.
This trend is reflected in previous quarters, which confirm the fact that investors tend to concentrate on areas where they are confident about availability of consumer demand and supporting infrastructure.
Ssebowa said the authority resolved to revive the Jinja district investment belt to evenly spread investments across all regions