By Innocent Anguyo
UGANDANS plying their trade in Scandinavia under their umbrella body, the Uganda Nordics Diaspora Investment Initiative (UNDII) have started a meat processing plant in the country.
The plant worth $200,000 (about sh650m) is based in Busesa, Busoga sub-region. It will process and package meat products for both the local and international market.
Announcing their venture at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala on Thursday, Abou Matovu, the UNDCII publicist said they aim to process meat products that can effectively compete with similar merchandises on the market.
“This market previously been dominated by suppliers from Kenya and South Africa, but soon there will be Ugandan beef products in our local supermarkets. This project is looking to engage the full chain of meat industry-from raring animals to marketing,” said Matovu.
In light of ensuring a multiplier effect, Matovu said the plant will seek supplies from farmers in the vicinity, on top of obtaining meat from the UNDII farm in Busesa.
The plant is projected to create 200 jobs at the onset. UNDII plans to invest up to $1m (about sh3.5b) in Uganda’s agricultural sector in the next five years.
Asked why UNDII located the plant in Busoga, Elizabeth Kaleebi, a member of the group said they did a survey and established Busesa to be the ideal site- on account of energy efficiencies and abundant pastureland.
Dorothy Kirabo, another UNDII member said their investment in Uganda was intended at encouraging other Ugandans in the diaspora to plough their money back home in a bid to speed-up the growth of the country.
In light of endearing Ugandans in Scandinavia to business opportunities back home, UNDII has invited Kampala Capital City Executive Director Jennifer Musisi to give a talk on August 29 in an investment conference in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Since there is a constant call from Ugandan Authorities that Ugandans abroad should invest back home, members of UNDII would like to find out if there can be some sort of framework which gives assurance that their investment will be protected since they are wary of the trend whereby their hard-earned money and good intentions have been abused,” said Matovu.
“Nearly every Ugandan who has lived abroad a story to tell of how they have sent money back home towards development project only to find out later that the money was misappropriated.”
There are 10,200 Ugandans in the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden who send home about $21m (approximately sh70b) annually.
Official estimates put annual remittances by the Ugandans in the diaspora at $1b (sh3.3trillion).
Scandinavia-based Ugandans start meat processing plant